Fasting and other ketogenic-like diets have been used to treat conditions like epilepsy for thousands of years. And in fact, a version of the keto diet has been traced back to 500 BC.
The carbohydrates you eat are converted to glucose, which is the body’s primary source of energy. Whenever your intake of carbohydrates is limited to a certain range, for a long enough period of time, you reach a point where your body draws on its alternate energy system, fat stores, for fuel. This means the body burns fat and turns it into a source of fuel called ketones. (Ketones are produced whenever body fat is burned). When you burn a larger amount of fat,than is immediately needed for energy, the excess ketones are discarded in the urine. Being in ketosis means your body has burned a large amount of fat in response to the fact that it didn’t have sufficient glucose available for energy needs.
Dietary ketosis is a natural adjustment to the body’s reduced intake of carbohydrates as the body shifts its primary source of energy from carbohydrates to stored fat. The presence of insulin keeps ketone production in check so that a mild, beneficial ketosis is achieved. Blood glucose levels are stabilized within a normal range and there is no break-down of healthy muscle tissue.The body functions naturally and effectively while in a state of dietary ketosis.
The benefits many people experience while in a state of dietary ketosis for weight loss may include rapid weight loss, decreased hunger and cravings, improved mood, increased energy and, as long as protein intake is adequate, protection of lean mass.
According to some research studies, ketogenic diet hasbeen an important therapy for childhood epilepsy. No one is sure why it works, but the high fat/low protein/low carbohydrate diet seems to push the body into a starvation-like state called ketosis&because the body has no glucose for fuel, cells begin burning fat from the diet instead, which slows the frantic firing of brain cells.
Ketogenic diets are also of proven benefit in certain childhood cancers. Certain tumors, particularly those that are poorly differentiated and slow growing and have a limited blood supply, are known to use glucose as the primary source of fuel. Shifting the prime substrate for energy metabolism in the host from glucose to ketone bodies by means of a ketogenic diet, thereby decreasing the availability of glucose to the tumor, could potentially inhibit tumor growth.