Have You Heard About the Ketogenic Diet Using Exogenous Ketones? | Q+A

Have You Heard About the Ketogenic Diet Using Exogenous Ketones? | Q+A

Question:

I have been hearing also about a ketogenic diet using exogenous ketones. I’m 63 years old, 5’4″ and weigh 170. I joined LA fitness two weeks ago and I’m working with a trainer. My goals are weight loss and strength training. I’ve been doing (and I’m committed to) about 45 minutes of cardio 3-5 times per week and weight training 3 days a week. I am in fairly good health with well controlled mild hypertension as my only health concern. Any information you could provide or direct me to would be appreciated.

– Susan D.

Answer:

I had to do a little research on this one, Susan, but I am glad to be kept on my toes! For our other readers: exogenous ketones are those ingested as supplements as opposed to those produced by the body (called endogenous). The intended goal of dietary-induced ketosis is for the body to use ketones, or fat-derived compounds, as an alternative fuel source instead of carbohydrates for certain body systems.

An outside source of ketones, such as beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), in the absence of glycogen depletion, will only produce a short-term state of ketosis lasting a few hours. So you’d need to keep taking the product to get an effect prolonged enough to be significant. You could end up spending well over $100/month – ideal for the supplement company!

Money Down The Drain

During forced ketosis, the body regulates ketone production by shutting down the liver’s production of endogenous ketones and getting rid of excess ketones through urinating.

The use of such ketones (and therefore the bulk of research) has been for its effects on Alzheimer’s, cancer, epilepsy and elite athletic performance. Little is known to establish exogenous ketone use for weight loss. In fact, on PubMed.gov, I could not find one study that directly observed exogenous ketone administration and reduction in body weight. Lots of bits of information that might lead one to assume this would be the case, but no evidence to support such a theory.

My advice – You’d likely be better served by consuming natural caffeine sources to help prolong your cardio workouts for increased fat burning. Coffee won’t break the bank, either!

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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Is Breakfast Really the Most Important Meal of the Day?

Is Breakfast Really the Most Important Meal of the Day?

Close your eyes and picture this: the lustrous crackling of bacon in a cast iron pan, the sizzle of pancakes on a hot buttered grill, the alluring aroma of freshly brewed coffee… ahhh.

There is something about a full, balanced breakfast that just starts the day off on the right foot – but is breakfast really necessary? Some of us opt out of an early morning meal in exchange for a heavier lunch or dinner; however, this could have negative effects on the body.

Studies have shown that eating breakfast can help promote1:

  • Good health
  • Better memory and concentration
  • Lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol
  • Lower chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, and being overweight

With so many health benefits, making sure to eat breakfast seems like a no-brainer, right? Yet, many of us are in a rush with the morning hustle and bustle to make the time to properly fuel our bodies. Skipping your morning munchies could leave your body feeling sluggish and lacking the energy it needs to keep you feeling focused throughout the day. Not only that, but skipping the first meal of the day may cause you to overeat later and that’s where the extra calories start sneaking up on you!

Here’s the catch though… having too big of a breakfast can actually do more harm than good. A study referenced on WebMD suggested that “people who had large breakfasts ate more during the day.”2 This may leave you thinking to yourself, should I eat breakfast then or skip it? Well, think of it this way. Food is fuel for our bodies. Think of the stomach as a tank for providing the ‘fuel’ our bodies need to properly function. The type of fuel you put into your tank is going to drastically affect the power you get out of it.

!! Tip: Stick with complex carbs, protein, fruit and/or vegetables, ideally paired with a calcium source.

Grabbing a donut on the way into work or opting for a quick packaged pastry with your morning coffee, may taste good in the moment. However, those empty calories are going to burn off quickly and leave your body dragging. Our registered dietitian, Debbie J., offers some healthy, well-balanced breakfast suggestions to swap in as a replacement for that morning treat.

  • Vegetarian: whole grain toast topped with 1/4 avocado, fried egg and roma tomato slices
  • Vegan: steel cut oatmeal with nuts, berries, cinnamon, dairy-free milk
  • Omnivore: Canadian bacon, whole wheat waffle and diced peaches or strawberries
  • Gluten-free: potatoes O’Brien, black bean & tomato salsa, 1/2 grapefruit

The Results

In yet another study published in the journal Obesity, researchers recruited 93 overweight women and put them on a 12-week long prescribed diet.3 All of the women participating in the study consumed a total of 1,400 healthy calories a day. The only difference was that half the group ate their largest meal at breakfast, while the other half ate their largest meal at lunch or dinner.

The results were significantly different! The group who ate their biggest meal at breakfast lost two and a half times the amount of weight as their counter group.4 The same group noticed improvements in belly fat, hunger levels, and fasting blood sugar levels! These noticeable differences seem to trend across multiple studies conducted on the benefits of breakfast.

A Message From the AHA

The American Heart Association even issued a statement noting that “planning and timing meals and snacks, such as not skipping breakfast and allocating more calories earlier in the day, might help reduce cardiovascular disease risk.”5 People who choose to forego breakfast, about 20 to 30% of U.S. adults6, are “more likely to are more likely to be obese, have inadequate nutrition, show evidence of impaired glucose metabolism or be diagnosed with diabetes.”7

Our Thoughts

So, is breakfast really the most important meal of the day? Yes and no. More important than simply eating breakfast before starting your day is paying attention to what type of calories you’re consuming and focusing on balanced and controlled portioning. If you consume most of your calories during the morning, make sure to have a smaller meal for lunch and dinner. Having a larger meal in the morning may also help burn off more calories due to the fact that you have more time to be active before heading to bed.

