A Ketogenic Diet for Beginners
A Ketogenic Diet for Beginners
By Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, MD – Updated August 2017
A ketogenic diet (keto) is a very low-carb diet, which turns the body into a fat-burning machine. It has many potential benefits for weight loss, health and performance, but also some potential initial side effects.
A ketogenic diet is similar to other strict low-carb diets, like the Atkins diet or LCHF (low carb, high fat). These diets often end up being ketogenic more or less by accident. The main difference between strict LCHF and keto is that protein is restricted in the latter.
A keto diet is designed specifically to result in ketosis. It’s possible to measure and adapt to reach optimal ketone levels for health, weight loss, or for physical and mental performance. Below, you can learn how to use keto to achieve your personal goals.
Make keto even simpler by signing up for our free two-week keto challenge. Get unlimited meal plans, shopping lists and much else with a free membership trial.
Introduction to the keto diet1. IntroductionWhat to eat on a keto diet2. What to eatBenefits3. BenefitsMeasuring Ketones4. How to know you’re in ketosis
Optimal ketosis5. How to reach optimal ketosisKeto guides and tips6. Tips and guidesKeto side effects7. Side EffectsFine-tuning and Troubleshooting a Ketogenic Diet8. Q&A, troubleshooting & resources
1. Introduction: What is Ketosis?
The “keto” in a ketogenic diet comes from the fact that it makes the body produce small fuel molecules called “ketones”.1 This is an alternative fuel for the body, used when blood sugar (glucose) is in short supply.
Ketones are produced if you eat very few carbs (that are quickly broken down into blood sugar) and only moderate amounts of protein (excess protein can also be converted to blood sugar).
Ketones are produced in the liver, from fat. They are then used as fuel throughout the body, including the brain. The brain is a hungry organ that consumes lots of energy every day,2 and it can’t run on fat directly. It can only run on glucose… or ketones.
On a ketogenic diet your entire body switches its fuel supply to run almost entirely on fat. Insulin levels become very low and fat burning increases dramatically. It becomes easy to access your fat stores to burn them off. This is obviously great if you’re trying to lose weight, but there are also other less obvious benefits, like for example less hunger and a steady supply of energy.
When the body produces ketones it’s said to be in ketosis. The fastest way to get there is by fasting – not eating anything – but obviously it’s not possible to fast forever.
A ketogenic diet, on the other hand, can be eaten indefinitely and also results in ketosis. It has many of the benefits of fasting – including weight loss – without having to fast.
Learn more about ketosis
checklistWho should NOT do a ketogenic diet?
A ketogenic diet is safe for most people, but in the following situations you may need extra support:
Are you on medication for diabetes, e.g. insulin? Learn more
Are you on medication for high blood pressure? Learn more
Are you breastfeeding? Learn more
2. What to Eat on a Ketogenic Diet
Here are typical foods to enjoy on a ketogenic diet. The numbers are net carbs per 100 grams. To remain in ketosis, lower is generally better:
Keto diet foods: Natural fats (butter, olive oil); Meat; Fish and seafood; Eggs; Cheese; Vegetables that grow above ground
The most important thing to reach ketosis is to avoid eating most carbohydrates. You’ll probably need to keep carb intake to under 50 grams per day of net carbs,3 ideally below 20 grams. The fewer carbs the more effective.
Try to avoid
Here’s what you should not eat on a keto diet – foods full of sugar and starch, including starchy foods like bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. As you can see, these foods are much higher in carbs.
Foods to avoid on low carb: bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, fruit, beer, soda, juice, candy
The numbers are grams of digestible carbs per 100 grams (3.5 ounces), unless otherwise noted.
This means you’ll need to completely avoid sweet sugary foods, plus starchy foods like bread, pasta, rice and potatoes. Basically follow the guidelines for a strict low-carb diet, and remember it’s supposed to be high in fat, not high in protein.
A rough guideline is below 10% energy from carbohydrates (the fewer carbs, the more effective), 15-25% protein (the lower end is more effective), and 70% or more from fat.
