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The Biggest Misconception About The ‘Ketogenic Diet’…You Don’t Actually Have To Follow It

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There is a lot of information going around about the Ketogenic diet. I myself am a culprit, having recently published two previous articles on the topic, explaining what happens to your body when you go into ketosis, similar to this one but a little different, you can read those here and here. It’s no doubt interesting when one comes across information and evidence that contradicts what we once, or do, completely and unquestionably consider to be fact.

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What I want to be clear on today is, I’m not talking about a specific diet, but rather techniques which can be used to get your body to produce ketones, and it’s quite simple. You don’t have to follow a ‘low carb high fat’ diet, and to be honest, following that diet might not be the healthiest thing. A lot of proponents of this diet also avoid several fruits and vegetables, which, in my opinion, is not good. Fruit is the easiest food for the body to consume, and most natural.

There is also a great risk of over-protein consumption and, from fasting studies, we know that puts a lot of stress on some of our organs and also speeds up the process of aging, more on that below. High fat does the same.

Low protein also reduces your IGF-1 growth hormone levels, fasting does this as well. This is associated with a longer life span, and a far less greater risk of contracting multiple diseases, especially age related diseases.

If you’re going to do the Ketogenic diet, you might want to look into the risks or better yet, as we get into below, try other methods where you don’t really have to alter your diet if you already eat a variety of healthy foods.

The two main fuel sources from food that the body uses are glucose and fat. Ketones (or ketone bodies) are produced in the blood as a result of your body burning fat. How do you burn fat? To do that, your body has to expend its glucose reserves. This is done by not eating (fasting), or by exercising  on a regular basis. Why? Because when you exercise, your body is going to burn its energy reserves much faster, and it speeds up the process of the body using its glucose reserves for energy and, eventually runs out, possibly even during the workout depending on what and how many hours prior you ate.

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Fasting, in my opinion, is the best way to produce and increase the amount of ketones that are being produced, because when you don’t eat, you are not taking in glucose from food. When we eat, that food is taken and converted into and stored as glucose and fat for energy. When in a fasting state, your body doesn’t have any glucose left, so it switches to using fat for energy, and thus ketones are produced.

How long can you fast for? How should you do it? We will soon be released an online book that goes into more detail, but there are also some articles linked below, and more of a discussion of what I personally do later in the article.

Why is it that the normal diet is three meals a day plus snacks? It isn’t that it’s the healthiest eating pattern, now that’s my opinion but I think there is a lot of evidence to support that. There are a lot of pressures to have that eating pattern, there’s a lot of money involved. The food industry — are they going to make money from skipping breakfast like I did today? No, they’re going to lose money. If people fast, the food industry loses money. What about the pharmaceutical industries? What if people do some intermittent fasting, exercise periodically and are very healthy, is the pharmaceutical industry going to make any money on healthy people? – Mark Mattson, the current Chief of the Laboratory of Neuroscience at the National Institute on Aging

You can view his TED talk explaining how fasting is extremely healthy for the brain, and why, here.

We’ve been taught that our bodies are only efficient in burning glucose, and if you think about it, the way we are taught to eat, since the industrial revolution, is three square meals a day plus snacks. As a result of this, the human body is in a constant glucose burning modes, and never really experiences the benefits of burning fat or using ketones for energy.

The science is pointing to one thing, and that’s the fact that we are eating too much, or more than we need to.

What Happens To Our Body When We Are Burning Fat

There are multiple benefits. For example, it creates a protective barrier around the brain, this is why a ketogenic diet and fasting are actually used to treat patients with epilepsy.

A few years ago, scientists discovered the first evidence of a natural intervention triggering stem cell-based regeneration of an organ or system. The study was published in the June 5 issue of Cell Stem Cell by researchers from the University of Southern California. The research shows that cycles of prolonged fasting protect against immune system damage and induce immune system regeneration. They concluded that fasting shifts stem cells from a dormant state to a state of self-renewal. The study outlines how, during periods of fasting, the body repairs damaged DNA and helps to starve cancer.

