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There is no end to the number of different diet plans out there. Some of them are complete gimmicks with no real scientific backing. Buzzwords and media attention cause fads to emerge in the spotlight, when really there is no legitimate reason for it to be there. For this reason, it is very important to understand how to spot a bad diet. With that said, there are plenty of promising regimens and structures that really do show results. Even with a legitimate and evidence-based approach like the Keto Diet, though, there are downsides to be aware of. So let’s run through the keto diet side effects along with its benefits.

What is the Keto Diet?

Short for ketogenic diet, this plan works by altering eating habits to utilize a specific principle of weight loss. It’s also called the low-carb diet because, true to its name, it involves cutting down significantly on carbohydrates while lessening the emphasis on eliminating fat. Basically, the concept is that by following this strategy, we can trigger a state in our body known as ketosis, wherein the liver produces the fat-fighting molecules ketones.

Ketosis is an active metabolic state where the body rapidly burns fat and produces energy. Unlike programs that involve severe calorie restrictions, you don’t run the risk of sending your body into a counterproductive starvation mode by heavily limiting carbs. But what are the keto diet side effects? And why can it be difficult to adhere too? First, we will examine the latter.

Challenges of the Keto Diet

The formula for the keto diet involves reducing net carb intake to about one half of the daily recommendation. The standard for this plan is restricting carbohydrates to about 5 percent of your daily intake. This is difficult for many of us because, well, a lot of very good and very popular foods are high in carbs.

Sometimes these are bad things that you should be trying to avoid anyway. Sugars and sweeteners are pretty much pure carbs. Desserts like cookies and cakes contain rich carb content. French fries and other potato snacks are common culprits.

But many quality nutrient sources can also carry a bunch of carbohydrates. Oatmeal is widely viewed as an excellent breakfast staple with its helpful fiber boost, but the keto diet mostly rules it out. Brown rice is a healthier alternative to white rice but you won’t escape the carbohydrate content. Even 100 percent whole wheat bread is difficult to work into your meal plan under this regimen.

Above and beyond the barriers to sticking with this approach, there are also some keto diet side effects that are worth being aware of. We’ll outline those below.

Common Ketone Diet Side Effects

This kind of drastic overhaul of nutrition and eating habits can obviously cause some bodily changes. The most common issue resulting from the keto diet is hypoglycemia. This refers to low levels of sugar in the blood, and it yields a number of symptoms.  These can include dehydration, fatigue, feeling lightheaded or shaky and getting the chills. These aren’t considered all that dangerous but can obviously be unwelcome.

Other known ketone diet side effects include kidney stones, constipation and cholesterol increases. In our view, while the ketogenic diet does show results for a number of users, the potential health detriments outweigh the upside. There are safer options such as cleanse and detox diets that are worth a look first.

Jim Stiller

Jim Stiller

Staff Writer at New Review HQ
Jim Stiller

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