My version of a Ketogenic Diet

Alzheimer's, cardiovascular, and other chronic diseases; biomarkers, lifestyle, supplements, drugs, and health care.
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Julie G
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My version of a Ketogenic Diet

Post by Julie G »

There's so much misinformation about a ketogenic diet. Most imagine it looks something like this:
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NOT.MY.VERSION. :D

For over a year now, I've been practicing a mildly ketogenic diet as ONE tool (among many!) to prevent Alzheimer's. My version is 65% fat, 20% protein, and 15% carbs and features lots and lots of vegetables (organic when possible,) some limited fruit (mostly berries,) wild-caught, free-range, or (limited) grass-fed protein and bone broths. My main fat is MUFA, although I use limited SFA in cooking (grass-fed butter or organic coconut oil.) I eat limited dairy (organic cheese, half-n-half in coffee, kefir/yogurt,) beans (mainly garbanzo as they are naturally low in phytic acid,) and rice. No carbs are off-limits; simply added to my 15% limit. I'm simultaneously practicing caloric restriction and exercising daily to further increase ketones and reap other benefits.

I usually eat twice a day and often wait 15-16 hours between my last meal of one day to my first meal of the next (easy when keto-adapted.) I'm rarely hungry; fat is very satiating. My first very often features pasture fed eggs and oodles of veg. Here's a few pics of what that meal looks like:
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Sometimes my first meal is a left-over from the night before. Here's a pic to demonstrate:
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(Note: I often eat vegetables in bone broth or organic stock. To reach my daily fat, I add several TBS of EVOO to a cooled bowl. I never cook with EVOO for fear of oxidation.)

My second meal is usually wild-caught fish or occasional free-range chicken with lots of vegetables. I eat grass-fed beef a few times a month:
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A snack would be fermented vegs, a handful of nuts, kefir or yogurt sprinkled with unsweetened coconut, nuts, berries.

A treat would be a small piece of dark chocolate, 85% cacao or more. Here's a pic of a treat ala Susan and Circular. The nut muffins are from Susan's recipe and the warmed (more antioxidants!) blueberries are a tip from Circ. (Photographed on a small salad plate.) I consider this a treat; eaten once or twice a month due to high Omega 6s:
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A cheat (once monthly) would be a big bowl of buttered popcorn. I use organic, non-GMO popcorn, cook it in organic coconut oil & generously butter with Kerry Gold. Yum, but it knocks me out of ketosis.

My diet is far from VLC, but I consistently demonstrate mild ketones via ketostix, ranging from 5mg/dl-15mg/dl. I recently had a non-fasting urinalysis showing 15mg/dl. EDIT: I've since begun using a ketone meter. My readings range from 0.5-2.0 mmol/L.

I know many assume that ketogenic diets are nutrient deficient. With some work, that hasn't proven true for me- with a single exception. For instance, yesterday, my cron-o-meter showed I met all of my nutrients going crazy over-board with some: B-12:582%, B-2:236%, Vitamin A:327%, Vitamin D:331%, Vitamin E:269%, Vitamin K:975%. The one mineral I am consistently lacking in is potassium. Some research demonstrates I'm not alone. Low carbers tend to struggle with this one. I get close some days, but almost never reach my goal. I am considering some smart supplementation here. EDIT: Supplementing with potassium was a failure. I became very lightheaded and faint and had to stop.. My serum potassium is always mid-range. It was a valuable lesson. Cron-o-meter doesn't always translate to serum values ;)

Some also assume that eating a diet high in fat makes you fat. Again, not true. In the time I've been on this diet, my BMI has fallen from 19.9 to 18.6.

Share your anti-Alzheimer's diet. Be sure to include pics :D
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MarcR
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Re: My version of a Ketogenic Diet

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Great post, Juliegee!

Your diet looks much like mine. I eat lots of salads, cruciferous vegetables, asparagus, EVOO, coconut oil. I sometimes eat 85% chocolate too. :-) I limit my protein intake. (My target is 1 g per pound of lean body mass.) I fast for 16+ hours each day. Some differences:

- I don't spend any of my carbs on rice, grains, or starchy vegetables. The small amounts possible while remaining in ketosis just don't seem worth it when I could squeeze in a few more nuts or berries.
- I love Mauna Loa macadamia nuts and have an embarrassingly large number of the 11 oz packages on my monthly Subscribe-and-Save. Mostly monounsaturated fat, they are the only nut that doesn't work against a healthy omega-3/6 balance.
- I have been treating grass-fed beef as a supremely healthful food. With a recently purchased side in a chest freezer in our basement, I have a large supply and have been eating beef nearly every day. I enjoy the fatty roasts and other cuts and, while I share a bit here and there with the dogs, for the most part I do not let the fat go to waste.
- I enjoy butter, cream, and cheese, and I consume them often. Unfortunately, with the exception of an occasional pastured butter purchase, all of my dairy consumption is grain fed.
- You didn't mention salt - I use lots of it. For example, I spread a quarter teaspoon on a single tin of brisling sardines in water. I salt meats and eggs liberally, and I eat 2-4 pickles nearly every evening. If I don't get enough, my calf muscles twitch and cramp.
- I supplement with magnesium (400 mg) and potassium (1 g - yes, that's ten 99 mg capsules daily) for the same reason that I consume extra salt.

I have no pictures at present but will begin accumulating for a future posting.

