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Food for thought

As runners many of us spend a fair amount of time thinking about our diets and what we eat.

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There are so many different theories out there: No carb, high carb, fasting, juicing. You can find articles pro and con on all of them. I found this blog on the low card diet called Ketopia. Over the past few months I read many of the posts and watched some of the videos.

Here is the Wikipedia definition of the Ketogenic diet

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fuelling brain function. However, if there is very little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood, a state known as ketosis, leads to a reduction in the frequency of epileptic seizures.[1]

How much Sugar do we need?

Some people say that we only need 20 grams of carbohydrates a day to survive. By drastically reducing carbohydrates in our diet we change the way our bodies make energy. This change can also combat insulin resistance, diabetes and cancer. Pretty amazing.

fructose, sucrose, sugar
Sugar -courtesy lifebridgeblogs.org

A while ago I watched a presentation by Dr. Robert Lustig on sugar. He went through the science of sugar metabolism, biology and chemistry. It’s way beyond what I recall from high school biology. I trust that his science is correct and that what he is saying in important. Ketopia has a link to one of Dr. Lustig’s presentations and many others that are worth watching.

I’ve been trying to cut back on my sugar in 2014. I’ve switched from coffee with sugar to tea without sugar. I’m probably saving about 4 Tbs of sugar a day.

I also think about the sugar in foods I eat and am trying to make some changes. I’m not sure if making a few small changes are enough or worth it, or do I need to go all in in order for this to have any effect on my health.

I’m not a scientist and I don’t understand biochemistry, but I’m trying.

Are you trying to cut sugar from your diet? Are you on a low carb diet?

Live well my Friends.

© 2014 Andrew nagelin


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6 responses to “Food for thought”

  1. toriteachesfitness Avatar

    That’s really interesting about the ketogenic diet. Unfortunately, a consequence of our bodies efforts to produce ketones for fuel also means we make more acid, which can be detrimental to cells and our bodies as a whole. I suppose there is always a risk/benefit ratio to consider! Thanks for sharing!

    1. imarunner2012 Avatar

      That’s why I always find these diets so confusing. I’m sure buried somewhere in all the science they cite, there is some way they are dealing with this.
      Doesn’t this suck the calcium out of your bones and over tax your kidneys?
      I’m not a scientist so it takes me a while to understand this stuff, and I’m still working on it.

      1. toriteachesfitness Avatar

        It would definitely over tax your kidneys, but I’m not sure about the calcium part. I think a person would run into more issues before all of that happened! Like fatigue, lethargy, inability to focus, etc. We essentially have built in autoregulation mechanisms to prevent things from getting awful too quickly. I imagine this would be very difficult to keep up and would take years before causing problems.

        1. imarunner2012 Avatar

          I’ve read several places that the body takes calcium carbonate(?) from the bones to neutralize the acidity in the body. The body probably uses other sources first, like food.
          Have you heard of this?

          1. toriteachesfitness Avatar

            The immediate way the body lowers serum acid content is by pushing it into cells in exchange for potassium (causing a rise in serum potassium levels). The body also has regulatory mechanisms in the kidney to get rid of excess acid- these are the main things I’ve learned about in school, and I haven’t read anything about how excess acid can lead to decreased bone density. I imagine that if it was linked to bone, it would take a lot of time to develop since it’s a much slower process. But I’m only a second year medical student! So there are many things I haven’t learned yet 🙂

          2. imarunner2012 Avatar

            Well, you definitely know more than I do. I’ll have to see what I can find on the bone issue.
            For a non-professional all of this stuff gets confusing. Everything seems to be contradictory. Without a solid scientific background it’s impossible to tell where they are stretching things or posing theory as fact. Ugh!

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