By now, you’ve all heard the term “keto”. Though, its nothing new, it does seem to be the latest craze in the health and diet world. So, what is this whole ketosis thing all about? Here’s the 101:
What is ketosis?
Ketosis is where the body produces something called ketones in the liver to be used as energy. When you eat something high in carbs, your body produces glucose and insulin. Glucose is the easiest molecule for your body to convert to energy, so your body typically chooses that over any other energy source. Since your body is using the glucose, it doesn’t need the fat you consume, so rather than burning it, your body stores it. But, by lowering your intake of cards, your body can go into a state of ketosis. This is a natural process your body uses when food intake it low and is when your body produces ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in your liver. Therefore, burning fat instead of glucose. It’s basically tricking your body into starvation mode, without actually starving yourself.
What are the benefits of keto?
When following a ketogenic diet, people can certainly experience weight loss. Keto also naturally lowers blood sugar levels due to the type of foods you eat. Many people also testify to better mental focus, increased energy, normalized hunger, improved triglyceride and cholesterol levels, improved skin, and more.
How do you know if you’re in ketosis?
Going keto definitely takes some planning ahead! The idea is pretty simple, but it can get super confusing with all the info out there! Bottom line is- you’ll need to restrict carbohydrates and protein intake, drink plenty of water, stop snacking, and start fasting. Search online for a keto calculator to determine exactly what your macros should be. You can measure if you’re actually in ketosis with a urine or blood test. However, these symptoms also usually indicate that you’re on the right track: increased urination, dry mouth, bad breath, reduced hunger and increased energy.
So.. what’s the bad part?
This diet certainly isn’t for everybody. It is a bit restrictive, so if counting/measuring/dieting isn’t your thing, keto isn’t for you. It is often a challenge for most people to get into optimal ranges for ketosis. On the contrary, it is possible for ketone production to get too high (this is called ketoacidosis)- although this is rare. As a precaution, you should always check with your doctor if you have any concerns about trying a ketogenic diet. Especially if you are taking any medications or are breastfeeding.
Curious what to actually eat on a ketogenic diet? Check for tomorrow’s follow up post for all that info and more!