Keto Diet: A Complete List of What to Eat and Avoid, Plus a 7-Day Sample Menu

On the keto diet, you’ll need to drastically cut your carbs, prioritizing protein, nonstarchy veggies, and healthy fats instead.

If you’re looking to get a jump start on your health and fitness goals this year, you may be thinking about trying the ketogenic diet. Maybe you’ve heard the phrase before — it’s a huge diet buzzword — but aren’t sure what it means. Here’s a primer: The ketogenic diet is an eating plan that drives your body into ketosis, a state where the body uses fat as a primary fuel source (instead of carbohydrates), says Stacey Mattinson, RDN, who is based in Austin, Texas.

When you’re eating the foods that get you there (more on that in a minute), your body can enter a state of ketosis in one to three days, she adds. During the diet, the majority of calories you consume come from fat, with a little protein and very little carbohydrates. Ketosis also happens if you eat a very low-calorie diet — think doctor-supervised, only when medically recommended diets of 600 to 800 total calories.

Benefits and Risks of the Diet That Beginners Need to Know

Before you dive in, it’s key to know the possible benefits and risks of keto.

There are three instances where there’s research to back up a ketogenic diet, including to help control type 2 diabetes, as part of epilepsy treatment, or for weight loss, says Mattinson. “In terms of diabetes, there is some promising research showing that the ketogenic diet may improve glycemic control. It may cause a reduction in A1C — a key test for diabetes that measures a person’s average blood sugar control over two to three months — something that may help you reduce medication use,” she says.

But for people with diabetes, one big concern is you’re eating a lot of fat on keto, and that fat may be saturated, which is unhealthy when eaten in excess. (The much higher total fat intake is also a challenge among keto beginners.)

Because people with type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, there’s a specific concern that the saturated fat in the diet may drive up LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol levels, and further increase the odds of heart problems. If you have type 2 diabetes, talk to your doctor before attempting a ketogenic diet. They may recommend a different weight-loss diet for you, like a reduced-calorie diet, to manage diabetes. Those with epilepsy should also consult their doctor before using this as part of their treatment plan.

In terms of weight loss, you may be interested in trying the ketogenic diet because you’ve heard that it can make a big impact right away. And that’s true. “Ketogenic diets will cause you to lose weight within the first week,” says Mattinson. She explains that your body will first use up all of its glycogen stores (the storage form of carbohydrate). With depleted glycogen, you’ll drop water weight. While it can be motivating to see the number on the scale go down (often dramatically), do keep in mind that most of this is water loss initially.

But the keto diet can be effective over time. One review suggested the keto diet can spur fat loss in obese people when used for a couple of weeks and up to one year. (1) A meta-analysis noted that one reason for weight loss is likely that keto diets suppress hunger. (2)

One downside to a ketogenic diet for weight loss is the difficulty maintaining it. “Studies show that weight loss results from being on a low-carb diet for more than 12 months tend to be the same as being on a normal, healthy diet,” says Mattinson. While you may be eating more satiating fats (like peanut butter, regular butter, or avocado), you’re also way more limited in what’s allowed on the diet, which can make everyday situations, like eating dinner with family or going out with friends, far more difficult. Because people often find it tough to sustain, it’s easy to rely on it as a short-term diet rather than a long-term lifestyle.

Before starting, ask yourself what is really realistic for you, Mattinson suggests. Then get your doctor’s okay. You may also work with a local registered dietitian nutritionist to limit potential nutrient deficiencies and talk about vitamin supplementation, as you won’t be eating whole grains, dairy, or fruit, and will eliminate many veggies. “A diet that eliminates entire food groups is a red flag to me. This isn’t something to take lightly or dive into headfirst with no medical supervision,” she says.

