There’s also the challenge of believing foods that seem innocent based on claims like “all-natural” and “healthy” on their packaging (think: cereal, tomato sauce, and dips) don’t contain added sugar, when in reality, there’s a good chance they do if they come in a wrapper or a box. The fact of the matter is you won’t know what you’re putting into your body for sure unless you look at the label.
SOURCES: National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: "High Blood Cholesterol: What You Need to Know." National Cholesterol Education Program of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: "Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III)." Mayo Clinic: "Dietary fats: Know which types to choose." Antonio Gotto, MD, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, N.Y. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: "Introduction to the TLC Diet." WebMD.com: "Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet for high cholesterol." Reuters Health: "Moderate Exercise Can Improve Women's Cholesterol." Harvard HealthBeat: "What to Do About High Cholesterol." National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: "Cholesterol-Lowering Medications and You." American Heart Association: "Side Effects of Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs."
"If you go at dieting very vigorously your metabolism falls, so it means you lose less weight than the calories you cut," says Susan B. Roberts, Ph.D., senior scientist at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center at Tufts and founder of the online iDiet weight-loss program. "Slower dieting has a smaller effect. Once you have lost weight and stabilized, if you have been going at a moderate rate of one to two pounds per week, there does not seem to be a long-term impact. Your metabolism is lower because you are now a smaller person, but not disproportionately low."
Twenty seven patients had hepatic steatosis in association with chronic hepatitis C and 11 of these patients were included in an earlier report describing the initial response to a three month weight reduction programme.11 Data from these patients were included in this study to monitor longer term outcomes. All patients with chronic HCV were ineligible for, or non-responders to, current antiviral treatment. Sixteen patients with non-HCV obesity related steatosis were included. Ten of these 16 patients had a clinical and histological diagnosis of NAFLD. In another four non-HCV patients, steatosis was present in association with another non-steatogenic primary liver disease (inactive hepatitis B, n = 2; nitrofurantoin induced autoimmune chronic active hepatitis, n = 1; and primary biliary cirrhosis, n = 1). In the remaining two patients, one had been treated for pituitary Cushing’s disease and another had previously received tamoxifen therapy for breast cancer which had been ceased for six months. This patient cohort reflects the increasingly common finding of overweight and steatosis in association with another liver disease. When steatosis was present with hepatocyte ballooning, Mallory’s hyaline or subsinusoidal fibrosis in the acini, patients were subclassified as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).17
You can blame genetics for this. "Many factors have an impact on metabolism including age, sex, genetics, body composition and weight," says Allison Knott, M.S., R.D.N., a registered dietitian based in Brooklyn, New York. While genetics largely determine how many calories you burn doing various activities, you do have some control over your metabolic rate.

