Is Keto Safe? [7 Myths About Keto Being Dangerous That Aren’t True]
The Keto diet (aka Ketogenic diet) has been getting a ton of press as an amazing weight-loss diet. But is Keto safe to do? That’s why we’ve written this post. To clear up all the myths surrounding the Keto diet… Is keto safe in general? Don’t you need carbohydrates? Is keto unhealthy for you? Isn’t fat bad for you? Is being in ketosis for a long time good for you? First, we’re going to discuss the most common myths around keto being dangerous, plus explain why they’re not true. (Based on solid evidence, of course.) Then we’ll go over two important topics: How do you do Keto in a safe way? Should you do Keto long term? Note: we are not doctors or nutritionists and the information provided in this article is based on our research and designed to help you educate yourself on the Keto diet. And now for our medical disclaimer: Note that information contained in this article (and website) is not intended to and shall not convey or recommend any medical or nutritional advice or course of action. Any diet, health, or nutritional program you undertake should be discussed with your doctor or other licensed medical professionals. All opinions expressed in this article are based solely on personal experiences and research. We are NOT licensed doctors, dietitians, or nutritionists. 7 Myths About Keto Being Dangerous That Aren’t True You might have seen these myths mentioned in articles online – that doesn’t mean they’re true, though. MYTH 1: The Keto Diet Causes Nutritional Deficiencies TRUTH: If you do keto in a healthy way, then it becomes a highly nutritious diet. Technically, you could eat a variety of unnutritious foods in order to reach nutritional ketosis. Just like you can eat pizza and be a vegetarian. Technically, the main requirements for getting i Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet Side Effects
Although the adverse effects related to the ketogenic diet are generally less serve than those of anticonvulsant medications used to treat epilepsy, individuals following the diet may experience a number of undesirable effects. Short-Term Side Effects There are several short-term side effects that are most evident at the beginning of therapy, particularly when patients commence the diet with an initial fast. Hypoglycemia is a common side effect in this instance, and noticeable signs may include: Excessive thirst Frequent urination Fatigue Hunger Confusion, anxiety and/or irritability Tachycardia Lightheadedness and shakiness Sweating and chills Additionally, patients may also experience some constipation and low-grade acidosis. These effects tend to improve when the diet is continued, as the body adapts to the new diet and adjust the ways in which it sources energy. Alteration in Blood Composition As a result of the changes in dietary consumption and the body’s adaptive mechanisms to cope with the reduced carbohydrate intake, there are several changes in the blood composition of individuals following the ketogenic diet. In particular, the levels of lipids and cholesterol in the blood are commonly higher than what is considered to be normal. More than 60% of patients have raised lipid levels and more than 30% have high levels of cholesterol. If these changes are profound and there is some concern about the health of the child, slight changes to the diet can be made for the individual patient. For example, saturated fat sources can be substituted for polyunsaturated fats. In some cases, it may be necessary to lower the ketogenic ratio and reduce the proportion of fat to carbohydrate and protein in the diet. Long-Term Effects When the ketogenic diet is continued for exte Continue reading >>
Is The Keto Diet Safe? 10 Myth-busting Arguments For The Safety Of Ketosis
Is ketosis safe? The truth is that we can’t say for certain that it is 100% safe. Humans don’t understand everything under the branch of nutritional science and probably won’t for a very long time. As an individual, the only thing you can do is take a look at the research yourself and form your own conclusion. Personally, through the reading I’ve done and the experience I’ve had with the Keto diet, I’ve formed my own conclusion that ketosis is safe. Could I be wrong? Absolutely. But I could also be right. I’m willing to take that risk in order to follow a diet which could maximize longevity, well being and function. My personal conclusion shouldn’t matter to you though. You need to do your own research and come to your own conclusion. I’ve put together this post to organize all of the issues surrounding the safety of ketosis so that you can make your own decision. In trying to prove something to be safe there are two ways to go about it. Disprove the claims of danger Show evidence which may be correlated with safety This article will dispel the top 10 claims people make in an argument to label ketosis as dangerous. Like I said, the science on ketosis is still quite immature. The following data is not meant to 100% prove or disprove the safety of ketosis. It’s merely the information we have available today which can help us form a nutritional strategy we feel is best for ourselves. I’m not a doctor or a researcher. The following information is material I’ve collected in my attempt to feel confident following a Keto diet indefinitely. Most of it is sourced from doctors or authors although I have also included anecdotal accounts from experiences posted on message boards and Reddit. I know, much of the information here isn’t sourced directly from s Continue reading >>
Ketogenic Diet: Is The Ultimate Low-carb Diet Good For You?
Recently, many of my patients have been asking about a ketogenic diet. Is it safe? Would you recommend it? Despite the recent hype, a ketogenic diet is not something new. In medicine, we have been using it for almost 100 years to treat drug-resistant epilepsy, especially in children. In the 1970s, Dr. Atkins popularized his very-low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss that began with a very strict two-week ketogenic phase. Over the years, other fad diets incorporated a similar approach for weight loss. What is a ketogenic diet? In essence, it is a diet that causes the body to release ketones into the bloodstream. Most cells prefer to use blood sugar, which comes from carbohydrates, as the body’s main source of energy. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from food, we start breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies (the process is called ketosis). Once you reach ketosis, most cells will use ketone bodies to generate energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The shift, from using circulating glucose to breaking down stored fat as a source of energy, usually happens over two to four days of eating fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. Keep in mind that this is a highly individualized process, and some people need a more restricted diet to start producing enough ketones. Because it lacks carbohydrates, a ketogenic diet is rich in proteins and fats. It typically includes plenty of meats, eggs, processed meats, sausages, cheeses, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and fibrous vegetables. Because it is so restrictive, it is really hard to follow over the long run. Carbohydrates normally account for at least 50% of the typical American diet. One of the main criticisms of this diet is that many people tend to eat too much protein and Continue reading >>
The Ketogenic Diet: Is It Safe And Does It Work?
The ketogenic diet is fast becoming a trend among individuals looking for quick, dramatic weight loss. But is it effective, and more importantly is it safe? We spoke to Dr Alan Barclay, Accredited Practising Dietitian and Research Associate at The University of Sydney about this latest dietary fad. What is the ketogenic diet? The ketogenic diet (or 'keto' as it is sometimes called) is a very low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet, similar in nature to the Atkins Diet. The aim of this diet, Dr Barclay explains, is to: "significantly decrease the amount of carbohydrate in your diet, so that the body switches from primarily burning carbohydrates, to burning fat, for energy." With the absence of sufficient carbohydrate and the abundance of dietary fat, your liver generates greater quantities of what are known as 'ketone bodies', and this puts your body into a metabolic state known as 'ketosis'. In ketosis, your body becomes incredibly efficient at using ketone bodies, generated from the breakdown of fat, as fuel. In other words, your body will burn more body fat. What foods are excluded on this diet? Generally, the ketogenic diet reduces or excludes carbohydrate-containing foods, including breads, breakfast cereals, pasta, rice, quinoa, couscous, starchy vegetables (potato, sweet potato, corn), fruit, and legumes. It tends to encourage consumption of more high fat foods, such as fatty meats, full-cream dairy, butter, nuts, avocado, olive oil and coconut oil. A standard ketogenic diet consists of a split of around 30% protein, 60% fats and 10% carbohydrates. Experts advise that you should eat no more than 50g of net carbs a day for the body to stay in a ketogenic state. 50g of carbs is equivalent to one cup of oats, one medium sweet potato, one cup cooked brown rice or one slice ry Continue reading >>
How Long Can You Stay In Ketosis Safely?
Are you looking for a diet for weight-loss or fat-loss? If so then you might be interested in ketosis. The question is whether you can stay on it permanently. That’s because it’s critical for any ‘diet” to become part of your everyday life and eating habits. It’s important to first understand what it is all about. It’s a natural state of the human body when it’s fueled almost 100% by body fat. This state takes place during a low-carb or “keto” diet as well as during fasting. It’s important to understand how this process is related to fat loss. The term originates from the fact that the human produce produces tin fuel molecules known as “ketones.” When the body doesn’t have enough blood sugar/glucose it gets energy from this source. The body produces chemicals when it gets a very low supply of carbs and a moderate amount of protein. The liver’s fat produces ketones then the body and brain use it for fuel. The process is especially important for the brain since the organ can only run from glucose/ketones. Medical research shows that early humans probably experienced the state very often. The reason is that hunter-gatherer societies ate a high-meat diet and had less access to carbohydrates than modern humans. As a result human bodies evolved so they could get energy from fat even though it mimicked starvation mode. Today there are various reasons why people use the ketogenic meal plan. Some of the most common ones are to lose weight or control epilepsy. The firm supporters point out the health benefits of the diet but others note that it’s a dangerous “hack” of the body’s regular metabolic system. These are the benefits to this process: Less eating due to no appetite More fat loss from abdominal cavity Lower blood sugar/insulin levels Lo Continue reading >>
Is Ketosis Safe?
