I have to tell you… sometimes I cringe when I see some responses on threads in some of these “keto” groups on facebook. It literally makes my bones shake when I think about how misinformed some people get when it comes to the ketogenic diet. I’m not saying one person knows all, I’m not. But, as a nurse I had to write a response to this because this is about your HEALTH not just “weight loss”. The ketogenic diet is NOT about weight loss guys. It’s about health in general. I mean take this little blog post as you see fit but let me give you some health insight to a MAJOR question I see posted ALLL THE TIME.
“Do I have to eat veggies with a keto diet? I don’t like them.”
Think of this scenario…
Your sink drain will work just fine letting little debris from a plate run through it just fine, but what happens when you continue to do this over the years? What happens when your 7 year old son decides to throw out his veggies every single night and throw them down the sink? Those veggies will start to clog up that sink pipe. Eventually there’s going to be so much build up that that pipe quits working and it’s going to get clogged before you grab the Drain-O to unclog that pipe.
The same approach happens with the keto way of eating. Sure the diet makes you burn through a lot of fat, but we want the fat running through the liver and gallbladder. To make this possible it’s hard to flush all that out without the use of vegetables. And not only that, you NEED the vitamins and nutrients from the vegetables so that the body functions properly.
Let’s chat Fatty Liver Disease
You probably already know that being an alcoholic can cause a fatty liver aka “Fatty Liver Disease”. Are you aware that eating refined carbs and sugar can cause “non-alcoholic fatty liver disease”? How about keto? Did you also know that KETO, if not done properly, can cause Fatty Liver Disease?
“Effect of Insulin Lack on Causing a Fatty Liver”-
(Which means low insulin or lack of insulin)
According to Guidance Physiology, “Strange as it may seem, although insulin lack causes dissolution of the fat stores in adipose tissue, it causes a great increase in the amount of stored triglycerides in the liver, leading to a very fatty liver.”
Non alcoholic fatty liver disease is a growing epidemic. Not only in the United States but several other countries as well. This means that your body has inappropriately stored fat in your liver and it’s not a good thing. This is a huge risk factor for a slew of things including liver failure, heart disease, and even death.
30-40% of adults (3-4 out of 10) have fatty liver disease. Fatty liver disease is self inflicted. One out of 10 children have fatty liver disease. It’s a super scary statistic!
If you’re a type 2 diabetic, you have 40-80% chance to have fatty liver disease. However, this is curable through diet! You can totally reverse fatty liver disease, all with the tips ahead.
Let’s talk about the practical. Let’s chat about common sense.
When it comes to fatty liver disease, you have to stop fructose! You have to stop sugars, simple carbs, and starches. You should enjoy fiber-rich foods. Why? Because FIBER is what detoxes the body. FIBER.
Why is a healthy liver so important?
The liver is your largest internal organ and one of the most important organs in your body. The liver is the body’s workhorse, performing many critical functions.Detoxification is one of the liver’s most important functions. The liver is referred to as the “gatekeeper” because it absorbs and filters everything we put into our bodies. After filtering, the liver clears harmful toxins and waste while retaining the nutrients the body needs. These nutrients are then converted by the liver into essential blood components and released when needed. Metabolizing fats, carbohydrates, and protein and balancing hormones are other functions performed by the liver. The liver helps oxidize triglycerides to produce energy. It also produces bile which is essential for digesting and absorbing fats in our diet. The liver ensures blood sugar levels remain constant by removing and storing sugar if blood sugar levels increase and releasing sugar when blood sugar is low. It also converts amino acids in protein for energy production and removes ammonia produced in the process. By removing pathogens and fighting infections, the liver supports your immune system. It also regulates and directs hormones to perform their proper function. With these many functions, it is critical to protect the liver from disease.
Healing Fatty Liver Naturally
There are many natural strategies for healing fatty liver. An anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle is critical. Following ketogenic guidelines can be very helpful.
Other strategies are consuming foods and herbs that support liver health (Xtreme Liver Detox), intermittent fasting, drinking plenty of water, reducing stress and improving sleep, dealing with your anger, using Epsom salt baths and castor oil packs, improving gut health, including liver supporting nutrients, and supporting stomach acid levels and optimizing bile flow are all liver-healing strategies.
Anti-Inflammatory, Ketogenic Diet and Lifestyle
One of the best strategies for preventing and healing fatty liver is to consume an anti-inflammatory, ketogenic diet. This healing diet removes foods that cause inflammation and includes organic, non-GMO vegetables, fruits, healthy fats and clean protein.
A 2007 pilot study looked at 5 obese patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) disease who were put on a ketogenic diet for 6 months. The study demonstrated that in 6 months the patients lost an average of 27 lbs and had histologic improvement of fatty liver disease. In particular, the liver showed less signs of fat build-up, inflammation and fibrosis. (8)
To follow ketogenic diet guidelines, approximately 70% of calories should come from healthy fats, 20% from clean protein sources, and 10% from low-carbohydrate foods. An anti-inflammatory, ketogenic diet reduces inflammation, stabilizes blood sugar, reduces toxic load, provides necessary nutrients, and supports healthy blood pH levels.
