What Are The Potential Drawbacks Of Keto For Weight Loss
Ketogenic diets can be problematic because carbohydrates are the bodys main and preferred source of energy. If you restrict your intake of carbs for a long time, youll likely be left feeling tired, lethargic, and craving carbohydrate-rich foods. Carbohydrates also have essential micronutrients that you may not get from other foods, such as fiber and some vitamins and minerals.
The ketogenic diet is also high in fat, usually saturated fat. A high fat diet can lead to other health consequences down the line, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, stroke, etc. Because of the high fat and extremely low carb intake, the ketogenic diet can be difficult to adhere to for an extended period of time.
Since keto adherents consume a large amount of fat each day, its not recommended for those with liver problems. The liver plays an important role in the bodys process of converting fats to energy. Excess amounts of fat can place strain on the liver, exacerbating existing conditions.
A lack of carbohydrates can even have an impact on mental function. Many keto dieters report a brain fog that includes memory loss and trouble focusing. In clinical nutrition, these and other symptoms are collectively known as keto flu. The risk is particularly high for people who are in their first week of the keto diet.
A Keto Diet May Be Harmful For Certain People
The review highlights five key findings. Among them: The keto diet is particularly unsafe for women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant. Thats because low-carb diets are linked to a higher risk of neural tube defects in babies. Barnard says: You’re not eating the things that you need for a healthy baby on a typical ketogenic diet. You’re not having the vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. For unplanned pregnancies in particular, he said, the risk of neural tube defects is 89 percent higher for those on a low-carb diet.
Another finding: Keto diets raise levels of LDL cholesterol for many people when, typically, you would expect to see those levels drop when you lose weight, Barnard says. In a six-month study that the review cites, 30 percent of participants experienced LDL cholesterol increases greater than 10 percent.
Keto diets high in protein may also cause kidney stones, plus hasten kidney disease in those with kidney disease, the review found. That is probably because the kidneys job is to filter out toxins from the blood. And if you’re eating a big load of animal proteins, it’s just harder on the kidney, Barnard says.
Barnard notes: We do think that the risks go back down when a person quits that diet, which is good.
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Increased Ketones In The Breath Or Urine
Another way to measure blood ketone levels is a breath analyzer.
It monitors acetone, one of the three main ketones in your blood during ketosis .
This gives you an idea of your bodys ketone levels since more acetone leaves the body when youre in nutritional ketosis .
The use of acetone breath analyzers has been shown to be fairly accurate, though less accurate than the blood monitor method .
You can also use special indicator strips to measure the presence of ketones in your urine daily.
They can be a quick and cheap method to assess your ketone levels each day. However, theyre not considered very reliable.
You can measure your ketone levels with a breath analyzer or urine strips. However, theyre not as accurate as a blood monitor.
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Precautions Before Starting A Keto Diet
There are controversies and myths about a keto diet, but for most people, it appears to be very safe. However, two groups often require medical supervision:
- Do you take medication for high blood pressure?More >
- Do you take medication for diabetes, such as insulin? More >
Some people should avoid keto altogether:
- Do you breastfeed?More >
For more details about the pros and cons in different situations, check out our full guide: Is a keto diet right for you?
Disclaimer: While the ketogenic diet has many proven benefits, its still controversial. The main potential danger regards medications, e.g. for diabetes, where doses may need to be adapted . Discuss any changes in medication and relevant lifestyle changes with your doctor. Full disclaimer >
This guide is written for adults with health issues, including obesity, that could benefit from a ketogenic diet.
Why Do Some People Take Longer To Enter Ketosis
There are many reasons why some people take longer to enter ketosis than others.
Multiple factors including your age, metabolism, exercise level, and current carb, protein, and fat intake can play a part in how long it takes to enter ketosis.
In most cases, taking longer to enter ketosis is due to unintentionally eating more carbs than recommended for a ketogenic diet. Eating too many carbs can stop your body from producing ketones.
In a recent clinical trial observing the health benefits of the keto diet, researchers advised patients to consume less than 20 grams of carbohydrates per day, though other research cites a person on a ketogenic diet can consume between 20 and 50 grams of carbohydrates per day .
Therefore, you may need to further reduce your carb intake if youre finding it difficult to enter ketosis.
Another common mistake is not eating enough fat on a ketogenic diet. In general, people should aim to consume about 5560 percent of their daily calories from fat, 3035 percent from protein, and 510 percent from carbs .
Also, eating too much protein on a keto diet may make it harder to enter ketosis, as it may encourage your body to use gluconeogenesis a process that converts amino acids from protein into sugar. Too much sugar can stop your body from producing ketones .
Aside from diet, lifestyle factors including exercise, sleep, and stress may affect the time it takes to enter ketosis.
