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Is Almond Milk Keto?

Published May 09, 2019 (Revised: October 09, 2019)
Kate Sullivan

Written By: Kate Sullivan, MS

Kate holds a MS in Business Psychology and is currently a PHD researcher in Well-Being and Performance Psychology.

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<script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context":"http://schema.org", "@type":"BlogPosting", "author": { "@type": "Person", "name": "Ben Kissam, BS" }, "publisher": { "@type": "Organization", "name": "Warrior Made", "logo": { "@type": "ImageObject", "url": "https://www.warriormade.com", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2018/11/Injured_Elbow.jpg" } }, "headline":"What’s The Connection Between Keto and Inflammation?", "datePublished":"2018-11-30", "dateModified": "2019-11-16", "description":"Can a low-carb diet help ward off inflammation? Here's what the science says about keto and inflammation.", "image": "https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/media/public/2018/11/Injured_Elbow.jpg" } </script> <script type="application/ld+json"> { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is inflammation?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The short answer: Inflammation is your body's natural response to potentially harmful irritants and foreign objects.<br />Inflammation is your immune system's natural response to germs, chemicals (in food or other forms of exposure), or a physical object, like a splinter in your finger. The inflammatory response's job is to protect your body against illness, injury and infection.<br />Common responses—like redness and swelling—help increase blood flow to the damaged tissue, and send pain signals to your brain (in this case, pain is a good thing; it tells your body something is healing so you don't injure it further).<br />Both the inside and outside of your body use this response. For example, excessive wear and tear from exercise, poor posture, or life in general can lead to inflammation in your joints, making them stiff and painful." } }, { "@type": "Question", "name": "What is the keto diet?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb nutritional approach. The diet leverages the power of ketosis, a state where your body produces a chemical called ketones. These compounds are produced by your liver and burn stored fat, not glucose, as your primary fuel source." } }, { "@type": "Question", "name": "What's the connection between keto and inflammation?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Because of its emphasis on wholesome, fiber-dense carbs and healthy fats, the ketogenic diet has been shown to help reduce inflammation.<br />Eating more than 50 grams of carbs per day makes it hard to get into ketosis, so keto dieters generally don't eat much processed food or sugar.<br />(A half a pack of skittles, for example, has more than half a day's worth of carbs in it.) <br />Instead, they get their carbs from fiber-dense fruits and vegetables, which don't spike your blood sugar.<br />Further, poor gut health—which is very much contingent on your diet—is linked to low-grade inflammation across your entire body. And keto has been shown to improve the health of your gut's bacteria." } }, { "@type": "Question", "name": "Is low carb anti-inflammatory?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The science suggests it might be. Consider:<br />The Journal of the American College of Nutrition classifies an "anti-inflammatory" diet as one that stabilizes insulin (a hormone that controls your blood sugar) and promotes a healthy omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acid ratio (essential nutrients that promote heart health).<br />A study in the journal Annals of Medicine found that, when compared to a high-fat diet, low-carb diets were more effective for reducing inflammation over a period of 6 months in diabetic patients.<br />Plenty of keto-friendly foods like salmon, olive oil, and nuts are packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which help control the inflammatory response. (See section: "Keto-friendly anti-inflammatory foods" below for more.)<br />As you can see, a lot of evidence points to a strong connection between low-carb diets and reduced inflammation." } }] } </script> <article> <div> <ul> <li><a href="#section1">What is Inflammation?</a></li> <li><a href="#section2">Inflammation vs. Chronic Inflammation</a></li> <li><a href="#section3">What is the Keto Diet?</a></li> <li><a href="#section4">What's the Connection Between Keto and Inflammation?</a></li> <li><a href="#section5">Is Low Carb Anti-Inflammatory?</a></li> <li><a href="#section6">Keto-Friendly Anti-Inflammatory Foods</a></li> <li><a href="#section7">Keto and Inflammation: Wrap Up</a></li> </ul> </div> <section> <p>Inflammation is a natural response that your immune system uses to protect and heal you<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK279298/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">1</a></sup>. But if that response lingers and becomes <i>chronic inflammation</i>, your health may be at risk.</p> <p>Chronic inflammation is considered the "common soil" for many diseases that kill Americans<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?Db=pubmed&Cmd=ShowDetailView&TermToSearch=21195808" rel="nofollow noreferrer">2</a></sup>. Heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and even neurological disorders are all linked to a persistent inflammatory response.</p> <p>One of the main culprits of chronic inflammation is long-term exposure to triggers, which can include highly processed or sugary foods.</p> <p>Fortunately, low-carb diets that place an emphasis on quality foods (like the <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/keto-101-a-beginners-guide-to-keto" rel="noreferrer">ketogenic diet</a>) have been shown to reduce inflammation<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5981249/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">2</a></sup>.</p> <p>Here's what you need to know about the inflammatory response and the connection between keto and inflammation.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section1"> <h2>What is inflammation?</h2> <p><i>The short answer</i>: Inflammation is your body's natural response to potentially harmful irritants and foreign objects.