The ketogenic diet is the only eating plan that shifts your fuel source from carbs to fat—and it’s hard to overestimate the beneficial effects of that single change.
Utilizing fat for fuel makes you slimmer and healthier—and addresses a newly recognized health scourge that is rapidly becoming the “new obesity” epidemic. So-called overfat, a condition in which, although your weight is normal, your body is disproportionately made up of fat as opposed to lean muscle tissue and bone, affects roughly 80 percent of women and 90 percent of men in the United States.
Even if you don’t need to lose weight, there’s a good chance you’re carrying around too much body fat—a hidden hazard that can silently increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, gout, lung disease, and sleep apnea. A large-scale 2016 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that people with a high body-fat percentage were at an increased risk of dying, regardless of their BMI.
In other words, the number on the scale doesn’t adequately reflect your general wellness, since it doesn’t measure what’s underneath your skin. The amount of fat inside your body, even if you can’t see it, can make or break your health.
The Custom Keto program is the only one that quickly and effectively addresses the new epidemic of overfat, along with all its inherent risks. And that’s just one crucial aspect of the diet’s extensive impact. Here’s what makes keto diet’s very-low-carb, high-fat profile such a radical departure from anything else you’ve ever tried—and why it just might change your life.
Carbs make you fat and sick
Most people eat a diet that’s made up of roughly 50 percent carbs, 34 percent fat, and 16 percent protein.
Because your body processes carbs much faster than protein or fat, your energy boomerangs up and down all day. And along with these energy spikes and dips, carbs flood your bloodstream with sugar, triggering two harmful responses. First, high blood sugar prompts your pancreas to release a flood of insulin—a hormone David Ludwig, MD, an endocrinologist and
professor of nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health, calls “the ultimate fatcell fertilizer,” because it instructs your body to store calories as fat.
The result: Your fat cells increase in number and size. As if that weren’t bad enough, when insulin ushers calories into your fat cells, it closes the door, trapping those calories inside. With those precious sources of fuel locked inside your fat cells, there’s too little glucose available to power your brain and muscles. Your brain, sensing a food shortage, stimulates the sensation of hunger. So, according to Dr. Ludwig and others, it’s not overeating that makes us fat. Processed, sugary foods have programmed our fat cells to grow, and that makes us overeat. In other words, low-fat, highly processed sugary snacks and starches are actually one important cause of the obesity epidemic.
At the same time, the carb-induced sugar that’s left floating around your bloodstream causes your body to launch an inflammatory immune reaction to get rid of the sugar—and inflammation has been implicated in a number of serious health conditions, like Alzheimer’s and cancer.
Inflammation is your body’s response to outside threats. When it’s used to fight off an infection
in a cut on your finger, it can be lifesaving. When it becomes chronic because of problems like high blood sugar or plaque in your arteries, it’s like a four-alarm fire in your body, damaging tissues and wreaking havoc on organs.
Nutrient-dense fat keeps you healthy
The low-fat craze that began in the 1970s was based on flawed but well-meaning logic: Since a gram of fat has more than twice as many calories as a gram of protein or carbohydrates, eating less fat, experts theorized, should be an easy way to lose weight. Pretty soon, fat-free products were everywhere—and guess what they contained? Refined carbohydrates and added sugars, ingredients that prompt the release of insulin and thereby promote fat storage. As a result, themlow-fat craze helped create the obesity epidemic.
Now the tide has started to turn. In the last decade, a number of studies have vindicated dietary fat. A groundbreaking paper published in the esteemed New England Journal of Medicine several years ago compared overweight peoplewho ate a low-fat diet, a moderate-fat Mediterranean diet, or a high-fat diet.
The trial lasted two years—a remarkable amount of time in the realm of diet studies and long enough to make its findings highly reliable. The researchers discovered that people on the high-fat diet not only lost the most weight, they also had the most favorable changes in heart disease–related risk factors, like triglycerides and HDL—and the participants who had diabetes had better blood sugar control.
Eating fat, the study showed, was actually very good for participants’ health. Surprised? Don’t be. By now we know that healthy dietary fat has a multitude of benefits—and my approach to the keto diet includes only the most nutrient-rich fats available. For instance, my keto diet, like our ancient ancestors’ diets, is free of hydrogenated oils, and here’s why: During processing, these oils undergo structural changes and become oxidized, and oxidized oils lead to inflammation in your body. All the healthy fats in my keto diet program come from the most nutritious sources, and many are packed with other superhealthy vitamins, minerals, and fat-soluble nutrients.
Just as it’s good to eat a variety of veggies so you get an array of phytochemicals and nutrients, it’s important to eat a range of types of healthy fat, because each type offers different benefits. We’ll dive deeper into the specific benefits of fats in future chapters, but here’s a quick overview:
Saturated fats make up a significant proportion of our cells’ membranes, so they’re vital for the health of every cell in our bodies, particularly our brain cells. Good sources are grass-fed animal products.
Medium-chain fatty acids are the easiest type of fat for your body to metabolize and burn as fuel. They come from sources like unrefined coconut oil and palm oil.
Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are important for keeping inflammation in your body in check. The nutritious sources of these fats are wild-caught fish, like salmon, as well as flaxseeds, chia seeds, and hempseeds and oils like cod liver and flax.
Seaweeds, which have been used as medicine for centuries, contain anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids as well—plus so much more. Seaweed is such a nutrition powerhouse I think of it as superseaweed.
Omega-9 monounsaturated fats lubricate your body’s joints and support hormone health. keto diet program encourages lots of delicious omega-9- rich foods, like avocados, nuts, seeds, and olives.
Cholesterol from pasture-raised organic egg yolks can actually, despite what you’ve been told in the past, improve your good HDL cholesterol, hormonal health, and brain neurotransmitters.
If you want to jump-start your journey to lifelong good health, high-fat, very low-carb keto diet is the place to begin. By putting your body into a state of ketosis, the program offers widespread healing. It gives your pancreas, the organ that processes carbs, a chance to rest and rejuvenate. It allows your body to break down scar tissue and helps your system identify and get rid of unhealthy
cells that have accrued DNA damage and could lead to cancer. Ketosis is the most effective way to begin full-body healing