Restore Your Health with a Ketogenic Diet

Ketogenic diets are powerful metabolic tools that help your body switch from burning sugar (carbs) to burning fat as a primary cellular fuel. The result of that switch in fuel is an improvement in all sorts of health conditions. In practice, you get to eat real foods in the form of natural fats and protein (meat, fish, poultry) but severely restrict the amount of carbohydrates (sugars and starches) you eat each day. On a “normal” American diet, carbohydrate intake is high (about 40-60% of calories) while fat intake, and especially saturated fat, is limited. Diets high in carbohydrate have the effect of elevating blood sugar and a hormone called insulin over time. The chronically higher levels of blood sugar and insulin result in a condition called insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome which can result in constant hunger, weight gain and a long list of disease outcomes.

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. On this website, I’ll talk about how the diet works, and share details on the correct implementation of the diet.  The bottom line here is that you can increase your energy and improve your health simply by changing the way you eat.

How Do Ketogenic Diets Work?

When carbohydrates (sugar and starch) are digested, they are broken down into blood sugar (glucose). Higher carbohydrate intake results in higher blood sugar and insulin, a hormone that manages blood sugar. If carb intake is replaced with more fat and protein, it results in a metabolic pathways switch from using sugar as a primary fuel to burning stored and dietary fat as a primary energy source. As more fat is burned, some of it is converted into ketone bodies. As blood glucose and insulin levels drop and ketone levels rise, muscle tissue, including the heart, use the available fatty acids in the bloodstream as fuel and the brain begins using ketones as an energy source.  Being in this metabolic state of "nutritional ketosis" (where blood sugar is low and ketone levels are moderate) has some powerful benefits. There is strong research evidence that low carb, high fat metabolic diets are effective for treating the following medical conditions:

cancer diet

Cancer:  the current research on metabolic cancer treatments using a keto diet are extremely promising. The keto diet for cancer therapy is somewhat different than the treatment for other illnesses, and is discussed in detail in my e-Book Fight Cancer with a Ketogenic Diet, which is based on the work of Dr. Thomas Seyfried and Dr. Dominic D'Agostino. The main idea behind the use of a ketogenic diet to treat cancer is to starve cancer cells of the sugar and other fuels they need to survive, and to provide support and protection for normal energy processes in healthy cells. The huge advantage of this treatment protocol is that it is non-toxic to the body, and in "wait and see" cases, it can provide an huge health support advantage to the patient. The book was written with the patient in mind and has all the details and research in an easy-to-use format.

The new third edition of Fight Cancer with a Ketogenic Diet is also available in paperback form on Amazon.

Type 2 Diabetes:  The current diabetes treatment advice is to eat 45-65% of calories from carbohydrate. Since carbohydrate is the prime driver of higher blood sugar, this advice is detrimental to diabetic health because it results in blood sugar spikes and crashes, which in turn causes a greater need for medication and insulin. Those high blood sugars also result in the complications of diabetes.  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.  For people with Type 2 diabetes, ketogenic diets remove the trigger (carbohydrate intake) and reverse the underlying insulin resistance which causes the disease. As a result, long term complications are reversed or avoided.  Learn more in our "Conquer Type 2 Diabetes e-Book  or click on the book cover at left.

Type 1 Diabetes: Lowering carb intake and increasing fat intake is also beneficial for people with Type 1 diabetes and can help lower the number and severity of hypoglycemic episodes, reduce HbA1c scores and minimize future complications. Learn more in "The Ketogenic Diet for Type 1 Diabetes e-Book" or click on the book cover at right.  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 See the links at the bottom of this page.

In addition, there is a great deal of science based evidence which shows the following conditions can also be reversed or greatly improved on a keto diet:

  • Insulin Resistance, Metabolic Syndrome and Pre Diabetes: these conditions are directly related to the effects of chronically high blood sugar and insulin resulting in insulin resistance (IR).  In addition, related conditions such as fatty liver disease and PCOS are also caused by IR.  Low carb, high fat diets have been used in studies to treat and reverse all of these IR conditions.

  • Heart diseaseCardiac risk factors improve when blood sugar and insulin levels are lowered via dietary changes.  HDL cholesterol goes up on a low carb, high fat diet and triglycerides fall dramatically. I also discuss what causes heart disease, and it isn't cholesterol or saturated fat consumption.

  • Autism:  New research is showing that keto diets are helpful in the treatment of autism.
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  • Neurological disorders: these include ALS, Multiple Sclerosis, and Parkinsons Disease: research is showing that ketone bodies exert a protective affect on the nervous system and slow the progression of nerve related diseases.

  • Mitochondrial support: Keto diets provide mitochondrial support and can improve metabolic energy disorders such as pyruvate dehydrogenase complex deficiency (PDHC), glucose transporter type 1 (GLUT1) deficiency, glycogen storage diseases such as McArdle disease, and a range of mitochondrial myopathies.

  • Aging is slowed:The ketogenic diet reduces inflammation by quelling free radical activity. The end result is a slower progression of the human aging process.

  • Acid Reflux/GERD (heartburn): people who suffer from acid reflux or chronic heartburn will find great relief after adopting a keto diet, especially if all grain and fermentable carb sources (FODMAPS) are eliminated from the diet.

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.  The result is improved health and wellbeing. 

Diet Plans, Benefits and More Information

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.

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 on the left and click on what interests you.

Well Being Journal (WBJ) published an article I wrote about the health effects of keto diets in their July/August 2012 issue. It includes a detailed overview of the benefits of ketogenic diets.

You can also read my hypoglycemia and low-carb diet myths published in the 2012 Nov/Dec issue of Well Being Journal.

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