Keto Can Put Stress On The Kidneys And Possibly Give You Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are a well-noted potential side effect of the ketogenic diet. ResearchJournal of Child Neurology observed that among children following the keto diet as a treatment for epilepsy, 13 out of 195 subjects developed kidney stones. Children supplementing with potassium citrate in the study noticed a decreased likelihood of kidney stones. Speak with your healthcare practitioner about supplementing if kidney stones are a concern.
If youre going to do keto, theres a better and a worse way to do it, says Yawitz. Loading your plate with meats, and especially processed meats, may increase your risk for kidney stones and gout, which is a painful type of arthritis. High intake of animal proteins makes your urine more acidic and increases calcium and uric acid levels. This combination makes you more susceptible to kidney stones, while high uric acid can increase your risk for gout, adds Yawitz.
And the ketogenic diet can be dangerous for people with kidney disease, as people with kidney disease need to follow an individualized diet as prescribed by their doctor. According to Davita Kidney Care, people with kidney disease often need to consume a low-protein diet, which may not align with the type of keto youre following.
You Let Social Engagements Wreck Your Diet
Grabbing dinner or drinks with friends, employer-paid lunches, dates with the spousethese are all big failure points for many people, says Brandon Olin, host of The Deskbound Podcast. From both the temptation of a delicious bowl of pasta at your favorite Italian joint and having to explain to your friends or coworkers the new diet youre on, this is a tough one.
Fix: The answer to this roadblock is personal. Youll have to find a plan that works for you, that balances your social plans and needs with your food and healthy-eating goals.
Olin says he plans ahead for outings or office lunches by bringing his keto-friendly food and strategically eating about 30 minutes before the food arrives. Choosing to forego an unhealthy meal is much easier when youve already eaten and are no longer hungry, he says.
For dining out, study the menu ahead of time and pick out a keto option. If you dont see anything, call the restaurant and ask if they have something they can prepare for you. With a plan in place, youre less likely to veer off course once the waiter arrives with pen in hand.
Is The Keto Diet Safe
The keto diet could cause low blood pressure, kidney stones, constipation, nutrient deficiencies and an increased risk of heart disease. Strict diets like keto could also cause social isolation or disordered eating. Keto is not safe for those with any conditions involving their pancreas, liver, thyroid or gallbladder.
Kleinman said someone new to the keto diet can also experience whats called the keto flu with symptoms like upset stomach, dizziness, decreased energy, and mood swings caused by your body adapting to ketosis.
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Alternative Recipe Of Sour Cream On The Keto Diet
Another way to make sure adding a spoonful of sour cream to your salad wont kick you out of creating a ketosis state is by making it yourself. This recipe consists of measly 2 ingredients, so anyone would be able to do a stand-up job whipping up a batch of sour cream at home instead of buying it:
- Heavy cream
- Starter culture
The proportion depends on the type and thickness of products. Use approximately 1 liter of heavy cream and 1 packet of starter culture.
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Vitamin And Mineral Deficiencies
The keto diet cuts out many common foods that serve as good sources of vitamins and minerals, so you may be at risk for some micronutrient deficiencies if you arent careful.
The most common micronutrient deficiencies on keto are:
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin D
To prevent these deficiencies from happening, make sure you are eating a diverse array of keto-friendly meats, poultry, seafood, dairy, eggs, and veggies. Some of the most micronutrient-dense keto foods are eggs, low-carb vegetables, seafood, and organ meats like beef liver.
For more specific information on how to meet your vitamin and mineral needs while you are on the keto diet, check out our comprehensive guide to micronutrients. In this guide, you will find out how to meet your micronutrient needs with keto foods and how to track your intake.
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The Food Is Repetitive
I ate a lot of bacon, cheese, eggs and meat . For a person whose eating philosophy is typically more plant-based and whole-food-focused, eating processed pork products every morning took a lot of personal persuasion. It also took a complete mental shift, because eating multiple pieces of bacon every day for weeks on end goes against everything I’ve been taught for personal health.
What You Need To Know About Keto
Though it may seem new to your newsfeed, the ketogenic diet has been around since the 1920s. The low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet gained a foothold when proven to reduce seizures in pediatric patients with epilepsy. While still prescribed for that purpose today, the diet is now touted as a weight loss tool.
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May Increase Your Risk Of Chronic Diseases And Early Death
The ketogenic diets effect on your risk of chronic illness, such as heart disease or cancer, is hotly debated and not entirely understood.
Some evidence suggests that high fat, low carb diets that focus on animal foods may lead to poor health outcomes, while diets that emphasize vegetable sources of fats and proteins provide benefits (
Yet, more substantial studies are needed.
While research is mixed, some evidence suggests that low carb diets that focus on animal foods may lead to higher death rates from heart disease, cancer, and all causes.
Risks Associated With Keto
Neal Barnard, MD, FACC, an adjunct professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and a co-author of the study, tells Verywell that keto diets contain the types of foods that are associated with cancer risks.
