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If you think a vegan diet automatically equals a healthy diet, think again!

True it can be packed with veggies, but if youve ever met the vegan with a Diet Coke in one hand and a chocolate brownie (sans the eggs and butter, of course) in the other, you know it can be a thoroughly unhealthy diet.

A vegan diet, by definition, excludes all animal products. No animal flesh. No milk from cows, goats, sheep or other mammals. No eggs. Not even honey. Whats left can vary tremendously from one vegan to the next.

Often people do choose to adhere to a vegan diet for health reasons, but others want to eat lower on the food chain out of respect for animals or to minimize their carbon footprint and help protect the environment.(1)

Thanks to the Seventh Day Adventists and the epidemiologists who studied them, we now have compelling evidence that a vegan diet can be healthier than one that includes meat and fish. Many Seventh Day Adventists follow their churchs doctrine that recommends a vegetarian diet. The researchers found that, compared to non-vegetarians, vegetarians (including vegans and lacto-ovovegetarians) were much less likely to get colon cancer or prostatecancer, or to die from cardiovascular disease or breast cancer.

Among men,lacto-ovo vegetarians (they eat dairy and eggs) were 15% less likely to die from any cause compared with non-vegetarians, and there seemed to be some added benefit to being vegan, as this group was 18% less likely to die from any cause versus the non-vegetarians.(2)

Other studies have looked at the gut microbiota (ie, the bacteria in our stool) in people with different diets and have found that the microbiome in those who eat meat differs from vegetarians, and further differs from that in vegans. Research indicates that the vegan gut has fewer inflammatory bacteria, and more species that protect against inflammation, obesity and type 2 diabetes.(3)

A number of smaller studies reveal additional benefits of the vegan diet, such as one where sedentary people on a raw vegan diet appear to be as heart healthy as the non-vegetarian endurance runners(4). Another research study found that a vegan diet along with support groups and lifestyle changes helped men with prostate cancer control the disease.(5)

But there is such variety in the vegan diets studied and associated interventions that it is hard to make generalizations.

There are strong theoretical reasons to think that there is value in consuming a vegan diet.

For example, the ratio of omega-6:omega-3 fatty acids is ideally no higher than 4:1, but a review article found that, on average, the ratio was 7.65:1 for grain-fed beef and 1.53:1 for grass-fed beef.(6) A study of chickens fed cereal-based feed also had lower omega-3 fatty acid levels compared with the birds given access to pasture.(7)

Diets high in animal protein have been associated with numerous chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and possibly osteoporosis, cancer and overall mortality.(8-12)

Ninety percent of human ingestion of dioxins occurs through animal food. These contaminants increase risk for cancer and developmental, immunologic, and endocrine toxicity.(13) Mercury, another toxin prevalent in our oceans, accumulates in many fish, and can be harmful to our nervous, digestive and immune systems, lungs and kidneys.(14)

One benefit of animal protein is that unlike plant-based protein, animal protein is a complete protein, meaning you get adequate amounts of all the essential amino acids your body cannot make on its own when you eat it.

Vegans have to work harder to consume adequate amounts of complete protein because plant-based proteins are almost all low in one to three essential amino acids. However, any combination of two types of vegan protein in a day (eg, legumes and seeds, or legumes and whole grains, or nuts and seeds, or whole grains and nuts) provides the necessary combination of essential amino acids.(15)

One pitfall to look out for is vegan protein powders. Most powders are not optimized with branch-chain amino acids, and therefore are not highly bioavailable and not a great source of protein. This is why Parsley Healths professional-grade pea-and-rice based Rebuild protein powder is superior to most powders it has been optimized with the addition of the amino acids like leucine required to make it a complete protein.

Another common argument for consuming animal products particularly dairy is calcium. However, on review of studies of dairy and bone strength, the totality of evidence does not point to dairy as necessary. Vegans can get plenty of calcium from their diet without supplements by consuming dark green vegetables and nuts or seeds daily.

Especially good foods are collard greens, kale, almonds and sunflower seeds. Not only that, but they dont need as much calcium as meat-eaters. Thats because animal flesh is acidic, forcing calcium stored in the body (eg, in bones) to be drawn into the bloodstream to buffer the acid.

There are a few nutrients that you do need to pay attention to if you want to try a vegan diet safely.

The first one is vitamin B12. Unless you are eating some really buggy lettuce (which one might argue would make you less than vegan), there is no way to get sufficient B12 as a vegan and it is important to take a supplement, such as our vegan Rebuild protein powder which contains a complete multivitamin.

Iron is also worth consideration, in particular for menstruating women. Although there are many plant-based sources of iron, it is harder for the body to absorb vegan-sources of iron than animal-based sources, so supplementation might be needed.

Next, Omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in certain plant-based foods, like flax, walnuts, chia and hemp seeds. However, our bodies are only able to convert small amounts of plant-based omega-3s into the most beneficial forms our bodies need DHA and EPA. Incomparison, it is much easier to absorb DHA and EPA directly from fish and pasture-raised eggs and meat.

Finally, there is almost no vitamin D in a vegan diet, and most of us (vegan or not) are Vitamin D deficient as we dont get a lot of sun exposure. The better supplemental form of vitamin D is D3, rather than D2. Though D3 frequently comes from animal sources (eg, lanolin from sheeps wool or fish oil) there is a plant-derived D3 from lichen.We recommend routine testing for all vegans and vegetarians to ensure they are getting adequate nutritional support.

On countless occasions I have identified B12, iron and Vitamin D deficiency in my vegan patients which we were easily able to correct with the right supplements, allowing them to safely stay with their vegan diet.

Diets impact more than our bodies, they can impact our mental health powerfully. For example, I had a 52-year-old patient who started a vegan diet high in veggies and without refined grains or sugar. As a result, her bipolar disorder was the best controlled it had ever been, allowing her to finally feel well, mentally and physically, on her medication.

I had another 62-year-old patient who had a cardiac stent placed for a clogged artery and chest pain. Despite the stent and no evidence of any more clogged vessels, the chest pain persisted, but a few months after he started a vegan diet, his chest pain resolved. Dean Ornish, MD, did pioneer work in this area, showing that a vegetarian diet (low-fat, no sugar in this study), along with exercise, stress management, and psychosocial support could successfully reduce angina symptoms and reverse the accumulation of plaque in peoples arteries.(16)

In her book, Radical Remission, Kelly Turner, PhD, wrote about people with cancer who used only alternative means to recover from cancer, and for some, this involved adhering to a plant-based diet high in vegetables and no sugar, meat, dairy and refined foods.(17)

People are unique in terms of what makes them feel well and their comfort with different dietary plans. If you are interested in seeing what effect a vegan diet has on you, do it with the guidance of someone who has experience finding vegan foods that are healthy, satisfying and filled with a sufficient variety of nutrients.

Notice how you feel after 3 weeks on it. Check immune markers such as your white blood cell count and high sensitivity c-reactive protein, as well as cholesterol, to see what impact it has on these markers for some people the positive effects are astounding.

The ideal vegan diet consists of whole foods, lots of vegetables, and nearly zero refined grains and sweets. If you want to try it, just be sure to plan ahead before making this transition, so you dont end up reaching for that vegan chocolate brownie instead of a handful of walnuts when youre hankering for a snack, and keep in mind which nutrients you might need to supplement.

If done this way it can potentially decrease your risk for chronic diseases, such as heart disease and some cancers.

Need to get started with a few delicious vegan recipes? Start your day off by making our Pumpkin Pie Smoothie,check out our Simple Plant-Powered Meals for lunch and dinner ideas or whip up a batch of ourPeanut Butter Energy Balls for the perfect snack!

References:

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Nov 18th, 2018 | Filed under Diet Safely
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Recently, many of my patients have been asking about a ketogenic diet. Is a ketogenic diet safe? Would you recommend it? Despite the recent hype, a ketogenic diet is not something new. In medicine, we have been using it for almost 100 years to treat drug-resistant epilepsy, especially in children. In the 1970s, Dr. Atkins popularized his very-low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss that began with a very strict two-week ketogenic phase. Over the years, other fad diets incorporated a similar approach for weight loss.

