Metabolic Pathways: How The Body Uses Energy
Metabolic pathways in the body determine how we utilize the macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) we eat, and ultimately what happens to the fuels that come from each macronutrient. It all depends on when the last meal was finished. If the body is in a "fasting or starvation" mode, energy pathways will behave differently than when food is available. Food is available! The macronutrients (carbohydrate, fats and protein) on your plate are broken down in separate metabolic pathways: Carbohydrates are broken down into glucose by various enzymes. Some are burned for immediate energy, but overall the level of glucose in the blood stream rises, which triggers an insulin release by the pancreas. The insulin acts to push glucose into the cells to be made into ATP, stored as glycogen or when in excess amounts, stored as fat droplets called triglycerides in the fat cells (adipose tissue). Fats are digested in the small intestine, and then packaged into lipoproteins for various functions (ever heard of LDL and HDL? ) Excess fat calories often end up as fat droplets in fat cells. When fats are used as an energy source, they are broken down in cellular mitochondria through a process called beta-oxidation. Proteins are broken down into individual amino acids and used in body cells to form new proteins or to join the amino acid pool, a sort of "cache" for these molecules. Amino acids that are in excess of the body's needs are converted by liver enzymes into keto acids and urea. Keto acids may be used as sources of energy, converted into glucose, or stored as fat. Urea is excreted from everyone’s body in sweat and urine. Body is "Fasting" Carbohydrate, fats and protein are metabolized in separate processes into a common product called acetyl-CoA. Acetyl-CoA is a major meta Continue reading >>
This article is about a dietary therapy for epilepsy. For information on ketogenic diets as a lifestyle choice or for weight loss, see Low-carbohydrate diet and No-carbohydrate diet. The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, adequate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that in medicine is used primarily to treat difficult-to-control (refractory) epilepsy in children. The diet forces the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Normally, the carbohydrates contained in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body and is particularly important in fueling brain-function. However, if there is very little carbohydrate in the diet, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. The ketone bodies pass into the brain and replace glucose as an energy source. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood, a state known as ketosis, leads to a reduction in the frequency of epileptic seizures. Almost half of children, and young people, with epilepsy who have tried some form of this diet saw the number of seizures drop by at least half, and the effect persists even after discontinuing the diet. There is some evidence that adults with epilepsy may benefit from the diet, and that a less strict regimen, such as a modified Atkins diet, is similarly effective. The most common adverse effect is constipation, affecting about 30% of patients—this was due to fluid restriction, which was once a feature of the diet, but this led to increased risk of kidney stones, and is no longer considered beneficial. The original therapeutic diet for paediatric epilepsy provides just enough protein for body growth and repair, and sufficient calories[Note 1] to maintain the correct weight for age and height. The classic therapeutic ketogenic diet was develope Continue reading >>
Keto 101: How Ketogenic Diet Works?
Ketogenic Diet Works | How Ketogenic Diet Works | Why Ketogenic Diet Works | Ketosis State Ketogenic diet is the new trend in the health and fitness world. You have probably heard of it from famous celebrities, bloggers and health experts being an effective way of reducing weight. You heard it right. We have already switched to this low-carb high-fat diet because of the many testimonials to its effect in health and weight loss. However, you shouldn’t just try it out because of other people’s endorsement or because it is popular. You need to understand how ketogenic diet works so you can assess if it’s something that will fit for you. Low Carbohydrates Intake Leads to Less Body Sugar and Fat The first important idea behind keto dieting is the low-carbo intake. Carbohydrates are dietary nutrients that our body breaks down to sugar to produce the fuel or energy that we need for everyday living. If the carbs that we eat are not burned and used as energy, they are stored in the muscles and will turn to body fat after some time. For those inactive individuals, this could lead to several diseases like obesity, diabetes and liver problems. Therefore, you should lower your carbohydrate intake to lessen the unused sugar in your system and lessen the chances of getting body fats. Depleted Supply of Carbohydrates will Start Ketosis Explaining how ketogenic diet works also needs explaining of the word ketosis. It is a metabolic state wherein your body does not have enough carbohydrates anymore to produce fuel, which results to the liver digging the stored fats and converting them to ketones. Ketone bodies will then be oxidized to produce the energy for our brain and entire body. If you want to begin with keto dieting, your ketosis activation will depend on the amount of carboh Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
How Long Does It Take For The Ketosis Diet To Work?
