What is a Keto Diet?
A ketogenic diet is a high-fat diet that turns your body into a ketonic state, meaning your body takes energy from fat sources instead of carbohydrates. To get your body to a ketonic state, you must cut out carbohydrates, limit protein, and increase healthy fats.
It’s been used historically to treat specific medical conditions. People are attracted to many of its benefits, including weight loss without hunger, improved lipids, better energy and even to overcome type-2 diabetes in the short term. It’s easy to get swept up in the allure of weight loss, 6-pack abs, endless energy and boosted brain power.
But that does not prove that the Keto diet will be all smooth sailing. For many, the transition from a high carb diet to one that’s built around healthy fats and plenty of vegetables can trigger some side effects.
The Side Effects of Keto Diet:
Low Blood Sugar:
Low blood or hypoglycemia is one of the side effects of a keto diet when on the ketogenic diet, your body uses fat for energy rather than its standard fuel, carbohydrates. In the beginning, your body has to adjust to using a different fuel source. If the diet is initiated too quickly, or the body is having a difficult time adjusting, you can experience low blood sugar levels
The body loses lots of water along with minerals like potassium, magnesium, and sodium too after following a keto diet. The removal of these minerals can make you feel dizzy. You will feel lightheaded and fatigued.
The person following a keto diet can experience constipation due to a certain change in the diet plan. Constipation occurs because the diet is high in fat and low in fiber. It can also occur because the body releases lots of water and minerals like potassium, sodium, and magnesium.
Because of the great change in diet, you are prone to symptoms of diarrhea. It can occur because the body is adjusting with new macronutrients. The person also limits their fats and proteins leading to diarrhea.
It takes a lot of time for the body to adjust to the new diet. Keto diet leads to losing of water along with many minerals which are essential to the body. So with lose of water and minerals, the person can experience muscle cramps especially leg cramps which can be severe too.
A body being drained from water and minerals might lead to having a problem in getting proper sleep. People might find themselves awake at night as they won’t be getting sleep because of a change in their diet plan.
The beginning of the keto diet can show some flu like symptoms. It is also known as ketosis flu or indication flu because it acts like an actual flu. A person might experience a headache, tiredness, lethargy, brain fog or confusion and irritability.
A keto diet can be dangerous if you have certain health conditions such as
- Kidney disease
- Fatty liver
- Low thyroid function, hypothyroidism
- Adrenal fatigue or hormone imbalance
- Women with irregular cycles
- History of eating disorders
Dr. Gottfried also says, “There are at least ten genetic variations that may make a person less likely to benefit from keto.”
A ketogenic diet is a therapeutic diet that can be used to reverse health conditions like epilepsy, insulin resistance, obesity, diabetes, and even cancer. But it may not be safe long term, and not everyone will thrive on keto.