Low carbohydrate (or carb) diets are all the rage these days. Low carb diets, including very low carb (or ketogenic) diets, are touted to offer benefits that are unmatched by high carbohydrate diets:
- They can reduce blood sugar levels, which are important for those with type 2 diabetes.
- They can reduce insulin levels, which controls both fat storage and fat burning, as well as muscle building and muscle wasting.
- They can minimize the highs and lows of eating a standard American diet (SAD) with stable, consistent energy that sustains you through the day.
- They are the cutting edge treatment for many chronic health conditions, ranging from diabetes to seizures to cancer. See the amazing healing power of ketones for more information.
Fine, but what is a low carb diet?
There are several levels of low carb eating. A diet is considered low in carbohydrates if a person eats 150 grams of carbs per day or less. This threshold is determined by the amount of glucose needed to feed and sustain the human brain’s functions on a daily basis. Because the average person’s brain utilizes 600 calories of glucose in a day, most people believe that 150 grams of carbohydrate containing foods are required just to sustain brain function. Additional energy is needed to sustain the rest of the body’s functions, even if the individual is sedentary.
However, when one eats less than 150 grams of carbohydrates, the body is forced to utilize other sources of energy to meet the brain’s and body’s essential needs. This is one reason that low carb diets can result in fat loss. But even within the realm of low carb eating, there are further gradations.
Eating 150 grams of carbs and less defines low carb eating. Eating under 60 grams defines the next level of low carb eating, known as a ketogenic diet.
Not to be confused with ketoacidosis, which is a dangerous condition that can effect Type 1 diabetics whose illness is spiraling out of control, ketosis is a desirable state of healing. As defined by Drs. Jeff Volek and Stephen Phinney, nutritional ketosis (NK) is the metabolic state during which the body shifts glucose as an energy source to fat. In essence, NK is “the adaptation of the body’s hormonal set and inter-organ fuel exchange to allow most of [the body’s] daily energy needs to be met by fat, either directly as fatty acids or indirectly by ketone bodies made from fat” (Volek & Phinney, The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living, p. 4). In laymen’s terms, you can manipulate your diet so that you change from being a sugar burner to being a fat burning machine. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
And with the right ketogenic diet, you become a fat burning beast while also restructuring your metabolism, your physical shape, your energy levels, and also improve your blood lipid profile, heal your body’s metabolic and endocrinological hormones, and change your life.
Ready to change your life? Maybe ketogenic living is a lifestyle that you want to try. Contact Keto Sister for information on creating a Personalized Keto Plan to help you change your health and your life starting today.
Volek, J. and Phinney, S. (2012) The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance. Beyond Obesity LLC.
Keep it keto!
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