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What is Nutritional Ketosis?

Posted on July 16, 2014 by Ruth Buttigieg | 0 comments

The debate around what we should eat in order to maintain a healthy life and ward off disease is a constant topic of conversation both in the media but also within your social group. Even if you have not officially followed a ‘diet’, you may have certainly adapted your eating habits and choices slightly over the years to mirror the common public health messages. At the moment, there is a lot of debate over the potential uses of dietary ketogenic diets, yet there is still a lot of myths surrounding what it actually is and how it works.

There are two types of diets, those that trigger ketosis: (i) by calorie restriction (VLCD) and those that trigger ketosis (ii) by carbohydrate restriction. This latter approach is a low carbohydrate (40-60g total carbohydrate daily), adequate/high protein, moderate/ high fat diet which biochemically re-creates a fasting state but without the need for fasting. What this means is that you can eat real food and still recreate a sense of fasting in your body on a biochemical level.


In fact, this way of eating has been used to treat and manage epilepsy since the early 1900s. Since then it’s uses have expanded to various other neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease, etc. It has also gained notice as a potential adjunctive dietary treatment for certain cancers - cancer cells have a different way of fuelling themselves and in theory, this way of eating could be used to starve them of their preferred energy source: sugar.


Scientific Evidence for weight loss & overall health

Research published by Gardner et al. (2007) looked at four popular different weight-loss programmes which varied in their macronutrient composition.  The results showed that subjects assigned to follow the Atkins diet were more successful at weight loss and had a better overall metabolic effect at 12 months when compared to the other programmes.

A systematic review by Hession et al. (2008) looked at all low-carb/high-protein (LC/HP) vs. low-fat/high-carb (LF/HC) studies carried out between 2000-2007. The result was that overall there was a higher attrition rate for participants following the LF/HC. The importance of this is that such a factor would reduce the statistical power of such studies, raising queries on the conclusions derived. The study went on to state that LC/HP diets were “as effective at 6 months, if not more, as LF diets in reducing weight and cardiovascular disease risk up to 1 year”.

Another study published by Halton et al. (2006) looked at the data from women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study found that participants who followed a low carbohydrate diet were not associated with having an increased risk of coronary heart disease in these women (P=0.19). Participants who had a high glycaemic load had a higher risk of developing coronary heart disease (P=0.003).

A meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies looking at saturated fat (SFA) with cardiovascular disease (CVD) by Siri-Tarino et al. (2010) found that there is no significant evidence, as amassed by the studies looked at, to conclude that dietary SFA is associated with an increased risk of Coronary Heart Disease and/or Cardiovascular Disease. The authors also go on to mention the requirement to assess if Cardiovascular Disease risks may be influenced by the nutrients that have replaced them in the diet i.e. refined sugars.


Natural Low Carb Store

The Natural Low Carb Store way of doing things is quite simple. We promote a low-carb, high-protein, moderate-fat diet. Although we are in the same school of thought as Atkins, our approach to diet and lifestyle is different.

We embrace those carbohydrates that are based on dietary fibre rather than simple and/or complex carbohydrates. The difference between these carbohydrates is the way they are digested within the body. By choosing these vegetables and fruits, the essential micronutrient requirements are met whilst ensuring no blood sugar spikes in the progress.

A quick glimpse at a low-carb meal plan one can notice that it is balanced, natural, low in trans-fat, low in sugar and low in salt. It also provides omega 3 and 6, and essential amino acids. It is full of food containing antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, as well as fibre. A diet high in protein has also been extensively proven to alleviate satiety in individuals.


Studies have also shown that high-fat meals do not increase the Cardiovascular Disease markers such as cholesterol and blood pressure. What has been shown is that subjects following a low-carbohydrate diet had better lipid profiles on the whole.

The Natural Low Carb way is about being healthy and making the right choices. Feel free to get in touch with us if you have any further questions: we’ll answer any questions you have and help you make an informed decision.


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Weigle D.S., Breen P.A., Matthys C.C., Callahan H.S., Meeuws K.E., Burden V.R. & Purnell J.Q. 2005. A high-protein diet induces sustained reductions in appetite, ad libitum caloric intake, and body weight despite compensatory changes in diurnal plasma leptin and ghrelin concentrations. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 82: 41-8.

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