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Spencer D.
cronometer.com
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  • Hi Everyone!

    I'm one of the nutrition experts at CRON-O-Meter. Check out my bio below and feel free to start posting your burning nutrition questions!

    Hi! I’m Susan Macfarlane, a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and nutrition contributor at CRON-O-Meter. I hold a BSc in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Saskatchewan and a MSc in Human Nutrition from McGill University. I’m here to answer all your nutrition questions with practical, evidence-based recommendations and support. I will also be contributing nutrition articles on a range of topics that will be posted to CRON-O-Meter’s blog on a bi-weekly basis. My areas of specialty include: weight management and bariatric surgery, eating disorder recovery, gastrointestinal health, and vitamin and mineral requirements. I’m also an expert on plant-based eating and have been vegan since 2008.

    I currently call Canada’s capital of Ottawa, Ontario home and love partaking in all things Canadian, such as watching Hockey Night in Canada while drinking craft beer and wearing plaid, along with my favourite toque (which also happens to be plaid). I play Ultimate Frisbee year-round, and am an avid snowboarder and cross-country skier during the winter months. I also love weight-lifting and have occasionally dabbled in body building.

    No two days are ever the same for me. In addition to my role at CRON-O-Meter, I also run a private nutrition practice, where I provide nutrition counseling services, seminars, and radio and TV interviews. As much as possible, I like to work from my home office where I spend the day drinking iced coffee and hanging out with my cats, Odette and Sadie.

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    cronometer.com
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
    https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

  • Does anyone check for discrepancies on foods entered? I had purchased Manitoba Hemp Hearts Raw Shelled Hemp Seeds at Costco in California (USA) when I saw it already on your list I was using those measures. When I questioned some of my totals for the day I found my bar code was different, Iron was 30% on yours and 20% on mine and I have no idea where the Omega #'s came from, because my bag didn't even mention Omegas...I have entered my own package info when I can't find one that fits...just curious where these other numbers come from.

  • Hi Katijay,
    We have a curation team here at Cronometer dedicated to fact-checking labels entered into our database. There are thousands of new products added each year, but we are eager to take on this monumental task. Often, food manufacturers produce many different product formulations, each with slightly different nutrition information. If you do not find a match in our database, you may submit your food to share with the rest of the community. We will review the submission and add it to the Cronometer database.

    Karen Stark
    cronometer.com
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
    https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

  • Thanks Kkelly...that is pretty much what I have been doing. If you ever need help with this I would love to be a checker.

  • hi Susan,
    on a keto high fat , low carb plan ,, how do i calculate the gm of protein for the day?
    some say 1gm /kg weight. i plan on a 1200 cal diet for the day according to cronometer settings to my bio. thank you

  • @mnanagrandma

    I'll let @Frank chime in as he is our resident keto expert. I believe that most plans encourage protein @ 15% of total calories which would be around 45 grams of protein. However, this may not be enough for you based on your target weight. Generally speaking, I would suggest aiming for at least 60 g per day (20 g per meal) or 1 gram per kg of body weight.

    Good luck!

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    cronometer.com
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
    https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

  • All good advice! @mnanagrandma Remember keto is "carbs to your carb tolerance, moderate protein and fat to satiety (you are full). Moderate protein you can think of like the carbs, protein to your protein tolerance. Keto is about keeping insulin low. You do that in many ways and whatever way works for you, you should do.

    Protein can be converted to glucose and cause your insulin to not drop as you wish, and halting or not allowing you to get into ketosis. I like the 1 gram per kg of body weight to start with and see how you respond. This means you have to test you levels of ketones and glucose as well. You can consume more protein if you are working out hard as well. Testing will reveal if you are consuming too much protein.

    Now with that said, you first have to have your carbs under control. Starting with 40g max, you should get into ketosis over a few weeks and probably much sooner then that. Carbs need to be non-refined and not starchy, which means veggies not breads, pastas, cakes, and starchy vegetables like potatoes. Fruit is tough, but initially, stick with berries only and not a lot of them. Over time you can add the "good" carbs back into your diet and see how you respond and see what your carb tolerance is.

    Our default setting for keto of 40g of carbs with 1g protein per kg of body weight is a good starting point. And remember to test, test, and test for ketones some more!

    That is a bit more then you asked for, but I feel the answer needed a bit more background to be complete.

    Let me know if you have more questions.

    Best regards

    Frank

    Best regards,
    Frank Alvarez
    cronometer.com
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
    https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

  • wow ,, thank you so much for the responses.

    when i calculate the 1gm protein /1kg weight i based it on my lean body mass which was 193. so i came up with 90 gms protein. i know it sounds like a lot. unfortunately my keto sticks are coming in today . i have followed the higher fat-(50-86gms) and very strict cho at 20GMS,, all the food and sweet cravings are gone (pretty much after the first 3 days. i am using the great tools with the biometrics etc on this site and love it for its ease . i have at least 60 lbs to loose .

    the eating until satiety is difficult as then i eat too much for the day. so i am really trying to play with the macros until i keep loosing weight.. 4 lbs \2 weeks. i understand now about the insulin and the too much protein. i am a nurse but this is all new knowledge for me. hopefully i will find i am in ketosis soon as it is 2 weeks . if i am not then i know its too much protein since my carbs have been strictly under 20..

    does this sound ok?

