Win a copy of Grocery Story this week in the City Repair forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
stewards:
  • Mike Jay
  • paul wheaton
  • Joseph Lofthouse
garden masters:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Steve Thorn
  • James Freyr
  • Greg Martin
  • Dave Burton
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Dan Boone

What is Keto?

 
steward
Posts: 4491
Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
1429
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Keto is shorthand for ketosis, a natural state that the body enters when it switches from using carbohydrates for fuel to using fat. The body can use carbohydrates (glucose) as fuel, and stores the excess as fat. When carbohydrates are low, the fat is converted to ketones to fuel the body. Most of the cells in the body can use either glucose or ketones as fuel.

A keto diet intends to limit the amount of carbohydrates consumed, so that the body is primarily fueled by ketones, which can be generated from stored fat. The amount of carbohydrates that a person can consume while remaining in ketosis varies by person and activity level, and is generally thought to be around 40 to 60 grams per day. (A standard American diet might consume around 300-500 g of carbs per day.) Some groups advocate an initiation phase with no more than 20 g of carbs per day.

When carbohydrates are abundant, the body stores about a one day supply of carbs in the muscles and liver, therefore a fast of about a day will initiate ketosis.

Ketones are aromatic, and can be released in sweat, so if you notice that you smell like flowers, you might be in ketosis!

Keto diets are thought to provide the following benefits:
  • protection against epilepsy
  • easy weight loss
  • lowers production of insulin (helpful for diabetes)
  • increased good cholesterol, lowers bad, leading to better heart health
  • reduced acne


  • People that are new to ketosis may experience "keto flu" which is a generally gunky feeling that lasts for a few days as the body adjusts to a new metabolism. Drinking plenty of water and electrolytes seems to reduce severity.






     
    Joseph Lofthouse
    steward
    Posts: 4491
    Location: Cache Valley, zone 4b, Irrigated, 9" rain in badlands.
    1429
    • Likes 4
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    With the formal introduction out of the way, I'll include my personal anecdotes.

    I love living in ketosis!!! I love the way my body smells during ketosis. I love the unlimited amounts of energy that are available to me (cause I have plenty of fat stores!). I love not being a slave to eating regular meals (to keep my sugar up). I love intermittent fasting, which is simple for a body that is used to burning fat for fuel.

    Some years ago, I stopped eating wheat (and didn't replace it with other grains.) I lost 70 pounds. I didn't realize it at the time, but it's likely that I inadvertently had adopted a ketogenic diet. Since that time, I have noticed that if I'm eating less than about 60 grams of carbohydrates per day, that the weight melts off me.

    I've got more nuanced about my diet in recent years, and am thinking more about the glycemic load (glycemic index times grams of carbs). For example, wheat and potatoes are both foods with high glycemic index, and typically eaten in large amounts. Therefore, I tend to shy away from them. But an apple has a low glycemic index, and is mostly water, and  I don't pig out on apples, so it fits well into a ketogenic diet, even though it is a sweet. I think part of what makes ketogenic diets so useful is that they dramatically curtail the amount of insulin produced by the body.

    Some groups advocate a rigid-zealot type mentality towards ketosis. That doesn't work for me. I like living in the messy middle where some days my body is getting most of it's energy from fat, and some days it's getting it's energy from carbohydrates. For example, sweet corn is my favorite vegetable ever, so for the 3 weeks a year that sweet corn is in season, I'm eating sweet corn for every meal, even though it is a high carbohydrate food.

    We end up becoming the average of our habits, and if I mostly eat low-carbohydrate most of the time, then my body will tend towards being slim. I strive to have a flexible metabolism, therefore I don't get the keto flu when switching into ketosis. I sure don't like the sugar-high, sugar-crash roller coaster that is so common when I eat lots of carbohydrates.

     
    pollinator
    Posts: 997
    Location: Longbranch, WA
    128
    goat tiny house rabbit wofati chicken solar
    • Likes 4
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Best video series I have found for understanding and applying Keto. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/user/drericberg123[/youtube]
     
    garden master
    Posts: 2337
    Location: West Tennessee
    646
    cat purity trees books chicken food preservation cooking building homestead
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Joseph Lofthouse wrote:

    I love the unlimited amounts of energy that are available to me (cause I have plenty of fat stores!).



