The Keto Diet for Chronic Pain Relief

Keto Pain Relief

“Keto” is certainly a buzzword these days, and for good reason. Not only is safe and rapid weight loss a reality on the Ketogenic diet, there are many other medical benefits like lowered blood sugar levels, improved cholesterol and lipid panels and increased insulin sensitivity.

The incredibly long list also includes mood stabilization, increased energy and mental function, and has shown to be beneficial to those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, early dementia, diabetes, mental health disorder and even some cancers.

Chronic pain is not exempt from the list. The research so far has shown this to be a three-fold combination of Ketogenic benefits which aid in neurological and other inflammatory pains.

First though, let’s go over the basics of the Ketogenic diet, so you can then understand how it can help with pain relief.

The Keto Diet

In a nutshell, the Ketogenic diet, is a carbohydrate-restricted way of eating. Instead of using sugar to provide the energy necessary for the body and brain, the body naturally switches over and uses Ketones. Ketones are produced when carbs aren’t present. The alternative, cleaner fuel!

Keto Macros

On the Ketogenic diet, followers are recommended to limit carbs, get adequate protein and high fat on a 5%-25%-70% caloric ratio respectively. The numbers may differ slightly for certain individuals however, the ratio clearly demonstrates that the vast majority of calories are ingested from fats. It sounds drastic and certainly unrealistic at first.

However, it should be noted fat has more than twice the calories of carbohydrates or proteins gram for gram. There are 9 calories per gram of fat versus only 4 calories per gram of carbs and proteins.

Many foods you may be eating currently may not be included in a Keto diet, and many of these foods may actually be causing you inflammation and pain.

What to Eat?

The simplest way to summarize Keto-approved foods is to label it as clean eating. There are many Keto-approved foods that are both delicious and satiating. Here are the basics:

Keto Fats

Good fats. Avocado, coconut oil, grass-fed butter, full fat dairy and eggs are great for reaching that 70% daily intake of fats.

Above-ground vegetables. The best choices with the least amount of carbs are dark, leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard, collards, etc.), broccoli and cauliflower. Green beans and squash are also great options. Spiralizers have taken zucchini to a whole new level for the Keto-ers!

Nuts are a good source of both fat and protein but should be eaten in moderation. Likewise, fruits should be limited to berries as most other fruits are loaded with sugar.

Lean meats with the least amount of processing are optimal. Shellfish is another great option, however watch out for the fat content!

What NOT to Eat?

This list is much shorter and tends to scare people away at first. Here’s the no-no list:

Basically, keep things simple. Stay away from processed foods, sugary/starchy fruits and vegetables, artificial sweeteners, grains, legumes and refined oils/fats. Foods pre-agriculture is a good starting point.

Again, many of these foods cause inflammation and therefore pain.

The Trifecta of Keto on Chronic Pain

Essentially there are three components in the Ketogenic way of eating which help with chronic pain relief. Some argue most pain issues are originated by inflammation. And it turns out, sugar is inflammatory.

Research, and common sense, indicates a diet high in carbohydrates could certainly be the source of at least some chronic pain. Goodbye ibuprofen and hello Ketogenic diet!

Keto Chronic Pain Relief

1. Less Weight, Less Pain

One of the benefits of the Ketogenic diet, and probably the main reason most venture out and try it, is weight loss. And with weight loss comes less pressure on painful joints and stiff bones. It makes perfect sense.

2. Adenosine

The human body is smarter than most realize. Adenosine is the body’s naturally produced anti-inflammatory analgesic. Studies have shown those who maintain a state of Ketosis also have higher levels of adenosine.

3. Sugar-Free

Keto Chronic Pain

Ingested sugar, which as above is highly inflammatory, sets off the insulin alarms to help get the sugar to the cells that need energy. What happens when there is leftover sugar roaming around? Most of it is turned into fat.

Double trouble: Sugar is inflammatory and increases fat stores. The Ketogenic diet is devoid of inflammatory sugars and artificial sweeteners. Remove the sugar, remove the pain?

Maybe “remove the pain” is reaching a bit, but the science is there. Those with IBS, fibromyalgia, arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, neuropathy, and any number of other problems where inflammation is at the core could benefit from a great deal of relief.

Additionally, better mental focus, increased strength and stamina, and improved overall health are all part of the reward plan of the Ketogenic diet.

The Ketogenic diet is a great option for most people with unlimited benefits, but unfortunately isn’t for everyone. There are certain circumstances where one should not entertain the Ketogenic lifestyle. As always, discuss any drastic dietary changes with medical professionals to be on the safe side.

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The Keto Diet for Weight Loss – Get started on Keto today!

Keto Weight Loss

Almost everyone has heard about Keto or seen people get magical weight loss results with the Ketogenic diet (more commonly referred to as Keto). If you are wondering what exactly the Keto diet is and how you can get started on Keto, or need some tips to make sure you are doing Keto right, you have landed at the right place!

