Ketogenic Diet - Powerful Dietary Strategy for Certain Conditions

SeekinTruth

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Re: Ketogenic Diet - Path To Transformation?

I started today with a smaller breakfast (4 slices of bacon instead of 6, and 1 egg sunny side up instead of 2, same amount of butter on the side as usual). I'll eat half the amount of (very fatty) pork burger today for dinner and the usual slab of butter. And then tomorrow, I'll being back to normal portions as yesterday (either pork or beef burgers with pork fat added for dinner).

I'm going to ease into intermittent fasting/slight calorie restriction on alternate days and see what happens. I'm usually feeling great before starting this experiment, except once in a while when I don't have as much energy as usual. I'm also pretty lean so I want to make sure I don't lose any more weight.

I'd suggest for others, especially if you've got certain issues already, to read as much as possible and ease into the experiment with intermittent fasting so you give yourself a chance to adapt slowly. This way, with a slow approach, you'll get the maximum benefits from IF without starting any new issues or worsening existing ones, OSIT.
 
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Gertrudes

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Re: Ketogenic Diet - Path To Transformation?

Interesting material on intermittent fasting.
I have been eating light for many months now. The upside of it is that I have MUCH more energy. I never really liked to eat a lot since being a child because I would feel heavy and bloated, and that all of my energy would be spent on digestion. I do eat a lot of fat which keeps me going for hours, and hours. The downside of it is that I am already very slim.

Sometimes I avoid eating to full satiety because half an hour later my energy levels can drop down abruptly, this also happens when I mistake hunger with just eating for the sake of eating.
Smaller portions seem to work for me much better, at least as I've so far been finding out.


Now, on a different note, many of us have reported issues with high cholesterol levels since being on the diet. I, having been one of those, would suggest for all of those with such problems to keep checking your cholesterol as an experiment. Dr. Lutz in "Life Without Bread" has made many mentions on how entering a low carb diet affects the body in so many profound ways, ways that often can only be seen years down the road. I have just received the result of my latest cholesterol test, and I will post total cholesterol results in chronological order for you to have a better perspective:

August 2011: 421.5 mg/dl
February 2012: 324.8 mg/dl
April 2012: 313.2 mg/dl
June 2012: 297.7 mg/dl
August 2012: 255.2 mg/dl

Both my triglycerides and HDL have always been good, my LDL which had initially started high, has been also steadily going down and on this latest test it was, for the first time, within what is considered to be the normal range.

I have done nothing to try to get those numbers down. In fact, when I saw the first decrease between August 2011 and February 2012 I was very curious to see how just staying on the diet would affect those numbers. Unfortunately I have no cholesterol test results prior to having started the diet more than a year ago, but my guess is that the change made those numbers jump up, probably alongside many other temporary internal alterations. Changing fuel is no small thing! Then, as I become increasingly better adapted, so will those internal body processes which will have gradually become settled with a different way of working.
 

Hesper

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Re: Ketogenic Diet - Path To Transformation?

Wow, that paper on the role of the mitochondria was a doozie. I've finally finished it and luckily I've been spending a lot of time around wikipedia, the Khan Academy, as well as the recommended reading, in order to understand the gist of the article, even if so much of the metabolic jargon still flew over my head. The most amazing aspects of it to me were the efficiency seen in the use of ketone bodies, especially in terms of reducing ROS production, leaving a lot of NAD+ alone to be used by the sirtuins (which are important in longevity if I'm remembering correctly) while also charging the heart. I know a lot of that was covered in PBPM but it's always nice to see the nitty gritty details. The fact that the hippocampus actually increases in mitochondria density on the ketogenic diet, while also activating many energy-producing genes, was fascinating for me as well.

So it seems like the diseases of civilization are mitochondrial diseases at the very bottom, and, though there are numerous antioxidant and pharmaceutical therapies, nothing mops up the mess like the ketogenic diet. Thanks for the info everyone!

Gertrudes said:
I have done nothing to try to get those numbers down. In fact, when I saw the first decrease between August 2011 and February 2012 I was very curious to see how just staying on the diet would affect those numbers. Unfortunately I have no cholesterol test results prior to having started the diet more than a year ago, but my guess is that the change made those numbers jump up, probably alongside many other temporary internal alterations. Changing fuel is no small thing! Then, as I become increasingly better adapted, so will those internal body processes which will have gradually become settled with a different way of working.
At least you have those numbers. It does look like your body is getting used to knowing what to do with all of those lipids, doesn't it?


truth seeker said:
Perhaps this diet isn't a destination but rather a journey.
I think that's a great way of looking at it!
 

aragorn

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Re: Ketogenic Diet - Path To Transformation?

