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Ketogenic diets are all the rage these days for weight loss, mental clarity and dealing with cancer or epilepsy. What was once looked at as a therapeutic diet for medical issues has now gone mainstream with athletes and extreme dieters using it to push the limits. America is the land of extremes so it’s the perfect diet at the perfect time because if it’s done right, it is as extreme as you can get.
The ketogenic diet is based on a type of fat called a ketone. Your body has the capability to break down fat and convert it into ketones as an alternative fuel for your brain and heart. It’s a survival mechanism that is built-in to fuel survival in times of starvation. The body runs out of sources for sugar and then switches to ketones to survive until you can find food.
Fifty years or so ago the ketogenic diet was discovered as a successful treatment for epilepsy. The advent of the pharmaceutical industry pushed it out of the spotlight and soon it was discarded in favor of the new and easy solution of prescription drugs. Well it’s back now and bigger than ever in part due to the cancer epidemic and partly because low carb diets are so popular.
Eating a ketogenic diet is extremely low carb with over 70% of calories coming from fat. Throw in 15% calories from protein and there isn’t much room left for carbs. This type of diet raises ketones and drops blood sugar. You’re eating less sugar and the ketones themselves influence your levels of insulin and blood sugar, limiting access of both to the cells.
Combined with herbs like adaptogens, the ketogenic diet is probably the best blood sugar regulating diet you can be on. Why adaptogens? Because outside of carbs and simples sugars, stress has the most influence of raising and maintaining dangerous blood sugar levels.
When you are stressed, insulin is naturally suppressed. This is to insure your muscles and brain have access to all the sugar you need for fight or flight. Being in a constant state of stress raises blood sugar no matter what you eat but dangerously high if you’re not watching your diet. The combination of the right herbs and the right food gangs up on your blood sugar, driving it down and making it easy to get into ketosis.
Ketosis and eating ketogenic is a perfect cancer diet. Since a cancer cell requires eighteen times as much fermented glucose as a regular cell, you’re basically starving it to death. No matter what other therapy you decide to do, a cancer cell has to eat to survive. Remove the cancer cell’s food supply and it will starve to death.
There is one big problem with the ketogenic diet for cancer and I know this because I talk to a lot of people with cancer that are on the ketogenic diet. The BIG mistake with the ketogenic diet is that they are forgetting it is important to measure their blood ketone levels. Without buying a meter and checking your blood sugar and ketones at least twice daily, you’ll never know if you’re following the diet correctly. You’ll never know if you are in the “zone” – the cancer killing zone.
You can find the proper blood ketone levels using the glucose/ketone index devised by the researcher who wrote the book on cancer and the ketogenic diet, Thomas Seyfried. His book “Cancer as a Metabolic Disease” is the textbook of his 10 years of research into cancer’s relationship to mitochondria dysfunction.
The index works by taking your glucose reading, divide by 18, then divide that number by your level of blood ketones. If it is under 1, you are in the zone and starving cancer.Example: glucose 72 divided by 18= 4 divided by ketones give you the index number. If your ketones are 4 or above you are in the zone.
Don’t make the mistake. Buy a meter, measure and adjust. Your life may depend on it.