Besides weight loss, ketosis can have several health benefits, such as reducing seizures in children with epilepsy. Ketosis is a complex process, but this article explains what it is and how it can benefit you.
A ketone diet can help you lose weight. In the short term, you can lose weight quickly because it reduces your body’s glycogen and water stores. In the long term, it can suppress appetite, leading to lower calorie intake.
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a metabolic disorder in which there is a high concentration of ketones in the blood. This happens when fat provides most of the fuel for the body and access to glucose is limited. Glucose (blood sugar) is the preferred fuel source for many cells in the body.
Ketosis is most commonly associated with a ketogenic diet and a very low carb diet. It also happens during pregnancy, infancy, fasting and fasting (3 Trusted Sources, 4 Trusted Sources, 5 Trusted Sources, 6 Trusted Sources).
To get into ketosis, you usually need to eat less than 50 grams of carbs per day, and sometimes as little as 20 grams per day. However, the exact amount of carbohydrates that cause ketosis varies from person to person.
What are ketones to do this, you may need to eliminate certain foods from your diet, such as:
- sugary soft drinks
- You should also shorten:
On a very low carbohydrate diet, insulin levels are reduced and fatty acids are released from body fat in large quantities. Many of these fatty acids are transported to the liver, where they are oxidized and converted to ketones (or ketone bodies). These molecules can provide the body with energy.
Unlike fatty acids, ketones can cross the blood-brain barrier and provide the brain with energy in the absence of glucose. Ketosis is a metabolic condition in which ketones become an important source of energy for the body and brain. This happens with low carbohydrate and insulin intake.
Ketones May Provide Energy to the Brain
A common misconception is that the brain cannot function without carbohydrates. It is true that glucose is preferred, and that some brain cells can only use glucose for fuel. However, most of your brain can also use ketones for energy, such as during a fast or when your diet is low in carbs.
In fact, after just three days of fasting, the brain gets 25% of its energy from ketones. During prolonged fasting, this number rises to about 60% (8, 9). Plus, your body can use protein or other molecules to make glucose, which your brain needs during ketosis. This process is called gluconeogenesis.
Ketosis and gluconeogenesis are perfectly capable of meeting the energy needs of the brain. Here’s some additional information on ketogenic diets and the brain: How low-carb and ketogenic diets improve brain health. When the brain isn’t getting enough glucose, it can use ketones for energy. The required glucose can be produced from protein or other sources.
Ketosis is Not the Same as Ketoacidosis
People often confuse ketosis and ketoacidosis. While ketosis is part of normal metabolism, ketoacidosis is a dangerous metabolic condition that can be fatal if left untreated. In ketoacidosis, the bloodstream is filled with extremely high levels of glucose (blood sugar) and ketones.
When this happens, the blood becomes acidic, which is seriously harmful. Ketoacidosis is most commonly associated with uncontrolled type 1 diabetes. It can also occur in people with type 2 diabetes, although it is less common.
In addition, heavy alcohol abuse can lead to ketoacidosis. Ketosis is a natural metabolic condition, whereas ketoacidosis is a serious condition that is most common in type 1 diabetes and is poorly treated.
What Is Ketosis for Health
Ketosis is a natural metabolic state that can be achieved by following a ketogenic diet.
It can have many health benefits, including:
- weight loss
- lower blood sugar
- reduction of seizures in children with epilepsy
However, following a strict diet to induce ketosis can be very difficult, and some negative side effects can occur. Plus, not all researchers agree that the keto diet is the best way to lose weight. Ketosis is not for everyone, but some may benefit.