12 Great Herbs And Supplements To Improve Ketosis

A ketogenic diet is a very low carbohydrate, moderate protein and high fat based nutrition plan.  A ketogenic diet trains the individual’s metabolism to run off of fatty acids or ketone bodies.  This is called fat adapted, when the body has adapted to run off of fatty acids/ketones at rest. This article will cover how best to improve ketosis and supplement a healthy lifestyle.

This nutrition plan has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation.  This leads to reduced risk of chronic disease as well as improved muscle development and fat metabolism.

Ketogenic diets have been quite popular over the last 10 years due to the beneficial effects being in stable ketosis has on brain function, aging and chronic disease development.  People all around the world have tried going on a specific ketogenic diet and lifestyle with varying results.

Here are some helpful herbs, foods and supplements that are often overlooked by individuals who are trying to achieve and improve ketosis.

1. Use Fresh Lemon/Lime:

Lemon and lime contain citric acid which helps to reduce blood sugar levels naturally.  Additionally, the anti-oxidants and trace minerals such as potassium help to improve insulin signaling boost liver function and stabilize blood sugar.

How To Use:  Put lemon or lime in your water and use it in your green juices, salads and squeezed over meat and cooked veggies to help improve your blood sugar and improve ketosis.

2. Use Apple Cider Vinegar:  

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is naturally high in acetic acid.  The use of acetic acid with meals has been shown to reduce the glycemic response of a typical carbohydrate meal by 31%.

One study actually showed that using acetic acid reduced a carbohydrate rich meal from a typical glycemic index of 100 to 64.  Beyond the acetic acid, apple cider vinegar supports the production of hydrochloric acid and contains enzymes that enhance the metabolism of protein and fat.

How to Use:  Use ACV on as many foods as possible and/or add it to water with 1-2 tbsps per 8oz of water.  You can also get a calorie free Bragg’s ginger aid that contains ginger, ACV and stevia for a great refreshing drink that improves digestion and may improve ketosis.

3.  Use Fermented Foods:  

Fermented foods such as coconut milk yogurt, coconut milk kefir, coconut water kefir, sauerkraut, pickles and kimchi are extremely beneficial to the digestive system and improve bowel motility.

Additionally, these foods have natural acids that stabilize blood sugar levels.  Additionally, the probiotics, enzymes and other bioactive nutrients help to improve digestion and improve ketosis.  Use a variety of different fermented foods each day.  Focus on ones that you enjoy the taste of and feel good when consuming.

How To Use:  For best benefit, use these in the beginning of a meal to provide enzyme support and probiotics that will help the body to metabolize the rest of the food you will be consuming.

Fermenting_3reasonstoeat

4.  Use Cinnamon Daily:

Cinnamon helps to improve insulin receptor activity and inhibit enzymes that block insulin receptors.  It is also a very powerful anti-oxidant that prevents inflammatory conditions that damage cell membranes and insulin receptors.

How To Use:  Put a ½ tsp of cinnamon in your shakes and apply it to any sort of ketogenic dessert recipe or anything with berries.  Additionally, if you are cycling out of ketosis with higher carb foods, be sure to use it on things like sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin and yams to reduce the blood sugar impact from these foods.

cinnamon_healthbenefits

5. Use Turmeric:

The orange Asian herb turmeric has been traditionally used for centuries by Ayurveda and Chinese medicine.  Curcumin is the most powerful active anti-inflammatory compound within turmeric.  Curcumin has been shown to be a powerful suppressor of chronic inflammatory mediated disease processes.

Curcumin modulates blood sugar and improves insulin receptor function by improving its binding capacity to sugar.  Curcumin activates PPAR (peroxisome proliferator-activator receptor) which is a group of key nuclear proteins that regulate gene expression and modulate sugar uptake and utilization in the bloodstream.

Curcumin also reduces the activity of specific liver enzymes that release sugar into the bloodstream while activating enzymes that store sugar as glycogen.  Research on type 2 diabetes patients resulted in blood glucose stabilization and lowered triglyceride levels in the group that consumed curcumin.  This can improve ketosis as you will better at stabilizing blood sugar levels.

How To Use:  Turmeric is absorbed best when it is combined with a good fat source and with black pepper as the peperine molecule helps to activate the curcumin.

Add turmeric to your smoothies, green drinks (juice the root), meat and vegetable dishes.  Be sure to add in the turmeric after the meal is finished cooking in order to maximize the anti-oxidant content.  I enjoy making steamed veggies and smothering them in grass-fed butter or ghee and adding turmeric, black pepper, pink salts and other herbs.

6. Chromium and Vanadium:

Chromium and vanadium help improve blood sugar regulation.  Chromium acts to increase the production and the release of glucose transport molecule called GLUT-4 enzymes in the liver and muscle tissue.  It does this by shifting GLUT-4’s location from deep within the cell to a position on the cell membrane.

This activity opens a window in the cell that allows glucose to flow down a concentration gradient into the cell where it can be metabolized for energy.  This acts to stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce insulin secretions.

Vanadium is a unique trace mineral that works to lower blood sugar by mimicking insulin and improving the cells’ sensitivity to insulin.

How To Use:  Take 250-500 mg of chromium and 375 – 700 mcg of vanadium with a higher carbohydrate meal can improve post prandial blood sugar significantly.

If you can get these nutrients in a high quality, bioavailable multi-vitamin it is even better as you will be supplying your body with tons of easily absorbable trace minerals, anti-oxidants and B vitamins that are key for blood sugar stability to improve ketosis.

7. Fenugreek Seed:

Fenugreek is native to the Himalayan region of India and it is now grown wildly all over the southern and Mediterranean Europe, Middle-East Asia and northern African regions.  Fenugreek seeds are tiny, bitter and pungent seeds.  They have been used for centuries to improve digestive function as a bowel toner and carminative.  They have a beneficial effect on kidney health and act to improve breast milk secretion in nursing mothers.

Fenugreek Seed and its constituent, 4-isoleucine appear to directly stimulate insulin. The combination of fenugreek with vanadium appeared to normalize altered membrane linked functions and GLUT4 distribution. Fenugreek also lowered high serum cholesterol and triglycerides.

How To Use:  Take 200-300mg with meals to keep blood sugar stable and improve ketosis

8. Bitter Gourd (Bitter Melon):

Bitter gourd is a tender, edible fruit pond that grows on climbing vines and originated in India.  As the name implies, it is a bitter tasting melon.  It is in the same family as squash, watermelon, cantaloupes and cucumbers.

Bitter Gourd (aka. bitter melon) contains a powerful phytonutrient called Polypeptide-P which has insulin-like effects that have been shown to exhibit hypoglycemic effects.  Polypeptide P has an onset of action between 30-60 minutes and a peak effect at about 4 hours. It is approved as an antidiabetic drug in China.

How To Use:  Take 100-150mg with meals to improve ketosis

9. Gymnema Sylvestre:

Gymnema is a climbing green shrub native to the tropical forests of southern India and Sri Lanka.  The leaves have been used for centuries to make an Ayurvedic medicine called gurmar, which means in Hindi, “destroyer of sugar,” as it helps to reduce sugar cravings and balance blood sugar naturally.

Gymnema contains many powerful phytonutrients including triterpenoids which have adaptogenic qualities that enhance the body’s ability to respond to stress.  Gymnema sylvestre reduced fasting blood sugars, glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) and glycosylated plasma protein levels and thus insulin requirements in Type 1 diabetics.

It did this by reducing glucose absorption in the intestine, stimulating pancreatic beta cell growth and possibly increasing endogenous insulin secretion as suggested by an increase in C-peptide levels. Gymnema was shown to also reduce serum triglycerides, total cholesterol, VLDL and LDL.

How To Use:  100-200mg with meals

Adaptogenic-Herbs-and-SuperfoodDefense

10.  Herbal Adaptogens:

There are a unique array of compounds used in natural medicine that are called adaptogenic herbs that help the body to better adapt to stress.  Adaptogenic herbs don’t affect an individual’s mood but they help the body function at its optimal level during times of stress.  They do this by modulating the production of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenalin.

Adaptogenic herbs include Panex ginseng, ashwaghanda, rhodiola, cordyceps, astragalus, holy basil, Siberian ginseng (Eleuthero root) and maca as well as others.  Start with small doses of these and gradually go up.

These herbs are best used in the morning and mid-afternoon for most individuals. Many people notice an increase in energy and mental clarity from them and if you take them at night they could possibly keep you up.  3 notable exceptions are reishi mushroom, lemon balm and ashwaghanda which tend to be more relaxing and help people sleep better.

