The Keto Diet

Not interested in details, just show me the macro ratio and sample meal plan for now

The Keto Diet

Before we get into the Keto diet we must first explain the role that Insulin plays in the body.

Insulin and Insulin Resistance

Insulin is an important hormone that controls many bodily processes.

However, problems with this hormone are at the heart of many modern health conditions.

Insulin resistance, in which your cells stop responding to insulin, is incredibly common. In fact, over 32.2% of the U.S. population may have this condition.

Depending on the diagnostic criteria, this number may rise to 44% in women with obesity and over 80% in some patient groups.

About 33% of children and teenagers with obesity may have insulin resistance as well.

Even so, simple lifestyle measures can dramatically improve this condition.

Insulin basics

Insulin is a hormone secreted by your pancreas.

Its main role is to regulate the amount of nutrients circulating in your bloodstream.

Although insulin is mostly implicated in blood sugar management, it also affects fat and protein metabolism.

When you eat a meal that contains carbs, the amount of blood sugar in your bloodstream increases.

The cells in your pancreas sense this increase and release insulin into your blood. Insulin then travels around your bloodstream, telling your cells to pick up sugar from your blood. This process results in reduced blood sugar levels.

High blood sugar can have toxic effects, causing severe harm and potentially leading to death if untreated.

After years of high carb intake, excess of which converts to fat, and saturated fat intake from animal products, this fat eventually fills up the cells. Cells, full of fat, eventually stop responding to insulin. This is called insulin resistance.

Under this condition, your pancreas produces even more insulin to try to lower your blood sugar levels. This leads to high insulin levels in your blood.

Over time, your cells may become increasingly resistant to insulin, resulting in a rise in both insulin and blood sugar levels.

Eventually, your pancreas may become damaged, leading to decreased insulin production.

After blood sugar levels exceed a certain threshold, you may be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

SUMMARY Insulin resistance occurs when your cells stop responding to the hormone insulin. This causes higher insulin and blood sugar levels, potentially leading to type 2 diabetes.

Excerpt from Healthline.com by Kris Gunnars BSc, July 3 2018

What causes insulin resistance?

Many factors contribute to insulin resistance.

One is believed to be increased levels of fat in your blood.

Numerous studies show that high amounts of free fatty acids in your blood cause cells to stop responding properly to insulin.

Note: As explained in the section ‘The truth about.. Saturated Fats vs Unsaturated Fats’, animal meats contain long-chain saturated fats that accumulate in the blood stream, and also excess glucose (sugar from carbs) breaks down into long-chain SaFAs (triglicerides). This is one reason why meat and simple carbs should be restricted to reasonable levels.

Visceral fat, the dangerous belly fat that accumulates around your organs, may release many free fatty acids into your blood.

Although this condition is more common among those with excess weight, people with low or normal weight are also susceptible.

Other potential causes of insulin resistance include:

  • Fructose. High fructose intake ( sugar, not fruit) has been linked to insulin resistance in both rats and humans.

  • Inflammation. Increased oxidative stress and inflammation in your body may lead to this condition.

  • Inactivity. Physical activity increases insulin sensitivity, while inactivity causes insulin resistance.

 

SUMMARY The main causes of insulin resistance may be overeating and increased body fat, especially in the belly area. Other factors include high sugar intake, inflammation, inactivity.

Insulin resistance is linked to various ailments, including heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, and cancer.

Ways to reduce insulin resistance

It’s fairly easy to reduce insulin resistance.

Interestingly, you can often completely reverse this condition by changing your lifestyle in the following ways:

  • Reduce sugar intake. Try to reduce your intake of added sugars, especially from sugar-sweetened beverages and refined carbs.

  • Eat well. Eat a diet based mostly on whole, unprocessed foods. Include nuts and fatty fish.

  • Omega-3 fatty acids. These fats may reduce insulin resistance, as well as lower blood triglycerides.

SUMMARY  Insulin resistance may be reduced or even reversed with simple lifestyle measures, such as exercise, healthy eating, and stress management.

Excerpt from Healthline.com by Kris Gunnars BSc, July 3 2018

Fat or Carbs for energy?

Fat and protein were the dominant macronutrients (when food was even available) over the majority of our two-and-a-half million years as evolving humans.

The lack of regular access to food and a scarcity of carbohydrates for much of this time necessitated that we adapt efficient pathways to readily store and access body fat for energy if we were to survive day-to-day and generation-to-generation.

