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How Ketosis Works

Is Constant Ketosis Necessary – Or Even Desirable?

Is Constant Ketosis Necessary – Or Even Desirable?

162 Comments Good morning, folks. With next week’s The Keto Reset Diet release, I’ve got keto on the mind today—unsurprisingly. I’ve had a lot of questions lately on duration. As I’ve mentioned before, a good six weeks of ketosis puts in place all the metabolic machinery for lasting adaptation (those extra mitochondria don’t evaporate if/when you return to traditional Primal eating). But what about the other end of the issue? How long is too long? I don’t do this often, but today I’m reposting an article from a couple of years ago on this very topic. I’ve added a few thoughts based on my recent experience. See what you think, and be sure to share any lingering questions on the question of keto timing and process. I’ll be happy to answer them in upcoming posts and Dear Mark columns. Every day I get links to interesting papers. It’s hard not to when thousands of new studies are published every day and thousands of readers deliver the best ones to my inbox. And while I enjoy thumbing through the links simply for curiosity’s sake, they can also seed new ideas that lead to research rabbit holes and full-fledged posts. It’s probably the favorite part of my day: research and synthesis and the gestation of future blogs. The hard part is collecting, collating, and then transcribing the ideas swirling around inside my brain into readable prose and hopefully getting an article out of it that I can share with you. A while back I briefly mentioned a paper concerning a ketone metabolite known as beta-hydroxybutyrate, or BHB, and its ability to block the activity of a set of inflammatory genes. This particular set of genes, known as the NLRP3 inflammasome, has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome, and age-related macular d 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 >>

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 >>

How Does The Ketogenic Diet Work?

How Does The Ketogenic Diet Work?

The Keto diet is not really a diet, but rather a lifestyle change. A Ketogenic diet is best described as a low carb, moderate protein, and high fat diet. This combination changes the way energy is used in the body. Fat is converted in the liver into fatty acids and ketone bodies. Another effect of the diet is that it lowers glucose levels and improves insulin resistance. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood, a state known as ketosis, leads to a reduction in the occurrence of epileptic seizures. Ketogenic Diet Macros Typically, the ketogenic diet consists of only 30-50 grams of carbohydrates a day. High in fat Moderate Protein The beginning of a ketogenic diet can be challenging for some who are not used to eating a very low carbohydrate diet. You’ll probably experience a lack of energy and brain fog as your body is in the beginning stages of making a metabolic shift. This shift is simply your body beginning to use fat for fuel rather than glucose. Your brain and body actually prefers to run on keytones rather than glucose for energy. The goal here is to use the fat on your body as fuel rather than glucose (from sugar or carbs) to burn fat and for overall daily energy requirements. For a full explanation as the ketogenic diet, please see more at: Fastest Method to Burn Fat WITHOUT Exercise 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 >>

The Ketogenic Diet 101: A Detailed Beginner's Guide

The Ketogenic Diet 101: A Detailed Beginner's Guide

The ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that offers many health benefits. Over 20 studies show that this type of diet can help you lose weight and improve health (1). Ketogenic diets may even have benefits against diabetes, cancer, epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease (2, 3, 4, 5). This article is a detailed beginner's guide to the ketogenic diet. It contains everything you need to know. The ketogenic diet (often termed keto) is a very low-carb, high-fat diet that shares many similarities with the Atkins and low-carb diets. It involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake, and replacing it with fat. The reduction in carbs puts your body into a metabolic state called ketosis. When this happens, your body becomes incredibly efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain (6, 7). Ketogenic diets can cause massive reductions in blood sugar and insulin levels. This, along with the increased ketones, has numerous health benefits (6, 8, 9, 10, 11). The ketogenic diet (keto) is a low-carb, high-fat diet. It lowers blood sugar and insulin levels, and shifts the body’s metabolism away from carbs and towards fat and ketones. There are several versions of the ketogenic diet, including: Standard ketogenic diet (SKD): This is a very low-carb, moderate-protein and high-fat diet. It typically contains 75% fat, 20% protein and only 5% carbs (1). Cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD): This diet involves periods of higher-carb refeeds, such as 5 ketogenic days followed by 2 high-carb days. Targeted ketogenic diet (TKD): This diet allows you to add carbs around workouts. High-protein ketogenic diet: This is similar to a standard ketogenic diet, but includes more protein. The ratio is often 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% Continue reading >>

Metabolic Pathways: How The Body Uses Energy

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 >>

How Long Does It Take For The Ketosis Diet To Work?

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 >>

Diabetes & Ketogenic Diet: Can You Manage Your Diabetes On A Ketogenic Diet?

