Keto for Women vs Men | What You Should Know

Keto for Women vs Men | What You Should Know

Keto for Women vs Men | What You Should Know

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the ketogenic diet is a little bit different for a female than it is for a male see there’s some things that we need to be paying attention to and some specific things that we can do to make the experience just as good if not even better for women as it is for men see females have a lot more complexity when it comes down to the endocrine system there’s just a lot of different moving pieces and when you add a change to the diet into the mix there is just a lot more things that can potentially go haywire a lot of hormones that can fluctuate a lot more complex than say with the male so in that note we have to be paying attention to how we transition into the ketogenic diet and I’m going to explain all that towards the end of this video but I want to lead all this off with why the ketogenic diet actually works well for women now the fact of the matter is there’s not a ton of research out there with women in the ketogenic diet specifically there’s a lot of research out there with men and women and a lot of research out there with just men but as the ketogenic diet gets more popular we’re starting to uncover more and more research specifically regarding women and keto but because there’s not a whole lot of evidence I want to show you some of the comments that have come up in a recent video specifically talking about keto and thyroid where a lot of women have commented their success at the ketogenic diet so let’s take a look at a couple of these before I dive into the actual science [Music] so you’re tuned into the Internet’s leading performance nutrition and fat loss channel new videos every single Tuesday Friday and Sunday at 7 a.m. Pacific time bunch of other videos throughout the week as well so make sure you hit that little Bell button so you can turn on notifications and know whenever I post a new video so let’s go ahead and get right into things so the first most critical thing we need to look at is the balancing of hormones okay whether you are male or female this is important but obviously with a lot more complexity to the endocrine system it’s more important that we pay attention the inner consistent with women so let’s go ahead and leave this office study that was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition this study was a meta-analysis took a look at eighteen thousand five hundred and fifty five women and what they found was that carbohydrates and the quality of carbohydrates were one of the biggest factors when it came down to predicting infertility they found that lower quality carbohydrates in a high amount of carbohydrates ended up increasing the risk of infertility by 78% why do I even bring this up what does infertility have to do with this well the fact is that most causes of infertility are surrounding the world of hormones now it’s not to say that all of them are but the fact is is that infertility is usually linked with an imbalance of hormones of some kind so when we actually make the link that high carbohydrate consumption or even low quality carbohydrate consumption actually leads to infertility we can kind of connect the dots here with how the ketogenic diet might help stabilize some of this well let’s take a look at another study and this study actually looks at PCOS okay well this is I want you hear me out on this though because just because a study takes a look at women that have polycystic ovarian syndrome doesn’t mean that the actual results or the findings don’t apply so this study was published in the journal nutrition of metabolism took a look at 11 women with PCOS okay so what it is they have these women go on a very low carb ketogenic diet for six months so for six months they consume the less than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day well what they found at the end of the study was that there was a 12% reduction in body weight amongst those that completed the study so that alone is really cool okay then they had a big reduction 22% reduction in total testosterone okay obviously women don’t want to have a high amount of testosterone they don’t those androgens so a lower-level testosterone was really really important they had a big improvement in their LH and their FSH so this was really really important to that luteinizing hormone and follicle stimulating hormone that ratio is really really important when it comes down to overall hormonal stability it’s a cascade if those hormones are off everything else cascades well here’s what’s really important they had a 54 percent reduction in fasting insulin levels so they were able to find by looking at this study that the fasting insulin levels coming down was ultimately the root of the success with every other thing the weight loss the hormone balancing etc so they’ve determined now that hyperinsulinemia the high levels of insulin that normally occur especially in the Western world are usually the cause of PCOS and the cause of all kinds of early menopause and the cause of a lot of these other hormonal issues that are very very important in honestly plaguing our society and making a lot of women’s lives very uncomfortable so when we can start controlling the amount of carbs that come in and hopefully go on to a ketogenic style lifestyle then we can control this a little bit more but let’s take a look at menopause for one second and even if you are not someone that’s going through menopause this will help make some sense of everything okay so when someone goes through menopause their hormones of course are shuffling there’s less ovulation so as that starts to happen you have less progesterone less estrogen and this throws things off so when that happens you end up having increases in other hormones for example you end up having higher levels of insulin but you also have higher levels of gralen so for women that are going through menopause they usually find themselves very very hungry and because the insulin levels end up higher it ends up being a lot easier for them to gain weight so if you’re someone that’s going through menopause or has gone through it you know that it’s a lot easier to gain weight now obviously I’m not a woman so I can’t speak from my own experience but I do educate and work with a lot of women that have gone through this and they experienced just that the weight gain the hunger the brain fog the cool thing is the ketogenic diet directly suppresses gralen so it suppresses the hormones that would make you hungry during menopause a huge huge thing now additionally when you’re going through menopause you have that hyper insulin yeah the higher blood glucose the higher blood sugar which triggers a lot of brain inflammation it’s the exact reason why a lot of women complain about getting foggy while they’re having hormonal shifts whether they’re going through their menstrual cycle or they’re going through menopause when hormones are shifting it’s easy to have hyperinsulinemia have high levels of insulin that are making you foggy the ketogenic diet suppresses those inflammatory signals so that brain fog doesn’t happen as much high levels of insulin end up triggering inflammation