Not interested in a keto diet

Alzheimer's, cardiovascular, and other chronic diseases; biomarkers, lifestyle, supplements, drugs, and health care.
Emerald
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:36 pm

Not interested in a keto diet

Postby Emerald » Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:53 pm

Hi! I'm a 29-year-old female with a 3/4 status. At 5'6", I weigh ~120 pounds, and am pretty healthy overall.

I have had some questionable glucose results on two occasions (2014 = 106 and 2015 = 101, with an HbA1c of 5.3% in 2014; note that I was often binge eating one to two times a week back then because I had crazy fast metabolism and could eat insane amounts of calories while not gaining a pound - I was actually underweight from doing so much cardio), but have been back in the 90s ever since. I'm not sure if the 106 and 101 were flukes, as I heard a few clinical individuals at my employer (which offers free biometric screenings) say Quest Diagnostics also provided them or their spouse with pre-diabetic results that were not totally accurate. My cholesterol from a few screenings is as follows:
2018: TC = 159, triglycerides = 48, HDL = 77, LDL = 68
2017: TC = 211, triglycerides = 65, HDL = 96, LDL = 102
2016: TC = 222, triglycerides = 49, HDL = 113, LDL = 99
2015: TC = 189, triglycerides = 53, HDL = 88, LDL = 90
2014: TC = 169, triglycerides = 58, HDL = 83, LDL = 74
2013: TC = 179, triglycerides = 60, HDL = 89, LDL = 78

EDIT: Sara brought up a great point - exercise and meditation. To confirm, I'm all about both! Also, I do drink wine or gin and club soda once or twice a week.

I have been reading about Alzheimer's prevention and it appears that this forum as well as some other sites have only been referencing keto as an option for the last two years. The truth is that I am extremely opposed to the keto diet for myself (I am 100% fine with someone else making the personal decision to follow the diet, of course) for several reasons, including: I recently moved on after years of significant health anxiety (linked to a major nervous breakdown that lead to a visit to Johns Hopkins) and do not wish to adhere to such a strict regimen, I do not want to become obsessive over what I eat again (I was diagnosed with obsessive compulsive tendencies multiple times in the past and have had to work incredibly hard to overcome them), I relish the idea of following something so strict when my odds of getting Alzheimer's by 85 are not more than 30% (based on a 3/4 status - I understand the exact percentage varies based on other genes, lifestyle factors, etc.), I don't want to go through the keto flu or breath or rash whenever I mess up and am thrown out of ketosis, and many, many more reasons. I work in the health industry and almost my entire life is about health as it is. Honestly, the idea of keto is simply highly distressing to me.

I am fine with removing whole grain bread, quinoa, etc., from my diet, and only eating 1/2 cup of oats a few times a week in my oatmeal (I seriously don't want to give up oats). Other than natural dark chocolate (over 70%), I barely even consume added sugar. However, the idea of full-blown keto for the rest of my life makes me feel miserable. I already watch every single ingredient in literally everything I eat, and again - health is a huge part of my life. Is keto truly the only option people feel comfortable with? If so, that just feels so limiting, especially since my chances of getting Alzheimer's by 85 aren't a done deal.

I've also seen some sites that reference a 50% chance of a 3/4 white female getting Alzheimer's by 85, but again, most sites say it's no more than 30% unless you have specific genes or lifestyle factors that we may not be aware of just yet. Has anyone else seen the 50%? I have trouble believing it.

Ultimately, after years of chaos, I do not want this to become another obsession of mine. I want to have a positive attitude, but also don't want to go down a strict path that doesn't appeal to me when I'm a 3/4.
Last edited by Emerald on Sat Jul 27, 2019 4:25 pm, edited 6 times in total.

User avatar
Sara
Support Team
Support Team
Posts: 240
Joined: Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:44 pm
Location: Between PA and FL
Contact:

Re: Not interested in a keto diet

Postby Sara » Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:26 pm

Emerald wrote:Hi! I'm a 29-year-old female with a 3/4 status. At 5'6", I weigh ~120 pounds, and am pretty healthy overall.

Greetings Emerald and welcome to the apoe4.info site! Glad you found us. I am impressed with your understanding of Alzheimer's prevention, especially the fact that you monitor what you eat so closely. I can appreciate that you are questioning the keto diet for yourself, given the probability of your potential to contract the disease and your overall good physical health. I agree with your perspective and at this point in time might suggest you take a more step-by-step general approach to an overall healthy lifestyle. You don't mention exercise and meditation which are two areas you can gradually introduce into your life (if you haven't already). Continue to monitor your glucose and other key factors and make sure to have fun and celebrate life! My Best, Sara
Certified ReCODE Practitioner/Health Coach
MBA, Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach, National Board Certified Health & Wellness Coach
Supporting loved one diagnosed with AD

Plumster
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 446
Joined: Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:19 pm

