Gut Health Series Part 1: Introduction

Your gut health serves as the center of your health. Gut health is linked to nearly every autoimmune disease, as well as most neurodegenerative disease. It also impacts mood, focus, sleep, recovery, as well as daily aches and pains of your body.

We are here to educate you on gut health, as well as how to get your gut health under control.


Gut Health Overview

Recent research has sparked a surge of interest in the world of gut health, revealing that our gut microbes play a vital role in our overall well-being. Studies have shown that the gut microbiome does much more than aid digestion; it also influences our metabolism, immune system, and even mental health. 

With groundbreaking findings pointing to the importance of gut health, it’s time to take a closer look at how our overall health and wellness is impacted by the tiny organisms that call our gut home. This is our first blog of a 3-part series on gut health.

Our gut described

Our gut – the long tube in our body that starts from the mouth, stomach, and bowel – is home to trillions of tiny microbes called bacteria. Some of those bacteria are good and some of those bacteria are bad. This system is collectively known as the gut microbiome and these bacteria play an important role in keeping us healthy by aiding our bodies in food digestion, water and vitamin absorption, producing vitamins and other essential compounds, and regulating our immune system.

There are two main types of bactiera:

Add continents on the two types of bacteria Firmocytes and bactofphies 

Sometimes, the balance of these gut bacteria can be disrupted, leading to a condition called gut dysbiosis, or leaky gut.  This means that there are too many harmful bacteria in the gut, which can cause health problems like constipation, diarrhea, or bloating. In more severe cases, gut dysbiosis can lead to irritable bowel syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease. But for purposes of our solution, the leaky gut causes chronic inflammation in your body, leading to the early stages of many diseases. 

There are a number of ways to help get your gut health under control, and we firmly believe that food is medicine. 

One of the key aspects of gut health research is on the study of probiotics – the live microorganisms that can improve gut health Probiotics have a number of beneficial effects on the gut microbiome such as reducing inflammation, improving digestion, and supporting the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. 

The other area of gut health research is on the study of prebiotics – these are indigestible food ingredients that promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Prebiotics can help improve gut health by increasing the abundance of beneficial gut microbes, reducing inflammation, and improving overall gut function.

In later discussions, we will go into the different types of prebiotics and probiotics, and it is important to know that not all of them are created equal, and not all of them are equally beneficial specifically for you. 

Finally, gut health research highlights the importance of reducing exposure to harmful toxins including antibiotics, pesticides, and preservatives. Moreover, medical professionals suggest avoiding certain foods that can be harmful to the gut, such as processed and refined foods, as well as sugar and gluten. Just like the discussion of probiotics and prebiotics, not all foods that are healthy for you may be healthy for your neighbor or loved one. We believe in a personalized approach to gut health, and we will show you how to access that in later discussions. 

In conclusion, gut health research is a rapidly growing area providing new insights into the complex relationship between the gut microbiome our bodies and the inflammatory response that it may have on us. By understanding the impact of gut health and promoting a healthy gut microbiome through dietary and lifestyle changes, it may be possible to improve overall health and reduce the risk of many chronic diseases.

Our next blog post in this three part series will be on Gut health and Inflammation. Stay tuned in a few short days for another great article.


  1. “What’s causing your IBS” – an article from Harvard Health Publishing that explains the relationship between diet and the gut microbiome causing IBS: 
  2. “The Gut Microbiome and Its Role in Obesity” – a review article from the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology that discusses the relationship between gut health and obesity: 

Ketotarian: The (Mostly) Plant- Based plat to Burn Fat, Boost Your Energy, Crush Your Cravings, and Calm Inflammation 

Author: Dr. Will Cole

Book summary

“Ketotarian” is a dietary guide book written by Dr. Will Cole, a functional medicine practitioner, and chef Colleen Christensen. The book introduces the concept of a ketotarian diet, which combines the principles of a ketogenic diet and a plant-based diet.