Gertrudes said:
Interesting material on intermittent fasting.
I have been eating light for many months now. The upside of it is that I have MUCH more energy. I never really liked to eat a lot since being a child because I would feel heavy and bloated, and that all of my energy would be spent on digestion. I do eat a lot of fat which keeps me going for hours, and hours. The downside of it is that I am already very slim.
Being the skinny type myself, I can relate to this. I only recently discovered that I was eating too much, mainly too much protein. Being already slightly underweight has programmed me to be afraid of not eating too little. Just the recent two days, encouraged by the new studies that has been posted here, I've eaten even less. This seems to help a little bit with the 'noon-fatigue' I've been suffering from.

Actually, even though I have decreased my intake of food, I've managed to gain a few kilos with the weight training I started recently. :)
 

Miguel_Sanchez

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Re: Ketogenic Diet - Path To Transformation?

I'm not surprised to see the connections being made with both intermittent fasting and resistance exercise.

I recently saw a documentary about a tribe that uses persistence hunting, which requires tracking their large prey, keeping it on the run for hours until it finally collapses from exhaustion.

Apparently, quadrapedal prey can't run for extended periods and need to slow down so they can pant and cool off. If they are kept running, they will eventually succumb to exhaustion and collapse.

Humans, on the other hand, sweat to cool off, so we can endure long distance running, keeping the prey on the move until we can catch it.

Since this method requires the hunter to be continually on the move, there isn't time to stop and eat. Usually one of the hunters will try to keep close to the animal to keep it on the move while their colleagues track the prey at a slower pace, conserving their energy so that, once they catch up, they will have enough stamina to bring their quarry back home.

This method does not require weapons, but instead, relies on our evolutionary advantages of bipedal endurance running and sweating. Unlike other bipeds, we're the only creatures that can pull this off without having to rely on greater speed or strength to overpower our prey.

Although only a few tribes are left that practice this traditional form of hunting, I wonder if it was the norm in the stone age.

If so, evolution would have equipped us with the ability to exert ourselves over long periods of time without food so that we may take it easy for a few days with the fruits of our labour.

Considering that this might have been our primary method of capturing large game, the exercise would be walking and jogging over great distances and running in spurts, as well as carrying or pulling heavy loads. Makes me think running on a treadmill or elliptical with intermittent use of elastic cords holding us back to simulate walking while dragging a carcass, would be an ideal exercise.

I believe the documentary was:
Human Mammal, Human Hunter - Attenborough - Life of Mammals - BBC http://youtube.com/watch?v=826HMLoiE_o

Wikipedia entry on persistence hunting: http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persistence_hunting

Interesting article about how our bodies may have evolved to run down prey: discover Magazine - Born to Run http://m.discovermagazine.com/2006/may/tramps-like-us/article_view?b_start:int=1

Gonzo
 

mb

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Re: Ketogenic Diet - Path To Transformation?

Hesper said:
Wow, that paper on the role of the mitochondria was a doozie. I've finally finished it and luckily I've been spending a lot of time around wikipedia, the Khan Academy, as well as the recommended reading, in order to understand the gist of the article, even if so much of the metabolic jargon still flew over my head. The most amazing aspects of it to me were the efficiency seen in the use of ketone bodies, especially in terms of reducing ROS production, leaving a lot of NAD+ alone to be used by the sirtuins (which are important in longevity if I'm remembering correctly) while also charging the heart. I know a lot of that was covered in PBPM but it's always nice to see the nitty gritty details. The fact that the hippocampus actually increases in mitochondria density on the ketogenic diet, while also activating many energy-producing genes, was fascinating for me as well.
One thing I definitely learned that I did not know from reading tons of low-carb/paleo and general health articles (starting with Dr. Hyman), is that ROS provide a critical signaling function. You do not want to suppress ROS altogether! It's the excess that is the problem, and you need to look to the broader picture of what is going on in order to begin to understand. A good guy/bad guy (B&W) point of view can impede understanding, because life doesn't work that way.

It was also interesting to read about how excess mitochondria are removed when not needed. The paper didn't go into detail, but what it did say was more than I had ever seen before. If you are going to attempt to do your own personal metabolic debugging, you need to have a reasonable mental model of how things work, and this information does indeed help.
 

Gawan

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Re: Ketogenic Diet - Path To Transformation?

Overall it would be really great to have more energy, since I need to take a nap almost every day.

Aragorn said:
Gertrudes said:
Interesting material on intermittent fasting.
I have been eating light for many months now. The upside of it is that I have MUCH more energy. I never really liked to eat a lot since being a child because I would feel heavy and bloated, and that all of my energy would be spent on digestion. I do eat a lot of fat which keeps me going for hours, and hours. The downside of it is that I am already very slim.
Being the skinny type myself, I can relate to this. I only recently discovered that I was eating too much, mainly too much protein. Being already slightly underweight has programmed me to be afraid of not eating too little. Just the recent two days, encouraged by the new studies that has been posted here, I've eaten even less. This seems to help a little bit with the 'noon-fatigue' I've been suffering from.
Right now I'm eating without any time and food limits, cause I lost about 10kgs, which hits for me now the mark of being underweight again. Eventually there are as well fluctuations in weight during summer and winter? Cause right now I cannot eat that much fat, for example with one butter a day I get stomach ache and fatty meat gets refused by my body.

