Diabetes doesn’t just happen in adults – both Type 1 and Type 2 happen in kids as well. Many of the basics of treatment are similar, but not everything we
This content was originally published here.
Diabetes doesn’t just happen in adults – both Type 1 and Type 2 happen in kids as well. Many of the basics of treatment are similar, but not everything we
Anxiety can significantly impact quality of life. While the conventional medicine approach focuses on balancing neurotransmitters in the brain, the functional medicine approach is to look for the root cause. Today I’ll discuss the top three pathologies that can contribute to anxiety, as well as steps you can take to correct these issues.
In this episode we cover:
Chris Kresser: Hey, everybody, it’s Chris Kresser. Welcome to another episode of Revolution Health Radio. This week, I’m going to answer a question from Adam. Let’s give it a listen.
Adam: Hi Chris. I’m hoping you could do a podcast on how to treat anxiety. I have a long history of anxiety and presently my neurologist thinks it is the primary cause of the tonic-clonic seizures I’ve had on average once a year for the past 12 years. This is also based on the fact that no test from an orthodox medicine perspective has been able to find a cause or treatment for these seizures. I was also a vegetarian for nine years who has just begun to eat seafood and fish oil supplements in part because of my recent discovery of your blog and podcast. If you could address anxiety treatment with mention to a pescatarian diet, I’d be really greatful. Thank you.
Chris: Thanks for sending in your question, Adam. It’s a question we actually get quite often, so I wanted to address it during this episode, and it’s also a good question to look at because it illustrates some really important general principles regarding functional medicine which, as many of you know, is, I believe, is the most effective approach to dealing with chronic health problems including things like anxiety and depression.
In the conventional understanding of anxiety and depression, the idea is that it’s caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain, and then the treatment involves medications that increase the availability of those neurotransmitters or at least have some effect on those neurotransmitters in the brain. So, for example, if someone has depression, they take SSRIs that alter the availability of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. With anxiety, it’s more a question of reducing the production of certain substances or increasing the production of other substances that can lead to a reduction in anxiety. And I think there are cases where these medications can be useful and perhaps even lifesaving. So, I wouldn’t argue that they don’t play any role at all.
However, in functional medicine, we’re always trying to get to the root of the problem and address it at that level, instead of just suppressing symptoms. So, one of the analogies I’ve used a lot in the past, and you’ve probably heard it a few times if you’ve been following my work for any length of time, is if you have a rock in your shoe and it’s causing your foot to hurt, you could take Advil or any other painkiller and that would certainly reduce the pain, but obviously, that’s not a great long-term solution. The best option there would be to take your shoe off and dump the rock out, and that’s really what we’re after in functional medicine.
Suffering from anxiety? Check out these three root causes.
So, when we think about anxiety and depression through a functional medicine perspective, we want to consider what are the underlying causes that lead to anxiety in the first place, in this particular case, with Adam’s question, because even if the anxiety is caused by an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain, what is causing those neurotransmitters to go out of balance in the first place? They didn’t just go out of balance for no reason. I mean, as human beings, we’re designed—anxiety is not our natural default state. I mean, certainly, fear in some situations is appropriate from an evolutionary perspective. It keeps us alive, keeps us out of danger, and it’s an appropriate response. But chronic anxiety that’s always there that’s not really situational or based on what’s going at any given moment is not normal for a human being. So, what is causing those neurotransmitters to go out of balance in the first place is the key question that we need to answer if someone is suffering from anxiety.
So, I’m going to kind of approach this as if a patient had come to see me, or Adam, you’d come to see me at the clinic. Of course, I don’t have any laboratory test results and so I can’t make any specific recommendations. But I can tell you what I would do, what I would look at, and then I can give you some ideas for your own exploration and then some things to try in the meantime while you’re taking a closer look at some of these mechanisms that may be contributing to the anxiety.
So, the first place we’re going to look, which may not surprise you, again if you’ve been following my work for any length of time, is the gut. There is a huge and growing everyday body of evidence connecting the health of the gut to the health of the brain. In fact, there’s a saying in functional medicine, fire in the gut, fire in the brain, which means that if you have inflammation, parasites, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, fungal overgrowth, or dysbiosis in the gut, then that is going to produce an inflammatory response that in turn affects the brain and can cause inflammation and a whole bunch of other problems in the brain, and this is not a fringe theory at this point. It’s true that unfortunately not a lot of primary care doctors or even psychologists or psychiatrists are aware of this connection, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t well established in the scientific literature. It absolutely is. And in fact, it’s been known for almost a hundred years going back to some research that was done at Duke in the early 1930s and 1920s connecting the gut and the brain and even the skin in this axis—the gut–brain–skin axis, which I’ve written and spoken about before.
So, the other thing is that there is more serotonin. There is about 400 times more serotonin, which is a key neurotransmitter produced in the gut, than there is in the brain. So, we tend to think of the brain when we think of neurotransmitter production, but the fact is, there are orders of magnitude more of certain neurotransmitters produced in the gut than there are in the brain. And in fact, some physicians and researchers have argued that the gut really is the second brain. It’s an organ that is essentially an entirely distinct branch of our nervous system, and it’s been referred to as the enteric nervous system. It’s really just a big bundle of nerves, so it shouldn’t be that surprising that there’s a strong connection between the gut and the brain, and the dysfunction in the gut can lead to a variety of cognitive, mood, and behavioral disorders, so not just anxiety, but also depression.
In fact, the most current theory on what causes depression is called the inflammatory cytokine model of depression, which holds that inflammation, whether it starts in the gut or somewhere else in the body, suppresses the activity of the frontal cortex and causes all the telltale signs of depression. There is research linking GI disturbances with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, with ADHD, sensory processing disorder, OCD, and even schizophrenia and psychosis. So, there really aren’t very many cognitive, behavioral, or mood disorders that are not linked to problems in the gut at this point, and I expect that connection will just grow and grow as more research is done.
So, working with a functional medicine practitioner, if that’s possible, to check for SIBO, parasites, fungal overgrowth, dysbiosis, and inflammation is a really good step to take if you’re suffering from anxiety. If that’s not accessible to you for any reason, the best place to start would be my free e-book on improving gut health, which you can get at chriskresser.com. It’s completely free and has a lot of great suggestions for getting started.
The second area I would look is called the HPA axis, or the SAS. The HPA stands for hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis, and SAS stands for sympathoadrenal medullary system. So, those are a lot of fancy words, but in short, what this refers to is the system that governs our stress tolerance and our response to stress. You’ve probably heard about it in the context of the fight-or-flight response, which is when humans are faced with a stressful event, let’s say, from an evolutionary perspective, if we’re approached by a predator like a lion when we’re out for a walk on a plain and we see a predator. In a more modern context, if we’re in a dark alley and someone’s walking toward us and we feel our heartbeat increase and blood kind of rushing through our extremities and our respiration increases and all of these physiological responses that happen to prepare us for either a fight or to run away, these are part of the SAS and the HPA axis. We don’t just experience this acutely, of course.
In our modern world, we have chronic stressors like financial stress, relationship stress, work stress. Just the stress of daily life is constantly activating these systems. What happens when these systems are chronically activated, which they weren’t really designed to be, is that it leads to changes in the output of stress hormones like DHEA and cortisol and pregnenolone, which in turn affects the production of many other hormones and neurotransmitters in the body. And so, essentially, we have a stress response system that evolved in an environment that was more characterized by acute stressors. So, warfare and trauma, predators, and things like that, but our stress system is not really designed well for the chronic low-level persistent stressors that we face on a daily basis, and that mismatch between our genes, our biology, and the stress system that evolved in the environment that humans lived in for thousands of generations, and the environment that we’re living in now is, I think, and the research supports this, one of the primary contributors to modern inflammatory disease.
So, when we think about the HPA axis and the SAS, there are four main triggers that lead to dysfunction of these systems. One is the obvious one, which is perceived stress. So, perceived stress is important to understand. The only stress that affects our health in a negative way is the stress that we perceive to be stressful, and that might seem obvious, but it explains why not all stress is harmful. In some cases, what might stress one person out doesn’t cause stress for another person, and that’s a result of our background, belief system, and a number of other factors. But there are a number of factors that determine whether something is perceived as stressful. The novelty of the event, so generally we’re more stressed by new things than we are by familiar things, the unpredictability of an event, the more unpredictable something is, the more stressful it is for us. These are the kinds of factors that determine whether something is stressful for us in the first place.
So, we have perceived stress as a major trigger, then we have inflammation. So, this is just a purely physiological thing. If you’re inflamed and you have an inflammatory condition like a GI problem we just talked about, even if you have no perceived stress, that’s still acting as a stressor on your body, and the same is true of blood sugar dysregulation, which is epidemic in our country, and also circadian disruption, which is another epidemic that’s not commonly recognized. That means too much exposure to artificial light at night and not enough exposure to natural light during the day. Humans, along with every other animal and organism on earth, evolved in a natural 24-hour light-dark cycle, and it’s only in the last 150 years where we’ve been able to alter that and move away from that, and that has had a profound impact on our health.
So again, if you’re able to work with a functional medicine provider, they can assess your HPA axis and SAS using things like the DUTCH test—Dried Urine Total Comprehensive Hormone test—or the saliva or cortisol awakening response test, which is different than the adrenals stress index, saliva tests that are typically done, which are problematic for a number of reasons. But if you don’t have access to a practitioner or even if you do, you can also just focus on addressing those four triggers—perceived stress, inflammation, blood sugar, and circadian disruption.
So, addressing perceived stress might involve reducing the stress that you’re exposed to, if that’s possible, learning to say “no” for example, not spending time with people that stress you out, if that’s possible and you have a choice about it, and then managing the stress that you can’t avoid. And that involves things like possibly a meditation practice, a yoga practice, tai-chi or qigong, deep relaxation practices, mindfulness-based stress reduction, prayer. I mean, any number of things that you can do to approach this, and if you need some support with this, I have my 14Four program. I have some videos that I recorded of instruction in tai chi and also meditation. There is lots of stuff online that you can find for this too, if you need support in implementing a practice like that.