I use the Precision Xtra with ketone test strips to verify my status. Morning readings vary between 0.9 and 2.2. According to Peter Attia, readings above 0.5 indicate ketosis.
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Julie G
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Re: My version of a Ketogenic Diet

Post by Julie G »

Nice, Merouleau; I'll look forward to the pics. Yes, salt is most definitely my friend, magnesium too (See all my supplements in that section.) I show no symptoms of potassium deficiency, but my cron-o-meter tells me otherwise. Because of my diet & the fact that I inject methylcobalamin, I plan to begin supplementing. WOW, you take that many potassium capsules? Had you considered the powdered form; that's where I'm leaning.

Re. Carbs...you are decidedly lower carb than I. I am higher as I'm in in for the long haul; working to preserve thyroid, not lose muscle, and to maximize nutrition. Rice, I have a TBS or two a month- nice addition to a stir-fry...although I can make cauliflower taste pretty much the same. My only starch veg is sweet potato. I think it's very nutritious, but I limit to a cup or less. I'm considering adding beets for the uridine.

I agree grass-fed beef is supremely healthful; yay CLA! :D The reason my diet is quite Mediterranean; heavily MUFA-based and featuring leaner proteins is my attempt to tweak my lipids. I've been blessed with good cholesterol. Prior to this diet, a typical test would be: LDL 85, HDL 80, TG 50 (No prior advanced testing.) After almost a year on a ketogenic diet, my cholesterol went up to LDL 150, HDL 92, TG 47; but (silver lining) my LDL-P was only 1117. I'm trying to improve both LDL-C and LDL-P by eating less SFA and less animal based SFA.

I know I should serum test ketones. I'll look into your meter. Thanks so much for your feedback & for sharing your diet. I learn a lot from diet sharing posts like this.
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Re: My version of a Ketogenic Diet

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I am aware of two serum testers. Here's an evaluation: http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/prec ... tion/15918. The strips are insanely expensive in the U.S. - $5 each - but they're only $2 from Canada: http://www.universaldrugstore.com/medic ... st+Strips/.

Regarding the differences in our diets, I won't be surprised to find myself tweaking lipids also once I get another NMR test done.
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Re: My version of a Ketogenic Diet

Post by circular »

:-) I and thought of posting meal picks for fun and the helped get out of ruts, no matter what the dietary pattern is, since proportions etc can be tweaked. I would STARVE on your diet. For some reason no one food group is filling for me. I just need more calories to stay upright and functioning, yet my BMI is low. Its always hard to decide which evil food group to fill the gap with. Otherwise I eat a lot like you." I have a study about BMIs too low but not handy using my phone.
ApoE 3/4 > Thanks in advance for any responses made to my posts.
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Re: My version of a Ketogenic Diet

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Love this post! Once I settle on my ratios, I will post some pics and info as well. Coming later this spring… :)
Kathleen1
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Re: My version of a Ketogenic Diet

Post by Kathleen1 »

suddenly realized I can only see the mouth watering pictures if logged in! Juliegee, hooray, I eat like you (based upon the photos of the plates), except for the carbs I drink. Still counting nothing but pounds but will get around to that lipid blood test eventually (spouse, an E3/E3 has done his and is very supportive of this dietary path to wellness).
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Julie G
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Re: My version of a Ketogenic Diet

Post by Julie G »

Circ, I LOVE your idea of posting food pics. I often feel as though I'm in a rut and would love to get some fresh ideas. I agree that we can cut or add fat/carbs/protein as necessary to suit our individual approaches. Re. hunger on my diet...I swear it's impossible. I have never felt less hungry in my life; it's the difference between burning carbs and burning fat. Re. BMI, once again I agree with you. I have no desire to lose any more weight Weight loss was never my goal. It just happened.

RBK, can't wait to see your diet post!

Kathleen- just YAY!!! Sounds like you've been making incredible process. I totally agree it's best done in stages. I truly have learned so much from many here, about avoiding LC pitfalls, increasing nutrition, using a cron-o-meter, etc. I suspect I have much more to learn. I'm on a health j-o-u-r-n-e-y & have far to go.
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Re: My version of a Ketogenic Diet

Post by circular »

Would be nice to have a separate thread identifying low carb pitfalls and how to address them, so it's all in one place. Maybe there is one. I haven't been at the site online in some time. Too busy downsizing my mom.
ApoE 3/4 > Thanks in advance for any responses made to my posts.
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Julie G
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Re: My version of a Ketogenic Diet

Post by Julie G »

I just wanted to post my updated labs for this phase of my experiment. My overall goal has been to maintain a (mildly) ketogenic diet that is also heart healthy per standard lipid parameters. My diet is described in some detail above. As you may recall, I kept my macronutrient ratios the same (65%-f, 20%-p, 15%-c) but focused on eating less SFA and more MUFA for the past 5 months. Re. SFA, I still consumed about a dozen eggs a week and almost daily kefir-yogurt (1 cup or less,) organic cream in my coffee, and occasional bits of cheese in salads. The bulk of my added fat has been in EVOO- eating anywhere between 3-5 TBS a day. I've practiced CR (with daily exercise) more stringently than during my last testing period. My current BMI is 18.5.

Results from 3/25
LDL-P: 1089
HDL-P: 39.2
Small LDL-P: 112
LDL-Size: 21.2 (Pattern A)
LPIR: <25 (Actual LPIR is NOT reported on this test)
________
TC: 210
LDL-C: 114
HDL-C: 86
TG: 50

Results from 10/25 (I'm adding this as a reference. I was eating higher SFA during this phase of my experiment)
LDL-P: 1117
HDL-P: 39.5
Small LDL-P: 115
LDL-Size: 21.2 (Pattern A)
LPIR: 5
_________
TC: 251
LDL-C: 150
HDL-C: 92
TG: 47
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