All of you know that I'm not a huge fan of the Keto diet. However, I think that if you are considering it as a short-term diet for weight-loss, it is okay. A lot of athletes and weight-loss clients use Keto to quickly lose weight and increase energy levels. The key to a Keto diet is SHORT-TERM. I never condone a restrictive diet as a long-term solution (see my many other posts about dieting & weight-loss).
Now that you know my thoughts on the matter, I'd like to share this guest post written by Brady Holmer over at H.V.M.N. H.V.M.N. is a company that sells various, healthy products that aid in your Keto journey as well as improving overall health. "H.V.M.N. was founded upon the idea of utilizing a systems engineering approach towards enhancing health, longevity, and performance."
This post outlines all the fundamentals of the Keto diet and how you can properly begin your keto journey. Enjoy!
The What and Why of Ketosis
Ketosis is a physiological state defined by the presence of ketone bodies in the blood. Ketone bodies can be thought of as an energy source for the body, just like carbohydrates and fat.
Many tissues in our body can use ketones. You might be thinking, “what’s the use of ketones, if we can just use carbohydrates and fat?”
Ketones are often thought of as an “alternate” energy pathway; the human body evolved to create ketones in order to survive times of low energy availability.
For example, when carbohydrates in the form of glucose and glycogen (the stored form of glucose) are depleted, a cascade of signals is initiated in the liver that ultimately results in the production of ketone bodies from fatty acids. There are three main ketone bodies: acetoacetate (AcAc), beta-hydroxy-butyrate (BHB), and acetone.
In times of real starvation or starvation-mimicking conditions (like prolonged fasting or very low carbohydrate diets), ketones become a fuel source for the brain and skeletal muscle since blood sugar is low. This may allow sustained performance and function. Thanks to our prodigious amount of stored fat, our ability to tap into this source of energy is nearly limitless. The ability to enter into ketosis is in everyone, we just have to allow the body to achieve it. One important side note. Be careful not to confuse physiological ketosis with ketoacidosis, which is actually a pathological condition sometimes encountered in people with diabetes.
Ketosis is where the “keto” in “ketogenic diet” comes from.
Ketogenic diets are designed to produce a state of ketosis—this comes from consuming high amounts of fats (from which ketones can be produced) along with restricting carbohydrates to <50g/day.1
The ketone bodies AcAc and BHB, which are produced in response to a ketogenic diet, are shown to have beneficial signaling properties throughout the body; these benefits include enhanced longevity, improved healthspan, and treatment of neurological disorders and obesity.2,3,4,5 It seems pertinent to find ways to induce ketosis and stay in this metabolic state as long as possible. Diet might be the best way.
However, as we will see, you don’t have to be “ketogenic” (producing your own ketones) to be in ketosis.
Ketosis can also be achieved through outside means; this is termed exogenous ketosis. Both exogenous ketosis and endogenous ketosis (meaning, the body produces its own ketones through diet or fasting) can unlock some of the benefits we just mentioned. Let’s take a look at how to get there.
Let me know what you think in the comments section.
Until next time,