What is Ketosis and what is the ketogenic diet?
Did you know that there are two sources of fuel for the body? Ketones & Glucose.
The ketogenic diet differs to a typical western diet, in which the majority of our energy comes from carbohydrates and sugar. Our bodies break down carbohydrates into glucose (sugar) for energy and we store a limited amount of sugar as glycogen in our muscles and liver.
How do you achieve Ketosis?
In ketosis, we restrict our carbohydrate intake to the point where our metabolism needs to search for another fuel source: Ketones.
The liver then converts fat (both nutritional fat and body fat) into ketone bodies that fuel our brains and bodies. We switch from burning glucose to ketones for energy; this is called ‘Fat/Keto Adapted’ and this is actually the more natural metabolic state for the human body to be in. Find out how to measure your ketone levels here.
As hunter gatherers, our Palaeolithic era ancestors would have been in ketosis most of the time.
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
This demonstrates the effect that food has on the brain, in particular, sugar.
On the ketogenic diet, you derive most of your calories, approximately 70-80% from fat. If you are consuming this much fat, it needs to be healthy, unprocessed and made up of Saturated Fatty Acids (SFAs). The remainder of your nutritional macros should consist of 10-20% protein and 5% carbs. Find out more about the diet in detail here.
What can the ketogenic diet do for you?
If cutting sugar from your diet can prevent seizures in people with epilepsy, what can it do for us?
- Decreases inflammation
- Alleviates food cravings by regulating blood sugar levels
- Improves brain health and energy
- Eliminates migraines
- Improves mood and lowers depression
- Reduces epileptic seizures
- Helps manage ADHD symptoms in adults and children
- Decreases risk of coronary artery disease
- Eliminates chronic pain
- Eliminates sinus issues
- Clears skin
- Starves Cancer Cells
- Improves fertility
- Can cure Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
- Can balance hormones
- Can reset the metabolism
- Can alleviate symptoms of Alzheimer’s and type 2 diabetes
Additional benefits of the ketogenic diet
Sugar causes inflammation in the body, which is the root of many diseases, from neurological diseases to cancer.
When your body is using ketones for fuel instead of glucose, you get more Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) with less oxidative stress. This means that you are more oxygen efficient, which translates to improved physical athletic performance. This is proven to be especially effective for endurance athletes such as runners and cyclists.
Ketones are Muscle Sparing.
When running on glucose, your body converts muscle to glucose (gluconeogenesis). In ketosis, your body converts fat to ketones as fuel first, preserving your hard earned muscle.
Cancer cells are fueled by glucose, and there is a growing body of research demonstrating how the ketogenic diet can be used to prevent cancer (The Ketogenic Kitchen).
And did you know...
‘Both the heart and the brain run more efficiently, by as much as 25%, on ketones than on blood sugar…healthy, normal brain cells thrive when fuelled by ketones.’ Brain Grain P. 25 David Perlmutter
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Sara & Francisco