Part Two – Ketogenic Diets Are Uniquely Potent For Improving Your Health.

Do you have an excessive waist circumference, high triglycerides, low HDL, fatty plaques in your arteries, hypertension etc.?

In Part One we covered points 1 to 3.

Topics Addressed:

  1. Current diet recommendations & unintended consequences
  2. Insulin resistance = carbohydrate intolerance
  3. Over-consumption of carbohydrate as a driver of chronic disease
  4. Nutritional Ketosis as a potent therapy to restore metabolic health

In Part Two, we will discuss Nutritional Ketosis as a potent therapy to restore metabolic health.

Since 2012 we’ve learned about ketones in particular beta-hydroxybutyrate, which is the primary circulating ketone, as an epigenetic modulator of gene expression and a signalling agent.  Eric Virgin’s science paper showed an increase in a whole array of antioxidant genes, as well as at the tissue level, protection from oxidative stress resulting from being in ketosis, in the range of nutritional ketosis.

Beta-hydroxybutyrate, which is produced by your liver while being in the state of ketosis, is an alternative source of fuel for the brain.

Ketogenic diets are anti-inflammatory.

There a couple papers showing on the ability of the Ketogenic diet to extend longevity.

There are hundreds of studies on low-carbohydrate ketogenic diets and obesity. They all show low carb diets do much better than low-fat diets.

One of the real problems is diabetes. Very well controlled one- year inpatient studies used the ketogenic diet to reverse type-2 diabetes in over half the patients in 3 months.  Ninety percent of the people in the study prefer follow the Ketogenic diet long term.

Saturated Fat:   Historically it has been villainized as being the cause of a lot of chronic disease. The most recent meta-analysis of dietary saturated fat and risk for heart disease shownoassociation. In fact you decrease saturated fat and replace it with carbs you actually increase your relative risk of having a coronary event.

If you look at studies that have actually measured saturated fatty acids levels in the body, whether that be in membranes or in the blood, and risk of heart disease, there is a very consistent association with higher risk for heart disease. So if you have more palmitic acid or total saturated fatty acids in your blood so you’re accumulating saturated fat that does increase your risk for heart disease and type-2 diabetes.

What contributes to accumulation of saturated fat in the body? It’s not dietary saturated fat. Carbs control lipid metabolism primarily through insulin. Carbohydrates in the diet have a big impact on how we process fat. We measured saturated fat levels. We always show saturated fat levels go down more on the ketogenic diet. So eat more saturated fat but actually have less in your body.

It seems counterintuitive but if you are eating Ketogenic diet you switch over to burning almost exclusively fat and ketones for fuel and that includes saturated fat.

If you’re eating saturated fat you have a nice marbled steak and getting a nice dose of saturated fat but if you typically eat that with potato or rice and a roll and dessert, you get the insulin response and you’re going to be more prone to store that saturated fat in your in your body.

See the image of Diary Matrix – You are what you save from what you eat.

Blog - Volek 7 Dietary Matrix

On the other hand if you have some non-starchy vegetables, hold the potato and maybe even add some steak butter to the steak suddenly you’re in a different metabolic state. Insulin muted dramatically and you’re continuing to burn fat.  It’s very hard to imagine saturated fat having any harmful effects in the body if it’s promptly being converted to co2 and water, which is essentially happening on a ketogenic diet.

The point is: the processing of saturated fat in the body is highly dependent on the carbs that are consumed with it.

Really carbohydrates control lipid metabolism at that level. At the level of the individual, it is the level of carb tolerance a person has. If you’re more carb intolerant you’re going to be more prone to that storing that fat and then a person who’s more carb tolerant.

For athletes, we are challenging that carbs they need carbs. Now a lot of athletes within the ultra endurance community are adopting this and surpassing their own records. While being on the Ketogenic diet, ninety percent of their fuel came from fat.

In the last Tour de France it became known that the first and second place finishers were low carb athletes.

For more information on athlete improving their performance please watch the video link below.

See the image of the Potential Benefits of the Keto-Adapted State

Blog - Volek 8 Potential Benefits of the Keto-Adapted State

Keto adaptation changes the body in profound ways. There are a lot of changes going on metabolically and physically and physiologically within humans as they adapt to a ketogenic diet.

The main point is we are eating too many carbs. Get the carbs down to a level below which people can tolerate them and maintain health. Ketogenic diets have some unique benefits and a lot of this may be attributed to ketones.

Everybody’s carb tolerance is different. You’ve got to find that level of carb intolerance works. It might be a carb level below which you’re in ketosis but not everybody needs to be in ketosis. It might be a carb level below, which you keep all the signs and symptoms of metabolic syndrome at bay.

Personalized nutrition really needs to focus on is getting the carbs right.


Consumption of carbs at levels that exceed a person’s ability to directly oxidize is the driving force behind the obesity/diabetes epidemics.

Ketogenic diets are uniquely potent at restoring metabolic health

What is optimal carb level?

A level below which:

  • Ketones >0.5 mM
  • Metabolic syndrome at bay
  • Converts carbs to fat
  • Oxidative stress

 See the Image of the Summary.

Blog - Volek 9 Summary

This Post has been condensed from the original: Ketones: From Toxic to Therapeutic to Ergogenic with Jeff S. Volek, PhD, RD

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May you Live Long Healthy.

Yours truly,

Lydia Polstra


Author: 2healthyhabits

My goal in life is to experience the exuberance of true good health by returning my body to the healthy state it was meant to have.

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