Q. As a family we are a bit on the “heavy side”. Our doctor has suggested I investigate ketosis. We understand the weight loss benefits of ketosis but also love sweet things ( icecream, cake , chocolate biscuits). Our diet is based on bread, rice ,pasta and potatoe. Can we get into ketosis and lose weight with our current diet
A. Unfortunately No. You are on a high carbohydrate diet. This results in the release of insulin, which is a hormone that turns on fat deposition and turns off fat burning. Changing to a low carb diet (eg. above the ground vegetables) with lots of high healthy fats (eg. extra virgin olive oil, butter, cream, cheese, coconut oil) will decrease your insulin production and for most people will result in weight loss.
A. Back in the 1970s American Dr Ancel Keys produced very poor quality research that has set us back 40 years. Dr Ancel Keys produced a study showing that the countries where saturated fat intake was the highest had the highest rates of heart disease. He left out the information from another 7 countries because “it did not fit with his hypothesis”! Disgraceful! This is criminal behaviour for a scientist! His research was funded by the sugar industry. We now know sugar is the real devil, not fat. No wonder the public are sceptical when they read about “what a scientific study has found”.
Numerous good scientific studies have now shown that providing your sugar and starch (The bad carbs) are low, eating saturated fats and oils does not increase your risk of heart disease.
Because older doctors, dieticians and nutritional therapists have trained during the years that this bad advice was considered correct, some of them are not up to date.
A. Yes, all trans fats are bad (like in pastries, pies, donuts). Most oils coming from seeds (canola, sunflower, soya bean etc) should be avoided. These poly unsaturated oils result in high levels of free radicals which damage our cells. Extra virgin Olive oil is good. In Australia, Cobram estate extra virgin olive oil has won the top olive oil award from Choice, an independent magazine that compares products. Our supermarkets a couple of times a year run a special where Cobram estate extra virgin olive oil is half price. A good time to bulk buy!
A. Yes. This is the only way of definitely telling that your are getting the health benefits of ketosis. Blood ketone levels are most accurate than urine or breath ketones. You should aim for values between 1 and 3.
A. Yes. The first 2 weeks you are likely to experience cravings for sugar and very sweet fruit when you go low carb. Have a supply of macadamia nuts (or almonds or peanuts cheaper but not as good) with you so you can eat when you feel a craving coming on
A. The human brain can function effectively on both glucose and ketones. This is an evolutionary adaptation. There was not always enough food (carbs) so humans that could do well burning their own body fat and producing ketones were given a survival advantage. In fact ketones maybe a better fuel than glucose. This is why the majority of people report clarity of thought on a Ketogenic diet.
No carbs are not essential. Glucose is required for our red blood cells, but we can actually produce glucose from protein through a process called “gluconeogenesis”.
Q. Fish, shellfish and organ Meat (Liver, kidney etc.) are excellent sources of essential amino acids that the body needs through diet.
A. Yes. Most people find stretching out the time between the last meal of one day and the first meal of the next day is the easiest way to start burning fat and producing ketones. Try week 1 – 12 hrs, week 2 – 13 hrs, week 3 – 14 hrs, week 4 & 5 – 15 hrs and week 6 – 16 hrs.