Our advice? Go ahead and make time for breakfast, because a body lacking fuel is going to be less productive than a body energized with the nutrients necessary for a healthy day.

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.


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Healthy Lunch Suggestions For Work

Healthy Lunch Suggestions For Work

Question:

Two questions for you, actually! Hope you don’t mind!

1.) I’m struggling to think of easy, healthy options to take with me to work to eat for lunch. I’m not much of a meat eater, but I do like chicken. Any suggestions?

2.) I’m also struggling with the fact that it’s winter, and all my cravings seem to be the warm, unhealthy “comfort foods”. I’m lately craving mac and cheese, heavy soups, and things of that nature. Any suggestions for something that’s “warm and cuddly” without all the fat and calories? Thank you so much!

– Megan K.

Answer:

For easy, healthy lunch options my suggestion would be to assemble wraps and hearty salads/soups, or to use leftovers. Roll up some hummus, cucumber, tomato and feta in a spinach or sun-dried tomato tortilla. You can add a handful of beans and chicken breast strips to a pre-made salad in a bag. Since it takes a full can of soup (2 cups) to make a decent meal, pair the soup with raw produce so you don’t add sodium. Leftovers are quickest, of course – just place in the containers you’ll take to work when storing them.

Enjoy the comfort foods as a smaller side dishes instead of as a main entrée, or find ways to lighten the recipes. For instance, using low-fat cheese plus adding ham and peas in your mac & cheese, or having a scoop of the real thing accompanied by a grilled chicken breast and steamed broccoli. A bisque soup or chowder pairs with whole grain bread sticks and celery stalks. My all-time favorite warm treat is made by spreading almond butter on freshly made rye toast, topping with apple slices and a sprinkle of cinnamon, and placing back under the broiler. Using fresh ingredients from room temperature (except meats/dairy) enhances the flavors and makes heating quick.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

 

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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Is Coffee OK Before A Workout? | Q+A

Is Coffee OK Before A Workout? | Q+A

Question:

Is it OK to eat/drink an apple/coffee 1 hour before working out?

– Pavan

Answer:

Yes, an apple and cup of coffee are okay to eat/drink an hour before working out.

If your workout is intense and prolonged, you may want to supplement a little protein with the apple or a light workout drink during exercise. Alternatively, if you’ve eaten a LARGE meal within 3 hours prior to your workout, you can skip your described snack.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

LA Fitness Living Healthy subscribe button

Want more? SUBSCRIBE to receive the latest Living Healthy articles right in your inbox!


Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

3 + 10 =


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Healthy Alternatives for Baking Favorites

Healthy Alternatives for Baking Favorites

What says “love” better than a home-baked treat? But certainly the intent is equivalent to a warm hug, not a blanket of excess sugar, saturated fat and calories. You can still indulge in a sweet breakfast or dessert without the guilt by making a few ingredient substitutions.

The key to modifying a recipe with more healthful ingredients is to retain flavor and texture. Keeping volume and moisture/dryness equivalent will help the texture turn out great. Butter and sugar don’t have strong flavors so replacing these with sweet and creamy alternatives is easy. If need be, flavor can be enhanced with extracts or spices.

Below are common substitutions to increase fiber and decrease fat and sugar. Using the appropriate option for your particular recipe will keep your baked good in top shape out of the oven.

FLOUR, 1 Cup:     use 1 C. whole wheat flour, 1 C. nut flour or 1/3 C. coconut flour. For brownies, 1 cup pureed black beans can be substituted for flour. Due to the heaviness of nut flours, you’ll need additional rising agent (baking soda or powder). When using coconut flour, add an extra egg to help hold your batter together.

SUGAR:                use natural honey, agave nectar, maple syrup, applesauce, mashed ripened bananas or coconut sugar. You may need to slightly reduce liquid elsewhere if opting for one of the first four liquid substitutes.

EGG, 1 whole:      use 2 egg whites or 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal soaked in 3 Tbsp water

BUTTER:               half the amount can be replaced with applesauce, mashed ripened bananas, or nut butters. Various oils can be used as well, but they are full-fat replacements and require less volume (e.g. ¾ C oil to 1 C butter). As another option, to replace a cup of butter (2 sticks), use 3 Tbsp chia seeds soaked in a cup of water.

CREAM CHEESE:  use Greek yogurt (may blend with cheesecake pudding mix to omit additional eggs/sugar for cheesecake)

A few more tips for healthy baked goods

A little goes a long way, so keep portions small. With a greater yield, there’s more to share and the batch will last you longer!

You don’t need to fill a serving plate or bowl to make an impression; use a doily (lace paper), leave room for mint leaves and berries to garnish, or drizzle fruit sauce across the plate.

LA Fitness Living Healthy subscribe button

Want more? SUBSCRIBE to receive the latest Living Healthy articles right in your inbox!


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Healthy Lunch Suggestions For Work

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Registered dietitian Debbie J., helps give some suggestions for healthy lunch options to take with you to work. Quick tip: Leftovers tend to be the quickest way to go.

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