But then, regulating your light exposure, so not using tablets and other devices that emit blue light at night too close to bed and making sure you get some bright light exposure during the day, following an anti-inflammatory diet and taking other stuff to reduce inflammation, making sure that you’re not eating too many processed or refined carbohydrates, and doing things that help regulate your blood sugar, all that can play a big role in terms of regulating the HPA axis and the SAS.
The next thing we would look at would be nutrient deficiency. There are many nutrients that play an important role in mental health: B12, folate, zinc, copper, EPA and DHA, vitamin D, choline, B6, riboflavin, just to name a few, and several of these nutrients have been shown to be lower on average in vegetarians and vegans than they are in omnivores. And Adam, you mentioned that you have been a vegetarian for nine years who just recently had begun to eat seafood and fish oil supplements. And so, it’s possible that through that vegetarian diet over that nine-year period, you became depleted in some of these key nutrients that play an important role in mental health.
So, again, if you have access to a functional medicine provider, you could consider getting nutrient testing. Both blood testing and urine organic acids can be helpful for that, and then you can systematically address those deficiencies as you identify them. But even without access to that kind of testing, we can just make some assumptions about which nutrients might be low, given your symptoms and the connection with anxiety and the history of vegetarian diet. So, we already mentioned them: B2, folate, choline, B6, B2, and zinc. These are nutrients that are especially important for a process called methylation, and we’ve talked about methylation before on the podcast. I think we’ve done at least two episodes on it, so if this is a new concept to you, make sure to check those episodes out. There is some really good info, and also we’ve written some blog articles about it.
It can get pretty complex when we talk about methylation, but at least in the context of your question, Adam, an important thing to understand is that methylation is a process in the body that profoundly affects neurotransmitter production. So if you’re not methylating properly, you won’t produce neurotransmitters efficiently, and that can lead to anxiety and other cognitive and mood disorders. And the key thing to understand is that some of the nutrients that I mentioned which can be depleted by a vegetarian diet are those that are very important for methylation, like B12, folate, B6, choline, riboflavin, and zinc. So, when you take out some charts that list the density of nutrients of these particular nutrients in various foods, what you will inevitably find is that the two food categories that are highest in nutrients that are important for methylation are shellfish and organ meats.
So optimally, for a patient who probably has impaired methylation and who is dealing with anxiety and other cognitive or behavioral issues, I would recommend a diet that includes shellfish and organ meats as well as other nutrient-dense foods like non-starchy vegetables and other animal products and nuts and seeds and fruits, etc., sea vegetables for iodine and animal fats or some traditional fats for vitamin A and D, and of course seafood for vitamin D and selenium and other nutrients like that. If you’re only willing to eat seafood, then I would definitely suggest including shellfish. Clams and oysters are particularly important in terms of their nutrient density. They are the highest sources of iron, zinc, and B12. So, I’ve actually argued in the past that it would in some ways be better for someone to be a vegetarian that eats shellfish and organ meats, which of course they’re not a vegetarian anymore if they do that, but to have a diet that’s vegetarian in every other way except that they eat shellfish and organ meats consistently, than it would be for someone to eat a Paleo diet where they’re eating lean muscle meats all the time but with no shellfish or organ meats. If we add things like bone broth and the more gelatinous cuts of meat like ox tail, shank, and things like that, it makes the diet even better. But because that contains glycine, those cuts, and the broth contains glycine and other nutrients that can’t be found in the lean muscle meats and even just seafood, that’s not shellfish.
So, you know, if you’re only willing to eat seafood at this point, what I would really do is make sure you’re including shellfish at least twice a week, clams and oysters. The good news is you don’t have to eat a lot of clams and oysters because they’re so nutrient dense. A single serving of oysters for example, I think, meets your entire weekly need for copper and maybe even zinc as well. I don’t remember off the top of my head, but if you incorporate shellfish even a couple of times a week, that could actually make a profound difference. If you’re willing to incorporate organ meats like liver, that’s even better because liver is the best dietary source of folate and folate is crucial for methylation, and they’re also very high in B12 as well. So just a few tweaks in the diet could go a really long way in this case.
So those are probably the three core pathologies that I would focus on first in terms of anxiety, but there are a few other interventions that I just want to mention that could be helpful in the meantime while you’re working on that stuff or maybe while you’re finding a functional medicine provider to work with:
So, that’s a number of suggestions both looking at the core pathologies and the underlying mechanisms that contribute to anxiety and some other ideas to give you some relief right in the short term while you’re addressing those other underlying mechanisms.
Okay, that’s it for today. I hope that was helpful for you, Adam, and for anybody else who is suffering from anxiety. The good news is, with the functional approach, you actually have the potential of really addressing the problem at its root cause and fixing it once and for all rather than continually applying Band-Aids. The bad news is that it can take a little bit longer to do that and requires a little bit more work on the patient’s part, but I think it’s worth it and pays off in the long term.
So, I mentioned in the last episode that we’re going to be moving back to a Q&A format, so I really appreciate your questions. You can send them in to me at chriskresser.com/podcastquestion. Have a great week and I’ll talk to you soon.
Biohacking is the art and science of changing the environment around you, and inside of you, so you have full control of your own biology. It doesn’t necessarily mean getting stem cell injections or hopping in a cryotherapy chamber. In fact, anything you do that helps you kick more ass and experience a state of high performance is a biohack — even if it’s as simple as putting away your phone. Below, you’ll find a list of my favorite affordable upgrades you can start today.
This is literally one of the most important upgrades you can make, which is why I’m listing it first. In order to improve brain function, promote muscle repair, balance your hormones, and boost your mood, go the heck to sleep. The best part is that it costs virtually nothing to :
Learn more about sleep upgrades with the
Yeah, you’re going to hate me for recommending this one, but it makes a big difference and you’ll thank me later. When you’re exposed to extreme cold, your body responds by increasing your metabolism to heat back up. You burn fat through a process called , which also reduces inflammation and increases blood circulation.
At the end of your next shower, stand under the faucet so the water hits you directly in the forehead. A ton of your cold receptors are on your forehead and chest. Then, turn the heat off and force yourself to stand under the cold water for 10 seconds. If a shower isn’t doing it for you, try this hack to get the benefits of cold exposure without having to take a full-body cold plunge.
is simple: Eat less frequently. When you intentionally limit your eating window, you give your body time to digest your food, repair your cells, and avoid mojo-stealing blood sugar crashes.
You don’t even have to eat less — just eat less frequently. If you follow , you’re probably familiar with Bulletproof Intermittent Fasting — I developed this style of eating as an approachable way to kickstart cellular repair, boost your energy, and enjoy laser-sharp focus all day long, without feeling hangry. You start each morning with a cup of , which contains good sources of healthy fats that will keep you full until lunch.
Here’s a guide to a . Like all biohacks, it’s important to experiment and discover what works best for your schedule, your biology, and your personal preferences. You might enjoy the one-meal-a-day (OMAD) diet, or you might prefer to stop eating after sundown. Do what works for you.
I’m holding out hope that organic, non-GMO, wild-caught, grass-fed food will become more widely available (and cheaper) in the near future. While farmer’s markets and subscription services like make it easier to eat food that’s actually good for you, there are a few cost-effective swaps you can make to limit your exposure to foods that are proven to contribute to inflammation, brain fog, and digestive stress:
Did you know that your ? Your gut is in constant communication with your brain via a nerve pathway called the gut-brain axis. It controls way more than you think — like your mood, stress levels, sleep, weight, and, yup, your digestion.
You, as a budding biohacker, have the power to understand what’s happening in your gut and use that data to tweak your diet. Don’t believe me? Take a look at your poop. It’s free, it happens every day (or it should), and it’s an easy, albeit slightly gross, way to understand what’s happening in your digestive system. .
Can’t poop? Drink more water and eat high-fat foods. Dealing with frequent diarrhea? Eat prebiotic-rich foods like sweet potato and carrots. Pooping three or more times a day? Load up on fiber-rich vegetables. Every time you change something in your diet, take a look at your poop — it’ll help you understand if you’re moving your digestion in the right direction.
This is another biohack that is incredibly effective, but doesn’t have to cost a single penny. A is good for you, but too much weakens your immune system, makes you fat, shortens your lifespan, and makes .  No thanks.
Check out . Here’s the TL;DR version:
Your body was made to move, not sit behind a desk, in a car, and on the couch for most of the day. Exercise improves your brain function so you’re more resilient to stress, eases muscular tension so you can rock all day long, and helps you sleep better.   Those are all key benefits to maintain your longevity and brain health. In fact, a study found that a hormone released during exercise may protect the brain against Alzheimer’s disease.
Not sure how to sneak more movement into your day? Alternate between 1 minute of burpees and 1 minute of rest while watching TV. Stand and walk around while you take your phone calls at work. Stretch as soon as you wake up. .
Oh, and take a walk outside in the sun. , and sunlight is good for you. It triggers the production of vitamin D, testosterone, endorphins, and dopamine, to name a few. Plus, warm sunlight feels good on your skin, and you probably aren’t getting enough of it.
Look, I plan on living until I’m 180. Yeah, I’ve used advanced anti-aging techniques to make my goal a reality. We also have documented cases of people living beyond 100 without anything more advanced than a low-toxin diet, sunshine, and regular physical activity. 
Biohacking doesn’t have to be some big, complicated endeavor that involves beeping machines and sci-fi beauty serums. It can be as simple as taking a walk in the sunshine and appreciating the warmth on your skin. Isn’t that beautiful?
Sign-up for the Bulletproof mailing list and receive the latest news and updates!
Having a social life on a ketogenic diet is something that many find hard to do. There are carbs pretty much everywhere you look, and that’s especially the case when you’re in a bar. Cutting out all the beer and wine is a great start, but sticking with hard liquor is usually the best choice. Even though hard liquor is made from natural sugars, grains, potatoes, and fruits – during the fermentation and distillation process that sugar is converted into ethyl alcohol.
Drinking liquor can in fact deepen your level of ketosis, but will slow weight loss down. Ingestion of alcohol has effects on liver metabolism, in which more ketones are produced as you drink more. When your liver is taking care of the alcohol you drink, it’s being converted to a triglyceride which can also positively affect the production of ketones.
