We recommend a high-protein ketogenic diet for developing lean muscle mass, reaching and maintaining your ideal body composition, and to support optimal health.
Hunter-Gatherers (HG) around the world tend to consume a higher protein diet (average of 30% of calories from protein) versus an average of 13-15% of calories as protein among Americans, Europeans, and other urban populations world wide. Many human populations that maintain a high-protein ketogenic diet experience greater freedom from obesity and many other 'modern' diseases.
Several HG tribes conduct rituals to honor the animal foods they hunted, as they were considered sacred foods, known to provide strength, endurance, and strong immune systems, critical for survival. Plant foods were supplemental and seasonal.
No other animal nor primitive human was ever concerned about eating for their blood type, body type, or whether they were better adapted to eating this or that type of food group. They ate what was available, when available.
For Europeans, and others from cold climates, animal foods were the primary staple.
Our high-protein ketogenic diet, or Keto-Hypercarnivore Diet approach is adaptable to suit individual needs. We recommend getting 70% of your caloric/energy needs from animal proteins and fats.
Our high-protein ketogenic, or Keto-Hypercarnivore dietary approach differs from those following The Carnivore Diet in that we allow people to discover through experimentation which ~ if any ~ plant foods can be included and well tolerated in one's diet. Most who follow The Carnivore Diet avoid all plant foods.
We also differ from most people who are following a ketogenic diet because we advocate a high-protein ketogenic diet, whereas the basic formula most follow is a low-carb, moderate-protein, and high-fat approach. A 70%+ fat diet is said to be best for helping maintain a state of ketosis, where the body will burn fat (ketones) rather than glucose (sugars) for fuel.
The belief is that protein-rich foods will also cause a spike in insulin, similar to carbohydrate-rich foods, however, this has not been proven. Lesser known research has shown that high-protein in the absence of carbohydrates does not spike insulin at the same rates as it will in the presence of moderate to high quantities of carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates require insulin to be released from the pancreas in order to get free flowing blood sugar out of the blood and into the muscles. When consuming carbohydrates all day long, the body will be continually needing to pump out insulin, which is a fat storing hormone.
The bulk of Americans are actually eating a moderate to high carbohydrate, moderate fat and low-protein diet. Carb-heavy diets require a continual feeding of carbohydrate foods in order to obtain glucose for fueling ATP, an energy source.
The body can convert protein into the small amount of glucose required by the brain through a process called gluconeogenesis. Ketones, are produced in the absence of glucose to be used as an alternative, and more efficient source of fuel, or energy.
A high-protein ketogenic diet can help you reduce fasting glucose and insulin levels, which will help reduce your risk for many common diseases.
When consuming a high-protein ketogenic diet, you will be consuming foods that provide a high level of satiety, with just enough fat that will make it easier for your body to begin to burn its own fat stores for fuel, which is the ideal.
If you continually consume more calories than you burn, and especially if you consume more fat than you will burn in the presence of an excess fed-state, your body will not have a chance to burn its own fat stores for energy, which is preferred for realizing your ideal body composition. This is why a high-protein ketogenic diet is often the best choice, especially if experiencing a stall with weight loss.
(Be sure to watch my two videos at the end of this article for more weight loss tips)
As Don wrote in The Hypercarnivore Diet, it is not necessary to chase a nebulous state of ketosis if consuming the right foods. A high-protein ketogenic diet ~ possibly including the use of exogenous ketones ~ can help you reach your health goals, and feel your best.
We encourage learning to trust your true nature when determining the specifics of our keto-hypercarnivore, or high-protein ketogenic diet approach.
It can take time to experiment to discover exactly which foods best help you thrive, yet there is no getting around the process of learning through direct experience.
During the 1930s, Weston A. Price, DDS, traveled to live among several remote populations to observe their dental health. He and his wife obtained detailed records and compared dental health, physical health, strength, stature, and immunity from disease of those that continued to consume their native diet, and those of similar ancestry who began to consume so-called modern foods. Although the precise foods varied from tribe to tribe, clear patterns emerged.
The primary staples foods considered most sacred were all of animal origin. The specific types of animal foods consumed varied depending on what was native to their region.
Consumption of native foods helped local populations maintain good health, strength, healthy dental carries, and immunity from diseases, while 'modern' industrialized, processed foods led to a deterioration of dental health, physical decline, greater rates of infertility, and less immunity from polio and other diseases.
The physiology of each animal species, including humans ~ gut size and shape, stomach acid content, teeth, and much more ~ determine the types of foods that each species specializes in eating, that is, what each species is designed to eat for optimal health.
Herbivores will eat small animals when given the opportunity, and carnivores will eat vegetation ~ grasses, berries, and more.
In the video below, Don shows the gut structure and size, stomach acid content, and other variables of herbivores compared to carnivores, including our primate 'cousins'.
As you will see, pretty much all animals including humans will opportunistically consume both plants and other animals.
What is important to understand is what our physiology is designed to preferentially specialize in for the most optimal physical health and development.
Protein and fat is required by our body as sources of essential amino acids and fatty acids. There is no actual requirement for dietary carbohydrates. The body can convert the small amount of glucose required by the brain from protein and fat in a process called gluconeogenesis.
Fats, and especially cholesterol are primary components essential for healthy brain functioning, healthy nerves, fertility and reproduction, and many other important functions.
You don't have to eat foods from every food group, or all the colors of the rainbow to get a 'balanced diet' ~ you can enjoy our high-protein ketogenic diet as simply, or elaborately as you desire ~ plants optional!
Balance is more about finding a sustainable approach that leaves you feeling satisfied, and helps you achieve your health goals.
The most nutrient-dense foods are animal foods of all varieties ~ especially organ meats, and eggs.
Primitive and tribal cultures ate 'the head to the toe' ~ or all parts of the animals, including the highly prized bone marrow.
Organ meats were most revered (above the muscle flesh) as they contain high amounts of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C found in adrenal glands.(1), (2)
Before you can really trust your mind to help you determine the healthiest low-carb, high-protein ketogenic diet plan for you, you may have to unlearn some nutritional myths we have been indoctrinated into accepting as health gospel.
In summary, our Keto-Hypercarnivore, or high-protein ketogenic diet is not a one-size-fits-all approach. What works for each person will vary, contingent upon one's condition, the season, geographic location, personal preferences, health history, and ancestry.
The basic rule of thumb is to fill up on whatever types of animal protein foods you most crave ~ leaner, fattier, beef, poultry, fish, whatever ~ then fill in with enough fats to feel satisfied. Add in plant foods as desired and well tolerated.
Always do your best, without guilt. It's a process; the first step is to improve your health ~ eating you are most drawn to that you can easily afford.
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