The good, bad and ugly aspects of a ketogenic diet
Severely restricting carbohydrates to less than 20 grams a day sets off a process called ketosis. It occurs when you don’t have enough sugar (glucose) for energy, so your body breaks down stored fat, causing ketones to build up in the body.
Side effects from ketosis can include: nausea, headache, mental and physical fatigue, and bad breath. (That’s how you know it’s working!) The long-term health risks of a very low carbohydrate diet may outweigh the benefits. Some health experts believe that if you eat large and regular amounts of fat and protein from animal sources your risk of heart disease and certain cancers may increase. This is because of the increased methionine, homocysteine and resultant inflammation they can cause.
The Atkins / Banting method severely restricts carbohydrates including whole foods like sweet potatoes, butternut, pumpkin, fruit and carrots. It does not limit nuts and seeds and allows unlimited quantities of grass fed free range animal products, green vegetables, fish and vegetable oils, especially coconut oil. Their strategy to bypass and ignore rather than correct and control insulin resistance is questionable. Fat also relies on insulin to complete its metabolic cycle so diabetics still need their medications. As a temporary way to treat epilepsy or obesity a ketogenic diet can knock off the kilos but may affect the liver. (Pages, 84, 86, 144) For most people it is not a healthy or a balanced way to control weight on a continuous basis and the food selection is in some cases, is totally unsuitable for certain blood types.
How well do different blood types digest fat?
Blood type O and B non-secretors thrive on high meat and low sugar and grain based foods. Dairy products especially, are very beneficial for blood type B. Blood type A’s and AB’s are not genetically suited to this type of diet. They tolerate carbohydrates but are less lipid (fat) tolerant. The Pritikin diet that includes a good balance of natural whole foods and and a few healthy fats would be a better choice for them. (Pages 34, 83) The non-secretor variants of the ABO blood types have lower alkaline phosphatase activity. In some cases it is as low as 20%. This digestive enzyme breaks down certain types of dietary fat and plays an important role in calcium assimilation.
Do no carb high fat / protein diets require insulin?
We still have to store fat and this requires insulin. (See pages 27, 67, 89, 111, 157).
The cortisol we release raises our blood sugar levels, regardless of food intake. Neglecting and in a way, rebelling against your insulin function is a risky business. If the insulin has “gone to sleep” and you eat a few party snacks there will be a problem. Extreme inflammation, indigestion, muscle pains, headaches and weak fingernails are signd of inflammation. When returning to a normal and balanced diet most people experience what we call “rebound weight gain”. Some people battle to balance their insulin / blood sugar levels and so they are worse off than before. To prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes, rather address the real causes of metabolic syndrome. It is a combination of sugar, hormones and inflammation. We need to work closely with a practitioner who can help us restore the insulin function.
(Page 157) People who are insulin resistant are magnesium deficient and do not assimilate calcium from the diet. They should take supplements to compensate.Are higher blood sugar levels from sugar or wheat?
Wheat can raise blood sugar levels even higher than glucose, pure table sugar or fructose, according to blood sugar response testing due to the presence of Amylopectin A. Wheat-based foods such as breads, bagels, cereals, muffins and pasta can cause higher blood sugar level than pure sugar or fizzy drinks. An excess of both causes glycation inside your body plus inflammation and heart disease.
Wheat and gluten cause more inflammation these days as a result of excessive hybridization. The modified gluten molecules are now foreign to the human digestive system compared to old fashioned wheat. Digestive disorders or leaky gut and autoimmune problems are all associated with chronic ongoing inflammation.Cutting out wheat and sugar helps to treat one of its major causes.
Does wheat avoidance really help us to overcome certain diseases?
Dr William Davies is a cardiologist who blames wheat for most of our health problems. So when he asked his heart patients to remove all wheat from their diets he found the following results: after 3 – 6 months their blood sugar and HbA1c readings were much lower. Some type 2 diabetics were no longer suffering from symptoms of insulin resistance. Many of them lost a lot of weight as well as centimeters off their waistlines. Some of his patients said they felt better than they had in 20 years with more energy, less moodiness and they experienced deeper sleep. Also included in the list of benefits from excluding wheat were: complete relief from acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, migraine headaches, gallstone problems, hand and finger arthritis and joint pain, sinus congestion and chronic sinus infections. He said: “their asthma improved so much that they threw away their inhalers, their rheumatoid arthritis was so much better they were in the process of reducing medication, their ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s had improved so much that no medication wasrequired any longer, their leg edema had disappeared and rashes were gone.”