More specific advice on what to eat – and what not to eat
What to drink
So what do you drink on a keto diet? Water is perfect, and so is coffee or tea. Ideally, use no sweeteners. A modest amount of milk or cream is OK (but beware of caffe latte!). The occasional glass of wine is fine too.
Check out our full guides to keto drinks and keto alcohol.
Visual keto guides
For more on specific areas – like what fruits or nuts to eat on a ketogenic diet – check out our visual guides:
Keto VegetablesVegetables Keto FruitsFruits Keto NutsNuts
Keto SnacksSnacks Keto AlcoholAlcohol Keto Fats & SaucesFats & sauces
Keto drinksDrinks 20 and 50 grams of carbs in different waysHow many carbs?
Check out all our hundreds of keto recipes, or a few popular examples below:
Ketogenic low carb Easy 20 + 15 m
Hamburger Patties with Creamy Tomato Sauce and Fried Cabbage
Ketogenic low carb Medium 15 + 30 m
Pesto Chicken Casserole with Feta Cheese and Olives
Ketogenic low carb Easy 10 + 45 m
Creamy Chicken Casserole
Ketogenic low carb Medium 10 + 50 m
Keto Garlic Bread
Ketogenic low carb Easy 5 + 20 m
Low-Carb Pancakes with Berries and Whipped Cream
Ketogenic low carb Easy 15 + 30 m
Asian Cabbage Stir-Fry
Ketogenic low carb Challenging 30 + 40 m
Here are two weeks worth of recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner on a ketogenic diet:
14-Day Keto Diet Plan
Get lots of weekly keto meal plans, complete with shopping lists and everything, with our premium meal planner tool (free trial):
Low-Carb Frittata with Fresh Spinach
Tuna Salad with Poached Eggs
Baked Chicken Wings with Creamy Broccoli
Low-Carb Tex-Mex Casserole
Salmon Burgers with Green Mash and Lemon Butter
How low is keto?
The fewer carbohydrates you eat, the bigger the effects on weight and blood sugar will be. A keto diet is a very strict low-carb diet, and thus highly effective.
Here are three examples of what a low-carb meal can look like, depending on how many carbs you eat per day. Note that only the left plate is reliably ketogenic:
Ketogenic low carbKetogenic 0-20 moderate low carbModerate 20-50 Liberal low carbLiberal 50-100
We recommend following the dietary advice as strictly as you can. When you’re happy with your weight and health, you may carefully try eating more liberally (if you want to).
How to Eat Low-Carb, High-Fat Video Course
Do you want to watch an 11-minute video course on how to eat a ketogenic LCHF (low carb, high fat) diet? And about the most important things to think about? Sign up for our free newsletter and you’ll get instant access to it:
The newsletter arrives once a week with low-carb news, recipes and tips free from ads or industry influence. Your email address is kept 100% private. To unsubscribe just press “unsubscribe” at the bottom of any newsletter.
For everything you need to get started – meal plans, shopping lists, daily tips and troubleshooting – just sign up for our free 2-week keto low-carb challenge:
3. The Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet
The benefits that come from a ketogenic diet are similar to those of any strict low-carb diet. However, the effect might be even greater since protein is more restricted. This raises ketones more, and lowers insulin (the fat-storing hormone) more.
Low carb and weight lossLose weight
Turning your body into a fat-burning machine has obvious benefits for weight loss. Fat burning is vastly increased while insulin – the fat-storing hormone – levels drop greatly. This creates ideal circumstances in which fat loss can occur, without hunger.
Around 20 scientific studies of the highest class (RCTs) show that, compared to other diets, low-carb and ketogenic diets result in more effective weight loss.4
How to lose weight using optimal ketosis
Learn more about losing weight on low-carb diets
Low carb and diabetes reversalReverse type 2 diabetes
A ketogenic diet is excellent for reversing type 2 diabetes,5 since it lowers blood-sugar levels and the negative impact of high insulin levels.
Learn more about reversing type 2 diabetes using a low-carb diet
Low carb and weight lossImproved mental focus
Ketosis results in a steady flow of fuel (ketones) to the brain. And on a ketogenic diet you avoid big swings in blood sugar. This often results in the experience of increased focus and improved concentration.
A lot of people use keto diets specifically for increased mental performance.
