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7 Dangers of Keto Diet and How to Prevent Them

The keto diet promises weight loss in early
as 10 days, which is why many people are coming on board. How it works is it forces the body into ketosis
by maintaining a low-carb or no-carb diet. Ketones start to
build up in the blood, and low carbohydrate levels start to lower, making fat as the primary
source of energy. The quick results may be tempting, but there
are some dangers of a keto diet that one should be aware
of before even considering it. Here are some of them:
1. The “keto flu”
During the first seven days of starting a keto diet, your body might feel different
due to the sudden shift of energy source from carbohydrates to fats. Fat is the central component of a keto diet,
consisting of at least 60% of the daily calorie requirement. Carbohydrates are cut down to just at least
5% or 20 net grams. This sudden change can cause symptoms of brain
fog, insomnia, fatigue, dizziness, and muscle cramps. This is otherwise known as the “keto flu.” Drinking at least 2.5 liters of water daily
can help alleviate these symptoms. 2. Nutritional Deficiencies
Going on a keto diet means that whole grains, legumes, bean, and many fruits and vegetables
are offlimits. Due to this restrictive nature, you will be
missing out on essential vitamins and minerals that
cannot be found in any other food group. This could ultimately lead to nutritional
deficiencies and can be detrimental to your health. This is why doctors only recommend the keto
diet only as a short-term weight loss diet. However, if you try to eat a varied diet of
leafy greens (for vitamin B complex), raw vegetables, and grassfed meat, and maybe take
some necessary supplements, this could be well avoided. 3. Bowel Problems
Removing most fruits and vegetables from your diet can also lead to bowel problems, such
as constipation and difficulty having a bowel
movement. Fruits and vegetables are a rich source of
fiber, which helps with digestion and eases bowel
movements. Diarrhea is not uncommon either, especially
during the first few weeks. Some people don’t digest large amounts of
fat easily or properly, and this leads to fatty diarrhea. To remedy this, eat vegetables rich in fiber,
such as broccoli, cabbage, and asparagus. Consuming healthy
fats such as coconut oil, ghee, and avocado would also be helpful. Last but not least, keeping yourself
hydrated will go a long way. 4. Low blood sugar
Once your body goes into ketosis, blood sugar levels become more stable and lower. Although there is
anecdotal evidence that the keto diet can stabilize blood sugar levels in patients with
type 2 diabetes, it can also cause a critical drop in blood sugar
levels known as hypoglycemia. Another factor is that whole
grains are completely eliminated in this type of diet. Whole grains, such as oatmeal, are beneficial
in the maintenance of a healthy weight and normal
blood sugar. If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes or on
insulin therapy, you should always consult your primary care
physician before starting on a keto diet or any diet for that matter. 5. Dehydration
During the start of a keto diet, your body loses more water than usual due to the reduction
of inflammation and glycogen stores in your liver
and muscles. As a result, you could get dehydrated. To counter this, drinking at least 2.5 liters
of water at the start of the diet will help replenish lost water. Caffeine and alcohol should also be avoided
since they both have diuretic effects. 6. Electrolyte Loss
Dehydration and increased urination caused by a keto diet will eventually lead to the
loss of electrolytes, such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium. This can be very damaging to the heart and
its normal beating and can ultimately cause cardiac arrhythmia. As a remedy, consume keto-friendly sources
of these electrolytes, such as avocadoes, asparagus, and
leafy greens. Taking supplements is also an option. Aside from maintaining the natural electrolyte
balance, taking magnesium supplements will also help alleviate insomnia, constipation,
and muscle cramps. So, it’s a win-win-win! 7. Kidney damage or kidney stones
If left untreated, dehydration will eventually damage the kidneys. Aside from dehydration, the excessive
amounts of nitrogen created by a high protein diet will also deal more damage to the kidneys. This will
also increase the risk of kidney stone formation. People with gout, liver, or kidney issues
should think twice and consult their primary care physician
before taking on a keto diet as this could exacerbate such conditions and increase the
risk of kidney failure. The Takeaway
Before starting any type of restrictive diet, such as the keto diet, always consult with
your primary care physician beforehand to ensure that you are
physically fit for it. This is especially true for individuals with
an existing medical condition or those on any type of long-term medication.

Randall Smitham



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