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What Is Ketosis?
Ketosis is the result of following the standard ketogenic diet, which is why it’s also sometimes called “the ketosis diet.” Ketosis takes place when glucose Ketosis – Dr. Axefrom carbohydrate foods (like grains, all sources of sugar or fruit, for example) is drastically reduced, which forces the body to find an alternative fuel source: fat. Although dietary fat (especially saturated fat) often gets a bad name, provoking fear of weight gain and heart disease, it’s also your body’s second preferred source of energy when carbohydrates are not easily accessible.
In the absence of glucose, which is normally used by cells as a quick source of energy, the body starts to burn fat and produces ketones instead. Once ketone levels in the blood rise to a certain point, you enter into a state of ketosis — which usually results in quick and consistent weight loss until you reach a healthy, stable body weight.
To sum up a complex process, ketosis happens when the the liver breaks down fat into fatty acids and glycerol, through a process called beta-oxidation. There are three primary types of ketone bodies that are water-soluble molecules produced in the liver: acetoacetate, beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetone.
The body then further breaks down these fatty acids into an energy-rich substance called ketones that circulate through the bloodstream. Fatty acid molecules are broken down through the process called ketogenesis, and a specific ketone body called acetoacetate is formed which supplies energy.
The end result is staying fueled off of circulating high ketones (which are also sometimes called ketone bodies) — which is what’s responsible for altering your metabolism in a way that some people like to say turns you into a “fat-burning machine.” Both in terms of how it feels physically and mentally, along with the impact it has on the body, being in ketosis is a very different than a “glycolytic state,” where blood glucose (sugar) serves as the body’s energy source. Many consider burning ketones to be a much “cleaner” way to stay energized compared to running on carbs and sugar day in and day out.
This state is not to be confused with ketoacidosis, which is a serious diabetes complication when the body produces excess ketones (or blood acids).
The goal of the ketogenic diet is to keep you in this fat-burning metabolic state of ketosis, in which you will lose weight until you reach your ideal set point.