The keto diet is associated with some pretty amazing benefits. These benefits come as a result of being in ketosis, a proven, testifiable, metabolic state. But what is ketosis? How do you know if you’re in ketosis? What are the benefits of being in ketosis? We have all the answers for you, so keep reading to learn all about ketosis.
A story of different metabolic pathways: glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, lipolysis, ketogenesis
To understand what ketosis is, we need to first give it a bit of background on the different metabolic pathways our body uses to fuel our cells.
When you eat carbohydrates, as per a standard diet, your body converts them into glucose to use for fuel to complete basic body functions and your daily activities. When glucose enters your bloodstream from carbohydrates, insulin, a hormone, is excreted to process the glucose.
Insulin signals to the cells in your body to uptake the glucose from the blood to use for energy or to store as glycogen via glycolysis. For the average person on the average diet, this is how cells get energy to function. This process is known as carbohydrate metabolism, or glycolysis.
However when you cut carbohydrates from your diet, your body uses a different metabolic pathway. In the first few days of being keto, stored glycogen and amino acids in the muscle tissue are used as the body’s main energy source. This is known as gluconeogenesis. However, this is only temporary.
Lipolysis and ketogenesis
After approximately three or more days of being keto, the liver starts using the fatty acids from fats and converts them into ketone bodies to use for fuel via lipolysis. The ketone bodies are a substitute for the glucose. This metabolic adaptation is known as becoming ‘fat adapted’, shifting you into a state of nutritional ketosis.
What are the benefits of being in ketosis?
Some of the cited benefits of being in sustained ketosis include: sustainable and substantial fat loss, improved mood, better quality of sleep, mental clarity and sustained energy levels. Let’s explore some of these.
As the diet removes carbohydrates, keto eaters will experience stable blood sugar levels meaning less energy highs and lows. Plus, your insulin sensitivity will increase, which is great news if you have obesity or type II diabetes – two conditions characterized by insulin resistance. To support this, some case studies have used the keto diet as a treatment to reverse diabetes with a high success rate.
Having a stable blood sugar helps you to maintain energy levels throughout the day, rather than experiencing the after lunch slump. It has also been linked to reduced sugar cravings, mood improvement and better sleep.
Ketones are a neuroprotective antioxidant that prevent harmful reactive oxygen species from damaging brain cells. Ketones are also responsible for increasing mitochondrial efficiency, by increasing the production of genes involved in energy metabolism.
Ketones enhance the capacity of brain cells, protecting them from neurodegenerative diseases. This is why the keto diet has been linked to helping a range of conditions including epilepsy, diabetes, chronic inflammation, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease to name a few.
Science supports the power of ketosis
One study tested the ketogenic diet for 24 weeks on obese patients, and found significant body weight reductions, an increase in good (HDL) cholesterol, and decreases in bad (LDL) cholesterol, triglycerides and blood glucose.
A study conducted on rats found that the ketogenic diet acted as a mood stabilizer, with the rats showing fewer signs of depression and ‘behavioral despair’. This can be supported with anecdotal evidence in humans, so is pretty well supported.
How do you know if you’re in ketosis?
The Ketoscan is the easiest and most accurate way to track your ketone levels. The Ketoscan is the world’s first cartridge-based portable ketone analyzer. You breathe into it and it uses innovative breath sensor technology to test for ketone bodies, providing you with an accurate and precise ketone reading in parts per million.
The Ketoscan analyzer is used with the Ketoscan app, which tracks changes in your ketone levels and offers insight into the rate at which you are burning fat. This is a great way to monitor your progress on the keto diet and to ensure that your dietary efforts are paying off. Remember, if you’re not in ketosis, you’re unlikely to experience the associated benefits! Click here to purchase.
Ultimately, being in ketosis has a number of well-researched, powerful benefits that can transform the way you look, feel and perform. We hope this has helped you understand the power of becoming fat-adapted! Monitor your ketone levels with Ketoscan and enjoy the benefits!