Health experts are concerned about the side effects and complications of the low-carb, high-fat diet.
The ketogenic diet, also known as the “keto diet” or simply “keto”, is a popular weight loss plan. It has been promoted by celebrities such as Halle Berry and Kourtney Kardashian. To achieve ketosis, the body must cut back on carbs to 50g per day or less.
Doctors believe that the ketogenic diet is effective in treating epilepsy. While it is not clear why something about the ketogenic state seems to reduce seizures’ frequency.
In Frontiers in Nutrition, a July 2021 review confirmed that ketogenic diets can reduce seizure frequency in people with drug-resistant epilepsy. It also helps to lose weight. The review notes that there is not enough data to prove that this diet is safe long-term.
Keto is not a popular diet for weight loss. Many health experts caution against keto, citing side effects, unsustainable nature, and health risks. Even keto diet advocates admit that it is possible to be unhealthy if the diet is not followed correctly.
Before you decide to try the ketogenic diet for weight loss, here are some things you need to know. While you may lose weight, be aware of the possible side effects and complications.
In This Article
The “Keto Flu.”
“Some people report feeling sick when they begin ketosis,” stated Kristen Kizer RD, a dietician from SportsTec Clinic in Kingston. There can be vomiting, stomach distress, fatigue, lethargy, and sometimes even diarrhea. Kizer said that the so-called flu generally passes within a few days.
Josh Axe is a doctor in natural medicine and clinical nutritionist. He estimates that 25% of people who follow a ketogenic diet experience these symptoms. The most common being fatigue. Axe explained that this happens when your body runs out of sugar to use for energy and must start using fat. This alone can make you feel tired for several days.
Drinking lots of water and sleeping well may help to reduce the symptoms of keto flu. Axe sells keto-related products on his website. He also suggests consuming natural energy sources like matcha green tea, organic espresso, and adaptogenic herbs (herbs that may help you deal with stress or fatigue).
Heart and kidney damage
The body may become dehydrated due to increased urination and a lack of fluid. This can cause a loss in electrolytes like sodium, magnesium, and potassium. Acute kidney injury can result.
She said that dehydration can cause lightheadedness, kidney injury, or kidney stones.
Rahnama said that this could put the dieter at high risk for cardiac arrhythmia. Electrolytes are essential for a normal heartbeat.
She said that electrolyte deficiencies can lead to serious problems and could even cause a fatal heart rhythm.
A quick internet search will reveal that ketogenic diets can cause you to go to the toilet more often than you would like. People are also tweeting about keto diarrhea. Axe said that this could be because of the gallbladder, which is the organ that produces bile in order to break down fats in the diet.
Kizer said that diarrhea can also occur due to a deficiency in fiber from the keto diet. This can happen when someone reduces carb intake (like whole-grain bread or pasta) and does not supplement with fiber-rich foods like vegetables. You might also have an intolerance or intolerance to artificial sweeteners, which can be caused by a change in your diet to low-fat and high-carb.
Yo-yo dieting patterns
Yo-yo dieting can also be a result of the keto diet. People have trouble sticking to a restrictive diet for long periods.
Other side effects can also be caused by this substance.
The keto diet has not been studied for long periods of time. This could be due to its difficulty in following and people don’t stay on it long enough.
Sharon Palmer, a California dietitian, said that if you try to go keto and feel like you’re going crazy, it can lead to weight fluctuations and an increased risk of dying.
Sports Performance is reduced
The ketogenic diet is popular among athletes for its ability to help them lose weight and improve their performance. Edward Weiss PhD is an associate professor of nutrition, dietetics, and sports medicine at Saint Louis University. He doesn’t believe it. I hear cyclists say that they are faster and more efficient when they follow the keto diet. My first question is “Well, how much weight have you lost?” said Weiss.
A 2018 study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness found that participants who had been on a ketogenic diet for four days performed worse when they tried to run and cycle at high intensity. This was compared with those who were on a high-carbohydrate diet for four days. Weiss claims that ketosis causes the body to be more acidic, which could limit its ability to perform at its peak.
Weiss continued, “Just losing a few kilos is enough to give you an advantage on the bicycle. But I am concerned that people attribute the weight loss to a specific diet in ketogenic.” “In reality, weight loss can be at least partially offset by performance reductions.”
Side effects include fatigue, constipation, and irregular menstrual cycles.
There are also other effects that have not been studied. This is due to the difficulty of tracking dieters over time to determine the long-term effects of an eating plan.
Palmer stated that “we don’t know the effects on blood cholesterol for certain, some studies show increases while others show decreases but we don’t know the long-term results because there isn’t enough research.”
