Skip to content

Is All The Latest Keto Hype Justified? [006]

heart healthy foodsDrs. Bryan and Olivia Joseph along with Dr. Jason Hamed discuss in depth the differences between Ketogenic Diet and other trendy diets out there today. Dr. Olivia Joseph shares common misunderstandings about ketosis and the ketogenic lifestyle and debunks some of the common keto hype points. Discover how you can determine if the Ketogenic Diet is for you and solutions this lifestyle can provide for you.

Dr. Olivia’s Keto and Paleo Friendly Cookbook

One of the hardest aspects of the latest diet trends is finding good recipes. Dr. Olivia has just released a new edition of “Cooking With Dr. Olivia”, her acclaimed cookbook with delicious gluten free, dairy free and egg free recipes that are also tagged when Keto and Paleo friendly.

Welcome to the show

Dr. Bryan: All right. Here we are. We have a fun, fun episode. Today I have my best friend and buddy and business partner, Dr. Jason Hamed, and my wife and doctor, specialist, Dr. Olivia Joseph.

Dr. Olivia: Hello.

Dr. Jason: Dr. Specialist?

Dr. Olivia: Dr. Specialist.

Dr. Bryan: Yeah. I don’t know if that made any sense-

Dr. Jason: It made no sense. None whatsoever. It’s okay.

What is the Keto Diet, and why all this Keto Hype?

Dr. Bryan: And myself, Dr. Bryan Joseph. Today, we’re going to hit on a topic that seems so fitting, because everywhere you turn you’re hearing about this thing called keto. And what I want to bring up, and what I want to ask, is number one, what is with all the keto hype around this diet? I don’t even know, really, what keto is. So let’s start off by trying to break this down a little bit. First of all, what is keto?

Dr. Olivia: Okay. So, that’s a loaded question in and of itself, because if you’re asking, “What are ketones?” Or, “What is ketosis?” That’s not necessarily the same thing as a keto diet. So, if you’re asking what a keto diet is, it’s a very, very high-fat diet where about 70% of your diet is made up of fat.

Dr. Bryan: All right. So, here’s what I see. Over the course of the several decades that I’ve been alive, we’ve all witnessed so many different diet programs. Right? One day it’s paleo, one day it’s Atkins, one day it’s the low-fat, high-carb. It just seems like it changes every single day. So I would imagine that, just like me, people get confused with why does it keep changing? And what is the right way?

Dr. Bryan: Right now, every corner you turn or every website you go to or every book you buy, they’re mentioning this paleo, or keto. So, why, then, over the years, have the dietary needs transformed to find that this is the style that’s working for us now?

Both Keto and Paleo are actually old diet concepts

Dr. Olivia: I think it’s interesting that you say, “Now,” because the two diets you’ve mentioned are very, very old. The ketogenic diet is not a new diet. A lot of the research goes back to the ’70s, because it was originally implemented for brain dysfunction, or for people with seizures, and the seizures were not being controlled with medication. That’s where the keto diet was seen to have the most value.

Dr. Olivia: You talk about a paleo diet, well, that’s probably the oldest diet there is. It goes back to the paleolithic days. I think every diet has merit, meaning there’s pros to every type of diet. When you say, “Why now?” I think you have to select the diet based on what you’re trying to accomplish. I don’t think keto is for everybody, but I think there are many people out there that do great on keto.

Dr. Olivia: I think you have to choose the diet that fits your philosophy, your health goals, what you’re trying to accomplish. So they’re not new diets. They’re actually very, very old.

Like “Atkins 2.0″

Dr. Jason: If we’re also talking about why, quote, unquote, now. I think it’s also what we’re looking at culturally speaking too. We’re in a space where I remember … I think you guys remember, too, when we were younger, the Atkins diet was real powerful. I remember my uncle was on the Atkins diet, and I remember thinking at the time my dad and mom saying,

“Oh, hey, yeah, Uncle Gary’s on the Atkins diet, and he’s whacking back five eggs and half a pound of bacon for breakfast.”

And I think now we’re seeing, again, it’s almost like … And I mean this in all due respect to the keto community, and those who are doing high-level research, because I’m not that guy, but it’s like an Atkins 2.0 when we’re seeing tremendous amount of weight loss in a very short period of time, and that’s really sexy to our culture. Right?

And then, on top of that, now we have the advent of social platforms that anybody that’s getting a change on a keto-based diet, and hey, who wouldn’t want to eat bacon and ham and eggs for breakfast and still lose weight? Right?

