The Health and Wellness show on the SOTT Radio Network covers topics of health, diet, science, homeopathy, wellness culture, and more. Tune in weekly!Running Time:
Here's the transcript of the show:Jonathan:
Welcome to the show everybody. Today's the 16th of February. My name is Jonathan, I'll be your host for today. And joining me in our virtual studio from all over the planet today are Doug and Erica. Gaby and Tiffany are not going to be with us today, unfortunately we'll miss them, but they have other engagements. And Zoya will be with us later for the Pet Health segment as well; we have a pre-recorded segment from her so that our connection does not drop out.
So today, we're going to be talking about 'ketosis' - it should be an interesting topic, ketosis - and the Ketogenic diet. Doug's got quite a bit of data on that. But first, we're going to go to Erica and just do a little bit of review of some of the news that's been happening lately regarding health and wellness and a little update on some of the vaccine hysteria that appears to be ongoing; Erica, do you want to update us on that?Erica:
Yes, thanks for having me. So, I wanted to start off kind of picking up where we've covered in the last few shows about the vaccine hysteria and in particular this outbreak of the measles in California and Arizona. And if you follow the sott.net Health and Wellness section, you can get all the latest updates on this vaccine debate.
But one of the articles that kind of piqued my attention - and I wanted to bring up - is that there's a new federal bill that's been announced, to eliminate all vaccine exemptions for Head Start. And for people who do not live in the United States who might not know what Head Start is, Head Start is a federally funded program for low-income children in the United States, developed back in the 1960's to provide educational support for children going into kindergarten. It's funded a lot by the USDA because they provide breakfast and lunch for low-income children, and why this federal bill is kind of alarming is that for 2015 the statistics on children who are on food stamps or considered low-income was about 16 million, so it's a pretty large population that this program serves. So, this vaccine exemption being eliminated will affect a lot of children negatively in this way.
So, I just want to give you a little info. from the article: so, Senator Barbara Boxer and Representative Anna Eshoo from Palo Alto proposed this legislation and its federal legislation and not state legislation. So, each state has different vaccine exemption laws, but this would be a federal law that would require all children who attend Head Start to have all CDC mandated vaccines. And the proposal is entitled, "The Head Start on Vaccinations Act". And as I said, it would recommend all vaccines and there would be no exemptions for religious or personal beliefs.
The Monterey Herald did a little report on this bill and the Palo Alto Representative kind of made a joke, saying that, "this bill is the booster shot for our nation's vaccine policies and will mitigate the spread of deadly disease" and trying to be funny in a really sick and distorted sort of way, you know, and kind of touching on the fact that the measles vaccine - or MMR - has been a controversy since the CDC whistleblower, Dr. Thompson came out and showed that they had been lying and omitting information but also that generally speaking, people don't die from the measles, and so this whole kind of wording of, you know, "this deadly disease" and "kids are going to die" and then going after people who don't vaccinate by saying things like, you know, "they should be jailed" or "the children should be taken away", you know, all this kind of fear tactics is basically a form of medical tyranny, right? And really taking away people's right to choose, and parents to have a choice in what they want to do for their child.
And so, again, there are many articles about this. One of them - which are kind of interesting - is; McDonald's gives free vaccines with Happy Meals in Texas - you can read that on the sott.net page.Doug:
So, now they're, you know, "come and get your happy meal and your free MMR vaccine", you know?Doug:
There's not enough poison in the Happy Meal, they have to include a vaccine with that as well.Erica:
Yeah! And what's kind of interesting about this whole thing is - again - as I said last week, the CDC came out and said the overall vaccination rate in the U.S. is 92%. So, all this energy is being focused on the 7% of people that are choosing to opt-out - right? Based on religious or philosophical exemptions. And, as Sherri Tenpenny has said - and she's the woman we talked about last week who received bomb-threats for proposing to do an informational tour in Australia - this is quoted by her in a video called; Silent Epidemic: The Untold Story of Vaccines, "Vaccine mandates are a sign of vaccine failure." So, you can see this massive push to continue for people to get this MMR vaccine even though children aren't dying from measles and mumps.
And one of the things that I'm noticing in all my research is that all these people that are against parents choosing to opt out are saying, "Oh it's the wealthy" or "It's the elite" or, even one article on sott.net entitled; There's Nothing Trendy About Not Vaccinating Your Child, it's being painted in this light that people are refusing vaccinations for illogical, irrational reasons and anybody who is a regular reader of sott.net will know that that's just not the case; that the information out there and what we shared in our flu vaccine radio show - there's some serious concerns. And rightly so.Doug:
Yeah, the people that are refusing vaccines tend to be the more informed on the subject. Although they're portrayed as these kind of hysterical, unreasonable people who are just kind of reading conspiracy theories on the internet. You know, the people who are actually going out there and learning things and becoming informed are the ones who are usually making the decision not to vaccine.Erica:
Exactly. And, in one these articles on the sott.net page, called; Big Pharma's Corporate Crimes and Fines: How Can They Get Away With It?, the authors talked about an article in Health Impact News about Doctors earning 3.5 billion dollars in kick-backs from pharmaceutical companies. And then she goes on to say, "what does that tell you as to why you and parents are being forced by pseudo-science and Kool-Aid science drinkers to submit to vaccination? It's a legal racket condoned by law, the Health and Human services, the CDC and the FDA."
So, one study would prove the controversial science of vaccines is the retrospective study of the health status of vaccinated children of all ages vs. non-vaccinated children. And she makes a plea to congress to please commission a discussion on that, you know, about the difference between unvaccinated children and vaccinated children. And basically, from this article and several others is that this is a profit-making industry and what's happening is, you know - especially with Dr. Thompson's revelations and then Dr. Wakefield that we talked about before who started coming out with damning evidence ten years ago about the MMR vaccine - is that it just becomes a profit-driven industry and the more people decide to forgo and even just wait to vaccinate until the child's immune system has developed more - they're losing those shares of that money.
So, it's like the classic psychopathic corporation. The number one goal is profit. It's not your child's health or the health of your community. So, she goes on to say in the conclusion in this article about corporate crimes and fines by big pharma, "Why after all the years of contention about parents not wanting to vaccinate, wouldn't medical science, Big Pharma and government health agencies want to set the record scientifically straight? Why do they just pontificate "vaccines are safe"? That's not been proven and each vaccine insert says so. Check it out by asking your medical doctor for that piece of paper and read it thoroughly." And that's like what we talked about before: read the ingredients on what is being given in those vaccines.
It's just alarming. It's alarming in the sense that the mainstream media has so much control to demonise and vilify people who are taking their own health and wellness into their own hands.
And just to kind of tie that all up, as I said before I wrote an article for sott.net a couple of months ago about, America: A Vaxxer-Nation?
, and in there, I included this UNICEF document. So, it says, "UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund defames health sites over vaccines." So, a report came out, monitoring independent health cites and their users in an attempt to identify anti-vaccine influencers and their effect on lack-lustre vaccine uptake. And it goes on to say, "It's confirmed that parents are using social media networks to decide whether or not to vaccinate their child and then labelling research that contradicts or questions the views on vaccines as always safe and effective, always outweighs the risks, and it's basically - again - trying to control the information.
"Insofar as many of the sites UNICEF labels as anti-vaccine consistently site peer-reviewed and public research. They risk inciting the credibility of their own global immunisation program." And so their report makes the following recommendation: "International agencies and other partners will need to combine forces and support governments to reverse this counter-productive trend and develop common strategies to promote immunisation."
So basically, that's what we're seeing unfolding as we speakJonathan:
So, it's a marketing strategy.Erica:
Basically and anybody that questions, is not a good parent or they're wealthy and they're non-informed and they get their information from the internet and it couldn't be further from the truth.Jonathan:
Yeah. Yeah, it's particularly insidious, the program you were talking about before where they're targeting lower income families and children. It's people who don't really have a lot of choices. So, it's kind of like these people who are kind of forced to rely on these programs are suddenly also going to be forced to get their children vaccinated.Jonathan:
Exactly. And I really recommend for people who are on the fence about this measles issue and is my unvaccinated child going to spread it to your vaccinated child, I recommend the article; The Vaccine Safety Myth, It was a 'Best of the Web' last week on sott.net, by Jamie Jones, an M.D. and she just has this to say: "Think hard before you endorse the idea that governments should be able to mandate a profital but invasive medical procedure without informed consent. It's not about measles, it's about you freedom to choose. It's your first amendment right."Doug:
Totally. Yeah, and it does seem to be going that way in a lot of other areas of medicine as well. Just like we talked about in one of our earlier shows - minors being forced to take chemotherapy - , even against their parents will, to the point the CPS will come and take them from their parents and take them to the doctor to strap them down and give them chemotherapy against their will. It's ridiculous, it's just over the top.
