What is a ketogenic diet?

What is a ketogenic diet?Have you heard of keto before? is it a fad diet? is it unhealthy? do you even know what a ketogenic diet is?. Before I start talking about the books you can read on the subject, let me give you a helping hand and run you through a few basic concepts.

Do you know what a diet is?

Well turns out the word “diet” can be used to describe two different things: The first one refers simply to the food intake of one person along the day, yes that’s it, quite simple, huh? However, there’s a second use to which you might be more familiar with, and that’s when we use the word “diet” to call out a certain restriction on one’s food intake. So, here’s a shocker… technically you’re ALWAYS on a diet.

So, with that off the way, what is a ketogenic diet?

I like to explain things as easy and straight forward as possible, that’s why I’m going to take the word “ketogenic” and explain it. The word “Ketogenic” can be broken into two words:

  • Ketones: Which are molecules produced by your liver from the breakdown of fats.
  • Genesis: Which, according to the dictionary means: “origin”, “to create” or “a beginning”.

What conclusion can we draw from this?

Plain simple, a diet can be labeled as ketogenic when it causes your body to generate ketones. But wait, if that’s the case, wouldn’t every diet that makes you lose weight (hence, burning fat) be a ketogenic diet?

Umm.. good question! Technically speaking, yes, BUT usually when we speak about this particular way of eating, we speak of a lifestyle MAINLY powered by ketones, this means you’re in Ketosis 100% of the time.

KETOSIS? That’s dangerous! Isn’t it?

No, my friend, if that’s what you think, it might be because you’re a mixing up “ketosis” and “ketoacidosis”, but don’t worry, I have a tip to help you with that.

TIP: From now on you can call “ketosis” as “dietary induced ketosis”, this will help you remember that such state of your body is caused by your food choices, instead of something dangerous. On the other hand you may call “ketoacidosis” as “diabetic ketoacidosis”, why? Because this state is usually (if not always) found only in people with uncontrolled diabetes.

Are you still having a bit of trouble there? Well, I highly suggest you get a good book or search for a scientific article about it so you can read up on the MANY differences between them. However, here’s another TIP to help you out: Although ketosis and ketoacidosis are states in which there are ketone bodies in the blood, on the second one there is a HIGHER amount of ketones along with a HIGH amount of glucose.

If you feel like a graphic explanation could help you out more, here’s a quick video about the topic:

At the end of the day, whether you’re trying to use the diet to meet your goals in health or just learning for educational purposes, I hope you find this site helpful to find good resources of information.