 

Our movement patterns were such that we never required large amounts of glucose or that we needed to store very much glycogen. It was predominantly fats, ketones and the minimal infusion of glucose via gluconeogenesis (the generation of glucose from certain non-carbohydrate carbon substrates) that got us here. Dietary carbs were insignificant. In fact, when you consider how ridiculously small the body’s glycogen reservoirs are, you understand that it would have been impossible for us to survive as a species if glucose were truly the “preferred” fuel.

 

The liver, the main back-up glycogen/glucose storage facility for the brain and other glucose-burning organs, can only store about 100 grams of glycogen. Less than a day’s worth. Your muscles can only hold another 350-500 grams, barely enough to run for 90 minutes at a reasonable clip, and that glycogen isn’t even available to provide fuel for the brain.

 

Meanwhile, we have a virtually unlimited storage capacity for fat (like 100,000 grams or close to a million calories on some people). The reason glycogen storage wasn’t necessary is because, between our copious fat storage capability, easy access to fats as fuel, gluconeogenesis and ketones, we just didn’t need much. 

A metabolic paradigm shift, or why fat is the preferred fuel for human metabolism, by Mark Sisson, MarksDailyApple.com

The Fat Paradigm

The Fat Paradigm, under which the human species has thrived quite effectively for two and a half million years, recognizes that human metabolism is pre-programmed by evolution to be primarily fat-based (the real preferred fuel).

 

In other words, our genes expect us to function optimally when we consume fats and can easily access our stored fat.

 

The Fat Paradigm acknowledges that the body is able to manufacture adequate glucose as needed. It acknowledges that most typical human movement patterns can be fueled almost entirely by fats and/or ketones if need be, but can draw on glycogen when energy bursts are required (and which can then be replaced over time).

 

It acknowledges that fat (and cholesterol) are not the proximate cause of heart disease. It acknowledges that fat cells are designed to release stored fatty acids as required, especially during times of scarcity or fasting.

 

It allows for intermittent fasting as a means of accelerating fat loss without sacrificing muscle tissue. It increases insulin sensitivity, modulates energy and mood swings, and allows for a normal and healthy drop in hunger and cravings.

A metabolic paradigm shift, or why fat is the preferred fuel for human metabolism, by Mark Sisson, MarksDailyApple.com

The Keto Diet - Guidelines

In establishing the best diet for humans it is thus necessary to take into account the part played by insulin.

This is because insulin is the mechanism by which glucose is moved from the blood, where it is first deposited, to the cells where is used for fuel. Too much glucose or a spike in glucose levels put undue stress on the pancreas to produce enough insulin to move the glucose out of the blood.

 

High levels of blood glucose is very unhealthy as already mentioned. Therefore limiting the amount of glucose getting into the blood stream is essential. Glucose is also implicated in many other adverse conditions including atherosclerosis, advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) that are responsible for the increased production of free radicals, also implicated in dementia through insulin resistance in the brain, and inflammation and the development of cancer.

There are 2 sources of fuel for our cells:

1) Glucose

2) Fat

Glucose burns very inefficiently producing oxidative stress mentioned above, whereas fat burns efficiently and cleanly and is our cell's preferred fuel source (mentioned above).

For this reason low levels of simple carbs are recommended with the keto diet together with moderate levels of protein and high levels of healthy fats. 

Resistant starches are also an important part of the keto diet in order to satisfy satiety.

Resistant starches

Most of the carbohydrates in your diet are starches.

Starches are long chains of glucose that are found in grains, potatoes and various foods.

But not all of the starch you eat gets digested.

Sometimes a small part of it passes through your digestive tract unchanged.

In other words, it is resistant to digestion.

This type of starch is called resistant starch, which functions kind of like soluble fiber.

Many studies in humans show that resistant starch can have powerful health benefits.

This includes improved insulin sensitivity, lower blood sugar levels, reduced appetite and various benefits for digestion.

How Does It Work?

The main reason why resistant starch works, is that it functions like soluble, fermentable fibre.

It goes through your stomach and small intestine undigested, eventually reaching your colon where it feeds your friendly gut bacteria.

The bacteria in your intestine outnumber the body's cells 10 to 1 — in that respect, you’re only 10% human.

Whereas most foods feed only 10% of your cells, fermentable fibers and resistant starches feed the other 90%.

There are hundreds of different species of bacteria in your intestine. In the past few decades, scientists have discovered that the number and type of bacteria can have a profound impact on your health.

Resistant starch feeds the friendly bacteria in your intestine, having a positive effect on the type of bacteria as well as their number.

When the bacteria digest resistant starches, they form several compounds, including gases and short-chain fatty acids, most notably butyrate.

