What Is Ketosis And Is It Healthy?

Ketosis is a natural metabolic state.

It involves the body producing ketone bodies out of fat and using them for energy instead of carbs. You can get into ketosis by following a very low carb, high fat ketogenic diet.

A ketogenic diet can help you lose weight. In the short term, you can lose weight quickly, because it reduces the body’s stores of glycogen and water.

In the long term, it can suppress your appetite leading to a lower calorie intake.

As well as contributing to weight loss, ketosis may have several health benefits, such as reduced seizures in children with epilepsy.

Ketosis is a metabolic state in which there’s a high concentration of ketones in the blood. This happens when fat provides most of the fuel for the body, and there’s limited access to glucose. Glucose (blood sugar) is the preferred fuel source for many cells in the body.

Ketosis is most often associated with ketogenic and very low carb diets. It also happens during pregnancy, infancy, fasting and starvation.

Ketones Can Supply Energy For The Brain

It’s a common misunderstanding that the brain doesn’t function without dietary carbs.

It’s true that glucose is preferred and that some cells in the brain can only use glucose for fuel.

However, a large portion of your brain can also use ketones for energy, such as during starvation or when your diet is low in carbs.

In fact, after only three days of starvation, the brain gets 25% of its energy from ketones. During long-term starvation, this number rises to around 60%.

In addition, your body can use protein or other molecules to produce the glucose the brain still requires during ketosis. This process is called gluconeogenesis.

Ketosis and gluconeogenesis are perfectly capable of fulfilling the brain’s energy needs.

"Ketosis" - "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 flooded with extremely high levels of glucose (blood sugar) and ketones.

When this happens, the blood becomes acidic, which is seriously harmful.

Ketoacidosis is most often associated with uncontrolled type 1 diabetes. It may also occur in people with type 2 diabetes, although this is less common.

In addition, severe alcohol abuse may lead to ketoacidosis.

Effects On Epilepsy

Epilepsy is a brain disorder characterized by recurring seizures.

It’s a very common neurological condition, affecting around 70 million people worldwide.

Most people with epilepsy use anti-seizure medications to help manage seizures. However, around 30% of people continue to have seizures despite using these medications.

Ketogenic diets can effectively reduce epileptic seizures, especially in epileptic children who don’t respond to conventional treatment.

Effects On Weight Loss

The ketogenic diet is a popular weight loss diet, and research has shown it can be effective.

Some studies have found that ketogenic diets are more helpful for weight loss than low fat diets.

One study reported 2.2 times more weight loss for people on a ketogenic diet, compared to those on a low fat, calorie restricted diet.

What’s more, people tend to feel less hungry and more full on a ketogenic diet, which is attributed to ketosis. For this reason, it is generally not necessary to count calories on this diet.

However, it’s widely recognized that adherence to a diet is critical for long-term success. Some individuals may find it easy to adhere to the ketogenic diet, while others may find it unsustainable.

Other Health Benefits Of Ketosis

Some scientists have suggested that ketosis and ketogenic diets may have other therapeutic effects, although it’s worth noting that not all experts agree on this.

Heart disease: Some older studies suggest that reducing carbs to achieve ketosis may improve heart disease risk factors such as blood triglycerides, total cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol. However, a 2019 review notes that people on a very low carb diet may miss out on heart-healthy foods, such as whole grains and pulses.

Type 2 diabetes: The diet may improve insulin sensitivity and various risk factors that can lead to type 2 diabetes, including obesity.

Parkinson’s disease: A small study found that symptoms of Parkinson’s disease improved after 28 days on a ketogenic diet.

Does Ketosis Have Any Negative Health Effects?

While a ketogenic diet can have benefits for health and weight loss, it can also trigger some side effects.

Short-term effects include headache, fatigue, constipation, high cholesterol levels, and bad breath, but these usually disappear within a few days or weeks of starting the diet.

Also, there may be a risk of developing kidney stones.

While breastfeeding, some women have developed ketoacidosis, possibly due to a low carb or ketogenic diet.

People who are taking blood sugar lowering drugs should consult with a doctor before trying a ketogenic diet, because the diet may reduce the need for medication.

Sometimes ketogenic diets are low in fiber. For this reason, it’s a good idea to make sure to eat plenty of high fiber, low carb vegetables.

The following tips can help you stay healthy during ketosi:

  • Drink plenty of fluids, particularly water.
  • Talk to your doctor before starting the diet and follow their advice.
  • Monitor your kidney function while following the diet.
  • Seek help if you have concerns about negative effects.

The basics of a ketogenic diet are that you cut down on the number of carbs you eat, forcing your body to use stored fat as energy instead.

This process is known as ketosis.

The problem with ketosis is that you’re kinda left guessing whether or not you’re still in that metabolic state.

Unless you’re using something like the Lumen Metabolism tracker.

This neat little device will tell you whether or not your body is burning fat or carbs to provide you with energy.

All you have to do is breathe into it and it provides you with an almost instant result.

There’s a lot of social proof behind this product too – several Olympic athletes use it.

This is a definite ketogenic lifestyle accessory for those who take their health seriously.

You can learn more about

Summary

Ketosis is a natural metabolic state that can be achieved by following a ketogenic diet.

It may have a variety of health benefits, including:

  • weight loss
  • lower blood sugar levels
  • reduced seizures in epileptic children

However, following a strict diet to induce ketosis can be very difficult, and there may be some negative side effects. In addition, not all researchers agree that a keto diet is the best way to lose weight.

Ketosis is not for everyone, but it can benefit some people.