A keto diet is well known for being a low carb diet where the majority of the macronutrient intake is fats. During the process of high fat intake with minimal carbohydrates, the body naturally produces ketones, which comes from the breakdown of fats in the liver. During this state, the body utilizes ketones as the body’s primary energy source instead of glucose as this impacts the metabolic processes. 
Consumers understand the need to take in healthy fats and cut out excessive glucose and sugar; however, most people don't know what this does to your body. On a standard diet where glucose is the primary energy source, the excess quantities of glucose will be stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles.  Once a threshold of glycogen is reached, the additional glucose will be stored as body fat. In order to counteract the build up of fat, ketosis begins with the depletion of glycogen, which cause the increase in glyconeogenesis and fat burning; however, at this stage, ketone production is not active yet. Gluconeogenesis is a normal metabolic process that occurs in the liver as non-sugar substrates like glycerol from fatty acids and amino acids from protein are utilized to create glucose. The consumption of fat and protein still allows the body to produce glucose, which prevent excess quantities of glucose being converted to glycogen. After, fat and ketones are used, as the primary source of energy and the excess ketones will be excreted as waste.  The process occurs through the breakdown of fat in the liver into glycerol and fatty acids. When acetoacetate is produced during ketogenesis, the acetoacetate is converted into 2 types of ketone bodies: beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB) and acetone. The BHB can be used by the brain for fuels and acetone is mostly excreted as waste. The end goal of the process is to find an alternative fuel source and cut down on glucose consumption. 
Ketosis provides various benefits, including weight control, reduction in blood sugar and insulin level, and elevation in brain function/mental focus. Weight management occurs through the decrease in appetite as numerous studies demonstrate that a low-carb diet will result in few calories intake.  A study from American Journal in Clinical Nutrition reveals that a high protein induces sustained reduction in appetite at a constant carbohydrate intake. The lower caloric intake is activated through the satiating effect of circulating leptin in the central nervous system, as the leptin concentration is much lower as an elevated protein intake diet prolongs. Protein and fat provides the ability to produce greater satiety than carbohydrates.  A non-fluctuating insulin levels reduce the lust for high glycemic food, which is a definite cardiovascular risk contributor. The ketogenic diet lowers insulin levels with consumption of health fat (HDL) where the fat carry cholesterol away from the body to the liver.  Moreover, the low carb meal plan decreases triglycerides, which is strongly linked to heart diseases and is built up through ingestion of simple sugar.  In unhealthy individuals who consume processed, high glycemic, or high sodium foods are more likely to face major problem called insulin resistance.  During this state, the insulin response is low where it is harder for the body to bring blood sugar into the cells, leading to diseases like type 2 diabetes. On top, these unhealthy foods raise blood pressure where hypertension is responsible heart disease, stroke, or kidney failure. The maintenance of low carbohydrate is key to prevention of cardiovascular diseases through low insulin levels.  Without big spikes in blood sugar, people can increase their mental focus. Also, with the high healthy fat intake from the ketogenic diet, the omega-3 and omega-6 will help reduce rates of depression, improve memory, enhance speaking ability, and benefit motor skills. This is why ketogenic diet is used to treat brain disorders. The benefits from a healthier, low carb, high fat diet can be easily overlooked. 
After understanding the key benefits of ketones, there are many nutritional restrictions in order to accomplish that. At Suspro Foods, the protein bars fall in line with the diet’s goal as it contains high level of unsaturated fats with sufficient protein levels. With various types of superfood seeds that are all complete proteins, this provide monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat on top of protein. Keto meals contain high amount of healthy fats (70-80% total calories), foods that are high in protein (15-20% of total calories), and low in carbohydrates (5% calories). The main difference between ketogenic diet and other low carb diets are the protein levels as protein can be converted to glucose, which will mess up the ketogenic transformation.  Some food examples but not limited to include grass-fed meat, chicken, turkey, tuna, salmon, spinach, kale and avocado.  Despite the various benefits with the ketogenic diet, a balance and nutritious diet is key to a healthy life.