But now they’re able to put those results on Facebook, and 17 of their buddies all want to do it. And so it’s picking up momentum. Now, granted, there also is clinical merit to it, as well. But I think there’s a marriage of the two. I think that we’ve culturally in a continuous spot where we’re getting more and more fat, you know, more and more obese, and we’re looking for ways that can help that. And then on the other side of it, it’s like, “Oh, cool, I can eat fat and I can eat things I like, and lose weight.”

Considering the Keto hype, are there health benefits or drawbacks?

Dr. Bryan: But is it just for fat? To try to get in better shape? Or is there a health benefit to this whole idea?

Dr. Olivia: A ketogenic diet is not ideal for weight loss. That’s not going to be your number one diet to lose weight.

When you talk about Atkins, actually, last night on TV there was a commercial for Atkins, because Atkins has seen how much momentum keto is getting. So now they modified Atkins to be more keto and they’re running commercials and things of that nature. There’s differences between these diets, and keto is not … When you look at all the clinical science and research, there’s many reasons to do keto that are not related to weight loss.

Losing fat, not just weight

Dr. Olivia: Because, at the end of the day, you will lose not just weight. When you look at weight loss, you want to talk about losing fat. That’s real weight loss. So any time you are in a state of ketosis you are burning fat. Well, you can get into ketosis a million different ways. Eating fat, like a keto diet. You can get into ketosis on a low-fat diet.

Dr. Bryan: Not eating.

Dr. Olivia: You can get into ketosis fasting. So, getting into a state of ketosis and burning fat is not the same as being on a ketogenic diet. I would say the ketogenic diet has way more value for many things clinically than it does specifically for weight loss.

Dr. Jason: I think one of the things, you know, you, last year, had got me interested in doing that water fast. You put that idea in my head, so I went and did some homework on it, and I recognized that, as Liv just said, getting that state of ketosis has a great deal of clinical benefits. Again, with my background of having my dad having brain cancer, there’s aspects of it, I was looking for ways that I could, if you will, biohack my way of helping to prevent that.

Keto and chemo

Dr. Jason: There’s great research coming out of Boston College, a couple schools on the West Coast as well, that are combining a keto-based diet with chemotherapy, and seeing great results in cancer and cancer work.

Not ideal for people with blood sugar issues

Dr. Jason: You had said, though, and even just recently this year when I told you, said, “All right, I’m not doing any more keto, I’m not doing any more fasting,” you said to me, “Yeah, you’re right, because it’s not good for you.”

Dr. Olivia: Right. It’s not ideal for people … Okay. Let’s talk about who it’s not ideal for. It is not ideal for people with low blood sugar, and you have low blood sugar. So it’s just not ideal for that.

Dr. Jason: Are you saying that I get hangry?

Dr. Olivia: You get very hangry. You get very hangry.

Dr. Bryan: Get in line. Get in line.

Dr. Olivia: I used to say I go from hungry to vicious. So …

Common misunderstandings

Dr. Bryan: This is actually … Before you set out who it’s not for, because I think that’s very, very valid and important, what cracks me up is the misunderstandings that people have around the topics of any diet. Right?

Dr. Olivia: Of course.

Dr. Bryan: Even over the holiday as we saw so many people say that, “I’m on this keto program right now to try to get my brain optimized,” or, “I’m doing this fasting program,” and I look over and they’re grabbing some banana bread and some Christmas cookies, and I’m like, “Well, how does that fit into your diet? Just because you pick and choose when you’re on this thing, right?”

But let’s go into who is it not for, and then maybe what do you guys know that is the right way to try to get yourself into ketosis? And then, maybe, how can you determine if you really are in a state of ketosis or not?

Dr. Olivia: Yeah. I think that a keto diet is not for people who have blood sugar issues. More specifically low blood sugar. I think a keto diet can be extremely beneficial to people with high blood sugar, high A1C or dysglycemia. You got to be careful following a ketogenic diet if you don’t have a gallbladder. It is a very high fat diet, and if you don’t have a gallbladder and you don’t digest fat properly, you have to be careful. It doesn’t mean you can’t do it, but you’re definitely going to require enzymes to break down those fats.

Keto Hype when it comes to the brain

Dr. Olivia: I think the biggest keto mistake people make … I mean, not grabbing a cookie and banana bread. That’s ridiculous. That’s somebody saying they’re on a diet but they’re totally lying to themselves. Why? Because they’ve added more fat to their diet. The reason keto is so popular right now is because what happened is we have so much brain dysfunction. What we know is with Alzheimer’s, autism, neurological disorders, they’re on the rise, and we have no solutions to them.

That’s why keto is so popular right now, rightfully so, because for brain health it is without a doubt one of the best diets out there.

