Ketogenic Diet: Vegan and Vegetarians

By recent ASU nutrition student Alysia Nelson

Part of an ongoing series of articles on the Ketogenic Diet

A standard ketogenic diet is a diet filled with high-quality meats, fatty fish, poultry, nuts/seeds, cruciferous vegetables, dairy, and eggs. Does that mean that vegans and vegetarians are unable to follow a ketogenic diet? Absolutely not. Vegans and vegetarians can still reap the benefits of a ketogenic diet by combining principles from both worlds and I will show you how.

If you are a Vegetarian and would like to try to follow a ketogenic diet, start here:

  1. There are a few rules that must be followed to ensure Ketosis such as:
  • Eat less than 35grams/day of carbohydrates.
  • Increase low-carb vegetable intake.
  • Ensure 70% of calories still come from fat.
  • 25% of calories should come from plant-based proteins, eggs, and dairy.
  • Increase supplementation of vitamins D3, DHA & EPA, iron, and zinc.
  1. Eliminate the following from your diet:
  • Grains (wheat, corn, rice, cereal, etc.)
  • Legumes (lentils, black beans, peas, etc.)
  • Sugar (honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.)
  • Fruit (apples, bananas, oranges, etc.)
  • Tubers (potatoes, yams, etc.)
  1. Substitute above list with the following:
  • Vegan “meats” (high-protein & low-carb): tofu, tempeh, seitan, etc.
  • Leafy greens (cruciferous vegetables): spinach, kale, romaine, etc.
  • Above ground vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, etc.
  • High-fat Dairy: cheese, cream, butter, etc.
  • Eggs
  • Nuts and seeds: macadamia nuts, almonds, pistachios, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc.
  • Avocado and berries (low glycemic berries): raspberries and blackberries.
  • Sweeteners (low-carb): stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, etc.
  • Oils (other fats): coconut, olive, MCT, red palm, etc.
  • Low-carb protein powders.

If you are a Vegan and would like to try to follow a ketogenic diet, start here:

  1. There are a few rules that must be followed to ensure Ketosis such as:
  • Eat less than 35grams/day of carbohydrates.
  • Increase low-carb vegetable intake.
  • Ensure 70% of calories still come from plant-based fat.
  • 25% of calories should come from plant-based proteins.
  • Increase supplementation of vitamins D3, B12, B6, DHA & EPA, iron, taurine, and zinc.
  1. Eliminate the following from your diet:
  • Grains (wheat, corn, rice, cereal, etc.)
  • Legumes (lentils, black beans, peas, etc.)
  • Sugar (honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.)
  • Fruit (apples, bananas, oranges, etc.)
  • Tubers (potatoes, yams, etc.)
  1. Substitute the above list with the following:
  • Vegan “meats (high-protein, low-carb): tempeh, tofu, seitan, etc.
  • Mushrooms: shitake, king oyster, lion’s mane, etc.
  • Leafy greens (cruciferous vegetables): spinach, kale, romaine, etc.
  • Above ground vegetables (low-carb): broccoli, cauliflower, zucchini, etc.
  • High-fat “dairy”: unsweetened coconut yogurt, coconut cream, vegan cheeses, etc.
  • Nuts and seeds: macadamia, pistachios, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, nut-based yogurt, etc.
  • Avocado and low- glycemic berries: raspberries and blackberries.
  • Fermented foods: natto, sauerkraut, kim chi, etc.
  • Sea vegetables: dulse, bladderwack, kelp, etc.
  • Sweeteners (low-carb): stevia, erythritol, monk fruit, etc.
  • Oils (other fats): coconut, olive, MCT, red palm, vegan butter, etc.
  • Silken tofu (egg and dairy replacement)
  • Baking soda, vinegar, and The Vegg for egg substitutes.
  • Vegan (low-carb) protein powders.

 

A Comprehensive Guide to the Vegan Ketogenic Diet. (2018, March 20). Retrieved April 16, 2018, from https://www.ruled.me/comprehensive-guide-vegan-ketogenic-diet/

Editor’s Note: Fill Your Plate neither endorses or supports this type of diet, but encourages readers to always consult with your doctor regarding special diets this series shares one nutrition student’s experience with the diet.