A keto diet emphasizes the consumption of animal products while limiting many nutrient-rich vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. As a result, keto is low in many vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
Restricting carbohydrates prior to or duringpregnancy is linked with increased risks of birth defects and gestational diabetes, the researchers found. Since 40% of pregnancies in the United States are unplanned, a low-carbohydrate diet is considered risky for anyone who could become pregnant.
Barnard adds that most human beings are prone to risks associated with a highly restrictive keto diet. If a cat eats meat every day for the cats whole life, shell never get a heart attack, he says. If you eat meat for a week, your cholesterol levels are going to go up in many cases and you may get heart disease.
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Examine Your Relationship With Fat Keto Involves Lots Of It
People are afraid of fat because theyve been told that itll kill them, says Mancinelli. What is confusing is that research today remains mixed. Some studies suggest that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat is important for mitigating heart disease risk, while others suggest that total fat and types of fat werent associated with cardiovascular problems, according to an article published in June 2018 in BMJ. Deciding exactly how to eat then becomes confusing. What is helpful, the authors note, is to remember that food is more than a single nutrient, and its the overall quality of the diet that counts.
To prepare for a high-fat diet, which can be uncomfortable at first, start making small adjustments to what you eat every day, she suggests, like ordering a burger on lettuce leaves and subbing green veggies for fries.
Is Following The Keto Diet Difficult
The first thoughts that entered my mind before trying the ketogenic diet were:
- Is it safe to eat that much fat?
- Will I want to eat that much fat?
To justify the first question, I considered that I was eating a ton of sugar every day. I ate dessert daily, on top of other forms of simple carbs like rice, pasta and bread.
Even thought it seems drastic, eating that much fat couldnt be that detrimental to my health when compared to my current diet.
Before I get into the second thought, let me delve into how hard it is to follow the keto diet.
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Is Keto Safe If You Have Diabetes
That depends on the type of diabetes you have. In general, people with type 2 who are overweight seem to get good results safely. If you have type 1 and want to try the keto diet, itâs essential that you talk to your doctor first. Youâll need to carefully monitor your health and watch for signs of ketoacidosis. For either type, itâs a good idea to work closely with your doctor, since you may need to change your medications.
The keto diet has some side effects that are worth knowing about, too:
Hypoglycemia: Though the diet can lower A1c levels, that may mean youâre at a higher risk of blood sugar that dips too low, especially if youâre also taking medicine for your diabetes. Let your doctor or diabetes educator know if you try the keto diet. They can advise you about checking your blood sugar, taking your medicines, and what to do when your blood sugar drops too low.
Lack of nutrients: Since many foods are off-limits, including some fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, you could miss out on the important nutrients youâd get from them. Work with a nutritionist familiar with nutritional ketosis to make sure your body gets what it needs.
Liver and kidney problems: These organs help your body process fat and protein. Some experts worry that the keto diet could overwork them. Others say that if your organs are healthy, youâre probably fine.
Constipation: Since youâre not eating foods like whole grains and beans, you could miss key sources of fiber.
What Foods Can You Eat On The Keto Diet
Okay, so while there are different versions of keto, let’s say you’re thinking of following the standard keto diet, for the sake of convenience. Just because you’re not eating all your fave carb-y foods, that doesn’t mean you’re going to go hungry. You’ll be loading up on healthy fats , along with plenty of lean protein like grass-fed beef and chicken, and leafy greensor other non-starchy veggies.
More good news: Snacks are totally allowed . There are plenty of packaged options out there designed for keto fans. FATBAR is one of them. These snack bars have 200 calories, 16 grams of fat, and four grams of net carbs. They’re also plant-based and are made with almond or cashew butter, cocoa butter, coconut, pea protein, sunflower seeds, and chia seeds.
For coffee drinkers mourning the loss of their vanilla lattes, Bulletproof coffee’s an option. This is your standard coffee but with grass-fed butter and medium-chain triglycerides oil added to help give you a boost of healthy fats in the A.M.
If you’re looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth, keto fat bombs have a solid following. As the name implies, these are little snacks that are high in fat and low in carbs, so you can be on-point with your diet, even when you indulge.
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Less Muscle Mass Decreased Metabolism
Another consequence of keto-related weight changes can be a loss of muscle mass, says Kizerespecially if youre eating much more fat than protein. Youll lose weight, but it might actually be a lot of muscle, she says, and because muscle burns more calories than fat, that will affect your metabolism.
When a person goes off the ketogenic diet and regains much of their original weight, its often not in the same proportions, says Kizer: Instead of regaining lean muscle, youre likely to regain fat. Now youre back to your starting weight, but you no longer have the muscle mass to burn the calories that you did before, she says. That can have lasting effects on your resting metabolic rate, and on your weight long-term.
Troubleshooting For Step : Hidden Carbs And Keto
When you start restricting carbs, youll notice that so many of your favorite foods come with added sugars and carbs. These foods can quickly kick you out of ketosis and turn your keto diet into a lackluster low carb diet.
