Glucose or Ketosis as Fuel, which is better for weight loss? To understand that question we need to start with What is Ketos and how do I get some? There are a couple of ways to get into ketos once we understand it so we will start there.
What is Glucose?
The body typically gets its fuel from dietary carbohydrates, which includes foods like rice, bread, pasta, and other grains, along with fruit, sugars, and vegetables.
When carbohydrates, specifically starches and sugars enter the body they are broken down into glucose, and used by the body for energy. The hormone insulin then steps in to remove glucose from the bloodstream and the body either uses it for energy or stores as any that is unused
Any glucose that is not immediately used as fuel will be sent to the liver and muscles to be stored as glycogen as a fuel reserve, and any unused glycogen in the muscles, such as through exercise or energy expenditure turns to stored body fat.
For people with a carb sensitivity or those with insulin resistance it’s a grim outlook that can lead to obesity and type 2 diabetes…
High carb diet = high glucose in the blood = high insulin = high amounts of body fat.
Lipolysis And Ketosis
An alternative source of fuel for the body is its own body fat, this process is triggered when the intake of carbs is limited, and their sources controlled, the body enters a state called lipolysis, the most efficient biochemical pathway to weight loss and a scientifically proven alternative to the body using or needing glucose for energy.
Lipolysis occurs as the body begins to burn the body’s own fat stores for energy instead of dietary carbohydrates and the by-products of this fat burning process are ketones and so ketosis is the secondary process of lipolysis.
When you eliminate carbs, the body is forced to use its fat stores instead, which literally turns into a fat burning machine. Ketones are the byproducts of ketosis and provide fuel for the body.
The only true exception to the body not needing glucose for fuel is ketones. Ketosis not only provides adequate energy for the cells within the body, it also fuels the brain and other organs just as glucose from carbs does BUT, unlike what may occur during the use of glucose, ketosis does not store fat, and actually allows the body to burn stored fat for fuel.
This is the reason that low carb diets are so popular and have allowed thousands of people to lose weight and keep it off.
Low Carb Diets
There are cases where doctors will induce ketosis to medically intervene for various conditions, like epilepsy and diabetes. This involves a patient being placed on a low carb diet, such as the Ketogenic diet to increase fat and protein intake to provide fuel for energy, while reducing card intake.
WebMD explains that ketosis kicks in when consumption is limited to less than 50 grams per day. For many of us the upper limit is closer to 20 grams per day, at least when first starting to change to a ketogenic lifestyle.
The ketogenic diet and the Atkins diet are two of the most popular strict carb intake plans. Each are a little different although the Atkins diet has been remodeled to be more like the ketogenic lifestyle over the years.
One of the greatest benefits of low carb diets and using fat for fuel is that this type of eating greatly regulates the appetite, so there is no starvation or out of control hunger and erratic cravings become a thing of the past. This is a Hugh benefit when switching from burning glucose to burning fat. One of the reasons for this is that carbohydrates trigger blood sugar spikes that can wreak havoc on hunger and cravings.
A study by the Academic Department of Surgery, Consultation, and Training Center at the Faculty of Medicine located at Kuwait University put it to the test. They took 83 obese patients (39 men, 44 women) and over 24 weeks studied the results of a low carb diet.
The subjects were given carbohydrates in the form of green vegetables, and salad. In the end, the subject’s glucose levels, cholesterol levels, weight, and BMI numbers all fell.
Low Carb Wins Over Low Fat
The ketogenic diet has been around for decades, and while the medical community has long believed that a diet high in fats would cause weight gain and increase the risk of heart disease, many studies and randomized trials have shown low carb to actually be more effective in not only the amount of weight lost, but in reducing markers and risk factors for heart disease.
Experts now advise that the public should be more mindful of their carb intake versus their fat intake, since obesity rates in US adults have increased during the same time that fat intake was decreased and carb intake increased. Click To Tweet
The Keto Flu
Some people may experience what is called the keto flu when they begin a low carb diet. While not everyone will fall prey to it, you should be aware of the symptoms: sleepiness and fatigue, brain fog, nausea, headaches and upset stomach.
It doesn’t last long and to be honest, three or four days up to a week. Most changes in diet result in similar side effects so it is to be expected.
The best way to ease your symptoms is by increasing salt intake with 2 cups of organic beef or chicken broth daily with a pinch of Himalayan salt desolved in it. Another way is by using soy sauce over food to re- balance electrolyte levels in the body. If it happens, keep in mind that the symptoms will disappear within a few days and you will be on your way to ketosis success.
It is exciting to try different recipes and we will share many new Keto recipes as as well as old favorites here to help you reach your goals. We will be focused on Kelo with some Paleo recipes and a goal of remaining gluten free at least 90 percent of the time. If you have not signed up for your copy of “35 Tips To Go Low-Carb When Eating out“ please do so at the top right of this article. I am adding a couple of keto friendly Whole Food recipes to the blog every week and would love to have you join our family of Whole Food Low-Carb Enthusiasts..
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