This parallel was drawn in my mind earlier today when I was reading some things about the epidemic of police brutality and shootings that are going on now and that people - in the United States especially - are so afraid of the police, to the point where now they're calling a 911 dispatcher when they're pulled over because their afraid of the police that have pulled them over. It's just such an epidemic of fear. And that specifically this article was talking about resisting arrest and the controversy around resisting arrest and the fact that you just can't do it; it's a complete no-no. And they then have the excuse to do pretty much whatever they want.
They can cite Resisting Arrest - even if you ask them a question, they can say, well you're resisting, and then use physical force because, "their lives are in danger" even if you have no weapons or anything like that. And that seems to me like what's going on with vaccines right now. It's like, if you say what you think or even not just what you think - if you show the science about vaccines, about the fact that they're not safe - the fact that herd-immunity is a myth - if you bring up any of these issues, then you are, "resisting arrest" and at that point then all bets are off. You can be labelled a 'nut', a 'conspiracy theorist'; you can be denied social services; your kids can be denied access to school. It's a very similar thing, like they set up this paradigm where if you go against it, you are no longer part of the herd - you're no longer granted any of the benefits - so to speak - of society. And you're ostracised and cut-off.
And personally, I think regarding treating yourself for illnesses, certainly there are cases where you need an expert who's been trained in it, but the majority of things that we get from day to day, like the flu, a cold, even measles, even shingles which I myself treated on my myself - I never went within 100 yards of the hospital when I got shingles and I got over it in three weeks. And now obviously I can't recommend anybody else do that - you have to make your own choices about your medical treatment. But, for me, that was the right choice for me to make. But I understand that for most people, it's scary if you have like a really strong flu, it's a scary situation - you really want help, you want somebody who seems like they know what they're doing and so they're going to take their word for it and they're going to take the authorities word for it and right now the authorities are the medical establishment. So, I can understand why people are getting on the vaccine train - why they think it's safe - but I think it merits a lot more discussion among reasonable people.Erica:
Yeah, and I agree and the concerning thing about the Head Start thing and why I chose to share it today was that I used to work for them as a parent advocate in the late 90's and they're very intertwined with organisations like, child protective services. So - again - as you were saying, it's this whole fear-based situation where already these families are low income - there are these financially struggling - and their children need child-care or early nutritional supplement - which that's a whole other thing because the USDA funds that for Head Start - but if you want to have somebody educate your child, you have to do it. There's no sort of discussion about, "well, maybe it's against my religion and maybe I don't want to do this". Well, if you don't do it then your child does not get those services.Jonathan:
I think this would be a good time... I should remember to give our disclaimer here; the views and opinions expressed in this show are not intended to constitute medical advice. If you have questions, we encourage you to do your own research and to consult your own healthcare practitioner before you make any medical decisions for you or your family. We'd like to be very clear on that. The choices that you make are up to you; it's a freewill Universe and we are not your doctor. So, just to make that clear.
I think everybody's been hearing so much about vaccines these last few weeks. So, let's move on to talking about our topic today which are ketosis and the Ketogenic diet. There's a lot of interesting things involved here in this topic and I know that maybe a lot of people haven't heard the term, 'ketosis'.
When I first encountered it, I had no idea what it was. I had to dip my toes into those waters and find out what the details were but Doug is going to give us an introduction and the basics of ketosis and what the Ketogenic diet is and then we'll talk about some further details on that throughout the show.Doug:
Yeah. It's funny - we've mentioned the Ketogenic diet a number of times on this show before, just in an off-hand way as kind of a solution to a lot of the different things we've discussed. But, we decided that it was actually time to dive into it more and give people the details on what it actually is.
When I was in nutrition school, my exposure to the Ketogenic diet was basically negative. They were talking about how it can be very harmful and it shouldn't be done long-term and it's a trendy weight-loss plan and nothing more. So, I was set-up to reject it right from the very beginning and it really took a lot of research and people pointing out - particularly on the sott.net forum, really bringing out the research and showing what it was all about - for me to kind of get past that hump that had been artificially implanted in my brain.
But, just to go over what exactly the Ketogenic diet is. So, there are basically two main fuel sources for our bodies. There's carbohydrates - which essentially is sugar; all carbohydrates eventually break down to sugar. And then there's fat. You can use protein - I mean, protein can be used as a fuel source, but it is problematic to use it as a main fuel source. Protein is more used for structural purposes in the body and making different components; muscle, bone, all that kind of stuff, and hormones. So, the Ketogenic diet is a diet that switches one from being primarily a sugar-burner - or a carbohydrate-burner - to primarily a fat-burner, subsisting mainly on fat as your main fuel source.
Now because high blood sugar is generally toxic to the body, your body has all kinds of ways of actually lowering blood sugar because having high blood sugar is quite toxic. Your body will not switch over into fat-burning mode until all the carbohydrate is actually dealt with. So, getting your body into fat-burning mode requires you to eliminate all, or at least most of the carbohydrate in your diet.
Protein also need to be kept to moderate levels, just because protein actually does have an effect on insulin. Eating protein will raise your insulin levels which does effect blood sugar. So, by eating too much protein, you can actually keep yourself out of this fat burning mode.
It's referred to as Ketogenic because when you're in fat-burning mode, the liver converts fats to what are called 'ketone bodies' which it uses for energy. Primarily, those ketone bodies are used by the brain, which were previously thought to rely solely on glucose - that they couldn't use anything else - but in actual fact, they can use ketones and they actually do a lot better on ketones.
But when people talk about ketosis and about the Ketogenic diet, what distinguishes one as being in ketosis is having the presence of these ketones in the blood. When you're in your sugar-burning mode - which I should say is basically the mode that the vast majority of the population of planet Earth are in all the time - you don't find very many ketones. Ketones are present when anybody fasts, so anybody that goes on a fast will probably have ketones present in the blood provided of course they're not doing something silly like the Master Cleanse and drinking maple syrup the entire time and keeping themselves in sugar-burning mode - basically getting rid of all the beneficial effects of fasting. And some people, if the blood sugar isn't too dysregulated, will enter into ketosis when they're sleeping, just because they're fasting for a long period of time. So, you will find that there are ketones in the blood when you first wake up, even if you're not on the Ketogenic diet.
Because fat is a more efficient fuel - and it is, because it supplies 9 calories per gram, whereas carbohydrates and protein only provide 4 calories per gram - it's a very energy efficient diet. Fat is shuttled directly into the mitochondria - and the mitochondria are the little power plants in your cells that make energy - and it doesn't require to be converted like carbohydrates and proteins do before they enter into the mitochondria. So, there's a whole biological step there that doesn't need to be undergone when you're burning fat.
Nora Gedgaudas, who wrote Primal Body, Primal Mind, uses the analogy of a fireplace; and that using fat as your main fuel source is like a log for the fire - you know, it's long-burning; it's slow-burning; it provides heat over a long period of time - versus using kindling or paper or something like that, which is more akin to carbohydrates, which is a very quick-burning fuel; very fast; but you kind of spike-up, it goes hot for a bit and then it goes cold - you know, goes out right away. So it's kind of a good analogy, you know? What do you want to be using to kind of fuel your body? Do you want a long, sustained energy source? Or would you rather have these quick up and downs; burning out really quickly?
So, Ketogenic diet was first used as a way of controlling Epilepsy, as they found that elevated levels of ketones in the blood, reduced greatly - or stopped - seizures. It makes sense, since ketone bodies are produced by the liver, they replace a lot of the glucose required for the brain and being a more efficient fuel source, they actually do a lot better job - as I said before. So, the brain actually improves in ketosis. And more recently, studies have found that things like ADHD, behavioural issues, mood problems, depression, OCD, Alzheimer's, all improve on a ketogenic diet. And it's really interesting because in the news - I guess it was six months ago, or so - people were going crazy about the fact that coconut oil was found to be this great method of helping Alzheimer's and people were having these miraculous effects by going on coconut oil and improving their Alzheimer's significantly. Well I think the reason behind that is that coconut oil is very high in what are called MCT's - medium-chain triglycerides - they're kind of medium-chain fats, and those readily convert to ketones. So, I think what these people were basically doing is showing that the ketogenic diet can be helpful because they're doing a therapy that actually increases the amount of ketones.
