Category Archives: ketogenic diet

Can Diet Alter Your Gut Bacteria and Thereby Lower Your Risk of Dementia?

The short answer? We don’t know.

Low-carb salad

The gut bacteria (aka microbiome) seem to be able to decrease or increase inflammation that could cause or exacerbate Alzheimer’s dementia. The  microbiome’s effect on inflammation depends on the species of bacteria present, and the amount of those bacteria. At least one study found that Alzheimer’s patients have a greater abundance of the pro-inflammatory species and less of the anti-inflammatory species, compared to other folks.

Researchers with Wake Forest School of Medicine tried to find answers to the questions in the title of this post. (Click for full text.) They studied 17 experimental subjects, average age 64, who had mild cognitive impairment (11) or “cogni/subjective memory complaints” (6). God bless them for submitting to three spinal taps apiece. The experimental diets were 1) Mediterranean-Ketogenic (under 20 g carb/day), or 2) Low-fat American Heart Association diet (under 40 g fat/day). Participants were on each diet for six weeks.

The investigators didn’t find anything useful for those of us trying today to avoid Alzheimer’s or prevent the progression of mild cognitive impairment to dementia. Their bottom line is, “The data suggest that specific gut microbial signatures may depict [characterize] the mild cognitive impairment and that the modified Mediterranean-ketogenic diet can modulate the gut microbiome and metabolites in association with improved Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers in cerebrospinal fluid.”

So we won’t know for several more years, if ever, whether intentional modification of diet will “improve” our gut microbiomes, leading to lower risk of dementia.

What we have known for many year, however, is that the traditional Mediterranean diet is linked to lower risk of Alzhiemer’s dementia.

For more details, see Science Daily:

In a small pilot study, the researchers identified several distinct gut microbiome signatures — the chemicals produced by bacteria — in study participants with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) but not in their counterparts with normal cognition, and found that these bacterial signatures correlated with higher levels of markers of Alzheimer’s disease in the cerebrospinal fluid of the participants with MCI.

Through cross-group dietary intervention, the study also showed that a modified Mediterranean-ketogenic diet produced changes in the gut microbiome and its metabolites that correlated with reduced levels of Alzheimer’s markers in the members of both study groups.

Source: Diet’s effect on gut bacteria could play role in reducing Alzheimer’s risk — ScienceDaily

Steve Parker, M.D.

Click the pic to purchase the world’s first practical ketogenic Mediterranean diet at Amazon.com. E-book versions also available at Smashwords.com.

If you own this book, you already have a ketogenic Mediterranean diet.

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Filed under Carbohydrate, Dementia, Health Benefits, ketogenic diet, Mediterranean Diet

Are Ketogenic Diets Nutritionally Adequate?

Sardines and a good source of calcium on a ketogenic diet

I was concerned about inadequate calcium consumption during the design of my ketogenic diet. Many experts believe that inadequate calcium intake causes thin, easily broken bones (osteoporosis). But his may not be true. And high calcium consumption seems to have increased risk of premature death in Swedish women. Furthermore, calcium supplementation almost doubled the risk of having a heart attack, at least in Germans. Yeah, it’s complicated.

From the journal Nutrition:

Objective

A 12-week ketogenic diet was shown to have many beneficial effects in healthy obese adults, but it is not clear if the supply of micronutrients is adequate.

Methods

In 35 adult individuals with BMI above 30, the intakes of minerals and their serum levels were analyzed at baseline and at weeks 4 and 12 of the ketogenic diet intervention. The intake of vitamins and serum antioxidative potential were also investigated.

Results

Throughout the diet the intakes of magnesium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and potassium were below recommended values, but their serum levels always remained within the reference range. Nevertheless, the level of calcium decreased significantly (from 2.52 ± 0.10 mmol/L at baseline to 2.36 ± 0.07 mmol/L at week 12, P < 0.001) which could be due to the omission of legumes and reduced dairy intake or due to the high fat intake alone. The levels of phosphate increased concomitantly. Calcium serum levels were negatively associated with ω-6 but not with ω-3 unsaturated fatty acid intake. The intakes of water-soluble vitamins were also too low. However, the antioxidative potential of serum did not change during intervention.