In essence, it is a diet that causes the body to release ketones into the bloodstream. Most cells prefer to use blood sugar, which comes from carbohydrates, as the bodys main source of energy. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from food, we start breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies (the process is called ketosis). Once you reach ketosis, most cells will use ketone bodies to generate energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The shift, from using circulating glucose to breaking down stored fat as a source of energy, usually happens over two to four days of eating fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. Keep in mind that this is a highly individualized process, and some people need a more restricted diet to start producing enough ketones.

Because it lacks carbohydrates, a ketogenic diet is rich in proteins and fats. It typically includes plenty of meats, eggs, processed meats, sausages, cheeses, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and fibrous vegetables. Because it is so restrictive, it is really hard to follow over the long run. Carbohydrates normally account for at least 50% of the typical American diet. One of the main criticisms of this diet is that many people tend to eat too much protein and poor-quality fats from processed foods, with very few fruits and vegetables. Patients with kidney disease need to be cautious because this diet could worsen their condition. Additionally, some patients may feel a little tired in the beginning, while some may have bad breath, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and sleep problems.

We have solid evidence showing that a ketogenic diet reduces seizures in children, sometimes as effectively as medication. Because of these neuroprotective effects, questions have been raised about the possible benefits for other brain disorders such as Parkinsons, Alzheimers, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, autism, and even brain cancer. However, there are no human studies to support recommending ketosis to treat these conditions.

Weight loss is the primary reason my patients use the ketogenic diet. Previous research shows good evidence of a faster weight loss when patients go on a ketogenic or very low carbohydrate diet compared to participants on a more traditional low-fat diet, or even a Mediterranean diet. However, that difference in weight loss seems to disappear over time.

A ketogenic diet also has been shown to improve blood sugar control for patients with type 2 diabetes, at least in the short term. There is even more controversy when we consider the effect on cholesterol levels. A few studies show some patients have increase in cholesterol levels in the beginning, only to see cholesterol fall a few months later. However, there is no long-term research analyzing its effects over time on diabetes and high cholesterol.

A ketogenic diet could be an interesting alternative to treat certain conditions, and may accelerate weight loss. But it is hard to follow and it can be heavy on red meat and other fatty, processed, and salty foods that are notoriously unhealthy. We also do not know much about its long-term effects, probably because its so hard to stick with that people cant eat this way for a long time. It is also important to remember that yo-yo diets that lead to rapid weight loss fluctuation are associated with increased mortality. Instead of engaging in the next popular diet that would last only a few weeks to months (for most people that includes a ketogenic diet), try to embrace change that is sustainable over the long term. A balanced, unprocessed diet, rich in very colorful fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, whole grains, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and lots of water seems to have the best evidence for a long, healthier, vibrant life.

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Oct 7th, 2018 | Filed under Diet Safely

There are lots of people that are unhappy with their weight but dont really know how to change it. There are tons of fad diets and not all of them are necessarily safe and healthy. It is important to have realistic goals and talk to a qualified doctor about safe and healthy dieting and weight loss. While some diets can help you lose weight quickly, they dont always lead to long term success. It is often necessary to change unhealthy habits when trying to lose weight in order to achieve long term success.

Overview

The best strategies for weight management are those that you will be able to maintain. Making some simple changes to your diet and lifestyle can go a long way in achieving a healthy weight. In order to really ensure you are going about losing weight in a healthy way, it is important to speak to your doctor. There are however some simple steps that almost anyone can take to kick start the weight loss journey.

People do not always realize just how much sugar and fat can be in drinks such as soda or juice. Cutting out beverages that are high in sugar such as soda and fruit juice can save you hundreds of calories a day. Instead, drink water or other sugar free drinks. You may also try switching from whole milk to lower fat or nonfat milk. Another easy thing you can do is simply stop eating when you are full. Sometimes we continue to eat simply because food tastes good or because we are bored. Being able to recognize when you are full and stop eating will help you maintain a healthy weight. Starting a diet can seem overwhelming so it is important to start small. It is much easier to make small, gradual changes than it is to make big, drastic changes to your diet and lifestyle. Start with reducing food portions and cutting out sugary drinks and eventually you will be able to introduce healthier foods and exercise into your routine.

Another thing that can help you lose weight is to eat smaller meals more often. Eating a few healthy snacks throughout the day will keep you from eating a huge amount of food at one meal. It is also important to eat fruits and vegetables. Try to cut out junk food and make the switch to eating fruits and vegetables to keep your body healthy.

How to safely Lose Weight

It can be tempting to take the easy way out and try to lose weight as quickly as possible but this can be very unhealthy. As such, you should avoid fad diets as you need a variety of good foods to get the proper nutrients and stay healthy. Diet pills can also be dangerous and should never be taken without first consulting a healthcare professional. Try not to banish certain foods from your diet entirely. If you decide you will never again eat chocolate or potato chips, you will likely just crave those things even more. The key is to only eat these foods in moderation while maintaining an overall healthy diet.

Exercise is also key to losing weight in a safe and healthy manner. Even people that hate exercise can usually find something they can enjoy as exercise does not just entail going to the gym. It can include activities such as hiking, swimming, walking, and a variety of other activities. Muscle burns more calories than fat so trying to build come muscle can help you with your weight loss goals. If you maintain a good balanced workout routine, you will be able to shed fat and build your muscle.

Some individuals lean towards taking prescription weight-loss pills in efforts to get faster weight loss results. But, weight-loss medications can still have side effects, soits best to speak to a physician before taking them.

Trying to lose weight and maintain a healthy diet can be challenging. There may be times where you cheat and eat food you should avoid. It is important to not give up when you get frustrated. Eating a healthy diet and maintaining a healthy body weight can prolong your life so it is important to continue working at it.

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Diet and Weight Loss Safety Tips (UPDATE: 2018) | 2 Things …

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Oct 6th, 2018 | Filed under Diet Safely

The carnivore diet is currently one of the most buzzworthy nutrition trends encouraging people to eat meat and stay away from everything else.

Its become one of the most controversial diets to date and for good reason.

After all, weve been taught that meat is an unhealthy, disease-inducing, artery-clogging food that should be avoided at all costs.

But with the emergence of people reporting an increase in energy, drastic weight loss and mental cognition, its extremely tempting to at least look into what the research has to say.

In this article, were going to dive deeper into:

The carnivore diet protocol is simple, eat only animal foods and stay away from everything else.

This means youre restricting all types of carbohydrates and even requires you to eliminate plants from your diet.

It is the complete opposite of a vegan diet.

Similar to a ketogenic diet, the carnivore diet relies heavily on running off fats and proteins as a source of energy.

While science has steered us away from heavy consumption of meat and more towards a plant-based approach for optimal health, the overwhelming amount of positive benefits people are experiencing may make this way of eating a promising tool for better health.

And for many of the same reasons people choose to try a ketogenic diet, people who have adopted a carnivore way of eating have reported mental clarity, faster weight loss, improved athletic performance and a healthier digestive system.

The simple approach also makes it alluring for anyone whos looking to follow a diet without having to dive deep into any complication nutrition tactics. This means you wont have to worry about counting macros or calories, timing your meals or intermittent fasting.

All you have to do on the carnivore diet is eat animal foods (including dairy) and stay away from everything else.

The carnivore diet bases its ideologies on similar studies the ketogenic diet looks to.

For example, researchers at McMaster University published a study demonstrating that people who eat high quantities of carbohydrates had a 30 percent higher chance of dying than the participants who were eating a low carb diet.

People eating a high fat diet had a 23 percent lower risk of mortality during the seven year study compared to the people who ate less fat[*].

Promising studies like this paired with the multitude of positive results reported by carnivore dieters worldwide makes it a diet worth trying.

