Is Ketogenic Diet Dangerous?
The ketogenic diet is a rather rigid dietary plan that is promoted as a way to shed pounds and is backed up by scientific evidence. However, the study only includes people who are on the plan for a limited time. Long-term results are yet to be studied, and this form of diet should still be kept brief. Experts on nutrition and wellbeing render caution that an unbalanced diet will have long-term health consequences.
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The ketogenic diet demands that you consume at least 70% of your daily calories from fat, 20% from protein, and just 10% from carbs. The body’s cells usually get their energy from blood sugar – glucose – which is produced from carbs. The ketogenic diet severely limits carbohydrates, causing cells to begin dissolving accumulated fat into chemicals known as ketones, in the absence of glucose.
Ketosis is the term for this mechanism. When the body enters ketosis, it will continue to produce and use ketones for energy before carbohydrates are reintroduced. Ketosis normally occurs after 2-4 days of consuming less than 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day, but each individual is different, and some people need even farther carb restriction to reach ketosis.
Entering a state of ketosis will result in weight loss. According to plethora of reports published, it can also have beneficial effects on your body like low blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels.
However the ketogenic diet is very difficult to stick to over time. A ketogenic diet represents a major shift in most people’s dietary patterns. It’s also an unpleasant adjustment because many of our favorite foods are restricted, such us pasta, bread, some sweet fruits, and starchy vegetables.
The main question remains, is ketogenic diet dangerous?
As we mentioned before and also on previous articles the ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that is used to lose weight.
The process used for weight loss is restricting carbs while rising fat consumption and that causes the body to enter a state of ketosis, a metabolic state in which your body burns fat for energy rather than carbohydrates.
However, there are certain dangers to the ketogenic diet that you should be aware of.
1st answer to the question “is ketogenic diet dangerous” is that it might cause keto flu
The ketogenic diet restricts carb consumption to less than 50 grams a day, which can be difficult for your body to adjust to.
You can develop flu-like symptoms when your body enters ketosis, uses up all its carb resources and thus turns to using ketones and fat for energy.
Nausea, vomiting, headache, fatigue, dizziness, insomnia, constipation are some of the side effects of ketosis, which are caused by dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.
While most individuals who get the keto flu recover in a couple of weeks, it’s vital to keep track of the symptoms, remain hydrated, consume foods high in electrolytes and also use sports drinks to replenish them.
2nd answer to the question “is ketogenic diet dangerous” is that you can lose muscle mass
A real ketogenic diet isn’t just low in carbs; it’s also low in protein. This suggests that some of the weight loss will be more than mere body fat. You can also lose muscle mass.
Also in individuals who workout on a daily basis, it’s only normal to lose muscle mass when consumption of protein drops.
Since you are going to be happy that the scale is going down, many people will not realise that with loss of fat they also lost some muscle mass.
We recommend a Custom Keto Diet meal plan in order to keep your waistline slim without losing muscle mass.
This may mean adding more protein to your diet. You might not enter the “famous” state of ketosis, but that isn’t always a bad thing.
3rd answer to the question “is ketogenic diet dangerous” is that it might put pressure on your kidneys
Fatty foods like meat, cheese and eggs are pillars of the ketogenic diet.You are in risk of having a greater chance to develop kidney stones if you consume a lot of these foods. This is because eating a lot of animal fat like meat, cheese and eggs will make your blood and urine acidic, causing you to excrete more calcium in your urine.
According to certain researches, the ketogenic diet lowers the amount of citric acid contained in the urine. Citric acid might connect to calcium and prevent the development of kidney stones, so low concentrations can increase the chances of getting them.
Ketogenic diet should be avoided by people with chronic kidney disease since compromised kidneys can be unable to clear the acid accumulation in their blood caused by high consumption of animal fats. This can cause acidosis, which can accelerate the developement of chronic kidney disease.
MUST READ: Starting A Keto Diet: 7 Tips For Beginners
4th answer to the question “is ketogenic diet dangerous” is that you might become constipated
Unfortunately, cutting carbohydrates for weight loss involves cutting out healthy carbs as well, including fiber – fiber counts as a carb!