Re: Not interested in a keto diet

Postby Plumster » Tue Jul 23, 2019 8:28 pm

Hi Emerald,

I recommend reading the Sherzais' book The Alzheimer's Solution: A Breakthrough Program to Prevent and Reverse the Symptoms of Cognitive Decline at Every Age. They do not advocate for the keto diet. They recommend a plant-based diet with vegetables, fruits, healthy whole grains and legumes. I am 49 and I don't follow the keto diet. I do intermittant fasting and eat plant based, whole grains (no gluten), whole foods, limited processed, limited sugar. It works for me.
e3/4 MTHFR C677T/A1298C COMT V158M++ COMT H62H++ MTRR A66G ++ HLA DR

xactly
Senior Contributor
Senior Contributor
Posts: 114
Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2017 6:37 am

Re: Not interested in a keto diet

Postby xactly » Wed Jul 24, 2019 8:12 am

Emerald wrote:I do not want to become obsessive,,,

I suspect keto is not an absolute requirement for avoiding Alzheimer's, especially if you are not spiking insulin and glucose with sugar and simple carbs. However, what I picked up on in your post is the comment about not wanting to become obsessive.

I don't know if you have been genotyped through 23andme, but you may have a couple of genetic variations that cause a tendency to become obsessive. The first is located on the MTHFR gene (it's called C677T), and the second is on the COMT gene. They can work together to cause ossessive/compulsive traits.

If you have a COMT gene that doesn't produce enough of the enzyme it's supposed to encode, you have high levels of background dopamine in your brain, which can cause rigid thinking and compulsive behaviors.

A normally functioning MTHFR gene can help reduce the negative effects of a slow COMT gene by providing adequate amounts of methylfolate to reduce excess dopamine.

However, if you have an MTHFR gene that doesn't produce enough methylfolate, you aren't getting the support you need to methylate and remove the excess dopamine.

It's easy to correct undermethylation with the kind of diet you are following and a couple of supplements. I have a close relative with slow COMT and slow MTHFR, and it was amazing to see his transformation after he started correcting the biochemical imbalance.

User avatar
slacker
Mod
Mod
Posts: 2054
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:20 pm
Location: Kentucky

Re: Not interested in a keto diet

Postby slacker » Wed Jul 24, 2019 9:47 am

xactly wrote:
Emerald wrote:I do not want to become obsessive...


I don't know if you have been genotyped through 23andme, but you may have a couple of genetic variations that cause a tendency to become obsessive. The first is located on the MTHFR gene (it's called C677T), and the second is on the COMT gene. They can work together to cause obsessive/compulsive traits...

It's easy to correct undermethylation with the kind of diet you are following and a couple of supplements. I have a close relative with slow COMT and slow MTHFR, and it was amazing to see his transformation after he started correcting the biochemical imbalance.


Really great advice xactly!
Slacker
E4/E4

Emerald
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 17
Joined: Tue Jul 23, 2019 5:36 pm

Re: Not interested in a keto diet

Postby Emerald » Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:08 am

Thank you for the responses, everyone - I sincerely appreciate it!

I don’t have any of the aforementioned genes related to obsessive tendencies. As a major believer in the mind-body connection, I can confirm that my obsessive tendencies were habits I got into as a child due to various reasons (my family strongly agrees, as did my pediatrician back then), and I don’t look at them as the result of any genetic or chemical issue, at least not to the degree that I would need supplements, dietary changes, medication, etc. In fact, none of those things helped me when I worked with doctors who viewed it as a structural/biochemical problem - it only got worse because I believed something was structurally wrong with me, when it was really patterned behaviors and thoughts. Maybe there’s a pre-disposition somewhere, but for me personally, I am not concerned about it.

I do not suffer from that level of anxiety or depression anymore as I worked very hard to change how I handled and viewed life (similar to extremely intense cognitive behavioral therapy, which Johns Hopkins had recommended). For me, it stemmed from witnessing some trauma as a child, seeing adults handle it very poorly and not learning coping mechanisms from them, developing my own patterns and routines to feel “safe,” constantly feeling like I needed to be perfect, and not dealing well with uncertainty.

That said, the idea of keto makes me extremely upset because of the years where I was dealing with anxiety that resulted in major chronic pain (that’s how I ended up at Johns Hopkins and obsessed with health), and as someone who doesn’t want to give up everything I enjoy (like eating oats, bananas, etc.) or track everything 24/7, I think it’ll remind me of that time - after all that, I just want to feel free to live and not be so restricted, especially if my risk as a 3/4 carrier is 30% and not guaranteed. I would rather aim to eat as little processed food as possible and not count every carb, protein, etc., or worry about going in and out of ketosis. My life has been so great without needing to be highly restrictive, and I would prefer to avoid any strict lifestyle change if I can. I have friends who love keto and I am so happy for them, but it’s not what I want to do for myself.