The book outlines the benefits of a ketogenic diet, which includes increased energy, improved mental clarity, and weight loss. However, it also highlights the drawbacks of a traditional ketogenic diet, which typically includes large amounts of animal products and processed foods. To address these issues, the authors introduce a ketotarian diet, which is based on a foundation of nutrient-dense, whole plant foods combined with healthy fats, such as avocado, nuts, and seeds, and moderate amounts of clean protein sources, such as eggs, dairy, and fermented soy products.

The book provides a comprehensive overview of the ketotarian diet, including a discussion of macronutrient ratios, food choices, and meal planning. It also includes more than 60 recipes designed to help readers implement the ketotarian diet into their daily lives.

The authors emphasize the importance of listening to your body, being mindful of your food choices, and incorporating regular physical activity into your routine to achieve optimal health. They also provide practical tips and advice for overcoming common challenges, such as overcoming sugar cravings and navigating social situations while following the diet.

In conclusion, “Ketotarian” is a comprehensive guidebook for anyone interested in incorporating the benefits of a ketogenic diet into a plant-based lifestyle. The book provides a unique and innovative approach to healthy eating and lifestyle that is easy to follow and sustain.

The top ten myths about a ketogenic diet

The ketogenic diet is a popular diet focusing on reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with healthy fats. However, as in any diet, there are many myths related to the ketogenic diet. In this article, we’ll debunk the top ten myths and most common fallacies about this diet and provide the facts about what it really is and how it works.

Myth #1: The ketogenic diet is just another fad diet.

Some people may believe that the ketogenic diet is just another fad diet. Why? For some, it seems like a drastic change from the typical American diet while others are intimidated because of the significant reduction in carbohydrate intake and an increase in fat consumption that it requires. Are you one of those who think it’s just a trend that will pass? Did you know that the ketogenic diet is a scientifically-backed dietary strategy and is not just a passing fad?

FACT: The ketogenic diet has been used for over 90 years, primarily as a therapeutic treatment for epilepsy. In recent years, it has gained popularity as a weight loss and health promoting diet.

Source: National Institute of Health (NIH), “The Ketogenic Diet: Uses in Epilepsy and Other Neurologic Illnesses”,

Myth #2: A ketogenic diet is high in protein.

Just because the ketogenic diet is often associated with high-protein diets such as the Atkins diet doesn’t mean it is all protein. In fact, the ketogenic diet’s main focus is to reduce carbohydrate intake so that they are replaced with healthy fats. Therefore, while the ketogenic diet still includes some protein, the majority of the calories come from fat and not protein.

FACT: A well-formulated ketogenic diet is moderate in protein, and primarily composed of healthy fats and low-carbohydrate foods. 

Source: National Institute of Health (NIH), “Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss: Benefits, Risks, and How to Follow”,

Myth #3: You can’t eat any carbohydrates on a ketogenic diet.

Although the ketogenic diet does limit the intake of carbohydrates to about 5-10% of total caloric intake, some carbs are allowed, such as non-starchy vegetables and nuts. Health professionals, dietitians, and nutritionists typically recognize this myth and advise against this restrictive approach of completely eliminating carbohydrates.

FACT: While a ketogenic diet is very low in carbohydrates, it allows for a small amount of non-starchy, low-carbohydrate vegetables such as leafy greens.

Source: National Institute of Health (NIH), “Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss: Benefits, Risks, and How to Follow”,

Myth #4: The ketogenic diet is unsafe and causes long-term health problems.

Why do some people think the ketogenic diet is unsafe? Often, they are only misinformed about the risks associated with it and do not understand the importance of properly managing electrolyte levels. Some people tiptoe around this diet thinking it’s too restrictive or difficult to maintain. Others think that the lack of carbohydrates can be harmful to the body; however, the body can actually adjust to burning fat for energy.

FACT: When followed correctly, the ketogenic diet can be a safe and effective way to improve overall health, as long as it is carefully monitored by a healthcare provider.

Source: National Institute of Health (NIH), “Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss: Benefits, Risks, and How to Follow”,

Myth #5: You can’t exercise on a ketogenic diet.

