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How Does Ketosis Work

The Definitive Guide To The Ketogenic Diet

The Definitive Guide To The Ketogenic Diet

If you want to lose weight or build muscle faster and think the ketogenic diet might help, you want to read this article. How did a diet meant for treating epileptic seizures turn into a popular weight loss fad? That’s the story of the ketogenic diet, which was introduced in 1921 by an endocrinologist named Dr. Henry Geyelin. Geyelin, presenting at the annual meeting of the American Medical Association, explained that the ancient Greeks had discovered that fasting was an effective method of managing epileptic seizures. Hippocrates wrote about it and, like Geyelin, found that the seizures would return once eating resumed. Why? What was it about fasting that suppressed the seizures? Well, epileptic seizures are triggered by electrical abnormalities in the brain. The causes can vary, from genetics to brain injury, but more common is chronic inflammation throughout the body. Geyelin found that when people fast, two major changes occur in the blood: glucose levels fall and ketone levels rise. You’ve probably heard of glucose, also known as blood sugar, but not ketones, which are carbon-oxygen molecules produced by the liver that cells can use for energy instead of glucose. This finding fascinated Geyelin and he set out to determine if similar effects could be achieved without starvation. A decade of work proved they could, and the “ketogenic diet,” as it would be later called, was born. The purpose of the ketogenic diet is to maintain a state of ketosis, wherein the body’s primary energy source is ketones, not glucose. Early studies showed it was an extremely effective treatment for seizures, but in 1938, it was eclipsed by the anticonvulsant drug phenytoin. This medication became the standard treatment for epilepsy, effectively retiring the ketogenic diet from cli Continue reading >>

What Is The History Of The Ketogenic Diet?

What Is The History Of The Ketogenic Diet?

As early as 500BC, Greek and Indian doctors recognized that fasting for extended periods would have positive effects on patients with epilepsy. Cures were documented after a period of abstaining completely from "food and drink" (I doubt this was a realistic long-term plan, though). In the early 1900s, fasting as a treatment for epilepsy became popular again. However, with the introduction of medicines to control epileptic episodes, the treatment dropped off. Nevertheless, 20-30% of patients remained unresponsive to the drugs and for these individuals, especially children, fasting diets continued to be used. It was in 1921 that endocrinologist Rollin Woodyatt noted that three water-soluble compounds, acetone, β-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate (together called ketone bodies) were produced by the liver as a result of starvation or if they followed a diet rich in fat and low in carbohydrates. Russel Wilder from the Mayo Clinic called this the “ketogenic diet” and used it as a treatment for epilepsy, also in 1921. This is a significant finding because it shows that you can create a "starvation" state in the body without actually starving. Yay! Finally, a long-term plan that is feasible. My impression of the medicine is that we still don't know exactly why ketosis works. In the early 1900s they thought there was an unknown toxin in the small intestines that needed to be dissipated via a 20+ day fast (total hogwash). These days, we talk about Diabetes III, essentially an inflammation of the brain rather than the body, and somehow ketosis reduces that inflammation. How does ketosis do that? Ketone bodies are only produced when the body is in ketosis and research seems to indicate the brain and the heart prefer receiving energy from ketone bodies, rather then the usual non Continue reading >>

Ketosis: What Is Ketosis?

Ketosis: What Is Ketosis?

