Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: Transition to a Low-Carb Life

Néstor Sánchez

Experto en Psiconeuroinmunología Clínica @nestorregenera


Many people face the new year with the resolution of having a healthier diet, and more and more people are discovering the benefits of a sugar-free diet, low in carbohydrates, and rich in proteins and healthy fats. At the beginning of this process is when the most doubts arise and it is essential to resolve them to keep in mind at all times why it is beneficial for the body to make this change in diet, to get rid of sugar and start using fat as a source of energy.

Our metabolism under a diet rich in carbohydrates

One of the main ideas that must be emphasized is that our metabolism is atrophied with a traditional diet based on the nutritional pyramid that has always been instilled in us. There are mainly three factors for this.

On the one hand, the products located at the base of the pyramid, cereals, have a significant inflammatory potential: it is common for the immune system to react to several of the proteins present in these foods, generating inflammation. And inflammation disorganizes the metabolism, altering insulin sensitivity and preventing the use of fat as an energy substrate. On the other hand, the recommendation to eat five times a day profoundly affects the metabolism. The body is not always equally prepared to manage an intake, but rather it reserves times of the day where it anticipates that food will arrive and times where it recovers from digestion and allocates resources to other bodily functions.

In short, it has been shown that eating five times a day and generating eating windows of more than 10-12 hours from the first to the last meal seriously harms our circadian rhythm. Furthermore, the mere fact of eating so many times and constantly maintaining high insulin levels restricts the body's ability to use fat as an energy substrate. Finally, there has also been insistence on the idea that fat is harmful to health per se , without distinction in the type of fat, which has also ended up being profoundly harmful to our metabolism.

What happens to the body when we reduce carbohydrate intake?

The body has very little capacity to store carbohydrates, while it is highly capable of storing fats, so the mere arrival of carbohydrates through food conditions the body's use of its energy substrate. It's not that carbohydrates are more efficient, which they are not, but that the body cannot store them well. When we restrict carbs, we free up the ability to use the 165 thousand kcal reserve that all human beings have in our stores. In turn, the liver produces an optimal energy substrate for the most important organs in the hierarchy of vital priorities. In this way, organs such as the brain and heart receive an important energy resource that not only provides them with energy, but also stimulates regenerative and anti-inflammatory processes.

The benefits of entering ketosis

The main benefits that our body will notice when entering ketosis, and those with the most evidence, are the regulation of hunger and satiety; mental clarity; the recovery of metabolic flexibility, insulin sensitivity and weight loss linked to these changes; antiaging effects linked to the conservation of NAD+ and the lower production of free radicals, and the anti-inflammatory stimulus.

For what type of people is a low-carb diet beneficial?

The keto diet is prescribed to treat metabolic disorders, weight problems and problems associated with neuroinflammation, as well as to some athletes or as a stimulant of certain regenerative processes and as a preparation for therapeutic fasting.

The keto flu: what to expect in the first days of changing your diet

Those who are new to this diet sometimes notice a lack of energy the first few days. This is because of what is known as keto flu, the set of symptoms that usually appear on the third or fourth day of starting the keto diet and that give a sensation similar to the flu. The main symptoms are fatigue, headache, irritability, difficulty concentrating (brain fog), lack of motivation, dizziness, sugar cravings, nausea and muscle cramps.

This clinical picture has always been associated with the problems derived from the transition from the use of glucose to the use of fat, as well as the sudden loss of minerals in the first days of starting the diet. But currently a third factor is also associated with it that explains the flu-like sensation: the increase in fat typical of the keto diet can lead to an increase in the transfer of remains of bacteria from people's microbiota to the interior of the body. This situation leads the immune system to activate, generating flu-like symptoms. Some ways to prevent or remedy it are the incorporation of intermittent fasting and movement to facilitate the use of fat as an energy substrate, the incorporation of a multimineral supplement into the diet, and the use of supplements that help prevent the transfer of bacterial residues to for the body to adapt to this new situation. The most recognized for this effect are lactoferrin or bacillus coagulans.

Hair loss, high cholesterol and other problems associated with the keto diet

There are those who notice that their hair falls out a little more when they start this type of diet. Again, this is due to the loss of minerals typical of the first days of the diet change. But it must be taken into account that this is a diet that can bring out silent disorders, so it is advisable to check the state of the thyroid in case this drop appears and is not reversed within a few days or with consumption. of a multimineral.

On the other hand, it is common for there to be those who decide to stop the diet when they see that it has caused an increase in their cholesterol levels, but we must keep in mind that the main objective of a low carb diet is for the body to use fat as energy substrate. In order to get fat to the tissues we must transport it: if we use more, we transport more. This explains why at first an increase in blood lipids is observed; Over time, since the body uses fatty acids better and better, these values ​​tend to normalize.

There are also those who have read something about ketoacidosis and fear that it could happen to them if they start a keto diet. But the truth is that to generate acidosis using a mild acid such as ketone bodies, a massive release of ketone bodies is required, which is only observed in the absolute inability to use glucose normally at extremely low insulin levels typical of diabetes. In other words, it is practically impossible to cause ketoacidosis simply with a low carb diet.

And finally, another question that usually arises for those who want to start a low carb diet is the suitability of using exogenous ketones that are sold on many websites. Simply put, it is best to avoid them. Beyond cases that have to do with sports performance, it makes little sense that instead of generating the context for the body to manufacture its own ketones (which is the same context for it to use them properly) we supplement them.

Read more

Ritmos circadianos. Pon tu reloj en hora

Cardiac rhtyms. Set your clock

Circadian rhythms are the changes that occur at the behavioral, physical and mental level in time periods of approximately 24 hours and are mainly related to light and dark cycles. They affect huma...

Read more
Menú para la vuelta a la rutina

Menu for the return to routine

The new year arrives and with it the lists of resolutions. What if you join the gym, write a diary, meditate 10 minutes a day, go on a diet... The truth is that we can't help you with all that...

Read more