Interestingly, there’s a common misperception that eating lots of carbs6 is needed for proper brain function. But this is only true when ketones are not available.
After a few days (up to a week) of keto adaptation – during which people may experience some difficulty concentrating, have headaches and become easily irritated – the body and brain can run effortlessly on ketones.
In this state, many people experience more energy and improved mental focus.
Low carb and weight lossIncreased physical endurance
Ketogenic diets can vastly increase your physical endurance, by giving you constant access to all the energy of your fat stores.
The body’s supply of stored carbohydrates (glycogen) only lasts for a couple of hours of intense exercise, or less. But your fat stores carry enough energy to easily last for weeks or even months.
When you’re adapted to burning primarily carbohydrates – like most people are today – your fat stores are not easily available, and they can’t fuel your brain. This results in constantly having to fill up by eating before, during and after longer exercise sessions. Or even just to fuel your daily activities and avoid “hanger” (hungry and irritable).
On a ketogenic diet this problem is solved. As the body and brain can easily be fueled 24/7 by your powerful fat stores, you can keep going forever like the Energizer Bunny.
Whether you are competing in a physical endurance event, or just trying to stay focused on reaching some other goal, your body has the fuel it needs to keep you going and going.
So how is it possible that most people believe that carbs are necessary to perform exercise? There are two reasons. To unlock the power of ketogenic diets for physical endurance, and not instead suffer reduced performance, you need:
Enough fluid and salt
Two weeks of adaptation to burning fat – it does not happen instantly
Learn more about maximizing endurance on a keto diet
There are many studies showing that low-carb diets improve markers of metabolic syndrome7 such as blood lipids, insulin levels, HDL-cholesterol, LDL particle size and fasting blood sugar levels. Improvements have been shown to be even greater when carbs and protein are restricted to a the point of being steadily in nutritional ketosis.
Keto and epilepsyEpilepsy
The ketogenic diet is a proven medical therapy for epilepsy that has been used since the 1920s. Traditionally it has mainly been used in children with uncontrolled epilepsy despite medication.
More recently it has also been tested successfully by adults with epilepsy, with similar good results. There are many randomized controlled trials that demonstrate the effectiveness of the ketogenic diet in decreasing seizures in patients with epilepsy.8
Using a ketogenic diet in epilepsy is that usually allows people to take less anti-epileptic drugs, while remaining seizure-free. It’s not unusual to even be able to completely stop taking these drugs while staying seizure-free.
As all anti-seizure medications have side effects – like drowsiness, reduced concentration, personality changes or even reduced IQ – being able to take less or no drugs can be hugely beneficial.
More about controlling epilepsy on a ketogenic diet
More common benefits
The benefits above are the most common ones. But there are others that are potentially even more surprising and – at least for some people – lifechanging.
Did you know that low carb often can normalize blood pressure result in less acne, control migraine and much else?
Follow the links below for more knowledge, stories and science:
Calm StomachCalm your stomach Low carb and blood pressureNormalize blood pressure Low carb and acneLess acne Low carb and heartburnLess heartburn
Keto and migraineFewer migraine attacks Beat your sugar cravingsLess sugar cravings Keto and PCOSReverse PCOS Keto and brain cancer (GBM)Treating brain cancer
https://youtu.be/_MS04JLZQFs?list=PLcknJaMPrBLn2hKTwYiLBvNHxki2NDijB Published on Oct 28, 2016
Mastering your awareness and observation can literally reinvent your reality. Through scientific understanding of the way in which the mind operates, and how it has the capacity to alter perception and outward events, we each have the ability to consciously choose what we want. New observation of a life wished for will produce those results when consistent focus is applied.
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Law of Attraction does not bring positive results without positive beliefs and positive patterns. These principles are the secret formula to follow if you wish to align with your desires the way countless others have. You are a limitless creator. Learn how to break free from self-imposed limitations and live the life you desire!
