Ketogenic Diet

Burning Fat w/ Fat Plus Food Quality Tips w/ Dr. James DiNicolantonio

by Mike Mutzel




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About James J. DiNicolantonio, Pharm. D.

James J. DiNicolantonio, Pharm. D., is a respected cardiovascular research scientist, doctor of pharmacy at Saint Luke's Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City, Missouri, and the associate editor of British Medical Journal's (BMJ) Open Heart. He is the author or coauthor of approximately 200 publications in medical literature. His research has been featured in The New York Times, ABC’s Good Morning America, TIME, Fox News, U.S. News and World Report, Yahoo! Health, BBC News, Daily Mail, Forbes, National Public Radio, and Men’s Health, among others.

Connect with James

Twitter @ Dr James DiNic
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Show Notes


04:52 Increase your salt intake when on a low carb/keto diet. When on a low carb diet, you do not absorb as much salt because glucose helps us absorb salt. On low carb, you have more energy to work out and you sweat out salt and iodine.

05:14 Insulin helps kidneys retain salt. When insulin levels drop, kidneys flush out salt. Healthy salts, like Redmond Real Salt, include iodine.

05:43 On a ketogenic diet, you may need 2 extra grams of sodium for the first week and an extra 1 gram long term. This level is impacted by exercise, caffeine consumption and climate.

06:16 Organ meats, blood and skin are concentrated in sodium. Our ancestors followed animals to salt licks.

07:18 Sugar and other drugs of abuse can be more addictive if you are not getting enough salt. Low salt hyper activates the reward center of your brain.

09:24 Low salt diets raise insulin levels and cause insulin resistance, a mechanism used by your body to help you retain salt in your kidneys.

10:21 Sea salt from modern day oceans have been found to contain microplastics and nanoplastics, endocrine disruptors. Redmond Real Salt is mined from an ocean formed millions of years ago.

11:40 Gerolsteiner water has bicarbonates to balance the acidity of salt. It is a great vehicle for calcium and magnesium. It has about twice the amount of magnesium as San Pelegrino. Magnesium is better absorbed when it is dissolved in liquid.

13:47 Grass fed beef contains vitamin A, vitamin E and a fat called CLA (conjugated linoleic acid). Whereas, grain fed/grain finished beef does not. Eat pastured eggs. Farm factory eggs contain an abundance of poor quality omega 6.

16:51 Grass fed animals have more antioxidant enzymes in the meat, which reduces oxidation of the meat while it is ageing.

18:08 High heat cooking can oxidize the cholesterol in animal fats. Pastured butter has vitamin K2.

18:31 Cooking with vegetable oils can cause oxidation products that can cross link proteins and can lead to neurofibrillary tangles in the brain. These vegetable oils can promote increased oxidative stress in your body.

21:50 The American Heart Association took off as an organization with a $1.7 million donation by Proctor and Gamble. AHA still recommends that we get 5 to 10% of our calories from linoleic acid, the main omega 6 fat in vegetable oils. Studies show that we should reduce our consumption to 3.5% of our energy.

22:54 Extracting oil from seeds requires hexane and chemical solvents. Vegetable oil omega 6 is susceptible to oxidation from the light hitting the plastic bottle and the processing that had been done.

24:32 Canola oil may be high in omega 3, but it is susceptible to oxidation. It is one of the worst fats to cook with.

25:15 Use pure extra virgin olive oil: know the source and be able to taste the pepperiness. Use organic and look for the source date. Get it in a dark glass bottle.

26:33 Extra virgin olive oil is extremely high in polyphenols and is better to cook with than coconut oil or even avocado oil, which has few polyphenols.

27:28 Extra virgin olive oil and also vinegar prevent much of the advanced glycation end products. Coat your meat with it and cook with it. Meat cooked in olive oil absorbs the polyphenols from the oil.

29:57 Thermic affect is the amount of calories required to digest food. Almonds have a high thermic affect, so you absorb only 70% of the calories. Olive oil has twice the thermic effect as long chain saturated fats from dairy.