Posted in Cooking, Diet Tips, Fill Your Plate, Food, Food Facts, Health Tips, Healthy Eating, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ketogenic Diet: Satiating effects of Fat

By recent ASU nutrition student Alysia Nelson

Part of an ongoing series of articles on the Ketogenic Diet

 

 

A ketogenic diet is reported to have a hunger-reduction phenomenon. In fact, a ketogenic diet has such satiating effects that calorie counting is noted amongst dieters to be unnecessary. Almost every article you read about the ketogenic diet states that a ketogenic diet keeps you full because its main macronutrient is fat, followed by protein. That leads us to the next question, is dietary fat satiating? Can a ketogenic diet be a hunger suppressor?

There are two terms very closely used, however, meaning different things: satiation and satiety. Satiation is the end of desire to eat after a meal.1 Satiety is a physical feeling of fullness that allows us to stop eating.1 It is very similar to hunger vs. appetite. Hunger is the physical need for food (stomach growling) whereas appetite is the desire for food.2 Although all centered around the same thing, food, the behaviors come from different things. Hunger is the body’s way of telling us that it needs to be replenished with fuel (food) and it occurs when blood glucose levels fall.2 Appetite is a sensory reaction to the look and smell of food, a conditioned response.2 Appetite is a behavior that controls cravings influenced by the sensory reaction of food, increasing or decreasing depending on personal taste preferences, availability of food, your health, and emotional state.2

How does the body know when it is and isn’t in need of more food? Hunger is regulated by our metabolism and hormones secreted from the thyroid.2 The brain uses satiety signals from hormones and produces dopamine neurons to create motivation for food.2 This means that when hormones have received proper nutrients, it sends a message to the brain saying that the individual has done its job and can stop eating. The brain rewards the individual by releasing pleasant rewarding feelings because it wants the individual to carry on this relationship of eating when signaled. This brings us to a frequently asked question: does dietary fat play a role is satiety?

It is a common misconception that eating fat makes you fat, in fact, this theory has never been scientifically proven. It is quite the opposite really, healthy fats have proven to be a positive and necessary addition to an individual’s diet.3 In a controlled study produced in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) fats are proven to have an effect on satiety through the release of appetite hormones and inhibition of gastric emptying and intestinal transit, the release of food from your stomach to your intestines.3 However noted, heart-healthy monosaturated fats are excellent sources of satiety and not just all fats.3 In another study conducted by the NCBI the hunger-reducing phenomenon in a ketogenic diet is well documented due to the release ketones.4 Ketones trigger a normal glucose meal response, reducing the desire and need for more food.4 A ketogenic diet reduces hunger and lower’s food intake more than a high-protein combined with medium-carbohydrate diet.5

A ketogenic diet can be used to suppress hunger by changing the way an individual’s metabolism works to break down fats as opposed to carbohydrates.6 When this process, ketosis, is occurring ketones help naturally reduce appetite and cravings.6 Ketosis is also noted to control hormones related to weight loss such as Ghrelin, appetite increasing hormone, and Cholecystokinin (CCK), a hormone causing fullness.6 Ketones can trigger responses such as utilizing leptin signals to the brain which allows the body to increase metabolism instead of slowing.6 A ketogenic diet takes a focus on nutrient-dense foods, allowing the body to eat fewer calories, while still allowing an individual to eat high-quality satisfying foods.

1 Anthony, M. (n.d.). Understanding Satiation and Satiety. Retrieved April 16, 2018, from https://www.foodprocessing.com/articles/2014/understanding-satiation-and-satiety/

2 Weaver, L. (2017, January 23). Hunger Vs. Appetite: What’s The Difference? Retrieved April 16, 2018, from https://www.foodmatters.com/article/hunger-vs-appetite-whats-the-difference

3 Samra, R. A. (1970, January 01). Fats and Satiety. Retrieved April 16, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK53550/

4 Paoli, A., Bosco, G., Camporesi, E. M., & Mangar, D. (2015). Retrieved April 16, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4313585/

5 Johnstone, A. M., Horgan, G. W., Murison, S. D., Bremner, D. M., & Lobley, G. E. (2008, January). Effects of a high-protein ketogenic diet on hunger, appetite, and weight loss in obese men feeding ad libitum. Retrieved April 16, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18175736

6 How to Use Ketosis for Hunger Suppression – Perfect Keto. (2018, January 16). Retrieved April 16, 2018, from https://www.perfectketo.com/how-to-use-ketosis-for-hunger-suppression/

Editor’s Note: Fill Your Plate neither endorses or supports this type of diet, but encourages readers to always consult with your doctor regarding special diets. This series shares one nutrition student’s experience with the diet.