    This is something I've been very interested in but has eluded me. Over the years I've seen people, sometimes vendors at the farmers market, sometimes other shoppers, that seem to exude healthy boundless energy. They look like they wake up ready to attack the day instead of waking up groggy. I've always been convinced that it had something to do with food. I don't know if I'm ready to jump into ketosis with both feet, but I've been talking with my wife and told her I want to remove grain from my daily food intake and see how I feel. My dietary intake has improved leaps and bounds from what I used to eat five or seven years ago, and I do indeed feel better, but I still think something is missing and I could improve, not only with more physical energy but also stop falling into these episode of "brain fog" that I seem to have, usually befalling me in the afternoon. I've skimmed over the fundamental basics of some "diets that have a name" such as keto, paleo, weston price. They seem logical and make sense to me and I guess I've been trying to pursue these without even knowing it. What I mean is I only want to eat food that came from the earth, a plant, a tree, or off the hoof. I do like food from the sea but my concerns with pollution make me shy away from buying seafood. If it comes from a factory, off a conveyor belt, or an aisle in the middle of the grocery store I don't want to eat it, and largely don't. Examples of processed things that I do eat are pasta, rice, and bread. I'm trying to get away from buying anything from a grocery store but I haven't gotten to the point of growing and putting up enough fruits and vegetables I grow myself to last for a year. I'll get there, but I think it's a few years away, so in the meantime I shop at farmers markets for the most part.
     
    Posts: 30
    Location: Denver CO
    4
    rabbit urban chicken
    • Likes 4
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    I followed keto closely for about 6 months 7 years ago.  Sort of found it by accident after I swapped my starchy snacks for peanuts and lost 20 pounds without trying.  Please don't try keto as the "cheeseburger diet" that it sometimes is called.  You can and should eat a ton of vegetables on keto, just have to watch out for those that are high carb.  It's pretty easy to tell, green veggies are typically safe while things like carrots and tomatoes are high in sugar.  Also seek out healthy sources of fat like avocados, coconut oil, etc.  FIber is a carb that doesn't count as a carb for us since we don't get calories from it.  Eat lots of fiber!  i haven't followed it closely most of the last 7 years, just adjust the foods I buy when my pants start to get a little snug.  More often I've found it difficult to keep my weight up when being really active for weeks at a time.  The people I know who have tried and failed usually are eating too little fat and too much protein.  Tracking the macros every day is tedious but really helps get a feel for the diet at first.

    I really like using the insulin response as the primary reason keto works for weight loss.  Basically, any sugar or starch we eat causes our blood sugar to rise.  If it rises enough the insulin response is triggered and excess blood sugar is turned to fat.  There may be ways dietary fat is stored too but I've not found a good scientific description of how this happens, just mentions that it somehow does.  By controlling carb intake you control the insulin response and fat production.  Keep your blood sugar down all the time and start to burn more fat, losing weight.  It just makes so much sense to me.  As long as I eat enough fat hunger isn't a problem at all.   I really like knowing that I'm in control of my weight and knowing it doesn't require any massive effort to adjust.
     
    Hans Quistorff
    pollinator
    Posts: 997
    Location: Longbranch, WA
    128
    goat tiny house rabbit wofati chicken solar
    • Likes 2
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    2 things annoy me about this topic (1) people today can not use more than 2 syllables therefore ketogenic is shortened to keto.  (2) because the emphasis is on weight loss rather than having energy with out eating frequently, It is hard for someone with little fat reserve to get good advice on how to do a ketogenic diet.

    This is what I have discovered. Most recommendations are not to eat at night and not to eat in the morning until you get hungry. The objective is to go 18 to 20 hours so that your glucose levels are depleted and your body switches to burning ketones.  If your fat reserves are very low then you start consuming other parts of your body and get hungry in a different way than low blood sugar. When you have acclimated your body to switching to Ketones it seems to work to eat a carbohydrate meal before bed and let it be stored as a fat reserve.  It should be a slow release carbohydrate so that it does not spike a high insulin low sugar reaction in the middle of the night.  

    This is how I make my ketone reserve meal.  I have a variety of whole grains and oil seeds.  I use a coffee  mill to grind 2 seeds at a time, one oily and the other dusty. like sun flower seeds and millet together. Golden flax and lentils work well together and chia seeds seem to blend well with any of the starchy seeds. I have a double boiler ready to cook this mix of grains seeds dried fruit chocolate chips and spices like cinnamon and ginger, then thinned with cold water to a wet batter. It simmers on the stove for at least an hour but it is best after 3 hours. By then the water is fully absorbed and the anti nutrients are neutralized.
     
    James Freyr
    garden master
    Posts: 2337
    Location: West Tennessee
    646
    cat purity trees books chicken food preservation cooking building homestead
    • Likes 3
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Hans Quistorff wrote: (2) because the emphasis is on weight loss rather than having energy with out eating frequently, It is hard for someone with little fat reserve to get good advice on how to do a ketogenic diet.



