A high-fat, adequate protein, low-carb diet is what the keto diet is all about. It is among the most widely used diet plans. The ketogenic diet has helped make eating high-fat foods more popular. It has been very popular as a way to lose weight. Additionally, ketogenic diets have multiple other benefits, including their effect on glucose levels and improved insulin sensitivity.
Studies have shown that the ketogenic diet leads to changes in metabolism and also reduces glucose levels. However, this does not mean that it works well for every individual. Since each person is unique, many people may react differently to the same food. As a result, there is no universal evidence for the use of such systems. Generally, the body goes into ketosis, and blood sugar levels drop when carbohydrate consumption levels are less than 50 grams per day. However, your body may enter ketosis with as little as 40 grams of carbohydrate consumption per day.
It is helpful to monitor your blood glucose levels continuously and to understand how the diet works for your body. HealthifyPRO 2.0 BIOS, a wearable device for continuous glucose monitoring, can help you. This state-of-the-art device tracks blood glucose levels in real time, allowing you to optimize your diet. The health coaches at HealthifyPro will help you prepare balanced meals to improve your metabolic health
Does the ketogenic diet affect glucose levels?
The ketogenic diet consists primarily of high fat, moderate protein, and a low amount of carbohydrates. Experts break down macronutrients into roughly 55% to 60% fat, 30% to 35% protein, and 5% to 10% carbs. More specifically, in a 2,000 calorie per day diet, carbohydrates are 20 to 50 grams per day.
According to a research review, carbohydrates are the body’s primary energy source. When the body receives less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day, it significantly reduces insulin production. Then the body turns into a catabolic state. A catabolic state is one in which the body is primarily focused on breaking down rather than accumulating.
Once the body enters a catabolic state, it focuses on producing energy for its tissues. It moves the glycogen stores out of the body and uses it as an energy source. This process is known as glycogenolysis. After a certain period of time, the stores of glycogen in the body run out, which pushes the body into a state of gluconeogenesis and ketogenesis. These mechanisms are the body’s way of combating low glucose levels.
Gluconeogenesis is the production of glucose in the body, especially in the liver, primarily from lactic acid, glycerol, and amino acids. When glucose availability decreases, gluconeogenesis cannot meet the body’s needs. Ketonogenesis provides an alternative energy source. In this case, ketone bodies replace them as the primary source of energy. Insulin secretion is also low due to low blood sugar levels. It in turn reduces glucose storage and stimulates lipids.
Fats are hydrolyzed into fatty acids, which are subsequently metabolized to acetone and beta-hydroxybutyrate. These are the basic ketone bodies. These ketone bodies build up in your body as long as you are on a ketogenic diet. The state in which ketone bodies are the primary energy source is called dietary ketosis. Dietary ketosis is safe and completely different from diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a pathological condition.
Insulin resistance and ketogenic nutrition
According to research, insulin resistance is a complex metabolic condition that affects energy use. It stimulates ectopic fat deposition in non-adipose organs, especially skeletal muscles, heart and pancreas. At the level of skeletal muscle, it impairs the ability to take up plasma glucose. It leads to the conversion of glucose to the liver, which is converted into fat and stored. Dietary ketogenesis enhances sensitivity of insulin receptors. The ketogenic diet ensures the provision of primary nutrients and maintains a negative energy balance. It also reduces fluctuations and insulin secretion caused by low carbohydrate intake, which ultimately leads to improved insulin sensitivity.
Diabetes and the ketogenic diet
The ketogenic diet positively affects glucose levels and improves insulin sensitivity. Therefore, you can use it as an alternative treatment method. Research has shown that a ketogenic diet improves HbA1c levels and the body’s response to blood sugar. However, people with diabetes who take insulin or oral hypoglycemic agents experience severe hypoglycemia. It is important to discuss any diet changes with your doctor before starting a new diet.
The human body mainly depends on glucose for energy. However, a sudden rise in glucose levels is the cause of increased fat storage. The ketogenic diet focuses on reducing the number of carbohydrates consumed while increasing the fat content. This lack of carbohydrates alters the body’s metabolism and makes ketone bodies the primary source of energy. Helps combat high blood sugar and insulin resistance.
Is ketosis more beneficial to the body?
Most tissues can utilize the ketone bodies present in the body. Among the tissues are the heart, muscles and kidneys. The popular belief that the brain is deprived of energy in ketosis is wrong because ketone bodies can also cross the blood-brain barrier. While red blood cells cannot use ketones due to the absence of mitochondria, the liver cannot rely on ketones due to a lack of necessary enzymes.