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Unfortunately, losing weight slows your metabolism, but you do have some control. Nix the crash diets, and work on changing habits over time. You will burn fewer calories as you lose weight and will likely be hungrier, but you can offset some of this by eating foods high in protein and fiber, replacing refined grains with whole grains, and doing cardio and strength training exercises daily.
High blood sugar levels coupled with high blood ketones, on the other hand, will mean that you have a pathologically low level of insulin – something non-diabetics do not suffer from. This can lead to ketoacidosis – a potentially life-threatening condition. If this happens, you’ll need to inject more insulin; if you’re at all unsure of what to do, contact a medical professional. Coveting really high blood ketones for weight control is not worth the risk for type 1 diabetics.
To lose fat, you need a calorie deficit, where you're consuming fewer calories than you're burning. A calorie deficit of 3,500 will lead to 1 pound of fat loss. Therefore, the amount of fat you can lose by cutting out sugar and starches depends on how much of them you're eating. If you're currently consuming 500 calories per day from starch and sugar, cutting them out would equal 3,500 calories fewer every week, which would lead to 1 pound of fat loss.
The outlook and outcome for a patient depends upon the underlying diagnosis. Interestingly, in patients with cirrhosis, there may be little correlation between the amount of damage found on liver biopsy and the ultimate outcome. A patient may never develop symptoms and have a normal life-span or may develop significant symptoms with seemingly minimal disease.
Meanwhile, the liver begins to burn fatty acids as an alternative energy source, resulting in the accumulation of extremely high levels of ketones in the blood.10 These ketone levels (> 20 mmol/L) can exceed normal fasting levels more than 200 to 300 times.1 Since ketones are mildly acidic, this deluge of ketones causes the blood to become excessively acidic (metabolic acidosis), increasing the risk of coma and death if not timely treated.
Eat a hot cereal for breakfast, such as oatmeal or grits, instead of cold cereal, which is likely to be high in sugar. If you need a sweet start to your day, add a piece of fruit to your breakfast but avoid fruit juice, which is too concentrated in sugar. Avoid instant or flavored hot cereals as they are often loaded with sugar. Instead use plain oatmeal, grits or cream of rice and add some fresh fruit.
Research from the chamber won’t alleviate these socioeconomic drivers of obesity. But a better understanding of human physiology and metabolism — with the help of the chamber — might level the playing field through the discovery of effective treatments. As Lex Kravitz, an NIH neuroscientist and obesity researcher, told me, “Even if a slow metabolism isn’t the reason people become obese, it may still be a place to intervene for weight loss.” The same goes for the other common illnesses — diabetes, cardiovascular disease — linked to extra weight.
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Dr. Davis: I started going wheat-free about 4 months ago. While I have occasionally binged (darn pizza) and for the first 1-2 months, didn’t realize the problem with gluten-free packaged foods, I am frustrated. I have gained about 15 lbs, my bad cholesterol is up as is my glucose. I have eliminated all bread products, pasta, grains, (except occasional small amounts of Quinoa and Brown rice), try to avoid wheat-containg products like spy sauce as much as possible, and cut back a lot on dairy products. Just had new bloodwork and my HDL is 66, non-hdl 154, total cholesterol is 220, total cholesterol/hdl is 3.3 (this is low risk) glucose is 91 (non-fasting).

It's also important that people with fatty liver disease avoid excessive alcohol and unnecessary use of medications, which can put stress on the liver. Carefully follow medication instructions and warnings. For instance, acetaminophen — a pain reliever found in many prescription and nonprescription drugs — can cause liver damage if more than the recommended amount is taken. The risk of liver injury primarily occurs when people exceed the current maximum dose of 4,000 mg within a 24-hour period.


Vitamin D is essential for preserving metabolism-revving muscle tissue. Unfortunately, researchers estimate that a measly 4% of Americans over age 50 take in enough through their diet. Get 90% of your recommended daily value (400 IU) in a 3.5-ounce serving of salmon. Other good sources: tuna, shrimp, tofu, fortified milk and cereal, and eggs. (Check out these 8 excellent sources of vitamin D.)


