Are the Keto Diet Safe? 10 Things You Need to Know

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Is the keto diet safe? Learn about the potential risks and benefits of following a keto diet, and discover how to stay healthy while eating low-carb, high-fat foods.

This is the premise behind the ketogenic lifestyle. The most well-known weight loss regimen demands that users fill their plates with high-fat food items, including bacon, avocado, cheese, butter, and nuts. In contrast, carbohydrates are minimal, even if they stem from healthful sources like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. As the keto diet has been rising in popularity lately (it’s been in some form for many generations), Many nutrition and health professionals have highlighted concerns over its safety and efficacy over the long run.

Before we go into those difficulties, here’s a quick overview: we may define the keto diet as a low-carb, high-fat diet with moderate protein. It usually contains 70 to 80 percent of calories from fat, approximately 10 percent or 20% of protein, and just 5-10 percent carbohydrates. The purpose of ketogenic diets is to trigger the metabolic state known as ketosis. This is a process that causes the liver to convert store-bought fat into substances known as ketones, which act as energy sources for cells.

If you’re one of the U.S. adults, your body typically gets most of its energy from dissolving carbohydrates from your diet into glucose. If you cut down on your carbs, your body will have to look for other fuel sources, as explained by Angela Cusimano, RD, an expert in clinical dietetics at the University of Kansas Hospital in Kansas City. The body first taps glycogen stored (glycogen) in muscles and other tissues. When glycogen depletes, ketosis takes over, and the body shifts to ketones to provide energy for cells. The keto diet’s advocates believe that this utilization of stored fat is responsible for reducing fat that many people who follow the diet experience.

General drawbacks of the keto diet

With its moderate-protein, high-fat strict rules for carbs, the keto diet has some significant limitations. “Keto does not conform to the guidelines for public health that emphasizes eating lots of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains as well as plant-based proteins,” claims a registered dietitian, MS CDN director of nutrition and wellness at WW. Because of this, keto-eaters may not get the essential nutrients, such as minerals, fiber, B vitamins, and antioxidants, such as potassium, magnesium, and potassium. Another issue is that the keto diet does not distinguish between unsaturated and saturated fats. London says that diets high in saturated fats are linked to the chance of developing cardiovascular disease and other health problems.

The first two weeks of a ketogenic diet could produce various unpleasant but temporary adverse effects, such as constipation, headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and muscle cramps. And trouble focusing. In addition, the security of a ketogenic diet can depend on your health situation. If you have diabetes or have a condition that affects your liver, heart, or kidneys, you should seek the advice of a doctor before making significant changes to your diet. London suggests.

Check out this article for in-depth and scientifically-backed points to be aware of before attempting a ketogenic diet.

Is the keto diet suitable for those with Type 2 Diabetes?

It’s feasible, provided that you are under close medical supervision. The keto diet was created to lower glucose levels, the sugar derived from carbohydrates usually used as the body’s primary energy source. Since type two diabetes can be a disorder that alters how the body processes glucose, Cusimano strongly advises patients to work with their physicians to develop a carb-restricted diet program. “If you alter the way you eat but not the medication, it might lower your blood sugar levels in dangerous quantities,” she cautions.

A few studies suggest that over the short term, the ketogenic diet could improve blood sugar control and reduce weight for people with Type 2 Diabetes. Within this category, eating a low-carb-based diet can help reduce the need for oral medication.

There’s presently no evidence that suggests that the ketogenic diet is employed as a therapeutic option for persons suffering from the ailment known as type 1, as a research review published by Nutrients revealed. The condition is known as type 1 diabetes. It’s a disease that develops when the pancreas releases too little (or no) insulin required to transport glucose to cells. If you have Type 1 diabetes and are thinking of keto diets for weight-loss reasons, talk to your physician to ensure the diet fits in well with the overall wellness regimen.

Is the keto diet safe for people living with obesity?

There’s not enough evidence to suggest ketogenic diets pose specific safety issues for people who are overweight, Cusimano says. However, it’s worthwhile to determine if keto provides significant weight loss benefits.

Many who follow the keto diet experience rapid weight loss in the beginning. London says this is primarily due to the body’s burning glycogen reserves, which causes water loss. The calories lost by eliminating nearly all carbs could also cause drastic weight changes.

After the initial few months of research, there is little evidence for the widely-held belief that keto provides a significant metabolic benefit. A review of 13 random controlled trials released in 2013 compared individuals on keto diets that are very low in carbs with those who ate low-fat diets and concluded that after 12 to 24 weeks, the keto group lost about 2 pounds more per year on average.

Keto Diet

Yet, on certain health-related factors, the keto diet could be superior to traditional calorie reduction, according to research. A small study of overweight adults released in the Annals of Internal Medicine discovered that those on a diet low in carbs had higher triglycerides and HDL (“good”) cholesterol at the end of one year, 500 calories daily. However, the long-term health effects were outside what this study considered. (More on this topic below.) Additionally, both diet groups had poor adherence to the diet and high rates of dropouts.

The basic rule is that any benefits of decreasing weight may sustain only in the sense that the weight loss itself is maintained, according to Jen Bruning, MS, RDN, LDN, a spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics. She adds that the restricted keto diet can challenge staying to it. If people stop adhering to the keto diet and return to their previous eating habits, the lost weight will return.

Is the keto diet suitable for those who suffer from liver disease?