Dr. Olivia: But, many people are bastardizing keto, doing Atkins or doing paleo and calling it keto. Keto is not a high protein diet. Only 20% of your daily intake is protein. Only 10% of your daily intake is carbohydrates. People have no idea how hard that is to accomplish. Without a doubt, a keto diet is the hardest diet out there. Autoimmune paleo is a breeze compared to keto. But when you’re dealing with seizures, when you’re dealing with dementia, neurological disorders, it doesn’t matter. This type of diet can be extremely effective, and there’s so much science and research being done on fat being good.

The historical myth around all fat being bad

Dr. Olivia: In the last decade, all these other diets we had were created because fat was bad. Well, when you look at that research, it’s been exposed. It wasn’t good research. That’s not what the research said, was fat was bad. But yet we have 20 and 30 years of diets built around fat is bad, and all we’ve seen is people get fatter, sicker, more cardiovascular disease, more diabetes, more dementia. That was a very bad premise based on bad science and bad research, that we were able to capitalize a diet industry on.

Dr. Jason: After the fast, and coming off it, and you helping me in regards to setting up a keto-

Dr. Bryan: But is fasting and keto the same?

Dr. Olivia: No.

Dr. Jason: No.

Dr. Bryan: Okay.

Dr. Jason: No. The fast was I did a water fast at your urging. I was like, “That’s a great idea,” actually. It was a mental challenge, but then I started doing some research on it in regards to getting my body in a state of ketosis, a therapeutic level of ketosis, and doing some of the research on that, I was fascinated, as Dr. Olivia just said, is recognizing the role of something called our mitochondria in our cells.

Ketones as a clean energy source for your body

Dr. Jason: Our mitochondria, and Olivia, you can correct me in I’m wrong, but the mitochondria runs on … Well, actually, healthy mitochondria can run on ketones, or fat. But unhealthy mitochondria cannot. Is that correct?

Dr. Olivia: Right. So-

Dr. Jason: So that’s how it works, correct?

Dr. Olivia: So, your cells can run on glucose or on ketones, but what we know are ketones are a clean energy source.

That’s really good fuel for your cells. Where glucose is a good short-term fuel source, it’s not a good-

Dr. Jason: But if I recall … Sorry I cut you off. If I recall, sick cells, or pre-cancer-like cells, cannot access the ketones. So therefore cannot access the ketones for energy. So when you deprive the body in that fasting state they literally die of starvation. Is that correct?

Dr. Olivia: I don’t know. I think the cell membranes look different. I don’t want to call them sick cells, because you can change your mitochondria. You can change your telomere length. You can change your cellular age. All of that can be changed. So you don’t want to just say they’re sick. If they’re older than they should be, or slower, you can improve those. And it’s not just through a ketogenic diet. Sometimes you really have to get the right nutrients into the mitochondria to get them functioning better.

No fruit or vegetables, really?

Dr. Jason: Regardless, the five-day water fast, and some of the things I was putting in my brain as far as information, I was like, “All right, there’s some benefit to this.” Especially if I was sick or dealing with neurogenic disorders. Cancer, if you will. But coming off of that, I made a conscious choice to really put a great attempt into staying in a keto-based diet. And Dr. Olivia helped me. By the same token, as you’re saying, I’m 100% behind you. It was ridiculously hard.

Dr. Olivia: It is.

Dr. Jason: So, again, protein-wise, I was having … I could eat barely anything. You go from this place of eating fruits and vegetables, which, by the way, is one of the reasons that I personally, not saying it’s right or wrong, but came off of the keto, because I just inherently … I have a hard time not saying that a fruit or a vegetable is a good thing.

Who is a Keto diet really for

Dr. Bryan: I think that point that you made, Olivia, in regards to it not being for everybody, or what’s the real, underlying purpose of you wanting to do this? I just think that …

You know, what I’ve been trying to figure out in my mind is, how much of this is just hype? The new fad? The new thing? Is keto cool? Is intermittent fasting cool? Or who, then, if it’s not for everybody, who is it for?

Dr. Olivia: Well, it can be for a huge majority of the population. When you look at dementia, it’s on the rise. Diabetes, it’s on the rise. Cardiovascular disease, it’s on the rise. So, the population that can benefit from keto is huge. When I say it’s not for everybody, somebody like J., for example, another thing is he’s very lean. He has a very low fat mass. When you have a very, very low body fat, you’re going to have a harder time staying in ketosis. Your body doesn’t have as much fat to burn. So, you’re almost going to have to do a modified ketogenic diet, or without a doubt, you’re going to have to use exogenous ketones, special oils, things of that nature.