A Superfood for Your Digestive System

When you eat resistant starch, it ends up in your large intestine, where the bacteria digest it and turn it into short-chain fatty acids.

The most important of these short-chain fatty acids is butyrate.

Butyrate is the preferred fuel of the cells that line your colon.

Therefore, resistant starch both feeds the friendly bacteria and indirectly feeds the cells in your colon by increasing the amount of butyrate.

Resistant starch has several beneficial effects on your colon.

It reduces the pH level, potently reduces inflammation and leads to several beneficial changes that should lower your risk of colorectal cancer, which is the fourth most common cause of cancer death worldwide.

The short-chain fatty acids that aren't used by the cells in your colon travel to your bloodstream, liver and the rest of your body, where they may have various beneficial effects.

Due to its therapeutic effects on the colon, resistant starch may aid various digestive disorders. This includes inflammatory bowel diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, constipation, diverticulitis and diarrhea.

In animal studies, resistant starch has also been shown to increase the absorption of minerals.

 

Health Benefits of Resistant Starch

Resistant starch has various benefits for metabolic health.

Several studies show that it can improve insulin sensitivity — the responsiveness of your body's cells to insulin.

Resistant starch is also very effective at lowering blood sugar levels after meals.

What’s more, it has a second meal effect, meaning that if you eat resistant starch with breakfast, it will also lower your blood sugar spike at lunch.

The effect on glucose and insulin metabolism is very impressive. Some studies have found a 33–50% improvement in insulin sensitivity after four weeks of consuming 15–30 grams per day.

The importance of insulin sensitivity cannot be stressed enough.

Having low insulin sensitivity insulin resistance is believed to be a major risk factor for several serious diseases, including metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease and Alzheimer's.

By improving insulin sensitivity and lowering blood sugar, resistant starch may help you avoid chronic disease and improve your quality of life.

Below are foods that contain high amounts of resistant starch.

Oats

Oats are one of the most convenient ways to add resistant starch to your diet.

3.5 ounces (100 grams) of cooked oatmeal flakes may contain around 3.6 grams of resistant starch. Oats are also high in antioxidants and are a whole grain.

Letting your cooked oats cool for several hours or overnight could increase the resistant starch even further.

Cooked and Cooled Rice

Rice is another low-cost and convenient way to add resistant starch to your diet.

One popular preparation method is to cook large batches for the entire week.

Doing this not only saves time but also increases the resistant starch content when the rice is left to cool.

Brown rice may be preferable to white rice due to its higher fiber content. Brown rice also provides more micronutrients, including manganese and magnesium.

Legumes

Beans and legumes provide large amounts of fiber and resistant starch.

Both should be soaked and fully heated to remove lectins and anti-nutrients.

Depending on the type of legume, they contain around 1-4 grams of resistant starch per 3.5 ounces (100 grams) after they've been cooked.

Cooked and Cooled Potatoes

If prepared correctly and left to cool, potatoes are a good source of resistant starch.

It's best to cook them in bulk and allow them to cool for at least a few hours. When fully cooled, cooked potatoes will contain significant amounts of resistant starch.

In addition to being a good source of carbs and resistant starch, potatoes contain nutrients such as potassium and vitamin C.

Remember not to reheat the potatoes. Instead, eat them cold as part of homemade potato salads or other similar meals.

 

Nutrition

Health and Nutrition Benefits of Potatoes

 

Potatoes are a versatile root vegetable and a staple food in many households.

They are an underground tuber that grows on the roots of the Solanum tuberosum plant.

Potatoes are relatively cheap, easy to grow and packed with a variety of nutrients.

Excerpt from Healthline.com by Kris Gunnars BSc, July 3 2018

 

The Keto Diet - Macro Ratio

Using Cronometer.com (below) anyone can design a meal plan using the ratio of approximately :

Calories

15% protein

20% vegetables, complex carbs and resistant starches

65% healthy fats

or by weight:

20% protein

30% health carbs

50% healthy fats

Bottom Line: Strive, where possible, to replace simple carbs, processed food and meat with healthy fats, vegetables, resistant starches and fish.

See below example of a meal plan. 

Note:

1 gram of fat = 9 calories

1 gram of protein or carb = 4 calories

Cronometer.com

cronometer.png

Sample Meal Plan

How do you know if you are in ketosis, or  fat adapted. Ken Berry MD explains.

Glowing endorsement of the Ketogenic Diet. See minute 14:00 to 15:30

Mike Mutzel of High Intensity Health discusses the Ketogenic diet and how it relieved the symptoms of  Parkinson's disease with Toxicologist Bill Curtis.