What’s Bad About The Keto Diet

Kidney Stones And Other Risks

Top 5 WORST Things About The Keto Diet

Kidney stones and liver disease are among the other long-term health risks of a keto diet. The diet is also not recommended for those who suffer from the following conditions, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:

  • Pancreatic disease
  • Eating disorders or a history of eating disorders
  • Gallbladder disease or those who have had their gallbladders removed

Vitamin And Mineral Deficiencies

Micronutrients also known as vitamins and minerals are needed in trace amounts from a variety of foods.

These micronutrients are important in the maintenance of tissue function, motor, and cognitive development, healthy eyesight, immune system functions, strong bones, resist infectious diseases .

But you also eliminate fresh fruits and vegetables that are rich in carbs in order to comply with the strict low-carb component of the diet.

This can result in nutrient deficiencies and you can miss out on a variety of healthy foods that provide a balanced intake of vitamins and minerals .

Remember that carbohydrates are not just in breads and grains, they are also found in fruits and starchy vegetables that are often also restricted.

A single fruit, such as a banana can account for a large portion of the allotted carbs for a day.

With the keto diet, you risk removing healthy foods that may provide essential micronutrients.

Bowel Problems Such As Constipation Are Also Common On Keto

Lets talk about a keto side effect that may not be so sexy: constipation. Many of the richest sources of fiber, like beans, fruit, and whole grains are restricted on the ketogenic diet, says Clark. As a result, ketogenic eaters miss out on the benefits of fiber-rich diet such as regular laxation and microbiome support. The microbiome has been implicated in everything from immune function to mental health. Indeed, in a long-term study in t he Journal of Pediatrics in April 2015, constipation was noted as a very common side effect in children receiving ketogenic diets for epilepsy treatment.

In addition to constipation, diarrhea can crop up as a side effect of the keto diet especially in the first few weeks of following it. Some people have difficulty digesting large amounts of dietary fat, which can lead to greasy diarrhea, notes Yawitz.

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Your Fiber Intake Is Too Low

While youre focusing on fat, protein, and carbs, you should also make sure youre getting adequate fiber. People often assume that they should only eat things like meat and butter on the ketogenic diet, says Farshad Fani Marvasti, MD, an associate professor and director of Public Health, Prevention, and Health Promotion at the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix. You should make sure you are eating enough vegetables because you need the fiber.

Specific fiber goals will depend on your overall intake, current weight, and weight-loss intentions. Nuts, seeds, avocado, and squash are fiber-rich foods that are high in fat, but lower in carbs. I see so many clients go for high protein, high saturated fat, and no carb, says Sunny Brigham, a board-certified nutrition specialist with a private clinic in North Texas. They become constipated because they arent getting enough fiber.

What Is The Keto Diet

Is The Keto Diet Bad For Some People?

In the case of the ketogenic diet, also known as the keto diet, because it has been around for years it has well-documented success with weight loss.

Studies have shown that short-term side effects of the keto diet up to 2 years are known, yet there arent many studies that show long-term side effects from being on a keto diet .

This diet restricts carbohydrate intake significantly, provides moderate protein and a higher fat intake .

In this case, like any other diet that restricts or increases the three important macronutrients adverse effects can be noted in varying degrees and depending on the individual.

The main research is on the ketogenic diet used in patients with epilepsy and for short periods of time.

The reality of the keto diet is that it has been around since 1920 and was originally used in the medical world as a therapeutic diet.

Used to treat and control seizures.

But its use diminished with new antiepileptic medications .

A resurgent use of the diet has started to be used to moderate symptoms of children with epilepsy. Those that are resistant to antiepileptic medication .

These patients are closely monitored by a medical doctor and clinical dietitian.

The clinical dietitian assesses the child and determines the percentage requirements of the macronutrients.

If you are following the keto diet for weight loss, chances are you have not gotten an assessment done by a registered dietitian.

If you have not already read about the diet, let me do a quick summary.

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Myth : You Can Go On And Off Keto And Still Keep The Weight Off

Reality: Seesawing on keto will just lead you to gain all the weight back.

Keto has become such a fad that people dont understand what theyre getting into and jump into the diet, says Audrey Fleck, RDN, an integrative and functional dietitian nutritionist and certified diabetes educator in Perkasie, Pennsylvania. Because of that, people often follow the keto diet one day and then eat carbs the next, she says. But youre not going to reap the potential benefits of sustained ketosis this way.

Top Keto Foods Questions

How low carb is keto?

Keto is a low-carb diet, not no carb. How many carbs can you eat in a day on keto? This can differ depending on you and what your health goals are, you may want to stay below 20 grams of net carbs per day. Learn about how many carbs can be appropriate for you

How much fat do you need to eat?

There is actually no amount of fat you need to eat, even on a keto diet. However, aim at adding enough fat for flavor and enjoyment and to keep calories from going too low. Guide: How much fat should you eat on keto?

Can I eat a vegetarian keto diet?

Yes. Especially if you eat eggs and dairy , its definitely doable. Vegan keto is more difficult Learn more and find inspiration here

Can I eat a dairy-free keto diet?

