26 Kislev 5778 / Thursday, December 14, 2017 | Torah Reading: Mikeitz
 
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The Ketogenic Diet    

The Ketogenic Diet



The body can run via two mechanisms: fat or sugar. It can’t do both at the same time, though. If you’re running on sugar, it means your insulin is high much of the time…

 



Last week I wrote about Dr. Thomas Seyfried’s incredible discovery that sugar leads to tumor growth. To recap, sugar creates an environment that deprives the cell of oxygen over time. This causes the mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell, to switch from using oxygen for energy to using fermentation for energy, otherwise known as the Warburg Effect.

 

This survival mechanism, while amazing in itself, leads to major health problems. Fermentation causes the cell to behave in an uncontrolled manner. It divides more rapidly than it’s supposed to, and its DNA becomes damaged as a result.

 

Tumor cells, it turns out, have 10 times more insulin receptors than normal cells. They gorge on sugar like I gorge on food at an all-you-can-eat buffet. I haven’t seen one of those in at least 10 years, which might be the reason I’m skinny. I promise you that there will never be such a restaurant in Israel, because it will go out of business in one day. People will end up not only eating like there’s about to be a severe food shortage, but they’ll hide plenty of food in their purses like a certain family member of mine used to do.

 

Oh, the fun we had at those buffets! We’d laugh at how many muffins, pieces of cake, and sliced fruit we could wrap in those thin little napkins and stuff in our purses. As proud Jews, we were determined to get our money’s worth! It’s a good thing there was no security guard checking bags on the way out, because we would have been sent straight to jail.

 

Sorry, I got distracted. So let’s talk about the ketogenic diet. Dr. Seyfried claims that it contributes to reversing cancer. How does it work?

 

The body can run via two mechanisms: fat or sugar. It can’t do both at the same time, though. If you’re running on sugar, it means your insulin is high much of the time, and you’re not accessing those unlimited fat stores on your thighs, hips, and tummy. This is because insulin is a hormone that tells your body to store calories as fat. If your insulin is high, it means you’re storing all of your calories as fat, until infinity.

 

When you stop eating sugar for a few days, you will run out of glycogen, which is the liver’s sugar stores. At that point, your body will begin to access all that precious fat and start burning through it.

 

When you’re in fat burning mode, you’re in ketosis. You experience an increase in energy, mental clarity, and don’t have as many dips in energy throughout the day. You’re also losing weight.

 

Now this diet is not for everyone. As I wrote last time, if you don’t have any major weight or health issues, just reducing your carbs and adding a little healthy fat to your diet should be enough to give you more energy and help you lose weight.

 

But, if you have cancer, diabetes, are overweight, or have a chronic health condition like heart disease, the ketogenic diet can work wonders for you.

 

Basically, you have to eat 70% of your calories from fat, 25% from protein, and about 5% from carbs (including sugar.) You are not supposed to pig out on steaks and burgers like the old Atkins diet! Eat normal portions of meat, about 6 ounces or so, but make sure the meat is fatty. Fat fills you up and gives you energy.

 

Also, you cannot eat an unlimited amount of calories! Depending on your lifestyle and body type, the amount of calories you need will vary. I cannot tell you how many calories you need, but if you Google it, you shall find your answer!

 

You can cook with grapeseed oil or coconut oil (refined or unrefined) instead of refined vegetable and canola oils. For salads, use cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil. You can add a nice pat of butter to your coffee, like I do every morning. You can also drink a teaspoon of unrefined coconut oil, but if you can’t stomach the flavor, buy MCT oil, which is the medium chain triglycerides, the concentrated form of coconut oil. The body uses it for straight energy and doesn’t store it as fat.

 

Make sure you eat plenty of vegetables, but limit the sweeter ones such as carrots, because their sugar content adds up quickly. You can eat cheese and dairy, but make sure their carb content is low. Salmon is great, as long as it’s not from China. Yuck!

 

Here is a graphic of the different types of food and their carb content. You will be surprised to find out how many hidden carbs are in certain healthy foods! Use this as your guide to figuring out which foods you can be more liberal with, and which you should limit.

 

How does the ketogenic diet help to cure cancer?

 

It’s deceptively simple: it starves the cancer cells of sugar!

 

Remember, sugar is the fuel that feeds cancer cells. So, if you limit sugar, the cancer cells will simply die.

 

Please note that I am not advising anyone to stop their current cancer treatments! You must come to a decision together with your doctor. Even if you continue the treatments, you will certainly help things along by eating a ketogenic diet.

 

May Hashem bless all of us with great health and the wisdom and discipline to use food to support our bodies, not destroy them.





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