A Brief Introduction to Ketogenic Diet – How to get Started

(Last Updated On: October 9, 2017)

Ketogenic diet can blow diabetes right out of the water and give a tremendous boost to your health


 

K

etogenic diet consist of eating mostly fat, a moderate amount of proteins and keep carbohydrates to almost zero. The idea is that by limiting carbs and increasing fats, you’ll force your body to make energy out of fats or ketones. There are all sorts of benefits running on fat rather than glucose which is the way most of us have been functioning all our lives. When you start this diet you’ll switch your main form of utilizing energy and become keto adapted. In other words you’ll be using ketones made from fats for energy rather than glucose.

Here’s how it works

Our body is a fuel burning machine. If you stop eating you don’t simply die or starve to death. Your body have been making energy out of many things to keep us alive in times of starvation. The most common way to keep alive is to burn fat. And that is precisely why we have fat stores – to survive famine.

The primary mode of energy production is to make glicose out of carbohydrates. Glicose is readily available source of energy and it doesn’t take any energy to process. But carbohydrates have another function, they also store fats. Because carbs release a large amount of energy per serving, the body cannot use it all and the remaining get stored as fat, and that’s pretty clever. Stored fat = survival power, but you have to have a way to break down this fat for energy.

The problems is that we never end up using all that good ol’ fat because we never cease to consume carbohydrates. So, as far as your body is concerned, it is always time to store fat because there’s a never ending carbs season, and there is never a beginning of starving season.

The way to tell your body to burn fat is to stop consuming carbohydrates. The body senses that lack of carbohydrates and glicose. At the same time it senses the increased fat consumption and realizes its precious fat storages are not at risk of being depleted. The liver than start producing what is called ketones for energy. This is a tremendous change to your entire metabolism, bringing many benefits.

#1 STABLE ENERGY LEVEL

One of the main benefits of being keto adapted is that you have a constant and stable energy level.

Think of it as two guys making a fire trying to heat their homes: one has a bunch of straw and the other have logs. The guy with the straw fire makes huge fires that burn bright and produce lots of energy, most of which scape to the air; he has to constantly add new straw to keep the fire going. The other guy makes a fire with large logs that burn for a long time a produce steady and powerful heat

#2 BURN ALL THAT FAT

If you are overweight and have tried to loose some pounds you know what kind of struggle that is. Many people work like crazy to loose weight just to gain it all back a few weeks later. That is because is not you who will do the job of burning fat – is your metabolism that will.

Your body will protect that precious fat until you do two things. (1) eat more fat (2) stop eating carbohydrates. It is like your actually communicate to your body saying hey it’s ok to burn fat because I’m supplying your with more fat that actually come from fat. When you finally become keto adapted you’ll see that fat just fly of your body and you are not even exercising too much; but if you do exercise it you turbo charge the process of fat burning and muscle building.

#3 MENTAL CLARITY

Your brain can run on glucose and on ketones. However there is difference between the two. When your brain runs on ketones there is a improved clarity and memory power. I can tell you that from my own experience. The foggy head days are over, you you’ll notice how quickly your memory bank is accessed. I’m not sure why this happens but my instinct says it has to do with how our ancient brain is wired.

In times of starvation and food depletion you needed to have more mental clarity in order to hunt or find food. If a man was without food he needed to go out and do whatever necessary to scape famine. When he was starving he was functioning on ketones and using his fat reserves. A brain that runs on ketones is a more alert and quick brain because your DNA structure is on surviving mode and supply you with all you need.

#4 LESS CARBS, LESS INFLAMMATION

The side kick benefit of eating less carbohydrates is that by default it creates less systemic inflammation. The large consumption of carbs most people are used to is actually a insult to injury. We not only consume carbs 24/7 but we use the most starchy and insulin producing carbs there are. White breads, cookies, table sugar and so on.

Systemic inflammation is the mother of all diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, fatty liver and just about all other metabolic diseases. When you use ketones for energy your body’s insulin production is greatly diminished and your levels of glicose in the blood are lowered to normal levels causing an inflammation free environment. This, spells a stronger immune system and protection from many modern diseases.

THE FAT FEAR FACTOR

Your biggest obstacle will be to get over the fear of eating fat. People usually thing: If I eat that much fat I’ll die of a heart attack. And here is on of the most important points about ketogenic diet

a word of warning!


