According to the CDC, 70.7% of Americans are overweight or obese. 100 million Americans, about 1 in 3, have diabetes or pre diabetes. Even if you are in great shape, there is a near-100% chance that someone you know and love is affected by one or both of those conditions.
These numbers are staggering, especially when you consider that the cut-off between prediabetes and diabetes for Type 2 is somewhat arbitrary- and significantly more permissive in the United States. It seems like an understatement to say that something is amiss with our relationship to carbohydrates and insulin.
It is not possible to gain weight unless insulin goes above a certain blood level in the presence of excess calories, and insulin goes up fastest and highest when you eat carbohydrates.
The obesity epidemic has many complex causes, including ever-higher caloric intake and lower activity levels, but insulin is at the heart of it: without insulin to open the fat cell to capture those excess calories (from any source), the body cannot convert them into stored fat. And the rising incidence of obesity and diabetes has tracked closely with the increasing percentage of carbohydrates in the American diet.
The cyclical popularity of low-carb and ketogenic diets is a testament to the effectiveness of lowering carbohydrates in order to lose weight, but the mainstream medical community has often been skeptical.
Some dieticians dismiss the ketogenic diet as a fad, which seems like a funny way to characterize an ancient metabolic pathway. Ketogenesis is an adaptation that helps us stay alive in the absence of food- a way to tap into stored reserves of body fat for energy.
Before agriculture made it possible to store millions of calories of grain in one location, humans had to rely on whatever they could hunt, forage, or preserve without refrigeration. This could lead to days, or even weeks, of involuntary fasting if unlucky circumstances prevailed.
If you are reading this, you are alive because your ancestors survived famine long enough to reproduce- and they did it by having a backup system in uncertain times. The ketogenic metabolic pathway is much more than an easy way to lose weight. Understanding and utilizing this fasting or fasting-mimicking state can unlock health benefits that are currently dormant if you flood your body with glucose 3-6 times a day. Our goal is to educate people about how to do that, and to do our small part in bringing down the numbers at the beginning of this post.