Ketogenic diet has also been very promising for cancer because tumour cells only survive on sugar - they don't actually have mitochondria so they can't burn fats. By eliminating all or most carbohydrate from the diet, you're actually starving those tumour cells. So, there's been a number of studies that have come out recently - there's nothing conclusive yet, but it actually looks very promising for the treatment for cancer.
Just to mention another few: MS, Parkinson's, and Diabetes, all respond quite well to a Ketogenic diet. What it's primarily used for by most people is primarily weight loss, so any condition that is hinging on obesity benefits greatly from going on a ketogenic diet. Anything where you have to control blood sugar, so diabetes - you know - you're getting yourself off of the blood sugar roller-coaster, all the ups and downs of burning this kindling; burning these long-burning logs - or fat - you're basically switching your energy source and you're allowing yourself to burn your own stored body fat.Jonathan:
Yeah. And I have definitely seen a lot of testimonials online of people - cancer patients - who have had great success going on the Ketogenic diet. I was having a hard time finding the specific story that I had seen, that was a youtube video a little while ago: there was an Irish woman who had ocular cancer and she went into ketosis and did the Ketogenic diet and her tumour started to shrink and she said she's been on it for about six months and that there was a visible decrease in the size of her tumour.Doug:
It makes common sense when you think about the fact that - and I believe it's medically agreed upon - that cancer thrives on sugar - on glucose - and that it makes common sense that if you were to cut that out that the cancer cells would then starve and begin to die off.Doug:
Yeah. Yeah, exactly. So, yeah, what we usually recommend is what's often referred to as the Paleo-Keto Diet. So, it kind of combines the paleo-diet, but it does a very low carb version of that. And by doing that, you eliminate a lot of the problematic Neolithic foods from the diet, like grains, legumes, dairy, sugar. Those are all very high-carb foods in and of themselves, so they really should be eliminated anyway but if you go to the more mainstream sites on the ketogenic diet, they tend to allow for some things like that. So, we more recommend the Paleo approach to it.
And particularly the emphasis on animal fats. Animal fats have been wrongly demonised - along with cholesterol - for the last 70 years or so, but this really could be an entire radio show in and of itself - the whole low-fat myth - so I won't go into too much here, but there have been a number of studies that have vindicated fat; vindicated animal fat, vindicated cholesterol, these are not things you have to worry about. Fat is quite literally the best food source we have - the best source of calories - and there is absolutely no reason to avoid it. In fact, we really encourage people to use animal fat in their diet. A lot of people when they are going through a more low-carb approach to things and they're trying to raise fats, they'll say things like, "Oh yeah, you know, I'm eating a lot more avocados and coconut oil and I'm eating nut butters all the time", that's not the answer. Really, the body thrives on animal fats. You're getting a lot of anti-nutrients - particularly with nuts - avocados are okay - for some people, anyway; you can't speak universally about these sorts of things - but you don't want those things to be your main source of fat.
Animal fats are the most important point.Jonathan:
Right. Yeah, and you need that for the vitamin A, D, E, F and K that are contained in the animal fat. And then if you're on a high-carbohydrate diet, you're processing those vitamins out of your body. Those regulate your bone health, skin health, pretty much everything. And I can say an anecdotal story just from my own experience. I've had some really interesting results recently from being in ketosis, being that I have a few points of decay on my teeth coming from years in the past of drinking soda and living on pretty much just a crap diet up until about four years ago. Those are now starting to grow back; my teeth are actually growing back, which I know sound kind of silly, but it actually works. And obviously it doesn't happen right away, but if you're patient and you stick with it, it can happen.Doug:
Yeah, the fat-soluble vitamins are so important for that. There's a whole movement revolving around the idea of re-growing your teeth and getting rid of your own cavities and stuff, and that you don't need these fillings and that sort of thing. And they really emphasise the fat-soluble vitamins. A good source of that is a natural cod liver oil supplement - they tend to be very high in these things. Grass-fed butter is also a great source.Jonathan:
Yeah. And I know it can be hard for people to find, but just take the time, call around - of course some people live in more remote areas and it's a little bit harder to find a store that might carry these kind of things - but I'm in a fairly remote area and we have a few stores that carry Kerrygold Butter, or Organic Valley Pasture Butter, things like that are available and if you can find them, go for that instead of the Crystal Farms or the off-brand butter. There's one note - that if you're going to be eating butter, it shouldn't be white or very light-coloured. Your butter should be dark yellow. The yellow colour means that the K2 is present - these other vitamins are present - but for sure, I think we had said this in another show, that your butter should at least be organic. If you can find organic butter, at least go for that. And if you can find grass-fed butter, that's ultimately the best kind.Doug:
Speaking of that, and finding stuff to use for this kind of a diet, if anybody wants to get into it and look into it more, let's talk about transitioning.
I know that a lot of our listeners are already on the Paleo track, and maybe some of them aren't, and let's just say what's a good transition? What would you recommend that somebody start with if they were going to try to get into the ketogenic diet?Doug:
Transitioning can be a bit of a tricky issue because your body kind of builds up this inertia. Your entire life you've been a sugar burner so transitioning can be a bit tricky, because switching into fat-burning mode, it's not like you can just snap your fingers and it's done. Your body takes some time. It need to get used to using fat as its main fuel source. It's probably not used to, the enzyme profile that's necessary to be able to break down all those foods and things. So, there are a few tricks to making the transition a little bit more easy. But, you can expect to have a few things happen during transition, like cravings are pretty common; flu-like symptoms - they dub it the "low-carb flu" - so, some people will feel like they're sick in some way where really it's just that the body hasn't made this transition yet. Lack of energy is pretty common; bad mood.
But, yeah, when you are making this transition, if you are already Paleo, you're already one step ahead of the game. But I think for anybody who isn't, switching to a Paleo diet is probably the best way to kind of ease the transition, so you get rid of a lot of those inflammatory foods, all the grains - particularly the wheat, the gluten - get rid of the dairy, get rid of sugar and all that stuff, and start bringing animal fats to a higher level in your diet.
From there, once you've transitioned to that, then you kind of switch more to a Ketogenic diet - and I do recommend jumping into it to a certain extent. You don't want to kind of slowly bring up your fat and drop your carbohydrates, just because you're going to prolong that transition period and make it more difficult bouncing back and forth between the two different modes.Erica:
I wanted to add for people who like to read about it and get information - Dr. Gaby wrote an excellent article called, The Ketogenic Diet: An Overview. So, that might answer a lot of questions for people too, and you can find that on the sott.net website.Doug:
Yeah, I was going to mention that article actually. It's a great article and it has a lot of good scientific references, she backs up all the points; yeah, it's a great article.Jonathan:
I can attest to that slow transition. When I was first starting on this a few years back and going from my "regular American diet" - where it's pizza, hamburgers, fries, that kind of thing - into trying to get into the Paleo thing at first. And I didn't have a lot of information at that time. Of course, it was out there but I was just diving into it and trying it out and I did that slow transition and certainly I had some negative effects from it because I was like, "Oh, I'm just going to eat more fat" but, "Oh I'm going to have to beer too" which is not a good idea; you don't want to mix high fat and sugar at the same time, or high fat and high carbs because that's the diet that's making everybody fat. You want to be really careful about that.
