The ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate diet, meaning starches and sugars are restricted. Instead of the standard American high carb diet, a "keto" diet allows for a moderate amount of protein and a higher amount of fat in your daily meals. This way of eating helps your body switch from using sugar (carbs) as a main fuel source to using fat and ketones for energy needs. Using fat as a primary biological fuel helps you feel better, think more clearly, and reverse many serious health conditions. In practice, you get to eat real foods in the form of natural
fats (butter, olive oil) and protein (meat, fish, poultry) while carbohydrates (pasta, bread, cake, candy etc..) are restricted. On this website, I’ll talk about how the diet works, how it can improve your health, and I'll share
details on the proper implementation of a keto diet.
When you eat carbohydrates, your digestive system breaks these foods down and releases the resulting sugar (glucose) created into your bloodstream in large amounts. Any carb intake results in rising blood sugar and the release of insulin, a pancreatic hormone that manages blood sugar. If you instead eat mostly fat and protein and severely restrict carb intake, over time, your cells will switch metabolic pathways, and burn stored and dietary fat as a primary energy source. As more fat is released from storage and burned, some of it will be converted into ketone bodies. Your muscles (skeletal and heart) will use the fat molecules to fuel themselves, while your brain gobbles up the ketones. The result is more energy, clearer thinking and better health. Ketones are beneficial to your body in many different ways, and being in "nutritional ketosis" (where blood sugar is low and ketone levels are in the 0.5 - 3.0 mmol range) has some powerful effects on your metabolism and overall health. There are now many strong research papers on PubMed.gov which provide evidence that ketogenic diets can be used to treat the following medical conditions:
The current body of research on metabolic cancer treatments using a keto diet continues to grow. Keto or metabolic cancer therapy is somewhat different than the treatment for other illnesses, and is discussed in detail in my book Fight Cancer with a Ketogenic Diet, which is based on the metabolic therapy research of Dr. Thomas Seyfried and Dr. Dominic D'Agostino. The book was written for the patient and has all the details and research in an easy-to-use format.
Ketogenic diets for the treatment of cancer are being studied at the national level. Being in nutritional ketosis affects cancer by starving individual cancer cells of the sugar and other fuels they need to survive. In addition, being in ketosis provides support and protection for normal energy processes in healthy cells. The advantage of this treatment protocol is that it is non-toxic to the body, and in "wait and see" cases, it can provide an major health support advantage to the patient.
This new third edition of Fight Cancer with a Ketogenic Diet is also available in paperback form on Amazon. Ten percent of the profits of this book go to support Dr. Seyfried and Dr. D'Agostino's research, and I'm grateful to be able to contribute to their important work.
Type 2 Diabetes: Although the current mainstream diabetes treatment advice to eat 45-65% of calories from carbohydrate is starting to change, many practitioners are still giving out the old advice. The simple fact is that eating carbs causes a rise in blood sugar. As blood sugar spikes, more medication and insulin is needed to bring it down. Chronic high blood sugar also results in tragic and in many cases, unnecessary health complications. In contrast, a ketogenic diet reduces and in many cases, eliminates the need for diabetic medications and lowers the number of insulin units needed to manage blood sugar. Learn more in our Conquer Type 2 Diabetes e-Book or click on the book cover.
Type 1 Diabetes: Lowering carb intake and increasing fat intake is also beneficial for people with Type 1, Type 1.5 diabetes and LADA. A low carb diet can help reduce the number and severity of hypoglycemic episodes, lower HbA1c test results and minimize future diabetic complications. Learn more in The Ketogenic Diet for Type 1 Diabetes e-Book or click on the book cover. These benefits are also possible for children with Type 1 and their parents should know that they have options.
Both books are also available in paperback format on Amazon.com.
In addition, there is a great deal of science based evidence which indicates that the following conditions can also be reversed or greatly improved on a keto diet:
A typical ketogenic meal includes a 3-5 ounces of protein, usually cooked in natural fats (for example, butter, lard, duck fat, cream, olive oil, beef tallow, or coconut oil) with the addition of non-starchy or green leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, summer squash, or kale.
On a “normal” American diet, carbohydrate intake is high (about 40-60% of calories) while fat intake, and especially saturated fat, is limited. In contrast, carbohydrate intake on a keto diet is only about 2-4% of calories. When carb intake is low, meals are delicious and satiating. Hunger goes away, and more importantly, this dietary change has some powerful and beneficial metabolic effects on the human body, in part because it lowers blood sugar and insulin levels.
The bottom line here is that the ketogenic diet is a powerful metabolic tool for treating a wide range of illnesses. It is not a fad diet, and if it is implemented correctly, it corrects metabolic function at the cellular level. This website discusses in detail the mechanisms of a ketogenic diet, including side effects, benefits and other information.
If you are ready to get started, check out the keto diet plan page, or the low carb food list. You can read about the benefits of the diet, or see some recipes and meal plans. Or just peruse the navigation bar and click on what interests you.
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