Joe Dispenza, D.C., studied biochemistry at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in neuroscience. He received his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life University in Atlanta, Georgia, graduating magna cum laude. Dr. Dispenza’s postgraduate training and continuing education has been in neurology, neuroscience, brain function and chemistry, cellular biology, memory formation, aging and longevity. Joe Dispenza was featured in the award winning film, What The Bleep Do We Know?This lecture provides basic, yet powerful information on how the mind operates, with emphasis on the power of the frontal lobe. It discusses how (and why) to use focused concentration, repetition, and visualization (mental rehearsing) to rewire the brain. These are skills we can all harness.
Visit his website @ http://www.drjoedispenza.com/
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The Unlimited Capacity of the Spiritual Mind – law of attraction
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The Science Behind Mental Action & Material Conditions – Edinburgh Lectures Part 2 (law of attraction)
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Mind in Action – How to Make Prosperous Mental Deposits – Ernest Holmes – Law of Attraction
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How Medicare Doctors are Paid to Keep You Sick (video)
Video Transcript: How Medicare Doctors are Paid to Keep You Sick
Dr. Irvin Sahni: The bottom line is this. Doctors are incentivized the wrong way in my opinion; they’re incentivized the wrong way. So if you believe that the goal is to prevent disease to begin with rather than just simply treat it once it occurs. In other words, if you believe that being proactive is more important than being reactive, than you would agree with what I’m about to say.
If I see a patient who has Medicare, just because so many doctors see Medicare and the fee schedule is constant, I will bill Medicare based on certain variables. And some of those—it’s very complicated, of course, just like the tax code is very complicated.
But to simplify, there’s two very commonly used codes: it’s a 99213 and a 99214. A 99213 is just an evaluation visit, an existing patient I’ve been seeing them for years. And when he comes in I can bill a 992—a 12345, okay, almost never a one, almost never a five, things usually lay in the middle depending on what kind of doctor you are and how sick your patients are.
But an average, normal person comes in and I’m going to bill Medicare. If I bill Medicare at 99213 in Texas right now you get about 40 bucks. If I bill Medicare a 99214 I get about a 100 dollars – pretty big spread there. Sixty dollars is quite a bit. So if there’s something you could do to get an extra 60 dollars you’re going to do it.
One way I can convert a 99213 to a—it’s not totally simple. You have to have asked a lot of other questions, but the bottom line is at the very end you have to show medical decision making. It’s called medical decision making.
So I can sit there and ask a bazillion questions. But if I just say “take an aspirin” and I’ll never see you again, a 99214 would be inappropriate because you haven’t done anything. You haven’t used your brain. So assuming all the right questions are asked up to that last step I would then—if I make a difficult decision, okay, then I get paid more for making that difficult decision.
And if I don’t, I have to down code that. So what are the ways to convert a 99213 to a 4? One is I can sit there for exactly 45 minutes and document that and educate that patient. I can talk to them about diet, nutrition, far infrared sauna, whatever I want. I can sit there for a full 45 minutes and have a completely valid conversation that Medicare would have no problem with.
Ty Bollinger: You wouldn’t get as many patients then.
Dr. Irvin Sahni: I wouldn’t get so many patients that way. But if I simply change a drug, if I change their blood pressure medication, I change their pain medication, I change their diabetes medication, or I sign them up for a procedure. I’m a proceduralist, I do do a lot of procedures. If I sign them up for a procedure, that dictates higher level of medical decision making − I instantly I go to a 99214.
Let’s focus on the medicine side because so many doctors do that. Well, what are people going to do? I mean we all have bills to pay, right? And so if I can see ten patients an hour by simply flipping from one drug to the next and make a thousand dollars by seeing—well ten patients in an hour would be a lot so maybe I’m exaggerating. But let’s say four patients an hour. If I could see four patients an hour and just flip some drugs, I just billed out 400 dollars.
Or, I could sit there and actually educate the patient, try to help them prevent their disease, to truly find solutions, true healthcare solutions, but I’m only going to get that extra 60 dollars and I’m going to spend 45 minutes doing that.
So doctors are unfortunately put in a position where, number one… The patients also, by the way, don’t want to hear a lot of times how they need to lose weight, quit smoking, change their lifestyle. Some do, some don’t.