I noticed that references to the Mediterranean diet, natural whole grains versus white bread, etc. have largely gone away in the conversation about APOE4. I felt sad that it seemed like I needed to adhere to something very closely or feel like I was increasing my chances of getting Alzheimer’s, you know? I’m happy with intuitive eating and not counting everything. I also felt confused: if I’m not in ketosis, do I need to be worried? Isn’t there another way?

Thanks again so very much for reading and helping! Again, I am 100% supportive of keto for anyone who wants to go that route!
Last edited by Emerald on Sat Jul 27, 2019 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
SusanJ
Senior Contributor
Senior Contributor
Posts: 2801
Joined: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:33 am
Location: Central Florida

Re: Not interested in a keto diet

Postby SusanJ » Wed Jul 24, 2019 10:56 am

Emerald wrote:I noticed that references to the Mediterranean diet, natural whole grains versus white bread, etc. have largely gone away in the conversation about APOE4.


Part of this diet equation is that Bredesen and other practitioners supporting keto diets, started out targeting us older farts, who did not always eat well, exercise, avoid stress and all the other things that got us in the troubles we have today (I'm 64, so I resemble that remark :D). So, keto is one weapon in a large arsenal of weapons against any brain symptoms we might struggle with. Personally, I don't follow a "keto" diet. I quit tracking my macros over a year ago. I do know it would be considered mostly Mediterranean, without the grains, because gluten, corn and pseudo-grains make my joints hurt.

You are young. No one, and I mean no one, can tell you definitively that keto will be the answer for you to avoid AD when you are 80. If you can eat the real-food diet you are eating, maintain a healthy weight, have blood markers in range (especially HbA1c, triglycerides and fasting insulin), then keep doing what works for you.

rrmolo
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 47
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2017 1:08 pm
Location: Brookfield
Contact:

Re: Not interested in a keto diet

Postby rrmolo » Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:16 pm

I am 79 and would advise you to "lighten up." Enjoy today. Especially in view of your past you need to "let go." I enjoyed golfing this am on this beautiful sunny 80 degree day. I enjoyed texting with my granddaughter. I enjoy hearing the neighborhood children play outdoors. I am so grateful for the health I have. Thank you God for giving me this day!

BrianR
Senior Contributor
Senior Contributor
Posts: 206
Joined: Tue Oct 02, 2018 12:32 pm
Location: Southeastern Michigan

Re: Not interested in a keto diet

Postby BrianR » Wed Jul 24, 2019 12:36 pm

Emerald wrote:I felt sad that it seemed like I needed to adhere to something very closely or feel like I was increasing my chances of getting Alzheimer’s, you know? I’m happy with intuitive eating and not counting everything. I also felt confused: if I’m not in ketosis, do I need to be worried? Isn’t there another way?

I have an excess of opinions, so I'll share mine. Overly high blood glucose/insulin resistance seems to be highly correlated with dementia. If you have those issues, you should try to fix them. Keto seems to help a lot in fixing those conditions. Otherwise, avoiding a diet which causes frequent high blood glucose spikes might improve your brain/cardiovascular health. Or it might not make a significant difference, depending on personal physiological factors we don't really understand yet.

Chronic inflammation is probably a causal factor for dementia. If you have issues with inflammation, you should try to fix them. In some cases, diet might assist in those fixes. Although some would say that periodic fasting makes a much bigger difference than the composition of your diet.

Anxiety may be a causal factor for cognitive impairment. If the idea of adopting a diet that might help other people (but you believe won't help you) causes you to be anxious or depressed, then adopting that diet is probably a bad idea for you.

It seems like your food preferences are more or less reasonable, if what you eat doesn't seem to be causing problems for you, then I think you should probably just stick with what you think makes sense.

SarahB
Contributor
Contributor
Posts: 20
Joined: Wed Apr 24, 2019 3:02 pm

Re: Not interested in a keto diet

Postby SarahB » Thu Jul 25, 2019 3:00 am

Hi Emerald - A keto diet made me very ill. I'm still recovering. My gut apparently doesn't wish to digest and absorb large quantities of fat. So, I'm sticking with a low glycemic approach. That's just going to have to be good enough, so I'm rolling with it. Your body is telling you that keto will increase anxiety. So listen. To heck with keto. Choose another option. The science in Alz prevention is pretty weak. Nobody has a magic bullet. As long as you somehow avoid insulin resistance, you're doing all that's really been proven. You're also young enough to make choices that decrease stress, through careful partner selection and career choices, avoidance of excess and debt. My only other comment would be to suggest dropping out alcohol, both in terms of A4 and anxiety. Alcohol is not recommended for A4 and can be a trap for anxious people. Best wishes - Sarah.


Return to “Prevention and Treatment”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 14 guests

 

 

cron