WHAT is THE KETOGENIC DIET?

Before describing the Ketogenic Diet, I consider it as important to understand how the energy metabolism of our cells work and why depriving the body from glucose could lead to cancer cell’s death.

 

In general, the origin of almost all diseases and especially cancer lies in a reduced mitochondrial function of the cells. Shortly said, cancer cells have a lower energy metabolism than healthy human body cells.

 

This theory has been discovered by Dr. Otto Warburg, a German scientist, having received the Nobel Price in 1931, for proofing that cancer cells, other than healthy cells, gain their energy by the simple decomposition of sugar, called « glucose » without any aid of oxygen or a Mitochondria (rod-shaped organelles which can be considerated as energy generators of the cells). Shortly said, the energy of cancerous cells mainly depends on burning glucose and a lack of oxygen is one of the main causes for an unhindered growth for cancer cells.

 

Referring to this theory and after several researches, Dr. Agostino as well as Dr. Thomas Seyfried from the Boston College, even goes one step further by claiming that the spreading of cancer cells could even be stopped by depriving them from glucose, so by cutting out sugar of your diet. And this is what the name of the ketogenic diet stands for : a carbohydrates-reduced, high in fats and proteins diet.

 

But by cutting out sugar or glucose of our diet, how can the body run on energy?

 

In fact, by depriving the body from glucose, the cells change their source of energy from a so called « glucose-process » to a « fatty acids » and « ketones » process. By cutting out glucose, the body will change to a state of « Ketose » leading the liver to produce ketones, small energy molecules. And those small molecules are used as a source of energy and fuel by the body cells. And as glucose is no longer available in the blood system, cancerous cells can no longer been fed which will lead to a natural cell death, called apoptosis.

 

This theory has also be confirmed by Dr. Coy, a German scientist, who, with his discovery of the TKTL1 Gen (« Transketolase like 1 »), proved that cancerous cells are fed by the intake of sugar.

 

 

WHAT THE KETOGENIC DIET ALLOWS TO EAT?

As said before, to reach the state of a ketosis, you should cut out all kind of sugars and reduced most carbohydrates to the lowest level as possible. In general, carbohydrates intake should be decreased to under 50 grams (« moderate low carb » diet) ideally below 20 grams per day ( « strict low carb » diet)

 

Energy should be gained from:

 

  • 70% of fats
  • 25% of protein
  • 10% of carbohydrates

You will find below a short overview of aliments that can be consumed without regret, in moderation and which should be cut out of your daily eating routine.

1) FATS (70%)

As described above, healthy fats will be the majority of your daily calorie intake.

 

In fact, there are 3 types of fats :

 

  • SATURATED FATS (butter, coconut oil)
  • MONOSATURATED FATS: olive oils
  • POLYUNSATURATED FATS: Omega 3&6, Flaxseed oils etc.…

 

Even if several studies have proven that saturated fats are not so called « trans » fats (the « bad » fats) and consequently are not responsible for the development of heart diseases, the ketogenic diet foresees that this kind of fat should be consumed with moderation and either be replaced by « healthy and good » fats such as monosaturated and polysaturated fats.

 

In addition, try to avoid HYDROGENATED FATS, so called unnatural fats, as they are detrimental to your health ( or example : margarine) . If using vegetable oils such as olive oil, flaxseed oil, soybean oil, only cold pressed products should be chosen.

 

For an optimal health benefit, the following organic and grass-fed sources are preferred:

 

  • AVOCADO
  • BEEF TALLOW
  • BUTTER
  • GHEE
  • COCONUT BUTTER
  • FLAXSEED OIL
  • OLIVE OIL
  • PEANUT BUTTER

2) PROTEINS (25%)

Proteins do not contain carbohydrates and can therefore be consumed without regret. In order to avoid steroid hormone intake, only use high organic, local or grass fed products.

