Because Its Hard To Follow Keto Can Lead To Yo
Rapid, significant weight loss is a common side effect of the keto diet because of the water losses that occur as carbohydrate stores are depleted, says Clark. In a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, obese men following a modified version of the ketogenic diet, with high protein and low carbs, lost about 14 pounds in one month, compared with the control group, which lost about 10 pounds on a high-protein, medium-carb diet.
Jalali says people following the diet have the best chance of keeping the weight off if they stay on it long term. And thats not always easy to accomplish. The weight may come back if you go back to your regular eating habits. And regaining weight may lead to other negative effects. Chronic yo-yo dieting appears to increase abdominal fat accumulation and diabetes risk, notes Clark.
Studies have shown that the ability to stick to a diet is more important for long-term success than the type of diet thats followed, says Yawitz. Keto is incredibly restrictive and is particularly tough for those who have frequent social engagements or are prone to carb cravings. The Mediterranean diet allows you to eat carbs, like as many fruits and veggies as you want, along with whole grains. Not to mention, the Mediterranean diet has been linked to a number of other health benefits, including a lower risk of Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease, certain types of cancer, and heart disease, according to the Mayo Clinic.
A Gap In The Research
There have been many studies on the keto diet over the years however, most have been small and of fairly short durations of about 12 weeks. It is not uncommon for the public to be mistaken when it comes to understanding what research is available to them and what the research has to say in regards to ketogenic diets. Many people will claim that there is a ton of research on the keto diet and that that alone suffices for ensuring the efficacy and safety of the diet. However, while there is some research on the diet, not much research has been conducted in regards to the long-term effects on overall health and weight maintenance. The best studies that have been conducted on the keto diet for more than one year looked at the impact of the diet on pediatric seizure disorders, not on the diet as a weight loss approach. In these cases, the benefits for treating epilepsy outweigh the potential risks however, a 10-year study conducted on the effects of keto in the management of epilepsy in children found side effects including constipation, high triglycerides, high cholesterol, diarrhea, lethargy, iron deficiency, and vomiting .
The Story Behind How The Ketogenic Diet Came To Be
The ketogenic diet was originally formulated by doctors to help treat people with epilepsy, and it was found especially effective in children who didnt respond to medication.1,2 Indeed, the keto diet has been found to reduce the frequency and intensity of seizures, which are common complications of this condition.
This high fat/low carb diet may also help improve certain other neurological disorders like Alzheimers disease and Parkinsons disease,3 according to the Epilepsy Foundation. More than half the children with epilepsy who were put on the diet experienced half as many seizures, while 10 to 15 percent of the patients who followed this diet became seizure-free.
The keto diet has also been studied as a possible cancer therapy. In a study focusing on people with cancer who followed the ketogenic diet as a medical therapy,4 the authors reported: There is a great need for complementary approaches that have limited patient toxicity while selectively enhancing therapy responses in cancer versus normal tissues.
Ketogenic diets could represent a potential dietary manipulation that could be rapidly implemented for the purpose of exploiting inherent oxidative metabolic differences between cancer cells and normal cells to improve standard therapeutic outcomes by selectively enhancing metabolic oxidative stress in cancer cells.
The keto diet is not for children or adolescents either, and a long-term complication can be growth retardation in children.5
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One Of The Biggest Concerns About Keto Is The Lack Of Long
While the diet isn’t new it’s been used for decades in clinical settings, mostly to treat hard-to-control seizures in children it’s only entered the mainstream in the past few years. As such, when the government released its latest edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans in late December 2020, its scientists concluded they didn’t have enough research to make a recommendation about it.
“In some ways, it’s not necessarily the fault of keto itself , it’s that we still lack long-term evidence on what a high-fat diet will do for chronic disease risk and longevity,” registered dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick, who wasn’t involved in the rankings, told Insider when they were released last year.
It May Negatively Affect Your Athletic Performance
There are people who say that keto helps your athletic performance, and those who say it hurts it. “The literature is mixed on how an ultra low-carbohydrate diet like the keto diet affects athletic performance,” says Grant Cox, C.S.C.S., head coach at Iron Tribe Fitness. But one thing is pretty clear: “A lot of it points to consistent decreases when athletes are looking for maximal power output . Along the same lines, you’d be hard-pressed to put on weight and strength on such a low carbohydrate diet,” he says.
That might be part of the reason the keto diet is bad for some and thought to be a better fit for endurance athletes. But even for them, evidence is mixed. “The keto diet has been popular with athletes that engage in long endurance events, because it requires them to rely on less frequent carbohydrate feedings to fuel their exercise and more on their body fat stores,” Brown explains. “This can decrease uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms , but a keto diet can be as challenging to maintain for an athlete as it is for a layperson.”
Plus, “some research has found that athletes on a keto diet become less efficient in their exercise,” says Brown. Because of this, the researchers involved in the study recommended that instead of going for a keto diet, athletes who want to take advantage of their body’s ability to use fat as fuel alternate between training in a carb-depleted state and eating carbs as normal.
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What Do You Eat
Because the keto diet has such a high fat requirement, followers must eat fat at each meal. In a daily 2,000-calorie diet, that might look like 165 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbs, and 75 grams of protein. However, the exact ratio depends on your particular needs.
Some healthy unsaturated fats are allowed on the keto diet like nuts , seeds, avocados, tofu, and olive oil. But saturated fats from oils , lard, butter, and cocoa butter are encouraged in high amounts.
Protein is part of the keto diet, but it doesn’t typically discriminate between lean protein foods and protein sources high in saturated fat such as beef, pork, and bacon.
