Fat is not the enemy
The Atkins Diet still seems to be best known as the “eat all of the eggs and bacon you want” diet. While this may not be exactly true, it definitely still has a bad rap. Perhaps when this diet came out it was too soon for us to open our minds to the idea that fat doesn’t make you fat. Clear and simple, fat does not make you fat. There has also been study after study debunking the idea that high fat diets cause heart disease.
What is The Ketogenic Diet?
The Ketogenic Diet is not the Atkins Diet, one of the main differences being that the protein intake is not as high. The Ketogenic Diet focuses on low carbohydrates and adequate amounts of protein. The main staple of the diet is healthy fats, including medium-chain triglycerides, such as coconut oil, to increase ketones. The Ketogenic Diet mimics fasting physiology (please read our blog post on fasting for more information). When your body is in ketosis or a fasted state, it begins to use ketones to fuel the body and the brain, rather than glucose (blood sugar). This keeps insulin levels low, and fat burning potential high. The many benefits include:
- Fat loss
- Anti-cancer effects
- Increased cognitive function
- Better use of oxygen
- Ability to maintain or increase strength
- Lowers insulin levels
- Lowers inflammation
- Less oxidative stress (free radicals)
Ellen Davis explains ketosis as “an energy state that your body uses to provide an alternative fuel when glucose availability is low. It happens to all humans when fasting or when carbohydrate intake is lowered. The process of creating ketones is a normal metabolic alternative designed to keep us alive if we go without food for long periods of time. Eating a diet low in carb and higher in fat enhances this process without the gnawing hunger of fasting.” Her website it a great resource if you’d like to learn more: https://www.ketogenic-diet-resource.com/
Why we love it
The basic idea of fueling our body with healthy fats and cutting out the simple and refined sugars, is why we love it. This is not a fad diet, it’s really about being healthy. It’s about burning fat, lowering insulin levels (and the risk of Type 2 Diabetes, and even potentially Type 3 Diabetes, commonly known as Alzheimer’s Disease). Eating good fat helps us to stay satiated longer; we’re not as hungry so we eat less. Not to mention, that if we can starve cancer cells, it seems worth a try.
Ketosis expert, Biochemist and MD, Richard Veech has said that the heart and the brain gets 28% more energy metabolizing beta-hydroxybutyrate (one type of ketone) than metabolizing glucose. If you’re interested in delving into his work, here is more on ketosis and links to some of his scientific papers:
You don’t have to follow a 100% Ketogenic Diet which would be 70-80% fat, 1-3% carbohydrates and 15% protein, but there are options to reap the benefits. You can reach a low to moderate level of ketoses by lowering/eliminating your simple and refined sugars and adding quality fats and protein: fish, grass fed beef, chicken, organic eggs, grass fed butter, avocados and vegetables with olive oil and avocado oil. Exogenous ketones are also beneficial in helping you get into ketosis, even if you’re eating more carbs than on a strict ketogenic diet. The word ‘biohacking’ comes to mind, although we feel it’s a term that seems to be a bit overused. The exogenous ketones are, in a sense, a way to cheat and help you get into ketosis. Here are two that are good options:
Lastly, we love it because we’ve tried it and it works. After a year on a modified ketogenic diet, we have both seen changes in body composition. Scott has lost 18 pounds, while maintaining his lean muscle mass and continuing the same workout regimen. His lipid profile has improved as well; HDL went from 60 to 76 and LDL went down 14 points. Fasting glucose went down 11 points in a year.
We’re excited to experiment and learn more about the potential benefits of ketosis. If we’ve piqued your interest and you’d like to read more, here are a few other resources that we recommend:
- Peter Attia, MD is the founder of Attia Medical, PC, a medical practice with offices in San Diego and New York City, focusing on the applied science of longevity. His website has several articles on cholesterol and ketosis:
*Disclaimer: The information in this blog is for informational purposes only. Please always consult your doctor before considering any new diet, supplementation, or other changes to your normal nutrition and exercise routine.