Be aware that many people experience a heightened level of being drunk and at a quicker rate than usual. While that may be a great thing for some, you need to be careful – especially if you’re driving. Do not drink and drive. Be very careful when on a ketogenic diet and consuming alcohol.
There are plenty of people that also experience worse hangover while on a ketogenic diet, so make sure you stay hydrated. The typical advice is to drink 1 glass of water per 1 shot (or glass) of alcohol you drink.
Below you’ll find short and quick versions of everything you can drink. Scroll down the page to read a more in-depth explanation on each low-carb alcohol and what you should commonly avoid.
Here’s a short list on what you can drink when you want to consume low-carb alcohol. Try not to stray away too much from the suggested list, but if you want more options scroll down and you’ll see a much more comprehensive list (including brands and carb counts)!
Below, you’ll find our full cheat sheet on alcohol with the respective nutrition values. Scroll down below to see in-depth information and specific brands that you can consume. All of our nutrition information is based on a serving size of 1.5 oz. per shot of liquor, 5 oz. per glass of wine, and 1 can/bottle for beer.
Looking for a chaser to go with your drink? Most people tend to want something to chase or mix their alcohol with to make it go down easier. Some great choices are below:
Note: Be careful what sweeteners are used in your mixers as some sweeteners do spike blood sugars. If you want to learn more about low-carb sweeteners and which are best to consume, click here >
Alcohol does have some health benefits, so you don’t have to feel too bad when you have a glass of wine or a shot of liquor. In moderate consumption, alcohol lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, can aid in cancer prevention, and can even improve insulin sensitivity.
As a general rule of thumb, liquor will always be the best thing to consume if you’re watching your carb count. Typically liquor with 40% alcohol by volume (80 proof) or higher will have 0g net carbs. Remember to be careful about mixers and cocktails when you’re at a bar. Many of the added ingredients will have added sugars (this includes all simple syrups, juices, and fruit add-ins).
Vodka is usually made from a grain base such as potatoes, rye, or wheat, and runs around 35 – 50% alcohol by volume. When you’re grabbing a bottle from the liquor store or ordering at a bar, try to get straight vodka – nothing flavored.
If you must have flavored, there are a number of them that are zero carbs, but do your research online first! Many of the flavored vodkas have syrups and sugars added to them.
Some popular brands of vodka and their respective nutrition are below:
|Popular Vodka Brands||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs||Average ABV|
|Grey Goose||1.5 oz||103||0||40|
Note: Absolut and Ciroc both cite that their flavored vodka does not contain carbs. Your experience may vary, so keep a close eye on your blood sugar levels if you choose to consume one of their flavored vodkas.
Whiskey is made from fermented grain, usually combining rye, wheat, corn, or barley and comes in around 35 – 50% alcohol by volume. Even though it’s a dark liquor, all whiskeys do not have any carbs (or sugars) added – making it a great drink for someone on a ketogenic diet. Barrel aged whiskey has higher phenols and ellagic acid (combats free radicals) than red wine.
Depending on where the whiskey is from is where the name is derived. Scotch, whiskey and bourbon are similar forms of this alcohol. Some don’t like the taste of whiskey for the pure harshness. If that’s the case, it may be better to use a milder alcohol like vodka.
Some popular brands of whiskey and their respective nutrition are below:
|Popular Whiskey Brands||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs||Average ABV|
|Crown Royal||1.5 oz||96||0||40|
|Jack Daniels||1.5 oz||98||0||40|
|Jim Beam||1.5 oz||104||0||40|
|Wild Turkey||1.5 oz||104||0||50|
|Chivas Regal||1.5 oz||105||0||40|
|Johnnie Walker||1.5 oz||105||0||40|
Most tequila is made from the agave plant and is commonly made at 40% alcohol per volume. There are not too many flavored tequilas on the market, so you don’t have to worry too much about added sugars or carbs. Note that some tequila producers do mix their tequila with other alcohols. Try to get tequila that is derived fully from the agave plant.
The agave plant is grown in many places, but depending on where it is grown will affect how the tequila tastes. In highland areas, you may have a sweeter and more aromatic form of this alcohol.
Some popular brands of tequila and their respective nutrition are below:
|Popular Tequila Brands||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs||Average ABV|
|Don Julio||1.5 oz||96||0||40|
|Tres Agaves||1.5 oz||102||0||40|
|El Jimador||1.5 oz||102||0||40|
|1800 Tequila||1.5 oz||103||0||40|
Rum is generally made from sugarcane or molasses, and comes in a variety of styles. It’s also zero carbs and zero sugar, but you need to watch out for flavored rums and rums with additives. Normally, the darker the rum the richer the flavor is, and the older it is. On average, rum comes in at about 35% alcohol by volume.
When rum is first distilled, it comes out as a clear liquid. It’s then normally placed in bourbon barrels to pick up the oaky flavor and dark color that you’re used to seeing. The flavor and color from the barrels do not add carbohydrates.
Some popular brands of rum and their respective nutrition are below:
|Popular Tequila Brands||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs||Average ABV|
|Malibu Island Spiced||1.5 oz||72||0||30|
|Captain Morgan Spiced||1.5 oz||86||0.4||35|
|Bacardi Superior||1.5 oz||96||0||40|
|Myer’s Original Dark||1.5 oz||97||0||40|
|Sailor Jerry||1.5 oz||103||0||40|
|The Kraken||1.5 oz||105||1.5||40|
Gin is made from a grain base and typically runs about 35% alcohol by volume. It is normally made with citrus such as lemon, orange, or lime – but be aware of flavored or sweetened versions.
Sloe gin is a common flavored gin that’s made in England and flavored with sloe drupes. These have added sugars, and therefore added carbs in them. Most people think of a gin and tonic when they hear gin, but tonic and most common mixers do have carbs so you need to be careful.
Some popular brands of gin and their respective nutrition are below:
|Popular Gin Brands||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs||Average ABV|
Brandy is made from the mash, juice or wine or grapes. There are many types of brandy, but the most common is Cognac – a brandy that’s made in the Cognac region of France. Brandy typically ranges from 35-60% alcohol per volume, and are sometimes aged in barrels.
Some companies choose to add caramel colorings to their brandy instead of barrel aging it, so be careful of added colorings as they can add extra carbs.
Some popular brands of brandy and their respective nutrition are below:
|Popular Brandy Brands||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs||Average ABV|
|Honey Bee||1.5 oz||103||0||40|
|Remy Martin||1.5 oz||103||3||40|
Wine can be great to drink in moderation for the added health benefits (these come from the polyphenols, antioxidants, and resveratrol).
In general, the dryest wines will have the lowest sugar. They are typically harvested when the grapes are not fully ripe (and have less sugar content) and usually don’t use a process known as chaptalization (adding sugar to the fermentation process). Red wine typically has the lowest carb count of any wines as well. If you see a wine labeled “late harvest,” they will typically have very high carb counts and should be avoided on keto.
There are many, many brands of wine available. Since there is no standard on nutrition information and alcohol, you may want to consider picking a generic branded wine or trying to research the nutritional information online. Below, you’ll find some of the more common types of wine and their generic nutrition values:
Red wine is closely tied to the “French Paradox,” a phrase that refers to the observation that French has low rates of heart disease. There can be some truth in this, as many studies have shown that moderate consumption of red wine can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Though it’s important to note that over-consumption will increase the risk.
There are also studies that link red wine to the reduced risk of dementia, depression, and type 2 diabetes in women. 1-2 glasses of wine per day can definitely boost your health – so don’t feel bad if you consume wine moderately. Below, you’ll find popular types of red wine and their respective nutrition information:
|Red Wines||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs||Average ABV|
|Pinot Noir||5 fl oz||121||3.4||10.4|
|Merlot||5 fl oz||122||3.7||10.6|
|Cabernet||5 fl oz||122||3.8||10.3|
|Syrah||5 fl oz||122||3.8||10.5|
|Zinfandel||5 fl oz||129||4.2||11.1|
While most will tout the health benefits of red over white wine, there are some great reasons to drink white wine too. In general, there are higher levels of antioxidants in white wine and typically it will give less of a hangover due to a smaller concentration of congeners (byproducts of the fermentation process).
Besides this, there are studies by the Buffalo School of Medicine which showed long-term white wine consumption improving lung health. Below, you’ll find popular types of white wine and their respective nutrition information:
|White Wines||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs||Average ABV|
|Sparking White||5 fl oz||96||1.5||12|
|Brut Cava||5 fl oz||128||2.5||12|
|Brut Champagne||5 fl oz||147||2.8||12|
|Pinot Blanc||5 fl oz||119||2.85||12.5|
|Pinot Grigio||5 fl oz||122||3||10.7|
|Chardonnay||5 fl oz||123||3.1||13|
|Albarino||5 fl oz||143||3.5||13|
|Riesling||5 fl oz||128||5.5||9.5|
|Muscat (Muscato)||5 fl oz||128||7.9||14.5|
* Dessert wines, ports, and sherries are sweetened and should be avoided.
The ‘SkinnyGirl’ wines are a popular brand of wines that are low-carb and usually include the nutrition information on the bottle. Though some of their wines may have more carbs than other dry wines. Most of their wines come in at 5g net carbs – but many of the red or white wines above have even less than that. If you do want to purchase SkinnyGirl wines, feel free to take a look at the nutrition information below:
|SkinnyGirl Wine Series||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs||Average ABV|
|SkinnyGirl Prosecco||5 fl oz||100||2||12|
|SkinnyGirl Pinot Grigio||5 fl oz||100||4||12|
|SkinnyGirl Moscato||5 fl oz||100||5||12|
|SkinnyGirl Chardonnay||5 fl oz||100||5||12|
|SkinnyGirl Rosé||5 fl oz||100||5||12|
|SkinnyGirl Cabernet Sauvignon||5 fl oz||100||5||12|
Beer is one of the most common alcoholic drinks that are not very keto friendly. Beer is packed full of fast digesting, simple carbohydrates and it’s no surprise that people have called it liquid bread. There are so many different brands of beer that it can be easy to order the wrong thing and accidentally over-consume carbohydrates. We recommend that even when drinking low-carb beer, try to keep it to a rare occasion.
There are some low-carb beers that you can drink, though. Below, you’ll find a list of some of the more common choices that are served in US bars. There are even lower carb beers, but they’re scattered around Europe and pretty hard to find in the US.