Conclusion

Careful choice of foods which would provide the necessary micronutrients is of utmost importance when consuming ketogenic diet. In the 12 weeks the decreased intakes did not reflect in serum values, but special attention to calcium should be advised if such diet is recommended through longer periods.

Source: Assessment of micronutrients in a 12-week ketogenic diet in obese adults – ScienceDirect

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: If you have my Conquer Diabetes and Prediabetes book, you already have my ketogenic diet, plus much more.

low-carb mediterranean diet

Click the pic to purchase at Amazon.com. E-book versions also available at Smashwords.com.

Click the pic to purchase at Amazon.com. E-book versions also available at Smashwords.com.

 

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Does the Keto Diet Prevent or Treat Alzheimer’s Dementia?

Sunny’s Super Salad

Maybe…we don’t know yet.

Have you noticed references to “keto diet” like there’s only one ketogenic diet? There are many ketogenic diets and some of them are dangerous. When choosing one, at least look for one designed by a registered dietitian or physician.

From a recent scientific article:

Highlights

•Impaired brain glucose metabolism and amyloid β plaques are associated with Alzheimer’s disease pathology.

•Ketones provide an alternative metabolic precursor to glucose in the brain.

•Ketogenic diets likely reduce amyloid plaques and may reverse their neurotoxicity.

•Modern diets high in carbohydrates may contribute to increasing Alzheimer’s incidence.

•The ketogenic diet (including carbohydrate restriction) might be useful in the management of Alzheimer’s disease.

Source: The ketogenic diet as a potential treatment and prevention strategy for Alzheimer’s disease – ScienceDirect

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: If you have Conquer Diabetes and Prediabete,  you already have the Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet

Click pic to purchase at Amazon.com

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Often Imitated But Never Duplicated: My Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet

I don’t know Dodie’s Doodles but she reviewed a competitor to my KMD: Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet at Amazon.com on May 30, 2018. She gave it two stars out of five. Here’s her review in toto:

This book, by Robert Santos-Prowse, a dietician, is not what you want. It’s a little over 180 pages, and the first 50 PAGES are how your digestive system works. Seriously, from the fact that your teeth chew your food all the way down your intestine, as if that’s why you bought the book. Yawn. No offense, but stick with the original by Dr. Steve Parker, who also has an acclaimed cookbook, and I recommend that. He’s the one you want and he has an author’s page here on Amazon.

The book Dodie reviewed is The Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet: A Low-Carb Approach to the Fresh-and-Delicious, Heart-Smart Healthy Lifestyle.

For a free taste of my Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet, click here. If you have my Conquer Diabetes and Prediabetes book, you already have the KMD and much much more.

Steve Parker, M.D.

low-carb mediterranean diet

Click the pics to purchase at Amazon.com in the U.S.

Probably under $13 at Amazon.com in the U.S.

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Recipe: Sous Vide Chicken and Sauteed Sugar Snap Peas

Sous vide chicken and sautéed sugar snap peas

Click the pic for our YouTube demonstration.

This is so low-carb that you can eat it in a ketogenic diet.

Ingredients:

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, 8-9 oz each (225-255 g each) (raw weight)

2.5 tbsp (37 ml) extra virgin olive oil

few sprigs of fresh rosemary (optional)

2 cloves garlic, diced

lemon-pepper seasoning

Montreal Steak Seasoning to taste

garlic salt to taste

Morton sea salt (coarse)

black pepper to taste

9 oz (255 g) fresh sugar snap peas

Instructions:

Choose one of two seasonings: 1) Montreal Steak or 2)  Rosemary lemon-pepper.