Perfect Keto founder Dr. Anthony Gustin (@dranthonygustin) now eats 90% carnivore, after doing a 30-day carnivore diet experiment. And yes, hes able to stay in ketosis while eating mostly meat. Follow him for more keto and carnivore advice:

The carnivore diet is very simple and encourages you to consume meat-only products everyday.

Here is a quick sample meal plan:

What makes the carnivore diet even more enticing is its historical background. The human population has never lived through a time where eating a strictly plant-based or carbohydrate heavy was ever followed from the rise to the fall of any civilization in history.

But if we take a closer look at what our ancestors ate, there are multiple populations throughout different ethnic and geographical backgrounds who have adopted a carnivore diet for multiple generations.

Our carnivore ancestors include:

Many of our carnivore ancestors not only survived, but also displayed strong health markers.

For example, our Point Hope Eskimo ancestors followed a strict animal-only diet consisting of walrus, whale and sea cultures where 50% of their caloric intake was from fat and 35% from protein.

Researchers found that incidences of heart disease from the Point Hope Eskimos were ten times lower than the Caucasian population of America. Additionally, their triglyceride levels averaged 85 mg/dL as compared to the U.S average of 100 mg/dL[*].

And despite the rise in vegan diets, there is significant evidence supporting that our ancestors were meat eaters[*][*][*].

By nature, animal foods are zero carb. When we restrict carbohydrates from our diet, our need for certain nutrients are decreased.

We dont require several vitamins that are involved in carbohydrate metabolism when we are consuming an all-meat zero-carbohydrate diet.

One study in particular took a further look into vitamin A and its effect on macronutrient metabolism. The study concludes that in the absence of carbohydrate, vitamin A requirements were no longer imperative for metabolic regulation[*].

When we eliminate carbohydrates from our diet, our body looks for other sources of energy and will eventually enter a state of ketosis where your body is using primarily fats for energy via ketones.

Running purely off fats for energy via ketosis is our body and brains preferred energy source and comes with several health benefits[*][*][*][*].

Both the ketogenic diet and the carnivore diet allow fats and proteins while completely eliminating carbohydrates.

But the carnivore diet takes it one step further and is considered to be more restrictive to the already prohibitive ketogenic diet.

With the ketogenic diet, you are still encouraged to eat large amounts of plant foods along with non-animal fat-dominant foods like nuts, coconut oil and avocados.

The ketogenic diet emphasizes a high fat intake while eating a moderate amount of protein. This is because the main goal is to start using ketones as a source of energy.

Unlike the ketogenic diet, there are no macronutrient ratio preferences in the carnivore diet, although you can certainly reach ketosis.

Whereas a keto diet recommends 60 70% fats, 20-30% protein and 5-10% carbs the carnivore diet has no macro ratio requirements sticking to only animal products is the priority of this way of eating.

Some dairy foods are not permitted on the ketogenic diet because of the higher carb content, its permissible on the carnivore diet as long as its derived from animal sources.

Many of the benefits that come with eating a meat only diet are similar to the ketogenic diet. This could be due to the complete restriction of carbs and allowance of higher fat intake.

Much of the intrigue to the carnivore diet is due to its extremely simple protocol. Everyone knows what food comes from animal sources and what doesnt.

If you often get confused with macronutrients, counting calories, meal timing and prep, then eating a meat-only diet can be a great way to begin dieting.

While it may sound like a costly lifestyle, meat is known to be very filling and youll find yourself going for long periods of time without craving food.

Fiber has been a staple in just about every diet and has been promoted as a way to improve your bodys digestive system.

But the carnivore enthusiasts propose a different outlook and may have the science to back it up.

Carnivore dieters believe that cutting fiber out of your diet may actually improve any digestive distress.

One study by the World Journal of Gastroenterology looked into the effects of decreasing fiber intake in people who were experiencing constipation, which is the opposite of what weve been told to do.

The results showed that those who ate no fiber saw a large improvement in their digestive issues including less bloating and gassiness. They even began to see an increase in bowel movement[*].

Similar to the ketogenic diet, carnivore dieters experience an increase in focus and mental clarity almost immediately.

Our brain is made up of nearly 60 percent fat so by following a diet composed of mostly fats and protein, its common to begin experiencing longer bouts of focus and an improved mood.

Studies have shown that by restricting carbs and using fats and proteins as the majority of your daily caloric intake has strong neuroprotective properties that will help you focus better and tolerate stress more efficiently[*].

One study compared inflammation markers between a low carb, high fat group to a low fat, high carb group for 12 weeks.

The results show that the low carb, high fat dieters had lower systemic inflammation by the end of the 3 month study[*].

If losing weight is your main goal, adopting a meat only diet will help you maintain steady levels of blood sugar due to a lack of carbohydrate.

A large reason why your body accumulates fat is because your body isnt insulin sensitive. This means anytime you eat carbohydrate, its converted into fat rather than used for energy.

Completely restricting carbohydrate will improve your insulin sensitivity.

Additionally, eating meat and maintaining a low carb high fat diet regulates your bodys hunger hormone which keeps you satiated for longer periods of time without craving sweets every couple hours.

Diets that are high in fat have been proven to increase testosterone levels.

One study found that men who adopted a low fiber, high fat diet for two months had a 13% higher testosterone compared to the participants following a low fat diet[*].

While there arent many studies proving the effectiveness in athletic performance when restricting carbohydrates and following a strict carnivore diet, many carnivore dieters have reported improved strength gains.

There is an induction phase your body must go through before it can effectively utilize meats as energy.

If you are an athlete who performs high intensity exercise such as sprinting, the carnivore diet may not be the most effective diet to follow.

A targeted or cyclical ketogenic diet may help improve your athletic performance better.

There is large concern for restricting vegetables from your diet because they are known to have high nutrient density.

Red meat contains large amounts of vitamins and minerals especially if it was from a grass-fed animal.

One nutrient in particular that people worry about is vitamin C. And while meat isnt a great source of vitamin C, Dr. Stephen Phinney, author of The Art and says that when you remove carbohydrates from your diet, it decreases the need for vitamin C.

This isnt a 100% black-and-white yes but since its very similar to a ketogenic diet, the carnivore diet appears to be safe for most people.

One of the concerns people have is having an increased risk of heart disease due to the saturated fat content of a meat-only diet.

But recent reports have shown that saturated fats are not the culprit for heart attack and sugar is the leading cause of heart disease[*].

However, there are no long term studies on the carnivore diet for longevity but seeing as how so many of our ancestors have followed this way of eating with much success, its hard to believe that eating a meat only diet can be anything but safe.

Everyone has a different level of metabolic flexibility. This is your bodys efficiency in switching from one main energy fuel source to another.

Anecdotally, many people begin experiencing the benefits of the carnivore diet after two to three weeks of eating strictly meat.

Others have reported up to three months, especially as an athlete who has been primarily running off carbohydrates for energy.

While at first it may sound crazy to eat only meat, the overwhelming amount of anecdotal testimonials proving an increase in focus, significant weight loss and improved mood makes it hard not to at least give the diet a try.

And since many of the carnivore diet principles follow the principles of a low carb, high fat ketogenic diet, it looks to be a compelling diet especially for those looking to lose weight.

Meat is not as unhealthy as the mainstream media has made it out to be and as more research is published, the blame should be focused more on sugar and processed carbohydrates.

Any diet that restricts empty calories from carbohydrates will benefit your health and the carnivore diet does just that.

After all, who wouldnt want to follow a diet that lets munch on juicy steaks while helping you lose weight?

Lorenz is a freelance copywriter and ketogenic diet blogger. Hes made it a personal mission to help others benefit from the low carb high fat keto lifestyle.

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Aug 1st, 2018 | Filed under Diet Safely

The saying you are what you eat may be a little dramatic, but what you choose to eat can have a major effect on your health and how you feel. How you feel at work will have a major effect on being able to and choosing to work safely. It is important to make sure the things you choose to eat and drink are helping improve your health and not hurt it.

