Risks Associated With Keto
Neal Barnard, MD, FACC, an adjunct professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and a co-author of the study, tells Verywell that keto diets contain the types of foods that are associated with cancer risks.
A keto diet emphasizes the consumption of animal products while limiting many nutrient-rich vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. As a result, keto is low in many vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Restricting carbohydrates prior to or duringpregnancy is linked with increased risks of birth defects and gestational diabetes, the researchers found. Since 40% of pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, a low-carbohydrate diet is considered risky for anyone who could become pregnant.
Barnard adds that most human beings are prone to risks associated with a highly restrictive keto diet. If a cat eats meat every day for the cats whole life, shell never get a heart attack, he says. If you eat meat for a week, your cholesterol levels are going to go up in many cases and you may get heart disease.
What About The Other Diets
The popular low-carb diets modify a true keto diet. But they come with the same risks if you overdo it on fats and proteins and lay off the carbs. So why do people follow the diets? “They’re everywhere, and people hear anecdotally that they work,” McManus says. Theories about short-term low-carb diet success include lower appetite because fat burns slower than carbs. “But again, we don’t know about the long term,” she says. “And eating a restrictive diet, no matter what the plan, is difficult to sustain. Once you resume a normal diet, the weight will likely return.”
Side Effects Of Keto Diet
Several things can happen when on a keto diet that can be unappealing.
An early onset side effect of the keto diet is called the keto flu. This can include low energy, brain fog and headaches.
For many people, constipation can be a common side effect due to the restriction of carbohydrates. While low-carbohydrate vegetables are a part of a ketogenic diet, many tend to lean towards including more fats like butter and bacon.
Other side effects that can occur from a ketogenic diet include
The diet focuses on high-fat foods and severely restricts the intake of carbohydrate foods, such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and dairy. Therefore, there is a higher risk for nutritional deficiencies.
Fat-soluble vitamins A and E along with magnesium were also found to be decreased in children following the therapeutic ketogenic diet.
Calcium can also be a problem with the keto diet and kidney disease. The fat sources can lead to metabolic acidosis, which can trigger higher calcium losses in urine. Subsequently, this is why kidney stones can be more prevalent in a keto diet.
To prevent micronutrient deficiencies while following a keto diet for kidney disease, its important to discuss with your dietitian to assess for the appropriate supplement plan.
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Is The Keto Diet For Everyone
Not all patients are appropriate candidates for the keto diet, especially those with chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or other conditions that may be the result of a previous diet, Rahnama noted.
She also pointed out that this diet can result in such a big change for many peoples metabolic and other bodily systems, that adhering to the diet may even change the effectiveness of a persons medication.
Patients need to be evaluated and monitored by a physician when they start a keto diet due to the level of dietary restriction. They may need to begin electrolyte supplementation or change any daily medication dosages they take. Talking to your doctor before you begin is a smart idea.
Got the keto diet go-ahead? Youll want to boost your water intake before you start.
Some patients may need to supplement with sodium, as long as they do not have blood pressure issues. Some may even need prescription potassium supplementation, Rahnama said, adding that she begins all keto diet patients on a magnesium supplement, as its an electrolyte that can be taken with low risk of overdose. She also said keto dieters may have to up their carb intake if they have continued issues with hydration.
Keto is not a great long-term diet, as it is not a balanced diet, Rahnama said. A diet that is devoid of fruit and vegetables will result in long-term micronutrient deficiencies that can have other consequences.
About Sudip Ghimire Md
Sudip Ghimire, MD, is a fellowship trained nephrologist in Newport News, VA with nearly 20 years of experience in the field. He joined TPMG Nephrology in Newport News in 2020. Dr. Ghimire provides kidney disease care for adults from 18 years of age and older. He treats a broad range of conditions related to the kidneys such as acute kidney injury, chronic kidney disease, hypertension, glomerulonephritis, electrolyte disorder, metabolic management of kidney stones, peritoneal dialysis, hemodialysis, and dialysis-related care. His medical interests include electrolyte disorder, bone mineral disease, and hypertension.
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Foods Allowed On The Keto Diet
The ketogenic diet is one of the more restrictive diets as it eliminates a carbohydrates, the main source of energy.
Examples of foods that are commonly found in a keto diet include
- Low-carb veggies
Most people who say they follow a ketogenic diet are likely not in true ketosis. That requires at least 2 days but up to weeks of following a strict diet just to use up the glucose stores and enter the process of ketogenesis.
In other words, there can be no such thing as a cheat day on a keto diet. In those cases, the diet is likely more of a low-carb, moderate to high-protein and/or high fat diet.
