Keto diet: Know the side effects of the popular weight loss plan – from nutrient deficiency to kidney problems  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
- Many people trying to shed some extra pounds are opting for the keto diet in an attempt to lose weight
- However, health experts have warned that the popular weight loss diet has numerous health risks
- Take a look at how the keto diet can affect your health and why should always talk to your doctor or a registered dietician before trying any diet plan
New Delhi: Turns out, a lot of people are praising the ketogenic diet, popularly known as the keto diet. In fact, going keto is a favoured choice these days among those trying to lose weight. However, some experts have warned against the popular weight loss diet plan, citing health risks and unpleasant side effects. Perhaps, Bollywood’s actor Misti Mukherjee’s untimely death due to kidney failure reportedly caused by the ‘keto diet’ has raised serious concerns on the health risks of dieting.
For the uninitiated, the keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet that promises quick weight loss. It is claimed that the diet can offer some health benefits – such as reducing epileptic seizures in children, improving and acne symptoms, and preventing or even treating certain forms of cancer. However, the keto diet also carries numerous risks that you should be aware of. Here’s how the keto diet can affect you.
Some potential side effects and health risks of the Keto diet
- Nutritional concerns: The fact is that the keto diet is extremely low in certain fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, etc – all of which are essential for a healthy, balanced diet. So, this puts you at a higher risk for micronutrient deficiencies such as vitamins B and C, magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, etc. Moreover, experts fear that high intakes of unhealthful fats can result in a long-term negative effect.
- Kidney and heart problems: Consuming a lot of high-fat animal foods, including meat, eggs and cheese, which are staples of the keto diet, can stress your kidneys, increasing the risk of kidney stones. This can also cause your blood and urine to become more acidic, thereby worsening the progression of chronic kidney disease. A report in Harvard Health Publishing, citing Kathy McManus, a registered dietitian, warned that the kidneys help metabolise protein and the keto diet may overload them. Additionally, a high-fat diet (like the keto diet) may raise bad cholesterol levels, which increases the risk of heart disease.
- Liver problems: Experts also warned that the diet may also make any existing liver problems worse with a lot of fat to metabolise.
- Low blood sugar: While a low-carb diet may help with blood sugar control in people suffering from diabetes, it may also lead to dangerously low blood sugar events, especially in individuals with type 1 diabetes. That’s because people with type 1 diabetes typically have low blood sugar levels if they use too much insulin and do not eat enough carbs.
- Keto flu: Dieters may experience keto flu symptoms – such as fatigue, nausea, dizziness, headaches, constipation, etc – initially as their body switches to using ketones and fat for energy.
- Early death: Some evidence suggests that a high-fat, low-carb diet that emphasises animal foods may lead to poor health outcomes, increasing the risk of chronic health conditions and early death.
The bottom line is, the keto diet may help people lose weight and enjoy some benefits in the short term, however, it can have adverse effects over time. Make sure that you talk to your doctor or a registered dietician before trying the keto diet or any other weight loss plan.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.