The reasoning behind this myth comes from thinking that the lack of carbohydrates will not provide enough energy for any physical activity. This is far from the truth. Ketones can actually provide an alternative and efficient source of energy for the body which helps during exercise. Consequently, exercise helps boost energy levels, improves body composition, and promotes overall health.

FACT: Exercise is highly recommended on a ketogenic diet, and can even enhance the benefits of the diet, as long as it is properly fueled with sufficient fat and protein.

Source: National Institute of Health (NIH), “Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss: Benefits, Risks, and How to Follow”, 

Myth #6: The ketogenic diet is too restrictive and hard to stick to.

Nowadays, there are many delicious and healthy recipes that can make it easier for you to stay on track if you’re on a ketogenic diet. Believing this diet is restrictive limits you to the endless possibilities of its health benefits. Go ahead and see for yourself how possible and sustainable it is to create and enjoy keto-friendly meals with enough planning and preparation.

FACT: The ketogenic diet can be very satisfying and filling, and there are many delicious food options to choose from.

Source: National Institute of Health (NIH), “Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss: Benefits, Risks, and How to Follow”,

Myth #7: A ketogenic diet is only for weight loss.

Just like in myth # 5, if you think that a ketogenic diet is only for weight loss, it’s  because you probably think it is only a low-carb diet. Again, ketones (not just carbohydrates) provide an alternative and efficient source of energy for the body. Thus, a ketogenic diet can help improve overall health, not just promote weight loss.

FACT: While weight loss is a common benefit of the ketogenic diet, it can also improve other health markers such as blood sugar control, cardiovascular health, and brain function.

Source: National Institute of Health (NIH), “Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss: Benefits, Risks, and How to Follow”,

Myth #8: The ketogenic diet is bad for your cholesterol levels.

This myth may stem from the fact that some ketogenic diets contain high levels of saturated fat, often linked to high cholesterol levels. However, research has shown that this is not necessarily the case. Many studies have proven that a ketogenic diet can actually improve cholesterol levels especially when done correctly. Moreover, a ketogenic diet can lead to improved health markers, such as lower triglycerides and improved insulin sensitivity.

FACT: While some people may experience temporary changes in their cholesterol levels on the ketogenic diet, it has been shown to improve cholesterol markers in the long-term, as long as it is combined with a healthy, whole food-based diet.

Source: National Institute of Health (NIH), “Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss: Benefits, Risks, and How to Follow”,

Myth #9: You can eat as much fat as you want on a ketogenic diet.

Many people assume that a ketogenic diet is very high in fat which leads them to believe they can eat as much fat as they want. However, this is not true, because, as in any diet, the ketogenic diet should be balanced and well-formulated so you’ll be properly nourished. That way, you can have the right amounts of healthy fats, proteins, and carbohydrates in your body, too. Did you know that eating too much fat can lead to weight gain? Therefore, it defeats the whole purpose of a ketogenic diet if that is the case.

FACT: While a ketogenic diet is high in fat, it’s important to choose healthy fats from sources such as avocados, coconut oil, and nuts, and to limit unhealthy fats from sources such as processed and fast foods.

Source: National Institute of Health (NIH), “Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss: Benefits, Risks, and How to Follow”,

Myth #10: The ketogenic diet is only for men.

For some, the ketogenic diet is intimidating and extreme so it must only be for men who have the body type and can stick to its strict requirements. However, this is not true, as the ketogenic diet can be beneficial for any gender – men and women alike. Additionally, you can tailor a ketogenic diet to meet your individual needs so that it can be a viable choice for everyone.

FACT: The ketogenic diet can be beneficial for both men and women, although women may need to adjust their macronutrient ratios slightly to accommodate their unique hormonal needs.

Source: National Institute of Health (NIH), “Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss: Benefits, Risks, and How to Follow”,

In conclusion, no matter what diet you get into, it’s important to always consult with a healthcare provider. It’s important that you get professional medical advice before starting a new health regimen, including the ketogenic diet.

The Real Deal on Keto Diet

If you’re thinking about getting into a new eating plan to lose weight and optimize your health, you’ve undoubtedly heard about the keto diet and the wonders it may do for your body.