Some individuals find they respond better to certain adaptogens better than others so be sure to monitor how you feel and your level of stable ketosis.  If you notice that they induce cravings or make you feel fatigued, you are probably having a stress response to the herb itself.

This isn’t a complete list at all but it is a start.  Here is how I recommend using them.

Ashwaghanda: Begin with 200-400mg – 1x per day and if you feel good using it you can gradually go up to 400-800 mg – 2x per day

Astragalus:  Begin with 500mg – 1x per day and if you feel good using it you can gradually go up to 500 mg – 1000mg – 2x per day

Cordyceps:  Begin with 400mg – 1x per day and if you feel good you can gradually go up to 400-800 mg – 2x per day

Panex Ginseng:  Begin with 200mg – 1x per day and if you feel good you can gradually go up to 400mg – 2x per day

Holy Basil:  Begin with 300mg – 1x per day and if you feel good you can gradually go up to 300-600mg, 1-2x per day

Maca:  Begin with 1.5g -1x daily and if you feel good you can gradually go up to 1.5-3.0 grams – 2x daily.

Rhodiola:  Begin with 100mg -1x per day and if you feel good than go up to 100-200 mg – 2x per day

Siberian Ginseng:  Begin with 100mg -1x per day and if you feel good you can gradually go up to 200 mg – 2x per day

11. Acetyl L-Carnitine:  

Carnitine was originally identified in animal meat and got its name from the latin word for flesh, “carnus.”  This nutrient is critical for fat metabolism and energy production in the cellular mitochondria.

Carnitine helps muscle cells drive energy efficiently from fat metabolism.  Up to 70% of the energy produced by muscle cells (including the heart) comes from burning fats.  Carnitine is the gate-keeper that allows fatty acids to pass into the mitochondrial furnace effectively.

Low levels of carnitine cause a reduced ability to use fat for energy.  This will drive up blood sugar because the cells will be starving.  To remain in ketosis, you need to optimize your L-carnitine levels.  The best way is to consume healthy animal products and consider high quality Acetyl-L-Carnitine supplementation.

Optimal Dosages:  500-1000 mg – 2x daily

12. Alpha Lipoic Acid:  

This is a unique and powerful anti-oxidant that has both water and fat soluble properties. This unique characteristic allows it to be absorbed and transported into many organs and systems such as the brain, liver and nerves.

Lipoic acid is able to regenerate vitamins C and E and other major anti-oxidants such as glutathione and CoQ10. Lipoic acid protects the mitochondria, the energy producing factories of cells, from being damaged by oxidative stress so they can produce energy more efficiently.

There is overwhelming evidence that ALA is critical for maintaining insulin sensitivity, optimal blood sugar levels and blood vessel integrity. This is important for metabolic syndrome, diabetes, healthy blood pressure and cardiovascular health.

Optimal Dosages:  100-200 mg with each meal

KETO_AlphaLipoic

Conclusion:

I am just scraping the surface here with how many herbs and supplements can help to improve blood sugar regulation, mitochondrial function and fat burning mechanism.  The most important thing is to find what works best for you.

You can use blood sugar testing, ketone blood testing or a ketonix breath meter in order to quantify your blood sugar stabilization and ketone levels.  I go over the best ways to test your ketones here.  Additionally, see how you feel when you use the dosages recommended in this article.  Experiment with some or all of these nutrients if you wish and see what works best for you in your pursuit to improve ketosis.

You don’t need to take all of these, but check them out and consider 1 or 2 that you think will help you on this journey to improve ketosis!!

Source: Article by Dr. David Jockers (https://drjockers.com/12-herbs-supplements-improve-ketosis/)

Organ Meats: 10 Healthy And Nutritious Options

Otherwise known as offal, organ meats are even more nutritious than regular red and white meat.

Organ meats were once a common and popular food choice, but they have fallen out of favor in recent years.

This is a shame because these traditional meats are some of the healthiest and most nutrient-dense foods we can eat.

This article provides a list of 10 healthy kinds of organ meat alongside their nutrition profiles and key benefits.

Note: all nutrition data is from the USDA’s nutrient database, and the values are before cooking.

1) Beef Liver

Fried Beef Liver On a Plate With vegetables.

Beef liver is one of the most popular organ meat choices, and it is among the most nutrient-dense of all foods.

Compared to regular beef, this organ meat offers the same protein content and significantly more nutrients for fewer calories.

There are many ways to eat beef liver, but one of the most popular is to fry it alongside some onions.

Nutrition Facts

Beef liver provides the following nutrients per 100 grams;

NutrientAmount
Calories135 kcal
Carbohydrate3.9 g
Fat3.6 g
Saturated Fat1.2 g
Monounsaturated Fat0.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat0.5 g
Protein20.4 g
Vitamin A338% DV
Vitamin C2% DV
Vitamin DVaries
Vitamin E2% DV
Vitamin K4% DV
Vitamin B113% DV
Vitamin B2162% DV
Vitamin B366% DV
Folate72% DV
Vitamin B572% DV
Vitamin B654% DV
Vitamin B12988% DV
Calcium1% DV
Copper488% DV
Iron27% DV
Magnesium5% DV
Manganese16% DV
Phosphorus39% DV
Potassium9% DV
Selenium57% DV
Sodium3% DV
Zinc27% DV

Benefits

  • Beef liver provides a substantial source of vitamin B12, copper, and vitamin A in its highly bioavailable retinol form.
  • Although the amount can vary depending on the lifestyle of the cattle, beef liver can offer a decent source of vitamin D too.

Key Point: Beef liver is incredibly rich in vitamin A and copper.

2) Beef Kidney

A Raw Beef Kidney On a White Background.

Kidney has not been so popular in recent decades, but it played a big part in traditional cuisine.

This nutritious type of organ meat features in several old recipes such as steak and kidney pie and devilled kidneys.

Beef kidney is quite strong-tasting compared to other kidney varieties, but some people find the flavor enjoyable.

However, it is worth noting that beef kidney can be quite tough if not cooked for long enough. It is also not as tender as lamb or pork kidney.

Nutrition Facts

Here is the nutrition profile of beef kidney per 100 grams.

NutrientAmount
Calories103 kcal
Carbohydrate0.3 g
Fat3.1 g
Saturated Fat0.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat0.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat0.5 g
Protein17.4 g
Vitamin A28% DV
Vitamin C16% DV
Vitamin D8% DV
Vitamin E1% DV
Vitamin K0% DV
Vitamin B124% DV
Vitamin B2167% DV
Vitamin B340% DV
Folate25% DV
Vitamin B540% DV
Vitamin B651% DV
Vitamin B12458% DV
Calcium1% DV
Copper21% DV
Iron26% DV
Magnesium4% DV
Manganese7% DV
Phosphorus26% DV
Potassium7% DV
Selenium201% DV
Sodium8% DV
Zinc13% DV

Benefits

  • Beef kidney is extremely rich in B vitamins, micronutrients that are essential for converting food to energy.
  • This organ meat is also a significant source of selenium, a mineral with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Key Point: Beef kidney provides a substantial source of B vitamins and selenium. It is also rich in protein.

3) Beef Spleen

Beef spleen is an interesting organ meat that offers more vitamin C than many fruits.

Since the spleen is one of the lesser known varieties of organ meat, the following diagram shows the location;

A Diagram Showing the Location of the Liver, Pancreas and Spleen.

As you can see, the spleen is located at the tail end of the pancreas.

In the body, the spleen is responsible for filtering blood, and it plays a role in immune response.

Nutrition Facts

Here is the nutrition profile of beef spleen per 100 grams.

NutrientAmount
Calories105 kcal
Carbohydrate0 g
Fat3.0 g
Saturated Fat1.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat0.8 g
Polyunsaturated Fat0.2 g
Protein18.3 g
Vitamin A0% DV
Vitamin C76% DV
Vitamin D  –
Vitamin E  –
Vitamin K  –
Vitamin B13% DV
Vitamin B222% DV
Vitamin B342% DV
Folate1% DV
Vitamin B511% DV
Vitamin B64% DV
Vitamin B1295% DV
Calcium1% DV
Copper8% DV
Iron248% DV
Magnesium5% DV
Manganese4% DV
Phosphorus30% DV
Potassium12% DV
Selenium89% DV
Sodium4% DV
Zinc14% DV

Benefits

  • Beef spleen is a rare animal food source of vitamin C, with a 100-gram serving providing nearly 100% of the recommended daily amount.
  • Spleen contains a significant amount of selenium, iron, and vitamin B12, all of which play essential roles within the body.
  • Considering the low amount of calories and the reasonable serving of protein spleen provides, it is also very protein-dense.

