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Ketones: Your Fat Burning Friends

Most people know that a low carb diet is effective for weight loss, but they may not know exactly how and why it works so well for weight loss. To understand how it’s different from the standard American diet, how it shifts our metabolism into overdrive, and what exactly fuels this new approach to fat loss we must talk about how equally important ketones are to the diet.

What is a Low Carb Diet?

A low carb diet aids in putting your body in a metabolic state so it uses fat for fuel. By removing almost all carbohydrates, and inserting healthy fats in their place, your body enters a fat-burning condition called nutritional ketosis. Once in that state, your body will start using fat for energy, rather than carbohydrates or glucose.

How Ketosis Works

In a normal American diet, carbohydrates are consumed frequently. Once eaten, carbs turn into glucose and insulin. Glucose can be thought of as the simplest form of sugar, and it is easy for the body to convert and use as your primary source of energy. Thus, glucose is your main source of fuel when consuming a higher carb diet. When you consume carbohydrates, your body has a rise in blood sugar, as these carbs are turned into glucose. Your body then creates insulin, which is a hormone meant to transport glucose throughout your body.

As your body uses this glucose, any extra glucose not being used is stored as body fat. If you keep eating carbohydrates, your body will continually use glucose as its fuel source, leaving you unable to dip into your fat reserves, so you can’t burn off any body weight.

Individuals who follow a low carb diet will start burning off fat stores At this point, your body essentially realizes it is running out of energy, so it starts dipping into stored fat.

How Can I Get into Ketosis?

There are a number of ways to shift into nutritional ketosis. The most important priority is cutting out the carbs. The standard American diet recommends consuming between 200 and 300 grams of carbohydrates per day. By contrast, a low carb diet significantly uses fewer grams of carbohydrates throughout the day. I can’t give you a number on how many carbs you should consume a day, as everyone is different, however with utilization of the BIOSENSE® Breath Ketone Monitor & Mobile App, you will be able to see pretty quickly what works for you.

What Are Ketones?

During this metabolic shift when switching to a low carb diet, your body turns fatty acids into something called ‘ketones’. Your body essentially responds to a depletion of carbohydrates, by making a new form of fuel. These ketones are produced by your liver, and they are composed of fat.

During the process of ketosis, which is very safe, any excess ketones will be eliminated via your breath or urine. Interestingly enough, there are three types of ketones. There’s acetone, BHB (beta-hydroxybutyric acid), and AcAc (acetoacetate). Of these, BHB is not technically a ketone, due to its structure. However, for our intents and purposes, BHB is included in nearly every discussion of ketogenic diets.

Unlike previous breath devices, which were unreliable, the Biosense ketone breath monitor is a convenient and reliable way to check your ketone levels.

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About the Author

Elisa Itkowitz

Elisa Itkowitz, MS, RD is a recognized digital content developer for Telehealth, Telenutrition, and Nutrition Informatics platforms. She has pioneered ways to bring traditional RD counseling into the digital marketplace by developing and optimizing strategies and solutions for business growth and client retention. Much of Elisa’s work includes researching and designing strategies for optimal market adoption and user data engagement for digital nutrition platforms. Her successes have led her clients to joining Apple Store’s top health and fitness app. Elisa is passionate about helping her love of dietetics embrace the digital community and finding ways to optimize one's counseling skills by using innovative resources.

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