- A Comprehensive Beginner’s Guide to the Ketogenic Diet. Ruled Me. https://www.ruled.me/guide-keto-diet/
- Ketosis, Ketones, and How It All Works. Ruled Me. https://www.ruled.me/ketosis-ketones-and-how-it-works/
- Mcclernon, FJ., Yancy, WS Jr., Everstein, JA., Atkins, RC., Westman, EC. (2007). The effects of low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet and a low-fat diet on mood, hunger, and other self-reported symptoms. US National Library of Medicine. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17228046
- Weigle, D., Breen, P., Matthys, C., Callahan, H., Meeuws, K., Burden, V., Purnell, J. (2005). A high-protein diet induces sustained reductions in appetite, ad libitum caloric intake, and body weight despite compensatory changes in diurnal plasma leptin and ghrelin concentrations. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/82/1/41/4863422
- Mensink, R., Zock, P., Kester, A., Katan, M. (2003). Effects of dietary fatty acids and carbohydrates on the ratio of serum total to HDL cholesterol and on serum lipids and apoliproteins: a meta-analysis of 60 controlled trials. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/77/5/1146/4689813
- Parks, E. (2001). Effect of Dietary Carbohydrate on Triglyceride Metabolism in Humans. The Journal of Nutrition. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/131/10/2772S/4686463
- Noakes, M., Foster, PR., Keogh, JB., James, AP., Mama, JC., Clifton, PM. (2006). Comparison of isocaloric very low carbohydrate/high saturated fat and high carbohydrate/low saturated fat diets on body composition and cardiovascular risk. CSIRO Health Sciences and Nutrition. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16403234
- Kahn, S. (2003). The relative contributions of insulin resistance and beta-cell dysfunction to the pathophysiology of Type 2 diabetes. Springer Link. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00125-002-1009-0
- Gunnars, K. (2014). 10 Health Benefits of Low-Carb and Ketogenic Diets. Health Line. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/10-benefits-of-low-carb-ketogenic-diets#section3
- Partl, J. Low Carb and the Ketogenic Diet: What’s the Difference. Ketogenic.com. https://ketogenic.com/overview/difference-low-carb-ketogenic-diet/
- Ketogenic Diet Food list, Includes Best vs. Worst Keto Foods. Dr. Axe. https://draxe.com/hub/keto-diet/ketogenic-diet-food-list/
The information provided is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. This blog does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns about your health. This website may contain links to websites operated by other parties. Such links are provided for your convenience and reference only. Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program or diet program. Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice because of something you have heard or read in this article or the internet.
- Mar 21, 2018
Many consumers associate fat with weight gain; however, this does not explain the full picture as not all fats are the same. Even though fat gives more calories per gram in comparison to carbohydrates/protein (9 calories per gram compare to 4 calories per gram), fat is an essential element to humans to keep our skin healthy, deliver fat-soluble vitamins, and use for energy.  As much as calories matter, what is more important is where they are coming from. Choosing the correct fat is necessary to maintain a lean and healthy body.
The good fats consist of polyunsaturated fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. They differ from trans fat and saturated fat, which is consider as the not healthy fat, by differentiating with fewer hydrogen atoms to their carbon chains. Healthy fats are liquid at room temperature whereas unhealthy fats are solid. Also, unsaturated fats have double bonds, which cause a bend at the location of the double bond.  This kink helps the healthy fat to not stack and decrease the potential for arteries blockage. Monounsaturated fats raise HDL (good cholesterol) and lower LDL (bad cholesterol) which reduces the risk of obesity and other heart related diseases. Also, they are a good source of vitamin E, which further advance the balancing of cholesterol and repairing of damage skins.  Polyunsaturated fats are essential fats as your body cannot naturally produce them. These healthy fats are known to lower cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels, especially when substituting for saturated fats. Studies have shown that a sufficient intake of omega-3s, a type of polyunsaturated fat, can help prolong the life of a human by 2.2 years.  On the other hand, saturated fats are related to increasing the risk of cancer and obesity.  The dietary guidelines recommend limiting these fats to less than 10% of your total daily calories intake.
After establishing the importance of healthy fats, we will explore on what kind of foods provide such nutrition. Food sources that are rich in monounsaturated fats include olive oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, peanut oil, nuts, and seed.  You can find polyunsaturated fats in nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils. In SusPro Protein Bars, we incorporate high quality Non-GMO canola oil + a mixed of seeds in order to provide valuable healthy fats to our consumers.
Chang, Louise. (2007). The Skinny on Fat: Good Fats vs. Bad Fats. WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/diet/obesity/features/skinny-fat-good-fats-bad-fats#3
Harding, Anne. (2013). Good Fats, Bad Fats: How to Choose. Health Magazine. http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20477647,00.html/view-all
Amidor, Toby. (2015). 11 High- Fat Foods a Healthy Diet Should Always Include. Shape Magazine. http://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/meal-ideas/11-high-fat-foods-healthy-diet-should-always-include
Taylor, Katherine. (2013). Eating fish gives older adults an edge. Harvard Gazette. https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2013/04/eating-fish-gives-older-adults-an-edge/?utm_source=SilverpopMailing&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=04.02.13%2520%281%29
(2015). The truth about fats: the good, the bad, and the in between. Harvard Medical School. http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-truth-about-fats-bad-and-good
The information provided is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. This blog does not dispense medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. Always seek the advice of your physician or qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns about your health. This website may contain links to websites operated by other parties. Such links are provided for your convenience and reference only. Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Never disregard or delay seeking medical advice because of something you have heard or read in this article or the internet.
- Jul 17, 2017