Clearing Up The Confusion

When I talk about increasing protein I am suggesting that a person increase their protein to meet their recommended daily allowance. Most folks aren’t taking in enough protein to meet their daily recommended allowance. Sometimes the information that I provide gets a little misconstrued.  When I tell folks to increase their protein, I am merely suggesting that they reach their recommended daily allowance of protein for their body.  So when someone, such as a doctor, over hears a random discussion of clients discussing what I have told them to help improve their body composition. The doctor automatically assumes that I am telling people to be on an “extreme high protein” diet with no carbohydrates.  The doctor begins to explain that being on a high protein only diet will influence the development of ketosis and ketoacidosis which are dangerous conditions for the body. 

Though I agree that extreme cases of high protein diets are not advisable for some folks and that ketosis and ketoacidosis are conditions that develop from high protein diets, I disagree agree with the idea that eating protein to match the persons recommended daily allowance is harmful.  Let me explain what ketosis and ketoacidosis are so that you can know what we are talking about.

Ketosis is often misunderstood.  It is believed that ketosis is a “dangerous state” for the body to be in.  But the truth is, is that ketosis is a result of fat metabolism.  When the body is not using sugar as fuel, fat is used. Ketones are produced during fat metabolism. As I have discussed in earlier blogs, fat metabolism is essential for producing ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) the high energy compound produced in the mitochondria of the cell. The more fat you metabolize via aerobic pathways the more ATP is produced.  This is why when you increase your fat and protein to the daily recommended allowance, limiting the high sugar foods, you feel an increase in energy and strength.  

During the fat metabolism process some of the ketones known as acetoacetate and ß-hydroxybutyrate are used for energy.  In fact, the heart and kidneys like ketones more than glucose. Even the brain uses ketones for some of its energy. There is one ketone called Acetone that is not used and is eliminated in the urine.

Ketosis is not necessarily a bad thing.  What confuses people is the idea that burning lots of fat for energy is not allowing for enough glucose to burn. Which will cause blood sugar levels to drop and can be dangerous to all the functioning systems that depend on glucose. There have been many studies conducted that prove this to be incorrect.  The body is so sophisticated that it will adjust to accommodate for this type of event.  When fat metabolism increases and sugar metabolism reduces, the body will convert protein into glucose. This again, is why a person feels so good when they are on a balanced fat, protein, low glycemic diet, because they are not causing an insulin spike from ingesting too many sugars.  The body regulates itself better in a fat metabolic state, than a high sugar ingested state. 

There is a condition known as ketoacidosis that is predominantly associated with folks that have type 1 diabetes.  This is often mistaken as “normal ketosis.” With type 1 diabetics their pancreas is unable to produce insulin to buffer out excess glucose. Therefore fat metabolism takes over and this produces an over abundant amount of ketones in the bloodstream, way beyond what is considered normal.  The liver tries to remedy the situation by producing glucose, but this doesn’t work because the cells cannot suck up the glucose without the presence of insulin.  

People who are Type 2 diabetic are rarely effected by ketoacidosis.  Proving that the bodies regulatory system is very efficient in balancing ph levels and ketones.  It is only in severe cases such as illness that ketoacidosis can become life threatening to a Type 2 Diabetic. 

So now that you know the differences between ketosis and ketoacidosis I want to say again that the folks that I consult and are following my advice are not affected any dangerous malarky about their blood system being too high in ketones or acid. I prescribe balanced nutrition and the recommended daily allowance of protein, fat and low glycemic carbohydrates.  

I don’t advocate “extreme” high protein diets.  The only time I would eat only protein with out any carbohydrates is when I would get ready to compete in a bodybuilding show. During the last week of preparation would I cut out all carbs to lose the last bit of excess fat. After the contest I go right back to my regular balanced meal plan.  

Just because I talk about protein does not mean that I am a Dr. Atkins disciple.  The Atkins plan scientifically works and has some merit. But I feel that my approach is well balanced and works just as well.

Sometimes those that listen in on only part of a conversation without all the facts can often misinterpret the meaning of my madness.  If anyone has any questions or concerns about my methods, I am always available for discussion. Just email me your questions I will be glad to answer them. Unless however, you are a New York Jets, New Yankee Fan or any one who enjoys seeing the Red Sox or Patriots lose then a reply to your question might take longer than expected:)

tags: daryl conant, diet EARTH, Ron Kosloff, Vince Gironda, ketosis, ketoacidosis