This is an interesting interview from Dr. Mercola. Basically the message is that a diet low in carbs/sugar and protein and calories, but high in healthy fats (coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, quality grass fed organic butter, etc.) is ideal for treating cancer, and general overall health. This ketogenic diet relies on fats as a fuel source, instead of sugar. This regularizes blood sugar, supplies constant energy, reduces cravings, reduces weight, makes people feel better and helps fight cancer. The body has to be trained to switch over to fat as a fuel source, but once it is done people are healthier. The interview is a bit technical at points but stick with it because the message is very interesting.
Here is a section of the mercola.com article.
The ‘Meat’ of the Ketogenic Diet—FATS
Most people who follow a ketogenic diet inadvertently restrict their calories without actually reaping the metabolic benefits of a calorie deficit, which include reductions in blood glucose, insulin, and triglycerides. The reason for this is that they don’t replace the carbs (and protein) they’ve eliminated with high enough amounts of healthy fats.
“Paradoxically, when you’re eating more fat, your blood fats will go down, due to a calorie deficit, and HDL [so-called ‘good’ cholesterol] goes up. Almost everyone that I see on these high-fat ketogenic diets has improved HDL levels,” Dr. D’Agostino says.
Now, when we say increase the fat, we’re not talking about the most common fat that people eat, which are primarily highly processed vegetable oils that are full of omega-6 fats, or trans fats found in French fries and doughnuts. We’re talking about high-quality fats like avocados, butter, coconut oil, macadamia nuts, and olives. These types of fats, which Dr. Rosedale believes are metabolically neutral because they don’t tend to trigger hormonal signaling events like leptin, insulin, and the mTOR pathway.
“I think a lot of the fats can be used in place of protein. And fats are very protein sparing, decreasing your need for protein,” Dr. D’Agostino says.
Bear in mind that while a traditional ketogenic diet calls for quite a bit of dairy products, dairy can actually be problematic and may prevent many of the health benefits that you can get from the ketogenic diet described by D’Agostino and Seyfried. Lactose is a sugar made from galactose and glucose that is found in milk, making up anywhere from two to eight percent of milk by weight. These extra sugars can be problematic when seeking to lose weight or treat cancer, even if from raw organic sources. Dairy fat is acceptable (e.g. sour cream, butter, etc.), but foods high in dairy protein or lactose should be minimized or avoided.
Why You’d Want to Become a Fat-Burner
Your body can burn two types of fuel: fat and carbs. In my estimation, I suspect about 99 percent of Americans are adapted to burning carbs as their primary fuel. It’s important to realize that when your body is adapted to burning carbs, you’re quite inflexible, metabolically speaking. Without fail, your body will be screaming for food about every two to three hours. These kinds of hunger pangs vanish once you become fat adapted, however. Then you can go all day and not be hungry, because you have far more fat in your body to burn than glucose.
So how do you achieve this metabolic switch-over?
In my experience, intermittent fasting, where you gradually restrict the window of time during which you eat food down to about six to eight hours, is one of the most effective ways to make this transition.
“I think from a practical standpoint, the important question is what’s a person going to follow? From my perspective, the biggest hurdle here is compliance; compliance to a dietary strategy that makes calorie restriction feasible and possible. And you know, carbohydrate restriction, high-fat diet, and intermittent fasting is one way to achieve that,” Dr. D’Agostino says.
“There are a lot of advantages to this pattern of intermittent fasting. I think that it is a good strategy to promote metabolic health and to maintain nutritional ketosis, if you can adapt to it. In some lifestyles, people cannot readily adapt to it. But I’ve found that most people can if they give it a try for at least several weeks. Most people are resistant. Even with people that are resistant- once they try it, they’re amazed at how much better they feel.”
It’s not an ideal course for everyone, however. As a general rule, intermittent fasting is contraindicated if you’re:
- An elite athlete
- Suffer with adrenal stress
- Already at a low BMI (< 19)