so if we can reduce that then we can reduce the inflammation and you’re gonna feel better all in all now we have to get into the big one the thyroid okay so if you remember the comments from the early part of this video there’s a lot of women that talk about how their thyroid levels actually improved on a ketogenic diet now unfortunately when we start looking at the science a lot of the studies that relate the ketogenic diet with the thyroid are done on men so in this particular study I am going to reference it is talking about men but it does at least give us a brief synopsis of what’s occurring within the body and gives us some explanation as to why you might see a little bit of a decrease in your t3 thyroid levels whether you’re male or female so let’s drop into this study this study was published in the journal metabolism clinical and experimental okay it took a look at 12 male subjects okay these 12 mill subjects went on a low-carb diet ketogenic diet for six weeks and then they had control subjects eight of them that did their regular control carbohydrate diet but at the end of the study the men that were on the ketogenic diet ended up losing three point four kilograms of fat it’s okay so they lost a lot of fat but they also found their insulin levels decreased significantly but more importantly they found that their t4 levels so this is the thyroid hormone that is precursor to the actual active t3 they found that their t4 levels increased and their t3 levels didn’t even really change so these men didn’t see a decline in their thyroid if anything they saw a slight increase in their overall thyroid activity since their t4 levels went up so this is really really powerful to know now of course we’re not comparing apples to apples here because this is men but what this study did help us uncover is that carbohydrate metabolism played a big role in the t3 level you see when we’re consuming carbohydrates we have to allocate a specific amount of thyroid hormone just to the metabolism of glucose so you take glucose out of the equation or you take sugar out of the equation or carbohydrate consumption out of the equation your thyroid levels are naturally going to drop a little bit because you don’t need that little bit required to break that down anymore because you’re not eating it so it’s perfect now what women need to be concerned with is eating specific cruciferous vegetables a whole lot okay that can have effect on the thyroid so we do want to control the broccoli we do want to control the cauliflower a little bit so I usually recommend that women only do about one serving of broccoli or any cruciferous vegetable throughout the course of their Kido day and lean more on the fibrous vegetables like the artichoke and the asparagus and things like that this is gonna make your life a little bit easier and reduce any risk of consuming a goiters vegetable that could affect your thyroid now the cool thing is there’s a lot of things you can do to boost your thyroid whether you’re keto or not and those of you that know my channel know that I’m a big fan and utilize the thrive market now I’ve been able to create my own thyroid specific thrive box okay what that means is it’s all ketogenic foods that are there to support the thyroid and I created this box as I wanted to help out women that we’re doing the ketogenic diet okay it’s got foods are going to be high in iodine it’s got foods that can help support a healthy ketogenic diet but also give you the selenium and the trace minerals that you need to support your thyroid so down in the description there is a link and you can check them out you can go to thrive market and you can literally get groceries delivered to your door cheaper than what you would even get at a discount grocery store and you don’t even have to drive to the store so they’re a huge sponsor of this channel we were able to coordinate the creation of this box specifically for thyroid videos and for this keto from women video so check it out as soon as you’re done watching this video but there’s a little bit more I want to talk about I want to specifically talk about how you could do the ketogenic diet a little bit differently okay for women it’s very important that you don’t jump right into the keto diet I usually recommend that women take two to three weeks to taper into the keto diet reduce the carbs slowly because what happens is it’s the massive drop in blood sugar and the change in insulin function that can cause your hormones to shift a little bit this might make you feel a bit wonky and actually exacerbate some of the negative issues so you’re gonna want to ease into it so you’re gonna want to slowly increase your fats while simultaneously decreasing your carbohydrates over the course about two to three weeks whereas with men I might say jump right in get yourself into that ketogenic date honestly it’s gonna take you a few days to get into ketosis anyway so this kind of eases the pain a little bit but I will say women are generally going to have a slightly tougher time transitioning into keto because you can’t go black and white and it’s that gray area that makes a little bit tough so just hang in there it’s going to be one or two weeks I’m not feeling amazing but once you do get into keto you are gonna have probably better results than even men you just have to get through that tough part so that’s the most important thing the other thing is to eat foods that help stimulate ampk so AMPK is what your body creates or utilizes when your body’s having to tap into its own energy stores AMPK helps improve the mitochondrial efficiency it metabolizing fats which means when you do go into keto you’re gonna be able to shift into that process a lot easier so you’re gonna want to consume a lot of omega threes as much as you possibly can but also a lot of Omega seven okay it’s like palmitoleic acid so you’re gonna having that in macadamia nuts and things like that you can do a quick google search for high Omega seven foods and you’re gonna find a whole list a whole plethora of them so Omega threes high fat fish things like that those Omega sevens this will make a huge difference when it comes down to your mitochondrial support lastly do whatever you can to refrain from fasting until you are actually in keto I know a lot of women that will utilize fasting to get them into ketosis the fact is that is pretty dramatic on your body I recommend women implement fasting once they’ve gotten themselves keto adapted makes a big big difference to have your body a little bit more conditioned to utilizing fats as a fuel source before just depriving yourself of calories that shock to your body can send your hormones completely awry and cause you to produce a lot more androgens it can actually cause a lot of moodiness but also cause a lot of brain fog so very very important and of course last but not least you can get your hands on that thrive box that I talked about that’s gonna give you all the goodies that you need to support your body but also support your thyroid and make your ketogenic lifestyle a heck of a lot easier a heck of a lot cheaper than it normally would be to so thank you again for watching make sure you keep in a locket here on my channel and as always I’ll see you in the next video

