Why YOU Should Try a Ketogenic Diet

Why YOU should Try a ketogenic diet

Have you been hearing the word keto or ketogenic lately? Are you considering trying a ketogenic diet? or wonder if a ketogenic diet is healthy?

The lean human body is 74% fat and 26% protein (broken down by calories). Fats are a structural part of every human cell and are the preferred fuel source of the mitochondria, the energy-burning units of each cell. A fetus naturally uses ketones before and immediately after birth.  This post will give you the information you need as to why you should consider a ketogenic diet.

Inflammation is the stem of all diseases. One question or complaint is why can’t I eat “normal?” Sure, there are people who can eat potatoes and rice and pasta and not be overweight, BUT this doesn’t mean they are healthy. I have had a handful of clients who were female, 115 pounds and had very high blood sugar levels and had to be put on insulin. Not only should diabetics and people who want to lose weight limit carbohydrate intake, everyone should.

We are all, in an evolutionary sense, predisposed to becoming diabetic. So I want to step you through how fat is stored, but more importantly this is how we become at risk for diabetes and heart disease:

1. After you eat excess carbohydrates, blood glucose stays higher longer because the glucose can’t make it into the cells of the muscles. This toxic level of glucose is like tar in the bloodstream clogging arteries, binding with proteins to form damaging AGEs (Advanced Glycated End-products) and causing inflammation. This high level of glucose causes triglycerides to go up, increasing your risk for heart disease.

2. Starch and sugar gets stored as fat (remember starch is just glucose molecules hooked together in a long chain; the digestive track breaks it down into glucose… so a sugary and a starch diet are the same thing!). Since the muscle cells aren’t getting glycogen (because they basically have a crust over the cells and are considered “resistant”), and since insulin stops the production of the fat-burning enzyme lipase, now you can’t even burn STORED fat! So workout all you want, if you continue to eat oatmeal before your workouts, you will never be a fat-burner, you will remain a sugar-burner and you continue to get fatter until eventually those fat cells become resistant too.

3. If that isn’t bad enough, I have more bad news…Insulin levels continue to stay high longer because the pancreas mistakenly believes “if a little is not working, more is better.” NOT GOOD. Insulin is very toxic at high levels, causing cellular damage, cancers, plaque build-up in the arteries (which is why diabetics have so much heart disease) as well as many other inflammation issues such as nerve damage and pain in the extremities. Starch and sugar destroys nerve tissue, causing tingling and retinopathy, which causes you to lose your eyesight.

4. Sorry, but I have more bad news…Our cells become so damaged after a life of cereal and skim milk for breakfast that not only does insulin resistance block glucose from entering muscle cells; the crust we have formed over our cells also blocks amino acids from entering. Amino acids are the building blocks for our muscles that are found in protein. So now you can’t even maintain your muscles. And if that isn’t bad enough, our muscles become cannibals because your body think there’s not enough stored sugar in the cells, so they send signals to start to consume valuable muscles to make more glucose (sugar)! You get fatter and you lose muscle.

5. Instead of feeling energetic after you eat, you are tired, and you crave more carbohydrates and since you have less muscle, exercise is getting too darn difficult, and the sad cycle continues.

6. But there is even more bad news… thyroid disorders also happen too. When your liver becomes insulin resistant, it can’t convert thyroid hormone T4 into the T3, so you get those unexplained “thyroid problems”, which continue to lower your energy and metabolism.

Start your path to healthy healing today!

Why YOU Should Consider a Ketogenic Diet

50 Comments

  • Jeanne says:

    Great post Maria!

  • Jenn says:

    Love these informative posts – almost as much as your delicious recipes! I always look forward to your new posts, thank you!

  • Katy says:

    Can you address the ApoE gene in regards to saturated fats. My functional medicine doc has advised me to eat a low fat diet after discovering I have this particular copy of the gene due to high Cholesterol . I am now confused!