    I thought the emphasis was to get the body to change how it gets fuel or energy. I'm 6 feet tall and weigh 155lbs, and I've always been this way, give or take a few pounds. My brother is doing the keto thing, and has been for a year, and he's very similar to me in size, 6 foot and has always been lean, but weighed a little more than me, maybe 165. He accidentally got down to 140lbs after starting a ketogenics diet and was scrambling to halt the weight loss and gain pounds. He started to look unhealthy and sick he was so thin.  I don't have much fat to lose, and don't want to lose any of it, but I am interested in feeling better by way of food. Sugar crashes wear me down, giant plates of pasta slow me down. I want to eat and feel energized, ready to go to work, not take a nap.
     
    pollinator
    Posts: 3011
    Location: Toronto, Ontario
    354
    hugelkultur dog forest garden fungi trees rabbit urban wofati cooking bee homestead
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    I read that one of the ways people often do a keto diet wrong is to have too high a ratio of protein to fat, as in, too much protein throws a wrench into things. Can anyone explain this mechanism, and what the appropriate ratio is? I had an article I am still looking for that explained it, but I browsed it and lost it.

    -CK
     
    Hans Quistorff
    pollinator
    Posts: 997
    Location: Longbranch, WA
    128
    goat tiny house rabbit wofati chicken solar
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    I read that one of the ways people often do a keto diet wrong is to have too high a ratio of protein to fat, as in, too much protein throws a wrench into things.  


    Dr Berg covered this in several of his videos. Excess amino acids from the protein get converted to sugars.
     
    Posts: 3
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Dr Berg is awesome. He promotes what he calls "healthy keto " that includes 7-10 cups of green cruciferous vegetables per day and moderate protein and fat. He has over 2000 videos on YouTube and explains the physiology of how your body works. He even explains how to stop loosing weight or gain weight on keto.

    There are also others who help with information that are very good but he promotes getting healthy to loose weight rather than losing to get healthy.
     
    pollinator
    Posts: 432
    53
    hugelkultur tiny house books urban chicken solar
    • Likes 2
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator

    Chris Kott wrote:I read that one of the ways people often do a keto diet wrong is to have too high a ratio of protein to fat, as in, too much protein throws a wrench into things. Can anyone explain this mechanism, and what the appropriate ratio is? I had an article I am still looking for that explained it, but I browsed it and lost it.

    -CK


    The process is called gluconeogenesis.  Excess protein is converted to glucose which triggers insulin production.  Most recommendations are for less than 5% daily carbohydrates, around 15% protein, and around 80% fat.  The most important to trigger ketosis is keeping carbs down, the other two are a bit more flexible.  

    Also important to note, those numbers don't necessarily reflect dietary input.  If you've got body fat to lose, let some of that 80% come from your own stores, no need to chug olive oil or butter to get to the 80%.

    I think it's also important to emphasize that weight loss is considered a side effect, not the main goal.  What many people experience while hoping for weight loss is rather body recomposition, which could mean that weight doesn't change (immediately) but that other metrics can be used to measure results, like the circumference of fatty body parts, like abdomen or thighs.  People may lose fat but gain muscle so overall weight stays the same or even increases.  It might take as little as a day to enter ketosis, but as much as 12 weeks to be fully keto-adapted.
     
    Frank Seguin
    Posts: 3
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Your brain burns fat for energy along with small amounts of carbohydrates that your body produces. Your body stores fat from carbs and sugar (too much protein can act like sugars and carbohydrates). Eating lots of vegetables is enough to keep your essential minerals and vitamins at a healthy level. I've haven't heard of anyone being a diabetic on keto and many people who had diabetes are being cured. Alzheimer's,  cancer, Parkinson's,  and other disorders including inflammation are being linked to sugar and carbohydrates so people are finding help with keto.

    The diets people are eating and the amount of processed foods are nothing like what was available prior and it's getting worse. Food from  the grocery stores is nothing like the food from when I was growing up. Almost all store bought grains are GMOs and pesticides.

     
    pollinator
    Posts: 630
    Location: Southern Oregon
    112
    • Likes 1
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Buster Parks - interesting that your experience allowed you to eat large amounts of vegetables, mine did not. I could easily go over my carb allotment with things like zoodles, once you remove the water they shrink considerably. And I never seemed to get more energy or lose weight, in fact I was gaining about 5 pounds a month, but my blood sugar numbers were good. I'm wondering if my propensity to depression had an impact. It did seem to increase my depression, maybe overriding any energy increase.

    I have since changed to LCHF but not keto, and am doing well.
     
    Frank Seguin
    Posts: 3
    • Mark post as helpful
    • send pies
    • Quote
    • Report post to moderator
    Leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables only for the most part. You don't count those carbs since the fiber counteracts them. So 7 to  10 cups will fill you up. Great  for gut health. Only 3-6 oz of protein per meal. You actually don't need a lot of fat added. Enough so not hungry.

    It might not be for everyone. Some people have to eat some carbohydrates but just organic and healthy foods are better.
     
    Hug your destiny! And hug this tiny ad:
    September-October Homestead Skills Jamboree 2019
    https://permies.com/wiki/118704/permaculture-projects/September-October-Homestead-Skills-Jamboree
    • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
    • New Topic
    Boost this thread!