The ketogenic diet simulates many of the metabolic processes that our body undergoes in response to fasting. During the process of ketogenesis, fatty acids and ketogenic amino acids like lysine and leucine are converted into the ketone body acetoacetate. Acetoacetate is then converted into either beta-hydroxybutyrate or acetone.
Now that we know what ketones can do to help the body, let’s figure out why our bodies even have the ability to enter ketosis. From an evolutionary perspective, ketones are an absolutely necessary fuel alternative.
According to the American Diabetes Association, a person should check their ketone levels if their blood glucose levels are higher than 240 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl). Ketoacidosis occurs when the body produces dangerously high levels of ketones, and it is often a complication of type 1 diabetes. This change is responsible for some of the rapid – and usually very welcome! – weight loss that happens in the early stages of a keto diet. However, losing a lot of water and sodium is responsible for many of the unpleasant symptoms of keto flu.