Last updated on September 9, 2019
If you are on this page, it is likely that you are considering following keto diet. Well, if yes, then it’s a real good decision to read this article before you start with your diet regime.
Keto diet has gained huge popularity in the present time. Though it is not a new form of diet and has been used in the past for treating issues like type 1 diabetes, the diet has earned a lot of fame now for being a weight loss diet.
But is everything good about keto diet? What about its side effects?
Certainly anything that brings a change in your body can’t be accepted without any reactions from the body in return. And keto diet brings with it a major change which is the change in the fuel of the body.
In normal situations, the body uses glucose as its min form of energy which is characteristically obtained from dietary carbohydrates. However when you are following diet and have essentially entered in the phase of ketosis, there isn’t enough glucose present to meet energy demands and the body is left to pick the stored fat in body. It breaks down fat stored to provide glucose from triglycerides.
This makes keto diet prone to causing some side effects in your body. Let’s understand about these in detail:
Flu like it sounds it actually gives you that unpleasant feeling characterised with various symptoms starting from headache, weakness, bad breath, irritability to constipation, leg cramps, nausea and vomits.
Keto flu is the initial reaction of your body when you just start with the keto diet. Since your body is not accustomed to low carbs, it takes some time to adjust to this state.
With the start of the keto diet, the body shifts from using sugar as a source of energy to using the body’s stored fat and in the process of breaking down fat, it produces ketones. These ketones are then removed by the body through frequent and increased urination. This may cause dehydration and flu-like symptoms like fatigue, dizziness, irritability, nausea, and muscle soreness.
The symptoms experienced are however temporary and usually last a week or so.
May Cause Damage to Kidney and Heart
Loss of the major electrolytes from the body like sodium, potassium and magnesium due to increased urination, makes your kidney prone to damage.
Also the electrolyte imbalance caused may put dieter at the risk of cardiac arrhythmia. Electrolytes are important for the normal beating of the heart and the lack of these may prove dangerous.
Cravings for non-diet foods
One cannot permanently follow a diet and that too which brings major changes in your long established food habits.
Sharon Palmer, a dietitian from California says, “If trying to go keto causes you to yo-yo and go off and on diets, that has impacts related to weigh fluctuations and increased mortality risk.”
Apart from the major impacts mentioned above, another concern with keto diet is the lack of nutrition.
The keto diet abstains from a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes that are generally considered as healthy. Lack of such foods can lead to deficiency of fibre along with certain vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals that are present in these foods.
Over the time, this deficiency can cause significant human health impacts such as bone loss and increased risk of chronic diseases.
Another important point to remember is that most of the studies on keto dieters are short term. Long-term studies are not possible due to people shifting over to other diets.
It is not wrong to say that keto diet is successful in weight loss as long as it is done safely. One should follow it only under the supervision of an expert. Of course, you would not want to invite bigger problems at the sake of solving just one of losing weight.
Additionally, there are exceptions where keto diet should not be followed. People with chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or other conditions that may be the result of a previous diet should not follow keto diet. Any kind of medication may get impacted by the metabolic and other bodily systems.