 

If you eat a lot of fats along with eating a lot of carbohydrates it means one thing. If you eat a lot of fats and completely remove all carbohydrates, it means a different thing

Eating fats after you’ll have become a fat burner means you are no longer storing fats or clogging your arteries because your body will burn mercilessly all fats it finds, first in the blood, organs and if it needs more it will go out to the cellar (your belly bulges and others). So you want to make sure you are doing it correctly. If you want to discover more about ketogenic diet and how to use it correctly, take a look at the book list bellow.

 

Starting a ketogenic diet


 

The trick is to use baby steps. Fist we need to make small changes in our diet. After we have established a good pace and our changes are more solidified, we move to the next ones.

Ketogenic dieting is an excellent diet to completely stop diabetes on its track. But if you are someone who is struggling with either food addiction, reoccurring desire to eat sugars and pastry type foods; you’ll need to use the slow process of change. Give yourself some time to adjust. Start by eliminating some item from your diet.

For more information about ketogenic diet visit The Nourished Caveman

If you like to eat sweets. First start by slowing down on the sweet stuff. Eat cookies at home but not at work. When people throw that bag of chocolate chip cookies on your desk: say thanks, wait for the person to turn around, toss it in the garbage.

Begin by eliminating all junk food one by one. Slowly cut them from your life. Don’t start with heroic and drastic moves. Remember the baby steps. Stop buying packaged foods. 80% of packaged foods contain added sugar or worse high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)

Make an inventory of your pantry and your kitchen drawers. After you eat all the junk you bought just don’t buy it anymore. Begin to cut down on the sugar. The less sugar you eat the less sugar you’ll feel like eating. On the other hand start eating more healthy fats.

It is more like you have to address the mind first rather than the stomach. If you don’t take care of your mind, desires, emotions first; you food habits will came back with even more cravings.

Make lists and keep a journal of what you’re doing. Compare things and measure how you’re progressing. Ounce you noticed you cravings have diminished, stopped eating sugars and pastries and processed food. You should already notice a difference in your health. After this victory  you can start going deeper into ketogenic dieting.

The ketogenic diet is not complicated or difficult principle to understand. But its implementations demand some special attention and there are points not to be missed. This can be easily fixed by doing some more reading from the pros. Here’s a list of the best books




 

Keto Resources

  1. List of keto diet doctors

A word on diabetes and ketogenic diet


 

I became aware of how dangerous diabetes is by caring for patients every day and seeing their complications developing. Non treated diabetes spins out of control over time and problems accumulates. Diabetes is a slow and silent killer but it makes life miserable while you’re struggling with it.

The good news is that diabetes can be controlled and even reversed. Specially if you act before complications arrive. How can this be done? It will depend on how aggressively you work, and what method you use. Climbing out of diabetes is a slow and steady process. But some diets like the Ketogenic diet can work quite quickly.

Diabetes is underestimated, because at first symptoms are mild or moderate. But as disease progresses, symptoms become more complex, painful and severe. Complications may appear anywhere in the body and with increased intensity.

“At first diabetes is relatively easy to control, but as it progresses, the chances for control diminishes exponentially”

Working with diabetics every day I manage insulin doses and other medications. And this is what I notice: diabetes is a disease that ounce established, it progresses and doesn’t get any better with time. In other words, once you begin the slippery slope of diabetes, traditional treatment provide less and less chances to revert the process, even though diabetes may appear to be in control.

It is a catch 22. The more you treat it with insulin, the more diabetic you become; and the more diabetic you become the more insulin treatment you need. The trick is not to not get to the point where you need actual insulin treatment. I follow patients on a daily basis and I see that they make little or no progress once they get started on metformin, or insulin. The only cure for diabetes is to control it when it is just starting.

The complications are well known

  • Cardiovascular disease.
  • Nerve damage (neuropathy)
  • Kidney damage (nephropathy)
  • Eye damage (retinopathy)
  • Foot damage.
  • Skin conditions.
  • Hearing impairment.
  • Alzheimer’s disease.

These complications are not distinct or self contained. Each complication is in reality a family of diseases within that category. For example, in the case of cardiovascular disease it will manifest into high blood pressure, heart failure, artery plaque buildup and other diseases.

Skin conditions could be itching, wounds, pain, inflammation, ulcers, nephropathy and many other skin conditions all associated with pain and inflammation.

Every single complication above listed will branch out to a series of complications of their own. If you think I’m trying to scare you; I do. Full blown diabetes in the end is a sum of many conditions. This is what we see when diabetes is out of control – one system failing will also cause other system to fail – not good and you should do everything you can to stop it.