It's very important when you hear 'high fat diet' to cut out - well, I would recommend cutting out all refined sugars, completely without exception, and work from there and see if you can cut out most, if not all glucose as well - talking about fruits and things like that. I will occasionally have some blueberries, but now I'm being pretty strict about that as opposed to where I used to be at. The recommendation I believe right now is 40 or 50 grams of carbohydrates per day?Doug:
Yeah, generally. I mean, everybody's kind of different on that front. There's a term called, 'carbohydrate tolerance' that I believe was coined by Drs. Phinney and Volek, who are great low-carb researchers actually. And it's basically the idea that everybody has a certain level of carbohydrate that they can tolerate and still maintain that fat-burning mode, that ketogenic mode. And everybody kinda has to experiment to find out where that is for them. Some people can actually tolerate very little carbohydrate, if any at all. And it's important to say here that you shouldn't fear eliminating all carbohydrate from your diet. It's been shown clearly in clinical research as well as just anecdotal stuff that you really can survive quite easily - thrive even - on a zero-carb diet. I mean, essentially, there's no such thing as a zero-carb diet because meat still has some carbohydrate in them, but eliminating any obvious carbohydrate food. There's no such thing as an 'essential carbohydrate'; the human body survives no problem at all surviving on a zero-carb diet.Jonathan:
Yeah and you don't have to give up a lot of the things you really like, too. I still have raw cocoa powder mixed in with a buttered tea, and that's 1-2 grams of carbohydrates per tablespoon, which is a decent amount of cocoa. And you can still have your cocoa - you can make it with some sugar substitutes like stevia, erythritol or xylitol. But we were talking before the show; Doug, there was something you wanted to mention about sugar alcohols and ketosis, which is like the xylitol and erythritol.Doug:
Umm... I forget what I said! What was it?!Jonathan:
We were talking about what things can kick you out of ketosis, and I think alcohol can, and sugar alcohols, which are sugar substitutes are technically an alcohol - that they might be able to kick you out of ketosis but not entirely sure. Like, you would probably have to have quite a bit...Doug:
Ah, right! No, no it wasn't that it'll kick you out of ketosis. We were talking about the Ketonix breathalyser, which is a breath meter for measuring whether or not you're in ketosis, or how deeply in ketosis you are. And the breath test will be thrown off by alcohol if you've had alcohol within the last 24-48hrs, and I wasn't sure if sugar alcohols would do that as well - if taking sugar alcohols would throw the test off.
But no, I think you would have to eat a heck of a lot of xylitol to actually be able to kick yourself out of ketosis.Jonathan:
You know, you do want to take these things in moderation, obviously. There are some gastrointestinal symptoms you can have from having too much of those sugar alcohols, so you do want to use them sparingly. But, if you do tolerate them I don't think there's too much negative to be said about them. Chris Kresser did an article on it actually - about sugar alcohols - he came away with a fairly positive view of them just having researched the literature and stuff.Erica:
Well, I'd like to make a suggestion for people who may be having the sugar cravings, like if they're transitioning and since we're kinda talking about that. One thing that I found personally that really helped when I was getting off of sugar and mainly fruit more than anything, is coconut oil. So you're having a sugar craving, you want to eat something sweet. Take a tablespoon of coconut oil and it really helps suppress those cravings and coconut oil also helps kill candida. So, usually when the sugar cravings are coming up, it's candida in the body calling for those sugars. So just wanted to add that if you can tolerate coconut oil - because some people can not - I personally found that just a nice big tablespoon of coconut oil will help kinda subside those cravings.Doug:
Yeah. I mean, it's not necessarily candida; it certainly could be. But, really, when you're having a sugar craving, your body is craving energy - that's really what it wants. And because we've been in this sugar-burning mode our entire lives, it relates energy to sugar. So, you're having these sugar cravings because your body hasn't quite switched into this fat-burning mode and its like, "Hey, where's all my energy? What's going on? I'm starving here!" So, yeah, coconut oil is a good idea because it's got those medium-chain triglycerides in it which can be used for energy right away. So, yeah, coconut oil's a great way to get rid of those sugar cravings for sure.Jonathan:
Yeah. I find too for myself, and especially during the transition period, it helps to make a buttered drink like, I'm sure some people have heard the term, 'bulletproof coffee' or 'bulletproof tea' or 'buttered tea'. And we look at the old-world, back in the day in Eastern-Asia, people drinking yak-butter tea. It's historical throughout the history of our human diet that fat has played a large role. And pretty much everything that's ancillary from fat has been used as a vehicle for getting fat into the body.Doug:
Yeah.So, for myself, I like to make a black tea, put in butter. So say if I'm making the amount equivalent to a coffee pot, I'll put in a quarter pound of grass-fed butter, and then a quarter cup or half a cup of coconut oil and then get it melted and blend it up and it's great - it's delicious - and then you can add cocoa powder, cinnamon, a little bit of stevia, some vanilla and really make a nice drink for yourself. And that's a way to get that fat into the body.
But, I was going to say that since you brought up the breath tester, and we're talking about transitioning into ketosis, let's talk about testing. Because, people might be like, "Well, how can I check? If I want to do ketosis but I don't have a way to find out if I'm there". There are three main types of testing: you can test a urinalysis, or a breath analysis or blood analysis. Can you just talk about which of those are more effective and what people might be able to do?Doug:
Yeah, sure. So, the thing that people most commonly do is the urine test strips; partly because they're inexpensive and they're pretty easy to get - you can get them at any drug store at all. I know if you're in Canada, you have to go to the prescriptions counter to get them but you don't actually need a prescription for them. But they tend not to be very reliable. The simple fact is that if you are urinating out ketones, your body is not using them. So, while it might be helpful at the beginning to see if your body is producing ketones, generally if you are registering on these test strips it's an indication that your body isn't really using the ketones. Somebody who is in full-blown ketosis - and they have been fully established in that for a while - will probably actually not test very high on those test strips. They'll show just minimal amounts. And some people will be like, "Oh, what's going on?! I've been trying for ketosis for so long and I'm not showing anything on these test strips." Well, that's why - because you probably are in full-blown ketosis and you're fine.
There's a couple of other tests - like you mentioned, Jonathan. There's the breathalyser test - I think there's only one out there right now; it's called Ketonix, which is K.E.T.O.N.I.X. and it's basically just a breath test. You plug in the machine, you let it warm up and then you blow in it and it'll blink different coloured lights indicating how deeply in ketosis you are. I quite like that test, but when I was talking about it with Gaby a couple of days ago, she expressed a little bit of doubt as to how accurate it was. Now, I have found a couple of blog posts and stuff from people who talked about comparing it to the blood test and finding it to be pretty consistent across the two tests, but there are definitely things that can throw it off: you're not supposed to have eaten within an hour of doing it; like I said before, alcohol will throw it off; there's a possibility that sugar alcohols will throw it off; so it's not a bad way to do it but I'd say it's maybe not fully confirmed how good it is yet.
Probably the best way to do it is to measure your blood ketones. And you can buy a blood ketone meter, you can get them online; some drug stores carry them. The only disadvantage of that is that the test strips for those are quite expensive. You end up paying a dollar or two per test strip, which if you're testing... particularly in the beginning if you're testing a couple of times a day, that can definitely add up in cost. But that definitely is the most accurate measure of what your count of ketones in your blood actually is.Jonathan:
What's the most accurate time of day to test? Is it the morning or the evening? I mean, I don't think you'd want to test right after you eat - that might throw off the results as well, right?Doug:
I don't know if it would be considered the ideal. I think most people are taking tests over the course of the day to see how things fluctuate. I know they say when you first wake up in the morning your ketone levels will be generally fairly low. Same thing when you have just finished working out just because your body has been gobbling them all up. So, your ketone levels will generally be lower after that. But, I think taking a reading consistently at particular times over the course of the day is probably the best way to kind of figure out where you actually stand with it.
But it should be said that all these testings are kind of peripheral - you don't necessarily need them. Usually, when you're doing the transition, you'll be able to tell once you're in ketosis because, first of all, all of your symptoms like low energy, bad mood, the keto-flu symptoms, all that kind of stuff will disappear. A lot of people report having a sudden boost in energy - that suddenly they feel like they've got all this extra energy and stuff; they almost get giddy with it. People talk about how suddenly the brain is working a lot better, they have quicker recall, they're better at connecting dots and things like that - so like a better functioning brain.
So, it's interesting to do all these tests and stuff like that and figure out where you're at and maybe get a more objective viewpoint of where you are, but it's not necessary. Like I say, a lot of people... you'll be able to tell, generally, when you're in ketosis. Some people maybe go home or to their parents place for the holidays or something like that, and they maybe eat some stuff they probably shouldn't have, and it might be interesting to test to see how long it takes to get back on track once you get back to your regular diet again. So there's a place for them, but I wouldn't say they're necessary.Jonathan:
Yeah; that was me this year - I'm going to 'out' myself - over the holidays: I had some pie and some cake!Erica:
Did you have a carb overload?Jonathan:
Yeah. I felt it. I felt inflamed for a few days after that, for sure. And, personally, I've been using the urinalysis strips and according to those, they show that I'm in ketosis, but now I'm curious understanding that it just means that my body's producing ketones and this is something I personally want to get more serious about. I've been serious about the actual diet aspect of it recently, but it would be very interesting to see the results of especially the blood test; I'd be curious to see what the results are there.