Diet has a big effect on your overall health.It has been linked to many different health issues including many diseases and cancer. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States and is closely linked with diet. A proper diet reduces the chances of conditions such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and obesity which are all factors in whether a person has heart disease or not. Heart disease and other alimentslike it have a major effect on you day in and day out. Whether it is the actual disease or medications you need to take to combat it, you will not be able to feel 100% well every day.

Most people are awarethat what weeataffects our weight and ultimately our health, but many people may not realize there can be a link between diet and mood. For example, research has been done that shows a link between vitamin D deficiency and depression. The sun is a major source of vitamin D for us, but we also get it from the food we eat. If you are not getting enough vitamin D it may be the source of a down mood.

Another example is research that has linked a low carbohydrate diet and lack of energy. Participants in the study done by Arizona State University showed higher levels of fatigue and a lack of desire to exercise just two weeks into beginning a low carb diet. While you may not have these issues, it is important to know that diet could be the source or trigger of a change in mood.

If you are not feeling good you cannot work to the best of your ability. Whether it is health issues or lack of energy, your diet plays a big part in safety at work. If your focus is not on the task or you do not have the energy to take the extra steps to ensure the task is being performed safely, you are putting yourself and others at risk. Take a moment to reflect on your diet and how it affects your work.

-Can you think of ways to improve your diet?

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Diet – Safety Talk Ideas

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Jul 10th, 2018 | Filed under Diet Safely

Is ketosis safe? The truth is that we cant say for certain that it is 100% safe. Humans dont understand everything under the branch of nutritional science and probably wont for a very long time. As an individual, the only thing you can do is take a look at the research yourself and form your own conclusion.

Personally, through the reading Ive done and the experience Ive had with the Keto diet, Ive formed my own conclusion that ketosis is safe. Could I be wrong? Absolutely. But I could also be right. Im willing to take that risk in order to follow a diet which could maximize longevity, well being and function.

My personal conclusion shouldnt matter to you though. You need to do your own research and come to your own conclusion. Ive put together this post to organize all of the issues surrounding the safety of ketosis so that you can make your own decision.

In trying to prove something to be safe there are two ways to go about it.

This article will dispel the top 10 claims people make in an argument to label ketosis as dangerous.

Like I said, the science on ketosis is still quite immature. The following data is not meant to 100% prove or disprove the safety of ketosis. Its merely the information we have available today which can help us form a nutritional strategy we feel is best for ourselves.

Im not a doctor or a researcher. The following information is material Ive collected in my attempt to feel confident following a Keto diet indefinitely.

Most of it is sourced from doctors or authors although I have also included anecdotal accounts from experiences posted on message boards and Reddit. I know, much of the information here isnt sourced directly from science journals. To be honest, the hard research on ketosis is currently lacking.

The best information comes from reputable doctors and authors who have years of experience with the diet. In the end, you will have to take a slight leap of faith in placing your trust on the anecdotal experience of thousands of people who have experienced, benefited, and shared their knowledge of this diet.

Until hard research is funded and performed on the different aspects of ketosis I see no reason we cannot use the experience and results of others to assist us. Those alive today may all be dead before science proves the 100% safety of the Keto diet.

Im not waiting for that day.

Life is about risk and reward. This is one risk Im willing to take in order to reap the immense rewards of the Keto diet.

Reality: The brain DOES need glucose but not very much; About 30g-50g/day [1]. The body can synthesize this glucose from dietary protein through a process called gluconeogenesis [2]. Carbohydrate not required.

But what about the rest of the brains daily energy needs beyond this 30-50g glucose requirement?

Most people are aware that the brain is powered by glucose. Very few are aware that it can also run on ketones and that ketones may actually burn more efficiently with less waste.

Once the body has become fully Keto adapted the brain gets up to 75% of its energy needs from ketones. The remaining 25% is obtained from glucose which as mentioned can be synthesized from dietaryprotein.

The body can synthesize glucose from protein in a process called gluconeogenesis, therefore unlike protein and fat,a person can live without eating carbohydrates(3,6).

Nootropic Mind

When I was taught about biochemical fuel-burning, I was taught that glucose was clean and ketones were smokey. That glucose was clearly the preferred fuel for our muscles for exercise and definitely the key fuel for the brain. Except heres the dirty little secret about glucose when you look at the amount of garbage leftover in the mitochondria, it is actually less efficient to make ATP from glucose than it is to make ATP from ketone bodies! A more efficient energy supply makes it easier to restore membranes in the brain to their normal states after a depolarizing electrical energy spike occurs, and means that energy is produced with fewer destructive free radicals leftover.

If youre on a very high fat, very low carb diet like a traditional Inuit diet your brain will eventually be able to use fat-derivedketonesfor about50-75% of its energy requirements. Most ketones are produced in the liver, but astrocytes in the brain alsogenerate ketones themselves for use by neurons. You think wed have that kind of set up in our brains if ketones werent useful to have around? If all we could do was burn glucose up there, what would be the point of even having localized ketone factories?

Mark SissonMarks Daily Apple

If someone tries to tell you that ketosis is dangerous because youre starving your brain of glucose you can either stop listening to them or you can educate them.

Heres the thing, the Keto diet can be executed in many different ways. The only requirement for achieving ketosis is to restrict carbs and limit protein so that the bodies glycogen reserves are depleted to the point that ketosis kicks in. If you do that by eating hot dogs and margarine then I agree with this claim, you are on a dangerous nutrient-deficient diet. However, if one chooses to achieve ketosis by eating fatty cuts of quality meat, dairy, nuts and plenty green leaves and fibrous vegetables-they are on a nutrient dense, complete diet.

What about the nutrients found in high carb grains, fruits and vegetables? What are we missing out on?

The fact is that compared to many vegetables, fruit is actually a pretty poor source of vitamins and minerals. And grains? Not only can the trace vitamins and minerals in grains be found more richly in meats, dairy and other keto friendly foodsthere is speculation that phytates and tannins found in grains can block absorption of some vitamins and minerals.

Schlemmer U1, Frlich W, Prieto RM, Grases F.PubMed

In practice most people who begin following a Keto diet actually end up eating many more servings of nutritional low carb fruits and vegetables than they previously were. Once you cut out all of the candy, chips and soda suddenly tomatoes, avocados, olives, spinach and broccoli start looking a lot more attractive.

Unlike proteins and fats, theres no such thing as an essential carbohydrate. Theres nothing a carbohydrate has to offer the body that couldnt otherwise be obtained from fats and proteins.

In practice, youll probably consume more vitamins and minerals on a ketogenic diet than you did on a standard American diet (SAD), as long as you are eating whole foods (i.e., natural fats, meats, leafy green vegetables) and not packaged low carb junk food.

Ellen DavisM.S.Applied Clinical NutritionKetogenic Diet Resource

Meat is the only nutritionally complete food. Animal foods (particularly when organ meats are included) contain all of the protein, fat, vitamins and minerals that humans need to function. They contain absolutely everything we need in just the right proportions. That makes sense, because for most of human history, these would have been the only foods available just about everywhere on the planet in all seasons.

Georgia Ede MDDiagnose Diet

This should put things into perspective: gram for gram, broccoli, kale and cauliflower all have more vitamin C than an orange. The high carb foods we famously believe to be the major sources of nutrients are often beat out by low carb meat, dairy or vegetable options.

Reality: It is physiologically impossible for anyone with normal pancreas function to develop Keto-acidosis.

The fact that Keto-Acidosis is used as an argument against the safety of ketosis is really a grand revealer of just how ignorant and lazy some pundits are in attacking the diet. I cant help but cringe when I think that the logic displayed here might be as lazy as well they both have keto as their root word, ketoacidosis must be the result of ketosis. Even more cringe worthy are the numerous cases of TRAINED MEDICAL DOCTORS advising against ketosis out of fear for ketoacidosis. Comon society, you can do better than that.