The ketogenic body produces more adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, which is the basic unit of energy. It is also called superfuel because of this very nature. To put it further, one hundred grams of acetoacetate yields 9,400 grams of ATP, 100 grams of beta-hydroxybutyrate yields 10,500 grams of ATP, while 100 grams of glucose yields only 8,700 grams of ATP. It allows the body to maintain efficient energy production even during a calorie deficit. Ketone bodies also reduce free radical damage. It also enhances the antioxidant capacity.
Improves insulin sensitivity and treats metabolic syndrome. Moreover, it is also known to promote weight loss and improve the lipid profile of a small number of individuals. It has been tested in many chronic diseases such as cancer, high blood pressure, PCOS, Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease and has been shown to be effective in many studies.
Ketones can be used in almost all tissues, with the exception of RBCs and the liver. Ketone bodies provide more energy than glucose, which makes the process highly efficient. It can be used to improve insulin sensitivity and lipid profile and help treat metabolic syndrome. It also reduces cell aging and is very effective in chronic conditions, especially epilepsy.
How does nutritional ketosis differ from ketoacidosis?
According to research, uncontrolled hyperglycemia and increased levels of ketone body production characterize diabetic ketoacidosis. This excess formation of ketone bodies lowers the overall body pH, leading to electrolyte imbalance and dehydration. It is a serious condition with life-threatening complications. It is often confused with nutritional ketosis. A state of healthy ketosis is relatively safe, as ketone bodies are produced in small concentrations without changing the pH of the blood.
Possible side effects of the ketogenic diet
The short-term side effect of starting the keto diet is the ‘keto flu’. This flu includes symptoms including fatigue, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and lack of exercise tolerance. Symptoms generally disappear within a few days to weeks as the body adjusts to a low-carb ketogenic state. Hepatic steatosis, kidney stones, hypoproteinemia, and vitamin deficiencies are long-term adverse effects. While the benefits of following the keto diet have been high, long-term compliance with the keto diet is a limiting factor.
Does the keto diet work for everyone?
The body’s production of ketones depends on several factors such as basal metabolic rate (BMR), body mass index (BMI), and percentage of body fat. An individual’s response to carbohydrates may also be very different. Some people tolerate carbohydrates better than others. It could be one of the reasons why the keto diet works differently on different individuals.
It also depends on additional factors such as physical activity and fasting. For example, individuals who follow intermittent fasting can enter a state of ketosis even while consuming higher levels of carbohydrates than people who do not. It is also more effective for people with excellent metabolic rates and greater physical activity to enter ketosis.
There is no single diet that fits each individual’s nutritional requirements. However, these are common foods that are part of the keto diet.
- Avocados are an excellent source of fat. It contains good fats and helps improve high density or cholesterol levels.
- Cheese is an incredible source of fats and proteins. However, highly processed cheese is not good for health; Hence, you should choose the freshest species.
- Nuts are another source of healthy fats. Use it as an alternative to fast foods during hunger pangs. They can be eaten raw or lightly roasted to enhance the flavours.
- Fish is a good source of fat. They are rich in omega-3 fatty acids that have cardiovascular health benefits.
- Tofu is a vegetable product that is rich in fat and can be consumed in any form due to its versatility.
- Eggs are a must food. They are rich in fats and proteins and are easy to prepare.
- Sunflower seeds are great snacks that are full of healthy fats. You can also try pumpkin seeds similarly.
- Whole milk and dairy products can make a wide variety of foods and drinks.
Tips to Maximize the Effects of the Ketogenic Diet
Follow the tips listed below to maximize the benefits of the ketogenic diet:
- Constantly monitor glucose levels to understand the limits of carbohydrates you can eat while maintaining ketosis.
- Practice intermittent fasting to boost metabolism and increase the effects of ketosis.
- Exercise goes a long way with a ketogenic diet to improve blood sugar levels.
- Distinguish between healthy and unhealthy fats.
- Create a healthy meal plan and follow it.
- Understand that a ketogenic diet may not be right for everyone and may have adverse effects. Consult a health professional before beginning your treatment regimen.
The ketogenic diet includes high amounts of fat, moderate amounts of protein, and low levels of carbohydrates. As a result, blood glucose levels drop, and the body goes into a state of nutritional ketosis. The primary energy source for this condition are ketone bodies.
Ketosis is a better condition for the body as it reduces fat deposition and boosts overall metabolism. It also helps to improve the level of lipids and increases insulin sensitivity. Additionally, ketosis can help reduce free radical injury and prevent cell aging. However, it is necessary to understand that everyone is different and will react differently.
Some people may need higher carbohydrate restrictions to get into ketosis, but this may not be the case for everyone. It may show negative effects and reactions in some people and not work for others. It’s the main rationale for tailoring a diet to match your body’s response. You can make this possible by routinely checking your blood glucose levels and being aware of where your body is at that time. HealthifyPro’s health and fitness coaches can help you achieve optimal metabolic health through healthy meal planning and lifestyle changes.