When it comes to weight loss, everyone wants rapid results. A ketosis diet, better known as a ketogenic diet or low-carb diet, helps you lose weight by forcing your body to burn fat for energy instead of carbs, causing you to go into a state of ketosis. The rate of weight loss on a ketosis diet varies, and how long it takes to work depends on how much weight you need to lose, but you may be able to lose more than 12 pounds in a month. Video of the Day Your body's preferred source of fuel is glucose, which is derived from carbohydrates. When fasting, your body undergoes hormonal changes that stimulate the release of fat from your fat cells, where it is transported to the liver and made into ketones, which are then used for energy. The ketogenic diet is high in fat and protein and low in carbohydrates, which mimics fasting to produce ketones and the state of ketosis. How quickly you get into ketosis varies, but can happen in one to two days. When followed as advised, people on a ketogenic diet for weight loss lose weight and lose it quickly, according to dietitian Juliette Kellow. According to a 2008 study published in the "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition," men who followed a ketogenic diet for four weeks lost an average of 12 pounds. The men in the study were able to eat fewer calories without feeling hungry or dissatisfied. It's important to note that this was a small, short-term study, and weight loss results may vary. The concern with losing weight too quickly is that you lose muscle and water rather than fat. Most health care professionals recommend a slow rate of weight loss of about 1 to 2 pounds a week. Losing water and muscle on a weight-loss diet may zap your energy levels and your motivation, and you may be more likely to regain the weight. While ketogen Continue reading >>
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 >>
Everything You Need To Know About How Ketosis Works
Ketosis has made its way into the mainstream as a weight loss tool. Before we understand the diet, we need to learn about what ketosis is, how it works, and how it alters the metabolism. Ketosis is a metabolic process that occurs when the body is in a state of low carbohydrate intake. Carbohydrates break down into glucose, the body’s preferred source of fuel, down during digestion. When glucose is not provided through food for a period of time (like during a time of fasting), the body has a backup mechanism in place to avoid starvation and malnutrition: ketosis. Without carbohydrates as a source of fuel, the body’s metabolism changes and enters into ketosis, where stored fat is used for energy. The molecules providing energy are ketone bodies (mostly acetoacetate and beta-hydroxybutyrate) instead of glucose. Most of the body’s cells (including the brain, which is the most important) can use ketone bodies as fuel if there is no glucose. The ketogenic diet (KD) is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate, and moderate protein diet. By not providing much glucose (by not eating a lot of carbohydrates), this essentially mimics a state of starvation, forcing the body into ketosis. But by eating high fat and moderate protein at the same time, it prevents malnutrition associated with starvation. By following the diet, you can provide your body with enough calories to survive, but without glucose so that the body produces ketone bodies, and enters into a state of ketosis. In this state, your body breaks down fat stores for energy, which can facilitate weight loss. The dietary breakdown is typically about 75 percent fat, 20 percent protein and only 5 percent carbohydrate. It can also be calculated as a ratio of fat to carbohydrates plus protein. The classic KD can be as high as 4:1. Th Continue reading >>
What Is The Ketogenic Diet?
The concept of ketogenic dieting is not new – it has existed in many forms and in many variations. It has many similarities to the Atkin’s Diet, and is cousins with other popular diets like South Beach and Paleo. Below, we’ve outlined exactly what the ketogenic diet is, how and why it works, and how you can get started with a ketogenic diet today. Before we dive in, however, it is important to understand that there are three types of ketogenic diets: the Standard Ketogenic Diet, the Cyclical Ketogenic Diet, and the Targeted Ketogenic Diet. All are very closely related but differ in regards to limits and timing of carbohydrate consumption. For all intents and purposes, when we refer to ketogenic diets on TheKetogenicDiet.org, we are typically referring to the Standard Ketogenic diet unless otherwise noted. Most information here is relevant regardless of what type of ketogenic diet you are practicing, however. Okay…so what is the ketogenic diet? A ketogenic diet is quite simply any diet that forces the body into a process called ketosis, whereby fats are burned instead of carbohydrates for use as energy. A proper ketogenic diet calls for the dieter to consume high amounts of fat, adequate amounts of protein, and very low amounts of carbohydrates. Our bodies are used to turning carbohydrates into glucose to send all over the body as energy. When we enter ketosis by sufficiently limiting our carbohydrate intake, our livers start breaking down fat cells into fatty acids and ketones, to be used as energy. Why does the ketogenic diet work? The ketogenic diet works much like any other diet: by limiting the amount of calories you consume, thereby creating a caloric deficit where the body burns more energy than it takes in. That is the fundamental science of weight loss, Continue reading >>
Diabetes & Ketogenic Diet: Can You Manage Your Diabetes On A Ketogenic Diet?