If we take a look at a recent study from 2014, published in the journal Trends In Molecular Medicineit outlines and confirms what several studies before it have already done:

  • Caloric restriction (diet high in nutrients but low in calories) and its mimetics (CR) improve lifespan and reduce cancer incidence
  • CR and CR mimetics sensitize cancer cells to chemotherapy
  • CR and CR mimetics combined with chemotherapy enhance anticancer immune responses

We could not predict that prolonged fasting would have such a remarkable effect in promoting stem cell-based regeneration of the hematopoietic system. . . . When you starve, the system tries to save energy, and one of the things it can do to save energy is to recycle a lot of the immune cells that are not needed, especially those that may be damaged. What we started noticing in both our human work and animal work is that the white blood cell count goes down with prolonged fasting. Then when you re-feed, the blood cells come back.  – Valter Longo, corresponding author (source)

According to the study:

“Caloric restriction (CR) is currently the most robust environmental intervention known to increase healthy life and prolong lifespan in several models, from yeast to mice. Although the protective effect of CR on the incidence of cancer is well established, its impact on tumor cell responses to chemotherapeutic treatment is currently being investigated. Interestingly, the molecular mechanisms required to extend lifespan upon reduced food intake are being evaluated, and these mechanisms may offer new opportunities for therapeutic intervention. In addition, new findings suggest a beneficial effect of CR in enhancing the efficiency of tumor cell killing by chemotherapeutic drugs and inducing an anticancer immune response.”

By fasting, you’re literally cutting off the energy source for cancer cells, and at the same time, while in ketosis, your body is experiencing a wide range of other health benefits.

The first publication tested on a case by case basis in this area was done in 1995, when two young patients received ketogenic diet therapy for their brain tumours. They were unresponsive to standard treatments, yet with this new therapy, both patients’ tumours began consuming less glucose and shrinking in size.

In 2010, a case report was conducted on a 65-year-old woman who had a brain tumour causing numerous neurological deficits. In addition to standard care, she was put on a ketogenic diet. After two months, she experienced a complete remission of her tumour, yet when the diet was suspended, the tumour returned.

Here is another study showing the benefits the diet can have on cancer cells.

A study titled “The Ketogenic Diet & Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Prolong Survival in Mice with Systemic Metastatic Cancer”  explains how it’s already known that the ketogenic diet elevates blood ketones and has been shown to slow cancer progression in both animals and humans. The study also revealed that the ketogenic diet “significantly decreased blood glucose, slowed tumor growth, and increased mean survival time by 56.8 percent in mice with systemic metastatic cancer.”

You will also lower your IGF1 growth hormone. Which is ideal to do in order to build muscle, and revere age related diseases.

So, What Do You Eat? How Do You Do It?

Well, the standard and commonly taught ketogenic diet consists of eating low carbs and high fat. If you want to maintain your ketogenic state, this is suitable, but it’s not needed. You can eat a wide variety of healthy foods, and still experience ketosis. Some people who have a high carb intake can deplete their glucose reserves much faster than others, so they are experiencing ketosis more often than not. This is especially true for extreme athletes, which is why they have to eat so much food.  It all depends on the body type, for the average person it takes about 15 hours of fasting to completely expend your glucose reserves and transition into burning fat.

Generally speaking, if you fast for a couple of days two times a month, you will experience this state. If you fast two every five days during a 20 hour window, you will also experience it. You don’t necessarily have to eat a high fat low carb diet to experience ketosis. That being said, if you are already in a state of ketosis, and want to continue it but desire to eat, low carbs and high fat is where you want to go.

But how long should we be in ketosis? There are still many unanswered questions.

The effects of fasting are better maintained with a plant-based diet. Personally, I eat a plant-based diet, but also enjoy putting my body in the Ketogenic state.  I’ve incorporated fasting into my lifestyle, so it’s no problem for me.

Ideally, I enjoy fasting for a period of about 16-17 hours after a big healthy meal. At about the 18 hour mark, I’ll hit the gym because at this point, my IGF-1 growth hormone levels are very low, which is an optimum time for muscle growth. After my workout, I like to have another big healthy meal. Throughout the day I consume predominately raw full of juices, fruits and vegetables. But that’s just me.

I also go on 2-7 day fasts once every couple of months to experience the benefits.

Are you going to lose muscle by fasting? No, your body goes through its glucose, and before it starts taking protein and content from your muscle, it has to go through all of its fat. As explained here by a Toronto based nephrologists. Theoretically, an obese person of 300 pounds could fast for a year without loosing muscle.

