Is it ketosis or just very low carbs which helps?

(Eve) #1

I have been in ketosis continually for 8 months, and as l have already mentioned, have gained huge benefit in terms of much less acid reflux and bloating, and a stable blood glucose. I have been reflecting on whether these gains are merely due to stopping eating platefuls of veg every day, or due to being in ketosis. As has been discussed at length, plants contain many chemicals which have the potential to be harmful to us. I don’t know whether anyone has any thoughts on this? A simple way to test this would be slowly creep up the healthy carbs until just out of ketosis and see what my symptoms are. Has anyone tried this?

(Chuck) #2

I don’t do keto, and I don’t do really low carb. I do moderately low carb. What does that look like for me. I eat real food, vegetables, fruits, meats, dairy, as long as it isn’t highly processed, or fast food. I stay away from junk it the box or package, if the label has anything that looks like a chemistry project it doesn’t get on my table.

(Joey) #3

You ask an interesting question… i.e., whether it’s the lack of plants or the elevated ketones that are alleviating your prior digestive symptoms.

My guess is that it’s been the elimination of offending plants that have reduced reflux in your case. Inflammation is not “cured” by ketones - but it can be reduced by refraining from eating foods that are inflammatory.

Elevated ketones (resulting from reduced carb eating) can lead to higher energy levels along with many other benefits. One such benefit is a much more stable glucose level (within a narrower range pre/post meals) reflecting reduced insulin spikes. This observation is consistent with the other aspect of your post.

But from a broader perspective I’d suggest that elevated ketones & plant-reduction effects are intertwined.

Elevated ketones are an indication that you are not eating high-starch (= high glycemic index carby) foods. But many vegetables are not starchy even though some folks respond poorly to the phytotoxins they contain. You may be one of those individuals.

FWIW, my reflux disappeared completely after cutting out bread, potatoes, rice, etc… but still eating leafy green salads, broccoli, cucumbers, olives, etc. So it may also depend on which “veggies” you are talking about.

Regardless, congratulations to you on your health success!

(Bob M) #4

I think the answer is likely complex. Could be biome-related, for instance, which of course is affected by what we eat. Ketones definitely provide some benefits, though.

(Bacon enough and time) #5

Not eating certain plants probably helps quite a lot, but we also know that β-hydroxybutyrate helps keep our intestines healthy, too. For one thing, it helps restore the tight junctions between cells in the intestinal lining, which were broken in IBS, Crohn’s disease, etc.

The three ketone bodies are not just fuels, they also have hormonal effects and epigenetic effects that are highly beneficial.

(Geoffrey) #6

I don’t really know but I’ve always assumed that my gastrointestinal issues were fixed because I went zero carb. That was the first thing healed. Then it was later that my inflammation was reduced tremendously. So I figured that it was diet first then ketones after.

(Peter - Don't Fear the Fat ) #7

Same here Geezy.
I’ve never known if my benefits are from ketones or IF. But it’s working so I won’t change it


I have read about many people’s experiences and I have my own, of course.
I can just say what I almost always say: it’s individual. We respond to plant matter differently.

I never felt plants themselves bad at all, I was an unusually healthy vegetarian (of course, my age and good genetics helped a lot) - but it turned out close to zero plant matter is good for me. I don’t have much room to feel better physically (though I would love more energy but it doesn’t happen, maybe I do something wrong, it’s probably not diet related) but plant carbs mess with me. They make me hungrier and uncontrollable or how should I express it. It’s WAY better without that problem - though an occasional plenty day feels just like a carnivore one nowadays.

Ketosis alone didn’t give me noticeable benefits beyond fat adaptation (and some new recipes, even lower-carb habits, this forum… :smiley: I needed my carbier keto period but had to evolve further). But when I changed my plants to meat, wow. That was a good idea :slight_smile: But I changed multiple factors at once so I don’t know what helped. I suspect that adding meat and cutting out plants both were very important while dropping my carbs not so much but it’s a good idea too as it means less dairy and I need that.

(Bob M) #9

I think that’s the problem, even with keto. Go from eating wheat, possibly a lot of fried foods, sugars, corn chips, etc., to eating none of that. It’s very difficult to know exactly what has caused the most benefit.

