Ketosis is a state of metabolism in which the body uses fat instead of sugar as its primary fuel source. In essence, it is a diet that causes the body to release ketones into the bloodstream. Most cells prefer to use blood sugar, which comes from carbohydrates, as their main source of energy. When the body is in a state of ketosis, however, it produces ketones, which are molecules of fat that can be used as an alternative source of energy. This process is known as ketogenesis.
Ketosis is slow to establish but very quick to turn off – a phenomenon scientists call hysteresis. And there are very good evolutionary reasons why this occurs, as it allows the body to switch from sugar to ketones when carbohydrates are scarce. This allows the body to still produce energy without having to rely on dietary carbohydrates.
The basis of the Ketogenic Diet (KD) is that when your carbohydrate intake is low, your body can adapt by producing a new energy source called ketone bodies (KBs). KBs are produced by the liver from fatty acids and are used as fuel instead of glucose. A ketogenic diet has shown to improve triglyceride and cholesterol levels most associated with arterial buildup. More specifically, low-carb, high-fat diets show a dramatic increase in HDL and decrease in LDL particles compared to low-fat diets.
The ketogenic diet tries to bring carbohydrates down to less than 5 percent of a person’s daily caloric intake – which means eliminating most grains, fruits, starchy vegetables, legumes, and sweets. When this level is achieved, the body enters a state of nutritional ketosis – which is different from diabetic ketoacidosis – a serious condition that occurs when the body produces high levels of ketones, and blood sugar is dangerously high.
Nutritional ketosis is a natural metabolic state in which your body switches from running on glucose (sugar) to running on ketones. When you are in a state of nutritional ketosis, your body is burning fat for energy instead of glucose. This process allows your body to burn stored fat for energy, which can lead to weight loss.
A ketogenic diet primarily consists of high fats, moderate proteins, and very low carbohydrates. The dietary macronutrients are divided into approximately 55% fat, 30% protein, and 15% carbohydrates. It is important to note that a ketogenic diet is not a high-protein diet – as this can lead to an increase in uric acid levels, which can lead to health problems.
Ketosis occurs as a result of the change in the body’s fuel from carbohydrate to fat. Incomplete oxidation of fatty acids by the liver results in the production of ketone bodies (KBs), which are then transported to the cells where they can be used as an alternative source of energy. KBs can also be used to create new glucose molecules, which are then transported to the cells.
In addition to the reductions in blood glucose and insulin achievable through carbohydrate restriction, chronic ketosis might confer unique metabolic benefits that are not seen with other dietary interventions. These include improved lipid profiles, reduced inflammation, and decreased oxidative stress.
Ketosis is an important metabolic state that has a wide range of benefits. By understanding the science behind ketosis, we can better understand how to use it to optimize our health and wellbeing.
Is it beneficial for your body to be in a state of ketosis?
Studies have revealed that ketosis can offer multiple health benefits, such as weight loss. This process can decrease appetite, encouraging lower calorie intake and leading to a reduction in belly fat, while preserving muscle mass.
What is the rationale behind the ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic diet is designed to switch your body’s main fuel source from carbohydrates to fat. It does this by drastically reducing the amount of carbohydrates you eat and replacing them with fat. This causes your body to enter a metabolic state called ketosis, in which it starts to break down stored fat into molecules called ketones, which it then uses as its primary energy source.
How can I achieve ketosis?
Stay hydrated. …
Test your urine with ketone strips. …
Try a ketone supplement.
Are you interested in trying out the ketogenic diet? Visit the Rite Keto Diet online store for a wide variety of keto-friendly snacks, supplements, and meal plans.