To ensure that you are keeping your carbs as low as possible, use these strategies:
- Read labels carefully. Anything that comes in a package may be filled with hidden carbs. Make sure the ingredients label doesnt have any ingredients like maltodextrin, dextrose, sugar, cane syrup, starch, etc. because these ingredients can increase blood sugar levels and impair ketone production.
- Use keto friendly sweeteners and flours. Sugar and flour are hard to eliminate for the diet completely, but it is possible if you know what to replace them with. For more info on keto-friendly sweeteners that you can use, check out our guide to sweeteners. And if you are looking for keto-friendly baking ingredients, read through our guide to keto flours.
- Eat keto versions of your favorite carb-rich foods. Just because you are eating keto foods doesnt mean you have to cut out pizza, pasta, desserts, and sweets. All you have to do is make sure they are keto-friendly. Check out these recipe round-ups for some delicious keto-friendly versions of foods that are usually loaded with carbs:
- The 10 Best Keto Pizza Recipes
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Not Preparing For Keto Flu
Youve been burning carbs for most of your life, so when you suddenly cut carbs out, your body can get confused.
It takes a week or so for you to get used to burning fat for fuel instead of carbs. Keto dieters call this period the keto flu you may experience a few days of flu-like symptoms while your body adjusts to using fat as an energy source.
Side effects of keto flu include:
- Achy muscles
If you experience any of these symptoms during your first week on keto, dont worry! Its completely normal and itll pass pretty quickly.
Theres also plenty you can do to relieve keto flu. Even basic things like getting enough sleep and drinking plenty of water make a big difference during the keto flu period.
Check out this guide to keto flu and how to get rid of it. It has simple, actionable steps you can take to smooth over your transition into ketosis.
Youre Consuming Too Much Protein
The keto diet typically stipulates moderate protein. Another one of the common keto diet mistakes people make is consuming too much protein.
This hinders the ability to enter a state of ketosis because excess protein will be converted to glucose by the body, which you dont want on a keto diet.
Additionally, in general, consuming too much protein may cause kidney issues so make sure you have a good kidney support.
Though a high-protein intake doesnt cause kidney issues in those with normally-functioning kidneys, studies have found it may exacerbate kidney issues in people who already suffer from mild kidney abnormalities.
Like with your fat intake, monitor your protein intake to make sure that youre eating the right amount of protein for you. You dont want to go to all this work to limit carbs and increase fat, only to derail your progress because of your protein intake.
The right fat-to-protein ratio can be controversial, and its hotly debated among nutritionists. The controversy stems from a process called gluconeogenesis . This process happens when the body creates its own glucose from non-carbohydrate sources.
Many nutritionists believe that if you eat too much protein, it results in gluconeogenesis and your blood sugar spikes. While this is true, whats important to note is that in the absence of carbs, both protein and fat intake can cause GNG.
- gluco-: glucose
- neo-: new
- genesis: origin or creation
- Stalled weight loss
- Hormonal imbalances
- Hair loss
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Hypotension For People Who Are On Blood Pressure Lowering Medication
The current research data suggests that the ketogenic diet can help improve blood pressure. In fact, when researchers compared the effects of a low-carb diet to a low-fat diet and orlistat on blood pressure, they found that the low carb diet was more effective for lowering blood pressure.
Although this is great news for anyone trying to lower their blood pressure, this also means that keto may provoke abnormally low blood pressure in those who are on medication.
It is also important to be mindful of your electrolyte and water intake if you are struggling to control blood pressure levels. As we learned earlier, the keto diet may provoke sodium, potassium, and magnesium deficiencies, which all play a role in regulating blood pressure.
For these reasons, anyone who is taking blood pressure lowering medication should read through this article and discuss their keto diet and blood pressure treatment plan with their doctor before making such a big dietary change.
Make Your Food Environment Keto
Your willpower may be high now, and you may feel like you can conquer this new diet plan but we must also acknowledge the fact that we cant swim upstream forever. If our food environment is filled with easily accessible, carb-rich food that we can eat within the next 60 seconds, then our willpower wont be able to stop us from cheating on our diet eventually.
To make sure you stick to the keto diet , dont rely on your willpower rely on the food environment you create for yourself. Make it so easy to stick to your new way of eating that you can do it naturally.
Here are a couple tips on how to make your food environment keto-friendly:
- Clean out your kitchen of any and all foods that are high in carbohydrates. This includes any candy, chocolate, sugary drinks, bread, pasta, and rice.
- Go to the grocery store, implement your new label reading strategies, and restock your kitchen with some low carb alternatives to eat and snack on. Some snacks you can try are kale chips, macadamia nuts, high-fat cheese, pepperoni, and our keto-friendly snack recipes.
- If you struggle with overeating low carb snacks, put them in a place that is much harder to access.
- Do not keep your favorite foods in easy-to-see places.
- Limit the variety of the foods that you have available at any given time.
- Plan your meals ahead of time by using our keto recipes, 14-day meal plan, or our Keto Academy.
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