Ketosis and Ketogenic Diets

What Is Ketosis?

Ketosis is a natural metabolic state in which your body runs primarily on fats and ketone bodies, instead of carbohydrates (i.e., glucose).

What Is a Ketogenic Diet?

Any dietary protocol that allows one to achieve and maintain ketosis (as described below) is the ketogenic diet for that person.

The clearest explanation of ketosis is from the classic volume, Keto Clarity, by Jimmy Moore with Eric C. Westman, MD, from which I quote:

“Ketosis (pronounced KEY-TOE-SIS) is a metabolic state that happens when you consume a very low-carb, moderate-protein, high-fat diet that causes your body to switch from using glucose as its primary source of fuel to running on ketones. Ketones themselves are produced when the body burns fat, and they’re primarily used as an alternative fuel source when glucose isn’t available. In other words, your body changes from a sugar-burner to a fat-burner…. So ‘being in ketosis’ just means that you are burning fat.

“If you consume a diet with very few carbohydrates, moderate levels of protein, and plenty of healthy saturated and monounsaturated fats, then these ketones will begin to increase until they dominate the way your body is fueled, to the point that very little glucose is needed to function.”

For more details on implementation of a ketogenic diet and benefits of ketosis, please see our article, “Ketosis and Ketogenic Diet.”

The classic reference to Ketosis is the book by Moore, Jimmy, and Eric C. Westman, MD. Keto Clarity: Your Definitive Guide to the Benefits of a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet. Las Vegas: Victory Belt Publishing, 2014.

Also, Real Food Keto, by Jimmy and Christine Moore (2018).

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