This is this in the final installment in my 3-part series covering the top Keto Diet Questions I receive from clients like you!
Question #1. Is there a best time of the day to measure ketones using a breath test?
A. In the morning your ketone levels are the lowest and you are the most insulin resistant. After exercise your levels will show up lower because you just used your ketones up! That doesn’t mean you aren’t in ketosis. It just means your number is low and you are using them efficiently. Usually I recommend waiting 1-2 hours after eating to see if that meal kept you in ketosis. It’s also a good idea to chose a time of day and measure at the same time each day (or as close as possible) so you are comparing “apples to apples”.
Question #2. Can you explain what the results of a breathalyzer mean? Are higher numbers better?
A. Yes, a higher number is better, meaning that you are efficiently producing ketones and using them. This is in contrast to the urine strips where they show ketones in the beginning when your body is peeing out the ketones and not using them efficiently. So, when the strips stop showing ketones, it actually means you are using them! Blood ketone monitors are showing how many ketones are in the blood. So you could have high numbers if you took exogenous ketones, but it doesn’t mean you are actually making them or using them. The breath monitor is the best way to know if you are making them and using them properly.
Question #3. I understand the Keto Diet can often be more of a low fiber diet. Is this potentially a step backward towards good gut health?
A. No, actually they have done studies where a group was on a low carb diet with fiber and one without. Both groups had the same amount of bowel movements a day. And in fact, some report feeling less bloat and less gut stress without the fiber. That is the theory behind the Carnivore diet—a true elimination diet. Some who have had serious gut issues and have tried every type of diet finally find success with Carnivore. I don’t think it is right for everyone, but it has been successful for some with severe gut issues. It also can be used as a temporary elimination diet.
Question #4. What about the challenge of getting enough prebiotic fiber on a keto diet?
Eating fewer carbs can be incredibly good for you—but is one downside that you may find it harder to get enough prebiotic fiber? And since these types of fibers are commonly found in relatively carb-heavy foods, can it be more difficult to find keto diet-friendly fiber?
A. We need to be clear about the difference between complex carbohydrates and refined carbs. There are zero prebiotics in refined carbs. The Keto Diet includes many green veggies which can be a great source of prebiotic fiber. Examples would be onions, garlic, asparagus, and leeks. I personally add in sauerkraut and use the ION* Gut Health (formerly RESTORE) which aids in your gut to produce the prebiotic and probiotics that are needed. I also do use the Accelerated Leaky Gut Bundle as a SBO that helps clean up the bad bacteria in the gut. The reality is a lot of things that the Keto or carnivore diet are “missing” are not needed because the body doesn’t need them as much or they are made by the body with raw materials.
Question #5. What about Thyroid issues and Keto? Does Keto have an effect on hypothyroidism?
I understand in the “Keto Diet world”, there may not be complete agreement on whether or not the Keto Diet Plan is good for hypothyroid? I have heard many with Hashimoto’s find that a Low Carb High Fat diet helps and even can heal it, but I have also heard some say they feel better when they keep their carbs between 30-50 grams per day rather than the stricter 20 grams or do occasional “carb ups”. So, is it possible that you could go too low carb on a Keto diet in a way that’s not has helpful?
A. When people in the Keto world talk about “carb ups,” most people think, “Oh I can eat pizza and bread and have as much as I want!”
Keto “Carb Ups” Don’t Mean Filling Up On Pizza and Bread
Actually, what the experts are talking about is just a few more carbs than normal, in the range of 30-50 grams, once or twice a week. And these should be coming from foods like sweet potatoes, fruit or other healthy veggies. And it isn’t as much food as you would think. An apple has 15-20 grams of carbs. So you have to think about how quickly the carbs add up and that it shouldn’t be a complete “off the rails” type of carb up. Plus, if someone is extremely Insulin Resistant, then having any extra carbs or sugar will be detrimental to their progress. But if they are healthy metabolically and have a high level of insulin sensitivity, they can get away with a few more carbs. Saying all of that, I personally don’t believe the “carb ups” have a positive impact on Thyroid health or Hashimoto’s.
Keto plus Intermittent Fasting Can Heal Insulin Resistance, Helping both Your Thyroid & Metabolism
Many of my clients have seen a reversal of their hypothyroid issues with the Keto Diet and Keto Shake. Insulin Resistance affects thyroid health, so as you heal your Insulin Resistance with the Keto Diet, your thyroid function improves. Related to hypothyroidism is a slowed metabolism. Many think eating frequent, small meals throughout the day, they will increase their metabolism. It is the opposite. When you eat constantly you are releasing insulin a little bit at a time all day long, which signals your body to store fat all day long. Your body has no time to turn on the “healing genes” as it is focused on digestion and “storing fat”. (The job of insulin is to store fat.)
Think of Your Body Like a Bank and Calories Like Money…
If you know you are only going to get a certain amount of money (or calories) in a day, your body will slow your spending in order to survive. So by eating a little all day long, you are telling your body to store fat AND slow down its metabolism—a double whammy! On the other hand, when you are in ketosis and intermittent fasting, your insulin is low for long periods of time. Your body is detoxing and healing during those hours. And your body isn’t in starvation mode because it knows how to access the 100s of 1,000s of calories of fat stored on the body. There is no reason for the body to lower its metabolism, because your “bank account” is full of limitless money (fat calories)! Then, when you do eat, your metabolism revs up. Bingo! You burn fat AND Increase your metabolism!
Lastly, when it comes to thyroid health, Iodine is imperative.
Iodine helps lower insulin resistance. If you are deficient in iodine, which 95% of the U.S. population is, that can be at the root of hypothyroidism or Hashimoto’s. Iodine is essential for thyroid health as the number 3 and 4 in T3 and T4 represents the number of atoms of iodine. So, on top of the Keto Diet stabilizing insulin resistance, it is important to supplement with iodine, and Acceleradine is the most effective and potent radiation free iodine compared to all others. It is a 100 percent bioavailable source of a single atom where most others Iodine supplements are diatomic, meaning two atoms combined. Those forms of iodine are harder for the body to break down and absorb.
Sara Banta is a Stanford University Graduate with a Degree in Economics and Psychology, and a certified Natural Supplement Expert & Graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Sara is the Founder of Accelerated Health Products and host of the health & wellness podcast, Accelerated Health Radio.