Safe and Natural Weight Management

By Wendy Wells, NMD.

Is a high protein, low carb diet safe? What's the danger?

I quote my colleague in the article: " 'Doctors are scared of ketosis,' says Richard Veech, M.D., an N.I.H. [National Institutes of Health] researcher who studied medicine at Harvard and then got his doctorate at Oxford University with the Nobel Laureate Hans Krebs. ''They're always worried about diabetic ketoacidosis. But ketosis is a normal physiologic state."

"Simply put, ketosis is evolution's answer to the thrifty gene. We may have evolved to efficiently store fat for times of famine, says Veech, but we also evolved ketosis to efficiently live off that fat when necessary. Rather than being poison, which is how the press often refers to ketones, they make the body run more efficiently and provide a backup fuel source for the brain. Veech calls ketones ''magic'' and has shown that both the heart and brain run 25 percent more efficiently on ketones than on blood sugar."

Being in ketosis means your body has burned a large amount of fat in response to the fact that it didn't have sufficient glucose available for energy needs. Under everyday conditions, the carbohydrates you eat are converted to glucose, which is the body's primary source of energy. Whenever your intake of carbohydrates is limited to a certain range, for a long enough period of time, you'll reach a point where your body draws on its alternate energy system, fat stores, for fuel.
This condition called dietary ketosis, means your body burns fat and turns it into a source of fuel called ketones. Ketones are produced whenever body fat is burned. When you burn a larger amount of fat than is immediately needed for energy, the excess ketones are discarded in the urine.

Dietary ketosis is among the most and misunderstood concepts in nutrition because it is often confused with keto-acidosis, which is a life-threatening condition most often associated with uncontrolled insulin-deficient Type 1 diabetes. In the Type 1 diabetic, the absence of insulin leads to a toxic build-up of blood glucose and an extreme breakdown of fat and muscle tissue. This condition doesn't occur in individuals who have even a small amount of insulin, whether from natural production or artificially administered. Dietary ketosis, however, is a natural adjustment to the body's reduced intake of carbohydrates as the body shifts its primary source of energy from carbohydrates to stored fat. The presence of insulin keeps ketone production in check so that a mild, beneficial ketosis is achieved. Blood glucose levels are stabilized within a normal range and there is no breakdown of healthy muscle tissue. Ketosis is the body's survival system. It is not an abnormality nor does it present any medical danger, except to a Type I insulin-dependent diabetic. The body functions naturally and effectively while in a state of dietary ketosis.

Some of the benefits of dietary ketosis for weight loss may include rapid weight loss, decreased hunger and cravings, improved mood, increased energy and, as long as protein intake is adequate, protection of lean muscle mass.
"We can no longer dismiss very-low-carbohydrate diets," Walter C. Willett, MD, DrPH, from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, writes in an accompanying editorial.

"We can encourage overweight patients to experiment with various methods for weight control, including reduced-carbohydrate diets, as long as they emphasize healthy sources of fat and protein and incorporate regular physical activity," he concludes. "Patients should focus on finding ways to eat that they can maintain indefinitely rather than seeking diets that promote rapid weight loss. For many patients, the roll will have little role."

Dr. Willett served as an unpaid consultant on a grant by the Atkins Foundation. Annual International Medicine. 2004;140:769-777, 778-785, 836-837

A Simple Effective Weight Loss Tool – Ultra Lite

Ultra Lite was developed by a naturopathic physician in Australia, now available only though trained physicians in the U.S. It is a safe effective way to lower your body mass index which is associated with reduced risk for cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

Ultra Lite includes all the elements for successful weightloss:

The Ultra Lite program encourages your body to convert stored body fat into energy, while preserving your body’s protein. This means that you only lose unwanted fat, and not lean muscle tissue. The majority of weight loss programs reduce your protein and carbohydrate levels too low which results in muscle loss. This can create the appearance of drawn features and baggy skin. With Ultra Lite your body tone improves as you lose weight so you can actually become firmer as your original body shape returns.

Physician monitoring is vital to the success of Ultra Lite. In many placebo controlled studies, physician monitored programs resulted in patients that lost the most weight and kept it off for the longest time.

Losing Weight With Whey Protein By Wendy Wells, NMD.
Women adding 25 grams of whey protein, twice a day, averaged 5.8% more muscle, while dropping 3.8% body fat.
Whey shown to improve glucose levels, reduce cardiovascular risk factors, lower blood pressure, and improve lipid profile.




Wendy Wells

Author Wendy Wells is a licensed naturopathic physician in the state of Arizona.
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