GO KETO DIET OR MEDITERRANEAN DIET? WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?
A keto diet is high in healthy fat, medium in protein, and low to very low in carbs.
HOW IS THE KETO DIET A SUPER FUEL FOR YOUR BRAIN?
Ketones are exceptionally clean, unlike glucose. Why? Because ketones don’t produce as much exhaust or oxidants. A Keto diet equals more power and less exhaust, and it is what brains like!
HOW KETO DIET PREVENT DEMENTIA?
Recent research has found that the keto diet prevents dementia. As we age, the brain’s ability to burn glucose lessens to varying degrees. One of the emerging theories about Alzheimer’s disease is that it is a dysfunction of glucose usage, and unless the brain tissue can turn to alternative fuel, it just wears out. The good news is that the aging brain continues its ability to use ketones, even as glucose metabolism lessens! And a ketogenic diet provides the replacement.
HOW DO YOU PROVIDE THESE KETOS TO YOUR BRAIN?
There are two ways to access ketones.
- First, you can make your own by going on a strict ketogenic diet. Our bodies have a natural built-in fuel bank of ketone reserves that our hyper-metabolizing brains can quickly dip into when needed. That bank is body fat! And where do you mostly have that body fat? Especially in the belly, buttocks, and thighs. Imagine the brain texting this extra body fat “We’re running out of glucose up here. Quick burn some of that extra fat and send us up some ketones”.
- Go to a keto specialist. He can advise you of your options and help you find the proper ketogenic diet for you. This specialist will give you a list you should carefully monitor, such as blood sugar: you don’t want it to drop below a healthy level. You may need a personalized/modified keto diet. It might be a not-so-low-carb diet, intermittent fasting, or a very low-carb diet.
A MODIFIED KETO DIET THAT FITS MANY PEOPLE IS:
– High in healthy fats,
– Medium in proteins,
– Very low in fiberless carbs, “added sugar”, and processed carbs,
– Rich in fiber-packed chewy vegetables.
HOW TO START THE KETO DIET SMARTLY
1. You consult a specialist if needed.
2. You personalize your keto diet.
3. Don’t forget to feed your gut-brain!
Recent research has shown that a strict, unsupervised keto diet may not be healthy for the gut-brain. One solution: eat more vegetables! Vegetables are carbs you will think. Yes, but while they are high carb on paper, they usually aren’t so in your bloodstream. You burn most of the carb calories in most vegetables just by chewing and digesting them. And they are also rich sources of the microbiome’ smartest food – fiber. So, enjoy low-carb/high-fiber vegetables such as artichokes, greens, celery, kale, spinach, and chard.
4. Stay rich in antioxidants. Fruits are full of brain-saving antioxidants, so removing all of them could be risky!
5. Go slow with MCT oil (derived from coconut) because some people experience diarrhea when eating too much MCT oil too fast. Some specialists recommend starting with a half teaspoon of MCT oil (or one teaspoon of coconut oil) once or twice a day, and gradually increasing to one to two tablespoons.
6. Drink more water. Since some ketogenic diets can have a diuretic effect, drinking more water can keep you from getting dehydrated.
WHAT IS INTERMITTENT FASTING?
Intermittent fasting is the milder cousin of the keto diet.
The Keto diet and intermittent fasting have become more popular in the last few years, but you need to know:
- Pediatricians have been using ketogenic diets for more than forty years.
- Intermittent fasting has been known since the biblical days. Fasting was high on the list of healthy habits!
You may be surprised to hear that you already “intermittently fast” every day during the night. If you don’t eat after an early dinner and then “break your fast” with breakfast around 7 AM, that’s twelve hours of fasting!
As of today, there is no official medical definition for intermittent fasting. There are many ways to do it: twelve hours at a time, a full day of water only, and so on. Ask Dr. Danielle if you want
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU FAST AND WHY COULD IT BE HEALTHY FOR MANY PEOPLE’S BRAINS?
When you fast, your body runs out of sugar. This can occur as soon as twelve hours after eating because many people store only twelve hours’ worth of sugar fuel (glycogen) in their liver.
When you run out of sugar, your internal fuel gauge sends a biochemical text message to your fat cells to empty excess fats for fuel to keep your brain and body going. Your fat cells then send those fats to the liver, which converts these excess fats to ketones, a neuroprotectant.
Doing intermittent fasting with a keto diet that is high in healthy fat, medium in protein, and low or very low in carbs, so you can consider keto as a super fuel for your brain!
IS GOING VEGAN HEALTHY FOR YOUR BRAIN?
Yes, if you do it smartly. How? By supplementing your diet with the nutrients, you need. A strictly vegan diet could be risky, even if being vegan is on the rise! Selective scientific studies may support a vegan diet, but many studies, and nearly all scientists, agree that Mediterranean and Asian diets are some of the brain-healthiest in the world. Why? These diets are primarily pesco-vegetarian – vegetarian plus seafood.
Why is going vegan not smart for everyone? Vegan diets are usually “law-fat” and even worse, low in smart fats. And your brain is a “fathead” and requires smart fats to thrive. Additionally, many of the smartest nutrients the brain needs are low in vegan diets, such as DHA, iodine, iron, selenium, copper, zinc, vitamin D, some B vitamins, choline, and other nutrients.