Dr. Bryan: Which, those are supplements or something?

Dr. Olivia: They are supplements. And we can certainly talk about those. The other thing is performance athletes are really going towards a ketogenic diet, and I think that’s where, maybe, J., you were attracted to it. You know, you’ve done Iron Man races, marathons, triathlons. I think that demographic is attracted to keto, but I also think a lot of those athletes that are crushing it on keto have a very different body type than somebody like J.

What the biohackers say

So, you’ve got to be conscious of what your storage is, right? You’ve got to be conscious of how much fat you have, how much muscle you have. Are you doing this for brain health or are you doing this for a performance standpoint? You’ve got to know what your glucose is, going into it, and then you do have to monitor your ketones. I mean, these crazy biohackers that are performance athletes, they’re checking their blood ketones several times a day.

Dr. Olivia: Does the average person want to turn themself into feeling like a diabetic where they’re constantly checking their blood ketones?

Dr. Jason: I was just reading a book by one of the biohackers. His tagline statement was basically, “More fat, less sugar, or don’t eat.” Right? Those are your three choices when it comes to food if you’re really trying to optimize your brain function. Now, some of the conditions that you mentioned would be examples of failing cognitive abilities, or brain abilities. Some people are in a need where they need to actually consider implementing this type of ketogenic eating, or lifestyle, just to preserve the brainpower that they have, while on the other hand, some of the people that are biohackers are really trying to optimize every aspect of their brain ability.

Dr. Olivia: Absolutely.

Dr. Jason: So, you know, it’s really, there’s two thresholds. Those that are really sick that have to, and those that are in great shape that are just trying to take things to another level.

Learning what healthy fats are

Dr. Olivia: One thing I do think that not just keto but also paleo has shed some light on is that fats aren’t bad. So, I’m so happy that you have either of these diets teaching people what healthy fats are. And you know, 15 years we’ve been doing this. 15 years ago we were talking to people about hydrogenated oils, and trans fats. I mean, that’s great that people don’t think fat is scary. But another thing they found was these low-fat diets were hurting people’s metabolisms. These low-fat diets were hurting people’s mood, energy level, sleep quality. But people who lost a bunch of weight with these low-fat, higher-carb diets, they all gained it back and then some, because they hurt their metabolism.

The hungry factor

Dr. Olivia: Fat as a food is not just a great fuel source for your brain, but it also promotes satiety. It gives you that feeling that you’re full. Who wants to walk around starving? That’s hangry.

It’s not fun. You feel deprived. So at least, diets like this that do have healthy fat, have people feeling satisfied, and they’re like, “You know what? I don’t need the sugar because I’m not hungry. I don’t need the sugar because I’m in a good mood. Because I have energy. Because I have mental clarity.” So, I think a lot of good has been born, both from keto and paleo.

Dr. Jason: Again, just speaking on the role of fat, again, maybe it’s not a total keto diet, if you will. Right? Maybe I’m not a great candidate for it. But again, recognizing the importance of fat. That’s one of the reasons that when someone’s on a high cholesterol med, or a meds that are designed to reduce cholesterol, they get muscle pain. Because, again, fat is needed for every cellular membrane in the human body.

Being active requires fats

Dr. Jason: Again, if you want to be active, and you want to be an active person, you want to be fit, you want to have muscle mass, well, guess what? You still need fat to create some of the cellular structures that will actually grow muscle. You need fat to actually be the end component, the resource that actually creates the hormones that we use, well, sexual hormones, and even brain hormones. Everything needs fat. We can’t live without it.

Dr. Bryan: This is the good thing. So many people in the last year … It’s so funny. They were pumped up to be able to go grab a chunk of bacon, and eat bacon and steak, and then an avocado, and then say, “Look, I’m doing keto.” But the reality is, that’s probably not just the way to do keto, or to get into keto. Right?

Dr. Olivia: Right.

Dr. Bryan: So, how do we get into keto?

Back to the bacon: Keto is not Atkins

Dr. Olivia: So, back to the bacon. I mean, you have to understand, I can’t stress this enough, this is where people screw up keto. Keto is not Atkins. Keto is not unlimited protein. Only 20% of your diet is protein. You guys have no idea how hard that is to accomplish. Very, very … It’s not a high protein. That’s, all things considered, pretty low protein. Right?

Too much protein gets converted to sugar

Dr. Jason: Yeah. So, people understand this, though, too. Because, I think a lot of people out there are not aware, that when we have too much protein, the body is smart, and it says, “Guess what? I’m going to take this protein, and we’re going to do something called gluconeogenesis. They’re going to take the protein. The body’s going to say, “I got some raw materials here. I’m going to turn it into sugar.”