CBD for cancer: Everything you need to know


Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of many cannabinoids in the cannabis plant gaining popularity in the world of natural medicine because it appears to offer the body many benefits. While there is some debate around the topic, some people suggest using CBD in the treatment of cancer.
Although it is too early to make any claims about CBD for cancer treatment, this compound may help manage symptoms that occur due to this disease or its treatment.
It is important to note that CBD is not the same as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which is an active cannabinoid in cannabis that causes a “high” when a person smokes or ingests it. Researchers are also looking at the possibility of using CBD for treating anxiety and chronic pain.
While the initial results from small studies on cancer cells and CBD are promising, they are not conclusive.
In this article, learn about the effects of CBD on cancer and how it may help ease the side effects of cancer treatments.
CBD as a complementary therapy
The majority of the evidence available suggests that CBD and cannabis therapies may complement cancer treatment. CBD may help people with cancer by:
Stimulating appetite
CBD oil may help relieve pain and stimulate appetite.
Many people who are going through cancer treatment experience nausea and loss of appetite.
These symptoms can make it difficult for them to maintain a healthy weight.
Ingested cannabis that delivers THC and other cannabinoids to the bloodstream may help stimulate the appetite, but there is no evidence that CBD alone can have this effect.
Pain relief
Both cancer and its treatment can lead to pain. Cancer often causes pain due to inflammation, pressure on internal organs, or nerve injury. When the pain is severe, it can even become resistant to opioids, which are powerful pain relievers.
CBD indirectly acts on the CB2 receptors, which may help with widespread pain relief by reducing inflammation.
THC acts on the CB1 receptors, which may be helpful for pain resulting from nerve damage.
Nausea
Cannabis and cannabinoids such as CBD may also be helpful for people with cancer who experience regular nausea and vomiting, especially when this is due to chemotherapy.
However, the antinausea effect appears to come from THC in cannabis, rather than from CBD. People looking to try cannabis to reduce nausea should prepare themselves for the potential psychoactive effects of THC in prescribed cannabis products and discuss them with a doctor.
Many people find relief from low doses of THC. Prescription versions of synthetic THC that have fewer side effects are available.
CBD for cancer prevention
Some people wonder about using cannabis or CBD to prevent cancer. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) reviewed numerous studies regarding the link between cannabis and cancer and found that the research has mixed results.
An older study of 64,855 men from the United States found that cannabis use did not increase the risk of tobacco-related cancers. However, this same study also found that male cannabis users who never smoked tobacco had an increased risk of prostate cancer.
On the other hand, the authors of a 2015 study found a promising relationship between cannabis and bladder cancer. After adjusting for several factors, they found that that cannabis users had a 45-percent lower risk of developing bladder cancer.
While research has shown that cannabis smoke still produces carcinogens, the link between inhaled marijuana and cancer remains inconclusive.
However, ingesting CBD extract does not expose the body to the same carcinogens as smoking marijuana. More long-term studies in humans are necessary to determine what role, if any, CBD has to play in the prevention of cancer.
Can CBD treat cancer?
There are currently no large clinical trials that are investigating the use of cannabis or cannabinoids as a cancer treatment. Small pilot studies exist, but the research is still in its early stages.
In 2016, researchers noted that the use of cannabinoids shows promise in the fight against cancer. The authors found that cannabinoids seem to inhibit the growth of many different types of tumor cell in both test tubes and animal models.
However, they also noted that some dosages or types of cannabinoid might suppress the immune system, allowing tumors to grow unchecked.
Much more research is necessary to discover the possible therapeutic uses of cannabinoids in cancer treatment.
Side effects of CBD
If a person stops taking CBD, they may experience insomnia.
The cannabinoid receptors in the brain do not act the same way as many other drug receptors.
For this reason, there may be a lower risk of side effects.
Unlike traditional medications for pain management, there are no apparent lethal doses of CBD. This is because the drug does not affect the central nervous system in the way that opiates do.
However, the cannabinoid receptors are widespread in the body, so CBD affects not only the brain, but also many other organs and tissues.
Small-scale studies have found that people generally tolerate CBD well, but some individuals may experience mild side effects.
These include:
fatigue
diarrhea
changes in appetite
changes in weight
CBD can also interact with a range of medications and cause liver damage. These medications include:
antibiotics
antidepressants
anti-anxiety medications
anti-seizure medications
blood thinners
chemotherapy drugs
muscle relaxers
sedatives, or sleep aids
It may be necessary to speak to a doctor about using CBD products, as they can also interact with some over-the-counter aids and supplements. People should exercise caution when taking CBD alongside prescription medications that warn about possible interactions with grapefruit.
Increased liver toxicity is a possible side effect of CBD. In one 2019 study in the journal Molecules, researchers administered varying doses of CBD to mice. The mice that received higher doses experienced liver damage within 1 day.
Clinical trials of Epidiolex — the brand name of the CBD medication that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have approved to treat epilepsy — did not find any indications of physical dependence.
However, the manufacturers of Epidiolex also warn of its potential to cause liver problems in the product’s safety information.
As the NCI note, CBD inhibits specific enzymes that may be important for cancer therapies. Cancer treatments that rely on these enzymes could be less effective if a person takes CBD.
Takeaway
While CBD does indeed appear to be a beneficial compound for many cancer symptoms, no scientific research suggests that CBD can be an effective cancer treatment.
Cannabinoids and cannabis itself may have their place as a complementary treatment in some cases, for example, for people who need help managing chronic pain and nausea.
People should always talk to a doctor before using CBD or any other compound during cancer treatment to ensure that it will not react with any of the medications that they are taking.
Is CBD Legal? Hemp-derived CBD products (with less than 0.3 percent THC) are legal on the federal level, but are still illegal under some state laws. Marijuana-derived CBD products are illegal on the federal level, but are legal under some state laws. Check your state’s laws and those of anywhere you travel. Keep in mind that nonprescription CBD products are not FDA-approved, and may be inaccurately labeled.

