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Fitness for the body, mind & spirit

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Ketogenic diet…good or not so much…?

Ketosis. Ketogenic diet. What are these terms and why are so many people searching the inter webs for information on this? After all, the ketogenic diet goes back to the 1920’s when it was used to help with symptoms of epilepsy. If you haven’t heard of these terms, no worries, we are going to look at their definitions, some benefits and cautions, and resources. This newsletter just scratches the surface on the benefits and things to watch out for. There is a vast amount of data on this subject. I’ve scoured the universe through attending conferences, listening to interviews, and reading documents to provide you with a guide to resources to help you get started. Let’s jump in! Ketosis A metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body. Said another way, in the absence of glucose, which is used by the cells as a quick source of energy, the body starts to burn fat and produces ketones. Once ketone levels in the blood rise to a certain point, you enter into a state of ketosis. Ben Greenfield, fitness and nutrition expert, explains, "Keto-adaptation, AKA “becoming a fat burning machine”, occurs when you have shifted your metabolism to relying on fat-based sources, instead of glucose (sugar) sources, as your primary source of fuel. Your body increases fat oxidation, and breaks down fats into ketones to be used as the primary energy source. Depending on your current level of carbohydrate intake (takes longer if you’re pretty sugar addicted), this process can take two weeks to six months to fully train your body to, but once done, it’s done, and you have achieved fat-burning status that can stick with you for life.” Ketogenic diet Synonymous with a very low-carb diet. As we learned above, the body starts to burn fat in the absence of glucose so not many carbohydrates can be consumed. Weight loss for people following a ketogenic diet is due to lowered insulin levels and the body being forced to burn stored body fat for energy. There are many approaches to a ketogenic diet, here are a couple of examples of proportion of macro nutrients:

  • An athlete's diet: 50-60% fat, 20-30% protein, 10-30% carbohydrate

  • A modified diet: 40% from fat; 30% protein; and 30% carbohydrates

How does this work? Now we know what ketosis and a ketogenic diet are, let’s put it all together. Dr. Josh Axe explains how this process works: 1. Consumption of glucose from carbohydrate foods — grains, starchy vegetables, fruit, etc. — is cut way down. 2. This forces your body to find an alternative fuel source: fat (think avocados, coconut oil, salmon). 3. Meanwhile, in the absence of glucose, the body also starts to burn fat and produces ketones instead. 4. Once ketone levels in the blood rise to a certain point, you enter into a state of ketosis. 5. This state results in quick and consistent weight loss until you reach a healthy, stable body weight. Benefits: In his article, “How to get into ketosis”, Ben Greenfield explains some benefits:

  • Weight loss

  • Blood sugar balance and enhanced insulin sensitivity

  • Increase satiety, and decreased food cravings

  • Improved energy levels, oxygen capacity, motor performance & athletic performance

  • Enhanced blood flow through vasodilation

  • Migraine treatment

  • Neuroprotective benefits in seizure disorders; ADHD; Alzheimer ’s disease, memory and cognitive function; Parkinson’s Disease and Multiple Sclerosis

  • Autism and improved behavior and social impacts

  • Mood stabilization in bipolar disorder (type II)

  • Stroke prevention; cardiovascular disease; metabolic syndrome management; improved cholesterol levels

  • Inflammation management

  • Endurance enhancement

Things to watch out for: “Keto flu” While your body enters into ketosis, you may notice certain symptoms that could last for one to two weeks or more that will go away. Things like feeling tired, constipation, moodiness, low libido, and bad breath. Existing health conditions Would be best to consult with your physician before starting a ketogenic diet if you have a history or existing conditions such as diabetes, kidney disease or damage, heart problems or hormonal imbalances. Be sure to read more about ketosis and a ketogenic diet if you are considering trying it (see resources below). Whether you try it or not, one thing to keep in mind is that it does work for weight loss in a similar manner that a low-carb diet does, by lowering insulin, increasing mobilization of stored body fat, and decreasing appetite. Resources: Mark’s Daily Apple: article, "Definitive guide to keto” Ben Greenfield: article, “How to get into ketosis” Per Ben Dr. David Perlmutter: article, “Ketogenic Treatments for ALS" Dr. Peter Attia: article, “Ketois - advantaged or misunderstood state?" Tim Ferriss hosted and article by Dr. Peter Attia on Ketosis for cancer prevention: Dr. Terry Wahls video: “So, why do I need to be in ketosis?” Journal of Metabolism at “Metabolic characteristics of keto-adapted ultra-endurance runners”. Summary:

  • Ketosis is shifting your metabolism to relying on fat-based sources instead of glucose (sugar) sources as your primary source of fuel

  • A ketogenic diet is one that is very low on carbohydrates

  • A ketogenic diet may be great for people trying to loose weight, for cognitive function, or as a treatment for major disease states

  • A ketogenic diet may not be right for everyone especially with history or existing issues with kidneys, heart, hormonal imbalances or if diabetic

  • There are many qualified resources for more information on ketosis and a ketogenic diet

Did you miss last week’s newsletter on "Obesity…3 things you should know…?" To your journey, Lisa Schaffer GreenNote Fitness P.S. Check out my Facebook page for inspiration. P.P.S. Discover GreenNote Fitness recommendations for recovery, supplements, protein bars & powders, nutrition, equipment, and more. **Do you have a friend that would benefit from this information? Please forward it to them!**

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