Normally, your body burns carbohydrates to produce energy required for day to day work.
However in absence of enough carbohydrates, it burns the stored fats instead which also results in production of ketones within the body.
You must have read about ketosis when looking for information on weight loss.
There is much more to this word.
What is Ketosis?
In normal situations, the body uses glucose as its min form of energy which is characteristically obtained from dietary carbohydrates. This usually includes – sugar – such as fruits and milk or yogurt and starchy foods – such as bread and pasta
Glucose obtained after breaking off the carbs into simple sugars can either be used to fuel the body or be stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen.
However, when there is not enough glucose present to meet energy demands, the body is left to pick the stored fat in body. It breaks down fat stored to provide glucose from triglycerides.
So when fats are consumed, it releases ketones as its by-product.
Let’s take a look at what ketones are.
Ketones are acids that are made in blood and are removed in urine. In small amounts, they hint at breaking down of fat from the body. But when the ketone levels are high, these can prove to be poisonous to the body leading to a process called ketoacidosis.
Your body can fall into the process of ketosis if you are opting for ketogenic diet which is primarily loaded with fat, somewhere around 70% and 20% and 5% carbs proteins and carbs respectively.
Endogenous ketones are triggered by the body in a natural way while fasting or on a strict low-carb, high-fat diet. It can also take place after long exercising. The body becomes ketogenic implying, it is producing ketones.
Signs of Ketosis
- During the initial days of following a keto diet, you might experience some discomfort. It could be the result of sugar and carbohydrate withdrawal or changes to your gut or even an immune system reaction. You may witness symptoms like:
- Brain fog
- Bad temper
- Inadequate sleep
- Stomach ache
- Sugar cravings
- Sore muscles
- Foul breath
Often commonly stated as Keto Flu, these are however temporary effects limited to starting days.
How to Know If Your Body is in Ketosis
If you want to know the levels of ketones in your body for some kind of doubt, you should visit your doctor who can suggest blood or urine test to measure the levels of ketones and glucose and provide you timely treatment.
There are a few different ways to test for beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB)–the principal ketone present in the body.
Blood testing, with a blood ketone meter, is considered to be the most accurate. However, ketone testing strips can prove to be little expensive.
Ketones can also be measured via breathalyser or urine ketone sticks. While these methods are useful for estimating blood ketone levels, these are not that accurate than blood measurements and are comparatively less reliable when the body has higher levels of BHB.