Constipation isn’t always dangerous, although it may lead to complications like stomach pain, cramps, hemorrhoids development, and bowel obstruction if it happens often. Having trouble “going” when on a ketogenic diet? Drink lots of water and choose high-fiber, low-carb foods such as avocados, and nuts.
If you’re unsure of what to eat, check out our guide for more info: Discover The List of Foods For Keto Diet
5th answer to the question “is ketogenic diet dangerous” is that it might make you deficient in nutrients
Because the ketogenic diet excludes a number of foods, including very nutrient vegetables, grains, and legumes, it can fall short of providing enough vitamins and minerals for the needs of your body.
Some research findings indicate that the ketogenic diet lacks calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and phosphorus, among other nutrients.
According to a research that looked at the nutritional content of popular diets, like Atkins which is also a low carb diet very similar to ketogenic diet, got adequate quantities only from a dozen of the vitamins and minerals your body requires from foods (27 in total).
This could cause nutritional deficiencies over time.
6th answer to the question “is ketogenic diet dangerous” is that it might increase you cholesterol levels
A traditional ketogenic diet allows you to consume up to 70%-80% of your daily caloric intake from fat. It is safe to say that the ketogenic diet isn’t necessarily healthy for you heart, since you are consuming big amounts of fat.
When we evaluate the long-term consequences of a diet low in fruits and vegetables and rich in animal fats, it’s clear that it’s not very healthy. I’m not implying that the ketogenic diet is bad for cholesterol or cardiovascular health by default, but increased cholesterol levels is a common side effect.
It is safer and healthier to follow a customized keto diet meal plan which is tailored to you needs and prefferences, because you will have way more food options and combinations than going at it on your own.
For more info check out our custom keto diet guide: Custom Keto Diet Review: Does Custom Keto Diet Work? An Honest Review
7th answer to the question “is ketogenic diet dangerous” is that you might experience mood swings
Your mood goes along with your food choices and are inextricably linked. Mood swings can occur when your body is derived of carbs.
When on ketogenic diet the brain receives less sugar from the blood for fuel, and that in result it can affect your mood, leaving you annoyed, tired, and unable to concentrate.
On a ketogenic diet, emotions of restriction or the inability to socialize with food, for example the inability to go out with your friends and family for dinner, can make you feel depressed. Before you start, consider how much you are willing to give up to achieve ketogenic success.
8th answer to the question “is ketogenic diet dangerous” is that you can get obsessed with your weight
There is no magic diet for long-term weight loss. A Mediterranean-style diet rich in fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, seafood, and olive oil will help you maintain a healthier weight for the rest of your life.
We idealise diets, but the fact is (as mentioned above) that there is no easy diet. Cutting out carbs and replacing them with fruits, vegetables and protein, as well as eliminating foods that are not good for you, is a good stategy for long-run effects.
Setting clear expectations and asking yourself if your diet plan is working is the healthiest way to lose weight.
Exercise is essential. A diet that involves an exercise routine would help you achieve your target goal quicker.
Try to avoid magazines that show super slim and fit models at all costs. They make us feel insignificant and uncomfortable with our body. If you are thinking about starting a ketogenic diet, you must realise you should be commited to it and we recommend that you follow a customized keto diet meal plan for easier and better results.
Is Ketogenic Diet Dangerous? The bottom line
In this article we tried to give answers to the question “is ketogenic diet dangerous?”, however you should be aware of the risks mentioned above before starting your ketogenic journey.
Although the ketogenic diet has been tied to weight loss and other health short-term benefits, it has also been tied to vitamin deficiencies, stomach complications, reduced muscle mass, and other complications in the long-run.
People with chronic kidney disease, heart conditions, diabetes, or other medical problems should first consult a doctor before attempting the ketogenic diet because of these dangers.
To further reduce the risk of problems and nutritional deficiencies, you will want to contact a dietitian to help you prepare healthy meals and track your nutrient levels while on ketogenic diet or join a custom keto diet meal plan created by proffecional chefs.
If you want to start a Custom Keto Diet meal plan you can do so on the link below: