How Ketogenic Diet Works (Simplified)

July 28, 2016 at 9:00 am, Posted by NuPasta

Heard of the Keto Diet? For those of you that haven’t or want a refresher, here’s a little explanation!

But first a bit of background! You see, energy we get from our foods are from 3 macro groups: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. When non fibre carbohydrates (carbs) are digested, it becomes glycogen in our liver. Glycogen can be easily converted to glucose (blood sugar), which the human body uses as fuel to sustain our usual activities. Insulin helps regulate the glucose level in our bloodstream; when the glucose level is high, the pancreas releases insulin which tells the liver to change the excess glucose into glycogen and fats. Quite a process just to keep the human body going!

The Ketogenic (keto) diet, is a diet where the consumption of carbohydrates are kept to a minimum. After a few days on a keto diet, the glucose and glycogen in the body are depleted, which results in a low insulin level. When the insulin level is low, the fat cells release fatty acids which is transformed to ketones by the liver. These ketones are used as an alternative source of energy by the body (this process is known as ketosis).

In essence, a regular diet will metabolize carbohydrates into glycogen and glucose for energy; with the keto diet (low in carb), we metabolize fats into ketones for energy. These fats can be either from the food we currently eat or from the fat stored in our body.

While the keto diet is more efficient at burning fat, one must intake less energy than he/she uses before any stored body fat is used. As a result, a keto diet must be complimented by a deficit of calories in order to achieve weight loss.

If one has a big appetite, a fibre rich food can be consumed to reduce the calories in a meal; fibre does not significantly contribute to the calorie count but it can still satisfy hunger. This creates an energy deficit. Therefore, high fibre foods such as NuPasta is ideal for a keto diet as a filler; with only 25 calories and 6g of fibre, it adds content to a meal without much calories.

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