Wrinkle Creams: Your Guide To Younger Looking Skin

Do over-the-counter wrinkle creams really reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles? It depends.

People buy nonprescription wrinkle creams and lotions with the hope that these products can reduce wrinkles and prevent or reverse damage caused by the sun.

Do they work? That often depends on the products’ ingredients and how long you use them. Because these over-the-counter (OTC) wrinkle creams aren’t classified as drugs, they’re not required to undergo scientific research to prove their effectiveness.

If you’re looking for a face-lift in a bottle, you probably won’t find it in OTC wrinkle creams. The benefits of these products are usually only slight.

Common ingredients in anti-wrinkle creams

Moisturizing alone can improve the appearance of your skin. It temporarily plumps the skin, making lines and wrinkles less visible. Moisturizers are lotions, creams, gels and serums made of water, oils and other ingredients, such as proteins, waxes, glycerin, lactate and urea.

Wrinkle creams often are moisturizers with active ingredients that offer additional benefits. These added ingredients are intended to improve skin tone, texture, fine lines and wrinkles. The effectiveness of these products depends in part on your skin type and the active ingredient or ingredients.

Here are common ingredients that may result in some improvement in in the appearance of your skin.

  • Retinoids. This term is used for vitamin A compounds, such as retinol and retinoic acid. These ingredients have long been used topically to help repair sun-damaged skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant, which means it protects the skin from free radicals — unstable oxygen molecules that break down skin cells and cause wrinkles. Vitamin C may help protect skin from sun damage and reduce fine lines and wrinkles. Before and between uses, wrinkle creams containing vitamin C must be stored in a way that protects them from air and sunlight.
  • Hydroxy acids. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) include glycolic, citric and lactic acid. They are used to remove dead skill cells (exfoliate). Using an AHA product regularly prepares your skin to better absorb other products and stimulates the growth of smooth, evenly pigmented new skin.AHAs, beta hydroxyl acids and a newer form called polyhydroxy acids have also been shown to be effective in reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
  • Coenzyme Q10. This ingredient may help reduce fine wrinkles around the eyes and protect the skin from sun damage.
  • Peptides. These molecules occur naturally in living organisms. Certain peptides are able to stimulate collagen production, and have been shown to improve skin texture and wrinkling.
  • Tea extracts. Green, black and oolong tea contain compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Wrinkle creams are most likely to use green tea extracts.
  • Grape seed extract. In addition to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, grape seed extract promotes collagen production.
  • Niacinamide. A potent antioxidant, this substance is related to vitamin B-3 (niacin). It helps reduce water loss in the skin and may improve skin elasticity.

