The Keto Diet Could Help You Shed Off Extra Pounds—But It May Be Riskier Than You Thought
The ketogenic diet, also known as keto diet or simply keto, is the latest weight loss diet craze that has been all the rage even with celebrities like actress Halle Berry and reality star Mama June. The keto has dieters cutting back on their carbs to just 50 grams a day—or even less. This is to help the body get into a state of ketosis, which means it burns fat instead of sugar for energy.
It can be useful to treat epilepsy, according to doctors. Although, it is still unclear why. It is said that something about being in a ketogenic state may help reduce the frequency of seizures. Based on animal studies, findings suggest that it may offer anti-aging, cancer-fighting, and anti-inflammatory benefits.
However, as a general weight loss plan, the keto diet is still considered controversial. Health experts have warned against it because of its unsustainable nature, health risks, and unpleasant side effects. Even proponents of the diet admit that it can instead harm your health if it’s not done the right way.
If you’re still considering getting into the diet, read up on these possible side-effects of keto that you definitely should know.
The So-Called “Keto Flu”
Nutritionist Kristen Kizer, KD, of the Houston Methodist Medical Center revealed that some keto dieters have reported that they felt sick when they started ketosis. The symptoms may sometimes include fatigue, lethargy, vomiting, and gastrointestinal distress.
Doctor of natural medicine and clinical nutritionist Josh Axe estimated that over 25% of the people who have tried keto has experienced the mentioned symptoms, with the most common one being fatigue.
When your body doesn’t have enough sugar to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. Making this transition can make your body tired for days. Minimize the effects of keto flu by drinking lots of water and getting enough sleep.
According to Axe, this side-effect may be due to an overwhelmed gallbladder, which produces bile to break down fat in the diet. Another cause is a lack of fiber in the diet, revealed Kizer. This happens to those who cut back carbs yet don’t supplement it with food rich in fiber like veggies.
Reduced Athletic Performance
Saint Louis University associate professor of nutrition and dietetics Edward Weiss, Ph.D. and his colleagues found in their recent study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness that athletes fared worse when it came to high-intensity cycling and running tasks after four days.
This is in comparison with those who spent four days in a high-carb diet. Since your body is in ketosis, it is left in a more acidic state, which can limit the ability to perform at your highest.
You probably shouldn’t go on a keto diet if you have type 1 or 2 diabetes; unless the doctor permitted it. Ketoacidosis is when you have too many ketones stored in your body. When left untreated, this can be fatal as it makes your blood become too acidic. Symptoms include frequent urination, bad breath, and breathing difficulties.
The keto diet’s restrictive nature makes it bad for a long-term plan. According to Axe, it’s optimal to use it between 30 to 90 days. But the issue with any fad diet is that it’s not sustainable. Since the recommended time duration can’t exceed 90 days, dieters may have to stop for a while. Therefore, increasing the chance of gaining back the weight they lost.
Loss of Muscle Mass, Decrease in Metabolism
Part of the diet is to eat more fat than protein, but you burn more calories when you build up your muscles. That will, in turn, affect your metabolism. Even if you regain the lost muscles, it won’t be the same again.
Higher Risk of Heart Disease and Diabetes
Going on a keto diet doesn’t mean that you have a pass on eating butter and bacon. Health experts have been wary about those who are on keto diet especially if they didn’t seek guidance from a doctor or nutritionist first. Doctors believe that high-fat diets like keto may increase cholesterol levels.
According to a study presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Munich, those who have the lowest-carb diets have the highest risk of dying from cardiovascular conditions, cancer, and cardiovascular conditions. Axe recommends maintaining a nutrient-rich diet.
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