A KetoEffectSM is the powerful therapeutic effect(s) that come from eating a nutritional low-carbohydrate, low to moderate protein and high-fat diet (aka the ‘Ketogenic Diet’). By eating a low-carb, high-fat diet you can easily maintain a healthy weight, have increased energy and greater mental clarity (no more brain fog).
What’s a ‘Ketogenic Diet’?
A Ketogenic Diet replaces almost all carbohydrates (carbs) with low to moderate amounts of high quality protein and high amounts of beneficial fats. By eating this way, your body shifts it’s metabolic state from burning glucose (a breakdown of carbs) to burning ketone bodies (a breakdown of fats) as its primary fuel source. Using your diet to shift your body from burning carbs to burning fat is also known as “Nutritional Ketosis”, a phrase coined by Jeff S. Volek, PhD, RD and Stephen D. Phinney, MD, PhD in their book “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance”.
The objective of the ketogenic diet is to achieve and maintain nutritional ketosis by eating high-quality fats and protein foods like avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, macadamia nuts, salmon, beef, and chicken while limiting your intake of non-starchy, vitamin rich carbs like cauliflower, broccoli, lettuce, tomatoes, mushroom, and olives to no more than 25-50 grams of net carbs per day (some people are able to eat more carbs than others). The diet eliminates all starchy carbs and sugars like white flour, potatoes, pasta, sweetened beverages, cakes, cookies and low-quality processed foods.
What’s the Standard American Diet (SAD)?
The Standard American Diet is the complete opposite of the ketogenic diet. The Standard American Diet consists of refined grains, foods low in fat, high in sugar, and an abundance of low quality processed foods.
The low-fat, high-carb diet craze began in the 1980’s. In 1992 the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Resources (HHS) jointly developed the Food Guide Pyramid to help Americans choose what and how much to eat from each food group in order to obtain the nutrients they needed without consuming too many calories, or too much fat, cholesterol, sugar, sodium or alcohol. Then in 2005, the government introduced ‘New Dietary Guidelines’ that were later replaced by MyPlate in 2011. Both the pyramid and dietary guidelines focused on fat since it was determined that the American diet was way too high in fat consumption. Neglecting the fact that healthy fats are essential for general sustainability, the dietary guidelines slated that Americans should limit their fat intake to no more than 10% of calories consumed.
Furthermore, in spite of research and evidence showing that grains break down into sugar (glucose) in your body and not only promotes fat accumulation, but also creates insulin resistance (the root cause of obesity and many other related diseases), both the pyramid and dietary guidelines encouraged Americans to obtain most of their daily calories from the bread and cereal food group (all foods made from grains). They touted that by following their recommendations, Americans would keep their total fat intake low and, as a result, help them to maintain a healthy weight and reduce their risk for death or disability due to chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, certain cancers, stroke, and osteoporosis. The nutritional guidelines for today’s MyPlate also promotes grains as a main dietary staple and further suggests that Americans should consume only small amounts of fat and should avoid saturated fats altogether.
Sadly these guidelines have promoted the consumption of Americas unhealthy diet and are mirrored, in large part, by food and agricultural subsidies and are based on profits rather than sound nutritional science. The correlation between the changes to our agricultural practices in how our food sources have been grown and produced and the massive increase in Americas rate of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, over the past 35 years, is quite evident.
We’ve been taught that if you want to lose weight and get healthy you need to eliminate fat consumption, use portion control to reduce your calorie intake, eat lots of healthy whole grains as well as unlimited fruits and vegetables, and exercise at least an hour a day three times a week. Whenever we look to improve our diet and lifestyle, this low-fat, high carb diet belief automatically takes over and sets in as the healthy way to eat and lose weight. Yet, the fact is these foods are not helping us. They are actually the reason why we have the heaviest and the sickest generation ever.