The continuous advancement in the medical world did not stop the increasing cases of obesity/ Most chronic illnesses common to men like hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease are connected to an excessive amount of body fats, and that’s when eating plans like Keto comes in.

But, what’s the real deal with Keto? This diet is well-known for its low-carb strategy focused on protein instead. When your body goes into ketosis, that’s when you burn fats and shift your primary source of energy. This is the process of this eating scheme. 

Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute promotes quality life through a healthy gut, diet, and lifestyle. In this article, we’ll discuss the real deal about Keto and the implications it may have on your body.

What is a keto diet

In the early 1920s, medical practitioners developed the ketogenic diet for epilepsy therapy. At the time, this was considered as an alternative to fasting to help manage and control epileptic episodes. Later on, Greek and ancient Indian physicians continued studying the role of fasting to cure epilepsy. 

Eventually, the “water diet” became a popular approach to help patients from getting seizures. Avoiding food and drink or following a strict fat-rich diet without sugars and starch helps a patient’s liver produce ketone bodies. This exists because starvation helps dissipate toxins away from the body.  

Hence, over time, experts found that a diet consisting of low carbohydrates, moderate protein, and high, healthy fats can benefit human health. Essentially, this diet will force your body to burn fats instead of carbohydrates.


Whenever you eat fewer carbohydrates, your liver will convert fat into ketone bodies, as mentioned above, and fatty acids. Our bodies need carbohydrates for energy. However, since there are more fats instead, these are used for fuel. This natural metabolic state is called ketosis.

It may not be easy for some people to shift to a keto diet because their bodies will need to rely on fat for energy. At the same rate, it’s not easy to keep your body in ketosis because carbohydrates are usually the primary energy source.

Plus, you have to limit your protein intake in a keto diet. Why? Too much protein can cause your body to convert the excess into carbohydrates (also called gluconeogenesis).

Therefore, some nutritionists may suggest intermittent fasting to go into ketosis successfully. You don’t necessarily have to go on many days without eating anything at all. Instead, you have particular periods when you can eat, with recommended calories, and when you should fast.

However, prolonged states of ketosis may stress your liver and cause total starvation and dehydration, which could be detrimental to your health. Thus, it’s essential to seek help from doctors before jumping into this diet.

Types of ketogenic diets

  • SKD – standard 
  • CKD – cyclical 
  • TKD – targeted
  • HPKD – high protein

There are, in fact, other keto diets such as very low-carb ketogenic diet, well-formulated ketogenic diet, medium chain triglycerides ketogenic diet, etc. However, the four (4) types above are the more commonly used ones we’ll focus on in this article.

Standard ketogenic diet 

Fat-Protein-Carb Ratio: 70 / 20 / 10 or 75 / 20 / 5

Recommended daily portions:

20-50g sugar

40-60g protein No set cutoff for fat

Cyclical ketogenic diet

(also called carb backloading, usually for athletes or those regularly working out to replenish glycogen lost from muscles)

Recommended cycles:

5 ketogenic days (20-30g of carbs or less) then 2 higher carb days (100-500g of carbs) within a week 

Targeted ketogenic diet

The Targeted Ketogenic Diet, or TKD, is not very far from the standard and regular keto diet. The only difference is that you only eat carbs during your workout time. So, whenever you exercise, you’ll consume carbs on any schedule that you prefer.

The TKD is in-between the Cyclical Ketogenic and Standard Ketogenic Diet. It would still allow you to withstand high-intensity exercises even if you’re on a low-carb eating plan. Some studies believe that carbs may give power to strength training. 

SKD keto-ers attest that this kind of keto, when consumed as pre-workout carbs, improves strength and endurance. It makes sense as the muscle needs glucose to fuel anaerobic training.

Macronutrient breakdown:

10% carbs, 60% fat, 30% protein

(a mix between standard and cyclical ketogenic diet but emphasis on carbohydrates to be consumed around times of working out)

Recommended portions:

15-50g of fast-absorbing carbs (before, during, after workout)

High protein ketogenic diet

(also known as modified Atkins diet, a variety of standard ketogenic diet)

Recommended daily portions:

Fat-Protein-Carb Ratio: 60 / 35 / 5

Keto diet advantages

As shown in the examples and types of ketogenic diets above, choosing this diet should get more calories from fat rather than carbohydrates. When you deplete your body from sugars, it will depend more on stored fat for fuel instead.