Posted in Cooking, Diet Tips, Fill Your Plate, Food, Grocery, Health Tips, Healthy Eating, Produce, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ketogenic Diet: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

By recent ASU nutrition student Alysia Nelson

Part of an ongoing series of articles on the Ketogenic Diet

A ketogenic diet is noted to have many health benefits including neuroprotective and disease-modifying mechanisms. It is used to treat patients with type 2 diabetes, a blood sugar disease caused by decreased insulin sensitivity. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is an illness affecting 1 in 10 women, thought to be like a cousin to diabetes. An estimated 5-10%, or 5 million, women in the United States have PCOS.1 Women with type 1 diabetes are at an increased risk for PCOS and women with PCOS are at an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes.1 The common factor in all of this is? Insulin, indicating that insulin could be a key driver for PCOS.1 Living with PCOS can feel discouraging, but there is hope that it can be treated through nutrition.

What is PCOS?

  • One of the most common hormonal disorder
  • Can cause infrequent or prolonged menstrual periods
  • Can cause excess production of the male hormone (androgen)- causing excess facial/body hair
  • Can cause the ovaries to develop many collections of fluid (follicles)
  • Can cause failing to regularly release eggs- can lead to infertility

What causes PCOS?

  • The cause is unknown
  • Excess insulin could be a factor (increasing androgen production)
  • Low-grade inflammation (can stimulate androgens) that can lead to heart and blood vessel problems
  • It could be heredity (research suggests related genes)
  • Excess Androgen- ovaries produce abnormally high levels resulting in hirsutism (hair growth) and acne

How can a Ketogenic diet help?

  • Promotes weight loss
  • Increases insulin sensitivity, hormone involved in blood sugar (glucose) levels

Ketogenic Diet and PCOS

In a study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) a ketogenic diet leads to significant improvement in weight, percent free testosterone, LH/FSH ratio, and fasting insulin in women with obesity and PCOS.2 In this pilot study a total of 11 women were instructed to limit their carbohydrate intake to less than 20g per day for 24 weeks. From here they returned to an outpatient research clinic for measurements and dietary instruction every 2 weeks. Two women who were previously infertile became pregnant during the trial.2 In addition, there was a significant improvement in infertility, regularity in terms of menstruation, and the decreased production of abnormal hair growth.2 The pilot study led researchers to believe that a ketogenic diet had the opposite effect on PCOS decreasing androgen secretion and increasing circulating a sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG).2 The combination limited the amount of free- androgens and reduced LH/FSH hormones.2

Benefits of following a Ketogenic Diet

  • Improved fertility and ovulation: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists agreed that women participating in IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) had better quality eggs and embryos when consuming low levels of carbs.3 The Nurse’s Health Study 9NHS II) also agrees that high carbohydrate diets lead to ovulatory infertility.3
  • Increases Insulin Sensitivity: Results in the body utilizing fat for energy instead of sugar (glucose). When carbohydrate restriction is in place, blood sugar and insulin levels are reduced.3
  • Improves glycemic control: patients have been noted to eliminate or reduce their medication for blood sugar control.
  • It leads to weight loss: Found to be more effective for weight loss than a low calorie or low-fat diet.
  • Increases HDL and decreases LDL levels: Increase in “good cholesterol” and decrease in “bad cholesterol” showing a benefit for overall cardiovascular health.

1 PCOS: The Cousin of Diabetes? (2012, September 11). Retrieved April 16, 2018, from http://diabetesstopshere.org/2012/09/11/pcos-the-cousin-of-diabetes/

2 Mavropoulos, J. C., Yancy, W. S., Hepburn, J., & Westman, E. C. (2005). Retrieved April 16, 2018, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1334192/

3 Is a Ketogenic Diet Best for PCOS? (2018, March 20). Retrieved April 16, 2018, from http://pcosandnutrition.com/ketogenic-diet-best-for-pcos/

Editor’s Note: Fill Your Plate neither endorses or supports this type of diet, but encourages readers to always consult with your doctor regarding special diets. this series shares one nutrition student’s experiences with the diet.

