The most basic thing to know about the ketogenic diet is that it gets the body burning fats for fuel instead of carbohydrates (when followed properly). But how? Let’s break it down:
Burning Fat for Energy
When the average person eats a meal rich in carbs, their body takes those carbs and converts them to glucose for fuel. Insulin is then made to move that glucose into the bloodstream. Glucose is the body’s primary source of energy when carbohydrates are present.
However, things are different on keto. On the ketogenic diet, your carbohydrate intake is kept very low—so when those carbs aren’t present, your body must utilize another form of energy to keep things ticking.
That’s where fats come in. In the absence of carbs, the liver takes fatty acids in the body and converts them to ketone bodies, also known as ketones, as an energy source. This process is known as ketosis, and the goal for those on the ketogenic diet is to enter ketosis.
Ketones supply superior energy for the body, brain and the heart, in fact, the brain will utilse ketone bodies at a much higher rate than glucose and will provide over 70% of it's energetic requirements.
Contrary to popular belief, ketosis has been around for a very longtime. Man has evolved eating a high-fat, high-protein diet, with the average life expectancy during the Paleolithic period of those past infancy being around 60-70 years of age - which is pretty astonishing considering they had no medicine, or antibiotics etc.
In recent times, ketosis was brought back and used to prevent epilepsy in children. But since then, it’s been utilized for all sorts of reasons. Some of the best and most popular benefits of the ketogenic diet include: