Tuesday 25 June 2019



On the surface, carbohydrates are a quick,, often fast and inexpensive form of nutrition to power through each day. Think about all those grab-and-go snacks we associate with breakfast—granola bars, fruit-filled smoothies, muffins. We start our mornings with carbs, and we keep piling them on as the day progresses.

Just because something works doesn’t mean it’s the most efficient means. The tissues and cells that make up our bodies need energy to perform everyday functions to keep us alive. There are two primary sources from which they can draw energy from the foods we eat. One form of energy is carbohydrates, which convert to glucose. That is the current model that most of us follow. 

There’s  an alternative fuel, though, and a surprising one: fat. Yes, the very thing you’ve been told to limit your entire life might just be the resource you need to jump-start your metabolism. Organic compounds, called ketones, are released when our bodies metabolize food and break down fatty acids. Ketones act as energy to keep our cells and muscles functioning.

You’ve likely heard the word “metabolism” throughout your life, but do you know what it means exactly? The term simply refers to the chemical reactions required in any living organism to stay alive. Of course, our metabolism is anything but simple given the complexities of the human body. Our bodies are constantly at work. Even when we’re sleeping, our cells are continually building and repairing. They need to extract the energy from within our bodies.

Glucose, which is what carbs are broken down into once we eat them, is one way to fuel our metabolism. Our current nutrition guidelines focus on carbs as the primary source of energy. Factor in any additional sugars we eat and the recommended daily servings of fruit, starchy vegetables, grains, and plant-based forms of protein (e.g., beans), and there’s no lack of glucose in our bodies. The problem with this model of energy consumption is that it leaves us like hamsters running on one of those wheels. 

We’re burning energy but getting nowhere, especially if we’re consuming more carbs than our bodies can use in a day’s work.
But there’s that other form of energy I mentioned: fat. How does that work exactly? Is it possible that tapping into that alternative fuel source will help our bodies burn energy more efficiently, with greater overall benefit to our health? We’re back to that old idea of you are what you eat, except now think about the principal theory instead as you burn what you eat. 

That’s where ketosis comes into play. Switching to a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carb diet allows your body to enter a state of ketosis, wherein you metabolize fat, triggering a release of ketones to fuel the functions of our elaborate inner workings. The liver releases ketones after fatty acids are broken down.

Achieving a state of ketosis is about balance, but not the kind you’re used to when it comes to eating. It turns out that our current food pyramid, which instructs us to consume an inordinate amount of carbohydrate-rich foods for energy, is upside down. A more efficient plan for fueling your body has fats at the top, making up 

60 to 80 percent of your diet; protein in the middle at 20 to 30 percent; and carbs (really glucose in disguise) way at the bottom, accounting for just 5 to 10 percent of your daily eating plan.

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