Day 15: The Ketogenic Diet and Metabolic Syndrome

The Ketogenic Diet and Metabolic Syndrome

These are the notes from last night’s video in the 28 Day Challenge.  You can join us in the 28 Day Challenge FaceBook Group here, get our FREE 28 Day Ketogenic Meal Plan here, and pick up our recipe and instructional books here.

Statistically, if you are obese you are shaving an average of 20 years off your lifespan.  But it’s not really the obesity that kills you, it’s all the other diseases that come with the obesity like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, and dementia.  These are all packaged together under a “catch all” name, metabolic syndrome.

 

Metabolic syndrome is defined by you having at least 3 of 5 symptoms; High blood pressure, obesity, Lipid problems like High triglycerides and low hdl, high blood sugar and cardiovascular disease.  Metabolic Syndrome will probably soon pass smoking as the leading cause of heart disease worldwide.

 

It’s important to remember that obesity is one of the markers for Metabolic Syndrome, not the cause.  There are plenty of thin people with Metabolic Syndrome, they just have to other markers.  Here is our best guess for how it happens.

 

  1. Metabolic Syndrome starts as your body accumulates fat, which is stored near the liver and midsection.  This makes the liver insulin resistant, starting a host of metabolic problems.
  2. Liver insulin resistance makes the pancreas secrete more insulin, driving more fat into the midsection.
  3. Liver tries to transport the fat as triglycerides, driving up bad cholesterol markers.
  4. The insulin makes the muscle tissue around your blood vessels grow, constricting the blood vessels and driving up blood pressure.
  5. The combination of High Blood Pressure, lipid problems and insulin resistance promotes heart disease, driving up the risk of heart attack or stroke.
  6. The fat around the liver can scar the liver causing Non Alcoholic Liver Disease and eventually Cirrhosis.
  7. Insulin resistance in women can cause the ovaries to create more testosterone, resulting in Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, excess body hair or infertility.
  8. As insulin resistance grows worse the pancreas wears out which causes Type 2 Diabetes
  9. Insulin is one of the hormones that causes cell-division, high insulin can cause cancer
  10. There is evidence that insulin resistance in the brain causes dementia.

 

The liver’s job is to turn calories from food into Glycogen.  Glycogen is the storage form of glucose.  The liver also turns excess energy into fat but it has to get the fat out of the liver as fast as possible.  If fat get’s “backed up” into the liver, impeding the flow of fat out of the liver, the liver can get very sick, very quickly.

 

Another issue is when the cells throughout the body use the energy to do their various jobs.  When the cells burn fuel, substances called Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) are the waste products.  ROS cause damage in cells DNA, proteins and membranes and we need help from another part of the cell called peroxisome which are full of antioxidants to neutralize those ROS.  If there is so much ROS that it overwhelms the peroxisome, the cell dies.  Enough cells die and you have Metabolic Syndrome.

 

There are 4 major types of foods that increase this oxidative stress on the body.

 

  1. Trans fats – These are fats that your body can’t process due to their synthetic nature.  They are on their way out but there is currently no nationwide ban on them.  They are usually found in processed food in wrappers on shelves.
  2. Branched Chain Amino Acids – These are necessary for a healthy body unless you are consuming too many.  These Amino Acids are found in high concentrations in corn, therefore they are high in animals who have been fed a high corn diet, which is most beef and pork and some poultry.
  3. Alcohol – OK in small amounts but in excess puts stress on the liver.
  4. Fructose – This is the big bad villain of the story.  If it’s sweet and caloric, it’s fructose and it’s in everything.  Worldwide consumption of fructose has steadily risen for decades, right along with obesity rates.

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