Food to Avoid
Avoiding sugar is critical for liver health. As discussed earlier, sucrose and fructose are linked to NAFLD. Consuming refined sugars, along with grains any foods that are easily metabolized into sugar (high glycemic foods), causes a surge of blood glucose and large release of insulin. Insulin resistance is the most consistent underlying factor of NAFLD.
Processed foods and vegetable oils, which often contain toxic GMO ingredients and trans-fats, should be avoided. Processed foods and oils are highly inflammatory and create extra acidity in the tissues. Excess amounts of omega-6 fatty acids found in refined vegetable oilscan promote the development of NAFLD.
Meat and dairy from conventionally-raised animals and farmed fish also promote inflammation and contain large amounts of toxins. You should also avoid chemicals such as herbicides or pesticides by eating organic whenever possible.
Foods to Include
An anti-inflammatory diet includes whole, unprocessed foods. This diet consists of clean protein, organic vegetables and fruits, and healthy fats. Clean protein sources are grass-fed meats, pasture-raised, organic chicken and eggs and wild-caught fish.
Abundant amounts of low-carbohydrate, colorful vegetables and small amounts of low-glycemic fruits should be included in a liver-healthy diet. Low-carbohydrate vegetables include cruciferous vegetables, leeks, shallots, cucumbers, asparagus, and leafy greens to name a few.
Berries, grapefruits, limes, lemons, and granny smith apples are all low-glycemic fruits. Vegetables and fruits are high in anti-inflammatory antioxidants and phytonutrients which are great for liver health. You should also include plenty of liver-healthy herbs.
Quality fats are a very important part of a liver-healthy diet. Healthy fats are found in coconut, olives, avocados, and their oils and in grass-fed butter and ghee. These healthy fats are an efficient source of fuel to combat inflammation and support the liver.
Consume Liver Healthy Foods
Incorporating liver-healthy foods into the anti-inflammatory nutrition plan is great for healing the liver. One of the best foods for your liver is liver from organic, pasture-raised animals or wild-caught fish.
Liver is a concentrated source of bioavailable forms of nutrient complexes, including vitamin A, folate, iron, choline, vitamin B12, trace elements, and glutathione. Pasture-raised, organic eggs are also an excellent source of nutrients that support the liver.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale are great for liver health. They help neutralized toxins in the liver with their abundant amounts of phytonutrients, carotenoids, and flavonoids. Broccoli has even been shown to counter the development of fatty liver disease and liver cancer.
Cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates which increase the production of enzymes. These enzymatic reactions help detoxify the liver and increase its ability to remove carcinogens and heavy metals from the blood. Garlic also activates enzymes in the liver.
Beets, leafy greens, and avocados are great for the liver. Avocados are an excellent source of glutathione which is needed by the liver to filter out harmful substances and protect liver cells from damage.
Citrus fruits including lemons, limes and grapefruit, are great for the liver as are berries. Blueberries and cranberries are packed with powerful nutrients to support liver health. Both citrus fruits and berries protect the liver from damage.
Fatty fish like salmon, coffee, green tea, olive oil and nuts have been found to protect the liver from NAFLD and NSAH. Omega 3 fatty acids in fatty fish reduce lipid accumulation and liver enzyme levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and have anti-inflammatory effects. Nuts may be helpful in treating people with NAFLD by improving lipid profile, hepatic steatosis and inflammation.
Studies show that coffee is amazing for liver health. Coffee has a protective effect against the development of cirrhosis of the liver. There is an inverse association between coffee drinking and liver cancer. Coffee is even associated with a lower risk of death in people with chronic liver disease. Green tea and olive oil may improve liver enzyme levels and reduce oxidative stress and fat accumulation in the liver.
Your liver works hard for you. Even if you don’t drink alcohol or work amongst harsh chemicals, the toxins you inadvertently breathe, eat, drink, and even slather on your skin are a burden on your liver and this can start to take its toll on your energy and performance over time. Environmental toxins can even mess with your hormone balance and make it hard for you to lose fat.
Your liver is always filtering toxins – that’s its job. But there are some things you can do to support this process. Which brings me to one of my favorite, most targeted supplements for everyday detox: Xtreme Keto Cleanse | Calcium D-Glucarate.
I first started taking calcium-d-glucarate (CDG) as a way to ensure my high fat moderate protein diet didn’t produce excess ammonia.
It can decrease your LDL cholesterol, assist in protein digestion, and remove toxins and excess estrogen. Excess estrogen is a problem for everyone, but an even bigger problem for obese (or formerly obese) people.
To understand why CDG works, you have to understand a little biochemistry.
How the body gets rid of toxins
One of the ways the body gets rid of toxins is through a process called conjugation. During conjugation, toxins are packaged into water soluble compounds called glucuronides. Glucuronides are meant to pass through the liver, to the bile, then to the gut where they are excreted. However, high levels of an enzyme called beta-glucuronide can inhibit this process. This enzyme separates toxins from their conjugate bond and allows them to be reabsorbed. This allows toxins to keep circulating in the body where they make you fat, tired, and weak.
