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What Is Ketosis and How Does It Work?

Jul 26, 2019Ketogenic Diet0 comments

Your body has several natural metabolic processes, and ketosis is one of them. Your body requires energy to run, and that energy is converted from the food you eat. Most of the time, our body will use carbohydrates and sugar as sources of fuel to convert into energy. Glucose is obtained from food such as pasta, milk, yogurt, and fruits among others. Your body will break these down and turn them into simple sugars that are used or stored as glycogen.

When the body falls short of glucose, it will convert fat into the energy it needs to survive. The body will use the fat to obtain triglycerides. When the body uses fat as an energy source, it causes a build-up of specific acids in the body. These acids are called ketones. Ketones are a leftover acid from this conversion process. In most cases, excess ketones are removed from the body via the urinary tract. Your body can use these to fuel your essential functions and feed your brain. 

Ketosis is often found in diabetic patients who are unable to process insulin correctly or by those who do not produce enough insulin. Elevated levels of ketones in the blood can lead to ketoacidosis, which can be fatal. Type 1 diabetics are more likely to develop ketoacidosis which can lead to a diabetic coma if left untreated. 

Inducing Ketosis

Not all instances of ketosis are a health risk. In many cases, people intentionally cause their body to enter a state of ketosis as a way to treat various health conditions. This is achieved by following a low carbohydrate, no sugar, high-fat meal plan. In this way, the body is compelled to burn fat as its fuel source as opposed to carbohydrates and glucose.

What Can Ketosis Be Used To Treat?

ketogenic diet is an effective treatment for a wide range of health issues. It has been proven to be an effective way to help manage diabetes, manage metabolic syndromes and even treat cardiovascular disease. In addition, it is a highly effective way to reduce body fat, lower HDL levels and reduce seizures caused by epilepsy. There is some evidence that ketosis can help reduce the symptoms of polycystic ovary disease (PCOS) and Lou Gehrig’s disease, however, there are no sufficient studies to demonstrate the long-term benefits in relation with these two ailments.

Is Ketosis Healthy?

The state of ketosis can be dangerous for certain people, such as diabetics or those with an auto-immune disorder. As for others, ketosis can be an effective way to turn a life of unhealthy choices into a lifestyle that boosts your energy and helps to maintain a healthy BMI. 

The keto diet has gained popularity over the last decade due to the wide range of health benefits gained by those following the meal plan. It has proven effective in the battle against obesity and metabolic syndrome. It also helps the body burn existing fat through gluconeogenesis and reduces the risks of developing many weight-related diseases. 

For diabetics, it has been proven to help manage insulin levels and reduce insulin resistance. The keto diet has also been used for decades to help treat several seizure disorders such as epilepsy. Some current studies show controlled ketosis may have a beneficial effect on neurological disorders such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and multiple types of sclerosis.Overall, controlled ketosis can represent a healthful way to manage your health and your weight.

How Does Ketosis Dieting Work?

Understanding how the ketogenic diet works is quite simple. To put it succinctly, it causes your body to burn fat instead of carbohydrates for energy which results in weight loss. Let’s delve further into the how of ketosis. 

Fat vs. Carbs

Most meals are jam-packed with carbohydrates which the body then uses as its prime source of fuel. Those carbs are converted into glucose, and insulin is generated to help move that glucose into your bloodstream for your body to use as energy. When your typical diet consists of mainly sugar and carbohydrates, glucose will be your primary energy source. 

The ketosis diet replaces carbohydrates with smart fats. In other words, your carb intake will be reduced drastically, and your sugar intake will cease completely. Alternatively, your body will be forced to select another form of fuel to provide energy to your body.

When your body lacks carbohydrates and sugar, the liver will use the fatty acid in your liver. These acids are converted into ketones which are then pushed into the bloodstream for use as an energy source. This is how ketosis works, and this fat consumption is the goal of the ketogenic diet. 

As your body starts to burn off its fat reserves to provide energy, the inevitable side effect is weight loss. Your brain also uses ketones more effectively than glucose which can result in mental clarity and a general more buoyant mood. Sugar causes the body to crash once it burns off and this can lead to hunger pangs and binge eating. When the body uses fat as its fuel source, you have a much higher concentration of fuel to pull from which results in fewer feelings of hunger. This allows you to make better food choices which lead to a healthier lifestyle.

The Botton Line

The keto diet is an effective way to jumpstart your way to better health for those looking to lose weight, manage their diabetes or just change their eating habits. It is always important to speak with your doctor prior to starting a new diet. The ketogenic diet is not suitable for everyone, if you have certain autoimmune diseases or if you have been diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to seek medical guidance.

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