For an individual following a pattern of eating that contains an intake of more than 70g of carbohydrates per day, the body breaks down these carbohydrates into glucose and uses them as an energy source. Glucose is the bodies preferred source of energy, so if enough is available in the blood, it will be used as the primary fuel source to support metabolic functions.
When we significantly reduce our daily intake of carbohydrates between 50-70g, the body must find an alternative nutrient to use for energy. As we know, the body LOVES carbohydrates and will burn whatever it can find, so not only will it burn the glucose that is found in the blood, but it looks for stored glucose (also called glycogen) that is prominent in the muscles and the liver.
Once we have used up all of our carbohydrate stores, the body will start to break down fat. When the body breaks down fat, ketone bodies are produced which are then used as our primary energy source. The body is now in a state of ketosis. When the body goes from a fed to fasted state, the liver swaps from utilizing carbohydrates to producing ketones, which promotes a complete shift in metabolism. What we call the ‘FAT-ADAPT’!
Traditionally, ketogenic states occur when the body is starved or fasted. When our metabolism experiences a shift in fuel sources, we reap a range of benefits for our total health and well-being as a result of a complete ‘reset’. A lot of problems with our metabolism are related to a fat-storage hormone we call ‘Insulin’, which is secreted from the pancreas to move glucose from the blood into the cells for energy.
Lowering our daily intake of carbohydrates allows us to avoid constant spikes of insulin which may reduce our risk of a range of metabolic conditions such as insulin resistance, diabetes, fatty liver and high cholesterol.