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High fat low carb ketogenic Paleo Wahls diet battles disease and obesity

Learn about the Wahls Protocol.
Learn about the Wahls Protocol.
Penguin Group

In recent years, variations on low carb diets, including the Paleo plan and high fat ketogenic weight loss approach, have been used for purposes ranging from treating epilepsy to battling cancer. Now physician Terry Wahls is unveiling her discovery that Paleo-style diets, including ketogenic high fat approaches, can be used to reverse autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) as well as obesity. In an exclusive interview on March 25, Wahls revealed to us the results of her ongoing research in this area.

Because Wahls successfully conquered her own progressive MS while conducting multiple studies on the benefits of ketogenic diets and variations of the Paleo plan, she decided to write a book to help others: "The Wahls Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine" (click for details).

"There is considerable research showing that ketosis increases the nerve growth factors that are important to repairing damaged brain cells. Studies are underway of ketogenic diets for seizures, Parkinson's, ALS, and MS. There is also considerable research showing that ketosis starves cancers cells, particularly the brain cancers," Wahls told us.

But she notes that a challenge exists in crafting a high fat ketogenic Paleo diet that provides dieters with the right amounts of different nutrients.

"The challenge with designing ketogenic (fat burning) diets is to create a diet that is ketogenic but still provides the minerals, vitamins, essential fats and antioxidants that our cells need to thrive," she explained.

"Most centers that have created ketogenic diets have diets that require extensive supplementation to provide the necessary vitamins, minerals and essential fats. They do not provide the antioxidants that are helpful."

However, she discovered that even without ketosis, sufferers of various diseases as well as those struggling with their weight could benefit from the low carb Paleo diet. As a result, Wahls developed different levels of Paleo diets, including a high fat ketogenic version, to conquer conditions ranging from autoimmune diseases to allergies. Among them: Obesity, which is significant for the millions who struggle with their desire to win at weight loss.

Among the high points of this book: Terry's honest recount of her own journey from active health to a wheelchair - and back again. You'll discover the different types of low carb diets and how to use them. You'll find out what a ketogenic diet can accomplish for weight loss and disease - and why fat is not the enemy.

Although ketogenic diets have existed in various forms for decades, more researchers are using it to see if it can reverse conditions ranging from cancer to, as in Terry's case, MS. In addition, Terry feels that the benefits of ketosis for weight loss deserves more exploration. But there is a challenge, she admits.

The challenge with designing ketogenic (fat burning) diets is to create a diet that is ketogenic but still provides the minerals, vitamins, essential fats and antioxidants that our cells need to thrive. Most centers that have created ketogenic diets have diets that require extensive supplementation to provide the necessary vitamins, minerals and essential fats. They do not provide the antioxidants that are helpful.

However, because "the Wahls Paleo Plus diet uses medium chain triglycerides to achieve ketosis, we are able to allow for more carbohydrates in the forms of non starchy vegetables and limited amounts of berries. This means we have a diet that is ketogenic and still exceed the RDA for vitamins and mineral 1.5 to 6 Xs."

As a result, noted Terry, "the diet is still very rich in antioxidants which is associated with lower risk of chronic disease (thousands of studies). This is huge as any diet that fails to provide all the key vitamins, minerals, antioxands, fats will lead to chronic disease as the nutrient deficiencies lead to broken/ incorrect molecules being made when the nutrient deficiencies occur."

You can get more information about "The Wahls Protocol: How I Beat Progressive MS Using Paleo Principles and Functional Medicine" by clicking here.