Key Point: Beef spleen provides a wide range of nutrients for very few calories.

4) Chicken Liver

Fried Chicken Livers on a White Plate With Knife and Fork.

Chicken livers are one of the best-tasting organ meats.

For those who find the flavor and texture of beef liver too strong, chicken liver is very mild in comparison.

Compared to beef liver, chicken livers are slightly lower in calories and nutrients.

Nutrition Facts

Per 100-gram serving, chicken livers provide;

NutrientAmount
Calories116 kcal
Carbohydrate0 g
Fat4.8 g
Saturated Fat1.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat1.2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat1.3 g
Protein16.9 g
Vitamin A222% DV
Vitamin C30% DV
Vitamin DVaries
Vitamin E4% DV
Vitamin K0% DV
Vitamin B120% DV
Vitamin B2105% DV
Vitamin B349% DV
Folate147% DV
Vitamin B562% DV
Vitamin B643% DV
Vitamin B12276% DV
Calcium1% DV
Copper25% DV
Iron50% DV
Magnesium5% DV
Manganese13% DV
Phosphorus30% DV
Potassium7% DV
Selenium78% DV
Sodium3% DV
Zinc18% DV

Benefits

  • Chicken liver contains significant amounts of B vitamins, selenium, and vitamin A.
  • In addition to the wide range of nutrients, chicken liver also provides a decent serving of dietary protein.
  • Many people find the texture and flavor of organ meats to be offputting. However, chicken livers are softer and milder in flavor, and they are a good introduction to organ meat.

Key Point: Chicken livers offer a milder flavor than beef or lamb liver, and they have an impressive nutrition profile.

5) Heart (Lamb)

A Raw Lamb Heart On a Wooden Counter.

Heart is a nutritious muscular organ meat that provides a rich range of vitamins and minerals.

There are many different varieties available such as beef, chicken, and pork.

However, lamb heart is the most nutrient-dense among the available options, and it contains slightly higher nutritional value across the board.

Nutrition Facts

Lamb heart provides the following nutrients per 100 grams;

NutrientAmount
Calories122 kcal
Carbohydrate0.2 g
Fat5.7 g
Saturated Fat2.3 g
Monounsaturated Fat1.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat0.5 g
Protein16.5 g
Vitamin A0% DV
Vitamin C8% DV
Vitamin D –
Vitamin E –
Vitamin K –
Vitamin B125% DV
Vitamin B258% DV
Vitamin B331% DV
Folate0% DV
Vitamin B526% DV
Vitamin B620% DV
Vitamin B12171% DV
Calcium1% DV
Copper20% DV
Iron26% DV
Magnesium4% DV
Manganese2% DV
Phosphorus18% DV
Potassium9% DV
Selenium46% DV
Sodium4% DV
Zinc12% DV

Benefits

  • Heart offers a concentrated source of taurine, an important amino acid that may play a protective role in cardiovascular health.
  • Although heart does not contain massive amounts of any one nutrient, it provides a good source of numerous vitamins and minerals.
  • Lamb heart is rich in coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a fat-soluble compound with purported antioxidant and anti-aging functions.

Key Point: Heart offers a healthy range of nutrients and some further beneficial compounds.

6) Lamb Kidney

Two Lamb Kidneys On a White Background.

Lamb kidney is similar to beef kidney, but it is softer and more tender.

That said, the flavor is a little different, and the best-tasting option will depend on personal preference.

Either way, lamb kidney is a nutrition organ meat packed with essential nutrients.

Nutrition Facts

Lamb kidneys offer the following nutrition profile;

NutrientAmount
Calories97 kcal
Carbohydrate0.8 g
Fat3.0 g
Saturated Fat1.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat0.6 g
Polyunsaturated Fat0.5 g
Protein15.7 g
Vitamin A6% DV
Vitamin C18% DV
Vitamin D –
Vitamin E –
Vitamin K –
Vitamin B141% DV
Vitamin B2132% DV
Vitamin B338% DV
Folate7% DV
Vitamin B542% DV
Vitamin B611% DV
Vitamin B12872% DV
Calcium1% DV
Copper22% DV
Iron35% DV
Magnesium4% DV
Manganese6% DV
Phosphorus25% DV
Potassium8% DV
Selenium181% DV
Sodium6% DV
Zinc15% DV

Benefits

  • Lamb kidney offers a substantial amount of vitamin B12, and it is a good provider of nutrients in the B vitamin group.
  • Offers all the benefits of beef liver, but with a slightly higher amount of most vitamins and minerals.

Key Point: Lamb kidneys are the most nutritious variety of kidney, and they have a softer texture than their beef or pork counterparts.

7) Lamb Liver

Lamb Liver With Vegetables On a White Plate.

Similar to lamb kidneys, lamb liver tops other commonly available liver meat in nutritional value.

However, the difference is only small, so the best choice is whichever option suits your taste preferences.

Nutrition Facts

The nutrient profile of lamb liver per 100 grams is as follows;

NutrientAmount
Calories139 kcal
Carbohydrate1.8 g
Fat5.0 g
Saturated Fat1.9 g
Monounsaturated Fat1.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat0.7 g
Protein20.4 g
Vitamin A492% DV
Vitamin C7% DV
Vitamin DVaries
Vitamin E –
Vitamin K –
Vitamin B123% DV
Vitamin B2214% DV
Vitamin B381% DV
Folate58% DV
Vitamin B561% DV
Vitamin B645% DV
Vitamin B121501% DV
Calcium1% DV
Copper349% DV
Iron41% DV
Magnesium5% DV
Manganese9% DV
Phosphorus36% DV
Potassium9% DV
Selenium118% DV
Sodium3% DV
Zinc31% DV

Benefits

  • Lamb liver is an incredibly nutritious organ meat; it provides 1501% of the DV for vitamin B12, 492% DV for vitamin A, and 349% DV for copper.
  • Similar to beef liver, lamb contains a rich source of retinol, the “pre-formed” and bio-available form of vitamin A.

Key Point: Lamb liver is arguably the most nutrient-dense commonly available food.

8) Liverwurst

German 'Liverwurst' Liver Sausage On a Wooden Chopping Board.

Unlike the other foods on this list, liverwurst is not an actual organ meat.

However, it is an organ meat product that contains a blend of several different ingredients.

Although the ingredient profile and recipe will vary from brand to brand, liverwurst usually contains a mix of pork liver, meat, fat, and various spices.

Liverwurst is a German product, and it is otherwise known as liver sausage.

Nutrition Facts

A typical liverwurst sausage offers the following nutritional values per 100 grams;

NutrientAmount
Calories326 kcal
Carbohydrate2.2 g
Fat28.5 g
Saturated Fat10.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat13.3 g
Polyunsaturated Fat2.6 g
Protein14.1 g
Vitamin A553% DV
Vitamin C0% DV
Vitamin D –
Vitamin E –
Vitamin K –
Vitamin B118% DV
Vitamin B261% DV
Vitamin B321% DV
Folate8% DV
Vitamin B530% DV
Vitamin B69% DV
Vitamin B12224% DV
Calcium3% DV
Copper12% DV
Iron36% DV
Magnesium3% DV
Manganese8% DV
Phosphorus23% DV
Potassium5% DV
Selenium83% DV
Sodium36% DV
Zinc15% DV

Benefits

  • Liverwurst is very adaptable, and you can use sliced liverwurst in a variety of ways. Also, some versions of liverwurst are spreadable, which further increases the sausage’s adaptability.
  • Since liverwurst is a mixture of meat, fat, and a variety of spices, it does not have the strong taste and texture of pure organ meats. As a result, it can be a good choice for those who don’t typically like organ meat.
  • As it contains liver, liverwurst is an excellent source of vitamin A.

Key Point: Liverwurst is a tasty and versatile organ meat product.

9) Pork Kidney

A Raw Pork Kidney On a Green Chopping Board.

Pork kidney is one of the most common kinds of organ meat, and it is a nutritious, healthy choice.

On the downside, pork kidneys can have a tough texture depending on the preparation and cooking method.

