The Ketogenic Diet [Interview][Transcript]

dr_mark_sherwood_ketogenic_dietGuest: Dr. Mark Sherwood
Presenter: Neal Howard
Guest Bio: Mark Sherwood, Naturopathic Doctor, Author of Amazon best seller, The Quest for Wellness. Co-CEO of The Functional Medical Institute, a wellness-based medical practice in Tulsa, OK, with his wife Dr. Michele, Co-host of the Living It TV, a weekly television program with bridges the gap between Biblical principles and Eastern and Western medicine. He and his wife speak all over the world to corporations, organizations, wellness professionals, and churches with an emphasis on living in health and receipt of healing.

Segment overview: Dr Mark Sherwood, ND discusses ketogenic eating – understanding the ketogenic diet and the benefits associated with it.

Health Professional Radio – Ketogenic Diet

SaveNeal Howard: Hello and welcome to the program, I’m your host Neal Howard here on Health Professional Radio. I’d like to welcome Dr. Mark Sherwood to the studio, returning guest, he’s here today to talk with us about the ketogenic diet. He’s the co-CEO of the Functional Medical Institute, a wellness based medical practice in Tulsa, Oklahoma, also the author of the Quest for Wellness – an Amazon bestseller. Welcome to the program Mark.

Dr. Mark Sherwood: Neal thank you so much for having me.

N: Thank you. Well as the co-CEO and founder of the Functional Medical Institute, this wellness based medical practice in Tulsa, what services do you offer there? Are we talking simply hormone therapies or supplements or is it well a well-rounded practice when it comes to a healthy diet?

S: Well certainly it’s well-rounded. We like to focus on all four areas of the person – physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual – and when a person to come in here there has the desire to be well, we do nutrition, we do hormones, we do body composition enhancement. What that means is teaching them to get more muscle and lose fat thereby reducing the size of their clothes of course and kind of put it all together and so that a person will be equipped and know how to handle their self when get out in the world as they say.

N: Your services, are they geared more toward someone who wants to better their health or say a kid who just wants to come in and say ‘start’ and is maybe late teens and launched a career of healthy eating and just go gang ho at it? I mean who is the prime patient for your particular practice?

S: Well it’s two fold Neal, number one in no particular order the person who is 20, 30, 40 lbs. or more overweight and just can’t get it off and is carrying a little too much of visceral fat or as we like to say dunlap’s disease if you wanna be funny about it and they just want to get it off and get their life back, get their health back, their hormones are at a whack and that’s people anywhere from 35 years of age up to probably 60 or 65, we have some of the 70s as well. We are not per se a general pediatric practice although we do have people that are under 18 as well as even college athletes and even professional athletes come to us that want to enhance their performance and we do that through nutritional education. We put these really unique systems of supplementations on board in their life and we see their performance just excel whether it be on the football field or a basketball court because they have more explosion, more power, more muscle tissue.

N: What would you say is I guess a brief description of one of the best diets or in your opinion the best diet that you would talk about say at the Institute?

S: We promote the beneficial properties of what’s called the ketogenic diet, it is a diet and I don’t like that word diet, let’s just call it the ketogenic protocol I guess. We manipulate the food that a person takes into the course of the day so that the body is forced to use its own fat as fuel. The benefits of that are multiple and they include but certainly not limited to the following: a person does lose body fat while maintaining muscle tissue and that’s the best of all worlds. I believe, we had a gentleman come in recently and this is roughly a 3 ½ – 4 month time period where he had lost over 20 lbs. of fat tissue and gained over 5 lbs. of muscle tissue. He only had about 18 lbs. switch in body fat or in lbs. lost but his percent body fat lost was over 10% which was incredible, his waist trimmed down, his shoulders gotten a little more broaden and bigger. The ketogenic diet is beneficial for that reason of course but also there is a lot of safety mechanisms. When a body is operating under a ketogenic style where fat is the predominant fuel source of the mitochondria we know that cell replication slows down. So when a cell becomes damaged and they all do through excess free radicals or other stressors in our lives if the body is reproducing so fast, so many cells turned over, that cell which is damaged is not gonna get fixed or not gonna get destroyed so therefore you have the potential for a cell which is damaged to continue to replicate. Well we know that a damaged or a mutated cell replicating is called cancer and we understand now thru science that a cancer cell cannot adapt to using fat as its primary fuel source. Most cells in the body which are normal can operate in either glucose or ketones – those are those ketone bodies that are metabolized as your own fat being broken down or fat being brought in from the outside. So a cancerous cell, the only way it can operate is in a glucose dominant or carbohydrate dominant environment so you effectively put yourself in a position to eliminate the excessive cell turnover and to eliminate turnover of damaged cells. So we’re talking a very immune enhancing environment within the body.