Ketosis is a normal metabolic process. When the body does not have enough glucose for energy, it burns stored fats instead; this results in a build-up of acids called ketones within the body. Some people encourage ketosis by following a diet called the ketogenic or low-carb diet. The aim of the diet is to try and burn unwanted fat by forcing the body to rely on fat for energy, rather than carbohydrates. Ketosis is also commonly observed in patients with diabetes, as the process can occur if the body does not have enough insulin or is not using insulin correctly. Problems associated with extreme levels of ketosis are more likely to develop in patients with type 1 diabetes compared with type 2 diabetes patients. Ketosis occurs when the body does not have sufficient access to its primary fuel source, glucose. Ketosis describes a condition where fat stores are broken down to produce energy, which also produces ketones, a type of acid. As ketone levels rise, the acidity of the blood also increases, leading to ketoacidosis, a serious condition that can prove fatal. People with type 1 diabetes are more likely to develop ketoacidosis, for which emergency medical treatment is required to avoid or treat diabetic coma. Some people follow a ketogenic (low-carb) diet to try to lose weight by forcing the body to burn fat stores. What is ketosis? In normal circumstances, the body's cells use glucose as their primary form of energy. Glucose is typically derived from dietary carbohydrates, including: sugar - such as fruits and milk or yogurt starchy foods - such as bread and pasta The body breaks these down into simple sugars. Glucose can either be used to fuel the body or be stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. If there is not enough glucose available to meet energy demands, th Continue reading >>

How Does The Ketogenic Diet Work?

How Does The Ketogenic Diet Work?

More and more people are going keto as they learn about the benefits of this super-low-carb way of eating. But those who need the “why” behind it—or who need facts to present to skeptical friends or family—might be wondering HOW does ketogenic diet work exactly? What is it about going keto that can work so well for weight loss and health? THE BASICS The most basic thing to know about the ketogenic diet is that it gets the body burning fats for fuel instead of carbohydrates (when followed properly). But how? Let’s break it down: Burning Fat for Energy When the average person eats a meal rich in carbs, their body takes those carbs and converts them to glucose for fuel. Iinsulin is then made to move that glucose into the bloodstream. Glucose is the body’s primary source of energy when carbohydrates are present. However, things are different on keto. On the ketogenic diet, your carbohydrate intake is kept very low—so when those carbs aren’t present, your body must utilize another form of energy to keep things ticking. That’s where fats come in. In the absence of carbs, the liver takes fatty acids in the body and converts them to ketone bodies, also known as ketones, as an energy source. This process is known as ketosis, and it’s the goal for those on a ketogenic diet. Three ketones are made when fatty acids are broken down: Acetoacetate (AcAc): created first during ketosis Beta-hydroxybutyric acid (BHB): formed from acetoacetate Acetone: created spontaneously as a side product of acetoacetate THE BENEFITS The original purpose of the ketogenic diet was to prevent epilepsy in children. But since then, it’s been utilized for all sorts of reasons. Some of the best and most popular benefits of the ketogenic diet include: Better mood [1] Better sleep [1] Sat Continue reading >>

Does The Controversial Ketogenic Diet Really Work? Dietitians Give Their Verdict On The Low Carb High Fat Program Beloved By Celebrities

Does The Controversial Ketogenic Diet Really Work? Dietitians Give Their Verdict On The Low Carb High Fat Program Beloved By Celebrities

Favoured by the likes of Kim Kardashian and Gwyneth Paltrow for its rapid results, the Ketogenic Diet has been making headlines non-stop over the past 12 months. The low carbohydrate, high fat program sees participants eat moderate protein and receive the majority of their energy intake from fat. But does it really work? The Dietitians Association of Australia recently weighed in on the controversial diet and revealed the three things people need to consider before jumping on board the Keto bandwagon. The Dietitians Association of Australia recently weighed in on the controversial diet and revealed the three things people need to consider before jumping on board the Keto bandwagon In a recent media alert, the DAA first explained the thinking behind the program and how it works. 'As fat is the main source of energy being consumed, the body must then use this (that is, break it down) as its main energy source or "fuel",' they explained. 'When dietary fat is metabolised for energy, by-products called "ketone bodies" (molecules that are made by the liver from fatty acids) are produced which are used up by the body’s tissues, muscles and the brain. This process is known as "ketosis". 'The body can enter ketosis during times of severe energy restriction (such as during fasting or starvation) or prolonged intense exercise, or when carbohydrate intake is reduced to around 50g per day, or less – the equivalent of around two slices of bread, and a banana.' While there are many low carb, high fat diets available, the Keto Diet remains 'proportionately lower in carbohydrates' at around 20 to 50 grams per day to keep the body 'in a state of ketosis'. When it comes to weight loss, the DAA says those who follow a Keto Diet will 'undoubtedly result in short-term weight loss'. This, Continue reading >>