Flooding your body with carbohydrates, increases your blood sugar and raises your insulin level. Insulin plays a major role in metabolism (the way the body uses digested food for energy). Since humans have no essential requirement for carbohydrates, most people have a genetic predisposition, that worsens with age, to become ‘Insulin Resistant’ (aka Carbohydrate Intolerant). Once a person becomes insulin resistant the body will produce insulin but will not use it effectively allowing glucose to build up in the blood instead of being absorbed by the cells. Nutritional science shows that this metabolic disorder is associated with most of the common diseases affecting our modern society including obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and coronary heart disease. In fact, according to Professor Tim Noakes (a hugh advocate of the high-fat low-carb diet), “Insulin resistance is the single most important medical condition in global medicine.”
Fortunately, obtaining nutritional ketosis by limiting your carbohydrate intake can actually reverse many of the symptoms of insulin resistance (the more carbohydrate intolerant a person is, the more they need to limit their carbohydrate intake). Yet, despite the effectiveness of the ketogenic diet, most health care professionals have shied away from this approach because it goes against the social norm.
In the end what we believe to be true – our Conventional Wisdom – is really nothing more than sixty years of misconceived nutritional research. – The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet by Nina Teicholz
It’s Time for Change….
Eating fat does not make you fat. Eating carbohydrates make you fat. You can train your body to burn fat instead of glucose by changing your diet.
In contrast to Americas dietary guidelines, your body does not need carbs to function. In fact, your body performs much better utilizing fat for fuel than it does using glucose from carbs. Mounting research shows that the body and the brain actually prefer ketones over glucose as it’s energy source.
Eating healthy fats as part of your meal will slow down absorption causing you to feel satiated longer and helps curb overeating. In addition, healthy fats act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, and are needed for mineral absorption and a host of other biological processes. In order to get these healthy saturated fats in your diet, you need to eat the very foods demonized by the establishment such as red meat, chicken fat, cream, butter, egg yolks, avocados, coconut oil, and macadamia nuts. However, you will want to avoid unhealthy fats such as processed vegetable oils, margarine, hydrogenated oils, partially hydrogenated oils and other trans fats such as sunflower oil, safflower oil, cottonseed, canola oil, soybean oil, grapeseed and corn oil.
Although achieving nutritional ketosis through the ketogenic diet might not be right for everyone, there does seem to be a revolution underway in the way many Americans think about nutrition. Many research papers and books have been written by progressive scientist, healthcare professionals and fitness experts, promoting carbohydrate-restricted diets and the many health benefits that follow (aka the KetoEffectSM). As a result, carbohydrates are rightly being blamed for their role in the obesity and disease epidemic of America and fats are rightly being vindicated.
Before 1961, there were our ancestors, with their recipes. And before them were their ancestors with their hunting bows or traps or livestock – but like lost languages, lost skills and lost songs, it takes only a few generations to forget. – The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet by Nina Teicholz
Eating a high-fat, low to moderate protein, low-carb diet has been shown to:
• Enhance weight loss
• Increase satiety and decrease food cravings
• Balance blood sugar and insulin sensitivity
• Improve energy levels and athletic performance
• lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol
• Improve sleep
• Reduce inflammation
• Lower blood pressure and resting heart rate
• Improve memory and cognitive function
• Treat Seizures; ADHD; Alzheimer’s; Parkinson’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, & Cancer
To learn more about the KetoEffectSM and the ketogenic diet visit our Keto Book Store.
Long-term Effects of a Ketogenic Diet in Obese Patients. – Exp Clin Cardiol. 2004 Fall; 9(3): 200–205
The Ketogenic Diet: A Scientifically Proven Approach to Fast, Healthy Weight Loss by Kristen Mancinelli
The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance by Stephen D. Phinney and Jeff S. Volek
The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living: An Expert Guide to Making the Life-Saving Benefits of Carbohydrate Restriction Sustainable and Enjoyable by Stephen D. Phinney and Jeff S. Volek
The Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services. – Dietary Guidelines