Even the effect on the gut is hard to decipher. I still had IBS-like symptoms for a while after going keto. It wasn’t until I limited eating foods like salads that those completely went away. But there was still a tremendous improvement with keto.

(Joey) #10

Always too many confounding variables in our lives.

What we need is a multiverse to properly test our treatment selves against our control selves. N= :infinity: remains key to sound scientific inference.

(Peter - Don't Fear the Fat ) #11

I find science research frustrating slow. Though obviously impressed with fridge magnets, by now I was hoping for teleportation and warp travel :man_shrugging:

(Joey) #12

Fair enough.

But on the bright side, we do have Dick Tracy watches, GPS trackers to lock on our coordinates and other such hand-held devices. Plus, auto-opening sliding doors.

Fridge magnets would be better if they hadn’t also introduced those newer aluminum clad appliances. At least they can tell you when you’re out of heavy cream.

(Robin) #13

@SomeGuy @Pjam

Love this whole conversation. I second a multiverse, with appropriate sound effects, and anything that can prevent me from running low on heavy whipping cream.

And pork rinds.

And coffee.


Yeah, I just couldn’t change things one by one, it would have taken forever - not like I care much, I got a better and better woe, I am just curious and wonder sometimes… But even if I change one factor in my eating (couldn’t happen), there are other factors. I like to experiment as even my current woe can be done zillion different ways and I need to find a really great one but it’s tricky as I can’t just ensure everything is exactly the same but one thing. I still get info and results but sometimes it’s not clear what caused what (and my body is pretty predictable, it could be way worse). I try to do OMAD at least, that’s a serious reduction of factors (it easily affects even my food choices) but nope, I can’t even do that on/near carnivore…

I monitor my whipping cream - 30% is the fattiest I can get - supplies consciously, I don’t need appliances for that… Not like it’s a problem if I run out but I like to have adequate supplies and if I don’t have cream, I start drinking milk very soon… They have somewhat different uses but there is overlapping.

@robintemplin: I wish I run out of coffee. It’s my only chance to quit. But we need it for chocolate so we always have some. I tried to lock it up and give the key to my SO to hide but it wasn’t effective for long. But I will try it again.

(Eve) #15

Thanks for your reply SomeGuy.

(Eve) #16

Geoffrey, how much later did your inflammation reduce?

(Geoffrey) #17

It’s hard to pinpoint when it actually started to happen but I first noticed about six weeks in when I had been doing some hard work with my hands and the next day I made a fist with my right hand. Now I was a mechanic for 40 years and my hands had taken a lot of hard use and abuse. The last few years of my career I couldn’t make a fist after using my hands hard. Now all of a sudden I could. I started walking for exercise and whereas before I could only walk a half mile to a mile with support from a walking stick, I could now walk two and a half miles briskly and unsupported. My knees stopped hurting, my right hip stopped hurting ( my left is prosthetic) and miracles of miracles my back, which was debilitating to the point of crippling me, was no longer hurting and I could get out of a chair like a normal person and stand up straight.
The thing is, these were just things that I started noticing into my second month on carnivore. It may have started earlier and I just didn’t realize it, I don’t know. As I tried things I found that I could do them. Some times it was just a “oh, wow! I just did that”, moment.

(Bacon enough and time) #18

It took me ten months or so on keto, before I could walk downstairs to the basement without pain.

I’m not sure what the point of this thread really is. We can’t get into ketosis without lowering our glucose (carbohydrate) intake, so how can the effects be separated? Glucose causes cell damage from glycation and oxidation, and insulin-resistance causes diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, gout, Alzheimer’s disease, breast and other cancers, PCOS, impotence, and a host of other problems. Elevated insulin also causes systemic inflation.

But polyunsaturated fatty acids can also be inflammatory. So if someone stops worrying about cholesterol and switches from seed oils to animal fats as part of going keto, how do you separate out that effect from the effect of lowering insulin?

So is it low carbs or being in ketosis? Yes.

(Chuck) #19

I got called on the carpet for saying I don’t do keto, well I really mean I don’t do strict keto, with the very low carbs. By definition I do low carb seeing my total carbs are below 100 grams of carbs per day. I am not sure why but by doing so I actually stay most of the time in ketosis. My thinking is because I am fasting on average 19 hours each day.

(Robin) #20

You’re probably right. It made a world of difference for me.