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What is Ketosis?

What is Ketosis?

  • Genna Heintzkill
  • May 22, 2019

Can you really lose weight while enjoying bacon, marbled steak and pork chops? It sounds too good to be true, but a number of people advocate high fat and low carb diets. You might also wonder if losing weight on what is knows as a keto plan is bad for your health. After all, you've been warned since toddlerhood that eating too much fat. increases your chance of heart disease and other health problems. In reality, individuals on these diets often improve their overall health as well as quickly drop pounds. No magic is involved: just a natural process call ketosis, which when used appropriately, can be a safe and effective way to take off the pounds.

How Ketosis Works

Normally, your body gets energy from glucose, which is created from sugars found in foods like fruit, milk, pasta and bread. Unfortunately, eating too much of these delicious foods can lead to obesity and many serious health conditions. However, when you severely limit the amount of carbs you ingest, your body has to burn stored fat instead and create the glucose from triglycerides. That means instead of fueling up with a bagel, your body has to use that fat around your hips or other body parts. When your body is using your fat in this way, it produces ketones, an acid that converts the fat into energy, and releases it into your bloodstream. For most people, this process is safe. If you have type 1 diabetes, however, it can be dangerous and lead to a life-threatening condition called ketoacidosis.

How to Achieve Ketosis

Achieving ketosis requires adopting a high fat, moderate protein and low carb diet. You will eat a lot of meat, fish,oils, butter, eggs, nuts and low-carb vegetables. The difficult part is eliminating most carbs, including rice, potatoes, beans, fruits, milk, desserts and some vegetables. For most, cutting these carbs is by far the most difficult part of the diet. A day without dessert can seem endless if you love your sweets. Happily,you will go into ketosis after a few days or a week after adopting the diet and begin burning your unhealthy fat stores. Dropping pounds fast is a great incentive to keep going.

Advantages of Ketosis

Studies show that a keto diet can help people lose more weight than those on other diets, in some cases,more than two times as much as other weight-loss plans. Simply eliminating most carbs may allow you to quickly lose weight without the bother of counting calories, something dieters usually dread. Rapid weight loss on the keto diet generally does not result in loss of muscle mass due to your increased protein consumption.

Weight loss is not the only reason to maintain a keto diet. Those on the diet may see improvement in their cardiovascular health, diabetes symptoms, and metabolic syndrome. You may also raise your levels of HDL cholesterol - the good cholesterol that helps reduce your risk of heart disease.

The ketones produced by this diet may also decrease insulin resistance and inflammation. It has been used to successfully treat epilepsy in children by reducing their seizures. Research is currently being conducted to see how the diet affects Alzheimer's disease, cancer and Lou Gehrig's disease among others serious health conditions.

Concerns About Ketosis

Even advocates of keto diets recognize potential problems with it. Some experts feel the diet only works for a short period of time and is most appropriate for those who are significantly overweight. Medical professionals warn that anyone on the diet should be carefully monitored for potential problems and assert it is not healthy for those with kidney or liver issues. The diet may help those with both types of diabetes, but a patient's personal doctor needs to be involved in the decision to adopt the diet. Otherwise, type 1 diabetes patients could go into ketoacidosis.

Eating fat to eliminate fat seems illogical, but it works if you cut out almost all carbs as well. Ketosis is a natural process that is considered safe for most people, at least in the short term. As long as you show no ill effects and your doctor gives the okay, you can adopt the diet as a long term health strategy. People on the diet report feeling fuller after meals than they do on other diets, which helps them stay on the plan. For many, giving up most carbs is an extremely difficult thing to do. If you can train yourself to stick mostly with fats and proteins, you should experience significant weight loss and an improvement in your overall health.

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