OK, got it: keep the sugar down for overall health. But what's the sugar threshold for weight loss? Turns out, there's not a one-size-fits-all number. "There isn't a specific value for how many grams of sugar you should eat for weight loss," Ysabel Montemayor, RD, lead dietitian at Fresh n' Lean, told POPSUGAR "Many foods contain sugar, such as breads, grains, beverages, sweets, dairy products, fruits, and even vegetables." She added that the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend, like the WHO, no more than 10 percent of calories come from added sugar. So for a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet, this would be around 50 grams of added sugar. Plus carbs, which contain sugar, should constitute 45-65 percent of your diet, according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (about 225-325 grams of total carbs).
Patients who have hypertension (high blood pressure), have high cholesterol, are overweight or obese, and have diabetes or insulin resistance are at greater risk to develop fatty liver disease. Physicians and scientists do not fully understand why the excess fat causes these liver changes. They do know that by losing weight, liver enzymes may normalize and liver inflammation may improve.
Urine testing is specific for the ketone acetoacetate. It does not detect beta-hydroxybutyric acid, which is measured via blood testing. To perform the test, pass the test end of a ketone strip through a stream of urine, or dip it into a fresh urine sample and remove it immediately. Wait exactly 15 seconds, and match the test end of the strip to the ketone color chart on the container.
N-acetyl cysteine (600 mg a day): N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) is a vitamin-like compound that is a good antioxidant on its own, but even more importantly, it prompts the body to make more glutathione, possibly the most important endogenous (made in the body) antioxidant in the human body. This is key to fighting oxidative stress as well as maintaining immune health. 
At t = 3 months there was a mean weight loss of 5.8 (3.4)% body weight and a mean decrease in waist circumference of 9.1 (5.4) cm. At t = 15 months, 21 (68%) patients (HCV, n = 11; non-HCV, n = 10) had maintained weight loss according to defined criteria18 with a total mean weight loss of 9.4 (4.0)% body weight and decrease in waist circumference of 13.0 (5.0) cm (fig 1A, B). Six patients normalised BMI at t = 15 months (HCV, n = 4; non-HCV, n = 2). Ten (32%) patients (HCV, n = 7; non-HCV, n = 3) had regained weight. In this latter group there was a mean increase in weight of 8.6 (5.3)% body weight and a mean increase in waist circumference of 5.4 (3.0) cm relative to the end of the three month intensive period (fig 1A, B). Weight at t = 15 months was no different from t = 0 in the weight regainers (p = 0.71) although waist circumference remained significantly lower than enrolment measurements (p = 0.002) (fig 1B). There was no difference in weight and waist change between HCV and non-HCV patients.
The average American consumes 22 to 28 teaspoons of added sugars per day, mostly from high-fructose corn syrup and table sugar, or sucrose, according to the University of California at Berkeley. This amounts to 350 to 440 extra calories daily. Many people consume significantly more than this, putting themselves at risk for type 2 diabetes and obesity-related conditions such as heart disease and high blood pressure. Eliminating excessive amounts of sugar from your diet can help you lose weight.
One of the key elements in weight management is to understand your metabolism. Metabolism is the body's way of getting the energy it needs from food. Things like starvation dieting and sitting for extended amounts of time drastically slow down your metabolism, while exercise, clean eating and a good night's sleep are considered metabolism boosters. Finding out your unique metabolic type is also a great place to start burning fat and controlling your weight.
Then there’s detoxification, for which the liver is ground zero. Detoxification is actually an elegant operation the liver performs in two stages – cleverly named stage 1 and stage 2 — and it’s accomplished by a symphony of complex liver enzymes known as the cytochrome P450 enzyme system. All of this is nutrient dependent – without the right amino acids and other nutrients, the system just doesn’t function. So if the liver isn’t working properly, or isn’t getting the right nutrients from the diet, detoxification will be compromised. That means toxins will have more of a chance to compromise cellular operations, and the metabolic machinery will slow to a crawl. And that also means fat burning and energy production are seriously compromised.
Measuring blood ketones is the most reliable method. There is a home blood test you can use, but the strips can be very expensive. An alternative is to measure ketones in the urine with a dipstick test, which is much more accessible and inexpensive. However, this method is much less reliable and as time goes on and the body adapts to ketosis, it becomes even less reliable.
But the American Beverage Association issued this statement: "This study confirms that it's calories that count when it comes to weight loss, not uniquely calories from sugar. As the authors noted, when calories from sugar were replaced with calories from carbohydrates, there was no change in weight. This would not have been the case if sugars had a unique effect on body weight."
I have been on your recommended diet for approximately 4 months. I started Wheat Belly Diet after my father (who jogs 6 km every day) suffered a heart attack at age 66 years. He is the last person I thought would have a heart attack, (being so fit and active and all). Anyhow after an immediate triple bypass he is back on track and has recently started to jog again. (We still have no idea why this had happened to him, after all he eats fairly well and his cholesterol results are within normal range).

The rest of this article is devoted to strategies that speed up the process of unclogging your liver and improving your metabolism. These strategies are especially relevant to someone who isn't making progress, even when implementing solutions given in earlier articles. These strategies can be employed by anyone to help speed up the process. The basic solutions I gave in previous Leptin Diet Weight Loss Challenge articles, along with consistent exercise, provide the foundation for getting your liver to work better. If you are engaging the weight loss process while employing them, then your liver is improving.


