In recent times, many popular types of diets have focused on low-carbohydrate intake. These types of diet can take many forms including the Paleo or Ketogenic diet. But what are Ketones and how do the different versions of these diets compare?
Ketones are produced in the liver and are used as a fuel source for your nervous system in the absence of glucose (sugar or glycogen). Ketones are formed by breaking down fat. Getting your body into a state of ketosis is the aim of many fat loss diets, however looking at the chart below, many diets do not actually fall within the space of nutritional ketosis.
This graph shows how some common diets compare with regard to their relative composition of carbohydrate and protein.
Nutritional ketosis achieved with a low carb-high fat (LCHF) diet (aka Banting diet) would fall within the green zone below in terms of the measured level of ketones in the blood.
For some more information about low carbohydrate diets and nutritional ketosis, the following article presented by Professor Tim Noakes provides an excellent summary: