Train to Win, Eat to Lose

A Health and Fitness Blog

Low Carbohydrate Diets and Ketosis

The other day I was advising a new client on adopting a low carbohydrate diet when she became extremely resistant to the idea because, as she said, “Eating low carbohydrate causes your body to create ketones and go into ketosis which is very dangerous”.

Unfortunately, my client is being led astray by misinformation.

Yes, when you eat less than roughly 60 grams of carbohydrates per day your body goes into ketosis, which is the process by which the body shifts from using glucose (carbohydrates) as it’s main energy source to using ketones (fat) as it’s main energy source .  By the way, fat is the body’s preferred energy source, and as Dr. Jeff Volek, PhD, RD, and Adam Campbell mention in their book, Men’s Health TNT Diet: The Explosive New Plan to Blast Fat, Build Muscle, and Get Healthy in 12 Weeks, “National Institute of Health scientist Richard Veech, MD, PhD, has found that ketones may help both your brain and heart run 25 percent more efficiently.”

Ketosis is a perfectly normal and healthy process, and ketones are not bad and are simply a by-product of fat being broken down for energy. In many instances people, and yes, even doctors (as I have seen firsthand), are scared off by low carbohydrate diets because they confuse ketosis with ketoacidosis, which is an abnormal condition seen in uncontrolled diabetes. Ketoacidosis is a serious condition.  Ketosis is, as I already said, a perfectly normal and healthy process.

There are many benefits to being in ketosis including the fact that they prevent protein in your muscles from being broken down so that you are more likely to be burning fat rather than muscle, and they suppress your appetite.

So please, don’t be scared away from low carbohydrate dieting due to misinformation.  You’ll be missing out on being a lean, mean and efficient fat burning machine.

May 30, 2011 Posted by | Nutrition | , , , , , , | 2 Comments