Dr. Olivia: Sugar. Yes.

Dr. Jason: So, that’s what Dr. Olivia is saying, here. It’s hypercritical that if you are adhering to a keto diet, that don’t be misled. If you put too much protein, it’s going to turn into a sugar in your body. Right?

Not enough protein releases cortisol

Dr. Olivia: And the same is true if you don’t have enough protein. If you’re hypoglycemic and you don’t eat enough protein, your body’s going to release cortisol to break down muscle tissue, to release glycoprotein into your system. So, I don’t care what diet you’re on.

I see value in a Mediterranean diet, a paleo diet, a vegan, vegetarian, keto. I can see the pros of every diet, but all those diets have cons. You have to make sure you have balanced blood sugar.

Dr. Olivia: Blood sugar is really at the foundation of a majority of the health issues we’re up against in Americans today. You have to have healthy blood sugar. You have to in order for any diet to work for you. And I’m going to tell you something that I see happening a lot in females. Not as much in males. I’m seeing this a lot in the female demographic. You have these ladies that want to lose weight, right? Because we don’t lose weight as quickly as men, because our testosterone levels are different, our muscle mass is different, and our hormone system’s different, right?

Keto hype and being careful about our metabolisms

Dr. Olivia: So, they go on a ketogenic diet and they end up hurting their metabolism. And when I look at their glucose, and their glucose average, it’s too low, and they’re sitting there in front of me, they’re overweight, they’re tired, they have muscle pain, they have brain fog, and I tell them, “Your body needs more energy. It needs more healthy carbohydrates, such as fruit or a sweet potato.” And they’re terrified. They are freaking terrified to eat a carb. And I’m just like, “Hold on. You’re not eating carbs now, and you’re overweight, you’re tired, you can’t sleep, your body hurts. So what you’re doing is not working for you. Let’s look at your chemistry.” And many times we’ll improve these ladies’ carbohydrate intake.

What happened to healthy carbs?

Dr. Olivia: Healthy carbs. I’m not sitting here saying, “Eat sugar.” I’m not saying, “Eat pie and cookies and bread.” I’m saying, “By implementing a little bit of glucose, all of a sudden you get more energy in your cells, you have more energy, you can become more physically active, and you start resetting your metabolism.” It’s very easy for women to hurt their metabolism because we don’t have as much testosterone and muscle as you guys have. We don’t have that buffer. It’s very easy for us to screw up our metabolisms.

Dr. Jason: I think, again, there’s some really deep implications in that, if you ask me. Because I think there’s a social ingraining in people, in general. I would, as not a woman, but just being respectful to women, I think that that’s even more so in women. You get this fear of a carbohydrate. You get this fear of a sugar. And then if you’re already dealing with a person who is looking to lose weight, and very body-conscious, and now there’s, all of a sudden, there’s this false truth wrapped around a sugar, right? Or a carbohydrate, being more specific. And then you’re trying to help that person recognize the real fact is what’s right in front of them, which is what you’re doing is not working, and not all carbohydrates are sugar, or created equal.

Dr. Olivia: Exactly. Right.

Learning to navigate Keto hype and false truths

Dr. Jason: I mean, that’s huge. To dispel these false truths that people are walking around with, even if keto and a slab of butter and 17 pieces of bacon is going to get me to lose weight. Not true.

Dr. Jason: Just because I want to run a marathon or a triathlon, or I want to do this, may not be a great candidate for keto.

And every person may not be a great candidate for paleo, or whatever the case may be. If I’m hearing you correctly, it’s about truly identifying how can we create a stable environment for our blood sugar, that still meets our goals and our needs and where we are on our journey in life? Male, female, and whatever age bracket, and whatever goals we have with using our body effectively, we got to match and mirror that nutritional game plan.

Dr. Bryan: I think all categories of food, whether it be carbs, proteins, or fats, I think it’s safe to say that none of them are all created equally.

Dr. Bryan: So, knowing what type of carb, and what type of protein, and what type of fat, would make all the difference between whether you’re experiencing the good type or the bad type.

Carbohydrates and sugar are not the same thing

Dr. Olivia: Absolutely. So, I don’t think … People need to understand carbohydrates and sugar are not the same thing. You’re going to get carbohydrates in vegetables. You’re going to get carbohydrates in fruits. Carbs are just as important to your body as fats are, but carbs and sugars are not the same thing. Right?

Dr. Bryan: Is a carb and a starch the same thing, or no?