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      In general inflammation is what you want to reduce as much as possible to limit your risk of coronary artery disease. When you have the APoE3/4, you can reduce your saturated fats and increase mono-unsaturated fats. But you still want to limit PUFA’s (polyunsaturated fatty acids). It is complex and you would want to monitor and tweak levels based on your situation.

  • Thanks for the info 🙂 this is great to tell those people who are like, but I eat grains and I’m perfectly fine! Haha, for now you are.

  • Jason says:

    Nice Maria. To the point and true!

  • Peggy Deichelbohrer says:

    Great to share with those who wonder why I eat this way. Also, I’d like to mention that the closer I eat to what you recommend, the closer I HAVE to eat what you recommend or else I feel terrible! I had some dairy & some alcohol recently and the first time I only felt bad for a few days but the second time it is lasting much longer. Thank you for sharing your awesome knowledge! And although I regret eating & drinking poorly, it is a good reminder of how I used to feel ALL THE TIME!

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      Thanks! Yes, once you remove those things from your body, your body tells you how much it doesn’t like them when you re-introduce them. 🙂

  • Diane says:

    A Ketogenic diet (and consult with Maria) have been SO helpful in addressing health issues that I was experiencing. But, truth be told, I would follow this diet anyway just to eat the delicious food that Maria’s recipes provide. RUN, do not walk to buy the new Ketogenic cookbook! I’m working my way through one wonderful recipe after another. And, get the softcover version. A beautiful, artistic book with one of the best recipe indexes I’ve ever seen. THANKS, Maria!

  • Tovah says:

    I have your books but these down to earth explanations really hit home. Sometimes the terminology confuses me. This made sense and I can explain to family and friends.

  • Jen says:

    Thanks for the reminder of why this life style is so important.

  • donna says:

    Thanks for the great information. A wonderful reminder and affirmation as to why I have chosen the Ketogenic life stye . I look forward to and enjoy reading all your posts.

  • Marianna Kiva says:

    Hello Maria,
    A year ago I switched to Paleo way of eating. Slow improvements followed. This year I became ill first with colon issues and then a blocked intestinal track. My son suggested to adhere to Ketogenic life style this saved me from 2 surgeries and a mountain of misery. Thank you for your sharing of Knowledge.

  • Robin Shannon says:

    I was trying to tell my daughter who is vegetarian and a new marathon runner about eating too many carbs not being good for her and also too much protein turning into fat. She could not grasp this concept and I know I wasn’t explaining it well either. Could you direct me to your blog about eating too many proteins? Thanks.

  • Melinda says:

    Maria…LOVE your new cookbook, The Ketogenic Cookbook! Question….If we eat only recipes from this cookbook, are we able to enter ketosis? Thanks!

    • Melinda says:

      This is a question posed to me by a friend and I didn’t know how to answer them. What he was wondering was did he need to follow a certain order with his food, or could he just pick and choose recipes in your book. Hope that explains my post better. Thanks!

  • kerenli says:

    You look beautiful, Maria! Happy. What a beautiful photo…

  • Linda Stewart says:

    Exact
    Name of the cookbook y’all are referencing?

  • Marianna Kiva says:

    Maria, in your new cookbook there are references to videos. Where could this be seen?

  • Hélène says:

    Your 3-in-1 Art of Healthy Eating cookbook is no longer? 🙁 I went to buy it finally and it appears to be gone, here and on amazon.

  • Pam says:

    Such good information Maria!! Thank you. I am home with family and friends right now. Their frame of minds with skim milk, low fat is blowing me away. They comment on how skinny I am. I tell them what and how I am eating and they look at me like I am an alien. I feel so bad for them. I am seeing them with great health problems. I wish I could help them. Looking forward to your new cookbook!!

  • Lisa says:

    Maria,
    I’ve lost 80# on a high protein, low carb diet since 3/2013. I was eating about 90 -110 g of protein and about 80 g or carb per day. I didn’t track fat at all. For about the last year though, I have been stalled, haven’t lost much – just a pound here and there. I will say overall I have been very dedicated to the diet primarily because I notice that I do not feel well if I consume more carbs.