 

Proteins are found in the following products:

 

  • Wild-caught fish:  catfish, cod flounder, halibut, mackerel, salmon, snapper, trout, tuna
  • Shellfish: Oysters, Clams, Lobster, Crab
  • Free-range eggs: Boiled, Poached, Scrambled
  • Poultry: Chicken, Duck, Pheasant
  • Pork: Pork loin, Pork chops
  • Meat: Beef, Lamb
  • Full-fat dairy products:
  • heavy whipping cream
  • hard and soft cheese (cheddar, emmental, gouda, cream cheese, mozzarella etc.)
  • sour cream
  • Quark and Cottage Cheese
  • Vegetable proteins: Soy milk, almond milk, quinoa milk (refer to the list below as they contain more carbohydrates as the above listed products)
  • Seed, Nuts and Grains: refer to the lists below.

3) Carbohydrates (10%)

As the ketogenic diet only allows 10% of carbohydrates, you will find below a detailed list of several carbohydrates/product which could be necessary.

 

VEGETABLES:

 

The rule is very simple:

 

All Vegetables growing ABOVE GROUND are LOW CARB and can be eaten without moderation:

All Vegetables growing BELOW GROUND contain more carbs and should be wisely chosen and eaten with moderation.

Fruits:

 

As fruits are candies from nature, they contain a several amount of carbohydrates. This is why they have to be consumed in moderation.

 

Below you will find the amount of carbohydrates per 100 grams of fruit.

Nuts:

 

Nuts are a very good fatty source and are a perfect snack option. As they contain a certain amount of carbohydrates too, they should be consumed in appropriate portions. In order to avoid water retention and not stopping the process of cell death, they should be kept natural and salty nuts should be avoided.

Foods that should be avoided at all cost:

 

  • SUGARY FOODS: soda, chocolate, ice cream, candy, cake etc.
  • PROCESSED AND INDUSTRIALISED FOOD
  • CONDIMENTS AND SAUCES
  • ALCOHOL
  • DIET PRODUCTS
  • SUGAR-FREE DIET PRODUCTS

 

Depending on the choice of your diet, strict low carb (under 20 grams of carbs a day) or moderate low carb diet (20-50 grams of carbs), you have to pick your amount of fruits wisely. If you are on a strict low carb diet, you are better of choosing some berries instead of other fruits. But do not forget:  fruits can be replaced by several other aliments as : vegetables, nuts, eggs etc. The ketogenic diet does not foresee to starve.

3) Carbohydrates (10%)

As the ketogenic diet only allows 10% of carbohydrates, you will find below a detailed list of several carbohydrates/product which could be necessary.

 

VEGETABLES:

 

The rule is very simple:

 

All Vegetables growing ABOVE GROUND are LOW CARB and can be eaten without moderation:

 

 

All Vegetables growing BELOW GROUND contain more carbs and should be wisely chosen and eaten with moderation.

 

 

Fruits:

 

As fruits are candies from nature, they contain a several amount of carbohydrates. This is why they have to be consumed in moderation.

 

Below you will find the amount of carbohydrates per 100 grams of fruit.

 

 

Nuts:

 

Nuts are a very good fatty source and are a perfect snack option. As they contain a certain amount of carbohydrates too, they should be consumed in appropriate portions. In order to avoid water retention and not stopping the process of cell death, they should be kept natural and salty nuts should be avoided.

 

 

Foods that should be avoided at all cost:

 

  • SUGARY FOODS: soda, chocolate, ice cream, candy, cake etc.
  • PROCESSED AND INDUSTRIALISED FOOD
  • CONDIMENTS AND SAUCES
  • ALCOHOL
  • DIET PRODUCTS
  • SUGAR-FREE DIET PRODUCTS

 

Depending on the choice of your diet, strict low carb (under 20 grams of carbs a day) or moderate low carb diet (20-50 grams of carbs), you have to pick your amount of fruits wisely. If you are on a strict low carb diet, you are better of choosing some berries instead of other fruits. But do not forget:  fruits can be replaced by several other aliments as : vegetables, nuts, eggs etc. The ketogenic diet does not foresee to starve.