Nutrition Facts

Per 100 grams, here is the nutrient profile for pork kidneys;

NutrientAmount
Calories100 kcal
Carbohydrate0 g
Fat3.3 g
Saturated Fat1.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat1.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat0.3 g
Protein16.5 g
Vitamin A4% DV
Vitamin C22% DV
Vitamin D –
Vitamin E –
Vitamin K –
Vitamin B123% DV
Vitamin B2100% DV
Vitamin B341% DV
Folate10% DV
Vitamin B531% DV
Vitamin B622% DV
Vitamin B12142% DV
Calcium1% DV
Copper31% DV
Iron27% DV
Magnesium4% DV
Manganese6% DV
Phosphorus20% DV
Potassium7% DV
Selenium271% DV
Sodium5% DV
Zinc18% DV

Benefits

  • Pork kidneys provide a decent range of nutrients and a good source of protein for minimal calories.
  • Supply more than 100% of the daily value for selenium, vitamin B2, and vitamin B12.

Key Point: Pork kidneys are cheap and affordable organ meats that have an excellent nutrition profile.

10) Sweetbreads

If you haven’t heard of sweetbreads before, then you are probably wondering why sugary bread is on a list of organ meats.

Despite the confusing name, sweetbread has nothing to do with bread, and it is the culinary name for the thymus and pancreas organs.

Compared to other organ meats, sweetbreads are much higher in fat and lower in dietary protein.

A sauteed sweetbread look like this;

A Sauteed Sweetbread (Type of Organ Meat) On a Plate.
Source

Nutrition Facts

Sweetbreads offer the following nutrients per 100 grams;

NutrientAmount
Calories236 kcal
Carbohydrate0 g
Fat20.4 g
Saturated Fat7.0 g
Monounsaturated Fat7.0 g
Polyunsaturated Fat3.8 g
Protein12.2 g
Vitamin A0% DV
Vitamin C57% DV
Vitamin D –
Vitamin E –
Vitamin K –
Vitamin B17% DV
Vitamin B220% DV
Vitamin B317% DV
Folate0% DV
Vitamin B530% DV
Vitamin B68% DV
Vitamin B1235% DV
Calcium1% DV
Copper2% DV
Iron12% DV
Magnesium3% DV
Manganese6% DV
Phosphorus39% DV
Potassium10% DV
Selenium26% DV
Sodium4% DV
Zinc14% DV

Benefits

  • Sweetbreads offer a rare animal food source of vitamin C.
  • Likely due to the fat content, sweetbreads do not have the strong flavor and texture that other organ meats possess. Sweetbreads have a soft and tender texture alongside a mild flavor.

Key Point: Sweetbreads are an unusual type of organ meat, but they are rich in nutrients and taste good.

Concerns About Organ Meat

Generally speaking, organ meats are very healthy and offer a wide range of benefits.

However, there is perhaps one legitimate concern to be aware of.

Notably, liver contains so much vitamin A that we can easily consume too much of it.

While there is no need to worry about a semi-regular intake, consuming large portions of liver every day could potentially lead to hypervitaminosis A (vitamin A toxicity).

Final Thoughts

Organ meats are packed with nutritional value and incorporating them into our diet is an excellent way to add an impressive range of essential nutrients.

For those who don’t like typical organ meats such as kidney and liver, it may be worth looking into liverwurst or sweetbreads.

All the options on this list are nutritious choices and make great additions to a healthy diet.

Source: Article by Michael Joseph (https://www.nutritionadvance.com/organ-meats/)

Should You Count Calories On A Low-carb Or Keto Diet?

When it comes to weight, calories are often talked about but frequently misunderstood. Indeed, whether counting calories is actually useful for weight loss is debatable. Read on to learn about calories and their role in weight regulation on low-carb and keto diets.

  1. What are calories? 
  2. How many calories do carbs, protein, and fat provide?
  3. Calories count, but they are not the whole story
  4. Counting calories: yes or no? 

What are calories? 

A calorie is a unit of energy that your body uses to perform hundreds of tasks. These include voluntary movements like walking, running, and jumping, as well as involuntary ones like breathing, circulating blood throughout your system, and maintaining normal body temperature. 

Your body needs a certain number of calories just to keep these involuntary processes going. This is referred to as your basal metabolic rate, or BMR. Your BMR is influenced by many factors, including your age, gender, body composition, and genetics. 

You require additional calories for physical activity, including walking. Overall, the more active you are, the more calories you’ll need.

How many calories do carbs, protein, and fat provide? 

Each macronutrient provides a specific amount of calories:

  • Carbs: 4 calories per gram
  • Protein: 4 calories per gram
  • Fat: 9 calories per gram

Importantly, even though fat provides more than twice as many calories as carbs, it’s far denser and more filling.

Protein is generally considered the most satiating macronutrient, but it’s mostly used for cell repair, maintenance and growth. Thus protein intake is mostly important in order to fill your body’s protein needs. Protein is not very effective as a fuel (i.e. as calories). Excess protein has to first be converted to glucose in the liver, in order to be used as fuel. Eating protein in excess of your body’s needs is not necessarily a good thing, and it can reduce the effect of a strict low-carb diet.

Pure fats and oils get 100% of their calories from fat. However, the calories in most foods are a combination of carbs, protein, and fat. 

For instance, although eggs are considered a protein food, the majority of their calories actually come from fat. For example, two large eggs provide 146 calories:

  • 4 calories from carbs (1 gram) (2%)
  • 52 calories from protein (13 grams) (34%)
  • 90 calories from fat (10 grams) (64%)

Calories count, but they are not the whole story

Generally speaking, if you take in more calories than your body needs over a longer time period, the extra calories will be stored as fat.1 Similarly, if you take in fewer calories than needed over a longer time period, your body will release its fat stores, and you will lose weight. 

However, there is far more to weight regulation than just monitoring calories in vs. calories out. Indeed, most members of the human race appears to have regulated their weight effectively for millennia, before anyone even knew what a calorie was.

The modern obesity epidemic appears to be an unprecedented phenomenon, and it coincides with an ever-increased focus on counting calories. Correlation is not causation, so it would obviously be wrong to say that obesity is caused by counting calories. However, counting calories appears to be, at best, an imperfect aid to weight control. So what is really going on?

Hormones play a large role in influencing appetite, fullness, and fat storage. And research suggests that low-carb and keto meals may trigger hormones that lead to a natural reduction in calorie intake, especially in those who are overweight or insulin resistant.2

In one study, overweight people consumed a breakfast of eggs or a bagel. Although each meal contained an identical amount of calories, the group that consumed the egg breakfast stayed full longer and ate fewer calories at lunch than the bagel group did.3

Additionally, your insulin level – and how sensitive your body is to insulin – influence whether you store or burn calories. Researchers have shown that impaired insulin response following weight loss reduces metabolic rate and drives weight regain. However, lowering carb intake may help to counteract this effect.

Calories count, but you don’t have to count them.

Dr. Eric Westman, MD

What’s more, when it comes to weight loss, low-carb diets regularly outperform low-calorie diets, even in studies where the low-carb dieters are not counting their calories.

In a 2004 study, overweight and obese adults consumed a low-fat diet and a low-carb diet for one week each. Both diets were designed to reduce each person’s calorie intake by 500 calories per day. However, people lost more weight and body fat after the low-carb week than the low-fat week – even though the men averaged higher calorie intake during the low-carb phase.

Clearly, calories are only one factor involved in weight regulation.

Video: Doctors answer

Source: https://vimeo.com/183845010
Transcript

Dr. Eenfeldt: Isn’t weight loss all about calories?

Dr. Naiman: Yes, weight loss is all about… No, weigh loss is definitely not about calories. And I have a zillion patients who’ve gone on low calorie diets. And you can lose weight that way and you will immediately regain it. And we have plenty of studies that document this. So weight loss is not all about calories.

Dr. Eenfeldt: Isn’t weight loss all about calories?

Dr. Brukner: Well, so they’ve tried to convince us for the last 30 years. But calories in, calories out has been the philosophy of the 30 years. But, you know, you’re going to tell me that 100 cal from a piece of salmon is exactly the same as 100 cal from candy, or chocolate, or ice cream…

I mean that doesn’t make any sense at all, does it? So I mean calories in, calories out has been disproved. I mean there are calories from differences that have markedly different effects. And until we get rid of this whole calories in…

It’s been a disaster this calories in, calories out. I mean look at the effect. Since we have adopted that philosophy we have worldwide epidemics of obesity, diabetes, fatty liver and so on… It’s been a disaster and the sooner we forget about it… It’s sort of an attractive concept, you know, what you bring in, what you take out… But unfortunately it doesn’t work.

Dr. Eenfeldt: Isn’t weight loss all about calories?

