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Unread 06-16-2009, 03:22 PM
Thansen Thansen is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 166
Default Protein Confusion?

Lyle or anyone,
I am reading the keto book right now and these numbers I am analyzing do not seem to add up, but I am sure it is probably my misinterpretation. 58% of all dietary protein consumed during ketosis will be converted to glucose. Does this mean that we use this much glucose on top of the carbohydrates being converted to glucose and eliminate that much more fat loss?

Mathematically, if someone were consuming 60 grams of carbohydrates and 180 grams of protein then there brain would be getting adequate energy from glucose (100 grams) plus the leftover carbs and protein to supply the rest of the tissues with energy. Specifically, 104 grams would be converted to glucose from the protein (58%), so there would be 64 grams of glucose left and no ketosis and loss of muscle tissue because they are below daily requirements with the conversion of protein to glucose?

"The consumption of carbohydrate will decrease dietary protein requirements since less glucose will need to be made from protein breakdown. For example, if a person was consuming 125 grams of protein per day, this would produce 72 grams of glucose plus 18 more from the breakdown of glycerol for a total of 90 grams of glucose. To avoid any nitrogen losses, this individual could either consume 10 grams of carbohydrate per day or simply increase protein to 150 grams per day."

Now I see how this increase in protein intake would offset nitrogen loss from being able to make enough glucose, but there would still be loss from not enough to support daily turnover (weight in lbs. *.8-9). This is where I am
confused because how do you get in enough protein when all of it is being converted to sugar without having to go into ketosis or can you? I can really see where this diet shines in creating adaptations (lower glucose use, protein breakdown, pure fat loss, loss of appetite, etc.) like you mentioned, but could it still be effective to increase carbs up to 100 grams or maybe slightly below and have the rest covered even though it takes a little bit longer to get as lean?
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Unread 06-16-2009, 03:30 PM
lylemcd's Avatar
lylemcd lylemcd is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 22,641

From Rick Mendosa's GI site, this idea is currently up to some debate.

But what if the meal contains protein and fat too, as it usually does? How does that affect our mixed meal calculations?
The conventional wisdom holds that between 50 to 60% of protein becomes glucose and enters the bloodstream about 3 to 4 hours after it's eaten. It's generally accepted that fat has little affect on blood glucose.

In fact, recent studies indicate that neither protein nor fat have more than a minuscule affect on blood glucose. This seems to be true for people both with and without diabetes. The protein studies are particularly interesting.
A 50-gram dose of protein (in the form of very lean beef) resulted in only about 2 grams of glucose being produced and released into circulation. Neither does adding protein to carbohydrate slow the absorption or peak of the glucose response.
Fat delays the peak but not the total glucose response, according to these new studies. Therefore, it looks like you can simply ignore protein and fat in mixed meal calculations.
"Of much greater concern is how protein and fat affect blood glucose levels in the long term," Jennie Brand-Miller of the University of Sydney writes me. "High fat and high protein diets have the distinct potential to induce insulin resistance, which would mean that any carbohydrate eaten would raise blood glucose and insulin levels to greater heights on a day to day basis. However, the type of fat may be important here. A recent study in Diabetologia showed that moderately high MUFA [monounsaturated fatty acids] diets improved insulin sensitivity, if the fat was less than a certain level (higher than 37% was associated with insulin resistance)."
For fuller details you can check out the articles themselves:
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Unread 06-16-2009, 04:19 PM
Thansen Thansen is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 166

Hey Lyle,
Thanks once again for responding. So, the original idea of that conversion rate may be negated according to this study; 2/50=.04%. I just re-read a forum chat you had with someone where you guys were discussing the effectiveness of ketogenic vs. non-ketogenic diets and there not really being a big difference in regards to fat loss. I have helped people get extremely lean while just having them eat some extra carbs (100-200 grams daily) and just eliminate confusion. Most everything of what I read on your site just seems to make sense.

"The breakdown of body protein during total starvation to produce glucose ultimately led researchers to explore two distinctly different approaches to prevent this loss. The simplest approach was to provide glucose in order to eliminate the need for protein breakdown. However, this had a secondary effect of preventing the adaptations to ketosis." This is great and really sums up a lot. Ketosis seems to be pretty ideal if you can do it, but not necessarily a must if you want to get extremely lean.

Honestly, how could someone even enter ketosis if there were a 58% conversion rate to glucose because you would always be over one hundred grams? Let me re-phrase, how could you do it without losing essential or non-essential lean body mass?

I can see how it would be possible with the lower glucose requirements after weeks spent in the state where you only need 40 grams and the glycerol already providing a majority (18 grams), but how do you get there? So much information on your site and I constantly read and re-read everything, but has that part of the book changed and protein to glucose conversion is not as severe as you once thought?

Last edited by Thansen : 06-16-2009 at 04:22 PM.
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