Unless you cannot produce any insulin from your pancreas (as is the case with type I diabetics, who do have to be much more careful with ketosis) you are at zero risk of keto-acidosis.

Heres how Keto-acidosis occurs(or doesnt) as explained by the venerable Peter Attia:

What is diabetic ketoacidosis? When a diabetic (usually a Type I diabetic, but sometimes this occurs in very late-stage, insulin-dependent, Type II diabetics) fails to receive enough insulin, they go into an effective state of starvation. While they may have all the glucose in the world in their bloodstream, without insulin, they cant get any into their cells. Hence, they are effectively going into starvation. The body does what it would do in anyone it starts to make ketones out of fat and proteins. Heres the problem: the diabetic patient in this case cant produce any insulin, so there is no feedback loop and they continue to produce more and more ketones without stopping. By the time ketone levels (specifically, beta-hydroxybutyrate) approach 15 to 25 mM, the resulting pH imbalance leads to profound metabolic derangement and the patient is critically ill.

But this state of metabolic derangement is not actually possible in a person who can produce insulin, even in small amounts. The reason is that a feedback loop prevents the ketone level from getting high enough to cause the change in pH that leads to the cascade of bad problems. A person who is said to be keto-adapted, or in a state of nutritional ketosis, generally has beta-hydroxybutyrate levels between about 0.5 and 3.0 mM. This is far less than the levels required to cause harm through acid-base abnormalities.

Keto-adaption is a state, achieved through significant reduction of carbohydrate intake (typically to less than 50 grams per day), where the body changes from relying on glycogen as its main source of energy to relying on fat. Specifically, the brain shifts from being primarily dependent on glucose, to being primarily dependent on beta-hydroxybutyrate. This has nothing to do with what a diabetic patient is experiencing in DKA, but does illustrate how poorly informed and quick to react the medical community is. DKA and nutritional ketosis (or keto-adaptation) have as much in common as a house fire and a fireplace.

Peter Attia M.D.Eating Academy

If you encounter anyone who uses the ketoacidosis argument against Keto you can throw their credibility out the window right there.

(btw, when I say something like throw their credibility out the window I dont mean to berate them during discussion. But you should know that once they use an argument like this, you are no longer in a debate. Calmly take the opportunity to explain the facts.)

Reality: Sort of truealthough I would argue the use of the word dangerous here. It is true that ketosis promotes water and electrolyte loss but this can easily be mitigated by ensuring adequate water consumption while making sure to consume foods rich in the key electrolytes: sodium, potassium and magnesium.

By switching to a ketogenic low-carb diet, you are essentially transitioning yourself from a water-retaining diet, to a water-flushing diet. There are a variety of reasons for this, including reduction of inflammation (water tends to be bound up in inflammation) and the depletion of glycogen stores (glycogen retains water) in your liver and muscles.

Because you are not eating a diet that causes you to retain water, youre going to find yourself urinating quite frequently (maybe even once per hour or more when you start!). As a consequence of this, youre going to lose electrolytes. Youll want to replenish them.

Often time people know when they are low on electrolytes because of various accompanying symptoms that may include a range of things including muscle cramps, low energy, headaches, difficulty concentrating, and more.

Michael ONeillKetopia

The affects felt due to this flushingaffectionately referred to ask the Keto flu are no more dangerous than mild everyday dehydration. The solution is the same, drink water!

Reality: Claims that diet has any affect on cholesterol levels is unfounded, obsolete and shows a lack of modern understanding. Peter Attia will confirm this below. Further, theres burgeoning research for the argument that total cholesterol levels have little correlation with cardiovascular disease.

The history and continued study of diet, cholesterol and cholesterols relationship with disease is truly fascinating. The whole thing plays out like a mystery novel that I just cant put down. If youre interested in this topic and have an afternoon to spare I strongly urge you to check out Peter Attias series of cholesterol posts on his blog.

Most of the information I have here on cholesterol will be borrowed from Peters blog as I have zero credential in the area and I believe its only fair that you get the most up to date and accurate knowledge on this topic.

Im going to attempt a laymans description of the cholesterol story Peter has unfolded on his blog. Hopefully I dont butcher it too badly.

Ok, so I might have butchered that. Sorry Dr Attia.

Anyways, the takeaway is that diet doesnt affect total cholesterol levels but it does affect triglyceride levels. The higher our triglyceride levels the greater our LDL particle count and the greater our risk of heart disease.

One of the biggest misconceptions out there (maybe second only to the idea that eating fat makes you fat) is that cholesterol is bad.This could not be further from the truth. Cholesterol is very good!

Peter Attia M.D.Eating Academy

Eating cholesterol has very little impact on the cholesterol levels in your body. This is a fact, not my opinion. Anyone who tells you different is, at best, ignorant of this topic. At worst, they are a deliberate charlatan. Years ago the Canadian Guidelines removed the limitation of dietary cholesterol. The rest of the world, especially the United States, needs to catch up.

Peter Attia M.D.Eating Academy

Blood levels of triglycerides are a major risk factor for heart disease and are directly correlated to the amount of simple carbohydrates in the diet (5,6).

For that reason, it seems intuitive that low-carb diets would lead to a reduction in triglycerides, while low-fat diets should increase them.

This is indeed the case. Low-carb diets drastically reduce triglycerides, while low-fat diets either dont improve them very much or literally make them worse (7,8).

Kris Gunnars BSc MedicineAuthority Nutrition

So the takeaway from all of this is that triglycerides seem to be the biggest culprit in increasing chance of heart disease. What affects does the Keto diet have on triglyceride numbers? Here are a couple of anecdotal experiences from members on /r/keto:

Two cases of massive triglyceride reduction with the Keto diet! I know its just two cases but I can confidently tell you that these these results are typical. The Keto diet (or any diet low in carbohydrate for that matter) is very effective at reducing your triglyceride numbers.

Reality: When followed correctly a Keto diet is actually very high in fiber.

Sure, if youre just gonna eat hot dogs, cheese and margarine then sure, bring on constipation and a host of other ill effects. Theres no diet in which you can eat poor, low quality food and expect perfect health.

Many Ketoers claim to consume much more vegetables and fiber than they did on a standard American diet. After the effects of sugar overload wear off, your taste buds become reborn. Suddenly tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers actually taste sweet. Vegetables become your source of carbohydrate satisfaction (to the tune of about 20-50g/day).

Lets also get one thing cleared up, theres a difference between not pooping and constipation. Constipation is obvious blockage and discomforttheres something there but it aint movin. Not pooping is well, not pooping. Theres nothing there to come out. When you produce less waste, you poop less oftenand on Keto, youre going to poop less often. The body is very efficient at extracting nutrients from meats and fatty foods. The result is less waste. So dont mistake fewer bowel movements with constipation.

If youre currently on Keto and having problems with constipation here are the top 3 reasons:

Reality: Theres no science which supports that a low carb diet causes muscle loss. In fact, it might actually be the opposite. As more and more people adopt a ketogenic lifestyle the amount of anecdotal evidence in favor of ketosis as a great body building diet is growing rapidly.

The basis of the muscle wasting argument stems from a misunderstanding of the brains glucose requirements. If ketones didnt exist the brain would require much more glucose than it does in the presence of ketones. During a low carb diet the brain would be forced to break down protein to obtain this glucose. It would do this through either dietary protein or in the absence of sufficient dietary protein, it would go after body muscle. Fortunately, once ketosis kicks in the brain is able to obtain 70-75% of its energy requirements from ketones. The remaining 25% is much more easily obtained from dietary protein and thus body muscle is spared.

If you want some real world evidence for the efficacy of ketosis as a body building diet, head over to Reddit and check out /r/ketogains. This community is full of people dedicated to building muscle on a Keto diet. They have nothing to sell you and no reason to lie about their results.

This general muscle wasting assertion often comes from trainers and dietitians who really have not studied the science on muscle preservation. They will tell you that the brain requires at least 100 grams of carb per day and if you dont get those carbs in the diet, your body will break down your muscles to get it. This is true when ones diet is high carb, and no ketone bodies are available as an alternative source of brain fuel.