Dr. Westman: Well, I think calories matter. The energy balance equation where we talk about energy in… calories in, calories out isn’t a good construct to help guide people… It’s more complicated than counting the calories on a label, for example.

Because the calories are handled differently depending on what type of calorie it is, based on the metabolism for that individual calorie. But I think that it’s pretty clear that when people are losing weight, they are eating fewer calories than they were before.

And then of course if the weight loss program that they are doing changes the metabolic rate, that’s another factor you have to take into account. But I think it’s fair to say that a low-carbohydrate diet isn’t magical. It follows the rules of science that we understand, having to do with energy balance and the calories.

So when I teach the low-carb diet, I don’t talk about calories. We don’t have to teach calories, but people are still eating fewer calories in general. That’s, you know, not the case for everyone. That’s the role for the practitioner to help people troubleshoot those situations.

Counting calories: yes or no?

At Diet Doctor, we don’t recommend counting calories. First of all, it’s impossible to know exactly how many calories you’re getting from a specific food, let alone precisely what your body will do with those calories. It’s far more important to choose foods that promote the release of hormones that reduce hunger, help keep you satisfied, and make it easier to achieve a healthy weight.

Focus on whole foods that contain high-quality protein, healthy fat, and nutrient-dense fibrous carbs, especially vegetables. 

And if you are really struggling to lose weight, stay away from high-calorie, high-reward foods that are easy to overindulge in, even if they are low in carbohydrates. Classic examples of such foods are cheese and nuts. 

Rather than counting calories, make all of your calories count by eating nourishing, well-balanced low-carb meals.

Source: Article by Franziska Spritzler, RD (https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/calories)

8 Reasons You’re Not Losing Weight on Keto

The ketogenic, or keto, diet is a low-carb way of eating that has been adopted by many looking to lose weight and improve health.

When following a keto diet, carbs are typically reduced to under 50 grams per day.

This has been shown to lead to weight loss and may improve heart health and blood sugar control as well.

However, to reap the benefits of the keto diet, it must be implemented correctly.

Here are 8 things that may be sabotaging your weight loss efforts on a keto diet.

1. You’re Eating Too Many Carbs

Not Losing Weight on Keto

One of the main reasons people don’t lose weight on the ketogenic diet is that they’re consuming too many carbs.

To reach the state of ketosis — a metabolic state in which your body burns fat for energy instead of glucose — carbohydrate intake must be drastically reduced.

In fact, only around 5% of your total calories should come from carbs.

This is in stark contrast to the standard dietary recommendation that 45–65% of calories come from carbs.

It’s normal to have a bit of difficulty cutting out carbs when first adjusting to the ketogenic diet.

However, to reach and maintain ketosis, carbs must be decreased to the recommended range.

To help reach your intake goals, consider tracking your macronutrients through an app like MyFitnessPal.

This can help you learn how many servings of carbs you’re allowed to have in a day depending on your calorie needs.

SUMMARY

To lose weight on a ketogenic diet, carbs must be decreased to reach the state of ketosis and induce fat burning.

2. You Aren’t Eating Nutritious Foods

No matter what dietary plan follow, the key to healthy weight loss is to consume nutritious, whole foods.

Relying on processed foods can put a dent in your weight loss even if they’re keto-friendly.

Adding in foods like snack bars, keto desserts and other packaged foods between meals can derail your weight loss efforts with the extra calories they provide.

Additionally, eating too many convenience-type foods like hot dogs and fast food when you’re on the run can slow weight loss.

These foods are nutrient-poor, meaning they’re high in calories but low in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

To optimize your nutrient intake while losing weight on the keto diet, stick to unprocessed, whole foods.

For example, full-fat dairy products, eggs, fish, pastured meats, poultry and healthy fats like avocado and olive oil are all great choices.

Be sure to add non-starchy vegetables like greens, broccoli, peppers and mushrooms to dishes to add nutrients and fiber.

SUMMARY

To optimize weight loss when following a ketogenic diet, avoid consuming too many processed foods and instead focus on meals and snacks that contain fresh, whole ingredients.

3. You May Be Consuming Too Many Calories

When trying to lose weight, it’s critical to create a calorie deficit.

This can be achieved by either reducing the number of calories that you consume or by expending more calories through increased physical activity.

If you switch to a keto diet and don’t watch your calorie intake, you’re unlikely to drop pounds.

Because many keto-friendly foods, including avocados, olive oil, full-fat dairy and nuts, are high in calories, it’s important not to overdo it.

Most people feel more satisfied after eating ketogenic meals and snacks due to the filling effects of fat and protein.

However, it’s entirely possible to consume too many calories on a ketogenic diet by eating portions that are too large or by snacking on high-calorie foods throughout the day.

Paying attention to portion size, increasing physical activity and snacking in moderation between meals can help create the calorie deficit needed to lose weight.

SUMMARY

When following any diet, it’s important to create a calorie deficit to promote weight loss. Curbing portion sizes, limiting snacks between meals and being more active can help you drop excess pounds.

4. You Have an Undiagnosed Medical Issue

The ketogenic diet is an effective weight loss tool.

However, if you’re having a difficult time losing weight even though you’re doing everything right, it’s a good idea to rule out any medical issues that may be preventing weight loss success.

Hypothyroidism, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), Cushing’s syndrome, depression and hyperinsulinemia (high insulin levels) are medical issues that can cause weight gain and make it difficult to lose weight.

These conditions can be ruled out by your doctor through a series of tests.

If you have one of the conditions listed above, don’t despair.

Through proper management, including medication if necessary and lifestyle and dietary modifications, you can achieve and maintain healthy weight loss.

SUMMARY

Certain medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism and depression, can make it hard to lose weight. Consult your doctor to rule out an underlying medical issue if you’re having a particularly hard time dropping the pounds.

5. You Have Unrealistic Weight Loss Expectations

It’s normal to want fast results when following a new diet plan, but it’s important to remember that weight loss can vary from person to person.

Although the ketogenic diet can promote weight loss if properly followed, the rate at which you lose may not be rapid — and that’s okay.

Small, consistent change is the key to losing and maintaining weight the healthy way.

While it may be tempting to aim for lofty weight loss goals, most experts recommend that losing 1–3 pounds or about 0.5–1 kg per week (depending on weight) is best.

Not to mention, if you adopt a new workout routine that involves weight lifting, you may gain muscle while losing fat.

Though this can lead to slower weight loss, putting on muscle mass and decreasing fat mass benefits health in many ways. It can reduce your risk of heart disease and improve bone health.

Instead of relying solely on the scale, take weekly measurements of your arms, thighs and midsection to track your progress.

SUMMARY

A healthy weight loss of 1–3 pounds or about 0.5–1 kg per week can help you stay on track and maintain weight loss over time.

6. You’re Constantly Snacking on High-Calorie Foods

Snacking on healthy food can be an effective way to prevent hunger between meals and overeating.

Yet, consuming too many high-calorie ketogenic snacks like nuts, nut butter, fat bombs, cheese and jerky may cause your weight loss to plateau.

Though these snacks are healthy in moderation, it’s best to choose lower-calorie options if you’re having more than one snack session per day.

Foods like non-starchy vegetables or proteins can keep you feeling full without the calories.

Flavorful snacks like celery sticks and cherry tomatoes dipped in guacamole or a hard-boiled egg with some cut up veggies are smart choices for those following ketogenic diets.

Plus, adding extra non-starchy vegetables to your diet adds a dose of fiber that can help keep your digestive system regular, which can be especially helpful for those first transitioning to a keto diet.

SUMMARY

Choose keto-friendly, lower-calorie foods for satisfying snacks that won’t cause you to pack on pounds.

7. You’re Stressed out and Not Getting Adequate Sleep

Research shows that stress, especially chronic stress, and lack of sleep can negatively impact weight loss.

When your body is stressed, it produces excess amounts of a hormone called cortisol.

Elevated levels of cortisol, commonly known as the stress hormone, can encourage your body to store fat, especially in the belly area.

Additionally, those who are chronically stressed are often sleep deprived, which has also been linked to weight gain.

Studies suggest that a lack of sleep negatively impacts hunger-regulating hormones, such as leptin and ghrelin, causing increased appetite.

You can lower stress and improve sleep by trying techniques like meditation or yoga and spending less time on electronic devices.

SUMMARY

Stress and lack of sleep can negatively impact weight loss. Do your best to reduce stress and get enough sleep.

8. You Aren’t Getting Enough Physical Activity

Incorporating more physical activity into your lifestyle is vital when trying to lose weight on a ketogenic diet.