I mean I don’t want to be unfair, but the doctors also don’t want to take that time to do that because they can make so much more money. I’m not trying to beat on doctors here. I’m really not. This is just, you know, if you’re a mechanic and you can fix alternators for 100 dollars a pop and you can put air in tires for five dollars a pop and they take the same time… where do you think you’re going to put your efforts, right?
Certainly there’s doctors that are very altruistic and do mission work and things like that. But I mean most doctors are trying to make a living. The system is designed to create chronic disease. There’s no money in being healthy. There’s no money in being dead. All the money is in being chronically ill.
The way the remuneration works for physicians, even with Medicare, is that it encourages more drugs to be written, switch from one drug to the next. You know, “get out of here.” 15 seconds I’m done. 99214.
By design I feel like the system is flawed. And who do you think is paying the congress people money for their next election campaign? Some small town doctor who’s trying to educate people on how to lose weight… or Pfizer or Merck? And I’m not picking on any specific company here. But it’s just simply true. That’s where the money comes from.
Stay informed and don’t miss a single article or interview from The Truth About Cancer. Go here to be notified each week about new, cutting-edge information that impacts your health.
It is hard to think about it but nothing is permanent and neither are we. I was in my garden picking mint and thought ‘that’s strange this mint dies but comes back every year without my help’. I remember planting my first watermelon seeds and got this huge watermelon… I had to stop and think, we can’t get something from nothing that is the law of physics so the same force that made the watermelon grow is the same force or ‘Consciousness’ that made the sperm meet the egg and is within all of us.
This film, originally called “The Divine Matrix” by Gregg Braden explains to you in detail how the new science (that is not yet in books) basically confrms the exitence of the Law of Attraction showing you the deep connection we have with our environment & beyond… watch it several times & you’ll understand why I entitled this video the Law of Attraction Unveiled.
If you watch this principles with faith several times, you’ll notice how you get a deeper understanding of your own power & that force we recently used to call: the Law of Attration. &… did you know that the Law of Attraction where used by Ancient Civilizations as well? …may they called it in a different way but they unveiled the concept of the Law of Attraction as well. What if you learn to use the Law of Attraction SCIENTIFICALLY in your life? Well… that’s what’s this video is all about!
so take some time for yourself, relax & take one of the most incredibles trips in your life thanks to the Law of Attraction Unveiled!
Leave a Comment if you loved this video & Please Share it!
op 20 Benefits Of Having Lemon Water In The Morning
POSTED ON MAY 9, 2015 BY DREW CANOLE
Article source: Living Traditionally
Adding lemon to water not only quenches thirst better than any other beverage, but it also nourishes our body with vitamins, minerals and trace elements which we absolutely need. Lemon with water can be considered the best natural energy booster. When we wake up in the morning, our bodily tissues are dehydrated and are in need of water to push out toxins and rejuvenate the cells. In other words, this homemade “lemonade” helps eliminate internal toxins, regulating proper kidney and digestive tract functions by forcing them to work as smoothly as possible.
20 Unbelievable Reasons To Start Your Day With Water and Lemon
Water with lemon provides the body with electrolytes which hydrate your body. As lemons contain good amount of electrolytes such as potassium, calcium and magnesium.
Water with lemon is good for the joints, reducing pain in the joints and muscles.
Warm water with lemon helps digestion as lemon contains citric acid. It interacts with other enzymes and acids which easily stimulate the secretion of gastric juice and digestion.
The liver produces more enzymes from water with lemon than from any other food.
Water with lemon cleanses the liver. Lemon juice stimulates the liver to release toxins.
Water with Lemon helps fight infections of the respiratory tract, sore throats and inflammation of the tonsils. This is due to the anti-inflammatory properties of lemon.
Warm water with lemon helps regulate natural bowel movement.
Water with lemon is indispensable for the normal work of metabolism. Since lemon is a powerful antioxidant, it protects the body from free radicals and strengthens the immune system.
Water with lemon aids in proper functioning of the nervous system (as lemon has a high content of potassium). Depression and anxiety are often the result of low levels of potassium in the blood. The nervous system needs a sufficient amount of potassium to ensure sustainable signals to the heart.
Water with lemon cleanses blood, blood vessels and arteries.
