Thursday 1 November 2018

Ketosis: What Is It? Know-How ..

Ketosis: What Is Ketosis? Know-How...

Ketosis is a state where the body produces molecules called ketones which are created by the liver. Designed to give energy to the cells and organs, it can replace glucose as an alternate fuel source. 

In our traditional carbohydrate-rich diet, we get most of our energy from glucose, which is converted from the carbs that we eat during meals. Glucose is a quick source of energy, where insulin is required as a sort of messenger that tells the cells to open up and allow glucose to flow in such that it can be used as fuel for the mitochondria, otherwise known as the energy factories in our cells.

The more carbs we ingest, the more glucose will be present in our blood, which then means the pancreas needs to produce more insulin in order to facilitate energy production from the available blood sugar. 

In a body where the metabolic function is still normal, the insulin produced from the pancreas is readily accepted by the cells, which then leads to an efficient usage of blood sugar as energy. The problem is that our cells can actually become insulin desensitized, leading to a situation where the pancreas is forced to pump more and more insulin into the body just to clear and normalize the blood sugar levels.

Insulin de-sensitivity or insulin resistance is created mainly due to the continual elevated presence of glucose in the blood, usually caused by the ingestion of carb-rich foods. Think of your body’s cells as a bouncer at a club, where entry to the club requires that you pay a fee. You play the role of glucose here, and the fee required to enter the club is insulin. 

If your frequency to the club is in line with the norm, the bouncer does not detect anything unusual and so does not raise the fee required for entry. However, if you show up just about every night clamoring to be let in, the bouncer knows your desperate need and correspondingly jacks up the insulin fee in order to let the glucose in. Gradually, the entry fee becomes higher and higher until such a point where the source of insulin, which in this case is the pancreas, no longer produces any. This is where the situation will be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes, and the usual solution would entail being on a lifetime of meds or insulin shots.

The crux of the matter here lies in the presence of glucose in the body system. Every time we take in a carb-rich meal, which isn’t difficult in this day and age of fast food and sugary treats, our blood sugar levels get elevated and insulin is activated for the conversion into energy as well as storage of the unused excess into fat cells. 

This is where the usual furor arises, with condemnations coming in for both glucose and insulin as being the root of many diseases and dreaded weight gain. I would like to take this opportunity to state that insulin and glucose are most definitely not the root of all evil, as some books have made them out to be. It would be far more accurate to point to our current diet as being the leading cause of obesity and metabolic diseases plaguing the better part of the developed world.

Cue the ketogenic diet, which is where we can see the change for the better. The keto diet is a fat-based diet, with an emphasis on being deliberately low carb. This approach is designed so that we reduce our intake of sugary and starchy foods which are so conveniently available. 

Just a fun fact: sugar was actually used as a preservative in the olden days, and it is no coincidence that much of the processed foods we see today contain high amounts of sugar just because it allows for a lengthened shelf life. 

Foods high in sugar have also been shown to trigger the hedonic hunger response in the brain, essentially causing you to eat for the sake of pleasure rather than real hunger. 

Studies have shown that sugary treats are linked to the areas of the brain which are also responsible for gambling and drug addiction. Now you know why you can’t seem to stop popping those candied sweets into your mouth!

So we cut down on the carbs, and this is where fats come in to replace the energy needed to sustain the body. On the standard ketogenic diet, you will be looking to take in 75% of your daily calories as fats, about 20% of it as proteins and the remaining 5% in the form of carbs. 

We do this because, as you remember, we want fats to become our principal source of fuel. Only with the combination of cutting down carbs and increasing our fat intake will we trigger the body to initiate ketosis. 

Its either we do it through the diet which allows long-term and sustainable usage, or we actually starve ourselves into ketosis. 

Yep, you heard me right, ketosis is the body’s natural function that builds a buffer against those lean times when food is scarce.

What You Need To Know About The Ketogenic Diet?

Is the Ketogenic Diet A Starvation Diet?

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