The Keto diet is all the rage these days. You see it being promoted on TV, Youtube and social media.
But there are two facts about the keto diet hardly nobody talks about:
1. Ketosis is a survival mechanism, not a long-term lifestyle
Nutritional ketosis is really a survival mechanism that guarantees metabolic flexibility during a prolonged fast or lack of carb ingestion.
That is something most people don’t understand. It means the purpose of ketosis is to protect against starvation while energy is not sufficient enough.
The body really does not want to be in ketosis. Think about this. If ketosis were the favored energy process, it would be the top system we use every day. Rather, fat oxidation and glycolysis are the energy systems our body uses. Ketosis is only there to aid you in surviving when you cannot fuel your body as you should for a brief time.
Ketosis is sorta like a spare tire of your car. It will “work,” but it is not optimal for long-term usage.
3. Ketosis and fat for fuel isn’t the same thing
You can use fat for energy without being in ketosis. You could eat 1000 grams of carbs each day and still use fat for energy.
Remember, ketosis is a safety process that gives fuel for your brain if there is a glucose shortage. Yes, your body uses fatty acids to create ketones. So, technically, ketosis does transform fat into fuel. But not all fat usage for energy is done using ketosis.
Most tissues needing energy can use glycolysis or fat oxidation for fuel. The top exception is your brain. The brain can only use ketones or glucose for fuel, not fatty acids.
As long as your brain has enough glucose to function well, there is no real need to go to ketosis, which is more complicated than using glucose. Glucose comes from carbs, but it can also be created by transforming protein into amino acids. The liver turns some of these into glucose.
Ketosis is NOT you being “fat-adapted.” You can use fat for energy just fine. What they say is “fat-adapted” is simply your body creating enough ketones to completely fuel your brain – not having to break down muscles to make glucose to make up for the lack of ketones.
In the end, you can function using a backup generator (ketosis), but it is not optimal.
Author: Scott Dowdy