Well, if we look at the data for those participants in the low carb arms of these studies, we can start to get a little picture of what is happening. In one study that looked to compare a low carb diet vs a low fat diet in healthy women, they reported that those in the low carb diet reported a statistically significant greater weight loss (2). When we take a look at the weight loss and the corresponding beta-hydroxybutyrate levels (BHB; one of 3 ketone bodies) however, we see at 3 months the BHB level was at 1.10mmol/L but at 6 months it dropped to 0.5mmol/L. From baseline to the 6 months point though the participants continued to lose weight and fat mass even though the ketone level appeared to drop.
On the other hand, he says that resting metabolic rate tests can be helpful for a wide range of clients. "People have a hard time understanding their metabolism." He explains that providing some specific numbers can help to balance out the confusion and provide meaning. Additionally, research studies have also shown that calorie numbers provided by popular activity trackers may not be accurate.
The Framingham Heart studies of the early 1960s established that high blood cholesterol levels as well as high triglycerides are associated with heart disease. This association is much weaker than most people imagine, but results were slightly improved when LDL was considered separately from HDL. Since cholesterol is found at the site of atheromatous plaques, the blockages in the heart, it seemed intuitive that high blood levels plays a role in ‘clogging up the arteries’.
To determine the reason for the differences in blood d-βHB concentration, the KE and KS drinks were analyzed for enantiomeric purity. The KE contained >99% of the d-isoform, whereas ~50% of the KS βHB was the l-isoform (Figure ​(Figure1D).1D). Plasma samples from participants who consumed the high dose KS drink (n = 5) were analyzed to reveal higher l-βHB than d-βHB, the total βHB Cmax being 3.4 ± 0.2 mM (Figure ​(Figure1E),1E), with a total βHB AUC of 549 ± 19 mmol.min. After 4 h, plasma l-βHB remained elevated at 1.9 ± 0.2 mM; differences in urinary excretion of the two isoforms could not explain this observation as both d- and l-βHB were excreted in proportion to their blood AUCs (Figure ​(Figure1F).1F). Therefore, in order to determine the time required for l-βHB elimination, a follow-up experiment was undertaken in which subjects (n = 5) consumed 3.2 mmol.kg−1 of βHB as KE and KS with hourly blood and breath sample collection up to 4 h, plus additional samples at 8 h and 24 h post-drink. l-βHB was found to be 1.1 ± 0.1 mM at 4 h, and 0.7 ± 0.2 mM after 8 h, but undetectable after 24 h (Figure 1G). Low amounts of d-βHB (0.3 ± 0.1 mM) were present at 24 h, presumably due to endogenous production. Both ketone drinks significantly increased breath acetone concentration, but at a slower rate than blood d-βHB, reaching a peak after 3 h that was twice as high following the KE (87 ± 9 ppm) than the KS (44 ± 10 ppm), suggesting that d-βHB was readily converted to acetone, but l-βHB was not (p < 0.005, Figure ​Figure1H1H).
Eliminate soda from your diet. These sugary beverages keep your sweet tooth alive, and it is possible to consume much soda in a short amount of time. If you are a soda drinker, cutting out these beverages will make a big change in your sugar consumption. Good substitutions include flavored sparkling water or seltzer water with lemon or lime. A report in the August 2013 issue of "Obesity Reviews" states that reducing your intake of sugar-sweetened beverages will reduce your risk of obesity and obesity-related diseases, such as type 2 diabetes.
The word metabolism is used these days in so many ways these days.  People complain of a “slow metabolism” or they say something they did “slowed down their metabolism.”  Scientists use the term basal metabolic rate (BMR) – which sounds really complicated but it’s essentially the energy you need to blink and swallow.  Our bodies actually need energy just to be at rest.  In other words, your lungs need energy to be lungs; your kidneys need energy to be kidneys; even your bones need energy to be bones.  If you add all these live tissues up you get metabolism, or BMR. An easy way to picture metabolism is the energy you need to blink and swallow.  After that, as soon as you swing your legs out of bed, or walk up a flight of stairs, you need MORE energy than your BMR.
It’s easy to eat too much, especially when you eat out and the portions are huge. That can lead to weight gain and higher cholesterol. What’s a true portion? There’s a “handy” way to tell. One serving of meat or fish is about what fits in your palm. One serving of fresh fruit is about the size of your fist. And a snack of nuts or serving of cooked vegetables, rice, or pasta should fit in your cupped hand.