Sure. Its not necessary to eat dairy to successfully eat keto . A dairy-free keto diet can be very effective. Learn more and find recipes

Can I drink alcohol on a keto diet?

Yes. But make sure its an alcoholic drink that is low in carbs, like dry wine. Check out our full guide to keto alcoholic drinks

Can I eat fruit on a keto diet?

Sometimes if you choose low-sugar fruits and keep portions small. The best keto fruits are blackberries, raspberries and strawberries. Enjoy about one-half cup of any of these, either alone or with a bit of cream. Delicious! Full guide to keto fruits

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Your Period On Keto Might Undergo Some Changes

Periods may become irregular or completely stop on the keto diet, says Yawitz. This is more due to rapid weight loss than the diet itself and happens because of drops in gonadotropin-releasing hormone, follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, estrogen, and progesterone.

Long-term disruption of menstruation can bring on serious side effects, including low bone density. This is because estrogen is very important to bone health, says Yawitz. Studies have also found prolonged menstrual irregularity to increase risk for cardiovascular disease, depression, anxiety, and sexual dysfunction. Its important to contact your ob-gyn if your cycles become irregular or if you stop having periods.

But wait, theres one loophole. Have polycystic ovary syndrome ? Then the keto diet may help regulate your periods. Women with PCOS have high insulin levels, which cause sex hormone imbalances, notes Yawitz. In a small study published in the journal Nutrition & Metabolism, subjects with PCOS following a ketogenic diet for six months noted improvements in their menstrual cycles and a small number of women became pregnant, overcoming previous infertility obstacles. This study was very small, so we cant make recommendations for all women with PCOS based on its findings, says Yawitz. And really, any diet that leads to weight loss should help in PCOS.

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How To Eat Healthy Fats

Everything You Need to Know About the Keto Diet

If you are going to increase your fat intake, its a good idea to focus on foods with high quality healthy fats, like avocado and olive oil.

ZOEs research has found that some peoples bodies are better at responding to high levels of fat than others. If your body struggles to cope with increased levels of fat, then the keto diet may put you at higher risk of dietary inflammation.

Cutting out healthy plants, meanwhile, can lead to a lack of important nutrients including certain vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Plants that contain fiber are a great source of substances known as prebiotics, which feed the good microbes that live in your gut, helping them to out-compete your bad gut microbes.

ZOE scientists have identified 15 good gut microbes and 15 bad gut microbes. The good microbes are associated with a healthier heart and metabolism, while the bad microbes are linked to a higher risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and excess weight.

The ZOE program helps you identify the best foods and food combinations for your body. It will also tell you the best foods for the unique combination of bugs that live in your gut, known as your gut microbiome.

Unpublished research from ZOE shows that when people closely followed our personalized gut-healthy nutrition program, around 80% of participants didnt feel hungry and had more energy.

The program led to an average weight loss of 9.4 pounds after 3 months.

Find out more about the ZOE program and how it can help you.

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You Arent Getting Enough Fat

Keto runs counter to many of the low-fat diet fads of the 1980s and 1990s: It actually emphasizes fat. That is hard to comprehend because we dont eat anything thats pure fat, says Kristen Mancinelli, RD, who practices in New York City and Los Angeles, California. We dont eat a stick of butter or a spoonful of olive oil or even a nice cup of lard, says Mancinelli, who is also the author of The Ketogenic Diet. That would be unpleasant, so we really have a hard time wrapping our heads around this concept of the ketogenic diet. In order to succeed on a keto diet, 60-80% of your food intake will be healthy fats, according to Sara Gottfried, MD, author of the Brain Body Diet. Nuts, seeds, salmon, butter, coconut oil, olives, and bacon are some keto-approved options.

It’s A Temporary Solution

Ehsani explained: “The keto diet is a fad diet, meaning it works until it doesn’t. You may experience rapid weight loss, but it’s not a healthy solution towards attaining weight loss.

“If you’re looking for a healthy way to lose weight, instead work with a registered dietitian nutritionist ,” who can create a personalized plan based on your unique health and nutrition needs and goals, she added.

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Dark Chocolate And Cocoa Powder

Check the label on these, as the amount of carbs depends on the type and how much you consume. Cocoa has been called a “superfruit” because it is rich in antioxidants, and dark chocolate contains flavanols, which may reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and keeping arteries healthy.

No One Knows What The Long

Keto Diet Food List For Beginners

The side effects of extreme low-carb diets are still a mystery, which is one of the biggest reasons why keto is bad potentially. “The first major drawback is the fact that we really don’t have any long-term research about how keto followers fare 10, 20, 30 years down the line,” says Turoff. “What will the results look like? Will they regain the weight? Will they suffer health consequences? We also thought smoking and diet pills were a good idea until long-term studies showed us that we were wrong.”

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Myth : The Keto Diet Is The Best Way To Lose Weight

Reality: Theres no right diet for everyone.