Dr. Olivia: So, a starch is a carb. Right? But when you look at something like a piece of bread, if you look at a sweet potato, and you look at a piece of fruit, those all have a different carbohydrate intake. It’s not just about how many grams of carbs that food has, it’s about what that food source is providing for your body. Right? They’re going to have different fiber intake, different nutrient intake. Just because it’s a piece of gluten-free bread doesn’t make it a healthy carb. It’s still as refined as refined gets. Right? We don’t have bread fields growing. We just … We don’t.

How can we start to approach the keto diet?

Dr. Bryan: So, two things. Is, I don’t know if there’s a way to summarize how somebody can actually start to approach the keto diet. What are some of the fats that you would want to be intaking? What are some of the foods, maybe, that you’d be avoiding? And then as I mentioned earlier, what measurement tool can we be considering to use to know if our body’s in a state of ketosis or not?

Where to find healthy fats

Dr. Olivia: I think that implementing more healthy fats into your diet, raw, extra virgin olive oil, not cooked, MCT oil, which is something you can put in shakes, you can put in your coffee if you’re a coffee drinker, which is great for people who are trying to get into ketosis. I think eating things like avocados, those are great fat sources. They’re healthy fat sources. So, implementing things like that. I think when you are trying to get your body in a state of ketosis there’s a lot of different ways to do it, but if you do remove all carbohydrates for a period of about two weeks, you should be able to get your body into a state of ketosis.

Gradually adding fruit

Dr. Olivia: And then, the longer you’re in ketosis, then you can start adding healthy things to your diet, like fruit, right? I know people who’ve been in a state of ketosis for months and they eat fruit and it doesn’t pull them out of ketosis. It’s just those first few weeks you really have to be quite a bit more restrictive.

Dr. Jason: To change the chemistry of your body?

Monitoring protein and finding balance

Dr. Olivia: Absolutely. And I would say the biggest warning is be careful of how much protein you eat. If you do use a fitness app or a fitness tracker, I think a pie graph is a great visual tool. You’re looking to get about 70% of your diet from fat, 20% from protein, 10% from carbohydrates, and when you start inputting that data into a tracking tool, you’re going to be like, “Oh my gosh, I had no idea I was eating so many carbs.” You know what I mean? It’s just about, if you’re really trying to follow a ketogenic diet, it’s 70/20/10.

Dr. Jason: Go through that.

Dr. Olivia: 70% fat, 20% protein, only 10% carbohydrates.

Dr. Bryan: Wow. Isn’t that the antithesis of what we grew up with?

Dr. Jason: Totally.

Dr. Olivia: Yeah, but what we grew up with-

Dr. Bryan: Everything was with reduced fat, no fat, limited fat.

Dr. Jason: Right, right, right.

Dr. Bryan: We were all excited about that.

Dr. Jason: Yeah.

Dr. Olivia: Yeah, but what we grew up with wasn’t working. That’s evident. We’re paying the price for it now.

Dr. Jason: True.

Dr. Olivia: You know what I mean?

How Keto apps & devices can help

Dr. Jason: Real quick on the apps, the cool thing, and you know this, but some of the listeners may not. Some of the apps out there actually, you can preset that.

Dr. Jason: You can go in there, to your settings, into your goal. You can say, “Here’s my target caloric intake for the day.” You could even say, “As a percentage of fats, of carbohydrates, and of protein, I am shooting for today is this,” and the app will actually start to be mindful. It’ll tell you ahead of time, “Hey, listen, you only have 20 more grams of protein for the entire day.” So all of a sudden you’re like, “Oh, crap, I just blew my entire protein intake at breakfast.” Right? So, that’s really cool, that the apps these days can do that.

Dr. Jason: Speaking of technology, one of the ways that I was measuring was I was looking at some of the biohackers that are out there. I was measuring my ketone and my glucose with my home blood prick unit. There’s a number of units that are out there-

Keto devices & breath analyzers

Dr. Bryan: Yeah, I was going to ask you. You had something that we were breathing into.

Dr. Jason: Right, actually that was the next thing I was going to say, I had actually a breath analyzer too. This is stuff that, there’s technology out there that you can get. I got mine on Amazon. I purchased it and then it just came to my house. It came with strips, and I put my finger, and I-

Dr. Bryan: Do you remember what it was called, by change?

Dr. Jason: I forget. Liv, do you know what the name is?

Dr. Olivia: It’s called Keto something.