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 >>

How Ketosis Works For Weight Loss

How Ketosis Works For Weight Loss

How Ketosis Works Video: How ketosis works. This video explains in simple terms the health and weight loss benefits of a ketogenic diet. Transcript 0:05 let me explain to you how our bodies can get 0:09 extra body fat the easiest and most 0:12 natural way our bodies love all kinds of starchy and sugary foods like potatoes 0:19 rice pasta and bread we lost these foods because they give us quick and easy 0:25 energy but for many of us there’s a big price to pay for eating lots of starch 0:30 and sugar let’s face it but we don’t uses energy is going to be stored in our 0:34 bodies as fat which leads us to the big question how do we get rid of this fat 0:40 well the answer is actually really quite simple and completely natural it’s 0:46 called ketosis and it’s the body’s natural solution to getting rid of too 0:51 much body fat the ketosis process is the body using fat rather than sugar and 0:57 starches as energy and it’s easily triggered by cutting out starch and 1:01 sugar from our diet and switching to a balanced diet of protein and vegetables 1:06 protein and vegetables are rich in vitamins and minerals as well as 1:11 essential fatty acids so you get 100 percent of your daily nutritional 1:15 requirements by eating wonderfully tasty and healthy foods once the body isn’t 1:21 getting cheap easy energy from starch and sugar it will burn stored fat for 1:26 energy think of that excess fat in our bodies as our very own energy pack 1:31 you’ll find that this way of eating will keep us all healthy and slimmer forever 1:36 the natural could ptosis way even better that food is great too 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 >>

Weight Loss And 3 Main Effects Of Carb Restriction

Weight Loss And 3 Main Effects Of Carb Restriction

The ketogenic diet is not only a great weight loss tool, but it has been shown to improve many health conditions. It's any diet that causes ketones to be produced by the liver, shifting the body's metabolism away from glucose and towards fat utilisation. The keto diet is an effective weight loss tool, but it doesn't guarantee instant weight loss. It helps you reach your healthy goals in an easier way. There are three main effects of low-carb diets, including keto diets... Three Main Effects of Low-Carb Diets Satiety Effect = No Hunger Issues Firstly, you eat very sating and nutritious food that makes you less hungry and less likely to experience cravings. It's a fact that people naturally eat less on a low-carb diet. Protein and fat are the most sating macronutrients by far. Achieving satiety and natural appetite control are the most important effects of low-carb eating. Insulin, which is a hormone released when you eat carbs, affects your appetite and with more carbs, you'll experience more cravings. Also see Dr Briffa's article: Contrary to what some may say, fruit and veg not great for filling us up. Low-Carb Diets Are Better For Fat Loss Secondly, eating fat helps your body release fat and lose weight, while carbohydrates have the opposite effect. This has to do with how insulin affects your body and as you may know, insulin is mostly produced when you eat carbs. With decreased insulin levels, your body will use body fat for energy and you will lose weight. Finally, there are studies that appear to support the idea of a potential "metabolic advantage" of low-carb diets. This means that you could achieve weight loss at a higher level than the calorie intake would suggest. When ketones are made from the breakdown of fat in the liver, urinary ketones are excreted and m Continue reading >>

Ketogenic Diet

Ketogenic Diet

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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[1] 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.[2][3] 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 >>

Ketogenic Diets - What Are They? Do They Work?

Ketogenic Diets - What Are They? Do They Work?

What would you say if I told you that you could supercharge your energy levels with a switch to your diet? How about lose fat or bulk up using the same diet? Would you like to eat the foods that are considered taboo? Ketogenic Diets - What Are They? Do They Work? What would you say if I told you that you could supercharge your energy levels with a switch to your diet? How about lose fat or bulk up using the same diet? Would you like to eat the foods that are considered taboo? You know... The good foods, the ones with all the fats that really taste good. We are speaking of ketogenic diets (or keto for short). Countless books have been written on this very subject and yet the world does not understand the value of this diet. I keep hearing the same comments: "Man that diet is bad for you." "You will have excessive cholesterol and probably have a heart attack." Where does this come from? A common lack of knowledge! Most of the time we fear that which we don't understand, so we are here to shed some light on the subject and hopefully leave you with a better understanding about this diet. Fitnessman and I have decided it was time to "school" some of you on the effects and ease of this diet. This is the first time we have ever done anything like this together so it should prove to be interesting. Fitnessman is highly schooled on the subject of Ketogenic diets. He has a degree in nutrition and is a major contributor in the Bodybuilding.com forum. When Fitnessman talks we all stop and listen! On with the article... The Problem The most common problem today is what we eat. Modern man seems to have gotten so wrapped up in processing stuff that it actually became bad for us to eat. Many years ago man ate meat! This was his diet. He would kiss his family goodbye and go off in searc 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 >>

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