Jimmy Moore Provides Ketosis and Low-Carb Clarity


JONATHAN: Hey everybody, Jonathan Bailor back with another SANE show and one of my favorite people is joining us. He is a veteran of the show and for good reasons, because he is as smart as he kind. He is the man, Jimmy Moore, who has authored the brand new “Keto Clarity” book following up his smash hit, “Cholesterol Clarity,” Jimmy welcome to the show.

JIMMY: Hey, what’s up Jonathan? You are always a fireball of energy, man. You sure you’re not ketone adapted?

JONATHAN: Well, Jimmy, no I think that is why I am a fireball of energy because I am so keto adapted so Jimmy I’m really excited to have you on the show to talk about this book because I know that you have been just pining to write this book for years and years and years and –

JIMMY: Yes.

JONATHAN: Personally, you were one of the very first people who gave me an opportunity to talk about my position on fat publicly and so you and I have been going back and forth on fat and all things fat for like four years now, so tell us a little bit about this book and why you’ve been so excited to write it.

JIMMY: Jonathan, you’re not fat phobic are you?

JONATHAN: Lipophobic maybe.

JIMMY: That one always tripped me out when people say, did you know Jonathan Bailor’s a low fat guy, and I’m like — it’s not the same Jonathan Bailor I know, but yeah, this is something I’ve been — like you said, pining to do for a very long time. Ketosis has been out there in the vernacular of diet for a while thanks to the Adkins diet and some other low carb diets, but has anybody ever had a resource that shows you how to get in to ketosis, how do you measure for ketosis, what does it take for the individual to get there, what are the benefits once you are there that you should expect to see and then here are some recipes and meal (tape mute at 1:49) in place before that’s what we tried to do with “Keto Clarity.” It will be the first book of its kind that really kind of puts ketosis in a positive light and in the book, one of the chapters we talk about like what some of the major health organizations say about ketosis, the American Medical Association, American Diabetes Association, even John MacDougal, our great vegan friend. We put all those opinions in there because people are confusing ketosis with ketoacidosis and it’s just unfortunate that that has become the norm for what ketosis is – we’re trying to put a positive spin on what ketosis is and giving people the right information.

JONATHAN: Jimmy, just to give people a concrete thing to really latch on to, is it fair to say that if you go to sleep at a reasonable hour and you sleep for six to eight hours, upon waking, are you close to or in ketosis?

JIMMY: I would say that most people after an overnight fast, let’s say you eat dinner at 5:30, 6:00 at night, and then you don’t have anything to eat the rest of the night and then you wake up the next morning, 7:00, 8:00 or whatever – you get up, you’re going to mildly ketotic, probably not to the level of nutritional ketosis where you would get benefits from those ketones just yet, but yes, everybody probably at some point in their life is — if you’ve ever been stranded somewhere and you didn’t have food available and you skipped a meal or two, you’re probably mildly ketotic and here’s something – within 12 hours of birth, one of my experts was Dr. Mary Newport, she’s a pediatric doctor and she said within 12 hours of being born babies are burning ketones for fuel.

JONATHAN: Interesting. So let’s pop up a level here because I know you do a really good job often of while you certainly have an approach that’s worked really well for you over the years and it’s been almost miraculous in terms of its health benefits, that you are a big fan of saying, look, whatever works for you, that’s what really important, but this is a book about ketosis, it’s about one specific approach –

JIMMY: Right.

JONATHAN: So let’s define this approach and let’s define the type of person who it might be uniquely beneficial for.

JIMMY: Yeah, and thank you for bringing that up because I am often pegged as the low carb guy and I was on Vinney Tortorich’s podcast and he said, yeah, people complain about you all the time, they say that Jimmy Moore, he wants everyone in ketosis — I’m like I don’t really care what you do to be honest and who the heck cares what Jimmy Moore has to say about anything.

This book is all about helping people who would want to get into a state of ketosis for therapeutic reasons.

JONATHAN: Yeah.

JIMMY: And so who needs the therapy, so to speak? If you struggled with your weight, if you’ve had blood sugar levels that have been out of control and maybe you’re Type 2 Diabetic now, maybe you’ve dealt with some issues with brain health issues, maybe you’re starting to feel a little bit of signs of dementia coming on, if you have a family history of maybe Alzheimer’s Disease happening, there’s a lot of conditions we put in here.

I went all Jonathan Bailor nerdy in the book and we included 185 scientific references in the back. Now the book is written in total layman’s terms. Everybody knows that’s my style, but in the back of the book, if you want to get all geeky and nerdy, we have each of the conditions that this is good for and then all these studies that have kind of shown that to be true. I got a little bit of criticism of that with “Cholesterol Clarity” that we didn’t do that so I’m like okay, for all you nerds out there that want to read the scientific references, we have them in the back of this book.

