Are you all set to start the keto diet for quick weight loss? To make a smart decision, get a complete insight into long-term health risks of keto diet and their possible solutions.
The ketogenic diet or keto diet is a low carb diet with maximum fats and protein intake. As your body doesn’t get enough carbohydrates, it starts relying on accumulated fat as a first-hand source of energy. This way, fat starts to meltdown due to ketosis.
Keto diet fad isn’t slowing. Many celebs including Halle Berry and Al Roker have credited keto diet for losing extra pounds in just a few months. The reason this low carb diet plan is one of the most popular diet plans is obvious. Going keto is way easier than many other diet plans because you got to enjoy steaks, cheese, and burgers. Isn’t it already tempting? But before starting, you should know about the downsides of the keto diet as well. According to some researchers, cutting off carbs to 50g per day for 2 to 3 months can present serious health problems. Here are a few health risks keto diet brings along.
1. Vitamin and mineral deficiency
Taking 50g of carbs per day means that along with refined carbohydrates, you also have to keep away from fibrous fruits and vegetables.
This may lead to various nutritional deficiencies because these fruits and vegetables contain large amounts of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Due to less intake of fibres, you may face digestive problems from constipation to diarrhoea, high blood cholesterol level, and even high blood pressure. “That’s a major concern”, says Annette Frain, RD, program director Weight Management Center at Wake Forest Baptist Health, “especially if someone is spending more than a few weeks on this type of diet. Fruits and vegetables are good for us; they’re high in antioxidants and full of vitamins and minerals,” she says. “If you eliminate those, you aren’t getting those nutrients over time.”
Consider taking lots of nuts, fruits and vegetables as a source of carbohydrates and avoid other carb sources such as wheat and rice.
2. The inevitable loss of electrolytes
Keto diet is a strict diet routine that takes your body in a state of ketosis (breaking down fats rather than carbs to get energy). One of the by-products produced during ketosis is ketones. To get rid of ketones, you’ll experience frequent urination. This can result in dehydration.
The worst part is that salts are also excreted along with water, resulting in loss of electrolytes. The body fluid composition changes and you may feel lethargic and dizzy.
Taking a lot of water, tea, coffee, vegetable and meat broth can help replenish the salts effectively.
3. Keto flu
Keto-adaption is a no joke for many people because it can lead to keto flu. Brain fog, wooziness, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, and cravings are a few symptoms of keto flu.
Keto flu is a common side-effect of the keto diet and it goes away as your body gets used to ketosis.
Taking lots of fluids, vegetables, and fruits can minimize the symptoms of keto flu to a considerable extent.
4. Kidney problems
Once you achieve the state of ketosis, your body might experience dehydration and loss of electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium. This can make you prone to acute kidney injuries and kidney stones.
Who wants to face a bigger health issue to solve a smaller one? To avoid kidney problems, take maximum fluids right from the start of the keto diet.
5. Muscle cramps
After entering ketosis, you may experience leg cramps which are benign but can cause real discomfort. Muscle cramps are caused because of a severely low level of sodium in the body, a condition known as hyponatremia.
Again, taking lots of fluids can alleviate the problem.
6. Possible weight regain
Keto diet is a great jump-start to weight loss. But weight regain is quite possible because you cannot stick to this no-treat diet plan lifelong.
It possible that you switch to a normal diet after intervals. So, if the keto diet leads to this yo-yo diet plan, then it not only causes weight fluctuations but is also a cause of increased mortality risk.
To remain consistent, choose a keto diet plan which is close to your natural eating habits so that you find it easier to adopt.
7. Damage to blood vessels
You cannot take a Sunday off in a keto diet. This is because according to a study published in Nutrients by the researchers from the University of British Columbia, having a sweet treat during keto diet can damage your blood vessels due to a sudden blast of glucose.
8. Risk of developing chronic diseases
Who doesn’t know that a high-fat diet can lead to cardiovascular illnesses? Lack of electrolytes can also lead to cardiac arrhythmia as these salts are necessary for a normal heartbeat. Not only this but research conducted at the European Society of Cardiology Congress found out that people who followed low-carb and high-fat diet had an increased risk of developing cancer and dying at early ages as compared to those who had a moderate amount of carbohydrates in their diet.
The Bottom line
Keto diet is famous for successful and rapid weight loss. But it comes with certain side effects that can’t be passed over. So, if you’re thinking about trying keto, go for a balanced keto diet rather than opting for extremes. Also, consult your doctor before going keto because the keto diet isn’t a fit for all. Checkout how Keli Ricci overcame the risks associated with keto diet and lost 82 pounds in just a year!