Just because your friend lost weight successfully on keto doesnt mean keto is the diet thats best for you. The biggest misnomer I come across in my practice is that is the end-all, be-all answer to losing weight, says Keene. There are a lot of trendy diets out there, but in reality, she says, success comes from finding an eating plan that you can be consistent with. 01481-6″ rel=”nofollow”> research published in November 2015 in the journal Cell suggested that people have different blood sugar responses to the same foods, so there is no one diet thats the answer.) I help my clients find a way to eat that they feel good about, dont obsess over, and gets them to their goals, says Keene. We know were harping a lot on talking to a registered dietitian about all this, but before going keto, you should do just that.

You Could Have Some Seriously Funky Breath

This reason keto is bad might not seem like a big deal, but it’s worth knowing about. “When the body goes into ketosis, it’s common for the breath to start smelling like acetone because of the breakdown of acetoacetic acid,” says Turoff. For reference: “Acetone is the chemical that gives nail polish its smell.” Uh, noted.

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Myth : Everyone Has The Same Carb Needs

Reality: How many carbs you should eat really depends on your personal health.

When you start a very-low-carb diet like keto, you may not realize how low in carbs it is. Followers typically consume 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates a day, often beginning on the lower end of that spectrum to help the body enter ketosis. Nonetheless, depending on factors , you may be able to go higher, says Fleck. She recommends teaming up with a dietitian who can calculate your nutritional needs. Whats more, sometimes its not even necessary to go keto, she says. Some people have genetic issues with using fat for energy, making the diet even more difficult or ineffective for them, says Fleck.

Is The Keto Diet Safe

7 Things I Wish I Knew About the Keto Diet 10 Years Ago

The keto diet could cause low blood pressure, kidney stones, constipation, nutrient deficiencies and an increased risk of heart disease. Strict diets like keto could also cause social isolation or disordered eating. Keto is not safe for those with any conditions involving their pancreas, liver, thyroid or gallbladder.

Kleinman said someone new to the keto diet can also experience whats called the keto flu with symptoms like upset stomach, dizziness, decreased energy, and mood swings caused by your body adapting to ketosis.

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Myth : Keto Gives You Permission To Eat As Much Bacon And Butter As You Want

Reality: Keto calls for prioritizing unsaturated fat in your diet.

Yes, keto is a diet rich in fats. But that doesnt mean youre supposed to fry up a pound of bacon in the morning. The ketogenic diet doesnt give you the green light to eat all types of fats, says dietitian Jill Keene, RDN, in White Plains, New York. The healthiest way to load up on fats is to limit saturated fats, like bacon and sausage, and to fill your diet with heart-healthy unsaturated fats, like avocados, olive oil, and flaxseed, along with nuts in moderation.

As Your Body Adjusts To Ketosis Youll Probably Have Bad Breath

Considered a symptom of the keto flu, your breath on this diet often smells fruity at first. This is because acetone is a by-product of ketosis and is eliminated mostly through the lungs and the breath, according to a study in the journal International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in February 2014. Acetone is a type of ketone known for having a fruity aroma in smaller concentrations. Its hard to say exactly how long it will last as it depends on the person, but its common for someone to experience this side effect for a few weeks, says Asche.

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What Are The Benefits

Weight Loss

Since you drastically reduce the intake of carbs, your body burns fat to produce energy, thereby resulting in massive weight loss. When you reduce your carb intake, you also cut-down on the amount of sugar you consume, which results in a steady supply of energy.

Disease Prevention

Health experts have proven that patients who suffered from epilepsy had reduced the frequency of their seizure when they went on the ketogenic diet. Some patients had reported that their seizures had ceased completely. Individuals who have type 2 diabetes saw an improvement in the HbA1c levels.

Plain Greek Yogurt And Cottage Cheese

Keto &  Low

Yogurt and cottage cheese are high in protein and calcium-rich. Five ounces of plain Greek yogurt provides just 5 g of carbohydrates and 12 grams of protein. The same amount of cottage cheese also has 5 grams of carbohydrates with 18 grams of protein. Studies have shown that both calcium and protein can reduce appetite and promote fullness. Higher-fat yogurts and cottage cheese help keep you full for longer, and full-fat products would be part of the ketogenic diet.

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Not Just For Epilepsy

Today, the keto diet is more popular for helping with metabolic syndrome, a collection of nasty conditions including high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and high cholesterol. Metabolic syndrome puts you on the road to type 2 diabetes and obesity, or so-called diabesity. It also carries an increased risk of depression and anxiety.

High blood sugar is often attributed to insulin resistance: an inability to process glucose properly. Sugars build up in the blood and can become toxic to every organ in the body. Insulins job is to chaperone sugars into your cells for energy, but if dietary sugar swamps the system, insulin reroutes it to fat cells, paradoxically leaving the rest of your cells starving. That leads to both fat buildup and hunger, a one-two punch for weight gain and diabetes. Eliminating sugars and starch can be a life-saver.

But without carbs, where does your body get its energy? Like a hybrid car, your body can run on multiple fuels including fat. When it does, the liver produces fatty acids called ketones that can power metabolism as well as sugar does. The brain, which normally consumes a lot of glucose, can run just fine on ketones. In fact, this alternative fuel is likely why epileptic seizures stop.

You may lose weight when your body switches over to burning fat. Lowering carbs reduces sugar in the blood, which lessens the need for insulin. That can reduce fat storage and can reduce both weight gain and diabetes.

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