Anybody that wants to kind of try something different because what you’re doing now, isn’t working. This is something worth taking a look at and if your vegan diet is making you healthy and you’re optimizing your health, I’m going to be the biggest fan of you right now, saying keep doing that vegan diet because it’s what’s right for you, but if it’s not what’s right for you, find what it is and maybe ketosis is part of that.

JONATHAN: Jimmy is ketosis synonymous with a low carbohydrate lifestyle or they are two different things – meaning if I’m on a low carb diet, am I on ketosis, can I be carbohydrate sensitive without being in ketosis? What’s the distinction there?

JIMMY: So, this was one of the mistakes that I made Jonathan, was assuming that low carb meant ketogenic and we have a whole chapter where we talk about a lot of the mistakes that people make and that’s a biggie. People automatically think if we just cut the carbs, you’re just going to automatically start burning ketones, if it was that easy – it’s kind of like the whole idea of women don’t want to lift weights because they’re afraid of bulking up and of course the body builder women are going yeah, right, you’re just going to bulk up. It’s the same way with ketosis, you don’t just fall in to ketosis, you really have to be purposeful about it and no, just eating low carb alone is really just one leg in a three legged stool.

Finding that personal carbohydrate tolerance level is first and foremost, but then you also need to back off on the protein just a bit and bring it down to a level that’s probably to like your threshold level and if you’re sensitive to carbs, it stands to reason Jonathan, if you’re sensitive to carbohydrates, you’re also going to be pretty darn sensitive to protein because protein can turn to glucose in the body because of gluconeogenesis, big long G-word we talk about in the book and when you have excess in protein, that excess protein become glucose in the body, so limiting down to moderate levels of protein is important and then eating plenty of fat, fat like you’ve probably never eaten fat in your life.

You’ve seen me eat fat before Jonathan, on the low carb cruise, you’ve seen me – I’ll have a bite of butter with just about everything that I eat and that’s by design as well. So when you’re cutting the carbs, moderating the protein, you really have to fill out the rest of that diet with the natural saturated and monounsaturated mostly fats of course, Omega 3s get in there as well.

JONATHAN: Jimmy, that’s such an important distinction that by design because I think so often people get confused and this actually gets back to our earlier thing about Jonathan Bailor being lipophobic where if you’re just low carb and you’re not ketogenic and we say low carb, that’s so ambiguous right –

JIMMY: It is.

JONATHAN: But the average American being eating 400 to 500 grams of carbohydrate per day –

JIMMY: Right.

JONATHAN: If you’re eating a 100 grams of carbohydrate per day –

JIMMY: That’s low.

JONATHAN: And going out of your way, so let’s say you’re going low carb, so you’re eating 125 grams of carbs per day, some of which are coming from starch, some of which are coming from sugar and then you’re like I’m going to put a pound of butter in my coffee, I’m going to add a bunch of fat, and I’m going to eat a high protein diet and you don’t get good results and you’re like oh, low carb diets don’t work, ketosis doesn’t work –

JIMMY: Right.

JONATHAN: What’s wrong with that thinking?

JIMMY: They’re not testing, that’s what’s wrong with that thinking and we have a whole chapter in the book that talks about all the various ways you can test. Traditionally people have said, well, just pee on a urine stick and you can test for the presence of ketones, well, that’s just one ketone in the body known as acetoacetate. Well, acetoacetate is cool and all, but after a couple of weeks, once you become keto adapted, you lose acetoacetate – a lot of people do because it turns to beta-hydroxybutyrate which is the blood ketone and so measuring for blood ketones directly is just like a blood glucose monitor except it’s a blood ketone monitor that’s called Precision Xtra and that’s the really good one anyway and it will show you exactly how much beta-hydroxybutyrate you have in your blood.

Now, there’s some emerging technologies for measuring for acetone in the breath and so there’s this device out there called Ketonics right now. There’s a few more on the way, but they measure for acetone in the breath which is also a way for measuring ketosis, but assuming that just cutting the carbs and going to town on fat and protein is going to get you there, uh-uh, you really have to use these technologies and I’m real excited in the next few years we’re going to be seeing smartphone devices that will allow you to kind of blow into it and you’ll be able to see right there on your smartphone exactly your level of ketosis if that’s your goal.

JONATHAN: If that’s your goal that’s so critical Jimmy, because people — I think people see – you’ve seen this, right? It’s really too easy to get amp’d up. So, we get amp’d up about extremes, so if people get amp’d up and they say, I’m going to be an extreme vegetarian and they get amp’d up about that or I’m going to be an extreme low fat and I’m going to get all amp’d up about that or I’m going to be an extreme low carb and get all amp’d up about that and people will see for example, someone like you who’s had great success with a ketogenic approach and they don’t realize everything that you’re doing, so they just might see Jimmy Moore eats a lot of butter.