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How Long Does Fatigue Last On Keto
Keto flu symptoms may resolve themselves in a matter of days, but they can also persist for several weeks. In most people, symptoms typically get better in 10 days however, if headaches, fatigue, cramps or irritability last longer than that length of time, it’s a good idea to see your doctor, says Dr. Hennis.
Ways To Measure Ketone Levels
Testing your bodys ketone levels is the best way to know whether youre in ketosis.
There are three types of ketones acetoacetate, acetone, and beta-hydroxybutyrate that you can measure through your urine, breath, and blood, respectively.
Acetoacetate levels can be measured through your urine with a ketone urine strip, which turns various shades of pink or purple depending on the ketone level of your urine. Darker colors typically mean that your urine contains higher levels .
Urine testing strips are a cheap and simple way to tell whether youre in ketosis. However, they arent as accurate as other tools.
Acetone levels can be measured with a ketone breath meter, such as a Ketonix. This meter flashes a color to let you know whether youre in ketosis and how high your ketone levels are.
Studies show that ketone breath meters are fairly accurate .
Beta-hydroxybutyrate levels are measured using a blood ketone meter, which works similarly to a glucometer a tool that measures blood glucose levels at home .
To use a blood ketone meter, simply use the small accompanying pin to prick your finger and draw blood, then let the top of the strip come in contact with your blood.
A blood ketone range of 1.53.0 mmol per liter is ideal for maintaining ketosis .
While blood ketone meters are effective at measuring ketones, the strips in contrast to urine testing strips can be expensive.
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Stalled Weight Loss Led Me To Consider The Keto Diet
Four months into my new journey toward health, my weight had dropped from 208 to 168 lbs. In boxing terms, I had gone from a super heavyweight to a super middleweight. I was at my goal, and I felt great! When I got to 168 lbs, some of my friends at the gym thought that based on my body composition, I could easily make it down to 160 . But once I got to 168, the weight was no longer coming off as quickly. By now I had eliminated most of the carbs in my diet, but I wasnt following the ketogenic diet to the letter.
Nowadays, the keto diet is well known, arguably the biggest weight loss diet fad out there. But at the time, it was news to me. My thought process went something like this: You mean theres a diet that actually uses your bodys extra fat for energy? Where do I sign up? Even though there were signs of life in my abs, going keto sounded like the perfect way to burn off the love handles and any other extra body fat that was clinging to my body for survival.
After doing some closer examination, I learned quite a bit about the diet. It turns out that the keto diet traces back to the 1920s, when doctors were trying to find a way to mimic the effects of fasting in children with epilepsy to lessen the frequency of their seizures, according to a report in Epilepsia.
When I saw the foods that were listed as being keto-friendly chicken, eggs, and cheese I thought this was something I could do.
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Why Only Let’s Keto Gummies
Let’s Keto Gummies is a pioneer in using your denial muscles, then extracts fat with the help of strong zones. The American teacher is a short film producer. The Balanced Max Keto blend is an excellent starting point. Ketogenic organisms are highly expressed markers that can impede glycogen utilization at a certain stage of ketosis.
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The Case For Staying In Ketosis Short
While Taub-Dix says the ketogenic diet can be an effective way to lose weight in the short term, it’s not something she advises, let alone recommends, for a lifelong eating plan. “Carbs are not bad for you,” she says of the food group demonized by devout keto followers. “They’ve really gotten a bad rap over the years, but it’s more about choosing the right carbs.”
Taub-Dix says whole grains, for example, are a great source of vitamin B and fiber, a nutrient that’s even more important than you might realize. Another reason why she’s pro-carbs: They make you happy. “Studies have shown that they boost serotonin levels,” she says. “I know people who have started doing keto and have become really moody because they’re missing out on that.”
While the ketogenic diet has become popular for people with diabetes, Taub-Dix warns against it, saying it can lead to some serious health problems. “It can cause DKA, diabetic ketoacidosis,” she says. “This happens when your body is producing a lot of ketones and can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, feeling faint, and being thirsty.” This is a dangerous, sometimes life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention. “Why take a risk of that happening?” Taub-Dix asks.
Another potential downside of the ketogenic diet is that such a low carb intake might disrupt the hormones of people with uteruses, affecting one’s menstrual cycle and fertility. It also is an incredibly strict diet that might be difficult for people to follow.
Most Common Low Carb Mistakes
While low carb diets are very popular, its also easy to make mistakes on them.
There are many stumbling blocks that can lead to adverse effects and suboptimal results.
To reap all the metabolic benefits of low carb diets, merely cutting back on carbs isnt enough.
Here are the 5 most common low carb mistakes and how to avoid them.
While there is no strict definition of a low carb diet, anything under 100150 grams per day is generally considered low carb. This is definitely a lot less than the amount of carbs in the standard Western diet.
