What Digital Health Innovation Looks Like On Your Smartphone and In Your Kitchen

Hashimoto’s Disease affects more women than men from ages 40-60. Martina Slajerova turned her diagnosis into a healthy, digital innovation with the ‘KetoDiet App’

Martina Slajerova was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease in 2011, which left her feeling tired daily and struggling to maintain a healthy weight. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disorder that causes hypothyroidism, or underactive thyroid. 

Essentially, the immune system attacks Slajerova’s thyroid, damaging it so much that it can’t produce enough thyroid hormones. Slajerova was just another case study of how the disease continues to affect more women than men, with individuals between the ages of 40 and 60 being affected, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

In Slajerova’s life, the disease left her feeling tired and she found herself struggling to maintain a healthy weight. But for someone who ate her daily doses of fruits and vegetables, she didn’t understand nor believe she had Hashimoto’s. So what was happening? For someone who avoided large consumptions of meat and regularly exercised, how could this be?

I used to follow what I believed to be a healthy, balanced diet. I avoided most fatty foods in fear of clogging my arteries and putting on weight. I based my diet around whole grains and vegetables, and I limited my intake of animal products. It was only after I discovered a low-carb and ketogenic approach to food when everything started making sense to me. My seemingly ‘healthy’ lifestyle which combined too much exercise with a calorie-restricted high-carb diet was hurting my thyroid instead of keeping me healthy.”

As Slajerova struggled to find balance in maintaining a healthy lifestyle with the disorder, she continued to consume her daily doses of fruits and vegetables, cut back on meat intake, and regularly exercised.

But why wasn’t that enough? She soon realized that foregoing her traditional diet and adopting a new diet was the next step forward. By adopting and implementing the keto diet, Slajerova noticed an immediate change. By cutting out her daily carbohydrate and sugar intake, she was able to trim some pounds while keeping her energy at high-levels.

In recent years, the ketogenic diet, or ‘Keto’ as it is more commonly known, has captivated our popular culture. However, for a dietary regime that everyone seems to be able to speak to, it’s highly misunderstood. 

At the most basic level, the Keto diet essentially limits an individual’s carbohydrate intake while consuming fats, which should put the individual’s body in this “fasted state,” where the body burns ketones instead of glucose. In English, it’s healthier for you.

But even in adopting and implementing the keto diet, Slajerova still continued to struggle with the very mechanics the keto diet required for proper implementation.

“The trick is knowing what foods to avoid outright and what carb-filled ingredients can be swapped with lower carb substitutes,” Slajerova explained.

There are countless resources available to learn about the keto diet, but the problem is that individuals have to scour various sources, including cookbooks, blogs, and of course the internet to hopefully have their question answered. Unfortunately, it’s too time-consuming and the “real-time” answers weren’t anywhere close to real-time.

“Countless times, she had found herself standing in the produce section, wondering how she could sub out an ingredient in a recipe, or if she could eat a particular vegetable,” as Innovation & Tech Today pointed out in a previous interview with Slajerova.

Our greatest treasure to date is knowledge, and keto-dieters need regular access to information…but not just opinions. Information that works.

That’s when Slajerova came up with the KetoDiet App, she incorporated not just her personal knowledge and experience, but the collective knowledge from cookbooks, blogs, videos, and experts in a one-stop shop location. 

Luckily, the app doesn’t require adherence to a strict dietary regime. “It’s a tool to help both newbies and experienced keto dieters follow the diet that best suits their needs…in practical terms, the app is flexible enough to fit your needs–not the other way around.”

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