A ketogenic diet could benefit those suffering from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. A ketogenic diet can be helpful to people suffering from nonalcoholic fatty liver disease(NAFLD). This is the result of a 2020 study of 21 studies released in Obesity Reviews. NAFLD is a condition that occurs when fat builds up within the liver’s cells, which may result in complications if untreated. Even though people suffering from NAFLD are typically advised to lose weight, the study cited in the above article suggests that ketosis could improve the composition of the liver, besides weight reduction. (Fatty liver disease may also be caused by excessive alcohol consumption. The primary recommendation for those with the condition is to reduce alcohol consumption.)

NAFLD usually does not show symptoms but can be associated with type 2 metabolic syndrome, diabetes, or being overweight. Cusimano recommends talking to your doctor if you think there is something wrong in your liver and you are thinking about trying a keto-based diet.

Is the keto diet safe for those who have epilepsy?

Unsurprisingly, the keto diet was initially created as a cure to treat epilepsy during the 1920s. Epilepsy is a condition affecting the brain wherein brain activity can cause symptoms like seizures, confusion, and losing consciousness. Although the precise mechanisms of action are not thoroughly researched, a research review published in the European Journal of Clinical Medicine concluded that the keto diet provides “strong evidence” to decrease epileptic seizures. The study also noted that a ketogenic diet could lower the need for anticonvulsant drugs. One explanation could be that the changes in metabolism resulting from a keto-based diet alter certain neurotransmitters within the brain that regulate the activity. But, as per Bruning, epilepsy patients “should strictly adhere to the keto diet under strict Medical supervision.”

Is the keto diet safe for those suffering from kidney disease?

There may be better options than a keto-based diet when you’ve been diagnosed with kidney issues. According to Cusimano, individuals with stage 1, 2, or stage 3 kidney diseases are generally advised to keep their protein intake between 12% and 15% of calories daily to lessen the kidney processing burden. This significantly differs from keto-friendly plans, which have a protein intake of around 20 percent calories.

The specific effect of the keto diet on kidney functions is being researched. A small study examining women and men with overweight and mild kidney diseases showed in 2020 that a low-calorie keto diet led to weight loss but not affecting kidney function. Medical supervision must be closely monitored according to the study’s authors in a letter echoing the advice of WW’s experts.

Is the keto diet safe for those with a history of eating disorders?

In the early years of 2020, the health benefits of consuming ketogenic food for those suffering or recovering from disorders are in the initial phases of research. So far, no significant research has outlined the dangers or benefits of a ketogenic lifestyle for those suffering from anorexia nervosa or bulimia, or other binge-eating behaviors. In the meantime, the ketogenic diet may not be the best option when disordered eating is a problem in your life at any time. Bruning believes that “the strictness of the keto diet could be a triggering factor for those suffering from any eating disorders or with a previous history with an eating disorder.” Your physician or nutritionist will provide more advice according to your specific health status.

Is the keto diet healthy for athletes?

Don’t rely on bacon to increase your soccer game. A review in 2019 of 13 studies examining the impact of keto-based diets on recreational and elite athletes revealed “no evident performance advantage.” The keto diet was also not associated with any drawbacks in performance.

A 2020 review of seven studies published by the International Society of Sports Nutrition with mixed outcomes for endurance athletes who follow keto in comparison. Carb-rich diets. Some findings pointed to increased performance (measured by the VO2 max) for keto-eating individuals. Still, most studies found no significant differences between the different eating strategies.

Even if you’re not hoping to improve your performance, be aware that the initial stages of keto are usually characterized by increased body water loss, and it’s crucial to drink plenty of water during exercise.

Related Post: A keto diet for beginners

Is the keto diet safe for children?

Children and teenagers should not adhere to the keto diet unless they are prescribed by a physician to treat epilepsy or other related conditions, Bruning says. Children may misinterpret the keto diet as values and consider certain foods “good” and “bad.” Instead of restricting one major food group, Bruning encourages parents to show a positive attitude towards food and help children make good choices around the table.

Is a keto-friendly diet safe in the long run?

New research indicates that long-term and strict restrictions on carbs can affect a person’s longevity. A study published in 2018 by a group that published their findings The Lancet published a study. The Lancet looked at 25 years of data on the carbohydrate consumption of more than 432,000 people living in different U.S. communities and found that those who ate low-carb diets – with carbs comprising just 40% or less of the total intake. Diets high in carbs, which consist of at least 70% carbohydrates, were also associated with a higher chance of death, although in a less significant way. Low-carb diets containing animal-derived protein were more closely associated with death than diets focused on protein-rich plants. The lowest risk group is known risk—adults with diets that ranged from 50%-55 percent carbs.

The conclusion is: Is the keto diet worth a try?

To eat for a short time, one can follow a low-carb, high-fat keto diet with moderate protein is generally considered safe for healthy adults. People with a preexisting medical condition should consult their physician before significantly adjusting their eating habits.

It is important to note that the keto diet is not adhering to the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and long-term compliance with a keto diet isn’t high. The keto diet is only a good fit for some. London, “The best eating strategies are ones you will stick to for the long haul, with a broad range of food items from all the major food categories, and do not insist on eating from an approved list of food items.”


A.Hoque is a Blogger with six years of experience developing story concepts in various genres, such as Affiliate Marketing and health and wellness. A.Hoque has solid connections in the field, which helps her in crafting concise...

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