Saturated Fat Is Beneficial Not Harmful
For several years, the official dietary recommendations have blamed saturated fat for increased risk of heart disease and mortality.
Thats why many people think the heavy meat consumption on the ketogenic diet is bad for your heart and kidneys. We have been led to believe that red meat and other fatty meat products would damage our organs.
Research now proves this is false.
Studies have shown unprocessed meat doesnt significantly increase the risk of cardiovascular disease only processed meat is harmful.
Processed meats which we dont recommend on keto lead to a 70% increase in the risk of heart disease. So as long as you stick to grass fed meat, your heart will be healthy.
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Keto Diet Side Effect #1: Reduced Alcohol Tolerance
Is decreased alcohol tolerance a good thing or a bad thing?
That probably depends on who you ask. Regardless, many people who follow the keto diet notice that their alcohol tolerance becomes much lower, and that they can have more severe hangovers.
People who needed two-three drinks to feel a buzz might only need one or two when on keto. Some experts believe that the liver loses its ability to process alcohol when its busy producing ketones and/or loses its ability to produce ketones when its processing alcohol.
The Ketogenic Diet Can Improve Kidney Function In Diabetics
Diabetic nephropathy is a condition that occurs as a result of damaged kidneys due to diabetes. It is characterized damage to your glomeruli, the small units within the kidney where blood is filtered.
In short, diabetic nephropathy means your kidneys arent able to filter your blood properly.
Studies have shown that a properly formulated ketogenic diet can help reverse diabetic nephropathy.
Keto can improve this condition due to two main reasons:
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Keto Diet Side Effect #: Lower Energy Levels
Transitioning from carb-burning to fat-burning can also result in temporarily low energy levels.
Thankfully, this side effect of keto flu doesnt stick around long. It just indicates that your body is only beginning to produce enough ketones to fuel the metabolic processes it once used glucose for.
What You Need To Know About A Low
First, well look at what our kidneys do and how they can get damaged.
Then, we will examine the research on low-carb diets for the average low-carb eater with healthy kidneys. We will evaluate the two biggest concerns most potential low-carbers have:
Our last section will evaluate the evidence about the safety of low-carb diets for those with a confirmed diagnosis of either mild or advanced kidney disease.
Feel free to use the linked outline above to skip to the section most relevant to your health history.
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Protein And Normally Functioning Kidneys
Why is dietary protein intake sometimes raised as a concern for kidney health? Well, when kidneys are damaged one of the first signs is protein leaking out of the kidney and appearing in the urine. This condition is called proteinuria and it shows that the kidneys filtering system is malfunctioning.
Because of this, some hypothesize that eating too much protein might stress the kidneys and cause proteinuria and kidney damage. And, because people associate low-carb diets with high-protein, this leads some to wonder if low-carb diets lead to proteinuria.
Of course, a well-formulated ketogenic diet is typically not high in protein. Even low-carb diets that arent ketogenic do not necessarily equate with eating large amounts of protein. At Diet Doctor, we recommend most people eat 1.2 2.0 grams of protein for each kilogram of desired body weight which is moderate or adequate protein consumption.
This guide about protein gives lots of examples of what that moderate level of protein could look like in a typical day of eating a low-carb diet:
For the average person on a low-carb diet, there is probably no reason to worry the most credible research available shows that low-carb diets are not associated with kidney damage.7
Your Eating Behaviors Could Change
Removing carbs can make the cerebrum discharge a substance called neuropeptide-Y , which tells the body that we need carbs when we dont get those starches our body needs, this compound develops and can strengthen longings, which can build the danger of creating confused eating designs like voraciously consuming food, says Iu. It has nothing to do with not having enough self-control, its more to do with the bodys natural reaction to hardship, she says.
The keto diet is famous for conveying a snappy introductory thin down. That is on the grounds that carbs clutch more water than protein or fat, says Becky Kerkenbush, R.D., a clinical dietitian at Watertown Regional Medical Center. So when you quit eating them, so much excess H2O gets delivered through pee. Accordingly, the scale may peruse a couple of pounds lower, and you may look a piece less fatty.
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Dangerous Side Effects Of A Keto Diet
- 9 minute read
The keto diet is trending, no doubt about it. Those that have tried it rave about the rapid weight loss.
Obesity continues to be a health problem in the world and runs hand in hand with heart disease, elevated cholesterol levels, and high blood pressure .
But you are here because the diet just sounds too good to be true, you are curious to know is keto dangerous?
Every year there is a new trend that promises quick weight loss, also known as a fad diet.
Fad diets are usually restrictive diets that require modifying the number of carbohydrates, protein, or fat in varying levels.
As a dietitian, talking about a fad diet can be difficult because the goal is always to recommend an individualized plan that is in balance.
