On the ketogenic diet, carbohydrates are restricted and so cannot provide for all the metabolic needs of the body. Instead, fatty acids are used as the major source of fuel. These are used through fatty-acid oxidation in the cell's mitochondria (the energy-producing parts of the cell). Humans can convert some amino acids into glucose by a process called gluconeogenesis, but cannot do this by using fatty acids. Since amino acids are needed to make proteins, which are essential for growth and repair of body tissues, these cannot be used only to produce glucose. This could pose a problem for the brain, since it is normally fuelled solely by glucose, and most fatty acids do not cross the blood–brain barrier. However, the liver can use long-chain fatty acids to synthesise the three ketone bodies β-hydroxybutyrate, acetoacetate and acetone. These ketone bodies enter the brain and partially substitute for blood glucose as a source of energy.
Ultimately what it boils down to is that the best diet for you is the one you can stick to - and provides you all of your nutritional needs for a long and healthy life. There really is no one size fits all approach to healthy eating, and what works for one might not work for many others. So don’t feel the need to force something on yourself that just isn’t making you happy in the long run. Not to mention if it is making you feel out of whack, tired or just plain bad. Listen to your body and choose the diet option that meets your needs. And when it comes to making sure you are getting all the required nutrients, speak with your doctor and work with a dietitian.
Note: Are you a vegetarian or vegan and want to go on a ketogenic diet? It’s still possible! Just keep in mind that the dietary restrictions can sometimes be a little bit intense. Make sure to plan ahead and prepare to aid your success. To help out, we’ve published articles (with 7 day meal plans included) for both the vegetarian ketogenic diet and the vegan ketogenic diet.
Louise holds a Bachelors and Masters in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University (UK). She attended Columbia University for her JD and practiced law at Debevoise & Plimpton before co-founding Louise's Foods, Paleo Living Magazine, Nourishing Brands, & CoBionic. Louise has considerable research experience but enjoys creating products and articles that help move people just a little bit closer toward a healthy life they love. You can find her on Facebook or LinkedIn.
Keto pills use a powerful fat burning ketone, Beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), which has been modified to produce the same fat burning results as the actual keto diet. Taking the keto pill daily will allow the BHB to start the keto process in your body. Your body will go into ketosis with a simple pill instead of having to eat certain foods to change your body’s fuel source from carbs to ketones.