Are ketones bad for you?

No. The words ‘ketones’ and ‘ketosis’ often get a negative reputation simply because they are confused with another word ‘ketoacidosis’. Ketoacidosis is a dangerous medical condition which is unrelated to the ‘nutritional ketosis’ experienced on the keto diet. Nutritional ketosis is a totally natural and normal process, but even medical professionals seem to get the terms confused, but they are NOT the same thing.

 

Ketoacidosis is a state of EXTREME ketone excess which is ONLY experienced by severe Type 1 Diabetics. Nutritional ketosis, on the other hand, is the process of converting fat into ketones to use for energy - and we all do this every night when we sleep, or when we embark on the keto diet.  

 

If you’re in nutritional ketosis, with low blood sugar levels, the level of ketones in your body will be safe. The crucial difference is that blood sugar levels are very LOW, that’s how you got into ketosis in the first place.

 

However, severe Type 1 diabetics lack the hormonal control provided by insulin, as their pancreas has stopped producing it. When their ketone levels become very high (3 - 5 times higher than in nutritional ketosis) combined with HIGH blood sugar levels, this can lead to ketoacidosis, which IS dangerous. But, this is a rare side effect for poorly managed (Type 1) diabetics and impossible for a non-diabetic person following a ketogenic diet. You can trust your body to produce levels of ketones which are safe.


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