Aside from stimulating fat loss, adopting an exercise routine benefits health in countless ways.

For example, exercise lowers your risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, depression, anxiety and obesity.

Not only does engaging in physical activity burn calories, but it also helps build muscle, which can give your metabolism a boost by increasing the amount of energy burned at rest.

Though starting an exercise routine can be difficult — particularly for those new to working out — there are ways to make it easier.

Creating a workout schedule and sticking to it is the best way to bolster a healthy exercise habit.

Set a goal of three to four days a week and choose a time that’s most convenient for your schedule.

Keep yourself motivated by storing a gym bag in your car for after work or by laying out exercise clothes before bed to keep you on task for early morning workouts.

SUMMARY

Exercise benefits health in many ways and stimulates weight loss. Make exercise a habit by setting aside time for a few workouts a week.

The Bottom Line

Along with other healthy lifestyle changes, the ketogenic diet can be an effective weight loss tool.

However, there are various reasons why some people may fail to see the results they desire.

Eating too many calories, lack of activity, chronic stress, underlying medical issues and not following the recommended macronutrient ranges can all negatively impact weight loss.

To maximize weight loss on a ketogenic diet, get adequate sleep, reduce stress, be more active and consume whole, nutritious, low-carb foods whenever possible.

Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/not-losing-weight-on-keto

How To Follow Keto Without A Gallbladder

Of the questions I am asked often, how to follow the ketogenic diet without a gallbladder is one of the most popular.

Since the gallbladder is known for secreting bile so we can digest fats properly, many people are concerned that you cannot follow a high-fat diet (like keto) without a gallbladder. However, this is not true. You may need to make some adjustments to your keto diet and take some digestive health supplements at first, but you can still get all of the benefits of keto after you have your gallbladder removed.

In this article, we will take a deeper look at what happens to your digestion after gallbladder removal and exactly what you need to do to follow the keto diet and get the results you want.


The Purpose of the Gallbladder — It’s Not Just A Sack of Liquid

The gallbladder is a thin-walled sac usually that is usually found between the lobes of your liver. It is essentially a bladder (storage organ) for your gall (bile).

Throughout the day, your liver will produce 400 to 800 ml of bile, which will travel down the bile ducts. If you are fasting, most of the bile your liver produces will be directed to the gallbladder where the bile is concentrated five-fold.

Once you consume a meal with fat in it and it enters your small intestine, hormones are secreted that trigger the gallbladder to release bile into the small intestine and tell the liver to increase bile production.

The Purpose of the Gallbladder — It's Not Just A Sack of Liquid

Once it reaches the small intestine, the bile serves many purposes including:

  1. Emulsifying dietary fats in a way that allows for their absorption.
  2. Eliminating excess cholesterol, potentially harmful substances, and other heavy particles that cannot be filtered through the kidneys.
  3. Protecting us from intestinal infections.
  4. Improving blood sugar control indirectly.
  5. Delivering many hormones and pheromones that contribute to the growth and development of the intestine.

After the bile makes it to the end of the small intestine, approximately 95% of it is absorbed back into the blood and recycled in the liver so that we can reuse it to digest the next meal.

Now that we have a basic understanding of gallbladder and bile physiology, a clear evolutionary purpose emerges. Although it is typically viewed as a simple storage organ, the gallbladder plays a crucial role in the making the bile more concentrated, which in turn makes the bile much more effective at the many things that this versatile substance does for us.

Unfortunately, the gallbladder isn’t always the most efficient organ — especially in the presence of a high carb and high-calorie diet — and this can lead to some serious issues.


Why Did They Remove My Gallbladder?

Why Did They Remove My Gallbladder?

Occasionally, the bile will thicken up too much and gallstones and/or blockages along the pathway where it typically empties.

Gallstones can also lead to acute or chronic gallbladder inflammation, sometimes with an associated infection, which can cause:

  • bloating
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • more pain

However, these symptoms may clear up on their own or after the patient adopts a healthier diet and lifestyle.

The gallbladder will typically only be removed when these symptoms persist:

  • sharp pain in the right upper portion of your abdomen that can radiate to the middle of your abdomen, right shoulder, or back
  • fever
  • nausea
  • bloating
  • jaundice, or yellowing of your skin, which typically indicates a bile duct blockage when due to biliary disease

Other conditions that may require gallbladder removal are:

  • Biliary dyskinesia. This occurs when the gallbladder doesn’t empty bile correctly due to a defect in its contractions.
  • This happens when gallstones have moved to the common bile duct where they may be stuck, causing a blockage that doesn’t allow the gallbladder to drain properly.
  • Inflammation of the gallbladder.
  • Inflammation of the pancreas.

What Happens When You Don’t Have a Gallbladder?

When you don’t have a gallbladder, the bile that is made by the liver can no longer be stored between meals. Instead, the bile will flow directly into the intestine anytime it is produced. Thus, there still is bile in the intestine to mix with food and aid in fat digestion.

There will not be as much bile as before, and it will not be as concentrated, but there is enough to allow the digestion of fat. However, this doesn’t mean that your body will immediately adapt to digesting food without a gallbladder.

In fact, around 50% of patients will have digestive symptoms after surgery. The most common side effect is diarrhea and loose stools. This will happen because of the more continuous release of bile into their intestines, which seems to control the speed at which food flows through the intestine. Also, if you have a high-fat meal during the first few weeks to a month after surgery, some of the fat may go partially digested which can cause fatty diarrhea.

With that being said, normal digestion is possible without a gallbladder once the body is able to make the necessary adaptations. Bile will continue to reach your small intestine, but it just won’t be stored along the way in the gallbladder.

In other words, it is possible to follow your original diet after gallbladder surgery. However, you may have to make adjustments before your body can adapt to fat digestion.


Gallbladder Removal Diet — How Should You Eat When You Don’t Have A Gallbladder?

Gallbladder Removal Diet — How Should You Eat When You Don't Have A Gallbladder?

In general, most sources suggest avoiding very high-fat and low-fiber meals after surgery. If you ingest a lot of fat with a small amount of fiber in one sitting, then you are much more likely to experience diarrhea or indigestion.

For these reasons, it is best to follow these recommendations after surgery:

  • For the first few days, stick with clear liquids and easy to digest foods. After that, gradually add more solid foods back into your diet.
  • Eat smaller meals on a more frequent basis until your body adapts to higher fat meals.
  • Make sure you have foods that are high in soluble fiber like low carb vegetables or keto bread with your meals.
  • Take an ox bile supplement with your meals if you are struggling to digest higher fat meals.

By following these suggestions, you’ll give your body a chance to adapt to digesting fats without a gallbladder. Most people will be able to return to a regular diet within a month after surgery. However, make sure you talk to your doctor if you experience these symptoms:

  • Persistent, worsening or severe abdominal pain
  • Severe nausea or vomiting
  • Jaundice
  • No bowel movements for more than three days post-surgery
  • Inability to pass gas more than three days post-surgery
  • Diarrhea that lasts more than three days post-surgery

It is also important to follow a diet that will help optimize various blood markers like cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar because people without a gallbladder may have an increased risk of developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and other metabolic conditions.

One of the best ways to improve your cholesterol, triglyceride, and blood sugar levels is by following a keto diet. And despite the fact that it’s a high-fat diet, you can still follow it if you have no gallbladder (or if you struggle with gallbladder issues).


How to Follow The Ketogenic Diet Without a Gallbladder

How to Follow The Ketogenic Diet Without a Gallbladder

To adapt to the keto diet after gallbladder removal surgery, it is best to follow the suggestions from the previous section at first. Having smaller and more frequent meals, slowly introducing keto foods back into your diet, and consuming soluble fiber from a supplement,  low carb vegetables, and/or keto bread will be essential strategies for your success.

If you find that your body is struggling to digest fatty foods at first, try implementing some of these suggestions:

  • Follow a moderate fat diet for the first couple of weeks after surgery and slowly increase your fat intake until you are following the keto diet by the end of the month.
  • Supplement with an ox bile supplement to assist your body with fat digestion.
  • Take MCTs (i.e., caproic acid, caprylic acid, capric acid, and lauric acids) to supplement your fat intake. These fatty acids are much easier to digest, boost ketone levels, and don’t require bile for proper absorption.
  • Consume ginger or ginger tea with your meals to help improve fat digestion.
  • Make sure you are hydrated and consuming plenty of potassium, sodium, and magnesium.

