Ketogenic Diets and You
Hello, I’m Dr. Greg Brannon, the medical director here at the Optimal Bio. When it comes to different diets there can be a lot of confusion. What should be included in my diet? What should I cut back on or leave out of my diet? Let’s clear that confusion up. Historically in America and all across the world, there was less cardiovascular disease, less diabetes, less obesity than there is today. It is important we pay attention to what good nutrition actually is. What has happened in the last hundred years? The best health aspects of America have occurred because of hygiene, clean water, soap, washing hands. The sad part is that diseases of obesity, diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease have greatly increased in the last hundred years while supposedly our medical care has been better. And yes, our medical care is phenomenal for traumas, accidents and these high tech surgeries. However, when I get back to the basis of nutrition that keeps our body healthy we are lacking. Our body is built to not just exist, but to thrive in this environment when given the right supplementation, the right hormone balance, and the right nutrition.
We’ve become accustomed to these chronic diseases. Why and where did these diseases come from? Thomas Jefferson said, “If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny.” Let that sink in. The government is not the best caretaker for you. You are the best caretaker for yourself. Knowledge is power. We can’t rely on so-called experts and simply wait for them to come down from their ivory towers and tell us how to eat. This has not gotten us anywhere. I believe in experts. I believe that information is critically important and we should read and absorb as much as possible. You are responsible for your health.
An interesting thought is that previously, when we had less heart attacks in obesity and diabetes, we didn’t have the government involved in our diets. 1977 was a very interesting time. That is when the grain companies lobbied to push through the government to have a American Standard Diet based upon government regulations. When the grain companies pushed through the government the food pyramid was presented. When you look back at the data of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Atherosclerosis, Metabolic Syndrome and ovarian syndrome, they all increased after the mid-seventies. This is when we went from eating mostly fats and proteins to eating more carbohydrates. Carbohydrates can cause insulin resistance and that causes all the complications we not have. When government gets involved, their coercive involvement of pushing their dollars and their power about regulations actually skews the free market. Let’s let you and I dictate what we want to eat by using the free market and our own knowledge.
What I want to do here at Optimal Bio is very important. This is not a weight clinic. What we look at, very simply, is you as an individual. We know that the foundation of good health is built by having your physiological levels and biological hormones balanced. It is crucial to have these levels balanced for the body to function optimally. Then we supply the body with the right nutrition. Ketogenic and Paleo diets, any diet that moves away from a high carbohydrate intake is the best option. It looks like in the last 50-100 years we have eaten fat predominantly. Healthy fat has been the mainstay of a healthy diet over thousands of years.
In America, the standard diet is 50 percent carbohydrates, 35 percent fats and only 15 percent proteins. Unfortunately this has led, as I talked about previously, to an increase of chronic diseases. This makes the ketogenic diet very important. In a ketogenic diet it is about 70 percent healthy fats, 20 percent of high-quality proteins and 10 percent carbohydrates. The carbohydrates come from non-starchy options like green leafy vegetables, broccoli, brussels sprouts and low glycemic lentils. The ketogenic diet is this – very low in carbohydrates, moderately high in high-quality dietary proteins and high in quality high essential fats. The biochemistry is very interesting, our body uses either sugar or fat for energy. It can use protein for energy as well, but it tries to save protein for the structural and enzymatic aspects of our life, so energy levels essentially come from healthy fats and sugar.
Our bodies store about 36 hours of sugar as glycogen in our muscles and in our liver. After the 36 to 40 hours of no sugar, our body will deplete that sugar and then turn to adipose. What’s important is that is takes about a three-week span for our bodies to start this process. This is when our bodies really start burning fat. There’s a couple of reasons for this. Ketones, which is a byproduct of fat metabolism and used as an energy source and is actually like the currency of fat energy, are three times more efficient than sugar. It actually helps protect the Mitochondria. It is a cleaner energy source, meaning there are less free radicals and less damage, so it takes less energy to actually utilize fat versus sugar as energy. The benefits of this are interesting. In the brain, using ketones, has been shown to have actually more nerve and synaptic growth. This brings higher mental alertness, increases improved cognitive ability and mental sharpness.
Blood sugar metabolism helps fight insulin resistance. Our bodies keep our blood sugar at a constant level, not these peaks and valleys. Also, our cardiovascular health is shown that the mitochondria and the cardiac tissue actually use energy better as fat cells and have more efficiency to the heart and fit and vascular system. A byproduct, not the goal, but a byproduct is to also lose weight. The healthy weight you are supposed to be. All this is based upon the foundational principle of having the hormones balanced at the optimal physiological level.
If you do the right supplementation, it allows you to be the best you can be. Dr. Otis Warburg in 1924 (he won the Nobel Prize in 1931) actually showed that cancer cells only grow in glycolysis, which is using sugar. It actually cannot grow, in a ketotic state. That’s a very interesting aspect to know that cancer cells need sugar and fat is their enemy. See, we don’t get fat or unhealthy by eating fats. We get unhealthy by eating too many sugars in a proportion that is not built physiological for our body.
So the sum of this little video up here is this – you are what you eat. Don’t allow ignorance to be our excuse. Let’s attack out there. The research world is out there. Do your research. Do your work. Ask questions. Understand that it’s very important that we age and age gracefully. We have to regain our youthful exuberance for life, but we need a healthy body to do that. If we do that, tomorrow can be better than today.