So, I guess we could say for other people who want to try this and get serious about it to start out first changing the diet, maybe testing your ketones once or twice a day - or maybe even two or three times a day for the first week or two - and then kind of backing that off once you're able to maintain the diet and testing every few days; and then maybe even just once a week, just to make sure where you're at.Doug:
Yeah, I think that's a good way to go. But, the other thing is with the urine test strips, there's a lot of different things that could possibly throw it off, so I think you don't necessarily need to panic if you do see that you're high on those ketone strips and think, "Oh no, my body's not using the ketones". Well, how are your energy levels? Because if your body is not able to use these ketones, you'll feel it. Like, you will definitely feel run down and lacking energy.Jonathan:
And that's a good way to kind of read how you're feeling. Personally, I've noticed the hunger issues; if you're eating a breakfast with bacon and eggs and sausage, usually that will sustain you until 2 or 3, sometimes even 4 or 5 in the afternoon. And you don't necessarily get that crazy hunger that people who are addicted to carbs have. It's more like, "Oh, I haven't eaten in several hours; maybe it's time to make some dinner". So your body is a good indicator of how your feeling - like you said, your energy level.Doug:
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, that's one thing I definitely noticed switching over is that when you're no longer relying on these blood sugar ups and downs - you're not eating to eat every couple of hours or else you crash - it's kind of an amazing sort of freedom where you just have this energy there and, yeah, you know, if you have to skip a meal, it's not that big a deal. You might feel hungry but it's kind of like, "Ah, it's no big deal. I can last". I've gone days without eating anything and it really isn't that detrimental; as opposed to being a sugar-burner and if you don't eat after a couple of hours, you're in this really cranky mood and kind of going crazy and you need to get that blood sugar back up again.Erica:
And even supplementing like Jonathan said, like with the fat-teas and even bone broth - so if you don't have time to make a full meal, you just have some bone broth in the fridge and just a cup of it can really satisfy you for several hours.Doug:
Yeah, definitely. I think the fatty drinks or the fatbombs - which we're going to talk about later - are really, really helpful on this diet. I think a problem that people run into a lot is just not doing enough fat. You know, the programming from the low-fat myth has really embedded itself in our consciousness and it's tough to get over that. So, people are adding fat to their meals and stuff like that, but it just isn't enough - generally - so, adding something like a fatty drink - and I'm talking and sipping on a buttered hot cocoa right now - is it just really helps to keep those calories up to give you energy throughout the day.Jonathan:
Yeah, same thing here. I've definitely noticed that it's almost kind of shocking the amount of fat that I can eat and not feel weird about it. Having like a steak that's like a quarter pound or a third of a pound like you would get at a restaurant, and then having a quarter pound of butter on top of the steak, where you're essentially eating a pat of butter with every bite of meat. But, that's what I'm burning now and regarding the energy levels: I do, I feel great. I've been doing a little bit more workouts lately, which is increasing my metabolism and my hunger levels, but when I'm not doing that - when I'm doing my normal, day to day, and even staying active and, say, going out fishing or going hiking, those kind of things - I feel great and I eat, pretty much, breakfast and dinner, and I don't even think about snacks or anything else like that throughout the day. Whereas I remember very clearly being in the sugar burning state, and yeah, you go two hours, three hours, and you get this pit in your stomach and you've got to pull over and grab something right away - hence the success of the fast-food industry; they really capitalised on that because it's all right there.Doug:
Yeah, and the snacks industry - all the different snacks out there and stuff. If really interesting, too: another thing that I noticed is that I came out of the cooking industry - so I was a chef for a number of years and I got right into the whole 'foodie' type thing and I refer to it now as like, 'food fetishism' where people will sit there and actually watch cooking shows for hours at a time. This whole 'food fetishism' thing I think really comes from all these kind of blood sugar ups and downs. One thing I found is that those things really aren't that interesting to me anymore. I don't fetish-ize food in the same way.
I think it's the same kind of thing you see with people who are really into recreational drugs and things like that tend to fetish-ize the drug a lot. You can see this in stuff like any kind of marijuana-associated magazines and things like that - they really kind of fetish-ize the drug and have all kinds of things around the drug and the drug use and glamorize it and that sort of thing; and you see the same kind of thing in food - you know, really kind of pushing this 'food as entertainment' idea, you know: food isn't just to fuel you, it's a pastime; it's something to entertain you. And that kind of thing just completely dropped off as soon as I started doing the ketogenic diet because it's suddenly like, food is fuel. And yeah, it tastes good, it's great and you're going to want to try out new recipes and things like that - and it's fun in that way - but the kind of obsessive nature of it just seemed to kind of die off.Erica:
Yea, definitely! All the time that we spend preparing these carb-based foods. But now, being on the ketogenic diet it's like 15-20mins preparation time. So, you're not spending hours cooking rice or beans, all these things; you just make your meat and there you go.Jonathan:
It's almost kind of unfortunate too because I was kind of the same way and I think kind of still am. I love cooking shows; I love recipes; I love the science of food; I love getting into it. But, at the same time, I can't eat any of the stuff I'm looking at, you know! If I'm watching like, "Iron Chef" or whatever with one of these guys who are barbecue masters from Texas, I get a kick out of the way that they put these things together, but I'm like, "Man, I can't eat what you're making because it's just full of sugar". Or, you know, it's piled onto a giant bun. So, it's been fun to try to find alternatives to that, but even then there's really only so far that you can go with some of the alternatives. But, yeah modern social cooking sites like yumly.com and things like that - you go on there and there's very few - well, I would say almost no ketogenic recipes but also very few paleo recipes. Everything has got some kind of sugar or some kind of massive amount of carbs; whether it's pasta, rice, grains, baked goods, sauces that have sugar, and all of those things.
So yes, it's unfortunate because I feel like it's a part of something I like that I've kind of missed out on, so that's why I like doing the recipes on our show, because it brings it back to that. Still have fun cooking this stuff, but keeping it within the keto-paleo kind of range.Doug:
Yeah, well it's a challenge, right?Jonathan:
You've added a challenge to yourself there. But that's something that might actually change over time with you, Jonathan. I think that once you're established more on the diet - you know, I don't miss these things any more. You know, somebody's sitting there eating chocolate cake across from me, I'm not sitting there salivating going, "Oh, I wish, I wish, I wish." I'm actually rather indifferent to it. And I think that's a sign that your body has switched over and is very used to fuelling itself on fat and it's like, because food isn't entertainment any more, it's like it checks in with itself: do I need food right now? No I'm fine; okay, I'm not craving anything. It's as simple as that.Jonathan:
Yeah. No, I hear you, there. I can definitely feel that those cravings are waning for sure as I get into ketosis. I think I'm about a month and a half in - give or take - I haven't done exact testing. I've been in and out of ketosis for the last year or so and I did what you don't want to do, which is basically going in and then backsliding, going out and then going back in - which is not good for your body. So, that's why I'm trying to get a little bit more serious about it now and it's really interesting to learn a lot of these things.Erica:
And I do think it's a process, Jonathan.Jonathan:
You know, and just easing into it and feeling - again, like when we talked about the Nourishing Traditions book - like having a support system like the forum, or like recipes that we share on this show or just alternatives - whether it's the fat drinks or the bone broth - like, you know, one step at a time and as Doug said and I can attest for myself and my husband, the amount of energy that you have, and the clarity of your thought, and the ability to make it through the day without crashing and being moody is all a tremendous pay-off.Jonathan:
Yeah, it totally is.Erica:
And once you find where that balance is for you, individually, then you kind of work with that and keep gathering information and learning and reading about things that we try to share here on the show.Doug:
Totally. Well, speaking of that, I think that - and this was something that I suffered from for a while - which is believing some of the myths about ketosis. Things like: you can't do it for a very long time or you're going to hurt yourself; or you're going to acidify your blood. Let's talk about a few of those issues. Doug, I know you had some of those queued up. Do you want to just go over a few of the myths about ketosis, and what's true and not true?Doug:
Sure; yeah. There's actually a lot of them, so I'll try not to spend too much time on them and maybe skip a couple here. First off, the whole idea that you can't stay on it long-term: I mean, all you have to do is look at traditional cultures that have been subsisting on these diets for extended periods of time. The Inuit obviously are the main one you think of. But even a number of North American Indian tribes were in ketosis long-term and there was absolutely no detriment to their health. I can say myself, I've been on it four years and I'm not noticing any kind of negative effect. I think these myths tend to sprout up from people who maybe aren't quite doing it right or there's some kind of gap in what they're doing. And I think in a lot of cases it's that they aren't doing enough fat; I think that is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for these things. So they tend to fall apart, they tend to start having health issues and things like that. But rather than troubleshoot it, the turn and around and say, "Oh, it doesn't work. You can't do this long-term. It's only a short-term thing". This has been proven a number of times to not be the case.