Sometimes, dieters in extreme cases completely remove entire food groups from their diet.
Follow a plan that requires calorie counting without considering the nutritional value of foods, generally lacking in moderation and leading to an unhealthy relationship with food.
These diet trends promise rapid weight loss but rarely talk about side effects. With any extreme restriction in a diet, an imbalance is bound to occur.
Increased Energy Levels And Mental Clarity
Once youve transitioned into ketosis, you may experience a significant increase in your energy levels. Ketones are a superb fuel source for your mitochondria, the powerhouses of your cells. Your brain in particular thrives on ketones.
A lot of people who switch to keto report better mental clarity and more even, sustained energy throughout the day.
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What To Do For Keto Flu
It is not the flu, despite its name. You will not get a fever, and the symptoms seldom render you unconscious. However, if youre feeling sluggish, see your doctor.
Here are some tips to reduce the impact of keto flu.
- The best approach to managing keto flu is to start slowly and avoid drastic diet changes.
- Make sure youre getting enough water. Some diets can cause dehydration.
- Eat more frequently and include a variety of coloured veggies in your diet.
- Dont give up. You may feel weary for a few days, but your energy level will most likely return to normal by the end of the week, and you might even feel better.
How Does The Keto Diet Work
Here are the basics of keto: The diet aims to force your body into using a different type of fuel. Instead of relying on sugar that comes from carbohydrates , the keto diet relies on ketone bodies, a type of fuel that the liver produces from stored fat.
Burning fat seems like an ideal way to lose pounds. But getting the liver to make ketone bodies is tricky:
- It requires that you deprive yourself of carbohydrates, fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day .
- It typically takes a few days to reach a state of ketosis.
- Eating too much protein can interfere with ketosis.
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Keto Diet And Kidneys Relationship Is Complicated
Whenever a non-traditional diet becomes mainstream, theres skepticism about its real impact on health and the ketogenic diet is no exception.
People who follow any type of ketogenic diet started to ask themselves if the keto diet bad for kidneys. After all, it isnt every day that you hear about a diet that encourages you to eat tasty, fatty cuts of meat.
Since dietary fats have been unfairly demonized for the past few decades, some people are worried that keto may affect your internal organs.
This does not mean that the keto diet is for everyone. According to NCBI, there are kidney injury incidents associated with Ketamine abuse.
Like almost every other diet in the world, overdoing the keto diet without consulting your physician may cause health issues in the short and long run.
Specifically, theres controversy about the keto and kidney connection making its followers ask is keto diet bad for kidneys.
If keto dieters arent careful, they can quickly become dehydrated, ramping up the amount of protein and uric acid in their bodies to dangerous levels.
The diet itself has not been linked to an increase in kidney stone diagnosis rates, but some doctors say theyre already seeing a shift as more of their patients go keto.
He said a combination of tons and tons of meat and not enough water could lead to kidney stones.
Developing kidney problems is a common concern for people who are just starting a low carb diet, thanks to two common myths:
So Is The Keto Diet Safe
Is the ketogenic diet safe long-term? No one is exactly sure. Most studies have looked at the KDs effects in humans when the diet is followed for up to one to two years or less.
Longer-term studies conducted on animals have shown the KD may be associated with some adverse events. For example, in rodent studies, some will develop nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and insulin resistance when put on the keto diet long-term. Other studies suggest that some individuals may be predisposed to heart-related problems if they eat a very high-fat diet for an extended period of time.
That being said, the keto diet has been shown to be beneficial in many studies, especially among obese men and women. Research shows that the KD can safely help treat conditions including:
- Type 2 diabetes. It can also reduce the need for medications among type 2 diabetics.
- Heart disease. The connection between the ketogenic diet and cardiovascular disease risk factors is complicated. Many studies have found that the keto diet can lead to significant reductions in total cholesterol, increases in HDL cholesterol levels, decreases in triglycerides levels, and reductions in LDL cholesterol levels, as well as potential improvements in blood pressure levels.
- Neurological disorders, including Alzheimers, dementia, Parkinsons and multiple sclerosis.
- Epilepsy and seizure disorders.
- Certain types of cancer, including prostate, colon, pancreatic and ovarian cancers.
- and others.
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How To Reduce Sugar Cravings
As mentioned earlier, simply replacing the sugar you used to eat with keto-friendly fat can help reduce hunger pangs and cravings.
To combat candida overgrowth and associated sugar cravings, animal studies suggest that eating more coconut oil can help.
Another helpful strategy: get enough rest. Research shows that your bodys hunger hormones become more sensitive when youre well-rested. So consider dialing in your sleep habits at the same time youre dialing in your new keto diet.