Ketogenic Diets – Understanding Ketosis and Ketones

The ketogenic diet, colloquially called the keto diet, is a popular diet that contains high amounts of fat, adequate-protein, and low carbohydrates. This is also called the Low-Carbohydrate-High-Fat (LCHF) diet and the low-carbohydrate diet.

The ketogenic diet is basically designed to induce a state of ketosis in the body. When the amount of glucose in the body becomes too low, the body switches to fat as an alternative energy source.

The body has two main fuel sources, namely:


Free fatty acids (FFA) and, to a lesser extent, ketones are made from FFA

Fat deposits are stored in the form of triglycerides. They are usually broken down into long-chain fatty acids and glycerol. Peeling glycerol from triglyceride molecules enables the release of three free fatty acid molecules (FFA) into the bloodstream for use as energy. You can know more about keto diet foods via

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The glycerol molecule enters the liver where three molecules combine to form one glucose molecule. Therefore, when your body burns fat, it also produces glucose as a byproduct. This glucose can be used to fuel parts of the brain as well as other parts of the body that cannot run on FFA.

However, while glucose can travel through the bloodstream itself, cholesterol and triglycerides require a carrier to move in the bloodstream. Cholesterol and triglycerides are packaged in a carrier called low-density lipoprotein, or LDL. So, the larger the LDL particle, the more triglycerides it contains.

What Causes Ketosis

When you start eating fewer carbohydrates, your body gets a smaller supply of glucose to use as energy than before.

The reduction in the amount of carbohydrate consumed and the subsequent reduction in the amount of glucose available slowly forces the body to move into a state of ketosis. Thus, the body experiences ketosis when the amount of glucose is not enough for the body's cells.

Hunger-induced ketosis

Fasting and starvation status usually involves a reduction or no intake of food that the body can digest and convert into glucose. Although hunger is unintentional, fasting is a more conscious choice you make not to eat.

However, the body enters "starvation mode" every time you sleep, when you skip meals or when you deliberately fast. Lack of food intake results in a decrease in blood glucose levels. As a result, the body begins to break down glycogen (glucose stores) to store energy.