There are three macronutrients required by humans: carbohydrates (sugar), lipids (fats), and proteins. Each of these macronutrients provides energy in the form of calories. Fat and carbs are the two primary sources and protein is secondary to fat and carbs energetically. When we eat carbs they are converted into glucose and fats are broken down into fatty acids within the liver and than further into ketone bodies. Ketones like glucose are energy molecules we metabolize in very specific ways that become ATP. ATP is a package of energy for the cell to encourage reactions at the level of mitochondria (energy organ of the cell). The form of energy comes from food we eat. This is why our diet is so powerful in health, treatment, and prevention of diseases. Carbs (glucose) cause more acidity, insulin resistance, and inflammation in the body; creating an environment for yeast, cancer cells, and disease processes to occur. Standard American Diet (SAD) beats up and causes inflammation in the liver- contributing to fatty infiltrates. SAD also causes plaque build up in heart and kidneys over time.
All chronic disease are now revealing to be caused by high inflammation due to the SAD, being heavy in carbohydrates, processed foods and vegetable oils. A ketogenic diet in and of itself is anti-inflammatory. Ketones in the body lower inflammation, thus it is difficult to develop a disease in low inflammatory state. Glucose requires insulin for the energy molecule to be taken up by the cell for energy ketones do not and this is why it has benefits toward preventing and improving insulin resistance. Mitochondrial dysfunction occurs with age and is associated with all chronic diseases- cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s/dementia etc. ketosis has implications towards protecting mitochondrial function. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process but if you are a sugar burner you won’t produce ketones, when body burns fat as its primary source of fuel over glucose you enter ketosis. High glucose is associated with pathologies and chronic inflammation. Therefore ketones are the cleaner and more superior source of energy over glucose. Ketones lower blood glucose by a few mechanisms- they enhance insulin sensitivity while decreasing insulin resistance since ketones do not need insulin to enter your cells, thus less insulin is released by the pancreas, over time this improves your insulin resistance. In summary why ketones are a better energy source:
- Do not require insulin
- Not stored or converted to fat they are water soluble=no accumulation, disposed via kidneys
- Used freely in the brain
- Produce more energy from ketones than sugar conserving oxygen while using energy unlike glucose