Why you shouldn’t be afraid of protein on a keto diet

A lot of people freak out about protein when following a ketogenic diet. There is an idea that eating a high, or even moderate protein diet, will result in large amounts of glucose creation from amino acids in protein (gluconeogenesis). However, this idea is unfounded and there are significant benefits from increasing your protein intake. What is ketosis? Ketogenic diets are those that elicit the state of ‘ketosis’. This state of ketosis refers to the production of ketone bodies, derived from fats (and some amino acids) for use as an alternative fuel in times of fasting or drastic carbohydrate restriction. When glycogen reserves become insufficient to supply glucose to the Central Nervous System (CNS), an alternative fuel source is needed. Ketones, especially beta-hydroxybutyrate (BOHB) provide this fuel, which can be used by the brain and CNS, and by most tissue (including muscle tissue) throughout the body. What are ketogenic diets? The ketogenic diet itself is a form of LCHF diet that is very low in carbohydrate, low-to-high in protein and moderate-to-high in fat. It is often termed a ‘very low carbohydrate ketogenic diet’ (VLCKD). Keto diets are characterised by the expression of ketone bodies in the blood, breath, and urine. This expression of ketones is a ‘functional’ nutritional ketosis (NK) and this nutritional ketosis is usually defined by levels of ketones (specifically BOHB) in the blood of > 0.5 mmol/L. What’s ‘Gluconeogenesis’ Gluco = sugar, neo = new, genesis = creation. So, gluconeogenesis is the creation of glucose within the…