IF YOU ARE BORN DIABETIC (TYPE 1) YOU HAVE TO CONSULT WITH YOUR PHYSICIAN BEFORE TRYING ANY LOW CARB DIET. In any other case continue reading!

So what is the keto diet? At the most basic level, it’s a diet based on fat as a primary energy source. This may not sound like anything special, but it is actually quite important. The vast majority of people today depend on the combustion of glucose – sugar for energy and consume carbohydrates mostly to meet their daily energy needs. Have you heard of the marathon runners who need to eat carbohydrates before a marathon? This means that they have to load their body with sugar to have energy during the race. But burning fat as fuel is much healthier and more effective and our diet is a major metabolic tool to improve our health.

Why should you consider a keto diet? Or low carb?

The lean (not counting the extra fat) human body is 74% fat and 26% protein (by analysis of calories). Fat is a structural component of any human cell and is the preferred fuel source of mitochondria, which is the combustion energy unit of each cell. A fetus uses ketones before and immediately after birth by nature.

Inflammation is the source of all diseases. A question or complaint I often hear is why can I not eat “normally”? Sure, there are people who can eat potatoes and rice and pasta and keep their weight, but that does not mean it is healthy.

When you eat more carbohydrates, glucose in your blood stays higher for longer, because glucose can not be stored within your muscle cells in the form of glycogen. This toxic glucose level is tarry in the bloodstream clogging your arteries and it bonds with proteins to form harmful AGEs (Advanced Glycated End Products), causing inflammation. This high level of glucose elevates your triglycerides, increasing the risk for heart disease.

Starch and sugar are stored as fat (remember starch is only glucose molecules joined together in a long chain. The digestive system is what breaks it into individual glucose molecules … so a diet rich in  sugar is the same as a diet rich in starch!). Since muscle cells do not receive glycogen (because they have essentially a crust over the cells and are considered “resistant”), and since the insulin stops the enzyme production of lipase which leads to burning fat, eating more carbs will keep you from burning even the already stored fat! So no matter how much you exercise, if you want to eat oatmeal before your workout, you will never be able to burn fat,

If that is not bad enough, there are more bad news … Insulin levels remain high for more because the pancreas mistakenly believes “if little does not work, then more is better”. It is not. Insulin is highly toxic at high levels and causes cellular damage, tumors, plaque buildup in the arteries (which is why diabetics have many heart diseases), as well as many other inflammatory issues such as nerve damage and pain to the limbs. Starch and sugar destroys nerve tissue causing itching and retinopathy, which leads to visual loss.

Sorry, but I have more bad news … Our cells are destroyed after a life of cereal and skim milk for breakfast and not only insulin resistance develops, but also the surface of our cells also blocks the entry of amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks for our muscles and are found in proteins. So now you can not even keep your muscles. And if that is not bad enough, our muscles are forced to become cannibals, because your body thinks there is not enough sugar stored in the cells and thus sends the signals to begin consuming your precious muscles to make more glucose (sugar)! Result; You become overweight and you also lose muscle mass.

Rather than feel energetic after eating, you’re tired and you crave more and more carbohydrates and as time goes by you have less muscle mass, so exercise is very difficult and the sad vicious cycle continues.

But there are even more bad news … for your thyroid. When your liver becomes resistant to insulin, you can not convert the thyroid hormone T4 to T3, so you get these unexplained “thyroid problems”, which continue to reduce energy and your metabolism.

ARE YOU IN KETOSIS?

Many people believe that a keto diet is just a diet low in carbohydrates, but to really do  a ketogenic diet you have to be low in carbohydrates, high in fat and moderate in protein. And the only way to know for sure if you are in ketosis-burning fat instead of sugar-is to check your ketones! You can do this in three ways:

• Blood: It is the most valid way. The only negative is that the stick is quite expensive.

• Urine: You can measure acetoacetate in your urine with a product called KetoStix, but ketones in the urine is not a reliable indicator of ketosis when you fully adapt to ketosis (urine cease to have ketones, after your body has learned to use them all). It is a very economical solution, but not very accurate.

• Respiration: Acetone can now be measured using a device called Ketonix or other brands. Other devices are in progress. I do not know how reliable it is this method.

WHAT RESULTS SHOULD YOU HAVE DEPENDING ON THE METHOD

Urine strips change color so you can see the overall level of your ketones (none, few, many), but if you try to check your blood or your breath, you need your ketones to be above 0.5 mmol / L to be considered that you are in ketosis. Specifically, the following applies:

“Light” ketosis: 0.5 mmol / L – 0.8 mmol / L

Moderate ketosis: 0.9 mmol / L – 1.4 mmol / L

Deep ketosis (ideal for weight loss): 1.5 mmol / L – 3.0 mmol / L

If you see something more than three, do not worry, you just don’t need to have a number greater than 3 to have all the therapeutic benefits of ketosis. But you are in no danger, unless you are a type 1 diabetic.

To start learning your body to use fat for energy instead of sugar, it is necessary to limit the intake of carbohydrates, to moderate the consumption of protein and to eat as much saturated and monounsaturated fat as you need to feel full. This is the basic model of this diet. Your body will need a period of two to four weeks to adjust to this change. Note that the amount of fat, protein and carbohydrates you should consume. will vary greatly from person to person, depending on the specific needs of their metabolism, age and gender. People who are generally active and / or relatively healthy may be able to consume more carbohydrates and protein from those that are less active and / or metabolically damaged. Experiment with quantities to find the correct levels required for you to put your body into ketosis. Once you are perfectly adapted to use fat as fuel, then you are officially in dietary ketosis (a term first used in the mid 1980s by Dr. Phinney). This adjustment can take from two weeks up to two months, so you need perseverance and patience.

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