Ketosis is a natural metabolic process your body goes through to keep going.
In the state of ketosis, your body metabolizes fat at a high rate and convert fatty acids into ketones.
Your body does this when it doesn’t have enough carbohydrates for your cells to burn for energy.
In short, when glucose gets depleted, your body looks for stored fat to convert into fuel.
But getting your body to this state isn’t easy. You must follow a high-fat, low-carb diet like a ketogenic diet.
This article will explain what ketosis is, and how to get there.
What Is Ketosis and Why You Want to Reach It?
Ketosis is a state where fat is metabolized for fuel instead of glucose.
It’s a body’s natural mechanism, but it’s a state you have to induce.
Ketosis only happens when the body is running low on glucose, the preferred form of energy (1).
With limited glucose supply, the body turns to an alternative source of fuel, which is your fat stores.
The body then takes the fat stores, delivers them to the liver, then break those fatty acids and make ketones.
There are three types of ketones that form in your body during this process:
- Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB)
Once ketones are formed, your body can use them as an alternative energy form.
In other words, only by going through this process, your body can start burning your fat stores for fuel.
This is why ketosis is most often associated with low-carb dieting.
To go into ketosis, people typically have to reduce their carbs to 20-50 grams per day.
For some, it’s as little as 20 grams per day.
This often requires removing carbohydrates rich foods from your diet. Food such as grains, soft drinks, even some fruits, and vegetables are not allowed.
Getting to the state of ketosis offers several health benefits to your body and brain.
1. Brain Health & Prevention of Brain Related Diseases
One of the many health benefits of a ketogenic diet is an improvement in brain health and function.
In fact, the keto diet was created by Dr. Russell Wilder in 1921 to treat epilepsy in children. While the exact mechanism of how it prevents seizure is yet fully studied, it has few theories (2).
Researchers believe that it causes changes in mitochondria enzymes and stability of neurons. Research linking Keto diet and Alzheimer’s diseases also shows improvements in brain function (3).
Eating Keto has enhanced memory in adults, increased cognitive function, and improved dementia. Keto diet also shows positive outcomes with Parkinson’s disease (4).
Other reported benefits include enhanced mental clarity and less intense and frequent migraines. Increased stability in blood sugar is believed to promote more optimum brain chemistry (6).
Summary: Following a low-carb, ketogenic diet helps improve brain health. It includes improved memory in older adults, reduced migraines, and many more.