What about fruits and vegetables? All fruits are rich in carbs, but you can have certain fruits in small portions. Vegetables are restricted to leafy greens , cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, bell peppers, onions, garlic, mushrooms, cucumber, celery, and summer squashes. A cup of chopped broccoli has about six carbs.
Fair Warning: There Are Challenges To Choosing A Keto Diet
- The first few days are extremely difficult as your body tries to acclimate to such a low level of carbs. During this adjustment to burning fat instead of glucose, the side effects will make you feel awful hence the term, keto flu.
- Youll be depriving yourself in social situations
- Youll need to prepare meals ahead and take them with you since you are confined to eating specific foods.
3 Common Mistakes to Keep In Mind When On a Keto Diet
Adhering to the keto diet puts your body into a state of ketosis, which sounds similar to ketoacidosis. However, dont confuse these terms as ketosis and ketoacidosis are two very different physiological states, Dr. Goss explains.
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You Might Experience Mood Disturbances
“When the brain gets less sugar from the blood for energy, this can impact mood and result in feeling irritated, fatigued, and difficulty concentrating,” says Palinski-Wade.
Feelings of restriction or the inability to socialize through food on a keto diet might make you feel extra blue. Before diving in, give some thought to how much you’re willing to sacrifice to attain keto success.
What This Means For You
Ultimately, you can decide what diet works best for your health goals. If you want to start a keto diet, consider its risks and whether it’s sustainable for you. Discuss with your doctor or nutritionist about how the dietary plan could affect your health. While keto works for some people to control seizures or lose weight, there are long-term risks that may outweigh any short-term benefits.
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Effects On Nutrient Metabolism
During prolonged fasting, some tissues, such as muscle, can directly metabolize free fatty acids released from adipose stores. However, much of this fatty acid is converted into ketones in the liver, which can fuel otherwise-obligate glucose consumers like neurons, minimizing mobilization of body protein for gluconeogenesis. However, to induce the liver to make ketones in the fed state, carbohydrate intake must be minimized and fat intake increased. Protein utilization is also altered on a ketogenic diet the body shunts as much protein as possible to gluconeogenesis, while the minimum necessary amount is used for tissue repair.
The Short Term Side Effects Include:
1. During the transition phase, when the body switches over its fuel supply from glucose to ketones, it experiences flu-like symptoms, also called Keto-flu.
2. During the first few days, the body loses a lot of water, sodium and other minerals like potassium, magnesium etc. Infact, the initial weight lost is due to water loss and not fat loss. The symptoms are dehydration, frequent urination, excessive thirst, dizziness, drowsiness, headaches and muscle cramps.
3. Low blood sugar or hypoglycemia is another side effect. The noticeable symptoms during the transition phase include fatigue, hunger, confusion, anxiety, irritability, tachycardia, light-headedness, shakiness, sweating and chills.
Other side effects include:
4. Smelly breath – Acetone is one of the ketone bodies and it has a characteristically fruity smell similar to that of a nail-polish remover.
5. Constipation – is a common side effect in the beginning due to dehydration and drastic change in diet composition. Occasionally, some people also experience diarrhea due to high fat diet.
6. Disturbed sleep.
However, there can be some more serious long-term side effects too:
7. The level of lipids and cholesterol in the blood increases due to high fat intake.
8. Acidosis causes the bone to demineralize and erode. It increases the risk of bone injury and fracture.
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The Case For Ditching Diets Altogether
However, registered dietitian Stephanie Hnatiuk doesnt consider the keto diet more or less dangerous than other restrictive ways of eating.
It can be extremely challenging to stick to the keto diet for longer than a few months, which can lead people to what Hnatiuk calls yo-yo dieting.
A person loses some weight on a diet, is unable to keep up with it and ultimately quits the diet, leading them to regain the weight they lost and often more, she told Global News.
Instead, Hnatiuk encourages her clients to abandon diets altogether.
We need to start thinking about our overall dietary patterns in a more long-term, sustainable way, she said. Avoid the short-term diets, challenges or things that promise a quick fix. Instead, simply make small changes to improve our eating habits.
This can include reducing added sugars, cooking more meals at home and adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet.
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The Initial Weight Loss Is Mostly Water
Your kidneys flushing out all that water is also part of the reason people see dramatic scale drops in the beginning of their keto journeys. “I wish people knew that the weight loss they will initially experience on this diet is largely due to water loss,” says Brown. That means you’re most likely not actually losing fat in the first couple of weeks, but instead losing water that will come back in the form of glycogen stores if and when you start eating carbs again.
May Cause Digestive Issues And Changes In Gut Bacteria
Since the keto diet restricts carbs, it can be difficult to meet your daily fiber needs.
Some of the richest sources of fiber, such as high carb fruits, starchy vegetables, whole grains, and beans, are eliminated on the diet because they provide too many carbs.
As a result, the keto diet can lead to digestive discomfort and constipation.
A 10-year study in children with epilepsy on the ketogenic diet found that 65% reported constipation as a common side effect .
Whats more, fiber feeds the beneficial bacteria in your gut. Having a healthy gut may help boost immunity, improve mental health, and decrease inflammation .
A low carb diet thats lacking in fiber, such as keto, may negatively affect your gut bacteria although current research on this topic is mixed .
Some keto-friendly foods that are high in fiber include flax seeds, chia seeds, coconut, broccoli, cauliflower, and leafy greens.
Due to its carb restrictions, the keto diet is often low in fiber. This may trigger constipation and negative effects on gut health.
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