Another one is: that it's not appropriate for a high performance athlete or even athletes at all. There's this myth around that you need to have carbohydrate to boost up the glycogen in your muscles so that your muscles can use glycogen and burn sugar. But, when you switch to a fat-burning mode of existence, you don't need to rely on glycogen. Glycogen becomes sort of an emergency source.
A good example of this - I was just reading about this guy recently; this ultra-marathon runner - his name is Timothy Olsen - and he was doing these kind of ultra-marathons and marathons and things on a normal sugar burning diet, and he was finding that he would be getting things like stomach cramps; he'd have to be ducking out of the race frequently to go to the bathroom. So, he was trying to troubleshoot and figure out why these things were happening to him and so he ended up switching himself to a ketogenic diet.
And so, in 2012, he won an ultra-marathon - I believe it was a run from L.A. to Las Vegas or something along those lines. It was all through these back trails and things like that. And he came in first place and set the course record by 21 minutes. His total time was 14:46:44; 20 minutes faster than anyone had previously done it. And he also won the next year, although he didn't set the record that time.
So I think that that disproves that myth right there. I know Phinney and Volek did a study on cyclists and what they were saying was that a lot of the studies that have found poor performance from high-fat diets versus high-carb diets, they didn't allow for that transition period. So they would put people on a high-fat diet and then test them in that very week, so of course the performance was down because they weren't converted over to a fat-burning mode yet. So when they allowed for that transition period, the cyclists all actually improved their numbers on the ketogenic diet versus their high-carb diet.
You think about generally endurance athletes are doing things like those gels - I don't know if you've seen those things before, but they're basically all sugar - and they're taking these gels during their athletic performance in order to fuel themselves because they're burning through their sugar so quickly that they need to keep on re-boosting themselves with this sugar. But on a high-fat diet you don't have to do that because as soon as you've depleted what you just digested you've got ample fat stores to tap into. So, that's not to say that you wouldn't have maybe a fat drink or something like that with you while you're doing your endurance performance athletics, but the fact that you carry around... and even skinny people have a massive amount of fat in storage that they're able to burn on the fly.
Another common myth is about ketoacidosis. So, ketoacidosis: is basically a rare form of complication from diabetes. It happens when a person is so insulin resistant that they're no longer able to take anything into their cells for energy and their body starts producing ketones as an emergency to try to get some sort of energy into the cells, so the insulin is high and the ketones are high but their body isn't actually able to use any of that energy. Because the insulin is high, they're not able to take any of the fat into the cells. So, this is a diabetes complication. This actually has nothing to do with the ketogenic diet. So, I think misinformed doctors tend to be a source for this myth, so people are worried about going into ketoacidosis from doing the ketogenic diet.
It really is highly, highly, highly unlikely that you would ever get into any state of ketoacidosis by doing the ketogenic diet.
The whole 'acid/alkaline' myth is another one. There's this popular thing in holistic health that if you eat too much meat, you're going to acidify your body. The whole acid/alkaline premise is pretty dubious. There's been a lot of debunking recently by health bloggers - Chris Kresser is one that comes to mind; he's one of my favourite health bloggers and he did a great series on the acid/alkaline myth and really kind of just really dug into it and looked into a lot of the studies on it and stuff and it really doesn't seem to hold any water.
There was another study out that actually look at... you know the whole idea is that if you acidify your body by eating an acidic diet like too much meat, that you will get osteoporosis, but there was a study in 2012... Sorry, I'm just looking for it here...
Ah I can't find the reference right now. But, it was basically looking at bone density in populations and looking at what they ate. And what they actually found was that the more animal protein these people were eating, the denser their bones were; the stronger their bones were. The more plant-based protein, the worse the bone density was.
So, yeah, the reason for that - it's tough to say, because that was an observational study so you can't really draw any conclusions from it - but, the reason for that might just be that animal protein is a lot better. You're better able to utilise it; it's a complete protein. And protein is needed for bone density. So, that might be the reasoning right there.
There's a couple of other myths that I could go into here, but that kind of covers it.Jonathan:
Yeah, I think that covers the main ones. The main one I had heard about was ketoacidosis. Everybody I talked to, and I have a relative who is in the medical field as well, and who was like, "You're going to go into ketoacidosis". At first, I was like, "Agh! I don't want to do that!", you know? But understanding that it's more related to diabetes than being on a ketogenic diet and that it has more to do with insulin than actually with ketones specifically.
So, let's talk a little bit about what is a day in the life of somebody on a ketogenic diet and how might they troubleshoot issues that they might be having with that.Doug:
Well, a day in the life: I can talk about what I generally do. I'll wake up in the morning and I'll make myself some sort of fat drink. Now, whether that's like a bulletproof coffee or a butter-tea, a butter hot cocoa, you know it's really easy to do. With the cocoa, I'll just boil some water, throw it in a blender with about 100 grams of butter, some cocoa butter, some lecithin, cocoa and some kind of sweetener - stevia, xylitol, I'll use something like that. Blend it up and there you go. I put that in a thermos and I take that with me to work and I will sip on that between when I get up and I'll usually eat lunch around 1:30 or so.
Lunch usually consists of a piece of meat with some added fat to it - and that could be anything, but it's something that I'm having to take to work with me so there's some limitation to it - but it might be like a pork chop or a piece of steak or something along those lines. I'll maybe fry some bacon and take that with me. It's not this massive portion either - I think that's another misconception, that people are sitting down to this like 16 ounce steak or something like that because people are used to having to eat a lot of food to satisfy them because they're taking in these carbohydrates. But when you're switching to having fat as your main source of fuel, your portion size shrinks significantly. So I'm usually having 4 ounces of meat or something like that - which is not a significant amount. I have had co-workers look and say, "That's all you're eating?" you, know; I'm sitting down to half a sausage or something like that and they're like, "That's your entire lunch?" It's like, "Yeah, man - this is everything I need".
And then usually I'll dinner later on. Because these meals tend to satisfy you so much, I usually eat 7:30-8:00, something along those lines. And that might be a more elaborate meal, but it still generally is meat and fat. You know, I might have some vegetable with it - I really like fermenting, so I'll have maybe some sauerkraut, some kimchi, something like that - which, you know, is beneficial for the gut bacteria as well. Or maybe a salad, something along those lines. But not always; sometimes it is just meat and fat.
And another thing, another criticism that this diet gets is that it's boring. But let me tell you, every chef knows that fat equals flavour, and the reason for that is because your body needs it. So having a fatty meal is extremely satisfying. I rarely feel like I'm missing out on anything. So, that's pretty much my day; and you'll notice that I didn't mention any snacks or any kind of supplemental type thing, because you don't need them. It really is such a satiating and satisfying diet that you don't need these kind of little pick me ups, or little entertainments throughout the day.Jonathan:
Right. Well, it's certainly more economical, and I can go with you on the 'fat is flavour' thing. I mean, even simplifying my diet to the point where all I need to get kind of a flavour boost or to have something that's really savoury and really satisfying, is some garlic - like fry up garlic in a little bit of butter.Doug:
And it's just great, you know?Doug:
Yeah, herbs are your friend, too.Jonathan:
Yeah, completely. Like parsley and cilantro and mix those things together.Doug:
Yeah, absolutely. Those things can be great - especially if you're doing something in a slow-cooker or something like that; a little bit of garlic, some thyme, rosemary - yeah, it tastes great.Jonathan:
Well, great. I guess we're at a good time now to go to Zoya's pet segment she has sent us for today. So let's listen to that and then we'll come back for our recipe for today, which is going to be the fatbomb - the fatbomb custard. And we have the official, original recipe for that - which Laura had posted on the forum - that she worked very hard to develop. So, we'll give that out to you guys and you can try it yourselves. But for now, here is Zoya and the pet health corner.Zoya:
Hello and welcome to the natural Pet Health Segment of The Health and Wellness show.