  • @mnanagrandma

    Eating fat to satiety can just be "until you are comfortably full". Ketosis occurs because you have insulin low, period. Carbs are the focus we all hear about and they are important, but it is insulin; carbs affect it a lot and get the attention. I would not worry on hitting the protein number as well. If you eat say 50g and you feel good, you should be just fine. Again, a health practitioner with experience in keto would be invaluable for you.

    For the keto sticks; they will work initially, then they become a better marker for hydration then ketones. They will tell you if you are producing ketones, but don't get discouraged if you don't hit dark purples then start to reverse your colors to lower ketone values. I see a lot of people give up because they start to measure lower numbers on the sticks and are doing the diet very strict and get frustrated. Don't fall into that trap. Blood and breath testing are much more accurate, but the sticks are ok for the first week or so.

    In our manual under the ketone section you will see some products you can purchase to test with: https://cronometer.com/help/diary/#macros

    Best regards

    Frank

    Best regards,
    Frank Alvarez
    cronometer.com
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
    https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

  • thanks again, i see the physician today who is a follower of the keto . i will seek more knowledge. meanwhile i am doing good. some temptations but no cravings. its a dream. an adjustment in cooking and prep . which is well worth the effort . in ketosis on the stirps , just to monitor. playing with it really . trying to see what adjustments i need to make . really enjoy the forum and i am grateful for the advice. thanks again

  • saw the doc spec yesterday . wonderful knowledge .. i am on the right track. we discussed the not counting calories and how much of each macro to have. recommended wathcing Ivor Cummins on you tube --the cholesterol conundrum. its technical in the beginning , however the middle to the end is great stuff . all the great research done by him and others about ketogenesis high fat low carb. hes an engineer and a great speaker ., and has lived the journey of keto. happy to say i am in moderate ketosis and the weight is coming off. 5 pounds in 18 days and i am not hungry or craving. just sooooo thrilled ,.. this is a keeper.

  • @mnanagrandma Glad you are having success and that the forums have been beneficial to you! Keep us posted on your progress!

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    cronometer.com
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
    https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

  • @mnanagrandma Ivor rocks! Super smart guy and doing a ton of work in the keto world. He is a colleague of mine. Love him.

    Best regards,
    Frank Alvarez
    cronometer.com
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
    https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

  • ok-- question. how about erythritol in small amounts?
    i am reading that is does not raise blood sugar, or increase insulin.
    thinking of making some choc bombs , but do NOT want to screw up my ketosis . thanks anyone.. :)

  • edited September 2017

    @mnanagrandma i use erythritol all the time, though I find it is hard to dissolve in fat bombs and leaves a crunchy texture unless I grind it down further. I like Pyure Stevia/Erythritol blend better for cooking. The plain erythritol works great for hot beverages where it will dissolve easier. It could just be my brand of erythritol too. I have tested and have no blood sugar raises from using erythritol and not lost my keto status based on blood ketone monitoring. I stay about 1-1.4 most of the time, unless I am fasting, when it goes up to 2-3.

  • @Frank and @mnanagrandma I found out first hand that keto sticks are more a reliable measure of hydration. I typically test blood ketones 2 x a week to keep cost down and use keto sticks in between. Last week I did a 78 hour fast with a lot of water. The ketone sticks were barely pink after 48 hours. I tested my blood ketones and they were 2.1. I think my urine was just very dilute from all of the water I drank. Moral of the story, be careful with the keto sticks. They can be a tool but like any other tool, they can also give false readings that might be discouraging.

  • @Ceithlenn Exactly on the keto sticks and the erythritol. All foods, technically, will induce an insulin response, but erythritol is very small and that is why it is great substitute for a sweetener. Keep testing your blood as the "A" standard and you will learn how your body responds to foods. That is part of the journey! @mnanagrandma

    Best regards,
    Frank Alvarez
    cronometer.com
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
    https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

  • Do you think it would be possible to add a piece into cronometer to help track fasting times and macronutrients within those time periods?

  • good morning, hope all are well and happy.

    so i am in my fourth week . doing great.. 10pounds lost. thrilled with keto.
    however--- question--i feel crappy today and yesterday. headache , body aches and diarrhea. could it be keto flu after 4 weeks? after feeling great , this is unexpected.from what i have read , i thought that would happen in the very beginning. thanks

  • @mnanagrandma Few things could be getting you. Yes keto flu, the headache thing tells me minerals are low. As you get adapted you will start to shed water because your kidneys will stop retaining water, as they should! With water goes your minerals, especially salt. Typical recommendations for keto with less than 50g of carbs per day is that you will need 2-3grams of extra salt. Use a quality sea salt.

