The low-carb, high-fat ketogenic diet, or keto for short, is one of the hottest new crazes on the ever-growing market of diets. It’s been said to help you lose weight, burn fat, and get fitter faster.</div>
It’s a runaway train of unending promises of health and happiness. But should we be ready to apply the brakes?
What is Keto?
In simple terms, the keto diet is a diet that consists of mostly fats, a little protein, and a very low carbohydrate intake (often under 50 grams per day!). This puts your body in a state of ‘ketosis’, where it produces molecules known as ketone bodies from fat to use as energy.
The Dreaded ‘Keto Flu’
Anybody that has tried this before will be sure to tell you about the ‘keto flu’, a series of symptoms that occur when you make the change to the ketogenic diet. This often includes a series of nasty gut complaints, such as:
What Could Cause These Problems In Keto?
Constipation Concerns (lack of fibre): Fibre intake is often lower in keto diets, due to lower fruit and veg consumption. Soluble fibre, in particular, is low, which smooths the transition of our stools (poo!).
Diarrhoea Disaster: Many keto dieters consume MCTs as part of their routine. MCT intake doesn’t allow your body to release bile (which helps digest fats) properly. This can lead to diarrhoea
Detrimental Dehydration: Because few carbs are being consumed, insulin levels fall in your body. Insulin is important for the body to hold sodium (that’s salt to you and me!). Losing sodium also means losing water… This can cause diarrhoea and also cause the cells of your gut lining to work less efficiently!
Bacterial Imbalance: High-fat intakes can change your gut bacteria. Unwanted changes may increase the risk of gastrointestinal damage and disease.
Impending Inflammation: Studies have shown that certain groups of bacteria can be promoted by high-fat diets that could cause inflammation, which may lead to gut damage.
FODMAP troubles: Many of the vegetables allowed on the keto diet are FODMAPs. This type of food can cause bloating and flatulence when broken down by our gut bacteria. Restricting the types of fruit and veg you consume can be a big problem for keto dieters.
These are just 6 of the many ways that you could be negatively affected by a keto diet. But there’s one more key consideration. We’re all unique individuals, which means that some people may respond far more negatively than others to this kind of diet, maybe even with vomiting, fatigue, and other unwanted symptoms!
The Bottom Line
The ketogenic diet was designed as a medical diet and could be dangerous to implement yourself. That’s why knowing the dangers is vital.
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