You can find out the ketone levels by a simple blood test. If you go to your local drug store, or check out Amazon you’ll be able to find a ketone measurement meter. At the end of the day, there is a lot of information out there that you should go through to get a clear picture, but one thing is certain, you don’t have to follow the ketogenic diet to experience ketosis, a lifestyle which incorporates fasting is very efficient, and the benefits that are seen from fasting are clear, even with a low carb high fat diet. So, if you use fasting to experience ketosis, you’re also getting the full benefits of fasting as well that would otherwise be cancelled with food intake.

For example, when we fast, we go into ‘Autophagy,’ which means “self” eating, and it’s a process where your body cleans out various toxins and recycles damaged cell components.

Dr. Colin Champ, a board-certified radiation oncologist and assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center explains it well:

“Think of it as our body’s innate recycling program. Autophagy makes us more efficient machines to get rid of faulty parts, stop cancerous growths, and stop metabolic dysfunction like obesity and diabetes.” (source)

One of the best ways to detoxify your system, and slow the aging process (thus greatly reducing the risk of various age-related diseases) is to assist your body in the process of autophagy. Protein actually speeds up the aging process, and too much of it is very detrimental to health, as is too little.

As far as eating a plant-based diet, I explain in the articles linked below why it resonates with me, apart from just feeling natural and right:

5 Ways Animal Protein Is Damaging Your Health

Plant-Based Protein VS Protein From Meat – Which One Is Better For Your Body? 

9 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Meat 

As far as fasting goes, we’re going to be released an E-Book about it, protocols, and more, very soon.

Other related CE Articles:

The Complete Guide To Fasting & Reversing Type 2 Diabetes – A Special Interview With Dr. Jason Fung

Doctor Explains What Happens To The Human Body When It Goes Into Ketosis

New Info Has Some Experts Believing That The Human Gut Might Have Evolved For A Vegetarian Diet

 

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

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Boy or Girl – Baby Gender Selection Issues

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Some parents have the possibility to opt for gender selection; however, being able to decide whether to have a baby boy or girl is a controversial issue.

Many couples expecting a baby do not think it’s a big issue whether they have a boy or a girl; however there are several medical, social, and personal reasons that could influence parents to recur to some form of gender selection.

Like many other controversial practices, the legality of gender selection, also known as sex selection, varies from country to country.

The Legality of Baby Gender Selection

The United States has perhaps some of the most relaxed laws regarding baby gender selection in the world. Most European countries and Australia, on the other hand, have bans on sex selection and only allow it for medical reasons. For example, if a parent is a carrier of a mutation or gene with more chances of manifesting itself in a certain gender, baby gender selection is valid. However, if parents simply wish to balance the ratio of boys and girls in their family, they are not allowed to recur to sex selection.

This has generated a form of medical tourism in which couples from countries where gender selection is illegal, like the UK, travel to the US in order to be able to choose whether to have a baby boy or girl.

On the other hand, sex selection is illegal in the two most populated countries on Earth, China and India. In these countries, baby gender selection has been performed clandestinely for many years and for reasons other than family balancing or avoiding genetic diseases. In these societies, having a baby boy is preferred mainly for cultural and economic reasons. Parents believe that boys have better chances of earning income and eventually support them when they reach an old age.

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Methods of Baby Gender Selection

There are two major types of gender selection methods: the first one is called sperm sorting, and involves separating X-chromosome sperm from Y-chromosome sperm by flow cytometry, a purification technique in which chromosomes are suspended in a stream of sperm and identified by an electronic detector before being separated. Intra-uterine insemination or in-vitro fertilization can then be performed with the enriched sperm. The success rates for this method vary from 80% to 93%.

The other method, called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, consists in generating several embryos through in-vitro fertilization, which are then genetically tested to determine a baby’s gender. The chosen embryos can then be implanted. This method has a success rate of almost 100%; however, it can be quite expensive, costing up to $15,000.

Issues Regarding Baby Gender Selection

While there are few objections against baby gender selection when it is performed for medical reasons, it has become a highly controversial issue when it is used for balancing the number of boys or girls in families. Some people raise the obvious ethical question of whether people who opt for gender selection are “playing God” by manipulating whether to have a baby boy or girl. Others believe that new parents will raise a baby more appropriately if he or she belongs to their preferred gender.