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Keto for Women vs Men | What You Should Know – Thomas DeLauer

Keto & Hormones – Study

Meta analyses and reviews have found that keto improves hormonal imbalances so you can start ovulating regularly, but may also boost your chances of becoming pregnant compared to the usual carb-heavy diet

In a prospective study of 18,555 women, published in the t researchers found that the quality of carbs in the diet impacted the risk of ovulatory infertility with a 78% greater risk for women with higher carbohydrate consumption

Study – Nutrition & Metabolism

11 overweight women with a clinical diagnosis of PCOS were recruited for the study – they were instructed to limit their carb intake to 20 grams or less per day for 6 months

In the 5 women who completed the study, there were significant reductions from baseline to 24 weeks in body weight (-12%), percent free testosterone (-22%), LH/FSH ratio (-36%), and fasting insulin (-54%)

*2 women actually became pregnant during the study despite previous infertility problems*

The study showed that a keto diet may lead to a reversal of these processes as the reduction in hyperinsulinemia due to keto would decrease stimulation of ovarian androgen production as well as increase SHBG levels, synergistically limiting the amounts of circulating free-androgens in the serum

In addition, the reduction in LH/FSH ratio may be a sign of endocrine re-normalization resulting from the keto intervention – due to an improvement in insulin sensitivity

How this Applies to PCOS & Menopause


Women with PCOS tend to have higher levels of insulin and elevated levels of insulin cause the ovaries to produce more androgens
Insulin also decreases the production of SHBG

Two other hormones involved are Luteinizing Hormone (LH) and Follicle-Stimulating Hormone (FSH) – these hormones regulate estrogen, progesterone and testosterone

FSH stimulates the production of estrogen and causes the release of eggs from a woman’s ovaries during her reproductive years – a surge in LH causes the ovaries to release an egg during ovulation

Progesterone is produced by the follicles that house the egg – as a woman ages and enters perimenopause, her ovaries contain fewer eggs and produce less estrogen and progesterone and her FSH levels increase

Changes in these hormone levels in turn affect other hormones such as insulin and ghrelin

Keto & Thyroid

Study – Metabolism: Clinical and Experimental (Volek)

Looked at the effects of a 6-week keto diet on total and regional body composition and the relationships with fasting hormone concentrations

12 healthy normal-weight men switched from their habitual diet (48% carbs) to a carbohydrate-restricted diet (8% carbs, 61% fat, 30% protein, with 25% calories coming from SFA, 25% from MUFA, and 11% from PUFA)

8 men served as controls, consuming their normal diet

Fat mass was significantly decreased (-3.4 kg) and lean body mass significantly increased (+1.1 kg) at week 6. There was a significant decrease in serum insulin (-34%), and an increase in total thyroxine (T(4)) (+11%) and the free T(4) index (+13%) – T3 was not directly measured, but there was no significant change

The high-fat group had normal T4 and lost significant body fat, which is very hard to do if you’re hypothyroid

Low T3 levels are actually associated with a longer lifespan in research, and a predisposition to low thyroid hormone levels appear to be inherited in long-lived families

A study published in JAMA looked at the association of thyroid function and life expectancy – the mean age of the 7785 participants was 64.7 (9.8) years

They found that in the at the age of 50 years, participants with low-normal thyroid function live up to 3.5 years longer overall and up to 3.1 years longer without cardiovascular disease (CVD) than participants with high-normal thyroid function

Note: Keto & Pregnancy

Pregnancy necessitates a switch to carbs for the sake of the growing fetus because glucose literally fuels the development of fetal organs and body systems

But ketosis happens naturally quite often in women who are pregnant, especially in the late stage pregnancies – the fetus uses ketones before and immediately after birth to make essential fats in the brain during growth

Hypothesized that fetuses might even make their own ketones, but carbs are also required to produce enough caloric value for milk to be made (more a concern if the mother isn’t consuming enough calories, as the first area to suffer will be her milk supply)


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