Posted in Cooking, Diet Tips, Health Tips, Healthy Eating, Produce, Recipes | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ketogenic Diet and Obesity

By recent ASU nutrition student Alysia Nelson

Part of an ongoing series of articles on the Ketogenic Diet

 

 

There is an epidemic across the United States, known as obesity. Obesity is linked to the increased risk of numerous diseases including: cardiovascular and metabolic disorders such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes, dyslipidemia, atherosclerosis, and certain cancers.1 Even though this epidemic is incredibly apparent, current strategies for maintaining a healthy lifestyle are failing. Everyone is unique in their genetics and habits and despite constant recommendations from health care organizations, the obesity rate remains a problem. This could be due to back and forth ideas of nutrition leaving the ideal diet for obesity still under debate. A ketogenic diet, studied many times in recent years, has shown to have a solid physiological and biochemical basis enabling the perfect diet for effective weight loss combined with the improvement of many disease risks.1

Excessive weight gain can be a contribution of genetic predisposition in a combination of inactive lifestyles and a high caloric intake.1 Calories are provided by fat, carbohydrates, and proteins and is represented as a unit of heat energy.2 The body uses this heat energy as a way to fuel the body, similar to how gasoline fuels cars.2 Fats hold the highest amount of calories per gram, totaling 9, where protein and carbohydrates hold 4.2 Eating more calories than you burn leads to weight gain.2 This is why caloric intake is so important when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight. It is also why exercise is important, exercise allows the body to burn more calories than it would normally. In a ketogenic diet, the formula of calories comes from 70% fat, 20 % protein, and 5% protein. Now you might be thinking, doesn’t eating an excess amount of fat make you fat?

We were once told that diets high in fat led to weight gain and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and this unproven theory seems to still hold weight amongst individuals. Not all fats are created equal, and that is something very important to understand. There are two types of fats: unsaturated and saturated fats.3 Unsaturated fats, including polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, are the healthy fats that have shown a relationship in the increasing of HDL “good cholesterol” reducing risk of heart disease.3 Polyunsaturated fats can be found in vegetable oils, omega-3 fatty acids (fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts), plant sources.3 Monounsaturated fats can be found in olive oil, canola oil, peanut oils, olives, avocados, hazelnuts, almonds, brazil nuts, cashews, sesame seeds, and pumpkin seeds.3 Saturated fats can be another source of healthy fats, including (meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs).3 In over 72 published studies on fats and heart disease, polyunsaturated fats, monounsaturated fats, and saturated fats had no effect on heart disease.3 In fact, people who consumed these types of fats had higher HDL “good” cholesterol and lower LDL “bad” cholesterol levels.3 The one fat that contributed to heart disease: artificial trans fats (engineered by adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them solid) typically found in processed foods.3

One diet that has gained recent popularity for its health benefits, the ketogenic diet, proves to be a sufficient diet for weight loss and overall improvement of increased risk for disease.1 There is strong supporting evidence that ketogenic diets used for weight loss is both safe and effective.1 When exposed to a ketogenic diet, an individual enters a natural metabolic process called: ketosis.1 During ketosis, ketone bodies allow the breakdown of stored fats to be converted and used for energy as opposed to glucose, blood sugar.1 This is the reason why weight loss is so rapid during exposure to this diet. Another contributing factor is dietary fat, containing more calories per gram, has been shown to have satiating effects and a ketogenic diet shows effects on appetite control hormones.1

A ketogenic diet can serve as a treatment for obesity. Not only does the ketogenic diet has proven effects on weight management, but it can also be argued that ketones protect brain impairment caused by obesity.1 There is also evidence that participants on a ketogenic diet have experienced positive effects on mood and energy.1  A ketogenic diet also focuses on high-quality and unprocessed foods which is important when it comes to proper food sourcing. Instead of patients feeling unsatisfied and left hungry, a ketogenic diet can provide delicious nutrition with the bonus of feeling full of obese patients.

1 Paoli, A. (2014, February 19). Ketogenic Diet for Obesity: Friend or Foe? Retrieved from http://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/11/2/2092/htm

2 Ayoob, K., & Einstein, A. (2009, February 01). What Is A Calorie And Why Is It Important To Know How Many Calories There Are In Certain Foods? Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Health/WellnessResource/story?id=6762725

3 Doheny, K. (2014, March 20). Dietary Fats Q&A. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/news/20140320/dietary-fats-q-a#2

Editor’s Note: Fill Your Plate neither endorses or supports this type of diet, but encourages readers to always consult with your doctor regarding special diets, this series shares one nutrition student’s experience with the diet.