</p> <p>Inflammation is your immune system's natural response to germs, chemicals (in food or other forms of exposure), or a physical object, like a splinter in your finger. The inflammatory response's job is to protect your body against illness, injury and infection.</p> <p>Common responses—like redness and swelling—help increase blood flow to the damaged tissue, and send pain signals to your brain (in this case, pain is a good thing; it tells your body something is healing so you don't injure it further).</p> <p>Both the inside and outside of your body use this response. For example, excessive wear and tear from exercise, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/spine-alignment-exercises/" rel="noreferrer">poor posture</a>, or life in general can lead to inflammation in your joints, making them stiff and painful<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK518992/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">3</a></sup>.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section2"> <h2>Inflammation vs. chronic inflammation</h2> <p><i>The short answer</i>: The inflammatory response itself is not bad. Chronic inflammation, on the other hand, is not good for you because it's linked to many different diseases.</p> <p>By itself, inflammation is not a bad thing. Without it, damaged tissues in our body would not be able to heal and it would be impossible to fight infections. Inflammation is the way our body fights injury, illness, or disease. </p> <p>However, <i>chronic inflammation</i> is not good for your health.</p> <p>Chronic inflammation means your body's inflammatory mechanisms aren't effectively removing or healing the injured tissue. Your immune system's response lingers, keeping your cells in a constant state of alertness. It can last for months, weeks, or even years<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2517296/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">4</a></sup>.</p> <p>When the immune system never stops reacting, it ends up causing unintentional damage to the body. Chronic inflammation is linked with diseases like heart disease, cancer, arthritis, and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/the-keto-diet-and-diabetes/" rel="noreferrer">diabetes</a>.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/keto-anti-inflammatory-foods-0025.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/keto-anti-inflammatory-foods-0025.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/keto-anti-inflammatory-foods-0025.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/keto-anti-inflammatory-foods-LR-0025.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="keto-anti-inflammatory-foods"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section3"> <h2>What is the keto diet?</h2> <p>The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb nutritional approach. The diet leverages the power of <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/87-things-to-avoid-on-the-keto-diet" rel="noreferrer"><i>ketosis</i></a>, a state where your body produces a chemical called <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/ketosis-and-brain-function" rel="noreferrer">ketones</a>. These compounds are produced by your liver and burn stored fat, not glucose, as your primary fuel source.</p> <p>Most people that follow the keto diet base their meals around green vegetables, lean protein sources, healthy fats like coconut oil and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/carbs-in-avocados" rel="noreferrer">avocado</a>, and some <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/can-you-have-fruit-on-keto" rel="noreferrer">low-carb fruits</a>. (You'll learn why this matters in the next section.)</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section4"> <h2>What's the connection between keto and inflammation?</h2> <p>Because of its emphasis on wholesome, fiber-dense carbs and healthy fats, the ketogenic diet has been shown to help reduce inflammation<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5981249/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">5</a></sup>.</p> <p>Eating more than 50 grams of carbs per day makes it hard to get into ketosis, so keto dieters generally don't eat much processed food or sugar<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499830/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">6</a></sup>.</p> <p>(A <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/exercise/how-to-lose-weight-and-keep-it-off/" rel="noreferrer">half a pack of skittles</a>, for example, has more than half a day's worth of carbs in it.) </p> <p>Instead, they get their carbs from fiber-dense fruits and vegetables, which don't spike your blood sugar<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1663443" rel="nofollow noreferrer">7</a></sup>.</p> <p>Further, poor gut health—which is very much contingent on your diet—is linked to low-grade inflammation across your entire body<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6267105/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">8</a></sup>. And keto has been shown to improve the health of your gut's bacteria<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5597508/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">9</a></sup>.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/anti-inflammatory-carbs-0025.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/anti-inflammatory-carbs-0025.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/anti-inflammatory-carbs-0025.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/anti-inflammatory-carbs-LR-0025.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="anti-inflammatory-carbs"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section5"> <h2>Is low carb anti-inflammatory?</h2> <p>The science suggests it might be. Consider:</p> <ul> <li>The <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26400429" rel="nofollow noreferrer"><i>Journal of the American College of Nutrition</i></a> classifies an "anti-inflammatory" diet as one that stabilizes insulin (a hormone that controls your blood sugar) and promotes a healthy omega 3 to omega 6 fatty acid ratio (essential nutrients that promote heart health).</li> <li>A study in the journal <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4025600/" rel="nofollow noreferrer"><i>Annals of Medicine</i></a> found that, when compared to a high-fat diet, low-carb diets were more effective for reducing inflammation over a period of 6 months in diabetic patients.