    A possibility for the diarrhea could be MCT oil (coconut oil). If you are not use to it, it can clean you out big time. Cut back on it or stop for a day or so to see if that is it. Keep the water up especially with the diarrhea, remember keto will flush water out of you on top of that. Dehydration could be a secondary side affect from the diarrhea causing the headaches.

    Look back at your food logs and see if you can pinpoint something that changed and your symptoms set in. Play with those two things a bit and see if it resolves. Just some "basic" thoughts to hopefully help you.

    Best regards,
    Frank Alvarez
    cronometer.com
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
    https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

  • geeze,, thanks so much.. i did have a fat treat my coworker made for me on tuesday with ertythriol.. only 3 small ones , but that may have done it. guess i could use this as a fasting day . not much of an appetite anyway. going to keto physician tuesday . will look into the minerals , for example mg , k, and na.. gonna drink , drink ,. thanks again.

  • I need B12. I eat mostly plant based foods and tiny amounts of butter & maybe some sheep yogurt -not much though. So far I get sick with all the B12 supplements I've tried. If I tried taking a tiny amount of a supplement, maybe once a week - well how much B12 do you need in your system to be okay? Does it stay in your system longer than vitamins like C?

    I'm wondering if I take little bits each week (because I've gotten really bad headaches, nausea, etc from the supplements- and I tried about 5-6 different kinds, really plain basic ones too) would I be able to build up the levels in my body over time? How much would I need to take at a minimum? There's basically no way to get it from plants right? Or if I had one container of sheep yogurt a week would that help at all? I can't have much dairy, but maybe could have some. I don't know what to do. :( I can't eat eggs either.

  • @butterfly

    Sorry to hear about your struggle. My thought is that you might be reacting to some of the ingredients used in the supplement, rather than the B12 itself.

    On a plant-based diet, there are no reliable sources of vitamin B12. Occasional butter and sheep's milk also will not provide you with the minimum requirements needed, which are 2.4 mcg per day (for adults).

    I think the first step is to go to your doctor to find out why you may be reacting and to get your B12 levels checked. Because B12 is water-soluble, it doesn't really stay in your body for that long (although high stores can take time to deplete). You may want to look at taking a very small amount (in the range of 5-10 mcg per day) before bed; you can usually find this dose in a children's supplement of B12. An alternative option would be to get B12 injections once a month. Because you would be bypassing the digestive system, you should not have any resulting gastrointestinal issues.

    Hope this helps!

    Susan Macfarlane, MScA, RD
    Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
    cronometer.com
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
    https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

  • Hello, Keto dieting here. I finally get that keeping insulin low is the key. I use a glucose/ketone blood meter. My glucose measurement went from 110 to 90. Does a normal glucose of 90 translate into a normal insulin level? Thanks!

  • @allisa4757 It should, but you can actually get your insulin tested from your doctor to get a better picture. Testing your glucose like you are is a great metric to see where you are at and your trend. You are obviously trending down, which is awesome!

    Best regards,
    Frank Alvarez
    cronometer.com
    As always, any and all postings here are covered by our T&Cs:
    https://forums.cronometer.com/discussion/27/governing-terms-and-disclaimer

  • Thank you Frank, hopefully when I approach my doctor he will go with my new philosophy of healthcare.

  • Hi Frank

    Hoping you can answer a question for me. I weigh 68kgs, 5"11" tall 25% body fat even though cromometer says 21%. i have set for vigorous as i want to be below 20 grams carbs. I want to loose 4 kgs in total' - 1450 calories a day. light exercise.

    it says i should be eating 41grams of protein, 20grams carbs and 127 grams of fat.

    but most other sites tell me i should be eating between 77-90grams of protein, 20 grams carbs and about 106grams fat.

    so i am awfully confused and am worried about not eating enough protein. i have not started loosing weight yet been on a week seriously tracking macros. blood ketone reading a few days ago was 0.9. havent tested again as yet.

    i have no health issues but really wanted to know why this site is so different to all the other sites in regards to protein

    thanks Pam

  • @Pam You should log your actual body fat % to the diary (Click add biometric) so it can stop guessing and use your reading.

    Our default keto settings are optimized more for people doing therapeutic ketogenic diets, where protein needs to be much stricter than a casual ketogenic diet for weight loss or general health. You can change the settings to anything you want by selecting 'Custom' from the keto settings list.

  • Thanks for the info.

    can you tell me why we are not getting into ketosis. carbs definitely lower than 20 grams. my husband works out at a gym and home 5 days a week. but he cannot get his ketones above 0.3.. so i am thinking macros are wrong somewhere.

    sorry can you also suggest a good ratio for the custom settings please. we want to be below 20 grams of carbs and i need to loose about 4kgs

    thanks pam

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