Today we are going to talk again about emergency situations, since in the last show we couldn't cover them all due to technical difficulties.
So what signs your pets could have that could indicate to you that you have to take your pet to the vet a.s.a.p.?
First of all, it's important to remember that the furry members of the family can't talk - at least, not in the way we can always understand. Therefore, it's vital to observe you pet on a daily basis and know their usual behaviour in order to be able to see that something is wrong. It's also important in order to give accurate and as extensive as possible information to your veterinarian.
Also, just like with humans, if they have allergies or any medical sensitivities or if you already give them any medicine, it's also very important to mention it.
Also, if you aren't sure, refrain from giving your pet so-called human medicines, like aspirin for example. It may not be lethal for dogs, but cats lack the enzyme that is critical for metabolising salicylic acid - the active ingredient of aspirin - properly, and the resulting symptoms can range from simply scary - like tremors and foaming - and up to loss of consciousness and death.
In future shows, I will make sure to give you a list of basic first-aid things you should keep in your house, but for now, remember that it's best to call your vet and receive initial help over the phone instead of doing something yourself.
Okay, so what are the main signs you should pay attention to?
Pale gums, or gums that have a blueish or yellowish colour. Pale gums may indicate anaemia due to haemorrhaging, low body temperature, low blood pressure, poisoning and other reasons. Normal colour of the gums should be pink or light pink. If the gums have already bluish colour, it's a symptom of asphyxiation, meaning that there is less oxygen in the blood than there should be. It can be coupled with respiratory distress or a heart event, so don't hesitate to pick up the phone to your vet.
Yellowish colour of gums, as many of you probably guess, has to do with liver. Usually it is present in animals with chronic liver diseases, and only visible when already more than 50% of the liver was damaged. So, if you see your pet being suddenly yellow all over, it could be a sign of ingesting toxins and poisons.
Another sign is rapid or laboured breathing. Just like with humans, hyperventilation in pets can be rather alarming - both to the owners and the animals. There could be several reasons, like stress, fearful event or maybe metabolic acidosis. In any case, there is a need to bring your pet to the vet for a thorough check-up of the lungs and heart.
Another symptom that could be is a quick or rapid pulse. Now, since companion animals we usually share our homes with are smaller than us, their pulse will be faster than what is normal for us. This fact is important to keep in mind before thinking that something is wrong. And the younger the animals are or the smaller the breed is, the faster the pulse.
For example, for large-breed dogs, normal pulse is 70-80 bpm; small-breeds 80-120; and for puppies, it's normal to have a pulse of 180 or 200. Cats have a faster pulse of 110 up to 130 and kittens can have a pulse of 230 up to 260. And as it turns out, rats have the rapidest pulse of 450-550. That's why it's important to get to know your animal and their vital signs during rest - not an exact number, but at least to notice what is normal for them and when it is suddenly different and doesn't change for some time.
Another sign that you can notice is a change in body temperature. The thing is with body temperature, our pets usually have higher body temperature than ours; that's why they are so comfy during winter evenings. So keep that also in mind before thinking that your pet is sick.
For dogs, normal body temperature ranges between 37.5 Celsius up to 39.5 Celsius. And for cats, normal temperature is 38 Celsius up to 39.5 Celsius. Notice that, in our case, it would be an indication of being sick or with inflammation, but both for dogs and cats, it's normal. If it's higher than this, then it may be an indication of inflammation and if lower than this, it can be an indication of poisoning, although more and more vets say that this particular indicator isn't that cut and dry. In any case, lower body temperature is much more dangerous than higher, so pay attention to it - especially in cases of blood loss or other emergency cases. In such cases, and after talking with the vet over the phone, you may need to warm up your pet's body with bottles filled with hot water, for example, already while on the way to the vet.
Another symptom is excessive bleeding. There is a new generation of sophisticated rat poisons that have anti-clotting effects, meaning that after ingesting poison, it interferes with production of blood clotting enzyme in the liver, so this poison is particularly insidious because it takes several days to kick in and for the effects to appear. And in many cases, it is already too late. That's why it's super-important to pay attention to what your dog - and this is mainly dogs' problem, is picking up from the ground. If you suspect that your pet has eaten something poisoned, call the vet and buy vitamin K1 just as a precaution. You may not need it, but you may help someone else in similar situation.
There can be other reasons for excessive bleeding, too, so keep that in mind.
Another very important sign is bloating. Bloating can be a life-threatening symptom for dogs, especially large breeds like German shepherd, Labrador retriever, Irish Bull Hound, Boxer, Irish setter, Collie, Blood Hound, Standard Poodle and others. Bloating can happen due to two main reasons. The first is gastric dilatation, in which the stomach distends with gas and fluid. The second is volvulus, in which the distended stomach rotates on its long axis. The spleen is attached to the wall of the stomach and therefore rotates with it. Gastric dilatation may or may not be complicated by volvulus. If volvulus occurs, the stomach may twist 180 degrees or less - technically, it's called a torsion. An actual volvulus is a twist of 180 degree up to 360 degrees or more. If this happens, you must be quick because realistically speaking, your dog has very little time to be saved.
What complicates matters even more is that sometimes bloat isn't the first symptom. There may be other symptoms that were mentioned before, coupled with your dog becoming either very restless or very lethargic. It can happen after a meal or after physical activity, so again, pay attention to your animal and what they are doing.
Now, other signs that require your immediate attention include various neurological and other symptoms, like apparent paralysis, loss of consciousness, seizures, staggering, stumbling, head-tilting, sudden blindness, severe hives or severe itching, prolonged vomiting or diarrhoea, vomiting or diarrhoea with blood or just repeated violent episodes of vomiting and diarrhoea. Many serious diseases begin with vomiting and diarrhoea. It can lead to severe dehydration and shock, so please take your pet to the vet.
Another symptom is inability to urinate or defecate. Your pet may appear to be straining due to constipation, but it could be more serious. Frequent attempts to urinate that don't produce a normal urine flow could indicate infection or obstruction - especially in male cats. This can lead to uraemic poisoning and death.
Another symptom is inability to deliver puppies or kittens. If your pregnant dog or cat has gone more than 3 to 4 hours between delivering puppies or kittens, call your vet.
Well, there are many other signs and other things to pay attention to, but hopefully now you're in a better position to help your pet in case of emergency. So, I think that this is it for this segment and thank you for listening and have a great day!Jonathan:
Alright - thanks, Zoya, for that; that was great. So, some awesome tips there on how to deal with emergencies and symptoms with your pets. I hope everybody was able to get that, and if you missed anything, our show will be archived on blogtalk radio, on the sott radio network, so you can go back and listen to it again and take notes on that or on anything else in this episode.
So, to wrap up our show, a quick note: we covered a lot of information today. We got some really good information from Doug who has been doing this for quite a while and we actually still have more to go over so we're considering doing a part two next week on the Ketogenic diet and on some more details we can cover troubleshooting the diet, we can cover exercise and even weight-lifting, endurance athletics, things like that. So we will talk about that over the course of this week and we'll prepare a good show for you for next week.
But, today, going with our topic, our recipe is going to be 'The Fat Bomb'. And the fatbomb is a custard and it's a really good way - and a really tasty way - to get the fat that you need on this type of diet - because sometimes it's hard to just sit down and eat a stick of butter - especially cold butter; it's not really that appetising for most people. And eating lots of really fatty meat, then you're trying to eat more meat and you're getting too much protein. So you really need to get in a lot of fat and there are certain ways to do that.
This personally I've found to be a really effective way. We make this quite a bit at home. It's easy to make - well, I guess I should revise that, I guess: it takes some practice. But, once you get it down, it's easy to make. And I can usually make this within about an hour, and then it takes a little bit of time to set in the refrigerator.