DO YOU STILL WANT TO GO VEGAN?
Get a blood test for nutrient levels that may be missing in your vegan diet, including your blood levels of the smartest fats (DHA and EPA) and your omega-3/omega-6 balance.
Take smart nutritional supplements to bridge nutritional gaps. For example, take a seafood supplement that comes from algae, the sea plant that fish eat to get their smart fats. We would recommend you see “AskDrSears.com/supplements”.
THE CURRENT LEADER IS THE MEDITERRANEAN DIET.
Sears recommends: “Go pesco-vegetarian”. Eat primarily vegan, but eat safe seafood at least twice weekly, an egg a day, the wild game occasionally, and a bit of organic pasture-raised whole milk and dairy.
So many people go gluten-free! Is gluten bad for your brain?
Like most grains, real wheat is good for your brain BUT it is what the food industry has done to gluten. Gluten is the “glue” in wheat that keeps the dough together which makes it bad for the brain. AND hybridization has created modern wheat products with a very high level of gluten proteins.
Why do you digest gluten better in Europe? First, grains are non-GMO and have more than half less percentage of gluten than here in America! Some bakers receive their grains from Europe to have more digestible gluten, bread, croissants, and pasta to name only a few. Just become a detective!
When these high amounts of gluten get into the gut, they are broken down into smaller protein chains, one of which is gliadin, the part of gluten that some guts simply don’t like and react to. The immune system mobilizes its army to fight the unreal food. The molecular mess from this battle inflames the tight junctions of the gut lining, widens them, and contributes to a leaky gut, and a leaky gut can lead to a leaky brain.
Some people experience what is called gluten brain, which is mental fatigue, and brain fog after eating wheat! In some cases, the immune system can get messed up, over fight, and trigger autoimmune illnesses! You are in doubt if you need to go gluten-free or not? When in doubt Dr. recommends leaving it out. You can try to go gluten-free for more than 3 months and see how you feel.
It is important to note that just because the label says “gluten-free” does not automatically mean it is healthy food! Many gluten-free products are too low in the smart nutrients protein and fiber, too high in added sugar, and not nutrient-dense, meaning they pack less nutrition per calorie than good old-fashioned-made real-wheat foods. Note that foods made with “whole grains are healthier than those made with white flour because whole grains still contain one of the healthiest parts of the wheat, the wheat germ. Why is the wheat germ removed? Because keeping the wheat germ makes the flour turn rancid and get moldy quicker, and therefore has a shorter shelf life.
If you want to go gluten-free the healthy whole-grain alternatives could be quinoa, amaranth, and wild rice.
IS DAIRY SMART?
After preschool years most people don’t have enough lactase to digest lactose and after that more than half of humans gradually lose some or much of their lactase and become dairy intolerant.
CAN DAIRY BE SMART?
Dairy can be smart, especially if you drink it right from the source – the goat or the cow. The mild you get is smart because of the fat it contains and even the bacteria that your gut likes. But then the mild gets pasteurized, which can mess up the healthy lactobacillus bacteria that your microbiome likes, and homogenized, which lessens the digestibility of the fat. Very few people can have their dairy right from the source!
If you want to eat and drink dairy go smart! Make sure your dairy is:
- From 100% grass-fed animals
- “whole” (versus nonfat)
- Plain (no added sugar or artificial sweeteners).
What to do if you can’t digest the milk?
Consider fermented milk like yogurt, kefir, and cheese. Fermenting lowers lactose, making dairy more digestible. Note as well that goat milk may be smarter for your brain. You also can find sheep-milk yogurt or cheese, which is 100% allergy-free, say nutritionists.
WHAT DO WE CALL WELLNESS?
Your brain is the smarter conductor of your hormones. When the brain and the endocrine system are communicating well, you enjoy hormonal harmony or what we call wellness!
HOW ARE YOUR GUT AND BRAIN CONNECTED?
They are connected by the largest nerve highway in your body, the vague nerve. Imagine your head brain and your gut-brain sending millions of biochemical text messages to each other through this nerve highway every day, monitoring each other’s smart, or sometimes dumb, activities. You might have heard “gut feelings”, “gut instinct”, and “deep inside I feel…”.
But the vague nerve has many branches that go to many other organs, such as the heart, lungs, kidneys, and so on. These branches explain why when your head and brain hurt, many of your other organs misbehave.
YOUR GUT IS CALLED YOUR SECOND BRAIN
I sometimes hear fix your gut to fix your brain! But often the quickest way is to change your brain with Neurofeedback sessions and our tailored programs!
I always see that with Neurofeedback sessions, when people have too much anxiety/stress, sleep poorly, have mood disorders, or still carry on hurts/PTSD to name a few, even if they eat the best food, their mental mood causes inflammation in their gut and body. In such cases, even if you eat great food, your gut is inflamed, and you cannot assimilate properly! Your head and gut are partners in mental health.
In a few words, if your head brain is happy, so is your gut brain. If your head brain hurts, your gut brain is likely to feel queasy.
Don’t suffer anymore! Come and book a complimentary session and see how we can help you.
Dr. Danielle, Marie-Laure, and their team. Happy end of the Summer!