If you typically drink a few beers, aim for the ones with higher alcohol by volume – this means you’ll have to drink less in total. If you choose a beer with a lower alcohol content, you’ll have to drink more to get the buzz you want.
For a more comprehensive look at low carb beer and alternatives you can try, click here >
|Low-carb Beers||Calories||Net Carbs||Average ABV|
|Budweiser Select 55||55||1.9||2.4|
|Rolling Rock Green Light||83||2.4||3.7|
|Beck’s Premier Light||64||3.2||2.3|
|Michelob Ultra Amber||114||3.7||4|
In general, the darker the beer is the higher the carb count will be. Try to avoid any stouts and lager that are darker in color (especially those that are red, amber, or brown).
Note: If you are gluten intolerant or have celiac disease, it’s important to note that beer is usually made with barley or wheat. This will cause reactions – so it’s best to avoid.
Cider is primarily made from the fermentation process of fruit juices (more dominantly, apple juice). After the fermentation and filtration process happen, most manufacturers will add extra ingredients (typically more juice or sugar) to add a certain flavor element to their cider.
While there are no ciders that are low-carb, there are many brands that are releasing flavored seltzer water mixed with alcohol. These are typically as close as you’ll get to cider – but if you’re a true cider fan then it may not be a great alternative. Instead, think of it as a crisp and refreshing drink. Below, you’ll find some of the most popular brands with their respective nutritional information.
|Low-carb Sparkling Alcohol||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs||Average ABV|
|Truly Spiked||12 oz||100||2||5|
|White Claw||12 oz||110||4||5|
|Nauti Seltzer||12 oz||110||5||5|
If none of the above sound like a good drink, you can always get your own diet flavored sparkling water and mix unflavored liquor (like vodka) into it.
Most of us that are on a low-carb, ketogenic diet know that sugar is in just about everything you can find. This also applies to mixers and chasers for alcohol, as well.
|Liqueur Type||Serving Size||Calories||Net Carbs|
|Southern Comfort||1.5 oz||98||4.1|
|Grand Marnier||1.5 oz||114||9.8|
|Peach Schnapps||1.5 oz.||108||9.8|
|Margarita Mix||1.5 oz.||41||10|
|Triple Sec||1.5 oz.||188||16.5|
Some other things to watch out for when ordering drinks are the extra flavors that bartenders will commonly add. Keep in mind that if you’re ordering from a bar, you can typically request your own drink to be made or specially request a no-sugar drink from the bartender. Some examples of things to avoid that are commonly added to cocktails include:
Alcohol shouldn’t be consumed heavily or on a consistent basis. There are many negative health benefits, but in the short run don’t forget the following when consuming your alcohol:
We’ve read a lot of articles that mention drinking light beers and very dry wine to avoid carbohydrates, but don’t get our of hand with consumption. Some light beers can contain over 10g net carbs and some dry wine can average over 8g carbs per glass.
It’s also important to note that alcohol does contain calories. There is no function in the human body to store the energy in alcohol, so your body will take a preference to metabolize alcohol over fat.
Note: If you are on a ketogenic diet for weight loss, you may want to consider avoiding alcohol altogether. While you can consume low-carb alcohol and stay in ketosis, the ethyl will be burned by the body in preference of all other nutrients consumed. In other words, alcohol will slow down the fat loss process because a smaller amount of the free fatty acids will be converted into ketones.
Besides this, alcohol does have an effect on hormone levels that are linked to belly fat and weight loss – so if you’re a heavy drinker, you can expect very slow or no weight loss at all. There is also a condition called alcohol ketoacidosis which can be deadly. It usually happens to people who haven’t eaten any food in a long period of time, and are drinking large amounts of alcohol in a short period of time. This can lead to dangerous levels of ketones in the blood, which can encourage deadly results.
P.S. Have a look at the Keto Academy, our foolproof 30-day keto meal plan. It has all the tools, information, and recipes needed for you to succeed.
+ The food has been tested and optimized so you can lose weight and start feeling great!
Well this certainly isn’t a new concept however this terminology may be new to you, so let’s break it down.
Integrative Medicine (IM), like the names suggests, allows for all qualified practitioner’s within the health care industry to interact and communicate about their treatment protocols and insights about the clients that they treat, as long as they have the clients consent.
The manner in which the specific practitioner uses their expertise will vary with each practitioner, although the holistic treatment of all of the body systems in a preventative health manner and by utilising different health care practitioners within the treatment of the individual is what sets this type of model apart from the rest.
Functional Medicine (FM) has the same definition as Integrative Medicine, and like the name suggests, it is functional – meaning that it works. This title is more popular in the USA and it is starting to gain traction within Australian, although the term “Integrative Medicine” is more commonly used in Australia.
The reasoning behind grouping all of the different health care models together under one simple title is to help simplify the healing approach and reduce confusion within the community. It allows for a structured approach to health care with reproducible outcome. The patient then understands that IM practitioners use a holistic & preventative approach to their treatment protocols. They are also willing to use different modalities to help their client regain their optimal health, rather than the practitioner only sticking to the original and sometimes limiting model that they have been trained in.
Why is it important?
Often health care practitioners work in isolation, even if they refer their client onto another practitioner for support. The lines of communication between the practitioners can be limited due to confidentiality issues and the lack of structure and protocol currently available for them to follow within the current health care model.
FM & IM allows for a more structured approach to the health care system and creates reproducible outcomes (meaning that it works & produces results when followed). This is important for not only an individual’s health but also their peace of mind.
How does it work?
The FM & IM model works on a 4 “P” infrastructure, which include;
I’m going to give you a quick look at how the Integrative and Functional medicine model works from a Naturopathic perspective. It’s about a holistic & preventative approach to health – looking firstly at the foundation of health, and then discovering the pathways to an individual’s health. We take a holistic look at the entire body system including the following spheres;
As an overview, we identify an individual’s health timeline covering all of these areas of their body systems and then review the overall matrix that’s discovered. This allows a predictive look at where the client has been and where they may be headed on their health journey. It also allows us to use a preventative health care approach to help support and teach the client ways to make positive change towards their current situation.
Looking at the Physical sphere includes assessing aspects such as; Diet, lifestyle, exercise, environment, and time spent in nature, sleep habits / hygiene etc. as well as all system of the body such as digestive, immune, reproductive, nervous, endocrine, lymphatic etc. Basically we review all aspects that the individual participates in.
Looking at the Mental /Emotional sphere includes identifying things such as; Anxiety, depression, mood disorders or imbalances, mind chatter, excessive worrying etc. These aspects fall under the participatory and predictive approach especially when trauma, accidents, illness, injury, and stress are or have been present. Lifestyle choices and hereditary pre-dispositions will also affect this sphere.
When looking into the Spiritual sphere it can be harder to discern as it’s a personal insight into what the individual does and doesn’t allow into their life. For example you may ask yourself questions like; “why do I choose to do, say or act the way that I do?” Or “Is this relationship / job/ person / food / drink good for me?” What are your internal thought patterns like? Are they positive & reassuring or negative and pessimistic? Are you your own best support team or worst enemy? Again this is a combination of participatory and predicative outcomes and many factors influence them so they need to be identified and supported in a personalised way.
So with all of this in mind, what can Naturopaths do to help? Well there are a number of tricks and support tools we have up our sleeves that can include, and are not limited to any number of the following are;
Is it the future of Medicine?
I think so!
Join me to get your first-hand taste of Naturopathic IM with a one-on-one consultation if you live in the Byron Bay area and if you are somewhere else in this big, wide world then you can book in for a skype or phone consultation by .
The post What is Integrative & Functional Medicine? appeared first on Preventative Health Solutions.
President Donald Trump proposed unorthodox new treatments for the coronavirus at Thursday’s White House press briefing – including the use of ultraviolet rays and injections of cleaning agents into patients.
Trump, who studied finance and real estate but touts his gut instincts about medical and scientific issues, brought up possible treatments including ‘injecting’ cleaning agents in the body and use of ultraviolet lights at Thursday’s White House press briefing.
William Bryan, an acting homeland security official, briefed the president, and later reporters, about new tests that showed how increased levels of sunlight, ultraviolet rays, and even humidity caused the coronavirus to die off in a reduced period of a time – potentially stemming its potency this summer.
‘Supposing we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light? And I think you said, that hasn’t been checked but you’re going to test it,’ Trump asked him Thursday evening.
‘It sounds interesting to me,’ Trump said Thursday, telling reporters he queried an official about whether cleaning agents could be injected into patients to fight the coronavirus
‘And then I said supposing you brought the light inside the body which you can do either through the skin or in some other way. And I think you said you’re going to test that too. Sounds interesting,’ Trump said.
Then he raised another possible treatment. ‘And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute, one minute, and is there a way we can do something like that? By injection inside or almost a cleaning. As you see it gets in the lungs, and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that,’ Trump said.
‘So that you’re going to have to use medical doctors. But it sounds interesting to me,’ he said.
Agents that are commonly used to kill the virus in the environment, bleach and isopropyl alcohol, are both toxic to the body when ingested.
U.S. President Donald Trump reacts between acting Health and Human Services Under Secretary for Science and Technology William Bryan and Vice President Mike Pence during the daily coronavirus task force briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., April 23, 2020
Bill Bryan, head of science and technology at the Department of Homeland Security, said sunlight has a powerful effect on the virus
A graphic on ‘best practices’ called for moving activities outside, and noted that heat and humidity hurt the virus
Trump, who noted he is not a doctor, did not guarantee results on his line of inquiry about a possible treatment.
‘So we’ll see. But the whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in one minute –that’s pretty powerful,’ he said.
Vice President Mike Pence said the nation ‘could well give us a summer respite from the coronavirus.’
Bryan, whose formal title is Senior Official Performing the Duties of the Under Secretary for Science and Technology at the Department of Homeland Security, spoke about studies in a government lab.
It showed that temperature increases had gradually beneficial effects on cutting the ‘half-life’ of the virus, where it essentially breaks down.