But if you have your notebooks out, our ingredients: is 1 litre or 1 quart of coconut milk. Canned coconut milk is fine. All these ingredients also preferably organic, if you can find them. 500 grams or one pound of butter or ghee - and ghee is clarified butter, without any of the milk-solids in it. So, if you're not familiar with that, it's spelled G.H.E.E. and you can look that up and learn more about ghee; so, 500 grams or one pound. One cup of coconut oil or lard if you prefer to use lard - some people do have some reactions to coconut products, so you can use lard for that as well. 3 tablespoons of plain gelatine; now you can use Knox gelatine which is really common and it's in pretty much every store, but if you don't want to use that, there are other brands available. In the United States, there's another one called Great Lakes Gelatine that you can order online, and basically if you just do a search for that, look for good natural gelatine. But you want 3 tablespoons of that and 11 teaspoons of xylitol or 14 teaspoons of erythritol - and personally, in my own recipe, I use Stevia, which I really enjoy, and I use 2 tablespoons of that, which is about 6 teaspoons, so it's a little bit less; and you can play with that - use less or more depending on your tastes. Some people like it sweeter, some people like it not so sweet. I find a good balance is two tablespoons of stevia, but our original recipe here calls for 11 teaspoons or 14 teaspoons of xylitol or erythritol. And then 24 egg yolks. So, you need to get 2 dozen eggs. And vanilla - there's no proportion on this because you can kind of change the proportions on vanilla to your own taste, as well. And then if you also desire to add grated coconut, you can get one cup of grated, unsweetened coconut flakes.
So, our process here is a little bit involved, but like I said, if you do some practice, you're probably going to screw up a batch - I don't mean to be presumptive - but don't feel bad if it happens.
So we start by putting the coconut milk, the butter, coconut oil, the gelatine and the xylitol - or whatever sweetener you're using - in the pot. Mix it around to start the gelatine dissolving with the fat. Put the pot on the heat diffuser on the stove - low to medium heat - then stir it occasionally as it warms up. Meanwhile separate the eggs - separate the yolks from the whites. You can either freeze or toss out the whites - whatever you like to do with them. I use them for other things in the kitchen, but some people don't use them at all. Some people have a reaction to egg whites; it really just depends on what your personal case is.
Now, regarding the heat diffuser, that's basically just a double boiler. You can set up your own - you can put a smaller pot inside a larger pot filled with water. If people aren't familiar with this process, look up 'heat diffuser' or 'double boiler' on Google and just kind of research that a little bit and see how to do it and you can come up with your own method. I got two pots from the second hand store and the outside pot is kind of an older, run down pot, and the inside one that I actually put my stuff in is a stainless pot that fits inside of that. So, I fill the outside one with water and then I push the inside one in there until the water spills out and kind of evens out - in the sink of course. And then, once you heat up the water, that gives you an even heat-source around your inside pot so you're not burning the fat. That's very important: you don't want to burn any of the things that are happening in this mixture - it's a very delicate process.
So, we've got all of the fat, the sweetener, the gelatine and the coconut milk kind of stirred together in the pot on a low to medium heat and we've got our 24 egg yolks separated out from the two-dozen eggs. Now, you want to beat the egg yolks together, mix them up, and when the mixture in the pot starts getting hot and steaming a little bit, you want to get ready to put in the egg yolks very carefully: this is a crucial step. And you can use a meat thermometer when you do this, just to be sure. When it says the temperature is 70 degrees Celsius or 158 degrees Fahrenheit then it's ready to mix in the egg yolks, so take the pot off of the stove and drizzle the egg yolks into the pot while whisking the fat mixture thoroughly between every time that you add in the egg, so that you gradually pour in the egg yolks, whisk, make sure that everything's mixed in, pour in a bit more, whisk a little bit more.
While you're doing this, it takes a little bit of time. You just want to make sure that it's mixed well and that you go pretty slow while you're doing this.
Now, once your egg yolks are mixed into the fat solution, put the pot back onto the stove onto the heat, and at this point, you want to keep stirring it and stir it consistently until it starts to thicken. You can tell when it's going to happen - you can see that it thickens up so you're probably going to go anywhere from 3-5 minutes - give or take the heat that you have on the stove. Once it starts to thicken, give it another minute or so and then at this point, you want to take the pot off the stove and put it into a cold bath in the sink.
So, I usually start this process first by filling up my sink with cold water so that I have my cold bath ready. So, at this point then, you take it off the stove, put it into the cold bath and keep stirring it until the cold water starts to get a little bit warm. And you can see your mixture starting to cool down and thicken even more. But one major key to this is keep stirring it so that it stays emulsified. And as we said, this is kind of a delicate process, so you just want to watch every step of this and make sure that you have the timing and the temperatures correct.
Now, when you've got the mixture in the cold bath in the sink and you're cooling it down while you're stirring it, you can add in your vanilla. You can put in anywhere from two tablespoons to four, to six tablespoons, just depending on how much you want. Six tablespoons is quite a bit - it comes out really vanilla flavoured - but I like to do about four. I like the flavour of vanilla and it really adds a nice touch to it. And I also like to add a little bit of lemon extract or lemon juice at this point - just a bit - just to add that kind of extra tang on the top of it.
Now, when you're done with that, when it's cooled down, you've got your vanilla added, another important step to this if you don't want it to come out really, really super-solid - I mean, it's still edible, it's still tasty, but if you want to get that really nice custard texture, take it out of the sink and get about a quarter cup to a half a cup of cold water ready on the side, and take your hand mixer or an immersion blender - something like that - and slowly pour in the cold water and blend or mix at a pretty good speed, the mixture in the pot, so that you're mixing in this cold water. And that's going to add air to the mixture and create a lot of bubbles and kind of fluff it up a little bit. And then personally, what I like to do after this process, is actually take my blender - a high speed blender - and pour it into the blender and then there, run it on high speed for about 20 to 30 seconds which really fluffs it up a lot. And then I just put it into containers, put the containers into the fridge, give it - give or take - two hours to set - let the gelatine set while it's in the refrigerator - and then you're good to go.
Sometimes it's nice to drink it right when it comes off, when it's a little bit more liquidy; it's really tasty that way. But, of course, once you've refrigerated it the gelatine's going to set and you're going to have this custard that is super-high in fat and really tasty and it's a really good supplement - a fatty supplement throughout the day.
So, depending on how you make this, you can take it with you. You don't want to reheat it. You don't want to heat it up. It's going to break the emulsion and it's going to get super runny again. But, if you have small mason jars or small containers, you can take a little bit with you to work and then have it as something to eat throughout the day to make sure that you're getting the proper amount of fat. This is also really helpful when you're transitioning into ketosis, but also for maintenance and besides that it just tastes awesome. So, that's our recipe for today.
I'd like to thank Doug and Erica for being with us today for our stripped down crew today. We're looking forwards to having Gaby and Tiffany with us next week, so we'll keep you all posted on that. And would you guys like to add anything else?Doug:
Just that the fatbomb is delicious. I agree with you.Erica:
I'd like to add that once you make your initial batch and you feel confident, you can even add things like the cacao powder, chocolate powder to make a chocolate flavour, or even over the holidays we did one with pumpkin spice, so you have like a pumpkin custard. And as you said, the coconut is an option and also lemon or lime - it almost tastes like a Key Lime Pie when you add nice fresh limes.Doug:
Sure. Well, that's great, yeah.Erica:
So just get culinary fun. Just experiment with flavours.Jonathan:
Yeah, don't get too nervous about this - it's not like it's going to explode in your face, you know. Try it out and if the texture comes out weird then hang on to it and eat it the way it is and then try it again and just experiment until you get something that you like. Some people like it more dense, you can skip the whipping part at the end and it basically is lust like kind of a hard mass, but it's a little bit more like an ice cream type thing. I like it really fluffy so that's why I like to whip it so much. But, yeah, it's a great recipe and we'd like to thank Laura Knight-Jadczyk for coming up with that one - she spent a lot of time perfecting that and going through all the different proportions and really playing with it to come to that recipe. So, it's been awesome.
Alright - well that is our show for today. Thank you very much for listening to The Health and Wellness show on the sott radio network. And we will be back next week, same time, Monday at 2pm Eastern and we really look forward to having you listen. Thanks again!Erica: