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Digging into: keto and intermittent fasting

So Adrianne, I've been hearing a lot
about keto diet and ketosis lately, and I know that you know so much about it, so
tell me a little bit more about it and what is ketosis and how does one reach
a state of ketosis? Well, really our bodies are made to run off of glucose,
which in the simplest form is sugar that we get from food groups like fruits and
carbohydrates, from our breads, our pastas, and with ketosis instead of using
glucose, it allows our body to utilize ketones which we get from our fat
sources, and to reach that state, really somebody just simply switches the amount
of carbohydrates in their diet and the amount of fat, and a high fat diet allows
the body then to transfer into a ketosis.

So with that, is there a medical reason
to be in ketosis? Actually back in the 1920's, a team came together working with
children that had hard to control epilepsy, and so they came up with this
ketogenic diet and the idea of using ketones as this fuel source instead of
glucose, and they actually found especially in children that they were
able to control the seizure activity, and this is still used today and there are
children that in some cases are able to come completely off of their medications
with it being diet controlled. If you were following a keto diet to remain in
ketosis, what sorts of foods do you need to eat? So we would look for over 50% of
the calories to come from a fat source, and then maybe only 20 to 30 percent
from a carbohydrate source–so different types of oils, cheesesc avocadoc different
types of fatty meatsc and then really in those cases those individuals are
consuming far less fruits, vegetables, things that would have a higher carb
content like your pastas, your breads.

With the emphasis on such a high-fat
diet, do we know what the long-term effects are? There's a lot of
supplementation that has to happen because if you're not getting, you know,
fruits and vegetables and certain food groups that are completely cut out, your
body is not getting those nutrients– so long-term effects, and
with epilepsy the diet is not meant to be used for forever.
The child's only on the diet for maybe two to three years max, and then we wean
them off of that, so from there again if it's something that's followed long-term,
individuals can have a lot of deficiencies.

One thing too, especially
with dietary fat intake, a lot of individuals can have elevated
cholesterol, heart-related issues because of that, so definitely a lot that has to
be considered and monitored. If someone who's following a keto diet, what
would happen if they started to eat those carbs again? Once you switch back
to eating more carbohydrate sources, your body reverts back to its
normal metabolism, if you want to think of it like that, and the people or the
individuals, they'll start to see that weight gain happen, so what they kind of
lost is they change those eating patterns that we can come back. Some
research has shown that individuals that have been successful in losing weight
with ketogenic diet–once they do come off of it, not only do they gain the weight
back, but then additional. There's starting to be more noise in the
community about being a little bit more lenient than a ketogenic diet, doing carb-cycling with intermittent fasting, and intermittent fasting has had quite a bit
of press and research that's been released about it. What are your thoughts
on it? If a diet is eliminating an entire food group or seems extremely
restrictive, I usually don't recommend it just because it's not sustainable, so that being said, with intermittent fasting, a lot of the times, it's not very
restricted on what you're eating, but rather when.

The least rigorous of the
fasting schedules is eating for 12 hours out of a 24 hour period and fasting for
the other half of your day. On the other hand, some of these can be a
little more restrictive, like fasting for 16 hours out of a 24 hour period which
limits eating window to eight hours, and some time then you can eat like you would eat normally for five
days in a row and then on two non-consecutive days
you would be fasting to like five to six hundred calories a day.

I guess with that,
what research has come out recently and what
did it say? Intermittent fasting has been shown to
improve diabetes, your blood lipids, and blood pressure, can show weight loss, and
improved appetite control, but the caveat with the research is that most of it is
done within animals, so it's hard to say if those same effects would be seen
within a human. In what reading I've done on it, I've seen a lot of the
variables with the fasting timeframe. Is there one over the other
that you feel is more beneficial? There's not a whole lot out there that supports
any of them as being direct causes of weight loss or improved diabetes
control. I would think that if you were really considering trying intermittent
fasting that you would start with the least restrictive fasting schedule, which
would be the twelve-twelve, but there's always a risk of becoming too
preoccupied with fasting: over-fasting and again there's not a lot of
research regarding the safety of intermittent fasting for a long-term
period.

There could be harmful effects, but there's just not research out there
yet, and if there's changes that they can make that are more subtle versus
restricting entire food groups or going a day without eating, I think that
there's always room for improvement there. Start with small changes. They're
more sustainable. If you do decide to make a bigger diet change, I think it's
always important to consult with a physician first regarding the safety of
what you're doing..

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