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Experts say the keto diet is too restrictive and should not be followed long-term. Even Axe suggested that the keto diet should be followed for between 30 and 90 days. Then, he recommended a more sustainable diet plan. Kizer said that many people will gain a lot of their weight back if they stop eating carbs.
Kizer said that while it is a problem with all fad diets, ketosis seems to be more common. “When people tell me they want to do ketosis because they lost weight with their friends, I tell them: “Just watch, I almost guarantee they’ll gain it back.”
These weight fluctuations could lead to disordered or unhealthy eating habits, according to Kizer. Kizer stated that the keto diet is a good choice for people with issues with eating portions and binging. “In many cases, they will need a lifestyle coach or professional counselor to help them understand the root causes of their problems.”
She explained that there is concern among health professionals that high levels of unhealthy fats could have a long-lasting negative effect. In the short term, weight loss can sometimes confuse data. This is because people who are overweight often lose more weight and have higher blood lipids or blood glucose levels.
You can also avoid certain fruits, vegetables, and grains that are considered healthy, such as legumes, beans, potatoes, and grains. People who do not eat these foods may miss out on certain vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals. This can have serious long-term health consequences, including bone loss and an increased risk for chronic diseases.
Palmer stated that there are hundreds of studies showing that whole-plant foods have a lower risk of developing diseases such as osteoporosis and Alzheimer’s disease. Do people really want to put their long-term health at risk just to lose weight faster?
Weakened Metabolism, Less Muscle Mass
Kizer said that another consequence of keto-related weight loss can be the loss of muscle mass. This is especially true if you eat more fat than protein. Kizer stated that although you will lose weight, it could be too much muscle. “Muscle burns more calories than fat so this can affect your metabolism.”
Kizer said that even though a person may lose weight after following the ketogenic diet, they are likely to gain more fat.
Kizer explained that although you are back to your original weight, you don’t have the muscle mass you used to burn calories. This can have a lasting effect on your metabolism rate and your long-term weight.
Diabetes and Heart Disease are at higher risk
Axe stated that the keto diet is good for you if it’s done correctly. It’s not a reason to eat bacon and butter, although some may attempt to do so.
Many health professionals are concerned about those following the ketogenic diet without consulting a nutritionist or doctor. High-fat diets such as this can raise cholesterol levels. The July 2021 review noted that these diets can cause dramatic increases in LDL-C, which is the “bad” type of cholesterol.
Some even call the ketogenic diet “cardiologist’s nightmare.”
The keto diet is not just for those with heart problems. According to a study published in the Journal of Physiology in August 2018, these diets may increase your risk of developing diabetes.
A second study, published in the European Heart Journal in April 2019, found that although a low-carb diet can help improve body weight and blood pressure in the short term, it is associated with a higher risk of stroke, heart disease, and cancer in the long term.
In a study published in August 2018, it was found that those who ate low carbs and high amounts of animal proteins (typically the keto diet) were at greater risk of death than those who ate moderate amounts of carbs. However, the opposite was true for low-carb diets that included plant-based protein over meat.
“Regardless of whether you’re in the keto or vegan camps, everyone agrees that we want a nutrient-rich diet.” Axe said: “Lots and lots of vegetables, herbs, and spices, as well as plant-based sources for fat and protein.
Axe stated, “If you don’t do that, you’re promoting diseases in the body. It’s that simple.” This is true, even if you lose weight at the beginning. Axe said, “If you are only going to eat bacon and butter,” he suggested, “I would rather you not do any keto diet whatsoever.”
The keto diet is for everyone.
Rahnama said that not all patients are suitable candidates for the keto diet. This is especially true for those who have chronic conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure.
She also mentioned that the diet can cause such a drastic change in many people’s metabolisms that it may even affect the effectiveness of their medication.
Due to the keto diet, patients must be assessed and monitored by a doctor. Patients may have to adjust their daily medication or start electrolyte supplements. It is smart to consult your doctor before you start.
Are you ready to go with the keto diet? Before you begin the keto diet, you’ll need to increase your water intake.
“Some patients may require sodium supplementation, provided they don’t have high blood pressure. Rahnama stated that some patients may need to take prescription potassium supplementation. She also said that all patients who are on the keto diet should be taking a magnesium supplement. This electrolyte is safe and can be taken without overdosing. If they are still having problems with their hydration, she suggested that keto dieters increase their carb intake.
Rahnama stated that Keto is not a good long-term diet because it is not balanced. “A diet devoid of fruits and vegetables can lead to long-term micronutrient deficiencies which could have other negative consequences.”
As long as the patient’s medical supervision is maintained, the keto diet can be used to temporarily lose fat. Rahnama stated that the keto diet is not meant to be a permanent weight loss solution or maintenance.
She said that the keto diet was a great way to lose weight quickly, provided it is safe.
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