Here are the advantages and benefits of this diet:

Weight loss

Losing weight is one of the main reasons many people go into a keto diet. Ketosis helps reduce hormones that stimulate hunger, too. Hence, it can support weight loss, reduce your appetite, and boost metabolism.

Risk of cancers

Ketogenic diets naturally reduce blood sugar. Hence, you can enjoy the benefits of not having any health risks involving insulin complications. This diet approach is sometimes used to complete other radiation therapy and chemotherapy treatments.

Skin health

Any diet with highly refined and processed carbohydrates can drastically affect your gut microbiome. That could lead to significant fluctuations in your blood sugar which often causes acne. With reduced carb intake, skin problems may also decrease.

Brain functions

Ketones have neuroprotective benefits, such as protecting the nerve cells and the brain. Hence, the keto diet can help strengthen your brain and its functions. It also aids in preventing brain damage or managing conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, for example.


As discussed earlier, the keto diet originally started as a treatment for epilepsy management. To this day, this diet approach is effectively used, especially for children, to reduce seizures and epileptic symptoms.

Heart health

Even if the keto diet is high in fat, it’s important to note that you should choose healthy fats all the time. For instance, you can get healthy fats from avocado and avoid pork rinds. You can minimize bad cholesterol from your body and introduce more “good” cholesterol to avoid cardiovascular diseases.

Is keto diet really effective? 

A study revealed that the ketogenic diet produces changes in the metabolism, most especially on a short-term basis. Besides weight loss, there are also improvements in the health parameters that are often connected with excessive weight, like high cholesterol levels, insulin resistance, and high blood pressure.



The body is designed to break down three macronutrients – fats, carbs, and protein. When you suddenly shift to keto, your body would have to transition from digesting many carbs to lots of fats. Your gut needs time getting used to this. 

Liver problems

The ketogenic diet is concentrated in fats and moderate in protein. Going low in carbohydrates would induce weight loss and control glycemic. However, this may elevate liver enzymes and the onset of fatty liver, which can be problematic.

Kidney problems

Some studies reveal that ketosis taxes the kidneys, leading to stones and low blood pressure. They also mentioned how this diet hastens kidney failure or worsens a condition because it is high in protein that could overload the kidneys, which impacts the elimination of waste from the body.  

Nutrient deficiency

The body is expected to consume a wide array of grains, fruits, and vegetables. Since you are limiting your carbs, you’re at risk of missing crucial micronutrients like magnesium, selenium, vitamins B, C, and phosphorus. 

Mood swings

The brain benefits from the sugar it gets from carbohydrates. So, when you cut carbs, you may have some mood swings like irritability and confusion as a consequence. You might feel these, especially during the beginning of the process.

Is keto diet good for weight loss

Due to its low-carb approach, a keto diet is a popular approach for those trying to lose weight. However, as we’ve seen in this article, it’s not as simple as that. There are complex mechanisms involved that may affect your metabolism while in the keto diet. Generally, though, the keto diet can help you feel less hungry while you can also keep your muscle.

However, like any diet approach, it is of utmost importance to consult your doctor before starting your keto diet. For instance, people who have hypoglycemia, heart disease, or diabetes are generally not allowed to consume too much fat. 

Moreover, just because you’re restricting your carbohydrate intake doesn’t mean they are wrong. Carbs have health benefits, too. In a ketogenic diet, you need to maintain your body in ketosis without compromising health safely. But, if you need to transition again to a less restrictive diet, especially if you’re not meeting your goal (e.g., weight loss), seek help from a nutritionist. That way, you’re not adding too much stress to your body with these drastic changes.

Cognitive Health and Wellness Institute has developed a comprehensive treatment plan to reduce chronic inflammation to improve quality of life and cognitive function. Message us at [email protected] to know more!