Biohacking: Ketosis

You can't burn fat without ketosis

When your body runs out of stored glucose, it converts fat into glucose, fatty acids and then ketone bodies, a glucose substitute. If you are burning fat, you are producing ketones and are in a state of nutritional ketosis. This is different from diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a (very bad thing) complication of type 1 diabetes.

"I believe a low level of ketosis is actually the natural and most optimal state of metabolism for humans."

Dr. David Perlmutter, in Keto Clarity, page 31 by Eric Westman, MD.

Ketosis, a natural state

"...yes, this is a completely normal metabolic state. In fact, according to pediatric physician Dr. Mary Newport, newborn babies who are exclusively breastfed will go into a state of ketosis within twelve hours of birth, and ketones provide about 25 percent of their energy needs. Actually, 10 percent of the fats in full-term human breast milk is composed of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which the liver converts to ketones. This is one reason why virtually every infant formula sold on the market today contains MCT oil and coconut oil, which 'mimic the fats in breast milk.' Dr. Newport says this is a clear indication that 'from birth, and possibly before that, ketones play an important role.'"

Eric Westman, MD., in Keto Clarity, page 32

Stored Glucose

"When you don't have any food in your body to turn into energy, your body turns to burning the glucose it stores in the easily-burned form of glycogen. But you only have a limited amount of that -- 70 grams in your liver, and 200 grams scattered throughout all the muscles of your body

When your body has also burned through all of that, it turns to the only stored energy it has left: Bodyfat. Note that the body doesn't particularly want to burn bodyfat -- we're built to accumulate fat whenever food is available (which, at least in the developed world, it almost always is) -- and only turns to burning bodyfat when food is scarce."

Ace, of the Ace of Spades blog, in Fast Friday: The Last Word in Fasting for GAINZZZ

Ketones, produced by the liver

"Your body naturally goes into ketosis when you go for several days with low or restricted carbohydrate in your diet. The main ketones produced within the body are beta-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate and acetone. Ketones are produced by the liver from fat and provide an energy source that acts as a substitute for glucose for the cells of the body to produce ATP."

Brianna Stubbs, Olympic Medalist, DPhil (PhD) in Physiology in Ketosis

Not filling it back up

"Jason and I started off only doing 24 and 36 hour fasts with our patients and within a year they’re down a hundred pounds and in 6 months they’re off of insulin, we had a tremendous amount of success."

"...just eat well, you go low carb, go keto on your eating days so you don’t fill back up your liver, you think of your liver as a cup, on your fasting day you empty it, on your eating day you don’t want to fill it back up"

Megan Ramos, Clinical Director IDM, in Fasting Talk Podcast Number 17

Combating Health Conditions with Ketosis

"Many chronic symptoms and health conditions — such as fatigue, sleepiness, mood disorders, insomnia, gastroesophageal reflux disease, lipid disorders, high blood pressure, headaches (including migraines), gas, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, joint inflammation, acne, and difficulty concentrating, to name a few — will improve on a ketogenic diet. Treating lifestyle conditions with lifestyle change such as this can make us a healthier and less drug-dependent country."

Jackie Eberstein, R.N., in Keto Clarity, page 32

Heart Disease is a Carbohydrate Problem

"If you look at the advanced lipid tests - LDL-P, ApoB, and the size and density of the LDL—then heart disease becomes a carbohydrate problem. As long as you're focusing on LDL cholesterol as the culprit, then you can blame saturated fat."

Gary Taubes, in Cholesterol Clarity, page 114 by Jimmy Moore, Eric Westman, MD.

"Insulin resistance is important because it is the root cause of atherosclerosis. A random blood sugar level above 120, lots of small particles or Pattern B LDL cholesterol, remnant lipoproteins, elevated CRP levels, low GlycoMark, and A1c around 5.0–5.3 are the things that make me want to work up a patient more earnestly. You don't really need to do fancy advanced lipid testing; triglycerides, HDL, and non-HDL numbers are available on every standard lipid panel."

Dr Rocky Patel, in Cholesterol Clarity, page 118 by Jimmy Moore, Eric Westman, MD.

M.C.T. Oil

"Some fats are more apt to readily convert to ketones than others: short- and medium-chain fats, like those found in pastured butter, cultured ghee, coconut oil, and especially MCT oil (taken as a supplement), will readily convert to ketones. This can help improve the efficiency by which a person adapts to a healthy fat-based, ketone-fueled metabolism."

Nora Gedaudas, author of "Primal Body, Primal Mind", in Keto Clarity, page 85 by Eric Westman, MD.

A keto-friendly concoction

In its simplest form, it’s a keto friendly concoction of good coffee, MCT oil and grass-fed butter. It doesn’t really give you much of an insulin spike, the MCT oil is quickly converted into keytones and it has healthy fat. You probably want to avoid it during a fast if you can, but it’s a nice keto friendly boost otherwise.

Q: Will it break a fast?

A: It depends on why you're fasting. It won't take you out of nutritional ketosis, but it will interrupt autophagy because you have to digest it.

Keto Friendly Foods

If you can afford and acquire grass-fed/pastured products, it is very much worth it. Commercial critters are typically raised on processed feed full of omega-6 fatty acids, which are bad for you. They end up in the product, which ends up in you. Omega-6 fatty acids contribute to inflammation. Commercial critters are almost always pumped full of antibiotics and medicines, which also end up in the product, which ends up in you.

Animal Fats / Fatty Meats

  • Butter, Ghee, Lard, Tallow
  • Cheese, Cream, Greek Yogurt
  • Egg Yolks
  • Fish, Shellfish
  • Liver, Bone Marrow, Tongue
Nuts and Seeds

  • Cashews
  • Chia Seeds
  • Hazelnuts
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Pecans
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pistachios
  • Sesame Seeds
  • Squash Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Walnuts
Nut Butters Healthy Oils

  • Olive Oil
    EVOO helps promote autophagy
  • Avocado Oil
    Smoke Point of 500F
  • Coconut Oil
    Promotes ketone production
  • Macadamia Nut Oil
  • Walnut Oil
    I use in wood working. Never gets rancid.
  • Flaxseed Oil

  • Beef
  • Bone Broth
  • Cheese, Cream, Greek Yogurt
  • Chicken
  • Duck
  • Fish
  • Goat
  • Lamb
  • Organ Meats
  • Pork
  • Shellfish
  • Turkey
  • Wild Game

  • Homemade Mayo
  • Mustards
  • Horseradish
  • Hot Sauces
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Sauerkraut (no added sugars)
  • Salad Dressings (no added sugars)
  • Herbs and Spices

  • Artichoke Hearts
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Avocado
  • Bamboo Shoots
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Bell Pepper
  • Bok Choi
  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli Raab
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage (Green)
  • Cabbage (Red)
  • Cabbage (White)
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Celeriac
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Fennel
  • Ginger
  • Green Beans
  • Jalapeno Pepper
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leek
  • Mushrooms
  • Mustard Greens
  • Nopales
  • Okra
  • Olives
  • Onion
  • Pumpkin
  • Radish
  • Rutabaga
  • Snow Peas
  • Spinach
  • Swiss Chard
  • Tomato
  • Turnips
  • Watercress
  • Zucchini