Posted by Liz Trondsen
In the first part of our Keto diet series, we shared the basics of Keto diet, nutritional information, and what you can (and can’t) eat while following the diet. For those who missed our last week’s blog, the Ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carbohydrate, and moderate protein diet. In the second part of this series, our nutritionist digs deeper to explain how Keto diet works and provides health benefits.
Carbohydrates eaten in your daily diet is broken down by your body into glucose—the main source of energy for all cells in the body. If a person severely reduces the intake of carbohydrates, the body will need to utilize stored glucose from the liver and muscles. Once this stored glucose is depleted, the body will switch to an alternate fuel called Ketones. Ketones are produced in the liver from stored fat. When ketone bodies accumulate in the blood, this is called ketosis. The transition to physiological, or nutritional ketosis varies from person to person, but usually takes a week.
How does Ketosis promote weight loss?
There are several theories behind this, including: Keto diet results in massive burning of stored fat (when calories are restricted); dieters claim a reduction in appetite (possibly hormonal); a sense of increased satiety due to high fat content of the diet; or reduced caloric intake due to the elimination of most processed foods. Another possible theory is that most people, following a keto diet, consume less calories than they expend. What is not known is whether there is a benefit to a Keto diet over other low carbohydrate diets for weight loss.
Some people confuse Ketosis with a dangerous complication of diabetes known as Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA). DKA occurs when the level of Ketones in the body rises to an excessive level. This condition requires hospitalization and can be deadly. In contrast, the Keto diet results in a mild to moderate level of ketones-without acidosis.
While Keto diet has several health benefits, it is important to consult your physician or registered dietitian before changing your diet, so you can make the right choices. In the third installment of our Keto diet series, we will share the numerous benefits of following this diet. Please stay tuned!