Diet Information
Questions About Ketosis (Burning Fat for Fuel), Dietary Ketosis, Ketones and Ketone Bodies and Ketoacidosis
Ketogenic Low Carb Diets

Ketosis

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What is Ketosis?

Ketosis occurs when the body's blood and tissues contain abnormally high levels of acidic substances called ketones.

How Does Ketosis Happen

Ketosis happens when insufficient glucose (the body's primary energy source) is available to be converted into energy and the body converts fats into fuel, instead. During this breakdown of fat into energy, molecules called ketones or ketone bodies are formed. Ketone bodies are the metabolic substances known as acetoacetic acid and beta-hydroxybutyric acid. Acetone, which puts off the peculiar odor associated with ketosis, comes from acetoacetic acid. Ketones can be irritating to the kidneys and the kidneys expel ketones through the urine.

How is Ketosis Diagnosed

Ketosis can be diagnosed by a simple urine test, and confirmed with a blood test, which can also measure the blood acidity.

Dietary Ketosis Resulting From Low Carb Ketogenic Diets

Ketosis can occur as a result of starvation or untreated diabetes, but a recent trigger for ketosis is the use of a low carb ketogenic diet resulting in insufficient carbohydrates in the diet for the body to convert into glucose.

Dietary Ketosis and Ketoacidosis

Critics of low carb diets express doubts about the long-term health effects of ketosis. But supporters of low carb eating plans claim that low-carb-diet induced ketosis is harmless, indeed benign. Furthermore, they point out that dietary ketosis should not be confused with ketoacidosis, which is a life-threatening condition associated with untreated Type 1 diabetes, caused by a lack of insulin. They say that ketoacidosis doesn't occur in normal healthy individuals because the presence of insulin keeps ketone production in check so that only a mild, beneficial ketosis is achieved.

Benefits of Ketosis

Possible benefits of dietary ketosis include fast weight loss, decreased hunger and food cravings, improved mood, increased energy and - providing protein intake is adequate - protection of lean muscle mass.

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