keto basics

What is the Keto Diet?

4

minute read

April 15, 2018

Beyond the keto diet buzz – learn the basic concept of this highly affective diet. From what you can eat, to why & how it affects our body & weight.

The ketogenic diet

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-carb, moderate protein diet, where the body breaks-down fat to produce ketones which are used as energy, instead of sugar (glucose).

But what are healthy fats exactly?  After so many decades of hearing that fats were “bad”, we are finally determining which fats can not only fuel our bodies, but also offer tremendous health benefits.

Healthy Fats

When we say the keto diet is a "high-fat" diet, we are referring to healthy fats, coming from:

  • coconut oil
  • olive oil
  • grass-fed butter
  • avocados
  • animal fats
  • fish
  • eggs

Why We Cut Out Carbs

Our bodies convert carbohydrates into glucose, which is the main source of energy when on a regular diet. Glucose can be stored as glycogen in the muscles and liver or directly as glucose in the blood (blood sugar). The glucose levels in the blood trigger insulin, which is a powerful hormone secreted by the pancreas and which transports nutrients, including fat to cells, resulting in body fat storage. With the elimination of carbs in our diet, the insulin response to glucose can be minimized and fat storage avoided.

When the glycogen levels are fully depleted due to the lack of carbs and the body can’t tap into these resources for energy anymore, it has to “switch” the metabolism to a fat-fueled metabolism. On a fat-fueled metabolism, the liver breaks down fat into ketones, which the body can use as energy. So when we eliminate carbs, we are kicking the body into as state called ketosis.

Ketosis

Ketosis is a metabolic state, where your body is using ketones for energy instead of glucose.  Ketones are derived from fats and are a much more stable and cleaner source of energy, compared to glucose.  These ketones are produced from the breakdown of fats in the liver.

Getting your body into Ketosis can be a process – and can take anywhere from 3-7 days.  But remember - your body is extremely adaptive to what we feed it.  When we stop our carb intake and replace it with healthy fats, it will begin to burn fat and produce ketones as an efficient energy source.

Keto for Weight Loss

The fats our bodies are using for fuel will come from both the fats we eat as well as from our stored body fat.  On a ketogenic diet, this process of burning fat for fuel is taking place 24/7 and this is what makes this diet so effective for weight loss.

Read more about the keto diet & weightloss here.

Other Benefits

Beyond weight loss, there are many other benefits to a Ketogenic Diet, such as mental clarity, increased energy and reduced inflammation, just to mention a few.  To read about these benefits and find out why you should start your Keto journey – click here.