definition- Giving rise to ketone bodies in metabolism.
Butter, butter drip dropped into your hot steamy morning coffee. Creamy cream cheese smeared on high fat crackers. Coconut oil, cocoa powder and peanut butter rolled into rich dreamy truffles. Have you died and ended up in the heavens of heavens. No… no you’ve just begun a ketogenic diet.
A ketogenic diet- sign me up! This diet came about originally in 1924 with the work of Dr. Russell Wilder in the area of epilepsy as an alternative to fasting, which was seen to decrease the frequency of seizures in epileptic patients.
Dr. Russell’s high fat, moderate protein and low carbohydrate diet came about with the work of Rolland Woodyatt, an endocrinologist, which studied the effects of fasting on the human body. Woodyatt found that three water soluble compounds- together called ketone bodies- were produced in the liver during starvation and these seemed to be the correlating factor between less seizures seen in epileptic patients during starvation. Low carbohydrate intake during starvation caused the human body to metabolize it’s own lipids or body fat for calories- resulting in ketone bodies, an alternate fuel that can be used by the brain and muscles in the short term for fuel instead of glucose- the preferred source of fuel by the human body.
This diet fell out popularity in the 1940s with the rise in anticonvulsant medications but became quite popular again in 1994 with the story of Charlie Abraham– a 5 year old that suffered from daily seizures and saw a complete recovery after beginning the ketogenic diet. The boy is now a man and is in college pursuing his dreams and to this day seizure free.
This diet has been on the trend list the last few years as possibly the new “paleo” or “gluten free” diet- but it’s so much more. This way of eating has been used in Type II diabetics– resulting in more normal blood glucose levels, PCOS patients with incredible weight loss unachievable on a normal balanced diet and even with cancer patients– as a diet that “starves” cancer cells resulting in a full recovery.
It feels like a bad word. Yet it’s a terrifying reality. There will be an estimated 1,685,210 newly diagnosed cases throughout our nation by the end of 2016 and 595,690 deaths from the disease. Yet it didn’t feel like such a threat until someone close to me was diagnosed recently.
I can clearly and quite comically remember plodding away- yes plodding like a St. Bernard after a saliva drenched tennis ball- on the treadmill on a regular basis flipping lightly through the pages of yet another romance and rumor filled female oriented magazine. I would search longingly for the next dating advice article, tactfully avoiding the many articles on antioxidants and the famous pink ribbon breast cancer articles. I simply did not think I would ever come in to contact with cancer- it seems silly to think back on now. There’s a reason people my age are called the “young invincibles”- we don’t fall ill as often as older generations. With that in mind I determined that cancer preventing diets and antioxidant-laden foods simply did not apply or relate to me.
This was until my mom’s very best friend recently passed away from lung cancer and my aunt was just a month ago diagnosed with breast cancer. Now it feels real, now it feels scary and now I may just read those articles I so freely flipped past in days gone.
The company I work with, Quest Nutrition, is a dreamboat of a mission-based company. All along I thought I was simply selling “America’s favorite protein bar” but I’ve been part of so much more than I could’ve imagined for a few months now.
Quest’s mission is to “ End the global slide towards ill health”- well heck, how was I supposed to know they weren’t referring to their sugar free bars high in satiating fiber and protein. No you guys, Tom, Ron, Mike and Shannan were talking about curing epidemics- like cancer.
There’s a whole area of the company , Epigenix, they’re tucked nice and cozy in the middle of our office and they’re working on CURING- yea cuuuuring- cancer.
How splendiferous is that? Who knew that splendiferous was an actual word?
The company has several projects in the works, one of them is a group of breast cancer patients in Louisiana consuming a solely ketogenic diet- provided by Quest Nutrition. The meals are absolutely divine and free to the patients with their cooperation in blood work readings and supervision by our nutritional team.
Another of the studies in progress is a collaboration called “Keto Pets”- our company is studying the effects of a ketogenic diet on cancer-diagnosed dogs at kill shelters. Yea- heartthrob I know- if Quest were a guy I’d have a mighty crush on him and all his humanitarian efforts with sick women and dogs saved from the brink of euthanasia.
The ketogenic diet isn’t all unicorns and sunsets though- the diet can be a challenge. Most American adults are eating between 48 and 51% of their
kilocalories from carbohydrates. The keto diet calls for 5% carbohydrate intake- that’s a jump!
By restricting the amount of carbohydrates taken in through our diet we allow our body to make the shift into ketosis- a metabolic state that causes the liver to begin producing ketone bodies- a source of fuel for the muscles of the body and brain- instead of glucose- but an incompatible source for cancer cells!
www.Ruled.me has a vast amount of information on the ketogenic diet and how to transition into a ketogenic lifestyle. The website recommends an intake of 70% of daily calories coming from fat, 25% from protein and 5% from carbohydrates. There are plenty of recipes and even a calculator to determine what the best macronutrient quantity would be for you in relation to your current weight, height and body fat.
Let me know if you’ve gone Keto? I’d be thrilled to hear about your experience and any recipes you’ve found that you love!
-If you’re interested in supporting the cure of cancer check out the links above, Epigenix and Keto Pets are both fantastic organizations to get involved with.