A ketogenic diet primarily consists of high-fats, moderate-proteins, and very-low-carbohydrates. The dietary macronutrients are divided into approximately 55% to 60% fat, 30% to 35% protein and 5% to 10% carbohydrates. Specifically, in a 2000 kcal per day diet, carbohydrates amount up to 20 to 50 g per day.
Why go on a Ketogenic Diet? Worldwide, 2.8 million people each year, die from obesity and the diseases which obesity fosters.
A clinical trial over 24 weeks of 83 obese patients on a keto diet produced the following results
- The weight decreased significantly during all stages of the treatment period. The average body weights decreased by 14.36 kg, from 101.03 to 86.67 kg. Average BMI, went from 37.77 to 32.06
- The level of HDL cholesterol significantly increased, whereas LDL cholesterol levels and triglycerides significantly decreased.
- Glucose in the blood decreased from 7.26 to 5.62
How does Ketosis work?
Without carbohydrates, insulin secretion is significantly reduced and the body enters a catabolic state. Glycogen stores deplete. Two metabolic processes, gluconeogenesis and ketogenesis activate.
When glucose is not able to keep up with the needs of the body, ketogenesis begins in order to provide an alternate source of energy in the form of ketone bodies.
Fatty acids are metabolized to acetoacetate which is later converted to beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetone. These are the basic ketone bodies that accumulate in the body as a ketogenic diet is sustained.
Ketosis has a significant influence on suppressing hunger. Thus, a ketogenic diet is a good regulator of the body’s calorie intake.
As long as the body is deprived of carbohydrates, metabolism remains in the ketotic state.
Ketone bodies, aptly called a “super fuel”, produce more adenosine triphosphate in comparison to glucose. One hundred grams of acetoacetate generates 9400 grams of ATP, and 100 g of beta-hydroxybutyrate yields 10,500 grams of ATP; whereas, 100 grams of glucose produces only 8,700 grams of ATP.
Ketone bodies also can cross the blood-brain barrier to provide an alternative source of energy to the brain.
With respect to weight loss, when a person has reached ketosis, their body is burning stored fat, usually located in the belly, instead of glucose.
Fasting, Exercise, Diet, Test
Many people find that regular short fasting periods of around 16 hours per day is an effective way to keep the body in ketosis.
Exercise also boosts the level of ketone bodies for a couple of hours afterwards.
To test whether you are in ketosis, you need to get ketone strips from your pharmacy. When dipped in your urine, these strips change colour to reveal the degree of ketosis.
But the core is to adhere to the suggested proportions of good fats, proteins and carbs while restricting your calorie intake.
Nobel prize-winning research demands a separate analysis. However, autophagy is a process that happens in conjunction with ketosis.
Autophagy is the body’s way of cleaning out damaged cells, in order to regenerate newer, healthier cells.
When the body is low on sugar through fasting or ketosis, it brings the positive stress that wakes up the survival repairing mode known as autophagy.Short-term fasting also induces profound neuronal autophagy, therefore fasting and ketosis are seen as possible interventions for the prevention of Alzheimer’s.