No guarantees: Assessing safety and effectiveness

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies creams and lotions as cosmetics, which are defined as having no medical value. So the FDA regulates them less strictly than it does drugs. This means that cosmetic products don’t undergo the same rigorous testing for safety and effectiveness that topically applied medications undergo.

Because the FDA doesn’t evaluate cosmetic products for effectiveness, there’s no guarantee that any OTC product will reduce your wrinkles.

Consider these points when judging the merits of using a wrinkle cream:

  • Cost. Cost has no relationship to effectiveness. A wrinkle cream that’s more costly may not be more effective than a less costly product.
  • Lower doses. Nonprescription wrinkle creams contain lower concentrations of active ingredients than do prescription creams. So results, if any, are limited and usually short-lived.
  • Multiple ingredients. A product with two or three active ingredients is not necessarily more effective than a product with just one of them. Likewise, using several anti-wrinkle products at the same time may irritate your skin rather than benefit it.
  • Daily use. You’ll likely need to use the wrinkle cream once or twice a day for many weeks before noticing any improvement. And once you discontinue using the product, your skin is likely to return to its original appearance.
  • Side effects. Some products may cause skin irritation, rashes, burning or redness. Be sure to read and follow the product instructions to limit side effects. It may help to select products that don’t cause allergic reactions (hypoallergenic) or acne (noncomedogenic). Choose products that offer a consumer hotline in case you have questions.
  • Individual differences. Just because your friend swears by a product doesn’t mean it will work for you. People have different skin types. No one product works the same for everyone.

Your anti-wrinkle regimen

An anti-wrinkle cream may lessen the appearance of your wrinkles, depending on how often you use it, the type and amount of active ingredient in the wrinkle cream, and the type of wrinkles you want to treat.

But if you want to take the guesswork out of your skin care regimen, try these more reliable ways to improve and maintain your skin’s appearance:

  • Protect your skin from the sun. Exposure to UV light speeds up the natural aging process of your skin, causing wrinkles and rough, blotchy skin. In fact, sun exposure is the No. 1 reason for signs of aging in the skin, including uneven pigmentation. Protect your skin — and prevent future wrinkles — by limiting the time you spend in the sun and always wearing protective clothing and a hat. Also, use sunscreen on exposed skin year-round when outdoors.
  • Choose products with built-in sunscreen. When selecting skin care products, choose those with a built-in SPF of at least 15. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends SPF of 30 or higher. Also, use products that are broad spectrum, meaning they block both UVA and UVB rays, and water resistant. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often if you’re swimming or perspiring.
  • Use moisturizers. Moisturizers can’t prevent wrinkles, but they trap water in the skin, temporarily masking tiny lines and creases.
  • Don’t smoke. Smoking causes narrowing of the blood vessels in the outermost layers of your skin. It also damages collagen and elastin — fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity. As a result, skin begins to sag and wrinkle prematurely. Even if you’ve smoked for years or smoked heavily, you can still improve your skin tone and texture and prevent future wrinkles by quitting smoking.

A dermatologist can help you create a personalized skin care plan by assessing your skin type, evaluating your skin’s condition and recommending products likely to be effective. If you’re looking for more-dramatic results, a dermatologist can recommend medical treatments for wrinkles, including prescription creams, botulinum toxin (Botox) injections or skin-resurfacing techniques.