Gender Imbalance Caused by Baby Gender Selection

Gender selection has caused demographic concern in China and India since it has contributed to generate a gender imbalance in the populations of those countries. In some regions of China, for example, the sex ratio for newborns is 118:100, boys to girls. This phenomenon has in turn been associated with social problems such as an increase in violence and prostitution.

It seems like a logical solution for governments around the globe to legalize baby gender selection but to analyze the personal reasons why each couple intends to select a baby boy or girl. Gender selection for medical reasons should even be encouraged, since it could prevent serious genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, and Haemophilia A. Balancing the gender ratio of a family should be accepted if by doing this, a healthy family environment is created. On the other hand, China and India have shown that baby gender selection as a result of a bias towards a particular gender can not only create a gender imbalance in the population, but contribute to social problems as well.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

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Organic Certification: What the USDA Organic Label Means

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Organic and natural labels mean different things, and various types of labels tells you what percentage of ingredients are actually organic. We'll explore what to look for.

  • Reflect On:

    Do you sometimes buy products thinking they are organic or fully natural based on their wording? Have you later found out that those products aren't natural or organic at all? Read labels more closely at grocery stores to be aware.

Don’t get conned by fraudulent claims of “natural” or “organic.” Learn what to look for, and why it’s important, to ensure you’re getting the quality you are paying for.

The industrial age of the 20th century brought about changing agricultural practices that have generated increasing alarm about the effects of these practices on the environment and health. The use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, irradiated and genetically altered food and fiber products has created a groundswell of rightful concern. It has led to the growing demand for non-toxic, organic products that many are willing to pay a higher price for to ensure the healthful purity of food and clothing provided for their families.

With such profit opportunities, it’s little wonder that the lucrative organic product market has suffered abuse with so-called “organic” labels being fraudulently placed on products that have not earned the right. As a result of pressure from farming and consumer groups, legislation for the standardization of organic certification was introduced in the 1980s. It has been updated to include more vigorous enforcement and control methods since, with the current standards established in 2002 by the USDA.

The Standards of USDA Organic Certification

Specific standards must be met in order to legally claim a product as USDA certified organic. Organic producers must utilize methods that conserve water, maximize soil health, and reduce air pollution. The specific standards to earn USDA organic certification include:

Free of synthetic chemicals such as insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics, and additives

Free from irradiation and genetically modified organisms

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Agricultural products grown on land that has been free of prohibited substances for a period of three years

Animals used for meat, eggs, milk or other animal products must be exclusively fed foods that are organically grown, may not be given antibiotics or hormones, and must have access to outdoors.

Clean and sanitized harvesting and processing equipment throughout the process from harvest to finished, packaged product

Detailed chain-of-handling records from the field through final sales

Physical separation of certified organic products from non-organic products throughout the process of production

Regular on-site inspections from USDA-approved inspectors to ensure compliance

Understanding the Certified Organic Label

Once the rigorous process of certification has been completed, organic producers may place the USDA certified organic seal on their products. Currently, there are four levels of certified organic products, with a specific definition of the percentage of organic ingredients the final products contains. They are as follows:

• 100% organic: all production methods and ingredients are USDA certified organic.

• Organic: at least 95% of the production methods and ingredients are USDA certified organic with remaining ingredients included on the National List of allowed ingredients.

• Made With Organic Ingredients: at least 70% of the ingredients are USDA certified organic with remaining ingredients included on the National List of allowed ingredients.

• No organic wording or seal: less than 70% of the ingredients are USDA certified organic and no claims may be made on the front or back of the product.

Manufacturers or producers who knowingly label a product “organic” when it does not meet the USDA standards are subject to fines up to $11,000 per violation.

Why Organic Certification is Important

When you see the official USDA organic certification seal on food, clothing, and bedding products, you can be assured that these products have met the meticulous standards required and are free of chemicals, toxins, antibiotics, and hormones. When you see the USDA certified organic label, you will understand the value of the higher priced organic products as compared to non-organically produced products.