Dr. Jason: Okay. The one I got, I went and found one that was a high level one for diabetics, specifically, because it was going to be as most sensitive as it could be. It came with keto strips and diabetic strips. And for of you who are not aware, these little strips that you prick your finger a little bit, and then you drip a little blood on it, and then you stick it in this little device. It’s no bigger than maybe three AA batteries lined up side-by-side. And then it literally just measures my blood glucose and my ketone bodies.

Dr. Jason: But as Dr. Bryan was just saying, I also got this device that had a USB cord, plugged into my laptop, and it was like a little breathalyzer, like a police officer would probably use to measure alcohol. But it would measure my ketones. So, actually, Liv, why don’t you explain to everyone how that device work?

Dr. Olivia: Sure.

Dr. Jason: How would blowing into a thing actually give someone an opportunity-

Smelling bad?

Dr. Olivia: Well, because when you’re in a state of ketosis a lot of people get bad breath. They get stinky. So what you’re smelling, that bad breath, you’re smelling ketones, right? Ketones definitely have an odor when you’re in a high state of ketosis. So you’re able to breathe into this breathalyzer unit and it can actually measure ketones.

Dr. Olivia: I will say, though, the blood thing, if you’re a biohacker, if you’re a performance athlete, you’re going to be way more likely, but the average person does not want to use something invasive to monitor their ketones. I still like to look at urine. I really do. I’m a big fan of urinalysis, because in a urinalysis you can also look at protein in the urine. You can look at pH. You can look at specific gravity. So, I just feel like, in urine, clinically, you’re going to get so much cool information. But I will say, if you’re a biohacker and you’re doing this from a performance standpoint, your blood ketones are way more accurate than a urinalysis. But in a urinalysis, I’m going to get some really cool into related to health and pH and water absorption rates.

Urinalysis at home

Dr. Jason: So, hold on, real quick on that, because, again, I know what you’re talking about. I know that Dr. Bryan knows what you’re talking about. But some of our listeners might not know. Because I think of you, A, before I came into the health field, I thought I had to go to my doctor’s office, and they did a test there, and I got results. But you know differently. So, what’s a way someone can check their urine on a daily?

Dr. Olivia: I’m a big fan of Siemens. The brand Siemens. S-I-E-M-E-N-S urinalysis-

Dr. Jason: Strips, right?

Dr. Olivia: … test strips. Yeah. And those things allow … pH is how acidic or how alkaline you are. Protein should not be in your urine. Protein is only in your urine maybe if you’re diabetic, maybe if your kidneys are dysfunctioning, maybe if you’re eating too much protein, maybe if you’re eating not enough protein. So, I do like to look at protein. I like to look at ketones. I like to see ketones in moderation. If you’re on a keto diet, you might see a higher state of ketosis.

Dr. Olivia: Specific gravity tells you how well you’re absorbing water or how hydrated you are, because a lot of people that are on a ketogenic diet need salt because they retain water. A lot of people complain on keto they get keto flu, or muscle pain, things of that nature. You need more salts to help with that. And I actually am a huge advocate for keto salts, or exogenous ketone salts.

Dr. Jason: Exogenous salts. Right.

What are Keto salts?

Dr. Olivia: I really think it’s very easy to screw up keto, and it’s a very hard diet to follow, but when you have a little bit of that cheating with the exogenous ketone salts, I’m such an advocate for it. And exogenous ketone salts contain something called butyrate. Butyrate is amazing for gut health. Amazing. Your body actually produces butyrate to heal intestinal tissue. So, I’m going to be an advocate for exogenous ketone salts all day, every day.

Dr. Jason: And what I’ll tell you real quick about exogenous ketone salts is I’ve played around with them even at the end of last year, and you absolutely will see a spike in energy. You talk about trying to get that … So, after that fast, that fourth and fifth day, I remember feeling really clear in the head. I remember telling you that, right? And it was like, yeah, I could see what people are talking about. When I take the keto salts it’s a smaller version of that where you get a sense of clarity, but you definitely get a spike in energy, too. So, I do like those.

Are extreme analytic tools required to do Keto properly?

Dr. Bryan: I think from my seat, hearing you guys talk about the measurement tools, or seems like, just like anything, there’s levels that you can take that too. Right? Where not all measuring tools are created equal, but it depends on how invasive you want to be. So pee sticks, or urine sticks, at home, which are a very simple way that people can actually determine whether or not their body is starting to move into a state of ketosis, they can take it to the next level of breath and computerized breath … I don’t even know what they’d be called.

Dr. Jason: Analysis?

