WHAT IS KETO

The ketogenic diet is a fairly simple approach to eating healthy foods that are low carb, high fat, and moderate protein. The lack of carbs forces your body to burn fat rather than glucose to produce energy. Ketones do not turn into fat when unused, like glucose does. So, eliminating carbs from the diet results in ketone production, which aids to support weight loss, increased energy, improved mental health and clarity, along with a myriad of other health benefits. 

what is a keto diet?

The best time to dedicate your health to a better diet was last year. The second best time is right now. 

 

Welcome to the first step.

 

So what is keto? The ketogenic diet, known to the cool kids as keto, isn’t a difficult concept to understand, but it can be tough to master. That’s why we’re here: we will help you along the path and hold your hand when you need it or smile, wave, and wipe away a tear as you set out on your own.

 

At the bones of it, keto is the near elimination of carbohydrates from your diet and replacing that caloric gap with healthy fats and a moderate amount of protein.

Wait, wait, come back, we can already feel you leaning away from your screen. There’s a very important evolutionary and scientific reason for cutting sugar and instead eating healthy fat; it all has to do with how you fuel your human machine.

When eaten, your body and liver turn carbs into glucose, which is just a fancy way of saying sugar.

Your body recognizes glucose as a source of fuel that it can convert into a quick shot of energy. Fat breaks down at a much slower rate and your body looks at the difference between the two and, being the smart biological mechanism that it is, decides to use the faster burning sugar first so it can get rid of it and focus on the more long-term producer of energy: fat.

The problems arise when you supply a constant stream of carbs and your metabolism never gets a chance to switch away from the glucose so it can start burning the better fat. So what happens? Your body makes a judgment call and parks the fat you’ve eaten off to the side and says, “I’ll get to you when I can. Just as soon as I finish with this glucose.” 

More fat enters, no fat leaves, and suddenly the nation has a problem with bellies, love handles, and all sorts of weight related illnesses. 

 

How does Keto fix this?      

Keto steps in and gets rid of the source of the glucose by eliminating carbs. Instead, keto promotes eating fat so your body switches back to fat for its energy source and it can finally get to the accumulated fat that’s been waiting around for its turn to be burned off. 

This process is called entering the metabolic state of ketosis. “I’m in keto,” you may hear a lot from ketoers. That means they’ve cut their system off from carbs and the stores that were already in their body have burned off. Now, instead of producing glucose to burn, their body is producing ketones for energy.

Whoa, whoa, there you go leaning back again. Ketones are easy to understand. When you eat a healthy-fat heavy diet, your liver turns the fat into ketones instead of glucose. Simply put, you’re switching to a new, more efficient fuel. It’s like putting premium in your gas tank after a lifetime of 87 octane. 

So to answer your question, Keto is the elimination of 99% of your carbs and replacing them with yummy fats like avocados, nuts, butter, bacon, olive oil, and just about any meat. This switches your system over from a sugar-based fuel that leaves you always wanting more to a ketone-based energy source that leaves you satisfied longer and helps you cut the fat you’ve already got hanging around.     

 

science behind keto

The Science behind Keto

There are two important components to the science behind keto. First, how the metabolic transformation occurs within your body by changing your diet, and second, the history of misinformation we’ve been fed about the dangers of fat under the guise of scientific study.

 

It all starts with that first bite. Food is energy. We all know that, nothing new here. But how does that jumbo-sized number 5 burger and fry meal with extra sauce become the fuel that keeps us moving?

Once that big meal hits your stomach, it’s time for your metabolism to get to work. Using acid and enzymes, your stomach breaks your food down to a molecular level and converts all of those carbohydrates into glucose, a sugar. Glucose is easy to make and use immediately so your body says, great, put it to work. Call the pancreas and tell it to release insulin.

Insulin is the chauffeur that carries glucose sugars through the blood. Insulin also regulates the amount of sugar in the blood, and if you’ve eaten more sugar that you can use for energy at the moment, insulin will store the glucose in your fat cells for later use.

This storage of glucose is where sugar can become dangerous. If your glucose stores keep getting larger as you eat more and more carbs and starches, you gain weight and can’t burn off the stored fats that your body burns only after the glucose is used up. When your cells reach their threshold and can no longer hold any more glucose, the glucose is forced to stay in your blood stream and the insulin whose job it is to park the excess glucose can’t do what it was designed to do, creating an insulin resistant state that leads to diabetes.