In this article we will cover what a Ketogenic diet is and if you can manage your diabetes while on this diet. Ketogenic diet for diabetics is a highly controversial topic, but we will break down everything here for you! As a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), I have to tell you from the start I will have a biased view here. Sorry, but I feel that I need to be completely honest right up front! I will however, present all the evidence that is available currently on the subject. As a CDE, I have been taught to follow the American Diabetes Association Dietary Guidelines for Americans which is low in carbohydrates, high in fiber, with fresh vegetables, fruits and whole grains. The Ketogenic Diet this article will be discussing is much lower in carbohydrates, in order to promote the state of nutritional ketosis, or the fat burning state for weight loss. What is a Ketogenic Diet? The Ketogenic Diet is a low carbohydrate diet, consisting initially of less than 20 carbohydrates per day. Not per meal, yes, you heard me correctly, per day. It is not for the faint of heart and yes I am writing from experience. Of course I have tried it! Hasn’t everybody in America at some point who has wanted to lose weight? Does it work you ask? Of course it does! The problem is how long can you keep it up? Your body uses the carbohydrates you eat for energy, so if we restrict how many carbohydrates we eat, the body has to get its fuel source from fat. A byproduct of this fat burning state are ketones which are produced; this is called nutritional ketosis. You can determine if you are in this fat burning state by purchasing urine ketone testing strips from your local pharmacy. The Ketogenic Diet with Diabetes Some precautions must be made clear; this diet is not appropriate for people with any Continue reading >>
Ketosis And The Keto Diet - How It Works
You’ve probably heard about the popular Keto diet. It’s been a popular one among celebrities, so it’s received a lot of attention. Many people who try the diet do lose a lot of weight, so you may be eager to give this diet a try. However, before you get started with this diet, it’s a good idea to learn more about ketosis, how the keto diet works, and what it takes to successfully lose weight with the keto diet. What is Ketosis? Ketosis is one of the body’s processes that is done each day, and it works to adapt to what’s put in it, turning various nutrients into fuels used by the body. Your body can process carbs, fats, and proteins for use. When you eat a very low carb diet, this process is ramped up, resulting in a chemical reaction that’s both safe and normal. If you eat excess protein or carbohydrate based foods, the body breaks them down into glucose. It does this so it can create ATP, a type of energy molecule that fuels the body for daily maintenance and activities. The body uses up quite a few calories each day to support normal processes, so many of the nutrients you take in are used just to maintain your body each day. If you’re eating more than the body needs, then there may be extra glucose that’s not needed by the body. Two things can happen to extra glucose: Glycogenesis – Extra glucose can be turned into glycogen and stored in the muscles and liver. Lipogenesis – If the liver and muscles already have enough glycogen, then glucose is turned into fat and then store. When the body doesn’t have any more glycogen or glucose, ketosis occurs. When there’s no more glycogen or glucose to use for energy, your body has to burn fat and creates a type of molecule known as ketones. The body breaks down fats, which creates glycerol and fatty aci Continue reading >>
What Is Ketosis?
"Ketosis" is a word you'll probably see when you're looking for information on diabetes or weight loss. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? That depends. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body does to keep working. When it doesn't have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones. If you're healthy and eating a balanced diet, your body controls how much fat it burns, and you don't normally make or use ketones. But when you cut way back on your calories or carbs, your body will switch to ketosis for energy. It can also happen after exercising for a long time and during pregnancy. For people with uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a sign of not using enough insulin. Ketosis can become dangerous when ketones build up. High levels lead to dehydration and change the chemical balance of your blood. Ketosis is a popular weight loss strategy. Low-carb eating plans include the first part of the Atkins diet and the Paleo diet, which stress proteins for fueling your body. In addition to helping you burn fat, ketosis can make you feel less hungry. It also helps you maintain muscle. For healthy people who don't have diabetes and aren't pregnant, ketosis usually kicks in after 3 or 4 days of eating less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. That's about 3 slices of bread, a cup of low-fat fruit yogurt, or two small bananas. You can start ketosis by fasting, too. Doctors may put children who have epilepsy on a ketogenic diet, a special high-fat, very low-carb and protein plan, because it might help prevent seizures. Adults with epilepsy sometimes eat modified Atkins diets. Some research suggests that ketogenic diets might help lower your risk of heart disease. Other studies show sp Continue reading >>
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 >>
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 >>
Ketosis – Advantaged Or Misunderstood State? (part I)
As The Eating Academy approaches its first birthday in about a month, I figured it was as good a time as any to put together some thoughts on a subject I get asked about with great frequency. (For those wondering when I’ll get to Part X of The Straight Dope on Cholesterol, the answer is, “hopefully before the end of the year.”) A few months ago I was planning a post along the lines of “the 10 things you need to know about ketosis,” but I’m now thinking that might be putting the proverbial cart before the horse. So, let’s start with a more fundamental set of questions. In part I of this post I will see to it (assuming you read it) that you’ll know more about ketosis than just about anyone, including your doctor or the majority of “experts” out there writing about this topic. Before we begin, a disclaimer in order: If you want to actually understand this topic, you must invest the time and mental energy to do so. You really have to get into the details. Obviously, I love the details and probably read 5 or 6 scientific papers every week on this topic (and others). I don’t expect the casual reader to want to do this, and I view it as my role to synthesize this information and present it to you. But this is not a bumper-sticker issue. I know it’s trendy to make blanket statements – ketosis is “unnatural,” for example, or ketosis is “superior” – but such statements mean nothing if you don’t understand the biochemistry and evolution of our species. So, let’s agree to let the unsubstantiated statements and bumper stickers reside in the world of political debates and opinion-based discussions. For this reason, I’ve deliberately broken this post down and only included this content (i.e., background) for Part I. What is ketosis? Ketosis is Continue reading >>