AIR DATE: February 9, 2012 at 7PM ET
FEATURED EXPERT: Mark Sisson
FEATURED TOPIC: “Ketosis: Devil or Angel?”
Episode 5 of “Jimmy Moore Presents: Ask The Low-Carb Experts” features Mark Sisson who is the man behind the wildly popular “Mark’s Daily Apple” blog and the author of several health books focused on primal/Paleo/low-carb living, including his bestselling 2009 release The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health, and Boundless Energy as well as several cookbooks. He has been critically acclaimed for challenging many flawed elements of conventional wisdom about diet and exercise. Sisson’s “Primal” theme encourages us to reconnect with our hunter-gatherer ancestral roots by eating natural plant and animal foods, getting plenty of low-level daily activity interspersed with occasional brief, intense exercise, and engaging in lifestyle behaviors that balance the stress of hectic modern life. Sisson was one of the world’s most versatile and accomplished endurance athletes, with a 2:18 marathon to his credit and a fourth place finish in the Hawaii Ironman World Triathlon Championships. He also served as the first anti-doping leader of the International Triathlon Union and consulted internationally for the International Olympic Committee on endurance training, nutritional supplementation, and the effects of performance enhancing drugs on athletes. He is the founder and president of Primal Nutrition, Inc. a Malibu, CA-based supplement company. Sisson lives in Malibu with his gorgeous wife and two teenage children.
Mark has studied nutrition very closely over the years and is pretty astute at articulating information from the scientific research on diet and health. One specific area of expertise he possesses is on the controversial subject of ketone bodies. He does a fabulous job addressing the nonsense that ketosis is merely “smelly breath” and goes much deeper into what the purpose of ketone bodies in the body. This is a BIG TOPIC in the low-carb community and Mark Sisson does an excellent job addressing YOUR questions.
Here are the questions about ketosis Mark addresses:
Is it better, when testing for ketones, if the stick is very dark vs. lighter. In other words, is better to have more ketones? Or is any level of ketosis adequate?
How do you explain to someone in the medical field that ketosis is not a bad thing? I was talking to my sister who is in the medical field and it seems that she along with a lot of other medical professionals who should know the difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis don’t. They automatically assume that ketosis and ketoacidosis are both bad. How do you explain the difference to them when they should already know the difference?
When I am in Ketosis – how do I know if the ketosis is from stored body fat or from excess fat that I may be eating? Is there a certain level of fat per day (in grams or a %) that I should aim for at to ensure my ketosis is from stored body fat (and not eating too much fat).
I’ve always been taught that ketones could only be produced if you eat around 50g of carb or less. But I’ve seen on your site that you think eating less than 50g could lead to unnecessary deprivation of plant foods. Could you elaborate on this?
How long does it normally take a body to get adapted to using ketones for energy? I keep starting over (VLC – around 30-40/day) because I feel like a slug for a month and just can’t take it. Now I read it can take longer than that to actually get your body adapted to using ketones for energy well? I need to lose about 75 pounds and have ZERO energy for exercise.
Is ketosis really necessary for most people to lose weight?
Are there any negative health consequences (kidneys, brain function, hypoglycemia, bone and eye health or constipation) to being in ketosis for an extended period of weeks, months or years?
Can excess protein at any one meal bring you out of ketosis? If so how much is too much?
Is a ketogenic diet inflammatory or anti-inflammatory?
Just wanted to ask you guys what to do about the dreaded keto breath. My girlfriend really hates it and refuses to even kiss my when I have it. I’ve heard all kinds of remedies, carrots, parsley and other herbs. Any suggestions?
Where does ketosis fit into my weight loss and muscle gain routine? I’m currently 5’6″ and weigh about 185 pounds.
After about 5 or 6 months of low carbing, my scalp started burning and my hair started falling out. Could this be linked with ketosis?
The brain requires a steady inflow of glucose for proper functioning. Gary Taubes mentions in Why We Get Fat that it isn’t known for sure if the brain can run as effectively on ketones as it can glucose. What are your thoughts?
I am 52 years have returned Atkins low carb eating about 4 week ago after being on the diet roller coast all my life. I am also on several medication (blood pressure, thyroid, quit the statin, supplements etc) that I know do hinder weight loss, can they be preventing me from burning more ketones? Any suggestion how I can bump up my ketosis if need to?
Does approaching diet and health from the Primal point of view consider manipulating ketones/ketosis to lose a lot of weight as the OPTIMUM way to do it? The question is assuming that hunter gatherers would not usually make it to the level of hormone damage and obesity we find common in today’s population, so evolution may not have provided a robust way to get us out of such a huge hormonal mess.
I’m wondering how the absence of a gallbladder can affect someone attempting ketosis or a Primal lifestyle in general. I have heard that others require slightly higher carbs to keep away from IBS type symptoms. Have you found this to be true?
Dr. Steve Phinney, in a video interview with Andreas Eenfeldt, says that someone who takes a one or two day “holiday” from a ketogenic diet generally takes “at least two weeks and more like 4-6 weeks” before they re-enter full nutritional ketosis. Do you have any thoughts on this? It was my assumption that it wouldn’t take that long before someone would recondition their bodies to preferentially burn fat. Do we reset the clock every time we eat enough carbohydrates to come out of ketosis?
Is lowering carbohydrates the only thing that determines whether or not someone will get into ketosis? Specifically, is there any effect food sensitivities have on being in a ketogenic state? When I eat nightshades (which I am sensitive to) my ketone bodies (as measured with ketone urine strips) go down. I generally eat a very low carbohydrate diet (less than 20 grams/day) and am wondering if this effect on my measured ketone bodies is due to food sensitivities, the increase in carbs from the nightshade foods, or some other reason?
I’d like to get Mark’s perspective on ketosis and gout risk. Also what about people who have gout going on ketosis?
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