Calcium-d-glucarate prevents beta-glucuronide from disturbing this process. It keeps the toxins bound inside a glucuronide which is then removed from the body. Toxins are most damaging in their free form, which is why you want them to be bound (conjugated) and released from the body. Calcium-d-glucarate inhibits beta-glucuronidase which allows toxins to be removed.
Hello Xtreme Keto Cleanse | Calcium-D-glucarate
Calcium-d-Glucarate (CDG) is a natural substance produced by all mammals, including humans. Small amounts are also found in fruits and vegetables. Early humans were able to get enough calcium-d-glucarate from their own production since they ate relatively low amounts of toxins and lived in a clean environment. As toxin exposure has increased, humans need more calcium-d-glucarate to help excrete the extra toxins.
There is no *technical* deficiency of calcium-d-glucarate because it is not essential. However, humans produce small amounts, so it’s easy to develop low levels.
Here are 4 reasons calcium-d-glucarate is a seriously useful supplement.
1. Liver detox
When calcium-d-glucarate is taken orally, it’s metabolized into glucaric acid. This is the active form of calcium-d-glucarate and the one produced naturally by the body. Glucaric acid is not available as a supplement by itself which is why you have to buy calcium-d-glucarate. Another benefit of CDG over glucaric acid is a longer detox period. CDG detoxes the liver for five hours instead of one.
Glucaric acid binds to toxins in the stomach which are then removed in the urine. Glucaric acid is also circulated around the body where it performs the same function – scavenging and releasing toxins. Removing toxins from the liver will increase liver function and promote a healthy metabolism. It will also allow your liver to flush out other toxins that would otherwise cause problems.
2. Removing excess estrogen
High levels of beta-glucuronide increase the number of estrogen receptors. This means estrogen that would have been excreted is now able to bind to more receptors. This can cause increased tissue growth, inability to lose fat, and even man boobs.
Estrogen dominance is one of the leading causes of infertility, mood imbalances, and other health problems in women. One of the most common treatments for high estrogen levels in a drug called tamoxifen. Tamoxifen has numerous side effects including stroke, blood clots, uterine cancer, and cataracts.
New research shows that CDG could be just as effective as Tamoxifen in treating estrogen dominance. CDG allows excess estrogen to be passed out of the body. A review in 2003 said calcium-d-glucarate could be as effective in preventing cancer as Tamoxifen.
In one study, calcium-d-glucarate was able to reduce the number of estrogen receptors by 48 percent. It’s also been shown to lower serum estrogen levels by 23 percent.
High estrogen is also a problem for men. Whether your a man or woman, calcium-d-glucarate will help maintain proper hormone balance.
3. Decrease LDL cholesterol
Despite the numerous health effects of a paleo diet, one of the mysterious negative effects seems to be elevated LDL cholesterol. Paul Jaminet wrote an excellent post on this topic where numerous people said they experienced high LDL levels.
Not only is total cholesterol increased, but it’s LDL cholesterol. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as it’s type-A LDL (large, puffy, non-atherogenic). However, since being Bulletproof means doing everything possible to ensure optimal health, this is something that needs to be dealt with. High LDL isn’t necessarily the problem. It’s a sign of tissue damage or toxins which is the problem.
When cells are stressed or damaged, they need cholesterol for repair. As Dr. Jaminet also pointed out, high LDL levels are needed to repair damaged tissue.
The body sends LDL molecules to supply various parts of the body with cholesterol and fats. Limited blood flow is one form of stress. Calcium-d-glucarate is metabolized into glucaric salts. Glucaric salts reduces beta-glucuronidase production by gut bacteria. Reducing beta-glucuronidase enhances enterohepatic (liver) circulation which reduces cholesterol synthesis. This causes lower cholesterol levels.
In rats, CDG lowers total cholesterol by 12-15 percent, and LDL cholesterol by 30-35 percent. In humans, CDG lowers cholesterol by 12 percent, and LDL cholesterol by 28 percent. It can also lower triglycerides up to 43 percent.
CDG is not arbitrarily playing with cholesterol numbers like statins. It decreases stress on the liver which lowers your need for cholesterol, especially LDL cholesterol.
4. Great for high fat moderate protein diets
Humans are meant to eat large amounts of protein and fat. Our livers and kidney efficiently process proteins and are able to remove harmful byproducts like ammonia. However, humans can only handle so many toxins. The human body is involved fending off xenoestrogens, air pollutants, chronic infections, and mycotoxins. This leaves very little room for dealing with the metabolites of protein. Our modern world is so polluted, that humans don’t always have the necessary means to fend off natural byproducts of a healthy metabolism. If you’re consuming a high protein diet (25-35 percent), you should consider supplementing with calcium-d-glucarate.
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Toni Sweeney is a Triple Certified Ketogenic Diet and Primal Health Coach and weight loss expert who personally lost 80 pounds while making a total lifestyle change. The founder of TS Transformations, her formulas and plans has helped thousands of women lose weight and keep it off forever.