Water with lemon can help lower blood pressure. A daily intake of one lemon can reduce high blood pressure by 10%.
Water with lemon creates an alkalizing effect in the body. Even if you drink it immediately before a meal, it can help your body maintain a higher level of pH. The higher the pH, the more your body is able to fight diseases.
Water with lemon is good for the skin. Vitamin C in lemon, improves our skin by rejuvenating the body. Drinking water with lemon regularly (every morning) will improve the condition of your skin.
Water with lemon helps to dilute uric acid, the built up of which leads to pain in the joints and gout.
Water with lemon is beneficial for pregnant women. Since lemons are loaded with Vitamin C, it acts as an adaptogen helping the body cope with viruses such as colds. Furthermore, vitamin C helps the formation of bone tissue of the unborn baby. At the same time, due to the high content of potassium, a mixture of water with lemon helps forming cells of the brain and nervous system of the baby.
Water with lemon relieves heartburn. For this, mix a teaspoon of lemon juice in half a glass of water.
Water with lemon helps dissolve gallstones, kidney stones, pancreatic stones, and calcium deposits.
Water with lemon helps with weight loss. Lemons contain pectin fiber, which helps suppress hunger cravings. Studies have proven people with a better alkaline diet have lost weight faster.
Water with lemon helps with tooth pain and gingivitis.
Water with lemon prevents cancer. This is due to the fact that lemons are a highly alkaline food. Multiple studies have found that cancer cannot thrive in an alkaline environment.
How and when to drink water with lemon:
For this purpose, use warm purified or spring water. Take half a Cup of warm water without sugar and squeeze in there at least half of lemon or lime. Better to use a special juicer (to get the most juice with minimal effort). You can also use lemon essential oil. (where to find)
You need to drink water with lemon first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. Some recommend a drink of water one hour before meals for maximum results.
So, when life gives you a bunch of lemons, make water with lemons.
Drew Canole is a rockstar in the world of fitness, nutrition and mindset, with a huge heart for others and doing his part to transform the world, one person at a time.
As the founder and CEO of Fitlife.TV, he is committed to sharing educational, inspirational and entertaining videos and articles about health, fitness, healing and longevity. He is also a best selling author and the founder of Organifi, an organic, incredibly delicious greens powder, chock-full of superfoods to make juicing easy no matter your busy schedule.
Ian Stevenson, the consciousness researcher who reported thousands of cases of children who claimed to remember previous lives, observed, “It has been wisely said that the question of a life after death is the most important question that a scientist – or anyone – can ask.” He further stated, “I believe it is better to learn what is probable about important matters than to be certain about trivial ones.” Research into human survival of bodily death has involved approaches such as near-death and out-of-body experiences, mediumistic investigations, children who report previous lives, evidence of global consciousness, and apparently nonlocal manifestations of consciousness such as telepathy, clairvoyance, psychokinesis and precog- nition. In this presentation, physician Larry Dossey will explore the possibility of survival by examining the inadequacy of a materialist approach to consciousness, which forbids the possibility of survival of mind. He will show that a nonlocal model of consciousness implies infinitude in space (omnipresence) and time (eternality and immortality) for some aspect of who we are; and that, if unbounded in space and time, consciousness must in some sense be unitary and collective – the ancient vision of the Universal or One Mind. An omnipres- ent, eternal, and unitary aspect of consciousness resembles the concept of the soul in many spiritual traditions throughout human history. Generally considered a religious and faith- based idea, it is ironic that empirical science is producing evidence that is favorable toward such a view. Thus, the concept of soul is decidedly not obsolete, but may be more grounded than ever. Dr. Dossey will also discuss the ethical implications of a unitary, collective aspect of consciousness for the many global challenges that currently confront humanity.
Dr. Larry Dossey is an internal medicine physician, former Chief of Staff of Medical City Dallas Hospital, and former co-chairman of the Panel on Mind/Body Interventions, National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, National Institutes of Health. He is executive editor of the peer-previewed journal Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing. He is the author of twelve books on the role of consciousness and spirituality in health, which have been translated into languages around the world. His most recent book is ONE MIND: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters. He lectures around the world.