Dr. Bryan: Analysis. With apps and softwares that will determine what your levels of ketones are in your body. And then taking it up to the next level which is actually analyzing blood. So, there’s a lot of different ways that somebody can really find out if their body’s in a state of ketosis. And the reason we even bring those up is

I think it’s important to know that just because you’re eating a more fat-oriented diet, doesn’t necessarily mean that your body’s already in a state of ketosis.

And to monitor it, and track it a little bit often is one of the ways that we often can determine whether or not someone’s body’s staying in that state of ketosis, or gotten to the level of ketosis. So, I think that’s real cool that those devices are out there for all of us to benefit from.

Anything else on the topic of ketogenic eating?

Dr. Bryan: Well, is there anything else on the topic of ketogenic eating? We could talk about intermittent fasting a whole other day. Either of you want to share that we didn’t touch on today? Because again, in my mind, I was just wondering is this all hype that everyone’s excited about? Or is there legitimacy behind the idea of eating more fat?

Dr. Olivia: No, there is so much science and research behind it, and if you’re a science and research buff like I am or like Dr. J. is …

I know some people have the philosophy, “Just tell me what to do,” or, “Tell me what’s right,” but some people really do want to understand the science and research.

I think Dale Bredesen has produced an amazing book called The End Of Alzheimer’s. It really dives into this research for brain function.

Dr. Olivia: And I would say the leading neurologist on brain function and the ketogenic diet is Dr. David Perlmutter. He is brilliant. You can watch his videos. He’s a huge researcher on the ketogenic diet for brain and gut health. So, those are great resources.

Dr. Olivia: Another thing is, is we give to our patients here, we have free ketogenic program guides that I think makes it really easy, with shopping lists and things of that. They can access that. We give the books out for free, but Metagenics does allow you to access those, and we do use the exogenous ketone salts and the MCT oil here at the office, because they’re the ones that we recommend, because they are clean and they’re also tested and researched to be some of the most effective MCT oils and exogenous ketone salts out there.

Conclusion: It’s more than just hype

Dr. Olivia: The last thing I want to say is increasing healthy fat in your diet is always a good idea. It’s good for your brain, it’s good for your metabolism, it’s good for mood, but be careful, if you’re increasing your healthy fat intake, be careful of how many carbohydrates you’re consuming, because one thing I always say is fat in the absence of sugar will do no harm. If you’re not going to do a keto diet, that’s fine, but if you’re going to be increasing your healthy fats make sure you are decreasing your carbohydrate intake. You don’t want too many fats and sugars mixing in your diet, because that’s what your body uses to create fat cells. So, if you want to gain weight, do that. If you want to maintain or lose, be careful of your carb intake as you increase your fat intake.

Don’t be afraid to try

Dr. Jason: I would encourage everyone out there to test. Again, I’m a researcher, as Liv said. I like to test. I’m an experimenter on myself. But I think there is a lot of value in that for everyone out there, to explore their boundaries. To explore what works for them. My exploration, my experimentation found that maybe keto wasn’t the exact right path for me. However, as Dr. Liv just said, there’s aspects of it that I really got a ton of benefit from that I will absolutely still incorporate into my nutritional plan.

Dr. Jason: So, I would just encourage people out there, don’t be daunted. Don’t be scared. Lean in a little bit. You’ve got great resources, this podcast being one of them. Lean. Come back in. Listen to the information. With that, as Dr. Liv did with some of her patients in the past, get rid of the false truths. Embrace some new truths. Try some things at your comfort level, but don’t be afraid to try. You may not try something, and then you’re missing out on something that could positively change your life, and your health, and even your family’s life. So I would just encourage people to lean in, test some things out, see what works, what doesn’t work for them, and then continue to evolve in making sure that they’re getting their health goals met.

Take advantage of our resources and feel free to ask us for help

Dr. Bryan: I love it, and I think that this is a good blend of a bunch of science for all the people that are wanting some deep-level research, and also some surface-layer things that if you didn’t want to go that deep, you actually, at least, hopefully, took some understanding of what we’re talking about here. Clearly, it’s more than just a hype. There’s a lot of benefits to keto.

Dr. Bryan: If you’re starting from scratch, you don’t know where to go, you want some direction or supervision, contact us. We’d be happy to help you and guide you in any way we could. We can support you or even develop programs to help you unwind some of your own conditions, if you’re dealing with some health concerns. We’d be happy to do that for you. Now that we’ve had this discussion, what do you all say? We leave and go get a few avocados?

Dr. Jason: I’m going to go get a Snickers bar, because I’m getting hangry.

Dr. Bryan: All right. Till next time. We’re going out for avocados.

Check out our page for more of our podcasts.

Add Your Comment (Get a Gravatar)

Your Name


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.