Ketogenic Diets and GUT Health
Today we will be talking about Ketogenic Diets and GUT Health!
Low carb, high-fat ketogenic diets are becoming increasingly popular for everything from weight loss to autoimmunity. Many people have expressed concern about the impact that this dietary approach might have on the health of the gut and gut microbiome. But does a high-fat diet really spell disaster for the gut? Understand why animal studies are misleading and current research says plants are still best in abundance , and why ketosis might even improve gut health in some cases.
There are also right and wrong ways to do a ketogenic diet when it comes to gut health. A ketogenic diet high in refined seed oils and processed meats is not going to provide the same therapeutic benefit to the gut as one that includes healthy fats, pastured meats, and lots of non-starchy vegetables.
On that note, here are my top seven tips to doing right by your gut when consuming a high-fat or ketogenic diet:
1) Focus on high-quality fats, like avocados, avocado oil, olive oil, fatty fish, coconut oil, pastured ghee, butter, tallow, etc. Try to get a mixture of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated, and saturated fat.* Avoid highly processed and refined oils like canola, corn, and soybean oil.
**If you plan to remain on a ketogenic diet long-term, I recommend getting a full cardiovascular profile after you have been on the diet for 1-2 months. A small subset of individuals (“hyper-responders”) will have an increase in LDL particle number and may need to tweak their fat intake or consider a modified ketogenic diet to ensure they are not increasing cardiovascular risk.
2) Eat your (non-starchy) veggies! Just because you don’t necessarily need the butyrate doesn’t mean you should skimp on vegetables. Try to get a variety of both raw and cooked veggies of all types and colours. 8 cups a day
3) Indulge with berries. Berries are a great low-carbohydrate source of prebiotic fibre to selectively promote the growth of beneficial bacteria.
4) Drink coffee and eat cocoa. Polyphenols promote the growth of beneficial bacteria, so consume coffee and cocoa as tolerated. Those with severe gut permeability or autoimmunity may want to avoid these foods initially.
5) Consider nutrient density and eat nose-to-tail. Consume organ meats, shellfish, seafood, and be sure to balance methionine-rich muscle meats with glycine-rich animal foods like collagen and bone broth. Too much Muscle meat is a killer.
6) Experiment! The best way to know if keto works for you is to try it for a few weeks and see how you feel. Pay particular attention to your energy, skin, mood, productivity, digestion, and bowel movements.
7) Try “the keto zone”.Unless you have a good reason to be in nutritional ketosis, there is no need to be in keto indefinitely. By maintaining a carb intake of 20-150 grams (depending on your activity level), you can easily slip in and out of ketosis. In fact, this may help your gut and your microbiome maintain peak metabolic flexibility. This is why I recommend CARB Cycling and OUR Prolong Fast called Clean FOOD FAST as its keto plant based on healthy plant carbs.
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