Dr. Perlmutter, in his Book, Grain Brain (which is an incredible book that I highly recommend reading!!), he speaks briefly about ketosis and the ketogenic diet. I wanted to elaborate because I feel this is one of the most misunderstood and underutilized diets in human history. It also, quite possibly, holds the key to our survival as a species while we struggle to transcend the most deadly diseases of our times, which are arguably preventable.
After working with the ketogenic diet for over 20 years, I have seen incredible results from implementing this diet for the purposes of reversing and preventing metabolic diseases such as diabetes, pre-diabetes, cancer, brain degeneration, weight gain, accumulation of toxins; and it is as a powerful performance booster for athletes. It is effective at improving the gut, feeding the brain and metabolizing cancer tumors. It is a key strategy that I have used for hundreds of my own clients.
Ketosis is a “built in” metabolic adaptation that has been lost in the medical literature–but luckily it is making a comeback because of it’s profoundly transformational results that cannot be denied by functional medicine. Our survival as a species once depended upon this adaptation (during “paleo” times) when food was not available.
When times are tough and food is scarce, the body is equipped with an “overdrive” setting that produces small miracles in the brain, kicking it into a state of “super consciousness” while giving the muscles “super powers” to perform small miracles that would otherwise not be possible. This “super state” is ketogenesis. It’s necessary for survival–when there is a thin line between life and death. It is also why nearly every major religion uses fasting for reaching heightened states of consciousness and transcendence. It allows access to our sixth sense and beyond. Fortunately, you don’t have to starve or fast to get to this super state. It is actually quite simple once you know the basic steps to follow.
The paleo diet craze is a variation of the ketogenic diet, but nobody seems to be talking about that. Unfortunately, the paleo diet missed the mark slightly and may be leading a lot of people astray with a diet that is hyper focused on animal proteins. Not only are animals filters for environmental toxins (which wind up getting stored in your cells when you eat them), but too much protein prevents the body from shifting into ketosis.
The ketogenic diet is NOT a new idea and doctors have been prescribing it for over 40 years, when it was first discovered as a means to treat a number of diseases, including seizures, before pharmaceuticals took over.
Ketosis is a natural shift in the metabolism that the body goes through in response to a carbohydrate restricted diet. Personally, I don’t like the term “adaptation” (although this is how medical literature defines it) because, I believe that ketosis is a natural state of equilibrium that the body prefers over the “blood sugar roller coaster” that most people ride around on their entire lives and never get off of.
The body prefers fat for fuel–not carbohydrates.
Ketosis is the absolute quickest and easiest way to achieve what I call, “effortless weight loss.” However, weight loss is only one of the many benefits of the ketogenic diet. It is also a diet that I would recommend to those suffering from candida, autism, cancer, obesity, seizures, Parkinson’s, heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes and a myriad of other conditions.
Some of the best reasons for the ketogenic diet, even if you have no symptoms of disease, would be to power up your brain, detoxify your cells and bring your whole body to a heightened level of awakened consciousness… This diet provides the optimal fuel for the brain and is a portal to conscious transcendence. This is why almost every ancient religious practice employs the art of fasting as a means to reach spiritual heights that are otherwise unachievable.
Ketosis can be used intermittently as one of the most powerful ways to “cleanse or detox,” because it metabolizes fat cells (and tumor cells), which store toxins. When you are in ketosis, your body is burning fat for fuel, instead of carbohydrates. Most detox programs are “water-based,” meaning that you drink a lot of [lemon] water and juices… But these types of cleanses do not initiate a metabolic shift into ketosis. They may flush the organs (particularly the kidneys) with lot’s of fluid — but the fat soluble toxins don’t budge. Your body needs fat to escort fat soluble vitamins into the cells and to escort toxins out of the cells.
Ketosis has been shown to metabolize tumors and activate the immune system. It is a powerful healing tool that can be used for many chronic conditions — or — simply to achieve an optimal state of well-being and mental presence.
A low carb, ketogenic diet is also used for obtaining peak athletic performance and increased endurance. This theory totally debunks the old “carb loading” paradigm. I am currently working with several world class endurance athletes who have significantly improved their performance after switching to a high fat diet.
In Dr. Phinney’s, (author, The New Atkins For a New You) study of long distance cyclists, athletes reported going from what they termed “six banana rides” (where they would eat 6 bananas over the course of a 100 mile bike ride) to “no banana rides” when they switched to eating fat instead of carbs.
Athletes reported feeling better at the end of their rides; needing absolutely no carbs along the way and experiencing no hunger or food cravings… This is an incredible discovery and is currently changing the dietary profile of endurance athletes around the globe who are realizing the benefits of the ketogenic diet for endurance performance. Athletes include the winner of the Western States 100 Mile Run, Timothy Olsen.
Dr. Phinney also wrote The Art And Science of Low Carbohydrate Living, which is an excellent resource for health care professionals. I highly recommend this book! I worked with Dr. Phinney at his clinic where we treated obese and diabetic patients using a low carbohydrate, ketogenic diet. I saw people lose hundreds of pounds of body fat, get off insulin and reverse heart disease. I never stopped believing in the ketogenic diet and I am delighted to see it making it’s way back into the main stream. Thank you to all of the doctors who continue to write, speak and make videos about “right” science!
Mary Beauchamp is a Registered Nurse, Therapeutic Nutritionist and Mind Body Specialist. She is a world traveler, food alchemist, and student of ancient healing traditions around the world. She has four beautiful children and two grandchildren. With her knowledge of nutritional science, medical research, plant medicines, ancient super foods and indigenous healing rituals, she formulates food products for the natural foods industry and is a private health coach, specializing in healing the metabolism with sugar restricted, low carbohydrate and ketogenic diets. Mary works with a team of Naturopathic doctors in Northern California and facilitates online wellness programs. You can learn more about her work by visiting Auburn Naturopathic Medicine or by going to her website, www.ketogenicdietcoach.com. Mary is passionate about re-educating people about the root causes of disease. She invites you to experience your body as a master communication system and facilitates this sacred encounter within to unlock the body’s innate intelligence to heal and thrive!