Virta Health - How Much Protein on Keto


Thakns, I haven’t read those, I’ll put them on my todo list. :smile:

(less is more, more or less) #22

Yes, it is, thanks for drawing attention to it. I am a fan of Virta Health and Dr. Phinney as well. It sure goes deep into the matter.

I stopped and went solidly back on Westman’s page 4 guidance. From my tracking days, my protein intake, as a percentage, was well above guidelines I commonly see here.

When you write “it seems,” how do you experience this?

Amen. At 56 I’m similarly motivated. I wish there were more generalized interest in low-carb and sarcopenia. There is no mention of this in the article.

Is there any interest in a “sarcopenia” category, here?

I, too, lost my loose skin some time ago, though my wrinkles are more clearly defined now. However, my ever-shifting constellation of moles sufficiently distracts my dermatologist. :wink:

This study you’ve referenced suggests a lower value window for daily protein intake than what Phinney is recommending. This decreased value is less than what my n=1 has been, which is more consistent with Phinney’s suggested values. Call it happy serendipity, or more simply that Westman knows what he’s doing.

I’m unclear why you included the Mark’s Daily Apple blog post; there isn’t any mention of sarcopenia there?

Most excellent. You are ninja-level.

As have I, though a happy marriage depends on my NOT becoming carnivore. It’s a trade-off I’ll happily take.

At 6’ 1" Virta recommends that I keep my upper limit of meat to 22 ounces a day, which seems generous to me. I’ve heard carnivores say they’ll eat 4 - 5 pounds of meat a day to address their hunger. Perhaps my workouts aren’t as vigorous, but that seems outrageously high?

The age factor, here, seems too important to not include in this discussion. Virta broadly addresses this in the comments section:

  1. Yes, bodybuilding can increase protein needs. However, it wouldn’t extend beyond 2 grams per kilogram of body weight or the upper range as displayed in the table.

(Bunny) #23

Citing it as an example as to the difference between whey protein isolate and whey protein hydrolysate, senior folks use it sometimes to improve muscle mass as protein from meat may not get digested as well as whey protein, also helps with burning body fat and gaining muscle mass besides raw eggs. Some folks are worried about it being too insulinogenic?


[1] New supplement can repair, rejuvenate muscles in older adults

[2] Dietary protein recommendations and the prevention of sarcopenia

[3] Prospective Views for Whey Protein and/or Resistance Training Against Age-related Sarcopenia

[4] Protein-enriched, milk-based supplement to counteract sarcopenia in acutely ill geriatric patients offered resistance exercise training during and after hospitalisation: study protocol for a randomised, double-blind, multicentre trial …More

[5] Whey proteins and age related muscle loss – Sarcopenia

(less is more, more or less) #24

I see, though I don’t recall @daddyoh or Virta discussing this aspect?

(Bunny) #25

Nor do I!

No charge for the extra info!

(Eric - The patient needs to be patient!) #26

In terms of me saying this since I don’t track macros it just felt like, some days, I was overconsuming protein. But that was a gut feeling not analytical and no metabolic evidence for too much protein. I found the posted article because I felt like, maybe, I should do a few weeks of macro tracking. But not now given how my weight loss is and how I feel.

this has been a great discussion here.


Yes, that’s the main reason to avoid it unless necessary for some reason. The fact it is more easily digestible and quickly absorbed is what causes spikes and dips compared to a whole food.

So I did an interesting protein experiment with Egg Whites vs Whey


Those are “protein foods” not actually proteins right?

(less is more, more or less) #29

Interesting. You were working on a hunch, and not a physical sensation of any kind, then, if I understand you correctly. The article is clearly not a call to track but to set daily limits. I live on the high end of their recommendations, and I expect I shall continue to.

I’d be curious if others have a way through “listening to their bodies” know they’ve had too much protein. Maybe it’s as simple as the satiety signal?

(Eric - The patient needs to be patient!) #30

In the chart, yes. That makes it easy to account for what your eating.

(Eric - The patient needs to be patient!) #31

A hunch, exactly. I get an IR this fall with my cardiologist so that will be helpful. Knowing fasting insulin relative to BG will help me better understand.