Alcohol has proven to be effective at killing the virus
Sunlight has proven to have a powerful effect as well
STICK IT TO ME: Trump brought up the possibility of injections of cleaning agents to kill the coronavirus
‘Is there a way we can do something like that? By injection inside or almost a cleaning,’ Trump wanted to know
Officials disinfect the streets of Paraisopolis, one of the largest favelas in Sao Paulo, Brazil 23 April 2020, with the use of drones and sprays with disinfectant products. Officials are studying the effects of sunlight, heat, and humidity
Trump made the suggestions at his Thursday press briefing
But he cautioned that even if the virus dies atop playground equipment in the summer, it could still remain on surfaces that don’t get direct light or get less heat.
Trump then mentioned moving briefings to the Rose Garden for safety. ‘To me this is a very interesting meeting.’
He said of the government lab: ‘You can call it a laboratory because that’s essentially what it is.’
Bryan is not a scientist, and has worked at the Energy Department and the Pentagon. He holds a Master of Science in strategic intelligence from the Joint Military Intelligence College in Washington, D.C. and a Bachelor of Science in logistics systems management from Colorado Technical University in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Trump made the comments at a briefing where he attacked the ‘fake news’ and denied backing away from promoting hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the virus.
Trump denied backing off his support for the treatment – although he has toned down his endorsements and not mentioned it as much in recent briefings. A recent study at the VA of patients found a higher death rate for those who got hydroxychloroquine and an antibiotic.
‘It’s a great for malaria for lupus and for other things and we’ll see what it is,’ Trump said of the drug, which he once said he himself might take. He previously called it a ‘game changer’ and ordered millions of doses into the national stockpile.
At one point Trump put a question to coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx, telling her: ‘I would like you to speak to the medical doctors to see if there’s any way that you can apply light and heat to cure. You know, if you could,’ he said.
Then Trump added: ‘I’m not a doctor. I am a person that has a good, you know what,’ he said, pointing to his head.
Trump also bristled at a question about whether it could be a health risk if people take the new information and decide to blow off social distancing guidelines.
‘Here we go. The new headline is Trump asks people to go outside that’s dangerous,’ the president fumed.
‘I hope people enjoy the sun and if it has an impact, that’s great,’ he said.
Trump also appeared to reference his Feb. 12 comments about the virus predicting it might go away by spring.
‘Now, the virus that we’re talking about having to do — you know, a lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat — as the heat comes in. Typically, that will go away in April. We’re in great shape though. We have 12 cases — 11 cases, and many of them are in good shape now,’ Trump said long before the virus would kill nearly 50,000 Americans.
‘The fake news didn’t like it at all,’ Trump said of his prior comments. ‘I just threw it out as a suggestion.’
But after the study, Trump said: ‘When that surface [where virus is present] is outside, it goes away very quickly. It dies very quickly with the sun.’
A ‘best practices’ graphic posted at the briefing stated that ‘Heat & Humidity suppress Covid-19,’ and that they should ‘move activities outside’ because ‘sunlight impedes virus transmission.’ It also noted that commonly available disinfectants bleach and isopropyl alcohol ‘work to kill the virus.’
Bryan said the government was leveraging the ‘unique capability of entities [his directorate’s] national bio defense analysis and countermeasure center to study the biology of the COVID-19 virus.’
He said the bio-containment lab in Frederick, Maryland, which was established after Anthrax attacks, conducted the study. He spoke of the ‘powerful effect that solar light has on killing the virus.’
It might have a half-life of just 2 minutes on an 95 degree day with 80 percent humidity, versus 18 hours when the temperature was below 75 degrees with just 20 per cent humidity. A half-life is the period it takes for the amount of virus to be cut in half.
A Homeland Security official told reporters later that federal labs aren’t considering the treatment option Trump recommended, NBC reported.
The president’s daughter, Ivanka, also touted the study, sending out a video clip. ‘DHS Under Secretary for Science William Bryan on how the #Coronavirus dies fast when exposed to higher temperatures and solar light indicating that we will get some respite from the virus this summer,’ she wrote.
The study on sunlight brought Trump some confrontations with members of the press, and also resulted in a briefing where the U.S. death toll approaching a critical milestone did not come up. The U.S. was approaching 50,000 deaths at the time of the briefing, with less than 900,000 Americans infected.
Last year, in the post, “11 Indispensable Lessons I Learned From The Biohacker’s Handbook Of Exercise,” I introduced you to my biohacking friends from Finland – a pioneer of holistic medicine in Finland, human technology and self-quantification specialist, Teemu Arina, superfood hunter and nutritionist, Jaakko Halmetoja, as well as Dr. Olli Sovijärvi, MD.
At that time, the exercise chapter was the only chapter of their epic book on biohacking that had actually been translated into English.
But I’m happy to announce that their entire, 544-page “Biohacker’s Handbook” has now been released in the English language and boy-oh-boy – it’s an absolutely stellar read jam-packed with tips, tricks, and hacks I’ve never before seen. It’s the ultimate addition to any health, fitness, and nutrition enthusiast’s coffee table or bookshelf.
In this article, I’m going to share with you 14 biohacking secrets I gleaned from the brand new beautiful hardcover book, which they describe as the “definitive guide to upgrading yourself and unleashing your inner potential.” If you like what you see, you can click here to get the new book, and use code: BEN for a 10% discount.
Throughout history, food has been marinated in herbs, fats, citrus fruit, vinegar, and alcoholic beverages such as wine and beer to preserve the food and improve its flavor. Studies have also found that marinades affect the amount of harmful compounds forming in cooked food.
Reduce harmful compounds by marinating:
Eggs should be prepared in a way that maintains the flavor and nutrient density as much as possible:
The book also contains several fantastic tips for choosing the right type of eggs.
Berries contain important building blocks for eyes. Mix berry powders of different colors in equal measure, for example:
Mix one tablespoon of the powder in your breakfast each morning. For comparison, 1 teaspoon of high-quality berry powder is equivalent to a half cup of berries.
This heavenly ice cream combines the nutrient-rich properties of egg yolks, the benefits of fats, green tea polyphenols, trace elements and vitamins B, C and E. Instead of causing sluggishness, the ice cream increases mental agility and improves cognitive performance due to the combined effects of fats, xylitol and caffeine, and theanine from the green tea. If MacGyver were to start his day with ice cream, this would be it.
If you dig this recipe, you also need to try the coffee recipe you’ll find in the book.
Blend the ingredients in a blender.
Basic Principles of Isometric Training
Sample exercise – maximal strength:
Sample exercise – muscle and strength endurance:
The book also gets into a form of isometric training called “Eccentric Quasi-Isometric Training (EQI),” which I found quite intriguing.
The Gibala method is based on a 2010 study conducted on students, published by Martin Gibala, a doctor of Physiology. The goal of the study was to determine the effect of high intensity (100% VO2max) interval training on general performance using a method that is safer and of slightly lower intensity than the Tabata method.
The study continued for two weeks during which six stationary bike workouts were completed. Each workout included a 3-minute warm-up phase followed by the interval phase: 60 seconds of action followed by 75 seconds of rest, repeated 8-12 times. There was no control group involved in the study. Gibala found out that this method achieved the same oxygen uptake benefits at 5 hours of constant pace endurance training per week. The method also significantly increases the force generation capability of muscle cells and improved sugar metabolism.
Methods and nutrients that contribute to long-term potentiation (LTP) and brain plasticity:
According to a recent study (2016) conducted on mice, consuming cinnamon may improve memory function and brain plasticity in individuals with learning difficulties. Other studies conducted on rodents indicate that cinnamon slows down the deterioration of cognitive skills and improves the functional abilities of individuals suffering from Parkinson’s disease. It is possible that the future will see similar effects detected in humans.
Be cautious with cinnamon. It does have some toxicity, and the book has several little-known tips about which cinnamon to use and why.
The beverage gives you energy, warms the body and offers a stimulating effect in a pleasant and consistent manner while providing a large number of nutrients. This elixir has the properties that support the immune system and the function of the cardiovascular system.
The Eisenhower Matrix, also referred to as Urgent-Important Matrix, help you decide on and prioritize tasks by urgency and importance, sorting out less urgent and important tasks which you should either delegate or not do at all.
When you start reading, do the following:
Keep the following goals in mind:
After reading and studying:
To be consumed approximately 30 minutes before a high-carbohydrate meal:
Read the book to get a bonus: the delicious blood-sugar balancing smoothie!
So that’s it. But I’ve only really scratched the surface of the host of valuable information within the pages of this book.
Weaving in practical knowledge gleaned from the biohacking trenches and combining modern technology with ancestral wisdom of foods, herbs, spices, fitness enhancement and more, the book is an absolutely epic read and a must-have for any true biohacker’s library. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or advanced, this massive book contains everything you need to optimize your life, and in this article, I’ve only scratched the surface of the knowledge and wisdom you’ll find inside the Biohacker’s Handbook.
This book really does take the latest research into holistic health and turns it into practical and applicable information in a visual and readable format. With more than 1500 references and hundreds of images, Biohacker’s Handbook is “the missing manual of the human body” and an essential addition to the library, work desk, kitchen, gym, suitcase, or bedroom of anyone with a genuine interest in optimal human performance, health, and well-being.
P.S. These same guys also put on some of the best biohacking conferences on the face of the planet, and I’m a frequent speaker at these events, which span the globe from Helsinki to London to Stockholm to Toronto and beyond. You can get access to all six of their Biohacker Summits and 58+ hours of high-quality video content here. This is a fantastic accompaniment to the book.
Ask Ben a Podcast Question
Functional medicine practitioner Mark Hyman, MD, has become the go-to doc for demystifying what it means to eat healthy. His plant-forward food philosophy, which he dubbed pegan, isn’t anything complicated. At its core, it’s a combination of Paleo and vegan eating: “A pegan diet is low-glycemic, high in plant foods, low in sugar, and includes adequate protein for appetite control and muscle synthesis,” Dr. Hyman previously told Well+Good.
With his new book, ($23), Dr. Hyman aims to make healthy eating a bit easier (and less intimidating). Out today, the book has science-backed tips on how to eat—and cook—to reduce inflammation, and dozens of recipes for every meal, including and dessert.
