Ketones are chemicals produced by the liver when the body breaks down fat. They serve as a source of fuel for tissues of the heart, brain, and muscle. It is normal to find a small number of ketones in all mammals, including humans. However, if there is not enough sugar to meet the body’s energy needs, it will break down fat instead and produce a higher number of ketones.
Most people have heard of ketones because of the popularity of the ketogenic diet. This style of eating requires people to follow a high-fat and low-carb eating plan.
Eating only a very small amount of carbohydrates encourages the body to switch to burning fat for fuel, producing excess ketones and inducing a state called ketosis. Most keto diets recommend consuming about 90% of the days’ calories as fat.
The keto diet hasn’t undergone long-term studies for effectiveness with weight loss, but it is proven to reduce the frequency of seizures in some epileptic children and adults.
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