CNB News – A ketogenic diet is a low-carb diet. The idea is for you to get more calories from protein and fat and less from carbohydrates. You cut back most on the carbs that are easy to digest, like sugar, soda, pastries, and white bread. It’s important to note that the ketogenic diet is a short term diet that’s focused on weight loss rather than the pursuit of health benefits.
People use a ketogenic diet most often to lose weight, but it can help manage certain medical conditions, like epilepsy, too. It also may help people with heart disease, certain brain diseases, and even acne, but there needs to be more research in those areas.
However, keto is more controversial. Some health experts warn against it entirely, stating unpleasant side effects, health risks, and the diet’s unsustainable nature. Even many keto proponents admit that, if the diet’s not done “the right way,”; in moderation, it can be the opposite of healthy.
There are a few things you should know about the ketogenic diet before you try it as a weight loss diet. Yes, you might drop pounds, but you should also watch out for the following side effects or complications.
If you find yourself running to the bathroom more often while on a ketogenic diet, a quick internet search will show you that you’re not alone. (Yes, people are tweeting about keto diarrhea.) This may be due to the gallbladder, the organ that produces bile to help break down fat in the diet, feeling “overwhelmed. It can also be due to a lack of fiber in the diet, which can happen when someone cuts way back on carbs (like bread and pasta) and doesn’t supplement with other fiber-rich foods, like vegetables. It can also be caused by an intolerance to dairy or artificial sweeteners; things you might be eating more of since switching to a high-fat, low-carb lifestyle.
If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, you shouldn’t follow the keto diet unless you have your doctor’s permission and close supervision. Ketosis can be helpful for people who have hyperglycemia issues, but you have to be very mindful of your blood sugar and check your glucose levels several times a day.
That’s because, for people with diabetes, ketosis can trigger a dangerous condition called ketoacidosis. This occurs when the body stores up too many ketones—acids produced as a byproduct of burning fat—and the blood becomes too acidic, which can damage the liver, kidneys, and brain. Left untreated, it can be fatal.
Ketoacidosis has also been reported in people without diabetes who were following low-carb diets, although this complication is quite rare. Symptoms of ketoacidosis include a dry mouth, frequent urination, nausea, bad breath, and breathing difficulties; if you experience these while following the keto diet, check in with a doctor right away.
Because the keto diet is so restrictive, health experts say it’s not an appropriate diet to follow long-term, but the problem with that is that most people will regain a lot of the weight they lost as soon as they go back on carbs. These types of back-and-forth weight fluctuations. can contribute to disordered eating, or can worsen an already unhealthy relationship with food.
Less muscle mass, decreased metabolism
Another consequence of keto-related weight changes can be a loss of muscle mass, especially if you’re eating much more fat than protein. When a person goes off the ketogenic diet and regains much of their original weight, it’s often not in the same proportions: Instead of regaining lean muscle, you’re likely to regain fat which can have lasting effects on your resting metabolic rate and your weight long-term.
Increased risk of heart disease and diabetes
When done right, the ketogenic diet includes lots of vegetables and lean sources of animal protein. In other words, it’s not an excuse to eat butter and bacon—although some people may try to do just that. That’s why many health experts are concerned about people on the keto diet, especially those who try it without the guidance of a doctor or nutritionist. Doctors say that high-fat diets like this one may raise cholesterol levels, and some studies suggest that they increase the risk of diabetes. Some have even called it a “cardiologist’s nightmare.”
A study suggested that people on the lowest-carb diets had the highest risk of dying from cancer, cardiovascular conditions, and all other causes. Another study, also found that people who followed diets that were low in carbs and high in animal proteins had a higher risk of early death compared to those who consumed carbs in moderation.
It is essential to follow a nutrient-rich keto diet with lots of vegetables, herbs, spices and plant-based sources of fat and protein too. Failure to do this promotes diseases in the body.