Ketosis, Ketones, And How It All Works

Ketosis, Ketones, And How It All Works

Ketosis is a process that the body does on an everyday basis, regardless of the number of carbs you eat. Your body adapts to what is put in it, processing different types of nutrients into the fuels that it needs. Proteins, fats, and carbs can all be processed for use. Eating a low carb, high fat diet just ramps up this process, which is a normal and safe chemical reaction. When you eat carbohydrate based foods or excess amounts of protein, your body will break this down into sugar – known as glucose. Why? Glucose is needed in the creation of ATP (an energy molecule), which is a fuel that is needed for the daily activities and maintenance inside our bodies. If you’ve ever used our keto calculator to determine your caloric needs, you will see that your body uses up quite a lot of calories. It’s true, our bodies use up much of the nutrients we intake just to maintain itself on a daily basis. If you eat enough food, there will likely be an excess of glucose that your body doesn’t need. There are two main things that happen to excess glucose if your body doesn’t need it: Glycogenesis. Excess glucose will be converted to glycogen and stored in your liver and muscles. Estimates show that only about half of your daily energy can be stored as glycogen. Lipogenesis. If there’s already enough glycogen in your muscles and liver, any extra glucose will be converted into fats and stored. So, what happens to you once your body has no more glucose or glycogen? Ketosis happens. When your body has no access to food, like when you are sleeping or when you are on a ketogenic diet, the body will burn fat and create molecules called ketones. We can thank our body’s ability to switch metabolic pathways for that. These ketones are created when the body breaks down fats, creating Continue reading >>

Is The Ketogenic Diet Right For You? Nutritionists Weigh In

Is The Ketogenic Diet Right For You? Nutritionists Weigh In

You may be hearing a lot about the ketogenic diet as a way to slim down while noshing on butter and heavy cream. This way of eating is suddenly hot among venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, who believe it will help them live longer and healthier, CNBC reports. Some praise the high-fat/ultra low-carb plan for helping them to lose weight and have energy all day long. Other advocates say it finally helped them to get control of their body. How does it work and could it help you? We asked Bonnie Taub-Dix, a registered dietitian nutritionist and author of “Read It Before You Eat It”; and Keri Glassman, nutritionist, registered dietitian and TODAY Tastemaker. To start with, both said they would never advise the ketogenic diet for weight loss. “Cutting out carbs is usually an invitation to overeat them at another point,” Taub-Dix said. “For a diet where you’re looking to lose weight, look good and feel good… I would not recommend a diet like this.” “For safe and effective weight loss, the carb reduction is too extreme,” Glassman added. RELATED: Read inspiring stories of ordinary people slimming down in TODAY's My Weight-Loss Journey Here’s what you need to know: What is the ketogenic diet? It’s a diet fine-tuned in the 1920s to help treat epilepsy. It does help to control seizures in some children, but it’s not recommended for adults “mostly because the restricted food choices make it hard to follow,” the Epilepsy Foundation says. The diet has just recently begun to be touted as a weight loss plan, Glassman noted. She described it as eating “mostly fat with a teeny bit of protein and carbs.” How does it work? Your body normally relies on carbohydrates for energy. It breaks them down into glucose, which is your main source of fuel. If that Continue reading >>