Keto Weight Loss

Of late, this low-carb way of eating is hitting all the headlines for tons of pounds shed, even though it’s actually been around for quite some time. Originally designed as a way of eating for children with epilepsy, it has grown in the last decade or so into quite the weight loss and diet phenomenon!

In the simplest of terms, the Keto diet is a low-carb style of eating which causes the body to shift into a state of ‘Ketosis’. By limiting carbs, the body has no choice but to turn to a different (and more efficient) fuel source. The main objective in the Keto diet is to switch from using glucose as a fuel source and transition over to using ketones instead.

Ketones are produced in the liver by the breakdown of fat cells. Essentially, the body is burning fat for fuel in ketosis. The human body is very brilliant designed and when given the right tools, runs like a well-oiled (remember, oil is fat) machine!

Keto Fat Burning

How to Achieve the State of Ketosis

The metabolic state of Ketosis is achieved once you get started on Keto by maintaining a daily carbohydrate intake under 20-30 grams. It’s actually really simple. It only takes 24-48 hours of low-carb eating to shift the body naturally into Ketosis.

Now that Keto is so popular, every nutrition store has a variety of ketone-enriched supplements to push the body into ketosis faster, but for the average person using Keto as a weight loss plan, these supplements (called Exogenous Ketones) are completely unnecessary and quite frankly, a waste of money.

There is another huge marketing trend towards testing whether your body is in a state of Ketosis or not. These include Keto breathalyzers, blood tests and urine strips (similar to what the nurse uses when running a urinalysis), but these have thus far been highly inaccurate and are again, unnecessary. When you get started on Keto, the body gives signals when it is first in Ketosis, and it’s very easy (and advantageous) to tune in to your body to learn about the messages it is sending you.

Here are a few of the messages or indicators:

  • Strong smelling urine
  • Bad breath (like acetone or nail polish)
  • Short-term fatigue and/or flu symptoms
  • Appetite suppression
  • Weight and Fat loss!

By allowing the body to enter Ketosis naturally, without artificial enhancements, one knows exactly what’s going in and coming out. Speaking of which, sometimes what’s coming out (at first) isn’t very regular. After all the body is used to years of eating complex carbohydrates and will naturally go through an adjustment period.

Keep in mind, more of what’s being ingested is being utilized by the body now so there’s less to evacuate. If the frequency gets concerning, please contact your health professional for advice.

Keto Poop

The Bad Foods for Keto

It’s not a long list (like many probably fear). In fact, the guidelines are really simple.

Steer clear of these food groups:

  • Sugar
  • Starchy foods
  • Grains
  • Trans-Fats
  • Fruit
  • Low-fat and Diet products

The biggest key to being successful with the Keto diet is in taking on a more natural approach to eating. The more “real” the food, the better for you. A good habit to form is reading Ingredient Labels. Many items labeled “Diet” or “Low-fat” or “Heart Healthy” are riddled with sugars and carbs to make up for the taste.

what not to eat on Keto

The Good Foods for Keto

Keto Allowed Foods

This is absolutely the best part of the Ketogenic diet! Below is a list of categories and a brief explanation of each:

  • Protein. The best of the best is organic, pasture raised and grass-fed meat, seafood and cheese.
  • Veggies. Lean towards leafy greens and veggies grown above ground. Underground veggies are typically high in carbs. Fresh or frozen, it doesn’t matter.
  • Dairy. Full-fat dairy items.
  • Fats & Oils. Always opt for a natural fat source. When necessary for cooking choose coconut, butter or olive oil.
  • Nuts and Seeds. Fatty nuts like macadamias and almonds are great in moderation.
  • Beverages. Water. If flavoring is needed use real fruit juices or flavorings using Stevia as the sweetener.

The Keto Macronutrient Ratio

Calculating the individual macronutrient ratio is based on current weight, health history and weight loss goals for that person. Macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Since the carb count is less than 25 grams daily, it should equal to no more than 5% of daily macronutrient intake.

There are a number of calculators available online to assist in calculating macros. Seeking the advice of a professional, like a certified nutritionist, is optimal but not always an option for some.

An individual macro ratio might be 5-10% calories from carbs, 55% calories from fats and 40% calories from protein. Depending on the caloric needs and weight loss goals, the actual grams of each macro will fluctuate. That is, except the carbs. Carbs should always be under 30 grams daily and some even go as low as 20 grams.

Keto Macros

The Reality of Keto – What the Keto Diet actually is ..

Yes, cutting back drastically on carbs for a hard-core bread and pasta eater is going to be a challenge. The good news is for most people, the carb-cravings fade away after the first couple of weeks (sometimes earlier).

And of course, the rapid and efficient weight loss becomes a driving force in continuing with this new way of eating. And that’s exactly what the Keto diet is: A new way of eating!

This isn’t for yo-yo dieters or those just wanting to lose a couple pounds by next week. The Keto diet is a lifestyle change. And it is most definitely a change for the better!

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