31:27 Medium chain triglyceride and ALA (the parent omega 3 from plants) is not stored as fat. It goes to the liver to be used for ketone production.

31:45 Long chain omega 3s EPA and DHA turn on the genes that make you a better fat burner. ALA is a ketogenic substrate.

34:33 Oxidation of omega 3s is an alarm signal to your body. DHA concentrates in the cardiolipin of the cell. If a cell is damaged, the DHA and cardiolipin oxidize. DHA is the signal to cause a damaged cell to undergo apoptosis.

35:51 When you brain cells are not saturated in omega 3s and DHA oxidizes, it turns on NRF-2 and antioxidant enzymes are upregulated. Omega 3 is the source of resolvents and protectants, which helps turn off inflammation when its mission is complete.

37:08 Cancer can utilize omega 6 linoleic acid to feed its growth, but it cannot do this if you have high levels of omega 3s.

39:58 Krill oil is close to an omega 3 from food. Both bound to phospholipids, giving you twice the absorption of omega 3s in the brain than fish oil. This gives you a good dose of choline. Krill oil is high in carotenoids astaxanthin and canthaxanthin, which prevent oxidative stress outside and inside the cell.

43:25 Prescription fish oils are ethyl ester. If you don’t consume it with fat, you only absorb 20%. You absorb 70% triglyceride bound fish oil. You absorb 90% of a krill oil.

45:07 Dr. DiNicolantonio stores fish oil in the freezer and krill oil in the refrigerator.

46:34 We get the most benefit from 3 to 4 grams of omega 3s, 10 to 12%. Americans are 4%, increasing risk of sudden cardiac event by 10 fold.

47:55 Three to 4 grams of long chain omega as in fish oil, you can prevent sarcopenia and reverse it. It also increases muscle strength. Muscle protein synthesis goes up with omega 3. DHA makes cell membranes fluid and is the pacemaker of the cell.

54:09 A healthy linoleic acid is converted into GLA, gamma linoleic acid, then DGLA, dihomo gamma linoleic acid. From DGLA you get prostaglandin E1, a super potent vasodilator, lowering blood pressure and stabilizing plaque. Vitamin C, calcium and zinc are needed to transmit and convert DGLA to prostaglandin E1. High insulin levels shunt the DGLA away from prostaglandin E1 to arachidonic acid.

55:58 Evening primrose, black currant seed oil and borage benefits skin conditions like ectopic dermatitis and eczema.

56:21 Hypothyroidism and age lowers delta 6 desaturase by about 50 percent. It is the enzyme that first converts linoleic acid to GLA.

56:57 Sixty percent of us are deficient in magnesium. Magnesium is important for the first conversion of linoleic acid to GLA.

58:52 We need to have higher amounts of antioxidants/polyphenols, found in plant foods, to prevent oxidative stress from air pollution and organic pollutants.

01:01:18 Anti-nutrients from plants, phytic acid and phytate are some of the strongest cancer inhibitors and vascular calcification inhibitors. They also bind free iron.

01:02:57 Whole grain fiber is the strongest binder to organic pollutants. Non-steel roller milled grains that are refrigerated, still have vitamin E and the germ in them.

01:05:27 In a cyclical ketogenic diet, include more carbs, amino acids and protein on days you work out on a ketogenic diet.

01:07:52 Exercise triggers autophagy and the creation of new mitochondria.

01:09:00 Mineral deficiencies cause insulin resistance.

01:11:43 Dr. DiNicolantonio supplements with 10 grams of glycine per day. It is an inhibitory neurotransmitter and a building block for collagen.



  1. You don’t mention sardines as being a good source of omega 3s that is low in mercury. I would have thought that eating sardines would be better than taking supplemental oils

    • Hi there Sue!

      Great question. Of course Sardines and mackerel are amazing sources–the downside is finding some that are presented in a BPA-free can!

      Have you found such a brand?

      That’s why I lean on supplements–less endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).



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