The ketogenic ratio is an equation used in keto diet planning, which allows you to calculate the ketone production potential of a given meal based on the ketogenic effect of various macronutrients.
When we ask ourselves how many variants of the ketogenic diet exist, the answer is closely connected to this relationship, as its result relates to the different dietary needs, as well as to the related keto plans. Yeah, but how does it work? This is exactly what we want to explain to you in this article.
Ready? Let's start!
What is meant by ketogenic ratio
Therefore, as we have said, the KR or K-ratio is based on the relationship between the ketogenic and anti-ketogenic effect of the different macronutrients. More specifically we have:
(90% fat) + (46% protein) / (100% carbohydrate) + (10% fat) + (56% protein)
The first thing that catches the eye, therefore, is that in the calculation of the ketogenic ratio, proteins are considered only partially ketogenic. This is because while some amino acids can be converted into ketones, others are converted into glucose. For their part, carbohydrates are 100% anti-ketogenic, while fats on the contrary tend to be almost completely ketogenic.
Classic ketogenic diet and incidence of the ketogenic ratio
We know that there are numerous types of ketogenic diet, and we have said that the ratio varies with them and according to the needs of the person. However, with specific reference to the ketogenic ratio, it is possible to provide general information that moves from the classic keto diet and can be generally applied - cum grano salis, obviously, also to the others -.
Basically, the mistake not to make is to search the net for "ketogenic ratio formula" and then apply it to your diet. What has generally been found, in fact, is that the application of the ketogenic ratio alone, without any other criterion, tends to unbalance the intake of fats and proteins, with the result of having a diet that will either be too low in proteins, or too high in fat.
The second general observation is that the benefits of the ketogenic diet are lost when protein intake is undersized. It is therefore necessary to always keep it at least within the range of 0.9 grams per kilo of weight by eating the right ketogenic foods. When protein intake is appropriate, so is the ketosis performs its function more effectively.
Finally, the third is that ketosis itself should not assume excessive importance in the nutritional program. It is one of the means by which weight loss is achieved, and it is certainly an effect that is obtained through a certain balance of fats, proteins and carbohydrates. However, both in terms of controlling the sense of hunger and in terms of the effects on the body, what we need to focus on is the introduction of the right nutrients.
The Ketogenic Ratio: Burning Fat with Ketosis
It is important to evaluate the ketogenic ratio in terms of reducing body fat. Understanding how ketosis relates to fat metabolism allows you to follow your keto diet more consciously. In general, we tend to say that ketosis burns fat. In reality it is a more complex relationship, which touches on the oxidation of fats, the release of fatty acids that are released into the cells in large quantities, and the fact that part of them is converted into ketones by the liver.
Ketosis, therefore, is not what allows us to burn fat, but rather the indicator that this is happening, its consequence. So we need to look at the ketone count as a gauge of how well our keto diet is doing.
How to check your ketosis status
We have identified the correct way to calculate the ketogenic ratio, and how to exploit this very useful resource to plan, with the necessary adjustments, a keto food program. We have also said that ketosis can be defined as a telltale index of fat oxidation and, therefore, of the fact that our body is burning fat.
Yeah, but how do we know if we're in ketosis?
There are several ketone-detection tools on the market today, which can be divided into two categories: urine-based tests and blood tests. The former are usually sticks that change color to indicate the concentration of ketones in the urine, or even simply their presence.
However, the concentration of ketones in your urine is an indirect indicator of the state of ketosis that is (or is not) occurring in your body. In fact, ketosis is determined at the level of blood concentration. Instead, the presence of ketones in the urine is only a consequence of their presence in the blood. Simply put, the presence in the urine is secondary.
However, this is good news. If you're using urine tests — more convenient than blood tests, and which can be done conveniently at home — a negative result isn't necessarily indicative of a lack of ketones. Simply put, the correct way to read urine tests is to assume positive results are valid. But don't be discouraged by negative results because they don't necessarily indicate that you are not in ketosis. Good news, right?
Why this? Because if ketones are present in the urine, they will certainly be present in the blood as well. While the absence of ketones in the urine simply indicates that the body is not secreting them, or is not secreting them in sufficient quantities to affect your test.
The level of ketones in the blood
The concentration of ketones in the blood, in a nutshell, can only be detected through blood tests. And while urine test sticks are extremely convenient, there are people who should rely on blood testing alone.
Among these, certainly sportsmen, lean and very active people, who tend to produce fewer ketones. Again: people who drink a lot, as a large intake of water tends to affect the concentration of ketones in the urine and therefore their measurability. These subjects, therefore, should not rely on urine testing but only perform blood tests.
As we have said, however, what we really need to focus on is the correct intake of macronutrients, with the help of the ketogenic ratio to which to apply the adaptations we have discussed, so as to obtain effective weight loss.