N: Does the ketogenic diet eliminate sugar in order to make fat that source of fuel or is sugar intake simply not an issue?

S: Yeah, great question. We know that the brain has to have glucose to operate on, so the body has its innate ability when sugar or glucose is not available to convert existing tissues into glucose and it does that thru the process called gluconeogenesis or new glucose and ketones are necessary to make that happen. So a body for a time can operate without sugar coming in by creating its own sugar. When a person is fully ketogenic adapted or fat adapted as we like to call it, they can affect we take in 15, 20 or up to 25 grams of sugar a day from good sources such as honey and dates and fruits and things of that nature and they’ll be just fine.

N: Once we’ve got our body accustomed to this diet, how far reaching are the benefits? Do we have to maintain this diet at a constant level or is it something that we can maintain by not eating the same types of foods? How does that work and is all these explained in your book, The Quest for Wellness?

S: Yeah, it is in there Neal. Some great explanations and in a nutshell here’s what it looks like a person eating a lot of fat those can be avocados, nuts, nut butters, eggs, fish, chicken, the… fat there, oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil and they’re eating a moderate amount of protein and that’s gonna be good, grass fed, grass finished beef, wild caught fish, free range chickens and good quality green vegetables and that’s what it looks like at the end of this road. A person that’s able to sustain that and does food nutrients that I just pointed out to you are readily available to really everybody. Now with exception of some of the grass fed, grass finished meat… those can sometimes be hard to find, in that case just do the best you can and try to be relatively clean. So in a nutshell for a person can maintain roughly a 60% fat intake, about a 20% carbohydrate intake or even down to 15 and then about a 20 – 25% protein intake in that ratio, they’re gonna be gold as far as the style with which our bodies are operating in. A very safe way to do this, very healthy, very sustainable because fat is a very satiating type of food, it makes you feel full.

N: Now at your website, I think it’s, talk about your website and talk about whether or not we’d find some tips at this website on preparing the some of these ketogenic food.

S: Yeah, there are some recipes on there readily available. There are also some very, very key blogs that talk about low carb diets, ketogenic diets. There is a lot of tips on there about things such as… fasting which will help a person kind of adapt the body quicker to a fat adapted system. The website is full of a lot of videos that we spend about 10 minutes or so explaining and there’s links to a YouTube channel as well, it has more lengthy explanations from my beautiful bride and I. So plenty of information on there, it comes out very fast paced at least once or twice a week, something new so there will be enough information on there for all listeners to have to make them busy for the next couple of years probably.

N: What would you tell other health care professionals when considering maybe stepping away from the traditional method of weight loss and adopting some of these ketogenic modalities that you offer there at the Functional Medical Institute?

S: I would just say this, we have to look at the results and kind of to stay aligned from Dr. Phil, “How’s it working for you?” These current diets we’re having out here the reason we’re having so many is because it’s simply not working, our population statistics around the world is getting obscenely obese and it’s because of the poor food we’re putting in our mouth and if we just stop a second, quit doing the same old thing expecting a different result and we know what that is a definition of – insanity – so we need to change it and we encourage all health care professionals who are listening to absolutely embrace this lifestyle, look how strongly it is, the science backs to that and live this thing out so our patients can see health as well as just hear about it.

N: Great. You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio, I’m your host Neal Howard in studio with Dr. Mark Sherwood, co-CEO of the Functional Medical Institute and Author of the book The Quest for Wellness in studio this afternoon talking about the ketogenic diet and the benefits that go along with it. It’s been great having you in studio today with us Mark.

S: Neal, thank you for having me.

N: Thank you. Transcripts and audio of this program are available at and also at and you can subscribe to this podcast on iTunes.

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