What is a ketogenic diet?

A ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate diet. With a ketogenic diet you eat very few carbohydrates. You follow a ketogenic diet for weight loss or as part of the treatment of certain illnesses such as epilepsy.

How does the ketogenic diet work?

Carbohydrates are an important source of energy for the body. When you eat carbohydrates, your body breaks it down into glucose. Glucose provides your body with fuel that you need to move and breathe, for example. Your body can store a supply of glucose as glycogen in your liver. Your body uses this supply when the amount of glucose in your blood decreases.

With a ketogenic diet you eat very few carbohydrates. As a result, there is little glucose in your blood. The glycogen stock in your liver is used. This is running out and is no longer being replenished. To still have enough fuel, your body switches to fatty acid combustion. By burning fatty acids, “ketones” or “ketone bodies” are created. Your body can use ketones for fuel instead of glucose. Ketones make the blood more acidic. The body enters ‘ketosis’ by following a ketogenic diet.