If you’ve spent anytime on the internet researching health, fitness, or nutrition in the past year or so, you’ve undoubtedly been slammed with the new ‘Keto-Diet’ taking over the fitness industry by storm. But what exactly is Ketosis and what does it have to do with the Keto-diet?
The Keto-diet is a health diet that is high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carb. The crux of this diet however, is being in Ketosis-a metabolic state in which your body, instead of utilizing sugar for fuel (the regular energy source), uses its own fat, aka body fat, as energy. Here’s how: by limiting the body’s intake of carbohydrates, you maintain a state of low blood sugar and insulin levels. In order to produce the energy your body needs, your body taps into its fat stores, and shuttles the fatty acids from its fat cells to the liver. The liver then processes the fatty acids and converts them to a new energy source: ketones. Being in this state of ketone production is known as ketosis.
Overtime, your body becomes adjusted to this new way of producing energy, and begins to use fat as a primary energy source. You have now entered a metabolic state of continually using and burning fat! Sounds good, right?
But how exactly do you get into ketosis? To enter ketosis, you must deprive your body of carbohydrates. This does not mean only once per day, or at one meal, but continually withholding your body from carbs. Carb sources to avoid include foods such as rice, pasta, bread, potatoes, baked goods, candy, fruits, starchy vegetables, as well as other foods. Although it may be impossible to completely avoid carbs, as there are small amounts in meats, dairy products, and veggies, limiting your daily intake to 20-50 grams (depending on the person) per day is a great place to start.
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Have you recently started the keto diet and noticed that you feel almost as if you've got the flu? Headaches, lethargy, irritability, nausea, mental fogginess, muscle aches, the list goes on. While this can be a concerning experience out of the gate, the “keto flu” is really just a sign that your body is heading in the right direction.
MCTs is the acronym for a unique subclass of saturated dietary fats that contain 6, 8, 10, or 12 carbons in their fatty acid chemical structure. Most of the saturated fat found in a typical Western diet is in the form of long-chain triglycerides (LCTs) which are packaged into micelles in the small intestine and absorbed through the lymphatic system.