When it comes to grocery shopping, Dr. Hyman says his first stop is the produce section. “Every single time I’m at the market I’m grabbing veggies,” he says. “I always recommend making 75 percent of your plate colorful non-starchy veggies, and this is the way I eat myself. I like to see what’s in season and what looks fresh, but some of my favorites right now are red kale, arugula, fennel, and wild mushrooms. This is a great time of year to get a variety of tasty winter squash and pomegranate, too, which I’ve really been enjoying.”
Once he gets cooking, Dr. Hyman says extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, sea salt, and all sorts of herbs are his most-used pantry items. “Buying healthy food is one thing but cooking it the right way is another,” he says. “I use olive oil for drizzling on salads since it’s delicate and avocado oil for higher heat cooking because it is more stable. Herbs and spices are an incredible tool for making every meal a new experience and boosting your health at the same time, through anti-inflammatory effects, promoting circulation, supporting brainpower, and so much more.”
“Buying healthy food is one thing but cooking it the right way is another.” —Mark Hyman, MD
One of his favorite healthy dinners is the grain-free cauliflower tabbouleh from his new cookbook. “I love Mediterranean food and have so many fond memories of growing up with special dishes prepared by my mom and grandmother for holidays,” Dr. Hyman says. “Tabbouleh is one of them, and it’s traditionally made with bulgur wheat, so I came up with a recipe in order to create a gluten-free, grain-free version that is much more blood sugar friendly. The cauliflower rice trend got me thinking about new ways to use cauliflower and after playing with herbs like fresh mint and parsley—and of course a generous drizzle of olive oil—this tasty dish was born.”
Mediterranean food is *full*of health benefits. Check out the video below to see why:
If you’ve never riced cauliflower before, Dr. Hyman offers up this pro tip: “Make sure it’s very dry. I like to wash it and let it completely dry before ricing, then I blot it again with towels after chopping. A food processor is the easiest way to rice cauliflower, especially if you have the grating attachment, but, if not, be sure not to over-process with the blade or you’ll get cauliflower purée.”
1 large head cauliflower
1 cup fresh parsley leaves, minced
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, minced
1⁄3 cup capers, minced
1 Tbsp pressed garlic
2 Tbsp plus 1 tsp lemon juice, plus more for seasoning
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp sea salt, plus more for seasoning
1/4 tsp black pepper, plus more for seasoning
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, minced
1/3 cup minced green onions
1/2 cup Castelvetrano olives, pitted and minced (optional)
1. To rice the cauliflower, remove the outer green leaves and most of the stem and chop the remaining cauliflower into medium chunks. Pulse in a food processor until the cauliflower resembles fine grains. Alternatively, you can grate the cauliflower on the large holes of a box grater.
2. Blend the parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, capers, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, salt, and pepper in a small food processor until combined into a chunky paste.
3. Add the parsley mixture to the riced cauliflower and stir well. Add the olive oil, mint, green onions, and olives (if using) and toss together. Add more lemon, salt, or pepper to taste.
Now that you know how to eat like Dr. Hyman for dinner, here’s how to eat like him for breakfast and lunch.
When people are new to the ketogenic diet, they often wonder what type of foods they should and could eat while making the changes they need to make. While we do have an in-depth ketogenic food list, it doesn’t cover everything and doesn’t include recipes or common foods people are always asking for.
Use our recommendations below to get an idea of what replacements you can use on the ketogenic diet and what type of foods you could replicate while going the low-carb route. Not only does this make your diet or way of eating viable for long term use, but it makes it feasible for enjoyment, too!
Below, you’ll find a visual cheat sheet to meal and ingredient replacements on a ketogenic diet. If you want recipes or explanations behind each, scroll down to the bottom to read more!
Alternatively, you can make keto simple and easy by checking out our 30 Day Meal Plan. Get meal plans, shopping lists, and much more with our Keto Academy Program.
Typically when we talk about breakfast on a ketogenic diet, we think bacon and eggs. While this simple breakfast is a staple for many, it doesn’t always hit the spot for cravings. If you’re craving something a bit out of the ordinary, feel free to take a look at the list below!
Flavored Yogurt -> Full-Fat Greek Yogurt, Coconut Milk Yogurt
For a sugary yogurt replacement, you can sub in full-fat Greek yogurt, full-fat cottage cheese, sour cream, or you can even make your own coconut milk yogurt. Get creative and add toasted nuts, a few fresh berries (raspberries and blackberries are the lowest carbs), or your favorite spices.
Cereals -> Chia Pudding, Flax Granola, Toasted Nuts
Instead of making your own cereal, you can always have a low-carb alternative. Try out chia seed pudding; flax granola sprinkled into coconut or almond milk, salted caramel pork rind cereal, or just mixed toasted nuts that are crushed and crispy. It’s quite easy to find a crunchy alternative to cereal (or just a replacement in general) so keep your eyes out and experiment for yourself to see which you like best.
Oatmeal -> Cauliflower, Chia Seed, Flaxmeal Oatmeal
Oatmeal is something we all miss when it starts to get cold outside. You can easily make your own oatmeal by following one of the many recipes online. Or, if you’d like a different twist on oatmeal, give our Cinnamon Roll Oatmeal a try. Using what you might think are strange ingredients (cue cauliflower), you get an absolutely delicious faux oatmeal.
Pancakes and Waffles -> Cream Cheese Pancakes, Almond Flour Waffles
Easily make yourself some delicious, fluffy pancakes. You can do this with many different ingredients and methods. Our favorite though is the Faux “Buckwheat” Pancakes that are made with almond flour and flaxseed meal. A delicious and fluffy combination that tastes just like the real thing.
You could also choose from one of our many other pancake recipes below:
Want a waffle? No problem – one of my favorites is this Cinnamon Roll Waffle. Two perfectly crisp, fall flavored waffles with a bright and creamy “icing” tucked in the middle. This will be a hit for the kids! If you’re not in the mood for cinnamon waffles, take a look at our other low-carb waffle options.
Egg Whites -> Whole Eggs
Since on a ketogenic diet you have to keep your fat intake high, you want to be consuming whole eggs rather than egg whites. Protein consumption needs to be kept to a moderate amount, so making sure you aren’t eating pure protein (egg whites) generally helps with this. Plus, all of the flavors comes from the yolk!
Top your burger with an egg, make egg salad or deviled eggs, or even keto eggs benedict! The possibilities and endless and eggs can be used in almost every dish, so don’t be shy!
Don’t care for eggs?
Eggs for breakfast are a staple for many on keto, but if you’re not a fan (or if you’re allergic) – you have other choices available. Get some extra ideas and creative inspirations under our breakfast keto recipe section!
An average dinner for someone on keto is a moderate portion of protein with some added fat and a side dish of green leafy vegetables with added fat. Though sometimes you might just want a heavy, comforting dish that gets rid of the cravings you have. It’s definitely possible to do this on a low-carb diet. Read below for some of our ideas!
Burger and Fries -> Buttered Steak and Salad or Broccoli
Instead of getting a huge burger with a pile of french fries on the side, try giving yourself a medium portion of steak that’s slathered full of butter. Broccoli on the side with cheese if you’d like. Or, you could even do a cheesy creamed spinach. The protein will fill you up, and the fats will keep you full for a long time.
If you’re looking to pinch some pennies and opt out of grabbing a steak, that’s no problem either! Other options include bun-less burgers as a substitute that can replace even the crunchiest and softest bread out there. Some ideas include:
Lastly, we do have some alternatives for those that just need the bun on there. You can get creative and use vegetables (mainly portobello mushrooms) as the buns, or we can even use a low-carb hamburger bun that’s cooked in the microwave – easy peasy!
Pizza -> Mozzarella Cheese Dough
Very closely relating to thin and crispy style pizza, a mozzarella and almond flour pizza crust will fool you into thinking you’re eating the real thing. Though there’s a ton of different pizza recipes out there, this one is definitely the best and most realistic.
If you want something a bit out of the ordinary, feel free to try one of our pizza recipes with a twist:
If you’re not in the mood for something as labor intensive, feel free to make our 5-minute pizza, a hit with everyone that makes it!
Fried Chicken -> Pork Rind and Parmesan Crust
You can still get a super crisp crust on chicken while keeping it moist and juicy on the inside. There are a few ways to do this, but the best method we’ve found is by grinding up pork rinds in the food processor and adding parmesan cheese to the mix. This will result in a fantastic crust all the way around your chicken, giving you perfect fried chicken.
If you don’t feel like grinding up pork rinds, you can also use the skin on your chicken thighs as a crispy element in your chicken. Check out the Oven “Grilled” Asian Chicken that we’ve done! If you want something a little bit different, check out our Coconut Curry Chicken Tenders.
Processed Soups -> Fresh Cream Based Soups
Stop eating foods from a can that are packed full of sugar, preservatives, and carbs. Start making soups yourself, in bulk, and have a meal for anytime you want. Soup freezes wonderfully and can be re-heated and eaten quickly. One of our favorite soups to make is this Enchilada Chicken Soup. But, if you’re more of a seasonal eater, take a look at this low-carb Pumpkin Soup!
If none of the recipes above sound appealing, feel free to make one of our other soups below:
Or, see our full list of soups here >
Pasta -> Zucchini Noodles, Shirataki Noodles
Also known as Zoodles, zucchini noodles are a great addition to any person’s plate that’s missing pasta as an entree. Smother with alfredo sauce or make your own cream sauce and you have yourself a perfect ketogenic meal! To make zucchini noodles, you can get a spiralizer here.
If you’re in the mood to try one of our recipes, we recommend:
Shirataki noodles are also a well-known replacement for pasta. They have a slightly strange texture – usually, you love them or hate them. If you’re curious, give a try to our Keto Pad Thai or Pumpkin Carbonara!
Alternatively, you can have super realistic pasta that almost mimics that of whole-wheat pasta. This recipe, however, is inside of my cookbook (along with tons of other awesome recipes) which you can find here: Keto-fied! Comfort Foods Made Low Carb.
Chinese Takeout -> General Tso’s Low-carb Chicken, Low-carb Sweet & Sour Chicken
Chinese takeout was our kryptonite previously to going keto. It’s our all-time favorite food, to be honest, but we’ve experimented and made some great low-carb renditions of this delicious sweet and sticky food. Our two favorites are our General Tso’s Chicken and Mock Sweet and Sour Chicken.