What Everybody Ought To Know About Ketosis

What Everybody Ought To Know About Ketosis

Recently I wanted to explore the world of Ketosis. I thought I knew a little bit about ketosis, but after doing some research I soon realised how wrong I was. 3 months later, after reading numerous books, listening to countless podcasts and experimenting with various diets I know have a sound understanding of ketosis. This resource is built as a reference guide for those looking to explore the fascinating world of ketosis. It is a resource that I wish I had 3 months ago. As you will soon see, a lot of the content below is not mine, instead I have linked to referenced to experts who have a greater understanding of this topic than I ever will. I hope this helps and if there is something that I have missed please leave a comment below so that I can update this. Also, as this is a rather long document, I have split it into various sections. You can click the headline below to be sent straight to the section that interests you. For those that are really time poor I have created a useful ketosis cheat sheet guide. This guide covers all the essential information you should know about ketosis. It can be downloaded HERE. Alternatively, if you're looking for a natural and sustainable way to improve health and lose weight head to this page - What is Ketosis? What Are The Benefits from being in Ketosis? Isn’t Ketosis Dangerous? Ketoacidosis vs Ketosis What Is The Difference Between a Low Carb Diet and a Ketogenic Diet? Types of Ketosis: The Difference Between Nutritional, Therapeutic & MCT Ketogenic Diets Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe? Long Term Effects Thyroid and Ketosis - What You May Want To Know What is a Typical Diet/Macro Breakdown for a Ketogenic Diet? Do I Need to Eat Carbs? What do I Eat On a Ketogenic Diet? What Do I Avoid Eating on a Ketogenic Diet? Protein Consumption a Continue reading >>

What Is The Keto Diet And How Does It Work?

What Is The Keto Diet And How Does It Work?

Forget, for a moment, talk of the New Kale, whatever that is, and consider the new Paleo. In fact, Vogue Australia made the call a few weeks ago, declaring, "Keto is the new paleo." That's keto as in a ketogenic diet, what basketball superstar LeBron James followed for 67 days in 2014 to stellar results, namely a seriously ripped midsection and, you know, his third NBA Championship ring. How does it work, what can and can't you eat, and will it do for you what it's done for James and other celebrities who've reportedly tried it? All your (fat-)burning questions, answered. What is the Keto Diet? In a nutshell, it's a high-fat, extremely low-carb diet with an "adequate" amount of protein thrown in, says Heather Mangieri, a Pittsburgh-based registered dietitian, sports nutrition specialist, and spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. The keto diet isn't new. Developed in the 1920s to treat drug-resistant epilepsy in children, it's still used in that capacity today and is being investigated as a potential breakthrough treatment for a range of neurological disorders and diseases. In other words, it's not just a celebrity weight-loss trend! What does "ketogenic" mean and how does the diet work? The aim of the keto diet is to put, and keep, your body in a metabolic state called ketosis. Our bodies normally burn carbohydrates for energy. When you restrict the amount of carbs, the body will break down stored fat, creating molecules called ketones to use as fuel. (The Paleo diet is similar, but higher in protein and not as strict about certain foods and proportions.) Ketosis is a normal physiological process. There's nothing dangerous about it. "It's just that this particular eating style is keeping your body in that state all the time," says Mangieri. How low-car Continue reading >>

The Ketogenic Diet: Is It Safe And Does It Work?

The Ketogenic Diet: Is It Safe And Does It Work?

The ketogenic diet is fast becoming a trend among individuals looking for quick, dramatic weight loss. But is it effective, and more importantly is it safe? We spoke to Dr Alan Barclay, Accredited Practising Dietitian and Research Associate at The University of Sydney about this latest dietary fad. What is the ketogenic diet? The ketogenic diet (or 'keto' as it is sometimes called) is a very low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet, similar in nature to the Atkins Diet. The aim of this diet, Dr Barclay explains, is to: "significantly decrease the amount of carbohydrate in your diet, so that the body switches from primarily burning carbohydrates, to burning fat, for energy." With the absence of sufficient carbohydrate and the abundance of dietary fat, your liver generates greater quantities of what are known as 'ketone bodies', and this puts your body into a metabolic state known as 'ketosis'. In ketosis, your body becomes incredibly efficient at using ketone bodies, generated from the breakdown of fat, as fuel. In other words, your body will burn more body fat. What foods are excluded on this diet? Generally, the ketogenic diet reduces or excludes carbohydrate-containing foods, including breads, breakfast cereals, pasta, rice, quinoa, couscous, starchy vegetables (potato, sweet potato, corn), fruit, and legumes. It tends to encourage consumption of more high fat foods, such as fatty meats, full-cream dairy, butter, nuts, avocado, olive oil and coconut oil. A standard ketogenic diet consists of a split of around 30% protein, 60% fats and 10% carbohydrates. Experts advise that you should eat no more than 50g of net carbs a day for the body to stay in a ketogenic state. 50g of carbs is equivalent to one cup of oats, one medium sweet potato, one cup cooked brown rice or one slice ry Continue reading >>

