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What If Salt Actually Improves Blood Pressure & Blood Sugar?

What if increasing your salt intake actually improved your diabetic blood sugar?

What if increasing salt intake actually lowered your blood pressure?  Could it be that easy?

Just about every patient that I see has significant worry about salt intake.  Some greater than others. In fact, some people are so salt phobic that when I encouraged its use, they called me a “quack” and left my practice.  But does salt restriction really work, or is it doing more damage than we think?

That was the question that was asked by Dr. Ames in the American Journal of Hypertension 17 years ago.  However, his answer never got a mention.  In fact, I’ve been in practice for almost 18 years, and incidentally stumbled upon this article when it was mentioned by a colleague of mine.   Granted, it is a small sample of people, only 21 in the study.  However, the results are profound.

21 patients with hypertension were randomized to periods of no salt (placebo) and periods of 2 grams (2000 mg) of sodium chloride four times a day (a total of 8 grams of salt per day).  Glucose tolerance tests were completed with insulin levels at the end of each intervention period.

Insulin Resistance and Hypertension Improve by Adding Salt

What was noteworthy was that those with insulin resistance and diabetes had improvement in their glucose levels while on sodium supplementation.  Those with hypertension had improvement in their blood pressure while on the sodium supplementation.   Lastly, those with insulin resistance had a lowering of their insulin levels during the period of increased sodium intake.  These findings fly in the face of the dogma that’s been drilled into our heads that “salt is bad!”

“But, you can’t base your findings on a small group of 21 people,” the experts say.

Yes, it is a small study group. However, these findings are what I, also, have seen clinically in my practice for over 13 years.

We know that the average human needs 3 grams of sodium per day and 3 grams of potassium per day.  If you’re eating the standard American diet (SAD diet) including processed foods, you’re getting 2-3 grams per day of sodium.  In fact, the CDC claims the worst meals for you are:

  • Bread
  • Processed chicken dinners
  • Pizza
  • Pasta

However, if your following a low-carbohydrate or ketogenic lifestyle, you won’t be eating the meals above and you’re probably not getting near enough salt.  This is the cause of the keto-flu I wrote about a few weeks ago.  And, according to the study above, it is a potential driver of our persisting insulin resistance, diabetes and hypertension.

How Much Salt Should I Use?

In my office, I encourage use of 3-4 grams of sodium and 3-4 grams of potassium daily when using a ketogenic lifestyle.  That’s approximately 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons of salt per day.  I like the Himalayan Pink Salt because it contains sodium, potassium, magnesium and zinc.

Could it be that salt restrictions are making our insulin resistance and blood pressure worse?  That’s what the clinical evidences are pointing toward. However, more research is still needed.

Want to know more about a ketogenic life-style?  Click the link on KetoLife above to get some basics.  If you’re already following a ketogenic lifestyle, then let me help you navigate the bumps and turns by going to the KetoKart and checking out the products I recommend to jump-start ketosis DocMuscles style!

Until then, I’ll have another piece of bacon, please . . . and, oh, pass the salt!

Why Be In Ketosis? Part IX – Memory

Ketosis plays a major role in lowering blood glucose, insulin and notably improving memory in those with Mild Cognitive Impairment and risk for Alzheimer’s Disease (1).  Watch this short 5 minute segment on how a ketogenic lifestyle helps.  You can learn about a Ketogenic Lifestyle by reading my blog post: A Principle Based Ketogenic Lifestyle.  And you can ramp up your blood ketones in less than 30 minutes by getting exogenous ketones at DynamicKetones.com.

Enjoy!!

References:

  1. Krikoria R et al. “Dietary ketosis enhances memory in mild cognitive impairment.” Neurobiology of Aging. Feb 2012, Vol 33:2 p 419-425.

Ketogenic Lifestyle Rule #1: There should ALWAYS be bacon in the fridge

BaCoN Fridge

I thought that over the next few weeks I’d address a number of Ketogenic Lifestyle Rules that I have adopted.  These seem to help and bring a little clarity to one following a Ketogenic Lifestyle or someone on the road to becoming a true “Ketonian.”

The first of these rules is that there should ALWAYS be bacon in the fridge!
Adapt Your Life

We address this rule and some interesting facts around having bacon in the fridge in this evening’s Persicope below.  We also address the benefits of journaling, how to help stop binge eating, what are your real protein needs, and red-meat fear-mongering. We even discuss whether or not pigs like bacon.  Enjoy!

 

Links referenced in this video:

Red & Processed Meats: Bacon Fear-Mongering

Calculating Your Protein Needs from Ideal Body Weight

The Power of a Good Vitamin

 

(Just a note: I love Katch.me’s service; however, due to the contract language allowing Katch.me to have unlimited rights to my Periscope Videos, I have withdrawn from Katch and my videos are no longer available on this medium until the contract usage can be modified.)

Is Your Sweetener Making you FAT?

old-man-sour-face

I am frequently asked about the sweeteners that can be used with a low carbohydrate diet.  There are a number of sweeteners available that are used in “LowCarb” pre-processed foods like shakes or bars, or in cooking as alternatives to sugar; however, many of them raise insulin levels without raising blood sugar and are not appropriate for use with a true low-carbohydrate/ketogenic diet.  You can see and print the article I published clarifying which sweeteners you can use and which ones to avoid in the menu bar above “Sour Truth About Sweeteners” and you can watch last night’s periscope below:

Enjoy!!

 

PeriScope: Weight Loss, Gut Health & Pond Scum…In The New Year

Good morning from Arizona.  I’ve had a few people ask about how gut health relates to a ketogenic diet.  This is a great question and one that I think can be answered best by taking a closer look at my natural koi pond and learning a little about pond scum.

So, sit back and look at the similaries between your gut and how nature balances a pond system: Katch.me

Or you can watch the video below:

The four tenets of health that we touch on above that are essential to understand before you can understand gut health:

  1. The body is a unit and works as such with all parts enhancing the whole
  2. The body is capable of self-regulation, self-healing, and health-maintenance
  3. Structure & function are reciprocally interrelated
  4. Rational treatment of the body must be based upon understanding the principles above and assisting or augmenting those principles

Keys to gut health and pond balancing that we touch on:

  1. Remove the toxins from entering the system like:
    • Antibiotic overuse
    • Caffeine
    • Artificial Fat
    • Artificial Sweeteners
  2. Repair the system and it’s ability to balance the system
    • Takes time
    • Provide structure for the bacteria to which it can bind
    • Provide essential vitamins and minerals like KetoEnhance & Omega-3 fatty acids
    • Periodic Fasting
  3. Restore the bacteria or flora of the system
    • Prebiotics (fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, Japanese natto, etc.)
    • Probiotics like Dietary KetoBalance (can be purchased in the office)
  4. Replace the salts and pH balance where necessary
    • Replace electrolytes
    • Limit things that shift the pH balance

Hope this gives you a starting point for your New Year!!