But for a person who is adapted to a low carb, ketogenic diet,ketosisprovides fuel in the form of ketone bodies for the brain, and the requirement for glucose drops to only about40 grams per day. The body can easily make this amount from dietary protein and glycerol from the break down of fatty acids

But for a person who is adapted to a low carb, ketogenic diet,ketosisprovides fuel in the form of ketone bodies for the brain, and the requirement for glucose drops to only about40 grams per day. The body can easily make this amount from dietary protein and glycerol from the break down of fatty acids.

Ellen DavisM.S.Applied Clinical NutritionKetogenic Diet Resource

Reality: The source of this claim comes from the misunderstanding that the Keto diet is high in protein. In reality the Keto diet places a limit on protein in order to minimize the conversion of protein into sugar. Furthermore, the claim that high protein consumption can damage kidneys and form kidney stones may also be unfounded.

If someone tries to tell you that the Keto diet is dangerous because of high protein consumption you can pretty much stop them right there. The calling card of the keto diet is Low carb, moderate protein, high fat and the recommended protein dosage usually falls between 60-120g/protein per day depending on your weight and lean body mass. This is not a high protein diet. Anyone eating significantly more protein than they require is probably kicking themselves out of ketosis and is therefore not following a keto diet.

To further damage the strength of this claim, theres no evidence that high protein consumption is the CAUSE of kidney damage and stones. The only correlation is that in people who already have kidney issues and a history of kidney stones, protein seems to exacerbate the issue. [3,4]

Reality: Gallstones are actually the result of an inactive gallbladder. What increases gallbladder activity? Fat consumption!

When the gallbladder is active it will constantly be flushing out and replenishing its contents. If it is inactive the contents will sit idle and be prone to stone formation.

But what about the cases of people on Keto diets dealing with gall stones? They eat a lot of fat and so their gall bladder should be flushed clean often right?

Well what are many people on a Keto diet trying to do? Lose weight right? I would guess that prior to discovering the Keto diet many of these people were caught in the trap of low fat dieting. This lead to months or years of low fat intake and consequentially low gallbladder activity. The gallbladder wasnt needed to digest fat and so it sat idle and stones were more likely to form. Once they made the shift to a ketogenic lifestyle and their fat consumption increased upwards of 1000%, the gallbladder kicked into high gear. If the previous period of low fat dieting had caused stone formation they are going to have to deal with flushing those stones out now while on a high fat Keto diet.

In a study of 51 obese people using an extremely low fat low calorie diet(just one gram of fat a day!) the gallbladder was examined by ultrasound before the diet and after one and two months. After one month four of the 51 participants had developed new gallstones. After two months more than one in four (13 people) had new gallstones! This on an almost fat free diet. Three participants needed to have their gallbladder removed during the study.

A third studycompared an extremely low fat diet with a diet slightly higher in fat during 3 months. More than one in two (6 of 11 people) in the group eating extremely low fat developed new gallstones. Nobody in the group eating more fat did.

Conclusion:Do you want gallstones? Avoid fat.

Reality: Ahh the fabled and legendary Keto could kill you email from Mom. Those of us on Keto know that this email is pretty much a rite of passage. Its only natural that mom worries about you, its what moms do. But the fact is that there are zero reported deaths as a result of ketosis. ZERO.

Lets put that into perspective.

100,000 die each year from pharmaceutical drugs.[5]

6 million each year from tobacco.

3.3 million each year from alcohol related deaths and an estimated 15-30 million each year from deaths related to excess sugar consumption such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity related disease. [6]

Surely the people who argue for the dangers of ketosis can better spend their time on issues which are actually dangerous to society?

Although we love them to death, our Moms typically have zero authority on the subject. When Mom heard you were going on a ketosis diet the first thing she did was head to google hell bent on finding any information about the dangers of the diet. Sure enough, 10 pages into google she found what she was looking for Never mind the first 9 pages filled with information about the safety and merits of the diet.

Most of the information contained in those articles your Mom finds on google will inevitably be addressed by some of the issues addressed here. Next time your mother or any of your family or friends to try tell you that ketosis is dangerous, link them over here and well take care of them

Lets leave off on this quote from Dr Eric Kossoff who was part of a 15 year study involving the long term safety of ketosis:

Despite its temporary side effects, we have always suspected that the ketogenic diet is relatively safe long term, and we now have proof, says senior investigator Eric Kossoff, M.D., a pediatric neurologist and director of the ketogenic diet program at Hopkins Childrens. Our study should help put to rest some of the nagging doubts about the long-term safety of the ketogenic diet, he adds.

The evidence is based on a study of 101 patients ages 2 to 26 years treated with the ketogenic diet for a minimum of 16 months and for up to eight years at Hopkins Childrens between 1993 and 2008. At the time of the follow-up, patients were off the diet anywhere between eight months and 14 years.

Dr Eric KossoffMedical News Today

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Is the Keto diet Safe? 10 Myth-Busting Arguments for the …

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Jun 30th, 2018 | Filed under Diet Safely

The ketogenic diet better known as keto is having a bit of a moment right now. Its been wildly popular on social media in recent weeks, and Google searches for keto-related terms have skyrocketed since the new year; celebrities the likes of Tim Tebow and Kourtney Kardashian have touted it as a detox, or a reset button for the body. The idea is that you can lose weight by replacing the bodys typical go-to energy source carbs with fats. That means its followers are downing things like whipped cream, mayonnaise, butter, and cheese.So much cheese.

If that sounds too good to be true, thats because, well, it just might be. We talked to an expert about how it works, how its done, and whether or not its worth a try.

What exactly is a ketogenic diet?

The keto diet is an eating plan that consists of 80 percent fat and little to no carbohydrates. Staples of the keto diet are fish, meat, eggs, dairy, oils, and green vegetables. Pasta, rice and other grains, potatoes, and fruits are strictly prohibited.

Keto works by changing the way the body turns food into energy. Typically, during digestion, we break down carbohydrates like those found in the verboten foods above into molecules of fructose, galactose, and glucose, the last of whichserves as the bodys primary source of energy. When the body cant draw it from carbohydrates either because theyve been cut out of the diet or because a person hasnt eaten for a long time it looks for other forms of energy. The keto diet deliberately places the body in a state of ketosis, where fat is released from cells and turned into ketones, the bodys plan B for energy production.

Where did the keto diet start?

The keto diet is most assuredly not a fad, at least not in the usual sense of the word. Its been around for nearly a century, and has its roots in the medical world: In the 1920s, epilepsy researchers found that increased levels of ketones in their patients resulted in fewer seizures, and the diet is still a widely accepted treatment for epilepsy today. Theres also some evidence that a ketogenic diet has therapeutic potential for a wide array of symptoms and diseases, including cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome, neurological conditions, diabetes, and even acne.

So how did it become a trendy weight-loss diet?

Though keto has been gaining popularity recently thanks to celebrity endorsements and a wealth of diet-adherent Pinterest recipes, this is not the first time a form of it has gone mainstream. We have been seeing different variations on the low-carb diet for decades, says Abbey Sharp, a registered dietician and nutrition blogger.The Atkins diet and the Dukan diet are two variations of a ketogenic diet. The idea of ketosis is definitely not new weve just seen it repackaged in a new, sexy way as of late.

What can I expect on the keto diet?

Youll likely experience a rocky start as the liver begins to turn fat into ketones to be used as energy. At the beginning, it is very uncomfortable, since our body is not used to this form of fuel, Sharp says. You tend to experience brain fog, headaches, nausea, and fatigue, along with bad-smelling breath, sweat, and urine. We also tend to see a big drop in our electrolyte levels as we lose water weight, which also makes us feel crummy. This condition is sometimes called the keto flu.

As your body levels out over time, many of these symptoms will subside, and things get better. Some research even points to enhanced cognitive activity and focus as the brain gets used to running on ketones.