We have some other options as well if these don’t sound like they’ll fit the bill:
Rice -> Cauliflower Rice
You probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you that you could make fried rice with cauliflower, but you surely can. We will admit that it’s not the same as the real thing, but it certainly gets the job done and fills that hole in your stomach that you were just itching to fill.
Give it a bit of soy sauce, bacon, egg, and a couple of vegetables thrown in there, and you have yourself an incredibly low-carb version of fried rice. Perfect to serve up with those Chinese takeout replicas.
If you want something that isn’t Asian inspired, feel free to give our Cauliflower Mushroom Risotto a try! On the denser side, you can also use hemp hearts as a rice replacement, as we have done in our Mushroom Wild “Rice” Pilaf.
Mashed Potatoes -> Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
Not only can you make rice with cauliflower, but you can also make faux mashed potatoes. They’re super light and fluffy, can be mixed in with cheese, and hold up their own against the real thing. And guess what? You can even make low-carb shepherd’s pie with it, too (for example, we use it in our southwestern inspired Nacho Chicken Casserole as a topping)!
Burritos and Tacos -> Flax Tortillas, Taco Salad
Tortillas are something that plenty of us know about when we switch over to low carb. There’s a lot of options for low-carb tortillas in the store, but they’re generally packed full of gluten and may want to be avoided. If you’re the type to make everything at home, you’re in luck! Give a try to these flax tortillas, or even these psyllium husk tortillas. You won’t be disappointed!
Need more dinner ideas?
If you’re running short on time or just need some inspiration for your next dinner, we have hundreds of recipes to choose from. Make sure to see all the options in our keto dinner recipe section – check back as it’s updated weekly!
Lunch on a ketogenic diet usually consists of something straightforward and easy. Whether it’s leftovers from the night before or a simple salad with some meat and homemade dressing. Some people also prefer to put together the ingredients for a mug cake (or similar item) and take the ingredients to work to cook. See some examples of what you can replace for common lunch (and snack) recipes!
Note: We recommend keeping snacking to a minimum as it will slow weight loss down.
Bread and Sandwiches -> Lettuce Wraps, Flax Seed Wraps
Instead of cracking out that crusted rye bread to make a sandwich with, take the initiative to switch over to something that’s a better (and keto-friendly) option. From cabbage rolls to lettuce wraps, making wraps will be a simple process that you won’t have to worry about.
If you’re looking for a more realistic wrap, you can even try your hand at a flaxseed wrap or even a psyllium husk wrap. Both are fantastic alternatives to the store-bought low-carb wraps, and both won’t include any gluten!
Lastly, if you need a bread replacement, you can always go the easy route and make some microwave bread. A simple, easy, and painless process will have you a hearty sandwich in no time at all. And, you can even grill it to make some delicious grilled cheese sandwiches.
Chips and Cookies -> Dehydrated Vegetables, Low-carb Cookies
If you’re one of the lucky people that have a dehydrator, you can take serious advantage of it by dehydrating thin slices of vegetables overnight (normally 12 hours) to get crisp, perfect vegetables that you can eat as snacks. Do this with zucchini, radish, or jicama. If you’re not lucky enough to have a dehydrator (like me), then you can easily make cheese chips in the oven and flavor them with your own spices!
Cookies aren’t a problem either. You can easily make your own almond flour cookies – or mix it up by using different mixtures of “flours.” From flaxseed to chia seed, there’s always something that you can make! Some examples of different cookies you can have are:
Or, read our ever-growing low-carb cookie recipes on the site!
Crackers and Dippables -> Flaxseed Crackers, Chia Seed Crackers
Looking for that hearty crunch that’s packed full of flavor? Look no more. Instead of cracking open a box of Ritz or Cheez-Its, go ahead and make your own! You can make crackers from anything including flaxseed meal (featured in The RULED Book), chia seeds, or even almond flour to make your own homemade crunchy snacks with a delicious flavor of your own.
You can make crackers out of many keto-friendly ingredients out there. For some examples, we recommend:
Sweets and Treats -> Fat Bombs, Mug Cakes
Give yourself something sweet that’s still packed full of delicious and healthy fats. Fat bombs get their name because they’re filled with fats – a delicious way to get those fats up in your diet and enjoy doing it instead of just eating oil off of the spoon.
Don’t believe me? Just check out these chia almond butter squares (with browned butter) or Neapolitan fat bombs. Even a rich and tasty mug cake for one. Get creative and make any flavor you’d like, too. Check out some of my other mug cake recipes here:
Looking for more snack or lunch recipes?
You’re not alone! Feel free to check out our growing list of keto snacks. If you need some lunch ideas (especially quick ones that are accessible for work), see our list of keto lunch recipes.
Simple is usually key when it comes to beverages on keto. Water will be a go-to drink when needing to quench your thirst. Try to keep diet soda consumption to a minimum as it is commonly linked with blood sugar spikes and increased cravings. Read below for some ideas on other drinks that are frequently consumed.
Soda and Fruit Juice -> Water, Smoothies, Tea
Try to replace all soda and juice consumption with something that has no sugar or little sugar inside. Switch out fruit juices for low-carb smoothies and tea. Tea comes in a variety of flavors that can help you get through the day if you get tired of water. There’s a variety of different smoothies you can make for a meal replacement or just as a snack.
You’re welcome to try one of our own smoothie recipes, too:
Water should be your go-to replacement for soda, and I don’t recommend drinking diet soda as it can bring back cravings for sweets. Stick to drinking at least 3 liters of water a day, but try to aim for a full gallon a day.
Coffee and Sugar -> Coffee & Stevia
Instead of adding sugar to your coffee, you can put a few drops of stevia in there to sweeten it up. Stevia is a great sweetener and won’t increase your blood sugar levels – so it’s a perfect way to sweeten your morning coffee. If you’re used to having a creamy body to your coffee, opt for heavy whipping cream, half and half, or unsweetened almond/coconut milk instead of milk or coffee creamer.
Cappuccino and Frappe -> Ketoproof Coffee
Missing your lattes and frappes? That’s not a problem! Ketoproof coffee is a fantastic mix of coconut oil and butter in your coffee instead of the generic cream or milk. You might think that it sounds disgusting at first, but if you think about what butter is made out of – it’s pretty much just hardened cream. Once you melt it down and mix it all up using an immersion blender, you get a delicious coating of froth on the top of your mug o’ joe.
Cocktails -> Dry Wine, Liquor
Instead of getting sugar filled cocktails, make a change to go after a low-carb alternative. Liquor is the best choice, being the lowest in carbs (most are 0 carbs, in fact). Dry wines are the second best choice, being 3-5g carbs per glass. Make sure you keep an eye on flavored liquors or mixed liquors as they may have carbs. For wines, it’s best to stick with classic dry red and white wines.
Read more about what alcohol you can have on a ketogenic diet in our in-depth article here: The Ketogenic Diet and Alcohol
Mixers and Chasers -> Diet Soda, Water, and Lemon
Although I do suggest cutting out diet soda completely, you can make an exception to this rule for when you’re drinking. This shouldn’t be done on a regular basis but is a much better substitute than using full sugar soda or a fruit juice as a mixer. Be very careful with even reduced calorie mixers as often they’ll be packed full of sugars.
Sweet treats are a great way to give yourself a break when you’re “dieting.” On keto, we recommend that you keep desserts to an occasional meal – once every other day, or once every three days. It’s best when starting out to skip desserts for 2-3 weeks to help with cravings. Below, you’ll find some common desserts that are high-carb and their low-carb alternatives!
Ice Cream -> Avocado Ice Cream, Low-carb Sorbet
Ice cream can be made on a ketogenic diet, normally using eggs, cream, and some sweetener as the base of the custard. There are many different ways to make ice cream (with and without an ice cream maker), so feel free to see some of our recipes here:
If you want an “easy” version of an ice cream, you can also use avocado. Avocado has a fantastic creamy texture that’s easily hidden or can even be accented to make your own delicious sorbet! Check out this Avocado Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream. Or, if you want to get a bit more creative, check out this Avocado and Lime Sorbet – delicious!
Cake -> Low-carb Cake, Cheesecake
Cake is always something that people miss because it’s so easy to come by and pick up in the grocery store. On keto, you can have your cake and eat it, too! Commonly made with almond flour (or some mixture of different flours) you can have a delicious and airy cake, a dense and flavorful cake, or even cupcakes. Take your pick and make it as you want. Some examples of my favorite cake are:
The other option you have (that is also high in fat and delicious) would be cheesecake. Using sugar substitutes, you can make some amazing flavored cheesecakes that will come out just as good, if not better, than regular cheesecake. Try your hand at these awesome mini key lime cheesecakes or even some raspberry cheesecake bites.
Brownies -> Avocado Brownies, Almond Flour Brownies
Not in the mood for cake? Brownies definitely come second on that list of delicious treats that we want once we turn to a ketogenic diet. You can easily make replacement brownies that you enjoy and feel no cravings for more afterward. Besides using almond flour and other mixtures of flours, you can make them out of avocado!
If you’re curious, we also have other low-carb brownie (and blondie) recipes that you can see here >
Puddings -> Flavored Avocado Pudding, Whipped Cream Pudding
To this day, our childhood cravings for pudding come back with a vengeance. To combat this, we can make some excellent pudding at home from different things. From avocado pudding to whipped cream pudding, there are tons of ways you can replicate this delicious substance.
Even if you don’t want to go that route, you can even make pudding our of cottage or ricotta cheese. Flavor it up with extracts and sweeteners, and you’ll never know the difference.
Pie Crust -> Nut-based Crusts
Pie crust is usually a tough one to recreate, especially since you won’t be able to get that flaky and fluffy crust you might be used to with all-purpose flour. But, we can create thin and crispy, or thicker and softer crusts on keto. Using almond flour or a mixture of flours, we can now have our pumpkin, lemon curd, or even meat pies!
Recently I did experimentation with a new pie crust and found an absolutely delicious crust using both almond flour and psyllium husk. You can check that out on our Keto Pie Crust recipe.
Looking to impress someone? Try our reader favorite – the Keto Chocolate Silk Pie. It’s a little bit more labor intensive, but well worth it in the end!
