Does the Carnivore Diet Lead to Ketosis?
Ketosis or ketogenic diets have gained popularity because of their effect on weight loss. Ketosis can be achieved by fasting or through a low-carb diet. Other than glucose, only ketone bodies can cross the blood-brain barrier and provide energy to your brain and central nervous system.
Ketosis not only helps in quick weight loss but also helps in treating various health conditions. Ketosis is an energizer to humans. And yes, a carnivore diet is the right way of achieving ketosis; it helps in healthy metabolism and reduces the number of carbs in your diet and your body.
The process of ketosis is quite tricky to understand. Let us discuss in detail the role of ketosis in a carnivore diet.
What is Ketosis?
Ketosis is a condition in which there is a high concentration of ketone bodies seen in our blood. This generally happens when there is more fat in our body than carbs or glucose.
In a regular diet, glucose acts as fuel to our body. In a carnivore diet, fat acts as fuel to the body.
Ketosis is associated with a carnivore diet and low carbs diet. It is also seen during fasting, starvation, and in infants.
Ketosis generally occurs when you start eating carbs less than 50gms a day. Typically, the amount of carbs intake that causes ketosis varies between individuals.
Does a Carnivore Diet Lead to Ketosis?
One of the most commonly asked questions on the carnivore diet is whether it puts you on ketosis. If you have a similar query, then the answer is yes, a carnivore diet leads to ketosis. Does that mean you need to starve to go into ketosis? NO, the beauty of a carnivore diet is that you get the benefits of fasting without fasting. Carnivore diet provides you with all the essential nutrients.
Your body can store 120-400 gm of glucose in the liver. Consumption of high-carb food and high-protein food lets your body store high glucose levels in the liver. Hence, if you are following a high carb diet, ketosis is never gonna happen because you are consuming more glucose.
For your body to go into ketosis, you might have to eat less than 50g of carbs per day and sometimes even less than 20g; this varies completely from person to person. If you follow a strict diet of very few carbs for at least four days, you will be in ketosis.
The carnivore diet is a zero carb diet that quickly puts you into ketosis. In the carnivore diet, insulin hormone levels decrease, and fatty acids are released from your body in large amounts. These fatty acids travel to the liver, where fatty acids get oxidized to ketone bodies. These molecules act as a source of energy for your body.
Ketone bodies can travel across the blood-brain barrier and provide energy for the brain in the absence of glucose.
Which fuel is best for your body? Glucose or ketone. Of course, the answer is ketone; let us discuss more to understand the benefits of choosing ketone over glucose.
Top 5 Benefits of Keto-Carnivore Diet.
1. Ketones Are Energy Providers
It is a general misinterpretation that the brain needs dietary carbs for functioning. Only a few cells of the brain can use glucose for functioning. However, most cells do not require carbs for their functioning; instead, they can use ketones for energy when you are on a carnivore diet.
Your body might need time to heal from a carb diet, initially your brain gets energized by 25%. Once you stay consistent with the diet, the brain receives energy by 60%.
High protein and high fat make you feel full after your meals, resulting in weight loss. Proteins also help to increase the body’s metabolism and burn more calories. Protein and other non-carbohydrate precursor molecules produce glucose required for the body, and this is known as gluconeogenesis. Ketosis and gluconeogenesis are perfectly capable of fulfilling your energy needs.
2. Ketones Reduce the Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a brain disorder described by frequent seizures. It is the most common neurological disorder, and around 70 million people worldwide are affected by this disorder. Generally, people who suffer from epilepsy use medication for treatment, but about 30% continue to have the condition.
In the 1920s, the keto diet was advised as a viable treatment for epilepsy in people who did not respond to traditional medicine.
The efficacy of the keto diet was evaluated in children having uncontrolled seizures. The study indicated a significant reduction in seizures. Few patients also reported that it was completely reduced.
3. Ketones Help to Lose Weight
Keto diet is a well-known weight-loss diet, and researchers support it too.
Studies suggest that carnivore diets are more preferred than any other diets for weight loss because it leads to ketosis. Carnivore diet provides you all the essential nutrients and also helps to lose weight.
Several studies report that more weight loss is seen in the people who follow the keto diet than any other plant-based diet. For that, you need to follow a strict zero carb diet.
In a carnivore diet, you tend to feel less hungry and more full because of ketosis. For this reason, in a carnivore diet, you don’t count calories or starve.
However, it is widely observed that you will experience the real benefits of ketosis if you stay consistent with your diet. Once you take up the carnivore diet, you will definitely fall in love with food style and may never give up on it.
4. Ketosis Effects on Diabetics and Pre-Diabetics
Diabetes is explained by changes in metabolism, high blood sugar, and impaired insulin function.
Studies suggest that the keto diet helps you to lose the excess fat deposit, which is linked with significant improvement in prediabetes, diabetes, and other metabolic syndromes. Another study suggests that the keto diet also helps to improve insulin sensitivity by around 75%.
A ketogenic diet for 90 days can reduce hemoglobin A1C, which is a very important component in long-term blood sugar management.
Carnivore diet, a zero carb diet, helps you lose weight at the fastest and in a most healthy way, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
5. Ketone Reduces Inflammation.
Certain types of pain and painful conditions may involve chronic inflammation. Several studies suggest that the keto diet will reduce inflammation.
When we compare glucose metabolism to ketone metabolism, ketone produces comparatively very less reactive oxygen species. These oxygen species are one of the major reasons for inflammation. Hence ketone metabolism helps to reduce thermal pain, inflammation, and neuropathic pain.
Side effects of Ketosis
During the first week of your diet, you may experience fatigue and other symptoms, making you feel uncomfortable. Sometimes you may have several side effects. Some people name it keto flu; this is not a serious medical condition though. Many physicians think this may be due to a sudden shift in food practices, and our body needs time to get adjusted.
A few doctors suggest that this may be due to the complete withdrawal of sugar and carbs in your diet. This may be due to the changes in the gut bacteria or system reaction. These symptoms are temporary.
- Brain fog
- Trouble sleeping
- Sugar cravings
- Sore muscles
- Bad breath, also known as keto breath
Although ketosis has several side effects, these are temporary effects.
Some of the rare side effects include;
- kidney stones
- hepatic steatosis (fatty liver)
- hypoproteinemia, or low levels of protein in the blood
Ketosis has numerous health benefits. The carnivore diet makes your body undergo ketosis and makes you get the most of it. The carnivore diet has an added advantage as it has all the required nutrients and is a healthy diet too.