Posted in Beef, Diet Tips, Fill Your Plate, Food, Grocery, Health Tips, Healthy Eating, Produce, Recipes, Video | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ketogenic Diet and Motor Function

By recent ASU nutrition student Alysia Nelson

Part of an ongoing series of articles on the Ketogenic Diet

 

A ketogenic diet demonstrates the ability to be neuroprotective, protecting nerve cells against damage, degeneration, or impairment of function.1 This isn’t the first time we have heard this theory as numerous studies have confirmed the impact a ketogenic diet has on neurometabolism and bioenergetics.1 How can a diet simply change the way neurons interact? Can a ketogenic diet, that has been explored as a possibility to treat numerous neurological diseases, improve motor function? While the molecular mechanisms involved in the ketogenic diet might not be fully understood, studies have shown promise that a ketogenic diet can have neuromuscular effects.1

  • A ketogenic diet is a high fat, moderate protein, and low-carb diet with a ratio of (70% fat, 20% protein, and 5% carbohydrates).1
  • A ketogenic diet increases ketone bodies as a result of ketosis: a natural metabolic state that burns fat for energy as opposed to blood glucose (sugar).1
  • This type of energy supply allows the brain to alternatively use ketones, which enhance oxidative mitochondrial metabolism.1
  • The neuroprotective effect of a ketogenic diet can control neuronal membrane excitability, inflammation, or reactive oxygen.1
  • A ketogenic diet shows improvement in studies of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and spinal cord injury.1

Studies of the neuroprotective mechanisms of a ketogenic diet suggest that the diet can be beneficial in relevant diseases including motor dysfunction.1 Motor function is controlled by the nervous system using muscles and tendons.1 It gives us the ability to reach for a pen or sit in a chair. A ketogenic diet has been shown to affect the neuromuscular system through a few different mechanisms:

  1. Metabolic shifts: due to a high ketone count in the bloodstream combined with carbohydrate restriction (ketosis).1
  2. Modifies nutrient- integrating pathways: involved in autophagy (consumption of the body’s own tissue during starvation) and mitophagy (break down of mitochondria) related mitochondrial renewal (promoting of mitochondrial biogenesis and function).1
  3. Neurotransmission: a process by signaling molecules (neurotransmitters) to bind to receptors.
  4. Oxidative stress: an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the ability of the body to counteract their harmful effects).1
  5. 1

In an article published by the National Center for Biotechnical Information (NCBI), a ketogenic diet is examined in previous clinical studies on its impact on motor function. The following are findings of numerous studies where patients with different neurological diseases are treated by means of a ketogenic diet.

  • A ketogenic diet can create longer maintenance of motor function by decreasing motor neuron death in patients with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).1
  • A ketogenic diet shows improvement of motor coordination in patients with Angelman syndrome (AS).1
  • A ketogenic diet delays disease progression in Alzheimer’s disease and improves motor function along with the improvement of energy metabolism.1
  • A ketogenic diet improves functional forelimb in Spinal cord injuries (SCI).1
  • A ketogenic diet improves motor function in patients with Parkinson’s disease while protects neurons from degeneration.1
  • A ketogenic diet improves motor behavior and reduction in anxiety in patients with Rett syndrome.1
  • A ketogenic diet improves motor disorders in patients with GLUT1 deficiency.1

What is common in the studies mentioned is that the increased levels of ketones in the blood combined with the reduction of blood glucose allows the body to find different signaling pathways (IGF-1/AKT/mTOR, AMPK).1 It makes sense that motor function could be restored because in a person being treated with a ketogenic diet, the brain is able to use different routes of communication.1 A ketogenic diet shows neuroprotective mechanisms that play a role in injury and disease proving that this diet shows promise for neurological and neuromuscular diseases.1

1 Veyrat-Durebex, C., Reynier, P., Procaccio, V., Hergesheimer, R., Corcia, P., Andres, C. R., & Blasco, H. (2018). Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5790787/

Editor’s Note: Fill Your Plate neither endorses or supports this type of diet, but encourages readers to always consult with your doctor regarding special diets. This series shares one nutrition student’s experiences with the diet.

Posted in Beef, Chicken, Cooking, Diet Tips, Fill Your Plate, Food, Fruit, Health Tips, Healthy Eating, Produce, Vegetables | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment