The Ketogenic Diet, Know the Risks Before You Try It

Updated: Sep 26, 2021



Many people don’t realize the very popular Ketogenic Diet was used as a therapeutic tool for decreasing seizures for people who were diagnosed with epilepsy. Today, this diet is known as the Keto diet and is marketed as a quick way to lose weight. You cannot walk into a store without seeing Keto snack foods and other products that promote the popular Keto diet.


The Keto diet is very controversial and as a certified health and wellness coach, I never recommend anyone try or stay on this diet for long-term success. The Ketogenic diet requires followers to consume up to 90% of their calories from high fatty foods like bacon, dairy products, and meats. A consistent high-fat and low carbohydrate (carbs) diet will reduce your body from burning glucose as a source of energy from carbs and force the liver to burn fat by going into a state of ketosis. Once someone has successfully followed this diet for more than two to three weeks, they will lose weight by forcing their liver to burn energy and fat from ketones.


Sadly, once someone stops following the Keto diet, they usually will notice they have gained back some or even all of their weight. In addition, the Keto diet comes with a high risk of pre-diabetes, diabetes, hair loss, constipation, nutrient deficiencies, increased colon cancer risks from the high consumption of meat, heart disease, and elevated bad cholesterol or low-density lipoproteins (LDL). For long-term weight success, I highly recommend a regular sweaty exercise routine, weight training, flexibility training such as yoga, and eating a mixture of leafy green vegetables, fruits, legumes, and avoiding processed meats and foods.


If you plan on trying the Keto diet, please make sure you have a conversation with a medical professional who knows your medical history. Be well!


Sources:

Ketogenic Diets and Chronic Disease: Weighing the Benefits Against the Risks (July 2021). Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8322232/



Disclosure: (I am a writer and editor for the National Institutes of Health. Information contained in this blog post are not associated with my role at NIH).




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