Custard -> Pots de Crème
If you’re a sucker for custard or crème brulee, then you’ll love pots de crème. Originally made in France, these super rich custards will be the perfect set piece for a dessert. Impress your friends (even the non-ketogenic ones) and serve them something they’re sure to love!
They do take a bit of work and can be a bit finicky while cooking, but the result is an utterly delicious warm custard that is packed full of flavor.
Looking for More Desserts?
Feel free to check out our full list of keto dessert recipes. We’re constantly updating the website, so make sure to check back (or sign up for our e-mail list) to see new recipes every week!
Baking can seem like a challenge when it comes to a low-carb, ketogenic diet. Don’t worry though; there are plenty of alternative flours and tricks to use to get the consistency you’re looking for. You can create baked goods that are almost as good as the real thing – sometimes even better!
Flour -> Almond Flour and Eggs
Although almond flour doesn’t get the same texture and rising ability as normal all-purpose flour, it’s a much healthier option and filled with delicious fats that can help us reach our nutrient goals for the day. Almond flour works extremely way as a replacement for all-purpose flour, giving us cakey textures and by using eggs, we can achieve the rising we’re looking for.
Alternatives include coconut flour with added eggs, but keep in mind that the texture does change when you do this.
Chewiness -> Flaxseed Meal, Psyllium Husk
Chewiness is definitely something we look for when we make dense cakes, bread, or mostly anything that’s a low-carb version of the real thing.
My absolute favorite way to add to that chewy texture is adding psyllium husk to the recipe. Keep in mind that psyllium is very absorptive, so extra liquids may be needed to combat this. Psyllium husk powder is what you’ll need, and you can find it on Amazon.
Flaxseed Meal is also another example of an ingredient used to give a slightly chewy texture. Though I feel that it’s not as good as psyllium (it gives a slightly gelled texture), many people have used it successfully in place of psyllium. Make sure you grab a pack or 3 from Amazon. It’s super cheap and lasts a long time!
Breadcrumbs -> Pork Rinds
As mentioned for the fried chicken, you can use ground up pork rinds to get a breadcrumb type of effect. Besides chicken, you can do it on any meat – like pork chops! Grinding pork rinds in the food processor is definitely the preferred method here, as they get to a finer consistency and will crunch up well.
If you’d like an example of a breadcrumb crust that I’ve used before, check out our Keto Brussels Sprouts Au Gratin. Here, the pork rind crust crisps up and gives you a great change in texture as you’re eating. Another example would be our Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu.
Alternatively, you can also use pork rinds inside of meat as a filler instead of breadcrumbs. For example, in our Keto Gyro recipe, we sub pork rinds for the texture that bread lends to inside.
Margarine and Vegetable Oil -> Butter, Coconut Oil
Some of the studies over the last 20 years have shown us that margarine and vegetable oils are just plain bad for our health. But saturated fats like butter and coconut oil are beneficial and on a ketogenic diet can help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure. These fats are an absolute treat and can be used the same way margarine or vegetable oil would be utilized.
To get a good deal on coconut oil, check out Coconut Oil on Amazon
Frosting -> Cream Cheese Frosting
Instead of getting that store-bought can of frosting that’s filled with sugar, food coloring, and trans fats – make your own! Cream cheese and butter come together to create a rich and creamy frosting that makes all of your cakes taste better. If you want an example of a great cream cheese frosting (with added fruit compote) check out our Low Carb Spice Cakes with Cream Cheese Frosting.
You can also see how we make our frosting with these Vanilla Bean Cupcakes or Mini Vanilla Cloud Cakes. Alternatively, you can just make a drizzle or glaze like we did in our Lemon Poppyseed Muffins.
Sugar -> Stevia, Erythritol
Sugar is definitely something we aim to get rid of on a ketogenic diet, but we do need those sweet treats every once in a while, so here’s a replacement. While erythritol does have sugar alcohols, they are not processed in the body – erythritol does not pass the blood barrier in the intestine during digestion, and it passes through us mostly through urine. Neither of the two effect blood sugars and both has a glycemic index of 0. Not to mention, both are a natural sweetener.
Erythritol alone can have a “cooling” sensation that can be unpleasant, but when you combine both together, it seems to negate the “bad” tastes from both and create a delicious sweetener that is 0 GI, natural, and perfect for almost everything you’ll need it for.
You can find liquid stevia here on Amazon
You can find erythritol here on Amazon
If you need some recipe examples, feel free to see our Keto Dessert Recipes page.
Chocolate -> Baker’s Chocolate, Dark Chocolate
The normal store-bought chocolate bars will be loaded with added sugar to give them a consumerist’s taste. Since we’re trying to avoid sugars, we really want to make sure that we avoid these, too. There are some alternatives you can use – my two favorites are Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate.
With Baker’s chocolate, you’ll have to add a bit of extra sweetener to take away from the bitterness of the Baker’s chocolate. With dark chocolate, you want to aim for a high cocoa percentage. We normally try to get anything above 86%. Additionally, there are some low-carb chocolate alternatives you can buy in the store or online, but they run a pretty penny and don’t think it’s worth it in the long term.
We can’t forget about cocoa powder either. You want to go after the dark and unsweetened types where you can control the amount of sweetness the chocolate has (and control what type of sugar sub is going in). Cocoa powder is ideal for baked goods that you want to have an overall chocolate taste inside – cakes, cookies, or even puddings. If you’re going with a higher quality (Dutch style) cocoa powder, make sure to keep in mind its strength. You won’t need to use as much as the typical recipe calls for, as it’s normally much stronger in taste.
Fruits -> Extracts
Fruits taste great, plain and simple. Although we can usually have a few berries here and there on a ketogenic diet without much negative impact, it’s usually best to avoid (especially in the beginning). Instead of using berries, we can get fruit extracts to use in our baked goods. Want some blueberry muffins? Not a problem!
You can even make smoothies using fruit extracts. For example, this tropical smoothie will taste just like you used fresh fruit juice to make, but you can keep it a secret that you didn’t.
Cornstarch -> Xanthan Gum
Xanthan gum is a very well-known thickener that’s gaining popularity in cooking techniques such as molecular gastronomy. It’s not unknown in the world of ketogenic diets, either. Xanthan gum can be used to thicken just about anything. From an ice cream custard base to your morning smoothie, and even to sauces, to get a thick and sticky consistency.
Just be careful when adding xanthan gum because a little goes a long way. To thicken sauces no more than 1/2 tsp. should be used (and that’s for a large amount of sauce). If you add too much, it will turn into a jelly type of consistency, which can be quite unpleasant.
If you find that xanthan gum is a little bit hard to work with, you can choose to use Guar Gum instead. It is about half the “strength” of xanthan, so it’s much more forgiving when you use them in sauces. As an example, here’s our simple 10-minute sausage gravy using it!
High Carb Vegetables -> Dried Spices
Looking at that onion and deciding whether 14g of carbs is just too much for a single recipe? Fear no more – use the dried spice! Replacing higher carb vegetables like fennel, celery, and onion (not to mention a myriad of other vegetables) with their dried counterparts will be packed full of flavor and only require a small amount to bring a powerhouse of flavor to your dish.
Or, you can always replace higher carb vegetables with similar low-carb vegetables for texture. Feel free to take a look at our in-depth guide on keto friendly vegetables as well!
Looking for more recipes?
Feel free to check out our ever-growing keto recipe page. We regularly update this page, so check back for more inspiration on a bi-weekly basis!
P.S. Have a look at the Keto Academy, our foolproof 30-day keto meal plan. It has all the tools, information, and recipes needed for you to succeed.
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Summary: Researchers provide advice about the best foods and supplements to help boost the immune system to stave off COVID-19 infection.
Source: University of Southampton
An international research team, including Professor Philip Calder from the University of Southampton, has published a new report advising how the public can support their immune system and give it the best chance of fighting the coronavirus.
A diet with a diverse and varied mixture of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and pulses, along with some meat, fish and dairy products provides the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients the immune system needs for optimal function. However, the researchers recognize that supplements are a safe, effective and low cost way to support an optimal immune system where the diet does not provide enough of certain vitamins, minerals and omega three fatty acids.
Acute respiratory tract infections are a major cause of mortality globally as highlighted by seasonal influenza epidemics and the current outbreak of COVID19, caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
A healthy immune system will help the body fight the virus and there are a number of ways in which nutrition can support it in this fight. Despite this, advice on nutrition is often missing in public discussions about immunity and infection.
Whilst vaccination programs can prime the immune response in cases of exposure to viruses, their levels of protection can vary and a vaccine has not yet been developed for COVID-19. The researchers are therefore calling for public health officials to include nutritional strategies in their recommendations to improve public health.
Philip Calder, Professor of Nutritional Immunology, explained “The strength of somebody’s immune systems will not influence whether they get coronavirus; handwashing and social distancing are the best ways to avoid that. However, the immune system helps the body deal with the virus if they are infected and what we want is a system that functions properly when it’s challenged with bacteria and viruses.”
Among the foods Professor Calder recommends are a variety of fruits and vegetables which are a good source of vitamins and minerals that are important for supporting the immune system. Foods that are high in fiber are also important as some of the undigested fiber in the gut can promote the growth of good bacteria which interact with the immune system to make it work better. The third recommendation is oily fish which is a source of omega 3 fatty acids that help to regulate and control the immune system. Finally, meat is important as a good source of nutrients such as iron and vitamin B12, so people who do not eat meat should consider supplements.
Whilst consuming commercial probiotic products can have a role to play—by seeding good bacteria in the gut—Professor Calder recommends plant based food and fiber as an alternative as these provide an environment to grow the good bacteria that are already in the large intestine.
Professor Calder added, “The present situation with COVID-19 shows that we cannot just rely on vaccinations to limit the impact of respiratory infections. Improving our nutrition is a very straight forward step that we can all take to help our bodies deal with infections and limit the emergence of new, more virulent strains of viruses. We therefore strongly encourage public health officials to make sure nutritional strategies are included in all their messaging about coping with viral infections.”
About this neuroscience research article
University of Southampton
Kaj Blennow – University of Southampton
The image is in the public domain.
Original Research: The research article is available via Preprints.
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