Once your body adjusts to digesting fat without a gallbladder, you will most likely be able to follow the keto diet without any issues. For most people, this will take about a month.

If issues ever come up in the future, you may have to decrease the fat content of your meals, eat smaller and more frequent meals, and/or assist your body by taking an ox bile supplement.

On the other hand, is there anything we can do to keep our gallbladders?

For those of you who still have your gallbladder, you may be able to prevent the need for surgery altogether. By changing your diet and lifestyle, for example, you may be able to prevent gallbladder disease and keep future gallstones from forming.


How to Save Your Gallbladder Before It’s Too Late

The current research suggests that obesity disturbs gallbladder motility and increases the risk of gallstones. A research review from 1999 even states that:

“There is general agreement that obesity causes stones.”

What is the most well-known contributor to obesity? Excess calorie consumption.

This means that it is possible to improve and protect your gallbladder’s health by restricting your calories and losing weight. One of the most effective ways to do this is by following a ketogenic diet.

By eating keto foods and cutting out the carbs and sugar, most people spontaneously reduce their calorie intake and start losing weight without having to battle against persistent cravings and hunger pangs. This can help reduce your risk of having gallbladder issues and potentially save you from having to undergo gallbladder removal surgery in the future.


Putting It All Together — Following The Keto Diet Without a Gallbladder

The gallbladder is an essential part of our digestive system and metabolic health. Although it isn’t part of the gastrointestinal tract, it does secrete highly concentrated bile that allows us to digest the fat we eat.

Fortunately for those who have had their gallbladder removed,  our bodies can still digest food without the help of our gallbladder. In fact, most people will be able to follow their normal diet within a month after surgery.

During that first month, however, it is important to follow these recommendations:

  • For the first few days, stick with clear liquids and easy to digest foods. After that, gradually add more solid foods back into your diet.
  • Eat smaller meals on a more frequent basis until your body adapts to higher fat meals.
  • Make sure you have foods that are high in soluble fiber like low carb vegetables or keto bread with your meals.
  • Take an ox bile supplement with your meals if you are struggling to digest higher fat meals.

If you want to follow the ketogenic diet after your gallbladder is removed, then simply follow these recommendations.

However, if you find that your body is struggling to adjust to keto dieting, try implementing some of these suggestions as well:

  • Follow a moderate fat diet and slowly increase your fat intake until you are following the keto diet by the end of the month.
  • Take MCTs (i.e., caproic acid, caprylic acid, capric acid, and lauric acids) to supplement your fat intake.
  • Consume ginger or ginger tea with your meals to help improve fat digestion.
  • Make sure you are hydrated and consuming plenty of potassium, sodium, and magnesium.

On the other hand, if you’d like to keep your gallbladder health, then adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle should be your go-to strategy. From a dietary perspective, the ketogenic diet is a healthy and highly effective way to lose weight, which means that it may be able to help prevent gallbladder disease and gallbladder removal surgery.

Whether you still have your gallbladder or had it taken out, you may find that the ketogenic diet is exactly what you need to achieve your health and weight loss goals.

Source: https://www.ruled.me/how-to-follow-keto-without-a-gallbladder/

Red Meat VS White Meat: Which is Healthier?

Read anything about meat and it quickly gets confusing.

The popular narrative suggests that red meat contains some important nutrients, but it’s not the best food for our health.

Instead, we’re urged to replace meats like beef and lamb with poultry and other white meat.

But is cutting out red meat a good idea? And is white meat really healthier?

This article examines the key differences between red and white meat and answers the question; which one is healthier?

What Is Red Meat?

The simplest definition dictates that meats which are red in their raw state are ‘red meat’.

However, we can also define red meat by its high myoglobin content.

Myoglobin is a type of protein found in meat which has a deep red color.

In fact, the red liquid you often see in a pack of meat isn’t blood; it is a combination of myoglobin and water.

Put simply; the more myoglobin a meat contains, the darker red it will be. Some examples of red meat include beef, bison, lamb, pork, and venison meat.

Steak is probably the most famous red meat of all, and when it is cooked well, it is also one of the tastiest foods.

The healthiest red meats you can eat are those in their unprocessed form, ideally raised in a natural environment.

How is Red Meat Good For You?

It’s widely accepted that red meat contains many important nutrients;specifically, protein, vitamin B12, and the minerals iron and zinc.

This is only a selection of the beneficial compounds we can find in red meat, and there are many more.

Notably, rates of iron deficiency anemia have been rising over recent years, effectively doubling between 2003 and 2012 in the United States (2).

As the most significant dietary source of iron, could falling rates of red meat consumption be playing a role?

Concerns About Red Meat Consumption

There are also some worries that red meat may have negative impacts on our long-term health.

In particular, these concerns relate to findings from nutritional epidemiologythat suggest higher red meat intake increases mortality.

Furthermore, red meat has been listed by the World Health Organization as a “likely carcinogen”.

Part of these concerns specifically relate to the high-heat cooking of red meat, and others are about the curing process.

We will examine the evidence behind all of these claims later in the article.

Key Point: Red meat has a higher myoglobin content and it is naturally red in its raw state. It contains many essential nutrients, but some people have concerns over negative health impacts.

What Is White Meat?

A Whole Uncooked Chicken On a Wooden Board.

White meat refers to poultry and light-colored meats.

Sometimes this definition may also include fish, but people don’t generally consider fish as a “meat”, so for the purpose of this article we will focus on land animals.

It is also a myth that white meat doesn’t contain myoglobin. Poultry does contain this protein, but in a much lesser quantity than red meat does.

Some examples of white meat include chicken, duck, turkey, and other types of poultry.

How is White Meat Good For You?

For one thing, it does not have the health concerns that red meat does, and so we often hear it suggested as a replacement.

Additionally, leaner cuts of white meat are among the highest dietary sources of protein.

Poultry also contains a range of essential micronutrients.

Concerns About White Meat Consumption

Some people feel that white meat is a vastly inferior source of nutrition than red meat.

It is certainly true that red meat is more nutrient-dense, but is the nutritional profile of poultry really so bad?

Let’s take a look.

Key Point: There are several alternate definitions of what white meat is. However, poultry meets this definition in all of them. Like all meat, white meat contains important nutrients.

Nutrition Profile: Red Meat vs. White Meat

In this section, we’ll look at the similarities and differences between red and white meat.

To make it fair, we will use the nutritional profiles of two red meats and two white meats;

  • Ground beef – 80% lean
  • Ground lamb
  • Chicken thighs
  • Ground turkey

Let’s now examine how these four meats contrast in terms of fat, carbohydrate, protein, vitamins, minerals, and other bioactive compounds per 100g.

All nutrition data is sourced from the USDA.

Carbohydrate

No meats contain any carbohydrate.

Fat

(Saturated Fat: SFA | Monounsaturated Fat: MUFA | Polyunsaturated Fat: PUFA)

BeefChickenLambTurkey
Total Fat17.8 g9.8 g13.8 g13.1 g
SFA6.8 g2.7 g6.4 g3.4 g
MUFA7.9 g3.7 g5.6 g4.9 g
PUFA0.5 g2.2 g0.6 g3.2 g
Omega-348 mg180 mg175 mg200 mg
Omega-6411 mg1890 mg360 mg366 mg

As shown in the table, beef and lamb (the red meats) tend to be higher in saturated fat and lower in polyunsaturated fats.

On the other hand, chicken and turkey are very low in saturated fat and higher in polyunsaturates.

All meats have a roughly 10:1 ratio of omega 6 to 3 except for lamb, likely because the majority of lamb are raised on pasture with a grass-based diet.

Opting for grass-fed beef or pasture-raised poultry would lower these ratios in beef and poultry respectively.

Protein

BeefChickenLambTurkey
Protein:25.7 g25.0 g25.7 g27.4 g

Both red and white meat is a good source of protein.

Vitamin Profile

Here is the vitamin content of all four types of meat based on the recommended daily allowance (RDA).

VitaminBeefChickenLambTurkey
Vitamin A0%1%0%0%
Vitamin E2%1%0%2%
Vitamin K2%4%0%1%
Vitamin B13%4%9%4%
Vitamin B210%13%23%10%
Vitamin B325%26%27%24%
Vitamin B57%9%9%8%
Vitamin B618%10%22%20%
Folate2%2%0%2%
Vitamin B1245%3%51%6%

As we can see from this data, all meats provide a decent range of vitamins.

However, the major difference comes from the vitamin B12 content; red meat is a much bigger source of B12.

Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that, among other functions, is responsible for blood cell formation, neurological health and DNA synthesis.

