How Enzymes Can Help with the Ketogenic Diet
Imagine a diet that allows you to eat bacon, eggs, butter, steak, and cheese to your heart’s content, and you still lose weight. Sounds like a cruel joke, right?
Actually, it’s not. The ketogenic diet, or "keto", is designed to provide 75% of your calories from fats, 20% from protein, and only 5% from carbohydrates. It is designed to put the body into a state of ketosis.
Ketosis occurs when the body begins forming ketones in the liver from fat stores. These ketones are then used as an energy source.
It is important that carbohydrates and starches be limited, so this means breads, fruits, grain-based foods such as pasta, and starchy vegetables are severely restricted. This results in low blood sugar and insulin which also forces the body to use stored fat as an energy source.
The keto diet sounds like a meat-lover’s dream, but many find it difficult to sustain for more than 14 days.
Remember, you are strictly limiting the foods you eat, so it can get boring eating bacon and fish every day. Also, the decrease in grains and veggies slows the movement of food through the gut which makes you feel less hungry.
It may also make you more constipated since less fiber is present in the food mass. Ketogenic dieters are encouraged to greatly increase their water intake to help with bowel movements.
What about using enzymes while on the keto diet?
There can be some downsides to the diet, and not just because you can’t have beer and wine. A diet high in fat can slow down stomach emptying. This reduces your appetite, but can also increase the chance for heartburn or reflux.
As long as food remains in the stomach, acid will be produced by the cells in the stomach lining. The quickest way to reduce heartburn is to move the food out of the stomach.
Fat is the main food of the ketogenic diet, so stomach emptying will be much quicker if the fat is broken down. This can be accomplished by taking an enzyme product containing large amounts of lipase.
Lipase is the only enzyme that can break down triglyceride fats into more healthy short-chain fatty acids.
Take at least 1000 FIP units of fungal-derived lipase with each meal. Higher doses can be taken with no ill effects.
It is important that the lipase is sourced from fungal organisms such as Aspergillus niger. The enzymes from fungal organisms are acid-stable. This means the enzymes will be active in the acidic conditions of the stomach.
Pancreatic lipase derived from animal pancreas is not acid-stable and will only work in the intestinal tract. So, to get the foods broken down quickly and out of the stomach, take a good amount of fungal-derived lipase enzyme, such as Lypazyme.
Additional enzymes for protein and carbohydrates will be helpful as well. It is perfectly fine to combine different enzymes to adjust to a particular meal’s composition.
The ketogenic diet can be an important part of a healthy lifestyle when used properly and with common sense.
Don’t attempt the diet if you are diabetic or have problems with high blood pressure. Your doctor can make specific recommendations based on your own medical history.
Enzymes can be helpful additions to any diet plan. Base your enzyme usage on the types of foods you eat or on specific food intolerances you may encounter.