Ketosis: A Natural Physiological Phenomenon

Subarna Ghosal

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Ketosis: A Natural Physiological Phenomenon

Ketosis is a natural, safe physiological condition where your body starts burning fat instead of sugars or glucose from carbs we eat. Extra glucose is stored in the liver or the muscles as glycogen or converted to fat as storage. In ketosis, the body produces ketone bodies from the fats, using it as energy instead of carbohydrates. Don’t worry about the complexity because we have got it covered in this article.

Ketosis And The Ketogenic Diet

Ketosis And The Ketogenic Diet
Source: Medical News Today

Ketosis is quite often associated with the ketogenic diet. A ketogenic diet is a plan that focuses mainly on foods that provide a lot of healthy fats, moderate amounts of proteins, and very few carbohydrates. Ketosis phenomenon also happens during certain conditions like pregnancy, infancy, fasting, and starvation. To go into ketosis, people generally need to follow a keto diet to consume even fewer than 20 grams of carbs per day.

Interesting Fact About Ketosis

Interesting Fact About Ketosis
Source: Medical News Today

Do you know that you tend to be on ketosis while you sleep? Or if you dine around 6 pm and fast before going to bed, you are almost close to ketosis after 12 hrs of fasting? When you eat high fat and low carb diets, the body condition into ketosis, where the body starts to burn the fat. Believe it or not, it’s your belly fat, which is the one to go away first because of the diet’s anti-inflammatory benefits.

Benefits Of Ketosis

1. Autophagy

Autophagy is basically the cellular recycling of old damaged cell parts. When you combine the ketogenic diet with intermittent fasting (kind of 16 to 24 hours of fast twice a week), the cells are going through the process of recycling and cleaning bacteriafunguses, etc. It will make us feel better and help with reversing aging and boost the immune system.

2. Lose Belly Fat

The best way to measure your progress, other than the tests for ketones (by keto breath analyzer for detection of acetone and beta-hydroxybutyrate), is the waist measurement method, especially when you exercise together with the fasting and the diet. When you work out and eat moderate protein and fat, mostly, muscle mass will increase. Ketosis also helps with protein retention; therefore, more chances of gaining some muscle mass.

3. Increased Cognitive Function

Ketosis benefits brain health. It improves memory, focus, concentration. Ketones are a much better quality fuel for the brain and boost the brain’s cognitive functions.

Other Benefits Of Ketosis

  • Helps in losing weight without starving
  • Prevents hunger and cravings as you will have full appetite control
  • Helps in losing 2 to 3 lbs in a week, even more, if you exercise quite regularly
  • Makes you feel happy, energetic
  • Improves your memory and boosts brain power

Preparing For Ketosis

Preparing For Ketosis
Source: Well+Good

When you are preparing for ketosis, you are going from sugar to fat burning. Your cells, especially the mitochondria, will start burning fat as fuel instead of using sugar as fuel. And there is a transition phase in which the body begins producing enzymes to run the body on this fat fuel. It is a much cleaner fuel; you won’t experience any more of blood sugar’s ups and downs.

The transition can take anywhere between 3 days to 3 weeks or even longer to get adapted fully to the fat-burning state, but it depends on your diet and other medical conditions. To make this transition as smooth as possible, you need to take mineral-like potassium and B vitamins. The cells that burn the fat require these micronutrients. Keto flu, keto fatigue, rash, sometimes kidney stones gout are side effects of these minerals and B vitamin deficiencies. The remedy for this is potassium, which acts as an alkalizer.

Ketosis Vs. Ketoacidosis

In ketosis, you are in a healthy metabolic natural state where your blood sugar levels are normal, and the ketone numbers are low. Now, if your body cannot produce ketones, the body is not burning fat, and therefore, there is no chance of losing weight.

While in the ketoacidosis state, blood pH levels are very low (acidic), blood sugar levels are very high. People with type 1 or type 2 diabetes produce huge insulin levels to counter high blood sugars. In this case, ketone levels are very high and are dangerous if left untreated.

Before you start the keto diet, it is vital to go and talk to your physician or registered dietitian and do the right test necessary to make sure that you can engage in this.

The recommendation is to see the keto diet as a healthy and viable option. You must regularly follow up with the physician and adjust the insulin doses if you have diabetes only under the hysicians observation.

Benefits Of A Ketogenic Diet

Benefits Of A Ketogenic Diet
Source: Insider

A ketogenic diet offers a lot of health benefits. Some of those benefits are given below.

  • Studies suggest that ketogenic diets might help lower your risk of heart diseases.
  • Few studies show very low-carb diets help people with metabolic syndrome, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Researchers are researching the effects of this diet on acne, cancer, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and nervous system diseases, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and Lou Gehrig’s disease.
  • Improvements in cholesterol levels
  • Reduced dependence on medication
  • Improvements in insulin sensitivity
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