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What is the keto diet?

Dr. Adam Bataineh, MD

Chief Medical Officer

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Keto is short for ketogenic, which defines a state of the body where your body will produce specific building blocks for your cells, called amino acids.

Now the prefix keto itself comes from ketones, a molecule produced when burning fat that can be used by your cells for fuel. Your metabolism can switch from sugar and carbs to burning fat and that state is also called ketosis.

People who eat a ketogenic diet or practice intermittent fasting report many health improvements like weight loss, mental clarity, less anxiety and more energy.

So what exactly is ketosis, what are the benefits and is it safe?

What is ketosis?


In order to survive, our cells need a constant supply of energy. Our clever hybrid bodies have evolved to rely on either glucose or fat to fuel our cells.

This process is initiated when glucose levels are too low to meet energy demands — this normally happens when you fast, do intense exercise or limit carbohydrates.

This is simply achieved by increasing healthy fats, reducing carbohydrate consumption and eating adequate protein for our body’s needs.

To simplify, a keto or ketogenic diet can be any diet that balances nutrients from foods this way.

That's why, like any diet there are healthy and unhealthy ways of doing them.


At Span, we don't believe in dieting, but finding what works for you to optimise your health and fitness by measuring wellness in a tangible way.

Stay healthy,
Adam

I’m sure you’re curious about the science behind all this 🔬 Here are some recent medical publications about this topic:

  • The effect of insulin on renal handling of sodium, potassium, calcium, and phosphate in man. …J Clin Invest. 1975 Apr;55(4):845-55. Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  • Dietary carbohydrate restriction as the first approach in diabetes management: Critical review and…The inability of current recommendations to control the epidemic of diabetes, the specific failure of the prevailing www.sciencedirect.com
  • Do ketogenic diets really suppress appetite? A systematic review and meta-analysis. - PubMed - NCBI Obes Rev. 2015 Jan;16(1):64-76. doi: 10.1111/obr.12230. Epub 2014 Nov 17. Meta-Analysis; Research Support, Non-U.S… www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  • Metabolic Effects of the Very-Low-Carbohydrate Diets: Misunderstood "Villains" of Human Metabolism During very low carbohydrate intake, the regulated and controlled production of ketone bodies causes a harmless www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  • Beyond weight loss: a review of the therapeutic uses of very-low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diets Very-low-carbohydrate diets or ketogenic diets have been in use since the 1920s as a therapy for epilepsy and can, in www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  • Insulin and the kidney. - PubMed - NCBI Nephron. 1975;15(3-5):306-26. Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.; Review www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  • Effects of different dietary approaches on inflammatory markers in patients with metabolic… Nutrition. 2016 Mar;32(3):338-48. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2015.09.010. Epub 2015 Oct 28. Meta-Analysis; Research Support… www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

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