Those suffering from a B12 deficiency (such as vegetarians and the elderly) are at greater risk for a variety of health problems.

Minerals

MineralBeefChickenLambTurkey
Calcium2%1%1%2%
Iron14%8%13%11%
Magnesium5%5%6%6%
Phosphorus19%15%22%20%
Potassium9%5%10%8%
Sodium3%3%3%4%
Zinc42%17%32%19%
Copper4%4%8%4%
Manganese1%1%1%1%
Selenium31%24%14%53%

Again, we can see that red meat provides a more significant range of minerals than white meat does.

However, all four of these meats are relatively nutrient-dense and a good source of minerals.

Key Point: Red and white meats are similar in terms of their macronutrient profile. However, there are some differences regarding micronutrients;  red meat tends to offer a greater quantity of vitamins and minerals.

Bioactive Compounds in Meat

In addition to the nutrient profiles, meat also contains a variety of bioactive compounds that infer health benefits.

These include;

  • Carnosine: An amino acid that may have anti-glycation, anti-inflammatory and immune-regulating properties.
  • Choline: An essential nutrient that plays a key role in our central nervous system, memory and other cognitive functions.
  • Coenzyme Q10: This compound acts in a vitamin-like manner in the body. It helps to generate energy for the growth, repair, and maintenance of our cells.
  • Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA): This is a natural (don’t worry) trans-fat that research suggests may provide a host of health benefits. Some of these include better insulin sensitivity and, potentially, improved fat loss.
  • Creatine: Creatine is a potent performance enhancer that helps improve endurance, muscular growth, and overall performance.
  • Glutathione: Commonly referred to as the body’s master antioxidant, glutathione helps to fight oxidative stress and inflammation.
  • L-Carnitine: Carnitine plays an important role in fat metabolism. Studies also show that it has beneficial impacts on various health markers, such as fasting glucose levels and hypertension.
  • Taurine: Taurine is an abundant amino acid involved in many functions. Notably, it may play a key preventive role against cardiovascular diseases.

How Do These Compounds Differ in Red and White Meat?

Per 100g, these compounds are present in the amounts shown in the table below.

In regard to CLA, there is a big contrast between different meats (e.g. beef vs. pork and chicken vs. turkey). For this reason, the highest dietary source of the compound has been listed.

CompoundRed MeatWhite Meat
Carnosine350 mg >< 300 mg
Choline< 100 mg (liver: 300 mg >)< 100 mg (liver: 300 mg >)
Conenzyme Q103 mg >< 2 mg
CLABeef/lamb: 4-6 mgTurkey: 2.5 mg
Creatine300 – 500 mg300 – 500 mg
Glutathione12 – 26 mg6 – 13 mg
L-Carnitine56 – 162 mg3 – 5 mg
Taurine3.5 – 4.0 mmg1.6 – 6.6 mmg

Key Point: Red and white meat both contain beneficial compounds, but red meat has slightly higher concentrations.

Is Red Meat Bad For You?

A Man Disgusied As a Devil Eating Red Meat.

Now we have established that red meat has a higher amount of beneficial nutrients and compounds, what about the drawbacks?

Some people consider that we should limit our intake due to links between red meat and risks of disease.

Let’s examine these issues;

1. Nutritional Epidemiology: Red Meat Causes Cancer 

Epidemiological studies show there is a clear link between red meat and cancer incidence, particularly regarding colorectal cancer rates (31).

However, it’s important to remember that these are observational studies. In fact, the very same paper referenced above explains that;

“The definition for red meat varies between studies. Generally, it is defined as all fresh, minced, and frozen beef, veal, pork, and lamb, and processed meat preserved by the addition of preservatives or by marinating, smoking, salting, air-drying, heating, or methods other than freezing, which include ham, bacon, sausages, pate, and tinned meat.”

In other words, most of the studies on red meat do not differentiate between a home-cooked steak and a tin of spam.

Furthermore, they don’t account for any differences between the following two meals;

Meal 1: Steak, fresh vegetables, and a glass of water.

Meal 2: McDonald’s meal of a Big Mac with french fries and cola.

If the entire population were eating similar to meal 1, then there would be strong support for these epidemiological risks identified with red meat consumption.

However, most of the people eating red meat are eating it in meals that also contain refined carbohydrates and vegetable oils.

There are no randomized controlled trials or clinical trials of any nature that show links between red meat and cancer.

Key Point: There are observational links between red meat consumption and cancer. However, there are too many confounders and correlation does not equal causation.

2. Red Meat and Cancer: What Do Systematic Reviews Say?

Picture of Two Fatty Portions of Red Meat

Various systematic reviews have examined the effects of red meat in relation to cancer risk.

Here is a summary;

Systematic Reviews

  • Red meat, processed meat, or total meat is not associated with hepatocellular carcinoma.
  • There is insufficient evidence to confirm a link between red meat consumption as part of a healthy eating pattern and colorectal cancer.
  • Consumption of red meat and processed meat was associated with the overall risk of colorectal cancer.
  • There is currently no evidence of a mechanistic link between colorectal cancer and red meat consumption as part of a healthy dietary pattern.

As we can see, systematic reviews confirm that there is an association between red meat and colorectal cancer.

However, they also demonstrate that there is no evidence that red meat causes colorectal cancer.

Personally, I think what people eat with red meat is the most important consideration.

Considering that almost 60% of the food people eat is ultra-processed food, it’s likely that most red meat consumption is part of an unhealthy dietary pattern.

Key Point: Association doesn’t equal causation. There are links between red meat intake and cancer, but there is no mechanism for causation. There is also no evidence that risks are higher in healthy eaters.

3. Does Red Meat Increase the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease?

In a similar fashion, there are epidemiological studies that suggest higher red meat consumption may increase cardiovascular risk.

Firstly, this is open to the same criticisms as the association between red meat and cancer.

Secondly, a recent systematic review examined this issue. This meta-analysis was fairly in-depth and featured 24 randomized controlled trials.

To summarize, the study found that there is no difference in cardiovascular risk whether eating more or less than 3.5 servings per week. Some participants in these randomized studies were eating hundreds of grams of red meat per day.

In other words, higher consumption of red meat had no effect on blood pressure, lipoproteins, or other cardiovascular risk factors.

Going purely by the controlled evidence we have, red meat seems to have a neutral impact, and we certainly can’t assume that it is harmful.

Key Point: Does red meat increase cardiovascular risk? Observational studies say yes, but randomized controlled trials say no.

4. High Heat Cooking and Red Meat

Pieces of Red Meat In a Cast Iron Pan.

Evidence also suggests that how we cook meat determines how healthy (or harmful) it is.

Unlike the epidemiological studies, there is a stronger case that this is something we should be careful about.

The issue revolves around certain compounds known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Notably, these compounds are suspected carcinogens and they form when cooking red meat at high temperatures.

It’s worth noting that these compounds can form in white meat too.

How High is the Risk?

First, it is not confirmed that consuming HCAs or PAHs increases cancer risk.

However, meta-analyses and systematic reviews suggest that these compounds may possibly be a reason meat eaters have a higher (observational) cancer risk.

On the positive side, these compounds occur solely from cooking meat at very high temperatures.

Mitigating the Risk

If we believe that HCAs and PAHs represent a health risk, then there are some steps we can take to mitigate the risk.

These include the following measures;

  • Emphasize lower heat and gentler cooking methods. More HCAs form at temperatures over 220°C (428°F) or during long cooking times. With red meat, rare to medium is better than well done.
  • Using vinegar-based marinades helps to reduce the formation of HCAs in meat. Particularly, studies show that these may decrease the HCA content by as much as 88%.
  • Cooking with red wine reduces HCA formation by 72.5% – so a glass of red with a meal may also be beneficial. Using additional herbs and spices reduces this number even more.

Key Point: Cooking meat at high temperatures increases the formation of suspected carcinogens. However, there are steps we can take to minimize/mitigate this potential risk.

Red Meat vs. White Meat: Which is Healthier?

First of all, all meat is nutritious and full of protein, nutrients, and other beneficial compounds.

The research shows that red meat is the superior of the two in terms of nutritional value, with the main advantage being the higher vitamin B12 content.

That said, the difference between red and white meat isn’t as wide as some people assume, and poultry is also nutrient-dense.

All in all, both red and white meat offer a variety of health benefits.

However, neither red nor white meat are the most nutrient-dense meat; that honor belongs to organ meat.

Source: https://www.nutritionadvance.com/healthy-foods/red-vs-white-meat/