You may achieve great results within this carb range, as long as you eat unprocessed whole foods.
But if you want to get into ketosis which is essential for a ketogenic diet then this level of intake may be too high.
Most people will need to go under 50 grams per day to reach ketosis.
Keep in mind that this doesnt leave you with many carb options except vegetables and small amounts of berries.
To calculate your net carbs, subtract fiber, sugar alcohols, and other nondigestible carbs from the total amount. These are the carbs to watch on a ketogenic diet.
If you want to get into ketosis and reap the full metabolic benefits of low carb diets, going under 50 grams of carbs per day may be necessary.
Protein is a very important macronutrient that most people consume adequate amounts of.
It can improve feelings of fullness and increase fat burning more than other macronutrients .
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What Are The Dangers Of The Keto Diet
If you are on diabetic medication that causes low blood sugar, those meds may need to be adjusted within a few days, Condon said. There are heart-healthy sources of fat, however if that person is not educated on heart-healthy sources of fat, they may consume excessive amounts of saturated fats that can increase your risk of heart disease, Condon said.
Putting It All Together Ketosis And The Ketogenic Diet
Several key signs and symptoms can help you identify if are entering ketosis or are already in ketosis. The ten most common signs are:
- Dry mouth and increased thirst
- Using a ketone tracking instrument
The only clear-cut way to know if you are in ketosis or not is if you use one of the ketone measuring devices that you will find in this article. However, investing in these instruments is not necessary for most people.
Ultimately, if you are following the guidelines of a ketogenic diet and you stay consistent, then you will soon be in ketosis and reap these benefits:
- Increased mitochondrial production and efficiency
- Brain and nervous system protection and regeneration
- Antioxidant activity
- Cancer growth prevention
- Appetite suppressant
With that being said, if you are losing weight, enjoying your ketogenic diet, and feeling healthier, then there is no need to obsess over your ketone levels. In this case, all you really need to do is keep calm and keto on!
P.S. Have a look at the Keto Academy, our foolproof 30-day keto meal planner. It has all the tools, information, and recipes needed for you to succeed.
+ The food will always fit to your macros and cooking preferences!
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A Keto Diet For Beginners
A ketogenic diet or keto diet is a low carb, high fat diet. It can be effective for weight loss and certain health conditions, something thats been demonstrated in many studies.1
A keto diet is especially useful for losing excess body fat without hunger, and for improving type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome.2
On a keto diet, you cut way back on carbohydrates, also known as carbs, in order to burn fat for fuel.
In this beginners guide, youll learn all you need to know about ketogenic diets, including how to get started to achieve the best results safely and effectively.
Learn more about keto and
Chia Seeds And Flaxseed
Whitmire recommends these seeds because they both offer omega-3 fatty acids. Getting more of these fats will improve the ratio of omega-6s to omega-3s you consume, which some research suggests optimizes health, she says. American diets tend to be higher in omega-6s than omega-3s, as Mount Sinai, points out, but its important to strike a balance. For example, a past article cited research that linked consuming more omega-3s and fewer omega-6s led to a lower risk of insulin resistance the hallmark of type 2 diabetes and obesity, among other protective health benefits. The USDA says 1 oz of chia seeds has 138 calories, 4.7 g of protein, 8.7 g of fat, 11.9 g of carbs, and a whopping 9.8 g of fiber . And 1 tbsp of ground flaxseed has 37 calories, 1.3 g of protein, 3 g of fat, 2 g of carbs, and 1.9 g of fiber , per the USDA. Just be sure to buy ground flaxseed so your body can absorb the omega-3s.
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Phase : The Cruise Phase
Most of the weight loss will come during the second phase of the Dukan Diet, related to the implemented restrictions and guidelines. Transitioning into phase 2 means adding nonstarchy vegetables to the diet in unlimited amounts every other day. Examples of nonstarchy vegetables include zucchini, green beans, eggplant, onions, mushrooms, lettuce, celery and cucumber. Additionally, the plan recommends increasing the oat bran quantity to 2 tablespoons per day. One teaspoon of olive oil to cook vegetables is allowable.
The average length of this phase is based on a schedule of three days for every pound you want to lose and can last several months, depending on your goals. The amount of weight loss that should be achieved should coincide with the “true weight” determined at the beginning of the diet.
Risks Of The Keto Diet
This eating plan isnât recommended for people with:
- Pancreatic disease
Some long-term health risks are:
- Vitamin deficiency
The high-fat nature of the keto diet could also pose risks for heart disease and other chronic health problems, especially as you age. This is due to the restriction of foods that could limit essential vitamins and minerals. Avoiding beans, grains, and fruits might lead to weight loss, but you’ll also be struggling to get enough fiber, which is crucial for protecting your heart.
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