</li> <li>Plenty of keto-friendly foods like <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/lemon-butter-baked-salmon" rel="noreferrer">salmon</a>, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/healthier-substitutes-for-vegetable-oil" rel="noreferrer">olive oil</a>, and nuts are packed with healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which help control the inflammatory response<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28900017" rel="nofollow noreferrer">10</a></sup>. (See section: "Keto-friendly anti-inflammatory foods" below for more.)</li> </ul> <p>As you can see, a lot of evidence points to a strong connection between low-carb diets and reduced inflammation.</p> <h3>Are carbohydrates inflammatory?</h3> <p><i>The short answer</i>: The science says they can be. But sugary and processed foods—generally carbohydrate-dense items—are the major culprits.</p> <p>Not all carb sources are inflammatory. </p> <p>Remember that a "carbohydrate" is a broad term. Technically speaking, ice cream and spinach are both carb sources, and spinach is anti-inflammatory<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24930815" rel="nofollow noreferrer">11</a></sup>.</p> <p>Here's what the science says:</p> <ul> <li>A study from the <i><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16600927" rel="nofollow noreferrer">American Journal of Clinical Nutrition</a> (AJCN)</i> found that a high-carb diet had unfavorable effects on the body's inflammatory markers. (Though the same study said a high-carb diet that restricted calories had a positive effect.) <ul> <li>This links up with a 2017 study in <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5518723/" rel="nofollow noreferrer"><i>Molecular Metabolism</i></a> that concluded that eating too much fat and sugar is what causes inflammation, not just fat by itself. Both studies show that caloric intake may play a role in the body's inflammatory response.</li> </ul> </li> <li>The <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20364347" rel="nofollow noreferrer"><i>European Journal of Applied Physiology</i></a> found that consuming lots of carbs after a workout results in more inflammation during recovery than a low carb diet.</li> <li>Finally, another study from <a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24552752" rel="nofollow noreferrer"><i>AJCN</i></a> found that fiber-dense, nutrient rich carbohydrates may reduce inflammation<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24552752" rel="nofollow noreferrer">12</a></sup>.</li> </ul> <p>Considering the above, it's safe to say that not all carbs are created equal. Carb-dense foods that are processed, full of sugar, or high in calories are linked to inflammatory responses. On the other hand, wholesome fruits and vegetables may help reduce it.</p> <picture class="lazy-load"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/keto-and-inflammation-0025.webp" type="image/webp"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/keto-and-inflammation-0025.jp2" type="image/jpf"> <source data-srcset="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/keto-and-inflammation-0025.jpg"> <img src="https://d1ghrtdbdq2gkr.cloudfront.net/blog-content/keto-and-inflammation-LR-0025.jpg" class="img-fluid" alt="keto-and-inflammation"> </picture> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section6"> <h2>Keto-friendly anti-inflammatory foods</h2> <p>Generally speaking, a diet that's rich in <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/do-micronutrients-matter-as-much-as-macronutrients/" rel="noreferrer">micronutrients</a> (vitamins and minerals) and rich in omega 3s will help fight off inflammation.</p> <p>This is not a comprehensive list of foods that fight inflammation, but a good place to start.</p> <ul> <li><strong>Protein</strong>: oily fish, like <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/smoked-salmon-salads" rel="noreferrer">salmon</a>, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/spicy-tuna-bowls" rel="noreferrer">tuna</a>, and sardines.</li> <li><strong>Carbs</strong>: spinach, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/salmon-kale-salad" rel="noreferrer">kale</a>, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/broccoli-cheese-soup" rel="noreferrer">broccoli</a>, strawberries, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/keto-blueberry-muffins" rel="noreferrer">blueberries</a>, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/crispy-garlic-parmesan-cauliflower" rel="noreferrer">garlic</a>, and tomatoes.</li> <li><strong>Fats</strong>: olive oil, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/keto-cinnamon-almond-flour-waffles" rel="noreferrer">almonds</a>, <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/sweet-smoky-bacon-maple-and-walnut-kale-salad" rel="noreferrer">walnuts</a>, and <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/avocado-bacon-and-eggs" rel="noreferrer">avocado</a>.</li> </ul> <p>Certain supplements, like <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/the-best-supplements-to-fight-inflammation/" rel="noreferrer">turmeric and krill oil</a>, can also help reduce inflammation<sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664031/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">13</a></sup> <sup><a target="_blank" href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5049853/" rel="nofollow noreferrer">14</a></sup>.</p> </section> <hr class="divider-50 divider-medium mx-auto"> <section id="section7"> <h2>Keto and inflammation: Wrap up</h2> <p>While the immune system's inflammatory response is necessary for our health, chronic inflammation is bad news. Fortunately, the connection between keto and inflammation shows that a low-carb diet can be an effective way to get rid of this persistent response.</p> <p>If you're looking to reduce inflammation, then base your diet around wholesome, fiber-dense carbohydrates and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids. The list of foods in the previous section are a good place to start—and here are <a target="_blank" href="https://www.warriormade.com/content/diet/" rel="noreferrer">some recipes</a> to help get you started.</p> </section> </article>

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