A Ketogenic Diet To Lose Weight And Fight Disease

A Ketogenic Diet To Lose Weight And Fight Disease

Obesity and metabolic diseases have become the world's biggest health problems. In fact, at least 2.8 million adults die from obesity-related causes each year (1). Metabolic syndrome affects over 50 million people in the US, and can lead to a variety of health problems (2, 3, 4). To combat this, many diets have emerged, few of which are actually backed by research (5). The benefits of the ketogenic diet, on the other hand, are well-supported by science (6, 7). This article explains how a ketogenic diet can help you lose weight and fight metabolic disease. A ketogenic diet is high in fat, moderate in protein and extremely low in carbs (8). As carbs are reduced and fat is increased, the body enters a metabolic state called ketosis. Then the body starts turning fats into ketones, which are molecules that can supply energy for the brain (9, 10). After a few days or weeks on such a diet, the body and brain become very efficient at burning fat and ketones for fuel instead of carbs. The ketogenic diet also lowers insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, are two of the main reasons this diet has so many health benefits (9, 11, 12, 13, 14). Staple foods on a ketogenic diet include meat, fish, butter, eggs, cheese, heavy cream, oils, nuts, avocados, seeds and low-carb vegetables. In contrast, nearly all carb sources are eliminated, including grains, rice, beans, potatoes, sweets, milk, cereals, fruits and even some higher-carb vegetables. A ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein and low-carb diet. It primarily works by lowering insulin levels, producing ketones and increasing fat burning. There is strong evidence that ketogenic diets are very effective for weight loss (15). They can help you lose fat, preserve muscle mass and improve many markers of disease Continue reading >>

A Keto Diet For Beginners

A Keto Diet For Beginners

A keto or ketogenic diet is a very low-carb diet, which turns the body into a fat-burning machine. It has many proven benefits for weight loss, health and performance, as millions of people have experienced already. 1 Here you’ll learn how to eat a keto diet based on real foods. You’ll find visual guides, recipes, meal plans and a simple 2-week get started program, all you need to succeed on keto. Get even more, custom meal plans, ask the experts and low-carb TV, with a free trial. 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”. 2 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, 3 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, such as 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 nobody can fast forever. A keto diet, on the other hand, can be eaten indefinite Continue reading >>

Does The Ketogenic Diet Work For Type 2 Diabetes?

Does The Ketogenic Diet Work For Type 2 Diabetes?

You’ve probably seen dozens of headlines about the ketogenic diet by now, which has made its way into popular culture largely by celebrities and supermodels giving the long-standing fad diet a repeated stamp of approval. Is this the diet to follow if you have diabetes? Studies suggest the answer isn’t so simple. Some science shows its meal plan may be helpful, while other research, like one study published in September 2016 in Nutrients, highlights the importance of whole grains in the diets of people with diabetes — a restricted food category in the ketogenic diet. While the keto diet can offer many potential benefits for diabetes management, following it requires pretty serious commitment. So take a beat before you take the plunge — and consider these questions that can help you and your medical team determine if it’s right for you: How Does the Ketogenic Diet Work Exactly? There’s a good reason the ketogenic diet is also referred to as a low-carb, high-fat diet. Indeed, following the ketogenic diet means reducing carbohydrate intake to typically less than 50 grams (g) of carbohydrates per day, while increasing fat and protein intake, according to a review published in August 2013 in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. To put that into perspective, an individual on an average, non-restricted diet can easily eat more carbohydrates than that in one typical meal — for instance, a turkey, cheese, and veggie sandwich on whole-grain bread with a small, 1 ounce (oz) bag of classic potato chips would come in at around 51 g of carbs. These dietary changes drive down insulin levels, eventually leading your body into a state of ketosis, during which it is burning fat rather than carbohydrates. What Are Some of the Potential Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet for Continue reading >>

