T Nation

Protein questions

Just a few questions, if protein converts to glucose w/ 58% efficiency, and slighly raises insulin levels, how does it also stimulate the release of glucagon. Lyle’s Ketogenic Diet book didn’t get into details on this. The Insulin/Glucagon ratio says when 1 is high, the other is low and vice versa. If protein is supposed to stimulate glucagon, how can it raise insulin levels as well? Is there a limit to how much protein must be ingested for a rise in insulin, if show where are the studies showing this? Also, everyone talks about ketogenic diets being synonymous with high fat diets. Technically, a ketogenic diet is a diet under 100g carbs a day. The only other way ketosis could be disrupted (besides sweeteners) is an extremely high protein intake. But even Lyle said that fat is totally unneccesarry for any adaptions to ketosis, so its really just a matter of low glucose (fructose, etc as well) intake that establishes ketosis, either from fasting, a high fat, low carb diet or a high protein, low carb, low fat diet. I for one cannot lose anything with high fat so I’m forced into a low fat, low carb diet. This will allow all nutritional requirements to be met and rather than a lot of fat being burned from my diet as well as some from bodyfat, most fat energy will come strait from bodyfat stores, as well as the appropriate EFA’s are being ingested. in terms of metabolic rate slowing down, I can’t lose fat well even w/ a moderate calorie restriction, so why not try something a little more extreme. Kinda like a fat fast, but w/ mainly lean proteins and a small quantity of EFA’s. Any answers or comments to my questions and suggestions would be appreciated.

Just want to Bump this question. Just Curious…Dr.JB,JN,Mufasa?

Your technical definition of a ketogenic diet is incorrect - a diet with <100g of carbs a day is not ketogenic, only low carb and at that level will not induce ketosis. A ketogenic diet is a diet with carbs at <30g maximum a day and then it normally takes from 3-7 days to reach ketosis and cann’t consume more than 30g a day to stay in ketosis. 30g is a max amount of carbs and most have an easier time reaching and maintaining ketosis if limiting carbs closer to 20g. But you are correct on fat - I believe most who either fail or have poor results on keto diet are because consuming either a)to much carb or b)to much fat - as fat is very calorie dense and just because you’re in ketosis doesn’t mean you’ll lose weight unless you create a calorie deficit by increasing exercise (particulary cardio) AND reducing calories below maintenance. It’s just like any other weight loss diet - you must reduce calories below expenditure. Many eat too much fat on keto diet and then say keto diets don’t work. I’ve had good luck with both keto and low carb but only eat enough fat to maintain enough energy to function within the diet.

I agree with Heb. I’ve done keto diets in the past(Body Opus) and had great results but I had to keep the carbs down as close to zero as possible in order to get into ketosis,(the under 100 grm thing didn’t work), then I could lighten up a little. I also used mostly EFA’s like flax oil until I got into ketosis. I also found that I needed to keep the % of fat to at least 30-40% of my total daily caloric intake in order to get into ketosis. After that it doesn’t matter what type of fat you eat because it doesn’t get absorbed, it gets turned into ketones for energy. Also if my % of protien was to high it wouldn’t work, I couldn’t get into ketosis. But the most important thing like Heb stated is to watch your overall caloric level or you won’t drop fat. You won’t gain either because all of the excess fat is turned into ketones and what ever you don’t use for energy you piss out, but unless you watch your calories you won’t lose.

Heb is definately correct on the keto definition. Obviously on a ketogenic diet, you must severely restrict carbs, but you also need to keep fats and proteins under control. I don’t think that it is the conversion of certain amino acids or the glycerol (1 glycerol + 3 fatty acid acid chains = triglycerides) to glucose that is the main culprit for failure on keto diets. During a keto diet, energy levels drop (I’m talking about perceived energy levels or how you feel), training suffers and many avoid aerobic exercise. Basically many don’t create enough of an energy imbalance to succeed. But now on to the original question. EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT. Eating higher protein/lower fat on a keto diet may work well for some and horribly for others and vice versa. So pete69, you should give it a shot. If you don’t tolerate dietary fats well then get most of your calories from protein and get enough efa’s. Maybe, you just have an incredilbe ability to utilize glycerol as an energy source, but don’t break down proteins as well. This is just an educated guess, but it seems to make sense to me. Everyone needs to learn their individual differences by experimentation and efficient logging via a training, diet, and body composition journal.

In regards to keto dieting and techincal issues, as Lyle points out in his book, anything under 100g/day of carbs is techinically a keto diet becuase it has been established that the brain requires ~ that much a day (given normal non-ketogenic conditions)…so, yes, anything less than 100g/cho/day can be technically considered keto (from a scientific definition standpoint)…However, Lyle points out that it takes most likely under 30g/day to establish deep ketosis and this is the number i use when on keto (30 or under)…My keto fat: protein ratio is not the traditional 3:1 ratio they treat the little kiddies with, but I stay in consistent ketosis with approx 70-80g/fat day, under 30cho, and the rest protein…my deficit (energy balance) is around 1000-800 per day, so the energy deficit is there. That is a key point that I am glad everyone has brought up—if you do not CREATE an ENERGY DEFICIT, forget about losing fat. As such, for the people that don’t track their diet, it might be that they eat too MUCH fat, since it is so calorie dense, that they end up NOT creating a deficit.
Keto diets work, just like any other hypoenergy diet.
Cheers,
Vain