With the current stringent organic certification requirements enforced by regular inspections from USDA accredited agents, the USDA certified organic label has great meaning and importance to the consumer. Look for the label to know that you are getting the quality you are paying for.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

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WHO Finds Global Lack Of Inactivity Rising Especially In Wealthier Countries — What You Can Do

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Inactivity is on the rise and it's the cause of a wide range of health concerns. Our population is only becoming more inactive, not less, and it's time to change that.

  • Reflect On:

    There are many factors of our modern world that make us less active. Our jobs, driving rather than walking/biking, too much screen time. What can you do differently to bring more activity into your life? What story stops you from starting?

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than a quarter of the entire population on this planet are not getting enough physical exercise, this number has barely improved since 2001. There are many factors that contribute to this, but just how much damage are we doing by failing to be active?

The lack of physical exercise raises the risk of many health problems, such as heart disease, type-2 diabetes and various types of cancers.

Interestingly, according to their study published in The Lancet Global Health, higher income countries, such as the UK, were among the least active population. Women were also found to be more sedentary throughout the world, excluding two regions in Asia.

The study looked at self-reported data on activity levels from 358 population based surveys covering 168 countries and included 1.9 million people.

The populations of higher income countries, which include the UK and USA showed an increase in the proportion of inactive people and had actually risen from 32% in 2001 to 37% in 2016, in the lower income countries it remained at 16%.

Those who were classified as inactive did less than 150 minutes of moderate exercise and around 75 minutes of intense activity per week.

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It was found that women were less active than men overall, except for in South and Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and higher-income Western countries. The authors believe that this was caused by a few different factors including extra childcare duties and cultural perspectives that may have made it more difficult for them to exercise.

Why More Inactivity In Wealthier Countries?

According to the researchers, in the wealthier countries, many of the jobs have transitioned to more office or desk jobs, meaning a more sedentary type of lifestyle. On top of that much of the population of these countries drive automobiles or take public transit to and from work which in many cases accounts for a lot of their time.

In the lower income countries, many of the jobs require the people to be more active, are physically demanding and people often have to walk to and from their jobs.

The WHO has had a goal to reduce the global levels of inactivity by 10% by 2025, the authors of the study feel that at the rate we are currently going, this target will be missed.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Regina Guthold said, “Unlike other major global health risks, levels of insufficient physical activity are not falling worldwide, on average, and over a quarter of all adults are not reaching the recommended levels of physical activity for good health.”

Regions with increasing levels of insufficient physical activity are a major concern for public health and the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.”

Co-author, Dr. Fiona Bull added, “Addressing these inequalities in physical activity levels between men and women will be critical to achieving global activity targets and will require interventions to promote and improve women’s access to opportunities that are safe, affordable and culturally acceptable.”

According to the WHO,

Exercise guidelines for 19- to 64-year-olds

How much?

  • at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week
  • strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles
  • break up long periods of sitting with light activity

What is moderate aerobic activity?

  • Walking fast, water aerobics, riding a bike on level ground or with a few hills, doubles tennis, pushing a lawn mower, hiking, skateboarding, rollerblading, volleyball, basketball

What counts as vigorous activity?

  • Jogging or running, swimming fast, riding a bike fast or on hills, singles tennis, football, rugby, skipping rope, hockey, aerobics, gymnastics, martial arts

What activities strengthen muscles?

  • lifting weights, working with resistance bands, doing exercises that use your own body weight, such as push-ups and sit-ups, heavy gardening, such as digging and shovelling, yoga

What activities are both aerobic and muscle-strengthening?

  • circuit training, aerobics, running, football, rugby, netball, hockey

Final Thoughts

I was surprised to see that the WHO didn’t touch on inactivity due to too much screen time — watching television, Netflix, Facebook scrolling, messaging, texting, browsing etc. Certainly, the increase in screen time plays a roll with the amount of inactivity, especially in the higher income countries. If you are someone who spends too much time staring at a screen, then it is important to consider the above information. Can you limit your screen time and replace it with something active? Or would you consider jumping rope, or rebounding while watching the television? Our health is our greatest wealth and having awareness about an issue is the first way to create change and take responsibility for our lives.

Could you walk or bike to work instead of drive? What about trying a new sport? Could you commit to adding a few hours each week of physical activity? These small decisions could have a profound impact on your health, longevity and overall well-being.

Much Love

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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