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If you suffer with any type of ailment, one of the best things you can do is look into the science behind ketogenesis, or a fat adapted diet. This intentional approach to altering your metabolism can prove beneficial in a multitude of ways.
For most of us, our bodies utilize the carbohydrate as the primary source of fuel. For the most part, no matter how it’s consumed (candy bar, bread, pasta, etc.), carbs are essentially broken down into glucose molecules which trigger insulin release and subsequent glucose delivery to individual cells, to be utilized as fuel for the metabolic processes that keep us going.
The problems arise when the carbohydrates are delivered in abundance; any time, any where. This leads to our bodies being full as far as immediate fuel needs go, and thus the excess carbohydrates broken down in the form of glucose, is stored as fat. This flooding of glucose also leads to the already full cells reluctance or outright refusal to accept the glucose from the insulin delivering it, and thus we have the development of type II diabetes and the cascade of detrimental health effects.
Investigating and potentially implementing the ketogenic or fat adapted diet can prove advantageous to reverse the above trends. Despite the metabolic majority, our bodies are actually able to, and some would say prefer to burn fat as fuel instead of carbohydrates. (When fat is broken down into energy a ketone body is the molecule created, and thus explains the “ketogenic” label.)
Once the flooding of carbohydrates is mostly replaced with high quality, healthy fats (avocados, coconut oil, raw nuts and seeds, olives, etc.) the body will start to shift towards burning fat as fuel. Another key piece to this puzzle is implementing some form of fasting.
WAIT! WAIT! WAIT! Please hear me out and don’t run for the doors due to the mention of fasting. Fasting comes in many ways, shapes and forms and the key is to find the one that works for you.
(Always consult with your healthcare provider before potentially implementing any strategy on this site, especially the diet and lifestyle alterations included in this article).
Different combinations can be done for varying duration and frequency. The key is to get to a point when the glucose abundance is no longer present, and your body naturally begins to switch over to burning fat for fuel, in the form of those healthy fats we mentioned, but also any excess body fat you would like to send packing.
Naturally at this point, body fat begins to be shed and blood sugar/insulin levels begin to normalize due to the break in reliance and abuse of the glucose-insulin process. The potential benefits extend way beyond this, and can even be utilized as a way to prevent and combat cancer as it has been long documented that cancer cells thrive on glucose. When you eliminate it’s fuel source (the carb, sugar, etc.) you essentially starve the cancer cell.
A ketogenic diet by way of intermittent fasting and macronutrient modification can also have neuro-protective effects as it encourages the proliferation of something called Brain Derived Neurotropic Factor or BDNF. This chemical has been found to strengthen existing neuronal pathways as well as grow no ones. Did you hear that? The potential to grow new brain cells by intelligently modifying the diet and lifestyle. Think of the treatment and prevention possibilities for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases (Parkinson’s, MS, etc.).
How about naturally enhancing HGH and testosterone for quicker muscle recovery and better performance? Well, this is yet another way in which the ketogenic diet, when properly implemented, has been shown to be beneficial.
The list can go on as far as the benefits of switching your body’s capacity over to the optimal, preferred fuel source. The research and results are pouring in and it is time to put to rest so many of the antiquated theories having to do with nutrition and diet.
If any of this appeals to your malleable appetite, please feel free to reach out. We would love to discuss if this could be an advantageous idea for your unique situation and how we can successfully implement an approach based on a better understanding of the latest science when it comes to nutrition and beyond.
Be well my friends and keep your eyes and ears open. The information and opportunity is there. It is time to seize it.
The four major pillars of health and longevity are diet, exercise, sleep, and stress. In order to truly elevate the quality and lengthen the quantity of your life all must be addressed and pieced together to solve the puzzle of true wellness.
This holds true for all, but especially athletes. Often times due to the substantial time put in at the gym, pounding the pavement or on the bike, individuals take a more liberal approach with the fuel they put in their bodies. This often leads to the paradoxical presentation of the overweight marathoner or even triathlete. Simply put, as much as some may try or conveniently convince themselves otherwise, you simply CANNOT out exercise a bad diet.
In one way or another, the saying “garbage in, garbage out,” holds true. You may even be able to get by aesthetically or performance wise for awhile, but trust that the internal systemic destruction caused by “garbage in,” will eventually catch up with you on one, two, or all fronts.
When speaking of athletes, it seems logical that you would do all that is possible to optimize performance. The topic of sports nutrition is a loaded one with many different chapters, but today we will again present a physiologically sound explanation for another intelligent dietary modification.
We’ve spoken before on the importance of the pH (acid v base or alkalinity) maintained internally:
For numerous reasons well beyond the realm of fitness, we would be wise to strive to maintain a slightly higher or basic (base = alkaline) pH. This has been cited as a method to controlling inflammation (the underlying factor behind virtually every disease), to preventing cancer.
When you engage in strenuous physical activity, a metabolic consequence of that activity is a drop in pH or a shift towards acidity. Although a small window of wiggle room exists, the body will do all it can to maintain an optimal, slightly basic pH. As the acid level within our body rises (dropping the pH) due to physical activity, the body will combat this increase in acidity by breaking down muscle. This is the same muscle you are working so hard to attain, build and utilize for peak performance.
A way to offset this is by divorcing the outdated and antiquated way of carbohydrate bombardment by way of grains, starches, cheeses, and salt laden processed foods, as these foods yield acidity within the body. Instead, the bulk of your diet and carbs should come from the alkaline producing fruits and vegetables.
According to Loren Cordain, PHD and creator of the Paleo Diet: “All foods, upon digestion, report to the kidney as either acid or alkali (base). The typical American diet is net acid producing because of its high reliance upon acid yielding grains, cheeses, and salty processed foods at the expense of the base producing fruits and veggies. The athlete’s body is even more prone to blood acidosis due to the by-products of exercise. One way the body neutralizes a net acid producing diet is by breaking down muscle tissue. Because the Paleo Diet for Athletes is rich in fruits and veggies, it reverses the metabolic acidosis produced from the typical grain and starch laden diet that many athletes consume, thereby preventing muscle loss.”
So there you have it; another physiologically sound explanation on why you should step up your produce game in place of breads, pastas and foods in a box or wrapper. Obviously this is not a standalone solution, but serves as an intelligent addition to your “eating to live” and “striving to thrive” repertoire.
Eat SMART. Live better. ENJOY LIFE.