In the first days of the diet, your regular workout might prove exhausting without carbs to keep you going.

Should I try it?

Lets put it this way: as popular diets go, it doesnt have a great track record. The Atkins diet, hugely popular in the early aughts, has since been proven more or less ineffective for significant weight loss. Researchers have found correlations between the Dukan diet based on Pierre Dukans popular 2000 book The Dukan Diet, which, like Atkins and keto, used a list of 100 or so approved foods to put the body into a state of ketosis and chronic kidney disease.

The keto diet is a particularly bad idea, Sharp cautions, for anyone with a history of disordered eating. Its just so restrictive that it interferes with daily interactions with food and a persons relationship with food, she says. Thats counterintuitive to mindful eating, and may lead to dangers.

For some people, though, a keto diet has one big perk: Its high-fat foods leave adherents feeling sated without needing to snack between meals. And while it can be difficult to get all the nutrients and fiber you need without whole grains and fruits, it is definitely possible, Sharp says. You will need to be well in tune with the micronutrients in the foods youre including in your diet to ensure youre covering all of your bases. You may also want to consider a supplement.

Okay, but does it work?

At first, yes. In the early weeks of the diet, youll drop a noticeable number of pounds while eating a satisfying amount of food.Unfortunately, Sharp says that type of weight loss is not sustainable. Its largely water weight, she says. We store about six grams of water for every gram of carbohydrate, so when our carb stores are depleted, we drop a ton of water weight at once. And if its increased energy youre after, studies of cyclists and professional gymnasts have found no significant change to performance or muscle mass over several months of a ketogenic diet.

If you still want to try the keto diet, its important to talk to your doctor first about your bodys nutrient needs, your cholesterol levels, and your risk of heart disease. For a diet that has this dramatic an effect on the inner workings of your body, best to equip yourself with advice of a medical professional. When it comes to your health, you dont always have to keep up with the Kardashians but if you do, dont do it on your own.

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What Is the Keto Diet, and Is It Safe?

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May 24th, 2018 | Filed under Diet Safely

Photo:Dimitri Otis / Getty Images

So you tried the ketogenic diet, the ber-popular low-carb, high-fat eating style. By focusing on high-fat foods (all the avocados!), this type of diet puts your body into a state of ketosis, using fat for energy instead of carbs. For many people, this switch results in weight loss, but most don’t (or shouldn’t) stick with the keto diet long-term unless they’re on it for a medical reason. Here’s why, plus how to transition off the diet safely if you’re considering doing it.

“Life usually ends up getting in the way,” says Shoshana Pritzker, R.D., C.D.N., C.S.S.D., a sports nutritionist and registered dietitian. For most people, how long you can stay on keto is however long you can say “no” to typical social munchies and drinks, she adds. Sometimes, you just want to be able to let loose and eat some processed carbs, right?

Plus, there may be health implications to consider. “We’re really not sure what kind of health complications may arise from a long-term state of ketosis (i.e., years and years) if any,” says Pritzker. And it’s not just that. “One reason a person may want to stop keto dieting is if their lipid panel worsens,” notes Haley Hughes, R.D.”If a person who is at a high risk for heart disease is eating increased amounts of saturated fat and sources of cholesterol while consuming less fiber from whole grains, beans, fruits, and starchy vegetables, they may see increased cholesterol levels.” There are also special concerns for those with type 1 diabetes and people taking insulin, who might not be a good fit for long-term keto dieting, she says. (Related: Healthy But High-Carb Foods You Can’t Have On the Keto Diet)

Lastly, the reason for going off keto could be as simple as having reached your goalweight loss, performance, or otherwiseand being ready to get back to eating carbs. Regardless of why you want to stop following the keto guidelines, there are some key things you’ll need to know ahead of time.

Sadly, shocking your system by downing a few slices of pizza is *not* the right way to come off of keto. Instead, you’ll need to do a little mental prep work.

Have a plan. “One of the biggest problems with dieting altogether (whether keto or another diet) is that when you stop, what do you do next?” says Pritzker. “Most people just end up going back to the way they ate previously, which wasn’t working for them before, so why would it work now?” This is especially true if you went on keto for weight-loss purposes. “Your best bet is to have a plan as to what you’re going to eat and how you’re going to start incorporating carbs back into your diet.” If you’re not sure what your goals are now or how to accomplish those goals with your diet, check in with a dietitian. (BTW, here’s why the anti-diet is the healthiest diet you could ever be on.)

Get familiar with portion sizes. “As with any strict diet, transitioning back into your normal eating style can be difficult,” says Keri Glassman, R.D., C.D.N., founder of Nutritious Life. “After restricting your carbs for so long, you’re more likely to overdo them once you allow yourself to have them again.” The first few times you eat carbs post-keto, look to see what one serving size is and stick to that.

Start with unprocessed carbs. Rather than going straight for pasta, doughnuts, and cupcakes, go for plant-based carbs first. “I would reintroduce whole grains, beans, legumes, fruits, non-starchy vegetables first versus processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverages,” says Hughes.

Go slow. “Try introducing carbs slowly and gradually,” advises Pritzker. This will help you avoid any G.I. distress (think: constipation) that could come along with reintroducing carbs. “Start with adding carbs in at one meal per day. Try this for a few weeks and see how your body responds. If things are going well, add carbs into another meal or snack.” Continue adding carbs one meal or snack at a time until you’re comfortable eating them throughout the day.

Even if you do everything right, there are some physical effectsboth positive and negativeyou should watch out for when stopping a ketogenic diet.

You might have blood sugar fluctuations. “It’s hard to predict how someone will react to coming off the keto diet,” says Edwina Clark, R.D., C.S.S.D., head of nutrition and wellness at Yummly. “Some may experience minimal effects, while others may find that their blood sugar spikes then crashes after their first carb-moderate meal.” Roller-coaster blood sugar levels can cause jitteriness, mood changes, hyperactivity, and fatigue, so check with your doctor if you experience any of these symptoms.

You might gain weight. (But don’t freak out.) You also might not! “Weight fluctuation is always a possibility, but weight gain will depend on many factors, including how your body metabolizes carbs, the rest of your diet, exercise, and more, says Glassman.

It also depends on how long you’ve been on keto. “Much of the weight lost when cutting carbs is water weight initially,” says Pritzker. “When you reintroduce carbs you also introduce additional water; with every gram of carb, you get 4 grams of water. This can make you feel like you’ve gained a ton of weight rapidly, though much of it is probably water retention.” This type of water weight gain applies to everyone coming off keto, but those who have been on it for a shorter period of time and lost just a small amount of weight on the diet may notice it more. (Related: 6 Unexpected Causes of Winter Weight Gain)

Bloating could happen. But it’s temporary. “The most common issue that people deal with is bloating and intestinal issues because of the re-introduction of fibrous foods,” says Taylor Engelke, R.D.N.Even though foods like beans and sprouted bread are good for you, your body may need to get used to digesting them again. You can expect this to subside in a few days to a few weeks.

You may have more energy. “People may have increased energy after adding carbohydrate back into their diet since glucose (which is found in carbs) is your body’s main fuel source,” says Hughes. You may also notice better performance in HIIT workouts and endurance training. Plus, you could feel better mentally, since the brain also uses glucose to function. “Many people report having a much better memory and feel less ‘foggy’ with concentration or functioning at work,” says Engelke. (Related: 8 Things You Need to Know About Exercising On the Keto Diet)

You might feel hungrier. “The high-fat and moderate-protein combo of a keto diet make it super satiating,” says Glassman. That’s why a lot of people experience a suppressed appetite while trying keto. “It is possible that you might feel hungrier after each meal as they start to contain less fat and more carbs, which tend to be faster-digesting,” she adds. To combat this and smooth your transition, Clark suggests pairing carbs with both protein and fat. “This can help slow down digestion, boost fullness, and limit blood sugar spikes and crashes as you reintroduce carbohydrates.”