JIMMY: Yeah.

JONATHAN: So, I’m just going to add more butter to my existing diet —

JIMMY: Right.

JONATHAN: Without doing everything else Jimmy Moore is doing or they see Jonathan Bailor and they say, you know, Jonathan Bailor doesn’t include a coffee cup full of butter in his morning routine. He must be lipophobic, but they’re not looking at —

JIMMY: But you have a second supper.

JONATHAN: Exactly. They’re not looking at the whole picture so if – give us the whole picture of what a ketogenic lifestyle is both in terms of like why specifically you would want to go ketogenic versus just avoiding trash carbs like starches and sweets and then the medicinal benefits, ketogenic diets can have.

JIMMY: Oh, my gosh, you don’t have enough time on this podcast today for me to get into all of those benefits, but I’ve been telling people, Jonathan, that if I never lost a single pound eating this way, I would do it just for the brain health benefits.

Oh, my gosh, we are so fat starved from our fat phobia, I think that’s led to a lot more anger issues that people deal with these psychotic medications that people have to take – it always saddens me when I hear about these school shootings and things and I always wonder about those people. Did they eat enough fat in their diet because I think that would ward off a lot of that – and if they were ketogenic they would be happy and they would be content and all these things would happen and I’m not saying it’s panacea for everybody to be doing, but by golly, if you’re on medications and what you’re doing nutritionally is not working for you, ketosis is definitely a very alluring thing to try.

In the book we actually came up with this acronym to help people understand how to get into ketosis, it’s K-E-T-O, so K stands for keep carbs low and so you keep them to your tolerance level, we show you how to do that in the book, E is for eat more fat so it’s those saturated and monounsaturated fats that’s those Omega 3 fats, those are the fats that you want to fuel your brain — especially 25 percent of the fat in your body is right there and so they don’t call us fatheads for nothing. We are fatheads by design and it’s that fat that’s keeping us satisfied hunger wise, but also satisfied in the brain. The brain is fueling very well on ketones. The T in KETO, is test ketones often which we just talked about and then O, overdoing protein is bad and so you want to make sure you keep that protein to your personal threshold level and if you do that and if you kind of make all of those things the totality of what you’re doing then yes, you will get into nutritional ketosis and do it the right way. Don’t just cut carbs, don’t just moderate protein, don’t just load up on the butter with everything you do and if you’re testing ketones and you’re not really making changes to improve that and you’re not getting the results you want, dude, you got to change something, you got to figure it out. Up the fat, moderate down the protein, lower the carb some more. Eventually,you will and my friend, John Kiefer, who is actually one of the experts in the book, he said if you want to truly see if you can’t make ketones just don’t eat for two days. I guarantee you’re going to make ketones.

JONATHAN: Jimmy –

JIMMY: It’s true.

JONATHAN: What is the ballpark range and it’s very hard to get into generalities, right?

JIMMY: Yeah.

JONATHAN: When someone’s talking about ketosis, what are we talking about in terms of net carbs you’re consuming in a day — and you can do ranges for different genders and sizes and then also in terms of protein.

JIMMY: The short answer, heck if I know – because we are all different. It really isn’t a gender thing. It really isn’t an age thing. It’s just something each person’s going to have to figure out for themselves and another biggie that we talk about in “Keto Clarity,” I am no fan of net carbs – I used to think net carbs hung the moon and that was when I was still carb addicted, but now that I do this ketosis and I’m real serious about it, I realize that net carb is a marketing scheme. So, you have to be very careful and I know there are going to be people writing to you, well, what about the fiber in the food that you’re eating in Spinach fiber – you know what you’ve got to count that fiber too. If you’re going to be intellectually honest with where you are, while it may not spike your blood sugar as much, there’s still a spike and so you have to count all carbs and that’s being honest with yourself.

So once I started counting all carbs I figured it was about 30 to 40 grams as my limit. I can’t have more than that in carbohydrates or I start having the issues with the blood sugar, which then kills your ketones — very anti-ketogenic to do that, so it’s going to vary from person-to-person so people are like well, what macronutrient ratio should I eat and I’m like, heck if I know, you’ve got to figure that out and it’s really not about that. It’s about dialing in your personal individualized carbohydrate tolerance, getting to your protein threshold and then eating fat to satiety. You do all those things and you figure it out what’s right for you, stay there. Don’t mess with it. Don’t move the dial. Stay right there and you’ll see all the benefits of ketosis that you’re looking for.

