5 Dangers Of The Keto Diet That You Should Be Aware Of. The ketogenic, or “keto” diet, is among the newest in a line of weight loss sensations sweeping the nation. For those who aren’t already in the know, this particular brand of dieting prescribes cutting down significantly on carbohydrates in your daily meal plan, as little as 50 grams of carbs per day, and doubling down on foods rich in fat instead. This causes your body to undergo a state known as “ketosis”, which causes your body to begin burning fat as its primary fuel source and can theoretically lead to significant weight loss results. While the popularity of this new fad diet continues to climb, the extreme nature of the diet has people wondering: is the keto diet really safe? Today, we’re going to take a closer look at some of the more harmful hazards and side effects associated with the keto diet.
- Lack Of Proper Nutrition
A standard keto diet limits your intake of carbohydrates to about 50 grams per day. At first, this might seem like a simple enough restriction: just cut back on bread and foods with a lot of added sugar, right? Unfortunately, what you might not realize is that carbs can also be found in more healthy foods as well, such as most types of fruit and certain types of vegetables. And by reducing your intake of those foods from your diet, you could potentially be short-changing your body on essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
- Poor Athletic Performance
The idea that a keto diet can be harmful to your athletic performance may come as a bit of surprise; after all, some of the most vocal supporters and users of the keto diet are professional athletes. Despite this, there appears to be a significant body of evidence that suggests that keto can do more harm than good in terms of your athletic ability. After all, a lot more goes into an athlete’s performance than simply their ability to lose weight. While shedding a few extra pounds can potentially give an athlete an edge in terms of speed or endurance, a long-term state of ketosis can also potentially sap you of other athletic abilities such as strength. Among the skeptics who questioned keto’s value to athletes is Edward Weiss, an associate professor of nutrition and dietetics at Saint Louis University.
- Possible Relapse
As you might have guessed, the keto diet’s restrictive nature makes it an especially strict mode of weight loss, often without much room for deviation. Because of the rigidity of the keto diet’s rules, many variations of keto focus on dividing the diet into several stages with varying levels of intensity; typically, the first few months of keto are the strictest, requiring the dieter to ensure their diet is as low-carb and high-fat as possible with very little leeway in the way of cheat days. After the end of this stage, people on the keto diet may potentially be allowed to relax into a less stringent variation of keto, with slightly more room for carbs or less scrutinous monitoring of your meal plan.
- Reduced Muscle Mass And Metabolism
As mentioned previously, the keto diet prioritizes reducing carbs in your diet and consuming more foods that are high in fat. Depending on what variation of the keto diet you subscribe to, this can potentially become a problem if you’re not making room in your diet for an adequate amount of protein. Without an adequate protein intake, you may be losing weight as a result of keto, but a lot of that weight loss may be taken from your body’s muscle mass as opposed to fat. And by extension, since muscle burns more calories than fat, a diminished muscle mass will also cause your metabolism to diminish as well.
- Increased Health Risk
In addition to everything else already mentioned, strict adherence to the keto diet can also potentially put you at a higher risk for certain types of disease and other negative health defects. According to nutritional experts, diets that place a high emphasis on fat can potentially raise cholesterol levels in your body, which, according to some studies, may make you more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.