New Study Shows Nearly 100% Cannabis Patients Quit Pain Meds
A new survey of over 3,000 patients on pain medications, the largest of its kind, has Big Pharma quaking in its expensive loafers. Why? Because it confirms the overwhelming preference of cannabis over opioid-based pharmaceuticals. This telltale mindset shift continues to grow across the globe, making the industry that built its wealth on the suffering of millions face the light.
Profits over patients
Big Pharma Losing 1 New Study Shows Nearly 100% Cannabis Patients Quit Pain Meds
The legal channels of America run deep with the rivers of private lobbying money. Today, more so than any other time in history, corporations shell out billions to coerce or cajole legislators.
It shouldn’t be a surprise then that the biggest forces against legal cannabis remain the pharmaceutical and alcohol industries. They’ve admitted legal cannabis would cut into profits, but for Big Pharma, the loss would equal billions.
That is why, state after state, they have funded various anti-legalization efforts. Opioids, the bread and butter of profitable pain-relief drugs, originate from the same chemical family as heroin.
Yet drugs based off of heroin are pushed onto patients as safe. Heroin is addictive and deadly. But addiction brings repeat business. As comedian and critical satirist Chris Rock famously said,
Ain’t no money in the cure, the money’s in the medicine… that’s how a drug dealer makes his money – on the come-back.
Cannabis breaks the hold
Big Pharma Losing 2 New Study Shows Nearly 100% Cannabis Patients Quit Pain Meds
As treatment centers in legal states see major success weaning addicts off opiates with cannabis, the gateway drug theory touted by the government shows itself for a lie. Medical cannabis patients report significant improvements in quality of life over opiates.
Now, a study by HelloMD surveying over 3,000 patients on both opiate and non-opiate painkillers shows:
97% “strongly agreed/agreed” they could decrease opioid meds when using cannabis
92% “strongly agreed/agreed” they preferred cannabis to treat their condition
81% “strongly agreed/agreed” using cannabis instead of opiates was more effective than cannabis with opiates
The study consisted of patients self-reporting and showed similar numbers for non-opiate medications as well.
Profits down the drain
Big Pharma Losing 3 New Study Shows Nearly 100% Cannabis Patients Quit Pain Meds
How much would legal cannabis impact Big Pharma? According to New Frontier data, about $4.5 billion a year.
New Frontier Data identified nine conditions in particular to assess the impact of the legalization of cannabis would have on prescription drug use.
Among those, spending on treatments for chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) represented about 60% of the total. Overall in 2016, it was estimated that patients spent nearly $14.3 billion and $10.6 billion, respectively, to treat chronic pain and PTSD.
The costs to treat sleep disorders, anxiety, epilepsy, nerve pain, chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV), Tourette syndrome, and glaucoma collectively accounted for the other 40% dedicated toward treatments.
There [are] significant savings to be realized in the health care system both to consumers and the U.S. government. It is estimated that cannabis and related products can replace between $4.4 billion and $4.9 billion of current annual spending on those existing treatments.
In addition, the savings to taxpayers, given national legalization in the US, reaches into the billions as well. In 2013, the US government spent $72.17 billion on ambulatory, inpatient, and emergency care for anxiety and depression disorders.
Lobbying for life or death
Big Pharma Losing 5 New Study Shows Nearly 100% Cannabis Patients Quit Pain Meds
Is it any wonder that lobbying expenditures for corporations now outpace government funding itself for the House and Senate? That’s right. Big private interest groups (American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, and Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America being in the top six from 1998-2017) spend about $2.6 billion a year lobbying Congress.
With more patients discovering the benefits of cannabis for a host of conditions, which continues to grow, the potential loss far outweighs this drop in the bucket to stop it. Lee Drutman of The Atlantic wrote:
… there is no “normal” level of business lobbying in American democracy. Rather, business lobbying has built itself up over time, and the self-reinforcing quality of corporate lobbying has increasingly come to overwhelm every other potentially countervailing force.
While the government continues to villainize cannabis, one only need look behind the mouthpieces. The hand of Big Pharma remains shoved so high up their behinds, it opens their mouths for them.
Say, would you like a chocolate covered pretzel?