The body normally uses carbohydrates from the food we eat to provide us with energy.

Carbohydrates such as sugar and starch are readily broken down into glucose, the body’s main source of energy. Glucose then travels to the liver to be distributed throughout the body. The cells first use whatever glucose they need for energy, sending it to the muscles and tissues. Some gets stored in the liver as a reserve tank, and any excess is stored as fat, both in the liver and in adipose tissue (body fat).

A ketogenic diet involves significantly reducing carbohydrates in the diet. Reducing carbohydrates means the body has limited glucose available for energy. Instead the body starts using fat as an energy source. Reducing carbohydrates to this level puts the body in a metabolic state called ketosis. This state can also occur during infancy, pregnancy, fasting or starvation.

To go into ketosis, people generally need to eat fewer than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day.  This requires removing foods high in sugar and other carbohydrates from the diet, such as grains, baking, sweets and sugary soft drinks. Other high carbohydrate foods include legumes, potatoes and fruit.

When eating a ketogenic diet, levels of the hormone insulin go down and fatty acids are released from body fat stores in large amounts. Many of these fatty acids are transferred to the liver, where they are oxidized and turned into ketones (or ketone bodies). These ketone molecules can provide energy for the body. The body then becomes very efficient at burning fat for energy. It also turns fat into ketones in the liver, which can supply energy for the brain.

Ketosis can be effective in helping reduce weight without leaving you too hungry. It may also help with some chronic diseases including Type 2 Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome. Being in ketosis is generally safe for most people; however some people may experience side effects including bad breath, constipation and headaches. Due to its restrictive nature this diet can be a challenge to stick to. We recommend Vitadiet, a supportive programme that provides specific vital nutrients in supplement meals to ensure nutritional balance while tasting delicious! We also suggest using Vitadiet ketone sticks. These detect ketones in urine, confirming your body is staying in ketosis. This can be a more accurate indicator of on-going weight loss than weighing yourself, as weight can fluctuate for a variety of reasons.

Cook Street Pharmacy Shop

We’re a small family run Pharmacy in Palmerston North. We pride ourselves on looking after our patients and customers needs. If you need health and well being advice for yourself, or your family feel free to drop in and talk to one of our staff.