Video Transcript: Ketogenic vs The Atkin’s Diet: Tips for Optimal Health
Ty Bollinger: I have another question for you. You had mentioned ketosis and the ketogenic diet. To me it sounds almost like the Atkin’s diet, if you remember from 20 years ago or so when the Atkin’s diet was real popular.
Dr. David Jockers: Yep
Ty Bollinger: Is it the same thing as the Atkin’s diet or what is different? When you hear the ketogenic diet versus the old Atkin’s diet that a lot of body builders that I knew back in the 90s went from the low fat diet to the Atkin’s diet. Where there were literally guys at the gym working out eating cheese and bacon and peanut butter in between sets. What’s the difference between these two types of diets?
Dr. David Jockers: That’s a great, great question. I’m really glad you brought that up because in general the Atkin’s diet is a ketogenic diet. It does stimulate ketone development. And the way that some individuals teach it they’re almost identical.
However, when we’re really trying to promote optimal health we’ve got to make some differentiations from the Atkin’s diet. So where Atkin’s went right was his approach with a low carbohydrate diet, getting our body running off the ketones. So I’m in total agreement with him about that. Keeping our body very sensitive to insulin is very, very important.
However, where I disagree with him was he really had no regulation on the kind of fats that you put into your body. And we want to really focus on good fats as opposed to bad fats.
So most people in our society assume that saturated fat is a bad fat. What we know is that actually saturated fat is one of the most healthiest fats we can be putting in our body. The fats we really want to avoid are high omega-6 fats from refined vegetable oils and also from factory farmed animal meats. So that’s a big one. And then, of course, trans fats or manmade fats. And so we certainly want to make sure we’re avoiding those things.
So we’re going to load up on good fats. Things like avocados, things like coconut oil, butter from grass fed cows, okay. Individuals that can tolerate dairy protein. If they can tolerate casein we’re going to use things like cheese, raw cheese from grass-fed cows, fermented dairy drinks from again, grass-fed cows. There’s a huge difference between when a cow is fed grass and grains. A grain-fed cow actually grows much larger and produces a lot more dairy.
In fact, they produce about 20 to 30 thousand pounds of dairy in a year, a grain-fed cow. A grass-fed cow produces about three to five thousand pounds. There’s a huge difference in yield. Now the grain-fed cow though, the grains themselves are high in this omega-6 fat. And omega-6 fat causes inflammation in our body. So the dairy that’s coming from a grain-fed cow is very high in omega-6, very low in omega-3. That’s going to be inflammatory.
And that inflammatory process, high omega-6, low omega-3, provides a ripe environment for cancer cell development in our body. So we definitely want to stay away from commercially raised animal products and animals that were fed grains. We want to stay away from that. But we do want the grass-fed animal products because they have a lot of omega-3s, an ideal ratio of omega-6 to omega-3s.
Also grass-fed dairy has a molecule called CLA, conjugulated linoleic acid, which many researchers are finding is a potent anticarcinogen. There’s also other great nutrients in there. For example, the major fat that’s in grass-fed dairy is called butyric acid. Butyric acid is a preferred fuel source for healthy gut microbes in your system and it helps your intestinal cells to develop and actually to strengthen so that way we don’t develop problems like leaky gut and ulcerations in our gut and things like that, which is extremely important for helping our immune system. Seventy percent of our immune system’s in our gut.
If we have damage to our gut we’re going to have a lot of immune system disorders which could include cancer and other autoimmune diseases. So this grass-fed raw dairy can have an incredible effect at helping the gut to heal and seal and to control itself well. So that’s why it’s such a good fat source we want to include.
We also want to include things like extra virgin olive oil, healthy seeds like flax seed, hemp seeds, chia seeds. We talked about coconut products, that should be an absolute staple. Coconut is a super food, very anti-inflammatory and just powerful for our body. So these are the kind of good fats we want to focus on. We want to stay away from—again, Atkin’s never differentiated between grass-fed and grain-fed so it was a lot of commercial animal products using lard and bacon and things like that.
The other aspect of it is that bacon… I am really not a big fan of bacon just from the perspective that it is cooked at very high temperatures. And it may be nitrate-free which is certainly a better one to go with, but when you cook meat at a very high temperature, you’re going to produce a lot of carcinogenic products. Things like heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, acrylamide, and these are known to cause cancer growth in our body.
And so high heat or highly cooked, highly processed animal products, even if it’s properly raised can also be a factor with cancer cell development. So we want to look for animal products that have been minimally processed.
When we cook them we want to cook them more medium-rare so a lower temperature and just cooking them for less time so that way we produce less of those heterocyclic amines. And there are a lot of different strategies that people can apply with marinades and things like that to utilize animal products and minimize the production of carcinogenic chemicals.