So also intermittent fasting sounds to me like going hungry, which I personally never liked...

Aragorn said:
Actually, even though I have decreased my intake of food, I've managed to gain a few kilos with the weight training I started recently. :)
That sounds useful.

Anyway I try to read some of the suggested papers and to integrate weightlifting exercises.
 

Laura

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Re: Ketogenic Diet - Path To Transformation?

Gawan, I'm not sure that IF is advisable for you with diabetes. Of course, they did say that if diabetics transition to burning ketones they do very much better, but it would have to be managed very carefully.
 

shijing

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Re: Ketogenic Diet - Path To Transformation?

There are a few interesting facts in a book called The Ketogenic Diet: A Treatment for Children and Others with Epilepsy, by John Freeman et al. The authors promote the ketogenic diet as an alternative to anticonvulsant medications in treating epilepsy, and there seems to be a fairly high success rate in stopping seizures indefinitely, even after children leave the diet after a couple years (and despite the fact that they still include dairy products like cheese and heavy cream in the diet). One of the things they do to jump-start ketosis is to begin with a 36-hour fast, which "often leads to a dramatic improvement in seizures more quickly than starting the diet without fasting."

Once juvenile epileptics are successfully on the diet and their seizures have stopped, many of them are apparently extremely susceptible to carbs -- there have been some cases reported of seizures reoccurring when they are accidentally exposed to lipstick, soap, or suntan lotion containing sorbitol, which is absorbed through the skin. Once they discontinue use of these products, their seizures subside again.

Besides epilepsy and a short discussion of brain tumors and other kinds of cancer, they also speculate about the efficacy of the ketogenic diet in treating migraines, diabetes, and hyperactivity, ADHD, and other behavior disorders. This is based on secondhand evidence that they've observed during their treatment of patients with epilepsy, but they suggest that follow-up studies should be done in these areas.
 

sebbe

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Re: Ketogenic Diet - Path To Transformation?

Shijing said:
There are a few interesting facts in a book called The Ketogenic Diet: A Treatment for Children and Others with Epilepsy, by John Freeman et al. The authors promote the ketogenic diet as an alternative to anticonvulsant medications in treating epilepsy, and there seems to be a fairly high success rate in stopping seizures indefinitely, even after children leave the diet after a couple years (and despite the fact that they still include dairy products like cheese and heavy cream in the diet). One of the things they do to jump-start ketosis is to begin with a 36-hour fast, which "often leads to a dramatic improvement in seizures more quickly than starting the diet without fasting."

Once juvenile epileptics are successfully on the diet and their seizures have stopped, many of them are apparently extremely susceptible to carbs -- there have been some cases reported of seizures reoccurring when they are accidentally exposed to lipstick, soap, or suntan lotion containing sorbitol, which is absorbed through the skin. Once they discontinue use of these products, their seizures subside again.

Besides epilepsy and a short discussion of brain tumors and other kinds of cancer, they also speculate about the efficacy of the ketogenic diet in treating migraines, diabetes, and hyperactivity, ADHD, and other behavior disorders. This is based on secondhand evidence that they've observed during their treatment of patients with epilepsy, but they suggest that follow-up studies should be done in these areas.
Thank you for this reminder. My daughter(she's sixteen) is epileptic since 4 months, suddenly.

I will read this book very carefully.
 

shijing

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Re: Ketogenic Diet - Path To Transformation?

sebbe said:
Thank you for this reminder. My daughter(she's sixteen) is epileptic since 4 months, suddenly.

I will read this book very carefully.
One thing to watch out for is that the authors recommend a couple of dietary things that may either require caution or are definitely bad for you -- besides a liberal use of dairy (they take regular milk out of the diet, but liberally use cheese and heavy cream), the biggest problem is that they encourage the use of artificial sweeteners like Nutrasweet and saccharine to replace sugar. But once you take those out, the general guidelines are pretty easily adapted to the diet promoted here.

They also mention another book called Epilepsy and the Ketogenic Diet by C.E. Stafstrom and J.M. Rho -- I haven't read it, so don't know how it compares, but it's supposed to review the potential mechanisms through which "a number of alterations of brain metabolism occur when an individual or an animal is fasting, has restriction of caloric intake, or is in ketosis."
 

Mariama

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Re: Ketogenic Diet - Path To Transformation?