 

Now, imagine instead of the jumbo number 5 burger and fry combo, you eat a piece of meat, some cheese, and a little sour cream: a meal with very few carbs and a high percentage of healthy fats. Now imagine you ate this way all the time, not giving your body any new glucose, until all of your overcrowded glucose stores were completely empty and your insulin was given a chance to recover.

 

This is the state of Ketogenesis and you’ve just switched your human engine from a low-grade, quick-burn fuel to a more efficient and longer lasting one.            

Metaphors are great, but what on Earth does that mean in practical terms? What’s happening in the body now that keto is the boss?

Recognizing that all of your glucose is gone, and there’s no more quick fuel for energy, your liver takes over and creates molecules called ketones (specifically acetoacetate, acetone, and beta-hydroxybutyrate) from fatty acids (fat) that can be converted into the energy that runs our cells.

The one nice thing about glucose being such a wham-bam, quick energy burn is that it only takes a matter of days to rid your system of years’ worth of sugar over indulgence. This period of depletion where you specifically get rid of all remaining glucose stores is known by keteors as getting into ketosis or transitioning to keto.   

Once you hit keto, your liver begins happily cranking out ketones as your energy source, using the fat you eat in combination with the stored fat that glucose was forcing to the side.

The reason people have so much weight loss success on keto is that it creates an insulin sensitivity rather than resistance. Ketones don’t need to be usher around by insulin. This keeps your pancreas from over-producing and stops your body from resisting it’ insulin system. It also takes longer for your body to break down the complex fats you eat which leaves you feeling fuller for longer. Feeling full prevents binging and consuming excess calories. Because ketosis uses fat for fuel, if you haven’t eaten recently, and there isn’t new fat for your body to metabolize into ketones, your body will use it’s fat stores to keep the ketones rolling.

 

Understanding the “Science” of Fat.

 

As you can see, dietary fat and eating fat are not the enemy we’ve been taught to believe for our entire lives.

Reduced fat!

Low-fat!

No-fat!

No doubt we’ve all had a food package in our cupboards or fridge with one of these claims plastered on the side, usually in a bright color and big letters.

If fat is a great source of energy, and it’s sugar that’s the real harm in the American diet, why do we all have this misconception about fat making us fat?

Marketing and a campaign of misinformation. Basically, lies for profit.

The truth about how fat got it’s bad rep seems, on the surface, like a page right out of conspiracy theory for dummies. But it really is a sordid tale that we encourage you to look up on your own.

Start with typing “sugar report on fat” into a search engine and you’ll see that in the 1960s a group called the Sugar Research Foundation paid three Harvard scientists the modern day equivalent of $50,000 to publish a study finding that sugar has little to no ill health effects in the U.S. diet. Keep reading and you’ll see that just saying, "sugar isn’t bad" wasn’t enough. If sugar wasn’t to blame, what was? The Sugar Research Foundation –now known as the Sugar Association since they’ve dropped all pretense of doing actual research- decided that dietary fat was a good scapegoat.  

Why fat?

This is where another false scientific report comes into play in the war against fat. The Sugar Research foundation and the Harvard researchers decided that fat would be the villain based on Dr. Ancel Keys’ study of cholesterol and fat’s relation to raising cholesterol in the blood.

Dr. Keys gathered information about diets from 22 different countries in support of his theory that fat was unhealthy. Keys’ report influenced the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and had a direct effect on the creation of the now debunked food pyramid.

The problem with Key’s report? It was later discovered that when the data from his research didn’t support his theory, Dr. Keys decided to ignore the facts and evidence that proved his theory false. He only included the observations that slightly supported his argument.   

Using this manipulated study, it wasn’t that difficult to get people to associate eating fat with getting fat. Suddenly, fat was being removed from foods, taking the flavor with it, and leaving dinner tasting the way a wet shoelaces smells.

So how do you get the flavor back that left with the fat? Sugar!

Is it a coincidence that the report was commissioned in the mid-1960s and the national obesity rate has steadily risen ever since?