The rest of this article is devoted to strategies that speed up the process of unclogging your liver and improving your metabolism. These strategies are especially relevant to someone who isn't making progress, even when implementing solutions given in earlier articles. These strategies can be employed by anyone to help speed up the process. The basic solutions I gave in previous Leptin Diet Weight Loss Challenge articles, along with consistent exercise, provide the foundation for getting your liver to work better. If you are engaging the weight loss process while employing them, then your liver is improving.
Non-exercise adaptive thermogenesis (NEAT) is the next part of your metabolism, and it's basically made up of those extra things your body does that aren’t really exercise, but that still cost energy (think: fidgeting, shivering, and all the things you do to go about your day, like walking and standing). It accounts for about 20 percent of your metabolism, and it can vary from day to day depending on things like what you’re doing to what you're eating.
This content is strictly the opinion of Dr. Josh Axe and is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a personal physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Dr. Axe nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, should consult their physicians before beginning any nutrition, supplement or lifestyle program.
Your body needs a small amount of cholesterol. But many people have too much, especially the “bad” kind, or LDL cholesterol. That can happen if you eat too much saturated fat, found mainly in foods from animals. If your LDL level is too high, plaque can build up in your heart's arteries and lead to heart disease. The “good” cholesterol, HDL, helps clear LDL from your blood.
At Johns Hopkins, we use an approach to lower cholesterol that includes making small changes to your diet and exercise habits. Instead of changing your total intake of calories, we make suggestions about changes you can make to the types of foods you eat that will contribute to healthier cholesterol levels. However, if you do have extra body fat, studies suggest that weight loss helps reduce your LDL and triglycerides, while increasing your HDL. Exercise can also contribute to increasing your HDL levels, as well as eating more omega-3s, a good kind of fat.
High cholesterol is considered a treatable risk factor for cardiovascular disease such as heart attacks and strokes. There are many nuances to cholesterol which I do not want to get into, but traditionally, the main division has been between Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) or ‘bad’ cholesterol, and High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) or ‘good’ cholesterol. Total cholesterol gives us little useful information.
You hear stories of people cutting out sugar (or some other “bad” thing), and their skin glows or their hair becomes silky. This did not happen to me. In fact, I broke out in chin acne. To be fair, I’ve been struggling with acne on and off for a while, so my dietary change may not actually have been the cause, but it happened within a week of cutting out most sugar so I’m noting it here.
RESULTS—Consumption of the low-fat diet produced significant reductions (P < 0.01) in BMI, abdominal fat compartments, and homeostasis model assessment score compared with weight maintenance. These were associated with a significant increase in adiponectin and a fall in plasma RBP-4, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and LDL apoB-100 concentration (P < 0.05). Weight loss significantly increased the catabolism of LDL apoB-100 (+27%, P < 0.05) but did not affect production; it also decreased both the catabolic (−13%) and production (−13%) rates of HDL apoA-I (P < 0.05), thereby not altering plasma HDL apoA-I or HDL cholesterol concentrations. VLDL apoB-100 production fell significantly with weight loss (P < 0.05). The increase in LDL catabolism was inversely correlated with the fall in RBP-4 (r = −0.54, P < 0.05) and the decrease in HDL catabolism with the rise in adiponectin (r = −0.56, P < 0.01).

When you lose weight, your body gives off substances known as ketones. These ketones can be secreted in the urine and serve as an indicator you are losing weight -- in addition to the decreasing numbers on the scale. However, ketones' presence also can indicate a more harmful condition. Knowing how to tell the difference can help you experience healthy weight-loss results.


Personally, I've used Exogenous Ketones to help me through Keto Flu, and to increase my energy levels when doing weight lifting.  As the weights got heavier, I was struggling with shaking while lifting, even though my muscles weren't fatigued.  I started taking drinkable Ketones on heavy lifting days, and the shaking went away and my energy levels increased.
Those inside and outside the medical profession often believe excess ketones due to weight loss or a low-carbohydrate diet can cause a condition known as ketoacidosis or acidosis, according to Diabetes Health. This condition results when the body produces excess amounts of glucose, which sets off a chain reaction that can be life-threatening. However, low-carbohydrate diets themselves will not result in ketoacidosis. However, if a person has complicating factors, such as diabetes, this can increase the risk for developing ketoacidosis.
And you don’t need a history of weight problems to experience these feelings of inadequacy. Celebrities and big businesses — like Goop and Dr. Oz and many of the supplement, wellness, and exercise companies out there — have minted billions off stoking our anxieties about our physical shortcomings. If we only tried a new exercise, bought a new gizmo, or ate a certain way, they suggest, we’d be slimmer, glowier, healthier.
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