The keto diet is gaining popularity in the current world. Many people are all jumping on the bandwagon and adopting new diet trends to improve their health in due course of time.
However, a lack of research and in-depth knowledge about a diet can backfire in the worst ways possible, which can result in keto flu. Toying around with your health and eating habits is never a good idea especially if one is dealing with health issues and medications.
The dangers of the ketogenic diet:
People often resort to quick diet ways of losing weight, one of which is the keto diet. Speaking of the keto diet, here are 7 major red flags that you need to take into account if you’re considering the keto diet for weight loss.
Ketosis occurs when our body converts ketones to produce energy instead of glucose and simple sugars. The breakdown of ketones in the body produces keto electrolytes which is one of the most inevitable consequences of the ketogenic diet.
Ketosis results in a fruity odor emanating from the body especially in one’s breath, sweat, and urine. This happens due to the unusually higher levels of ketones, like acetone, in the blood and urine.
The excess accumulation of calcium in the urine is medically termed ‘hypercalciuria’. Our body undergoes ketosis as soon as it gets started with the keto diet. However, ketosis also causes the pH levels in the urine to drop thereby forming tiny calcium crystals.
These calcium crystals are formed due to bone erosion because of following the keto diet. The calcium eroded from the bones gets deposited in the kidney which may lead to kidney stones in the long run. Hence, the keto diet is bad news for both our bones and kidneys.
- Increased risk of heart disease:
High fat intake gradually results in a surge in the cholesterol and lipid levels in the body. This excess build-up of unwanted, unhealthy fats and oils increases the risk of blockage in the arteries. Heart disorders are bound to occur in such conditions.
A person who is not so informed about the keto diet may wrongly consume high amounts of unsaturated fats which may interfere with the heart health of the individual.
This is one of the most common effects of the keto diet. When you follow the keto diet correctly, your body stops relying upon carb intake for energy and instead breaks down the stored fat reserves to make up for its energy requirement.
This, in turn, creates a dearth of simple carb intake in the body which causes the blood sugar levels to dwindle. Hypoglycemia occurs when the blood sugar levels drop due to inadequate carb intake. However, this effect lasts only in the transition period and wears out gradually when your body starts relying on fat to meet its need for energy.
- Chronic constipation:
The first few days of being on the keto diet result in sudden weight loss. This weight loss is not due to fat but because of losing water from the body. The low-carb high-fat diet ketogenic diet causes a drop in water retention in the body which, in turn, lowers the body weight as well.
The lack of water in the system eventually translates into constipation since the digestive system cannot smoothly churn, metabolize, assimilate, and excrete the food in the body. Constipation is one of the earliest consequences of the keto diet.
- Decreased metabolism:
Since the keto diet results in chronic constipation, the digestive system also takes a hit. The digestive organs are unable to carry out their function optimally. This effect, in turn, slows down all digestive processes including metabolism, assimilation, and excretion.
- Unhealthy weight regain:
The right way to work with the keto diet is to start slow and small. But most of us are habitual to instant gratification and quick results. When we don’t see the effects working out in our favor in a couple of days, we often bounce back to our original habits.
If one decides to get back to their old dietary habits after being o the keto diet for long, they might start piling on more bodyweight than they previously had. This is because the body craves carbs, and cravings lead to overconsumption. This, in turn, causes unhealthy weight to regain in due course of time.
Should you undertake the keto diet?
Glucose, and other simple sugars, are the most common sources of energy for our body. Carbs are widely present in almost all food items and are highly difficult to completely cut down from the diet. Even if you manage to stay away from consuming carbs at all, your body starts craving carbs sooner or later. And you end up consuming more carbs than you previously intended.
The best solution is to limit your carb intake gradually. Make sure you only consume just enough carbs to meet your energy requirement. You can take it a step further and keep your intake in the negative, but never completely cut down on carbs. You can also get on keto-friendly energy drinks to help supplement your diet.
The same rule applies to fat intake as well. Consume both fat and carb in moderation so that your body doesn’t need to store the excess reserves for the future. The excess stored fat and carbs result in unhealthy weight gain in the long run. They are responsible for the accumulated fat and flab on your body.
Since the keto diet takes a heavy toll on the kidneys and bones, people with kidney disorders should refrain from getting on the keto diet.
Individuals battling diabetes type-1, hypertension, pancreatic disorders, gall bladder issues, and blood-related disorders must also steer clear from experimenting with their diet, especially with regards to the keto diet.
Other than the above-mentioned health drawbacks, the body can face some more hazardous health repercussions. These include insomnia, restlessness, gut health issues, and anxiety. Amenorrhea may also occur in which women face a disruption in their menstrual cycle or, in severe cases, complete stoppage of monthly periods.
Summing it up:
In summation, it is best to not follow a rigid keto diet but make sure you keep a close check on your carb and fat intake. The best way is to consult a professional dietician who will design a diet plan as per your physical needs, lifestyle, health issues, and current medications if any.
The health hazards of a keto diet may be temporary but can lead to serious repercussions if left unchecked for long. Hence, take care to keep your physical needs and health conditions in check before experimenting with any type of diet form, especially the keto diet.