The Ugly Truth About Ketogenic Diets

The Ugly Truth About Ketogenic Diets

Here's what you need to know... Ketosis occurs when carbs are in such low quantities that your body relies almost exclusively on fatty acid oxidation and ketone metabolism. Ketogenic diets have about 70-75% of your daily caloric intake coming from fat and about 5% from carbohydrates. Ingesting protein above approximately .8 grams per pound is enough to kick you out of ketosis. Ketogenic diets improve body comp, but so does any diet that reduces calories from any source. There is no literature to support that a ketogenic diet is beneficial for promoting increases in muscle mass. Ketogenic diets affect performance negatively. Questions About Ketosis While the ketogenic diet has been used widely and rather effectively in some cases, there's still a lot of confusion about it. What exactly is a ketogenic diet? How does it differ from low carb dieting? Most importantly, at least for the T Nation demographic, is the question of whether ketogenic diets allow you to put on, or at least keep, muscle. Ketosis: What is it? Ketosis is a metabolic state that occurs when dietary carbohydrates are in such low quantities that your body must rely almost exclusively on fatty acid oxidation and ketone metabolism. That sounds simple on the surface, but let's unpack that explanation a bit. To function, your body requires a substantial amount of energy in the form of ATP. So, let's just assume that the average person uses about 1,800 calories per day to create enough ATP to keep him alive (not including any physical activity). Now this is where it gets interesting. You have this thing in your skull called a brain. It uses about 400 or so calories per day and runs almost exclusively on glucose. (There's some evidence it can use small amounts of fat and lactate, but in the big picture it's not Continue reading >>

What's Up With The High-fat Diet Trend—and Does It Work?

What's Up With The High-fat Diet Trend—and Does It Work?

If you're looking for the trendiest diet since Paleo, this might be it—only with more fat, way less protein, and virtually zero carbs. The ketogenic diet, which has reportedly been used by celebs like Kim Kardashian and NBA player Lebron James, is a high-fat, low-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that was originally developed to treat epilepsy in children (experts can't say for sure why it reduces the frequency of seizures, but it does seem to work). The whole diet is based on a process called ketosis, which is when your body is so depleted of carbs that your liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies, which can be used as energy, says Tracy A. Siegfried, M.D., medical director at The N.E.W. Program, a bariatric and metabolic weight-loss center in California. The ketones replace carbohydrates as your body’s main energy source, meaning you are running on (and burning) fat. To tell if your body is in a state of ketosis, you can measure your blood or urine for elevated levels of ketones (Ketostix, used to test keto-dieters ketone levels, are available at many pharmacies). If this sounds familiar, it's probably because ketosis is also the goal of the first stage of the Atkins diet. But unlike the keto diet, the Atkins diet aims to get you into a mild state of ketosis and allows for more carbohydrates. In other words, keto is more hardcore. So What the Heck Do You Eat? To get your body to reach ketosis, 80 to 90 percent of the calories you consume should come from fat, and the rest should come from a combo of protein and carbs, says Siegfried. Plus, your carb intake is limited to 10 to 35 grams per day. That's roughly the amount in a single apple, glass of milk, or piece of bread. In fact, it's pretty much impossible to eat fruit or milk-based products without su Continue reading >>

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