Shijing said:
There are a few interesting facts in a book called The Ketogenic Diet: A Treatment for Children and Others with Epilepsy, by John Freeman et al. The authors promote the ketogenic diet as an alternative to anticonvulsant medications in treating epilepsy, and there seems to be a fairly high success rate in stopping seizures indefinitely, even after children leave the diet after a couple years (and despite the fact that they still include dairy products like cheese and heavy cream in the diet). One of the things they do to jump-start ketosis is to begin with a 36-hour fast, which "often leads to a dramatic improvement in seizures more quickly than starting the diet without fasting."
My son's pediatrician actually mentioned to us that he had treated 150 young people with epilepsy, doing the ketogenic diet. This is in Holland. And he also told us that he thought that saturated fat was healthy. And carbs weren't.
Then again, he knew very little about healthy cholesterol. Still, I was pleasantly surprised. :cool:
 

mb

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Re: Ketogenic Diet - Path To Transformation?

Shijing said:
sebbe said:
Thank you for this reminder. My daughter(she's sixteen) is epileptic since 4 months, suddenly.

I will read this book very carefully.
One thing to watch out for is that the authors recommend a couple of dietary things that may either require caution or are definitely bad for you -- besides a liberal use of dairy (they take regular milk out of the diet, but liberally use cheese and heavy cream), the biggest problem is that they encourage the use of artificial sweeteners like Nutrasweet and saccharine to replace sugar. But once you take those out, the general guidelines are pretty easily adapted to the diet promoted here...
The first thing to eliminate is wheat, along with the other gluten-containing grains (and I haven't found any reason to include grains at all). I have not been investigating seizures and their treatment per se, but rather autistic spectrum issues which can include seizures. I never developed seizures myself, but I had related symptoms that I outgrew in my 20's (children can also outgrow seizures). The top thing I have found to avoid is grains, and the other top two I have found that should at least be tested (if not avoided) are natural dairy and eggs. Industrial dairy (pasteurized, homogenized, fortified, from sick/hormone-treated animals, etc. etc) should be avoided.

There are some reports that natural raw dairy can be beneficial for children with neurological disorders, but once a sensitive individual has been exposed to industrial milk, dairy may become completely unsafe. I don't know how much of that to believe, but it might be something to research. I do OK with organic ghee and pasture butter, but don't tolerate any other form of dairy well.

Eggs should be OK if they pass an extended-length elimination/challenge test. I don't know how long such tests should go for children, but from what I have experienced the testing may need to be longer depending upon how many food intolerances were involved at once and how long the food had been consumed.

I am experimenting a little with sugar right now, from non-FODMAP organic fruit and from organic unheated honey, in the context of a high fat, moderate protein ketogenic diet. I don't consume very much, but it seems to remove the residual hunger that I was experiencing intermittently, it relieves the mild headaches I developed after reducing FODMAP foods, and it has been suppressing any desire for a third meal in the day so that my net calorie intake is actually lower. I have been eating breakfast at around 7 AM and lunch when I become hungry again, which has been around 3 PM.

I am not suggesting that everyone here try it, but so far it seems to be helping with my daytime energy levels. Whether that will last, I don't know, but people that have metabolic issues (as I do) may need to do things a little differently, and seizures may be an indication of metabolic issues.
 

Gawan

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Laura said:
Gawan, I'm not sure that IF is advisable for you with diabetes. Of course, they did say that if diabetics transition to burning ketones they do very much better, but it would have to be managed very carefully.
I find it easier eating that way (it's now over a year), cause carbs can be trickier to calculate, on the other side calculating proteins is also tricky. Anyway I'm doing much better with a ketogenic diet, but every new introduction or taking off food etc. takes adjustment time, like a negative feedback system in a way.

But also with this diet, things still remain difficult, much more sensitive for lightly elevated blood-sugars. Nonetheless my last HbA1C was 5.6% an honest and hard labored result and not bought with many low BGs (hypoglycemias) :).
 

Miguel_Sanchez

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Re: Ketogenic Diet - Path To Transformation?

Hi Gawan,

Is this the first time you got your HbA1Cs this low? Congrats of your hard effort paying off.

I'm looking for as much as my mind can digest w.r.t. fasting and type II diabetes. While there are certainly some concerns, there's not a heck of a lot of literature out there. And what I am finding, is rather limited and doesn't seem to take a lot of what we know into consideration. A few studies on the effects of religious fasting are interesting (Ramadan, for example), but not knowing what the participant's regular diet was certainly poses problems for analysis.

I'm thinking a lot of repair has to be done before a diabetic's system can return to something close to normal and thrive on a LC/HF diet combined with IF without running certain risks (ketoacidosis, for example). A gradual introduction seems in order for most diabetics, avoiding deep swings in glucose levels which really seem to take a toll on the system.

When you compare the regular diet most diabetics are encouraged to assume, against the LC/HF diet, did you see much difference in your fasting blood glucose levels?

Gonzo
 
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