The function of ketones

Ketones aren’t just a form of energy, they’re powerful signaling molecules. They regulate the expression of genes and dampen inflammatory processes.
Your body is always producing a very low level of ketones, irrespective of your diet. You start producing more of them when following a diet that’s high in fat and low in carbs.

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Ketosis

Is a metabolic state. Think of being in or out of ketosis like the settings in a hybrid car; you can rely on gas or electricity to different degrees.

In ketosis, we rely on fat instead of carbs for energy and do so to such an extent that we start making ketones from fat.

  • The stricter you restrict carbs (or total calories), the quicker you will be in ketosis.
  • Restricting your carb intake to 20g per day is a good heuristic (loose rule) for entering ketosis. It will generally get you into ketosis within a few days.
  • Fasting gets you into ketosis very quickly.
Goals of the ketogenic diet
  • Lower insulin levels
  • Increase insulin sensitivity
  • Normalize body composition (% fat, % muscle)
  • Normalize blood pressure
  • Lower chronic inflammation
  • Improve immune function
  • Stabilize mood and mental function

Benefits

  • Fat loss
  • Decreases insulin levels
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Mood stabilization
  • Improves cognitive function
  • Increases metabolic flexibility

Short term side-effects

  • The ‘keto flu’
  • Fruity breath
  • Weight loss 
  • Keto rash
  • Frequent urination
  • Short-term fatigue
  • Elevated blood ketone levels
  • Digestive issues 
  1. Epilepsy. The ketogenic diet has been proven to be very beneficial and highly successful.
  2. Metabolic syndrome. Being in a state of nutritional ketosis helps to improve markers of metabolic disease, and so the disorder can be reversed.
  3. Alzheimer’s disease. Ketone bodies themselves have been shown to be neuroprotective, which bodes well as a potential treatment option or intervention for improving neurodegenerative diseases.
  4. Cancer.  The ketogenic diet is part of the larger umbrella of metabolic therapies that shows promise.
  5. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS). PCOS can be reversed if insulin levels are lowered. The ketogenic diet has proven successful for weight loss and improving insulin sensitivity.
  6. Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS). The ketogenic diet has been proven effective in protecting nerve cells and their ability to produce energy. It has the potential to improve symptoms associated with ALS.

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RELATED IDEAS

The ketogenic diet
The diet itself can be regarded as a high-fat diet, with around 75 % of calories derived from fats,  20 % from proteins and 5 % from carbohydrates.

Adhering to the ketogenic diet can lead to short-term weight loss, consuming fewer calories without feeling hungry while following the diet.

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The Keto diet
It is a very low-carb, high-fat diet. People on a ketogenic diet get 5 percent of their calories from carbohydrates, about 15 percent from protein, and 80 percent from fat. It’s this ratio that will force the body to derive much of its energy from ketones. 

That means eating mainly meats, eggs, cheese, fish, nuts, butter, oils, and vegetables while avoiding sugar, bread and other grains, beans, and even fruit.

Approaches to intermittent fasting
  • Skipped meals - when you skip over a meal to induce extra time of fasting. 
  • Eating windows - this condenses your entire macronutrient intake between a 4 and 7-hour window. The rest of the time you are in a fasting state.
  • 24-48 hour cleanse - where you go into extended fasting periods and do not eat for 1-2 days.

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