Ketosis: Everything You Need to Know About It

ketosis

What Is Ketosis?

A person who doesn't follow a ketogenic diet gets his energy from glucose. Glucose comes from foods containing carbohydrates. If you lower your consumption of carbohydrates or try intermittent fasting, you kickstart ketosis.

3 types of ketones are present in your bloodstream during ketosis:

  1. Acetoacetate (AcAc)
  2. β-hydroxybutyrate (BHB)
  3. Acetone

Out of these three ketone bodies, BHB or Beta-hydroxybutyrate is the most efficient in providing energy. In fact, a study shows it's more efficient than glucose. This explains why exogenous ketone supplements are in the form of BHB.

5 Health Benefits of Ketosis

1. Better Brain Health

Ketogenic diets were used to treat epileptic patients in 1921. Furthermore, it shows promising effects in patients with Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. Mitochondrial dysfunction is common in these brain problems, and ketosis helps by stimulating the growth of new brain cells.

2. Weight Loss

One of the main reasons people use the keto diet is to lose weight. Weight loss happens because you're starving your body of the main energy source it has been used to → glucose. Ketosis as a result of eating a high-fat diet also cures your sugar cravings & hunger pangs

3. Stable Blood Sugar Levels

The keto diet may improve your blood glucose as it did for many patients with type 2 diabetes. Eating a high sugar diet is what causes your blood glucose to stay elevated and your insulin receptors to become desensitized.

4. Lower Blood Triglycerides

Ketosis doesn't only reduce your body weight and blood glucose, but it also decreases your level of triglycerides → a type of fat that increases your risk for heart disease. A study which involved obese patients presents these beneficial effects.

5. Clearer Skin

Refined carbohydrates in your diet contribute to acne. The reason is processed carb-rich foods cause blood sugar spikes which affect your hormones. The lower your sugar intake, the clearer your skin becomes.

3 Myths About Ketosis

Misconceptions about ketosis hinder people from giving keto a try or using the diet properly. You might have believed some of these myths:

1. Ketosis & Ketoacidosis Are the Same

Ketosis is not ketoacidosis. While both conditions are characterized by an increase of ketones in the body, they're different. Ketosis is normal and healthy. Ketoacidosis is a life-threatening consequence or poorly managed blood glucose in type 1 diabetes patients.

2. Ketosis Makes You Tired

Weakness and fatigue in ketosis happen as your body is getting into full ketosis. Tiredness is short-term and may last a week to a month. Once your body becomes a fat burner, you become active again. Ketosis may also boost endurance among athletes.

3. Ketosis Is the Best Way to Lose Weight

Although ketosis helps with weight loss, it's not the only solution. Some people find themselves being more at ease with a high-carb or high-protein diet. Burning more calories than you consume decreases your weight.

Signs and Symptoms of Ketosis

Are you following the keto diet already? There are different signs and symptoms that'll help you tell whether you've reached ketosis. Here are signs and symptoms:

How to Get Into Ketosis

Switching your body from being a sugar burner to a fat burner takes 1-to-3 days. To effectively achieve ketosis, here are some things you can do:

1. Eat More Healthy Fats

In a ketogenic diet, you need to increase your fat intake. While it's essential to up your fat, remember to choose the healthy kind of fat. Not all fats are worth eating. Start with natural foods like avocados, eggs, seafood, and fatty cuts of meat. Avoid processed junk foods and hydrogenated oils.

2. Decrease Your Carbs to 20g/Day

Lowering your carbohydrate to at least 20 grams per day stimulates ketosis. This works well for a lot of people on the diet. However, keep in mind every person has unique macro goals and needs, which is why a keto calculator helps.

3. Do Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting induces ketosis because when you fast, your body metabolizes your glycogen stores. When glycogen is used up, it starts to burn fat.

4. Take MCT Oil

MCT stands for medium chain triglycerides. MCTs are a form of dietary fat that's extracted from coconut or palm oil. You can take MCT oil to increase your healthy fat consumption and ketone levels. Add MCT oil to your morning coffee, salads, and meals.

5. Beware of Hidden Carbs

If you're not achieving ketosis, it's possible you're still eating a lot of carbs without knowing it. Carbohydrates are often hidden in your breakfast cereals, health bars, salad dressings, and candies. Consider avoiding or limiting your consumption of these foods. Prioritize natural foods & keep a food journal to track your intake.

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