This is happening at a massive scale and worldwide. India, Brazil, USA, China, and every other industrialized nation in the world are seeing a diabetes explosion. This change is happening because we have radically changed our diet and lifestyle. We are eating too many carbohydrate, sugars and starchy foods and we are doing it 24/7. How could that be damaging to our health? It is very damaging because some of us cannot process carbohydrates in large amounts and the increased insulin production it creates.

Some of us are sensitive to excess insulin in different ways. Some people that are not diabetes prone will develop other disease such as fat liver disease, heart disease and even dementia or Alzheimer’s, but will not develop diabetes. All these complications come from the same disease process called: metabolic syndrome.

Some of us have intolerance to excess carbohydrates and sugars because we have been built genetically to endure lack of food. If you do have this gene, you’re actually from a strong and tough family group in the past.

“We know a way to stop diabetes – why are we not using it?”

It is safe to say that diabetes is a disease caused by our over consumption of fructose. Our recent increased consumption of carbohydrates shows a correlation with the increase of diabetes, as new studies are showing.[12] Diabetes management is very expensive and puts a tremendous stress in our health care system. The industry comes up with more and more drugs. All these drugs do however is to allow you to continue to to eat the foods that are in great part causing you to become diabetic in the first place.



How did we get there and how to stop it

I know that the sentence above is a pet peeve to a lot of people suffering from diabetes. “all you have to do is to change your diet” – easy to say when you don’t have diabetes. It is true that it is not so easy to revert diabetes ounce the disease process have taken hold. And that is because changing diets is another very difficult task. All of these factors lead us to think more and more that the only way is to create life changes.

We also have another problem – physical inactivity. Not that long ago we used to be more active. We simply had to perform physical work to survive. We are genetically programmed to do just that. Today machines will do all the work for us. We sit in offices all day starring at a screen while we munch on chocolate chips, candy, sugary drinks and baked goods.

Because excess glucose comes from over consumption, and starches and carbohydrates are so rich they produce large amounts of ready to use energy. Where does the energy produced by all these carbs go? It just pile up in the body in the form of fat. Waiting for that one day when you are starving of food and will need to survive without it. But that day never comes so  it begins to make your body sick. To some of us it means diabetes.

The combination of excess glucose and lack of activity creates a unique metabolic condition that are not tolerated by some of us – hyperinsulenimia.

The other problem is that it is difficult to change eating habits. I know people that know everything about dieting, sugar and all fast food problems, but they still can’t control their eating habits.

 

If you think this post was helpful, please let me know, leave a comment. What do you think?

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

  1. The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus
  2. A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet to treat type 2 diabetes
  3. Beneficial effects of ketogenic diet in obese diabetic subjects
  4. Beyond weight loss: a review of the therapeutic uses of very-low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diets
  5. Effect of low-calorie versus low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet in type 2 diabetes
  6. Dietary carbohydrate restriction in type 2 diabetes mellitus and metabolic syndrome: time for a critical appraisal
  7. Reversal of Diabetic Nephropathy by a Ketogenic Diet
  8. Systematic review and meta-analysis of different dietary approaches to the management of type 2 diabetes
  9. A high-fat, ketogenic diet induces a unique metabolic state in mice
  10. Effects of diet composition and ketosis on glycemia during very-low-energy-diet therapy in obese patients with noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus
  11. Lasting Improvement of Hyperglycaemia and Bodyweight: Low-carbohydrate Diet in Type 2 Diabetes. – A Brief Report
  12. Dietary carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management: Critical review and evidence base
  13. A Review of Low-Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diets
  14. Has carbohydrate-restriction been forgotten as a treatment for diabetes mellitus? A perspective on the ACCORD study design
  15. Ketone Body Metabolism
  16. Disease in Normal-Weight Men

Image credit: flickr

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In Category: 2.HEALTH

Marcos Taquechel

Marcos is an RN. Thanks for stopping by and reading my posts. I hope you are able to get something useful out of this blog. Take good care of yourself and don't worry about anything until you have something to worry about.

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  • Tedy February 17, 2017, 11:24

    I liked these products for the diet. Many people think that people with diabetes can not eat well.

    • Marcos Taquechel February 17, 2017, 11:48

      It’s a win win situation: you eat what you want and at the same time take care of diabetes or obesity

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