(less is more, more or less) #32

Nice. I have my GP annual in a few weeks, and my Dr. Westman visit the following week. I’ve asked for lipid panels, but one of the two may decline that request. Would be nice to know but I’m not on pins and needles about it.

(Eric - The patient needs to be patient!) #33

My cardiologist is getting a ton of tests for me. Comprehensive lipid panel, many inflammation markers, liver, IR (fasting insulin, BG), some genetic testing and more. This is standard for new patients. My retired cardiologist did not do much in terms of testing.

Good luck. I hope you get the testing you want and everything turns out great.

(Cancer Fighting Ketovore :)) #34

So, just to share some n=1 data…

I’m 5’2" and about 114lbs

Last night I ate a “bunch” of protein, basically double what I’ve been eating. Normally my protein intake had been in the 45-55 range

Last night we went out to eat, so I had to guesstimate on the macros.

BG: 76, BK: 2.9 (around 9:40pm)

This morning: BG 97 (within 45min of waking), BK 1.2

I’ll check again in the mid afternoon to see what it looks like

ETA: Around 2:50p BG 92, BK 1.4
Interested to see what it is like in a few hours. For me, I think it was too much protein, but it’s was sure yummy.

ETA 2: around 7:45p BG 79, BK 1.2

Almost 6 weeks Keto and no weight loss :(
(Running from stupidity) #35

I guess that’s when I stop eating. Other than that, no messages from anywhere about too much protein, so I"ll keep smashing it down.

(Cancer Fighting Ketovore :)) #36

I wish I could eat bunches of protein and keep my ketones high, but it doesn’t seem to be working for me, especially with no real exercise

(Michael - When reality fails to meet expectations, the problem is not reality.) #37

That might explain that quiet far away voice I heard somewhere in the recesses of my mind as I tried to stuff down yet another Vienna Sausage: “Go ahead, make my day.” :wink:

(Bunny) #38

…that is why I was pointing out the differences between whey protein isolate and whey protein hydrolysate

…NOT advocating to eat this or that…just giving some more info on the varying contents between the two and what it does…

Just because your eating meat does not mean your digesting it, low stomach acid and/or digestive enzymes like protease and factors like that may explain a lot, and if your not absorbing the nutrients in the food your eating then maybe it is not a good idea to “avoid” something your doctor may tell you to do, especially when it comes to geriatric nutrition? (e.g. sarcopenia in acutely ill geriatric patients?)


Yes, Mark’s Daily Apple recognizes the difference between healthy subjects and hyperinsulinemic ones too. The part about hydrolysate being less(?) insulinogenic is a bit unclear to me though. He states “Consider this study, whose authors gave either whey protein isolate or whey protein hydrolysate to subjects 30 minutes before a pizza meal. Subjects given whey protein isolate, but not hydrolysate, reduced post meal blood glucose and insulin levels, and ate less pizza.” Which implies isolate is better than hydrolysate? But the link he provides is no longer working so I can’t tell what it says in a context other than pizza. Isolate is plenty insulogenic without carbs.

The other potentailly negative thing I can think of regarding whey hydrolysate in a ketogenic context, other than an insulin reaction, is that it contains high levels of aspartate which may be used in the reversibe transamination of oxaloacetate (OAA). It is the depletion of hepatic OAA which allows for ketone bodies to be generated, rather than just continuing the normal Krebs cycle.

Glutamate + oxaloacetate :left_right_arrow: α-ketoglutarate + aspartate

Great point! The elderly can show decreased stomach acidity (see The special risk to juvenile and elderly humans section…) I also think a lot of people treat chronic heartburn with antacids or PPIs that change our stomach digestion in a way that is counter productive to meat digestion.


Kresser is on target with how a (very) low carb or keto approach alters the equation when looking at fasting glucose and HbA1C. Masterjohn is also a great resource for different variables that can alter A1C from a true indicator of 3 month glucose average. The other Masterjohn, I know I’ve seen before and I need to look at (or listen to) again to separate out what he’s saying causes obesity and hyperinsulinemia as opposed to what to do about it once it has already occured with multiple possible causes.