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How to Safely and Effectively Come Off the Keto Diet …

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Apr 8th, 2018 | Filed under Diet Safely

Nutrition is the basis for maintaining good health in your rat, and a good base diet that contains essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals, along with a variety of fruits, nuts, and vegetables will do just that.

Rats are omnivorous requiring both plant and animal food sources in their diets (much like humans), and specially formulated diets help to meet those nutritional requirements.

If you intend to use this type of base for your rats diet try to stick with a mix that is higher in soy than corn and that contains essential fatty acids. Do check your rats bowl to be sure that food is actually being consumed. Do not top off dishes if it appears that there is a small amount of food left as it may be only seed shells. Doing so may result in starvation.

Again as with any of the prepackaged mix diets, or lab blocks, when making up the diet yourself be sure to offer fresh fruits and veggies at the very least three times a week.

When feeding your rat give only what can be consumed within a 24 hour period, in that way you can be sure of maintaining freshness and be aware of how much your rat eats. Rats do like to hide their stash so you might want to investigate their favorite hang outs to make sure they are eating the amount you are placing in their dishes.

Your rat likes to get treats as much as you like to give them. As much as we all want to stick with the healthiest of treats, most of us are guilty of giving them the occasional unhealthy snack. Moderation and common sense are the keys. The healthiest treats are the fruit and vegetables. Note: On the subject of fruit, there has been some discussion regarding oranges causing cancer in male rats. It is the consuming of very large amounts over a long period of time of d-limonene in orange rind and commercial orange juice that they are referring to. The actual meat of the orange is not a problem and can be given to both female and male rats.

A few examples of treats that rats may enjoy in moderation are: plain popped popcorn, chicken or beef bones (cooked or boiled), chew biscuits or small dog milk bones, Nutra*Puffs, and Nylabones for chewing.

In general rats may for the most part be offered many of the foods you eat; however, there are a few exceptions. Drinks that are carbonated or foods (in excess) that could cause gas should be avoided. Rats have a flap in the stomach that prevents them from being able to vomit up contents into the esophagus. For this reason rats are also not able to burp, so giving carbonated beverages could potentially cause discomfort (besides being unhealthy) for your rat. Even though gassy foods do not necessarily cause burping, and although rats do pass flatus, those types of food could have the potential to cause your rat to feel a bit uncomfortable.For a further listing of foods to be avoided visit http://ratfanclub.org/diet.html.

An important note to mention here is that since rats do not vomit, veterinarians (for most surgical procedures) do not require that you withhold food or water prior to surgery. An exception to this may be when surgery involves the gut or abdomen, and even then withholding food or water should be of short duration due to their rapid rate of metabolism.

Providing your rat with two food dishes will help to keep their dry and moist foods separate. Its a good idea to use dishes of stoneware or crock or those that can attach to the cage so your rat doesnt shred the dish or end up dumping the food all over the cage floor.

In summary, healthy nutrition and an adequate supply of fresh food and water on a daily basis is essential to a rats overall health and safety. Not providing an adequate daily nutritious diet that keeps your rat slim and trim as well as providing water on a daily basis can result in starvation (as seen in the figure example below), illnesses, or even death.

For Estimated Nutrient Requirements for Maintenance, Growth, and Reproduction of Rats visit, http://books.nap.edu/books/0309051266/html/13.html#pagetop

Fig 2a Virginia Simpsons Rat Diet Recipe

Fig 2b Lou Duxs Rat Diet and Recipes

Fig 2c Melissa Pandajis Rat Mix

Phoenix Gate RatteryPet Rat Nutrition and Diet Guidehttp://www.pxrats.com/ratfood.html

Susan Crandalls Rat Diet http://www.rmca.org/Articles/recipes1.htm

SueBee Rat Diet http://www.ratsrule.com/diet.html

For prepackaged diets, treats, and water bottles see:

http://www.kaytee.com

http://www.vitakraft.com/en/indexen.htm

http://ferretstore.com/

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Care Guide: Diet

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Apr 2nd, 2018 | Filed under Diet Safely

One of the best ways to improve your digestion and general health is to take some good quality probiotics. But how can you be sure that those little pills you take, each containing billions of good bacteria, actually make it through to your intestines? After all, they have to get through the acidic environment in your stomach first, right?

Luckily, theres no reason to be concerned. Probiotic bacteria, whether in a commercial form or in probiotic yogurt, are perfectly capable of making it all the way through your digestive system. The evidence shows that oral probiotics can colonize your intestines and even pass all the way through your digestive system without any problem at all.

If you read my post on the acid/alkaline balance in your gut, you already know that your intestines need to be slightly acidic for optimal digestion and a strong immune system. The good bacteria in your intestines play a large part in this.

Lactic acid bacteria, for example Lactobacillus acidophilus, are a good example. As part of their metabolism they secrete small amounts of lactic acid and acetic acid, lowering the pH of their immediate environment and making it more acidic. In fact, the word acidophilus literally means acid-loving in Latin, and they are well-suited to surviving an acidic environment.

Another factor to remember is that these bacteria usually spend very little time in your stomach. If you take your probiotics after eating, they will mix together with the liquids and saliva in your stomach. And around 50% of this liquid will pass through to your intestines within 30 minutes of your meal, taking many of the probiotics with it.

Lastly, your stomach may also be less acidic than you think. For example, immediately after eating your stomach pH typically rises to a level of around 6.0. This is only mildly acidic, and should be reasonably easy to survive for most of the bacteria in your capsule. In fact, something like 75% of probiotic bacteria will survive a short exposure to this kind of mild acidity.

This is not all theory. There is actually lots of research demonstrating that probiotic bacteria can make it safely though your stomach. Here are a few of the research papers, along with a relevant quotation from each one.

Recovery of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG from human colonic biopsies (Alander, 2003)The colonization of Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG (L.GG) in five human colonoscopy patients was studied In all patients L.GG was the dominant faecal lactic acid bacterium as a result of the administration.

Analysis of the Fecal Microflora of Human Subjects Consuming a Probiotic Product Containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus DR20 (Tannock, 2000)The composition of the fecal microflora of 10 healthy subjects was monitored before (6-month control period), during (6-month test period), and after (3-month posttest period) the administration of a milk product containing Lactobacillus rhamnosus DR20 DR20 was detected in the feces of all of the subjects during the test period, but at different frequencies.

Intestinal transit of an orally administered streptomycinrifampicin-resistant variant of Bifidobacterium longum (Fujiwara, 2001)It is clarified that BL2928SR [a strain of Bifidobacterium longum] has the ability for long-term survival in the human gastrointestinal tract, and alters the composition and metabolism of the intestinal microflora.

Colonization and Immunomodulation by Lactobacillus reuteri ATCC 55730 in the Human Gastrointestinal Tract (Valeur, 2004)Dietary supplementation with the probiotic L. reuteri ATCC 55730 induces significant colonization of the stomach, duodenum, and ileum of healthy humans, and this is associated with significant alterations of the immune response in the gastrointestinal mucosa.

Commercial probiotics can be expensive supplements, so you should make sure that you absolutely get the most value from them that you can! There are two simple tips that you should follow to achieve this.

First, take your probiotics immediately before or during your meal. Eating a meal temporarily reduces the acidity of your stomach and makes it easier for the probiotics to pass through. This means that more will survive the journey through to your intestines.

Second, take a brand of probiotics that contains lots and lots of bacteria. You should be aiming for at least 10 million CFUs per capsule to start with, and then increase your dose even further when you feel ready. Some of these bacteria are bound to die during transit to your intestines, so the more that you ingest, the greater the chance of an effective colonization.

If you need more advice on how to choose a good probiotic, check out our Ultimate Candida Diet program. It tells you everything you need to know about the low-sugar diet, probiotics, and antifungals that you need to beat Candida, as well as giving lots of tips on how to choose an effective probiotic.

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Can Probiotics Make It Safely To Your Intestines?

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Apr 2nd, 2018 | Filed under Diet Safely