JONATHAN: That’s the key Jimmy, and I love that we’ve hit this message a couple of times, because I think it’s what people need to hear and I think it’s the source of people’s confusion. We talk about the totality. We talk about you finding your individualized threshold level because I can imagine that upon reading your book, if someone’s goal is to get into ketosis and to try this experiment for brain health or for metabolic health or any other type of health benefit, it will show them, here are all the things you need to do to enjoy this –

JIMMY: Right.

JONATHAN: It becomes a challenge when we don’t have a focused message like that because you read this blog post about safe starches, then you read this Paleo recipe that has honey and agave nectar in it because they’re both natural, and then you read this other thing about adding butter to everything you eat and you end up maybe not getting the results you’d want so it’s that –

JIMMY: Or you’re told that your very low carb ketogenic diet is going to mess up your thyroid, I get that one is probably a big one that just frustrates the crap out of me.

JONATHAN: Well, Jimmy, what are some of the most compelling success stories I know –especially medicinally, individuals who are struggling with specific medical conditions that might be able to try this nutritional therapy approach.

JIMMY: So, in “Keto Clarity” we break up the science into three different chapters. Chapter 16, we kind of give a primer of how to read studies, Dr. Westman, my Co-author, was an extremely helpful in that because people see you know, some headline, red meat causes cancer, avoid the Adkins diet like the plague, and so people go well, I guess I shouldn’t eat red meat and they think red meat’s bad, but then you look at the actual details of the study and it was a mouse study and it’s going okay, I’m sure glad I’m not Mighty Mouse, because that doesn’t really apply to me.

You really need to look at the randomized controlled clinical trials and I know that’s a big heart of yours too, is let’s look at the good studies, let’s see what the good evidence is saying about these things so Chapter 16 we talk about all the things we have strong evidence for, so Diabetes is a big one, IBS, GERD, which is heartburn, weight loss of course, and of course epilepsy has been one of the longest standing reasons to do a ketogenic approach and then in Chapter 17, we had things that we have good evidence for and so things like Alzheimer’s Disease we’re getting some of the brain health, the Parkinson’s Disease, even exercise performance is not a disease, but we’ve seen a lot of great benefits to that.

Then in Chapter 18, we talked about some of those emerging areas, things like cancer, are coming into play, Alopecia, which is hair loss, a lot of different conditions and we included all if it, just so people know, hey look this isn’t just a weight loss diet, you know people here are ketogenic or ketosis oh, that’s the Adkins diet, it’s just weight loss. It’s so much more than weight loss. Weight loss is cool, don’t get me wrong, and people obsess about it. I wish they’d stop obsessing about it, but it’s so much more. There are so many health benefits, hopefully people leave reading “Keto Clarity” and say, dang, I want to try that because I want to be healthy, not because I want to lose weight.

JONATHAN: And I hope they leave it with a clear sense, of clarity in the title because this is what ketosis is.

JIMMY: Yeah.

JONATHAN: And this is why you would want to be in ketosis and for example, even the Adkins Diet it’s different in the sense that there’s three phases and you start to incorporate other things in and that might be more qualified as a lower carbohydrate approach rather than a ketogenic approach.

JIMMY: Right.

JONATHAN: And being very specific because so much, I mean Jimmy, you’ve been in this space at least on the Internet a lot longer than I have and there’s so much confusion that I feel is all just rooted in people arguing different points, like arguing for example, oh, well, if you eat safe starches are a good source of glucose, well, that’s true, but if your goal is to be ketogenic –

JIMMY: You don’t want glucose.

JONATHAN: Not what you’re doing, so what is your goal and how do we get you there?

JIMMY: Exactly and that’s what I hope people take away that this isn’t something that I’m saying everybody should try to do, but if you want to try to do it, hopefully this becomes your new primer for getting into ketosis.

JONATHAN: I love that Jimmy, so again, remind us where we can find more information online. Show us the book one more time and let us know where we can get a copy.

JIMMY: Sure. So, “Keto Clarity” we actually set up a nice little website for it, ketoclarity.com and then if you want to know more about the work that I do, livinlavidalowcarb.com or just Google Jimmy Moore, I think I’m the whole first page.

JONATHAN: Lots, all Jimmy Moore, all day –

JIMMY: All the time.

JONATHAN: You can never have too much Jimmy Moore. That’s what I say.

JIMMY: More or less.

JONATHAN: Well, Jimmy thank you so much for joining us and for putting all the great time and effort into this book. I know you’ve wanted to write it for a long time, and I know it’s going to help a lot of people.

JIMMY: Thank you Jonathan.

JONATHAN: Listeners and viewers, I hope you enjoyed today’s show as much as I did, of course, check out all of Jimmy’s previous shows, as well as his wonderful show. Check out his book “Keto Clarity” and remember, this week and every week after, eat smarter, exercise smarter and live better. We’ll chat with you soon.