Why Ketosis Works

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How Ketogenic Diet Works (simplified)

Heard of the Keto Diet? For those of you that haven’t or want a refresher, here’s a little explanation! But first a bit of background! You see, energy we get from our foods are from 3 macro groups: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. When non fibre carbohydrates (carbs) are digested, it becomes glycogen in our liver. Glycogen can be easily converted to glucose (blood sugar), which the human body uses as fuel to sustain our usual activities. Insulin helps regulate the glucose level in our bloodstream; when the glucose level is high, the pancreas releases insulin which tells the liver to change the excess glucose into glycogen and fats. Quite a process just to keep the human body going! The Ketogenic (keto) diet, is a diet where the consumption of carbohydrates are kept to a minimum. After a few days on a keto diet, the glucose and glycogen in the body are depleted, which results in a low insulin level. When the insulin level is low, the fat cells release fatty acids which is transformed to ketones by the liver. These ketones are used as an alternative source of energy by the body (this process is known as ketosis). In essence, a regular diet will metabolize carbohydrates into glyc Continue reading >>

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Popular Questions

  1. successful_great_guy

    I hear the experts say in interviews that a ketogenic diet is not for everyone. I recall D'Agostino saying 70-75% of people thrive on a ketogenic diet, but 25-30% do not. Do we have evidence-based examples of where keto does not work, is unhealthy, or is dangerous to one's health? There are clearly a multitude of anecdotal examples, but there are also a multitude of people who love eating sugar and won't make it past keto flu or who think they are doing keto when they're not (ex. low carb low fat) or eat the wrong things. Is there evidence either way on this?

  2. ShadedSpaces

    Well, I mean, I have no idea how one would create a PKU-friendly keto diet when everything like eggs, meat, fish, cheese, nuts, and dairy are best avoided.
    I can't imagine how someone with fat-intolerant IBS would be able to eat keto either. Or someone with one of the diseases that results in fat malabsorption.
    I don't think that conditions like these amount to a quarter of the population though. But we certainly have evidenced-based examples of people who are better off eating carbs. Feeding a traditional ketogenic diet to a kid with PKU would literally cause irreversible brain damage.

  3. saralt

    Dr. Noakes mentioned a number in the 10% range. The truth is that we just don't know yet how many people don't do well.

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