    So, I have been considering changing to keto. My PCP is also a bariatric physician who completely supports the keto diet. I saw her last week and she gave me a detailed diet plan for 2 weeks to help me get into ketosis. She suggested I buy yours and Jimmy Moore’s cookbook – the Ketogenic Cookbook which I just received in the mail. I am fascinated to learn how the body tricks itself to break down proteins into glucose after a while!

    The additional information above is a great reminder in some ways, and also new info in other ways to motivate me. Although I was not diabetic or on meds for high blood pressure or heart disease I knew I was headed that direction at 295#! My labs are fantastic now and my cardiovascular risk is extremely low.

    Thanks for all you do and keep the info coming!! I am like a sponge and I love learning and seeing results.

    Lisa

  • Tom says:

    I’ve tried following this diet, but I always end up feeling tired and irritable, don’t know what I am doing wrong. I also don’t have a gall bladder. The high fat seems to make me feel bad.

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      Are you supplementing with potassium and magnesium and salt?

      Most people are not following a well-formulated plan.

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      As for gall bladder. The common bile duct, which still remains after the gallbladder is removed, takes over a lot of the function of the gallbladder when it is taken out. That is why you can have your gallbladder removed and not totally fall apart by not being able to digest any fats. Coconut oil is very good for someone without a gallbladder because it doesn’t require bile acids for absorption. All MCT (medium chain tryglicerides) are like this. You can also use dandelion and ox bile to increase bile production. So eating this way is great for someone without a gallbladder.

  • Tom says:

    So last night I took 400 mg magnesium glycinate and 99 mg potassium and today I feel horrible. I’ve been very depressed, tired, nauseous and weak. I’ve read online that magnesium makes some people ill, maybe this isn’t a good idea for me?

    • Maria Emmerich says:

      Try taking it in the morning. Most people magnesium is relaxing but for a small percentage it is energizing and can keep you awake and no sleep well.

  • Patrik says:

    There is always a lot of people claiming you need to eat carbs if you have adrenal fatigue. True?
    //. Patrik

  • Lucrecia says:

    Brilliant post Maria, as always! Thanks for being so succinct in explaining something that so many find very complicated.

  • Pam says:

    Will look into the recipe book. Have been on LCHF diet since June and lost 23 lbs but am afraidc that i am eating too much protein. 81g.

  • Deb says:

    I would be curious as well on Patriks comment. I’ve as well have heard of you have adrenal fatigue you need more carbs. Would love your input on that. Thanks in advance.

  • Margie says:

    What could you recommend for someone who has food sensitivities and one of them being eggs and has insulin resistance that does low carb? Would this way of eating be accomplished without being able to have eggs?
    I know you would have to do an evaluation, but I have tried so many things and spent so much money that I am very skeptical to start yet something else. However, I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. I need help but not sure where to turn. I am exhausted to say the least…no motivation…burned out. Could you help someone like me?

  • KELLY says:

    Hi Maria…. I am feeling so defeated today. I have diabeties, celiac (most likely) and five weeks ago had to start taking metformin because even though I don’t eat hardly any carbs, my numbers were 160-180 fasting…. I got my a1c down to 6.5 and my blood sugars below 140, but my fasting blood tests just came back and they say I have bad good cholesterol and bad bad cholesterol and my triglycerides are 274!!!! How can this be??? I don’t hardly ever eat flour or sugar, I eat coconut oil, olive oil and avocado’s as well as salmon. I eat tons of nuts and seeds including chia and flax, a lot of salad and veggies, a little fruit sometimes (usually berries), alot of cheese and meat….. I just feel like i’m gonna go crazy, it doesn’t make sense…should I stop eating animal fat like others say to do, I just can’t believe that! I don’t know what to do…. HELP please!

    • KELLY says:

      I don’t exersize as much as I probably should so I am amping that up, but will that be enough?? I take cinnamon, magnesium, vitamin c, 1 a day, just started taking red yeast rice…..

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