I use my Los Angeles surroundings as a barometer for changes in the mainstream approach to health, and it holds up quite well. Silicon Valley can claim to be the cradle of technology, but L.A. is definitely the cradle of diet and fitness trends; and the latest is most definitely keto. At the local cafe where every species of Malibu fitness enthusiast gathers to gossip and fuel up, I’m seeing fewer gels and energy bars, and way more butter coffees and discarded packets of the new powdered ketone supplement products.
Sure enough, keto is entering into mainstream health consciousness everywhere. Google searches for “ketogenic diet” are at an all-time high . The stream of keto-related email queries and comments I receive has seen a major uptick. And early this year, a major publisher approached me with a keto book proposal, which I accepted. I dove headlong into a total immersion/participatory journalism experience where I walked my talk, and pricked my finger for blood tests enough times to get a little scar tissue going, for the past several months. The book is called The Keto Reset Diet and it’s coming out October 3rd. This is a comprehensive presentation to educate you on the science and benefits of ketone burning and to give you step-by-step guidance to go keto the right away, avoiding the common setbacks that happen when many adopt an ill-advised approach to something as delicate and rigorous as nutritional ketosis. You can pre-order a copy from major retailers right now . We are also filming a comprehensive online multimedia educational course to give you a guided immersion experience that will be available in 2018.
Meanwhile, it’s definitely time to do a Definitive Guide….
To understand ketogenic diets, you must understand the conditions that promote ketosis. And to do that, you must understand how our bodies beta-oxidize fatty acids for energy.
- Fatty acids are broken down into acetyl-CoA.
- Acetyl-CoA combines with oxaloacetate.
- The acetyl-CoA/oxaloacetate duo starts the Krebs cycle.
- The Krebs cycle produces ATP, the body’s energy currency.
- Congratulations. You’ve just turned fat into energy.
Where does ketosis come in?
If the supply of acetyl-CoA exceeds the supply of oxaloacetate, the liver converts any excess acetyl-CoA into ketone bodies . These ketone bodies are an “alternative” energy source for the brain and body.
Both carbohydrates and protein provide oxaloacetate to the liver, so both carbohydrates and protein can prevent ketone production or knock you out of ketosis. Carbohydrates also elevate insulin, which blocks the release of body fat and reduces the amount of fatty acids making their way to the liver for conversion into ketones. A ketogenic diet, then, is one that limits carbohydrate and, to a lesser extent, protein.
Ketosis occurs in certain instances without any dietary change at all:
- Extreme physical exertion that depletes liver glycogen (total around 100 grams) and depletes around half of stored muscle glycogen (total around 400-500 grams)
- Fasting for significant time period (at least 24 hours for most people)
- Starvation or significant restriction in