Brush one side of the breasts with about 1/2 tbsp olive oil. For Rosemary-style chicken, sprinkle the breasts with lemon-pepper seasoning, sea salt, and pepper to taste. Garnish with rosemary sprigs.

For Montreal-style, that seasoning is all you need; it already contains salt and pepper. Rosemary sprigs are optional.

Then cook the breasts in a sous vide device (see video) at 142°F for two hours.

When that’s done, my wife likes to sear the breasts in a frying pan (with a little olive oil) over medium-high heat, 1–2 minutes on each side. The chicken is fully cooked after two hours in the sous vide device, but the searing may enhance the flavor and appearance. It’s optional.

When the chicken is close to being done, sauté the garlic in two oz of olive oil over medium high heat for a minute or two, then add the sugar snap peas and a little garlic salt and pepper to taste, and cook for two to four minutes, stirring frequently.

Number of servings: 2

AMD boxes: 1 veggie, 2 fat, 1 protein

Nutritional analysis per serving:

Calories: 500

Calorie breakdown: 42% fat, 8% carbohydrate, 50% protein

Carb grams: 10

Fiber grams: 4

Digestible carb grams: 6

Prominent nutrients: protein, B6, iron, niacin, pantothenic acid, phosphorus, selenium

 

 

 

 

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The Mediterranean Ketogenic Lifestyle – By Dr. Colin Champ

Colin Champ, M.D., published and article on his version of a Ketogenic Mediterranean Diet.

“The Study Participants – The Mediterannean Ketogenic Lifestyle

Regardless, the study was a massive success, as it allowed 40 overweight individuals with an average BMI of 37 to switch from their diabetes-provoking diet containing over 50% carbohydrates for 12 weeks. Ketosis was apparently confirmed via ketone strips in the morning. This concerns me, because if they were urine strips, after 2-3 weeks they would have been inaccurate. Once again, we must question whether it was a ketogenic diet or simply a very low-carbohydrate diet. Yet, the proof is it the pudding as the Spanish Ketogenic dieters experienced an average reduction in bodyweight from 240 to 208 lbs. Most importantly, there was a clear loss of fat over muscle. Blood pressure dropped, blood lipids improved, triglycerides divebombed as they were cut in half, blood sugar dropped by almost 20 mg/dl, and HDL cholesterol – a difficult number to budge – rose significantly. Take note, as expected, the largest reduction overall was the massive drop in triglycerides, which is especially important as elevated triglycerides are strongly associated with an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and cancer.

Globally, all of these changes are desired. The question I pose, is can we take this a step further to encourage a full-blown Mediterranean Ketogenic Diet? I have been following what I consider a Mediterranean Ketogenic Diet for years by combining the cultural and social aspects of my Southern Italian heritage along with the scientific approach of the ketogenic diet. Sounds complicated? It’s not. In fact, it is so simple, that I have distilled it down to seven steps that are so simple, your great-grandfather likely followed most of them (mine certainly did).”

Source: The Mediterranean Ketogenic Lifestyle – Colin Champ

Compare with my version.

Odd cover, huh?

 

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Ketogenic Diet Surging in Popularity

Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet, front cover

As of 0130 hrs August 2, these are the top five diet and/or weight-loss books at Amazon.com. (If you’re not in the U.S., your country may have its own separate URL.) In order of top sellers first:

  • The Complete Ketogenic Diet for Beginners (#5 on best-seller list)
  • Instant Loss Cookbook (#8)
  • The Ketogenic Diet (#40)
  • The Plant Paradoz Cookbook (#42)
  • The Easy 5-Ingredient Ketogenic Diet Cookbook (#50-something)

I was fully aware ketogenic diets are popular now, but I didn’t realize just how popular! Both of my books on this page feature a doctor-designed ketogenic diet based on the healthy traditional Mediterranean diet.

Sadly, none of my books are best-sellers. I may have to start begging for donations from my blog readers. Poor, poor, pitiful me.

Steve Parker, M.D.

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Filed under ketogenic diet, Shameless Self-Promotion