What the Heck is Keto?
Updated: Jun 6
Wait, so is it that Atkins diet? Paleo?
Is it that bacon and butter diet and you fear a heart attack from ‘all that fat?
My dear friend and fellow Keto-er, these are the same questions I am asked over and over again.
My answer to all of the above is no . . . What I practice and teach is NUTRIONAL Ketosis.
It is Keto ‘The Right Way’
What is Ketosis Ketosis, or “keto", is a natural state for the body in which it becomes almost completely fueled by fat through eating a ketogenic diet: low carb, moderate protein, and lots of healthy fats. As babies, we are all born in a state of ketosis and remain that way until we begin eating solid foods (breast milk is almost entirely fat!) We also dip into a state of ketosis when we enter prolonged periods of not eating, or fasting, including while we are asleep. It is highly likely that you wake up in a ketogenic state! Ketones While in ketosis, the body is producing ketones. These small molecules are used as fuel when we have depleted our glucose (a.k.a. blood sugar) supply. Ketones are produced in the liver from fat, as we eat very few carbs and a moderate amount of protein. The entire body – including the brain – consumes ketones as fuel. KETO FUN FACT The brain can ONLY run on one of two fuel sources: glucose or ketones It’s a common misconception that the brain needs carbs. The truth is that carb is the single macronutrient (there are three: protein, carbs, fat) that we do NOT need, and the brain will happily burn ketones for fuel. Our brains do need a small amount of glucose to function, but we can get this small amount from the protein we consume! Ketones provide sustainable energy, unlike carbohydrates, which are metabolized into glucose to give the body a burst of energy, spiking your insulin levels and then crashing later. Glucose is burned up quickly, leaving the body depleted of energy while leftover glycogen stores itself in the liver, or as triglycerides in fat cells. Without carbs, the body will quickly deplete its glycogen and will begin using fat for energy. Fat comes from the foods we eat as well as the stored fat - the triglycerides - in our cells. Those of us who follow a ketogenic lifestyle switch our fuel sources back to the way we were born: we run almost entirely on fat. Insulin hormones dip too low levels and we rapidly burn stored fat for fuel. Outside of weight loss, we experience many other benefits such sustained energy, lack of hunger, mental focus, exercise endurance, and a bevy of other health benefits such as preventing, treating, and in some cases, curing chronic illness and life-threatening diseases. To put it simply: Eat fat to burn fat ... ‘Healthy Fats Equals a Healthy Life’