There are hundreds of diets out there that people swear by, but why should you follow the ketogenic diet?
Simply put, the ketogenic diet is the most talked-about diet all over the world with many case studies to prove it. There is positive research than can back up claims made by people about how effective and safe it is.
If you are a newcomer to everything related to the ketogenic diet, there will be times of confusion and misconceptions. Here we are going to help you understand the science of the keto diet and how you can benefit from it.
So, what is a ketogenic diet?
The keto diet, also known as the ketogenic diet, is high in fats, moderate in protein and low on carbs. The health and fitness community has been blown away by how effective it has become. The diet is quite simple. Simply consume low amounts of carbs and increase the amount of good fats in its place. Don’t confuse the keto diet with the Atkins diet, many people do, due to them both being low carb, but the Atkins diet is low fat and high in protein. The keto diet is more about healthy fats and less protein. The keto diet allows your body to become a fat burning machine due to being in a metabolic state known as ketosis. You can literally see all the fat melt away.
How does it all work?
Anybody can spout off how successful the diet is, how it melts the fat away but can science back all these testimonials? The answer is yes!
Fatty acids are created from compounds known as glucose which is what produces insulin. Insulin is created by the breaking down of protein that we find in carbs. This, in turn, regulates blood sugar levels. Think of insulin as vehicle, which drives glucose from your bloodstream into your cells. If you didn’t have insulin, your blood sugar levels will rise to dangerous heights.
But… on the other hand, we have glucose or glucagon which the pancreas secrets when blood sugar levels have become too low. When the levels are that low, glycogen is secreted and works by taking the stored glycogen and turning it into energy for your body. As your glycogen levels drop, beta-oxidation occurs which breaks down fatty acids.
This is when ketosis begins, as beta-oxidation occurs the liver will release ketones which travel to the brain as a form of energy and these leftover fatty acids are converted into a form of energy.
What are ketone bodies?
Ketone bodies are basically energy which is created when fatty acids are broken down by the liver and converted into a form of energy. Only a few fatty acids are oxidized within the liver, the rest will create a ketone known as acetoacetate also known as beta-hydroxybutyric which is part of the ketone body family. All the tissue in your body contains mitochondria which will use the ketone bodies as a source of fuel.
Keto diets for anti catabolism
The worst thing you can do as a dieter is to put your body in a catabolic state, this is a form of cannibalism as your body is eating your muscles and using it as fuel as opposed to the fat reserves. This is why the keto diet is perfect, the effect on catabolic rates it has on your body are reduced drastically. If you are on a diet that puts you in a catabolic state, muscle loss will be expected.
One thing to know is that the brain can take traces of protein and convert it to glucose for fuel, which is also known as gluconeogenesis, but the brain prefers ketones as a source fuel rather than glucose. The effect is that protein doesn’t need to be broken down and converted into glucose, so if your body needs energy, it will use body fat for all its fuel needs.
This may all seem confusing at first but in simple terms, all you’re doing is getting your body to burn fat instead of carbs for fuel.
Check out our post next Wednesday to learn why the Keto Diet is so effective.