Is ketosis safe? is a common question for those who are new to the diet or haven’t really researched it thoroughly. When this question comes up, most people are drawing on what they’ve heard from the nearest layperson or about the dangers of ketoacidosis, which is much different. So, it’s time to set the record straight and shed some light on this confusion about the safety of ketosis! First, we’ll look at common myths, including the difference between ketosis and ketoacidosis, and finally, how to make sure you’re following the ketogenic diet safely and healthfully. Misconceptions about Ketosis There’s a lot of false information out there about ketosis being bad for you, so let’s address it and talk about what’s untrue. Ketosis Health Myths The most common myths about ketosis being unsafe or unhealthy usually come down to misinformation. Here are some of the top health myths about ketosis and why they’re wrong: Myth: The ketogenic diet causes heart disease. We’ve all been told that fat, especially saturated fat and dietary cholesterol, cause hardening of the arteries and heart disease. This is simply not true based on the latest research. Plus, Dr. Anthony says a high-fat, ketogenic diet is the best thing for reducing inflammation long-term, and inflammation has been linked to heart disease and other diseases. Myth: It’s not safe for your kidneys. You’ll often hear about risk to the kidneys with high-protein diets, and sometimes ketogenic diets are still lumped into that category. But the keto diet is NOT high protein; it’s high fat and moderate protein. You’ll be eating a healthy level of protein that doesn’t overload your system and lots of healthy fats. Myth: Your healthy muscles will waste away. Nope, not if you keep fat intake high and Continue reading >>
Is Keto And Ketosis Safe?
The ketogenic diet and ketosis are safe. Not only are they safe, but they are useful in helping people with many different conditions. The ketogenic diet has helped cancer patients, people with diabetes (type 1 and type 2), women with polycystic ovary syndrome, people with heart disease, and many others. So, where does the rumor that the ketogenic diet and ketosis may not be safe come from? Well, it starts with ketones. Rumors Spread Like Ketones in an Insulin Deficient Body One of the primary goals of the ketogenic diet is to enter ketosis (a normal metabolic process when ketones are produced for fuel). Ketosis is primarily regulated by the liver, which helps produce enough ketones to meet the body’s needs. However, ketone production can get out of hand when insulin is deficient, leading to ketoacidosis. This may be where the rumor that keto and ketosis are not safe came from. Ketoacidosis — A Serious Condition That Is Not Caused By The Ketogenic Diet Ketoacidosis is a serious condition caused by uncontrolled diabetes. It is brought on by being born without the ability to produce enough insulin (type 1 diabetes) or living a lifestyle that promotes insulin resistance (type 2 diabetes). In both cases, there isn’t enough insulin to tell that cells that energy is available (insulin deficiency). The lack of insulin signaling causes the fat cells and liver cells to go into starvation mode, even after a calorically dense meal. The fat cells begin to dump triglycerides into the blood to provide the other cells with energy because the cells are perceiving that there is no fuel available. Meanwhile, the liver starts mobilizing stored glycogen and using gluconeogenesis and ketogenesis to provide the body with sugar and ketones that it doesn’t need. All of this causes bloo Continue reading >>
Following A Ketogenic Diet For 5 Years, The Story Of Glucose Transporter 1 Deficiency Syndrome
T hose of us advocating an ultra-low carb™ diet struggle with the question of the long term effects of following such a prescription. The flak from high-carb (or balanced diet, as they call it) advocates originates in this basic premise: there is no long term research. Their answer to the problem: Stay the course (which we already know is NOT working). The current norm for many controlled nutritional studies is 12 weeks to a year. Clearly, this span of time in relation to the human lifespan is too short. Basing life-long recommendations on such short-lived studies could easily end up being a case of misrepresentation. As for myself, I believe it’s the strategic reintroduction of carbs at specific times that is the healthiest approach—the topics in both Carb Backloading™ and Carb Nite®. Lack of research also allows people to post opinion pieces about supposed effects of long-term ketogenic diets, effects that we don’t actually see in practice. But there’s still the elephant in the room: What really happens with long-term adherence to an ultra-low carb diet? We can look to clinical populations with certain diseases who are enrolled in studies that are generally longer in duration, stronger in design and much stricter with adherence. We must be careful when extrapolating, however—i.e. generalizing the results to the entire population—but it offers good insights and opens up areas of new research. Some of the most important insights into various fields of human study come from looking at diseased or injured populations—looking at such cases literally exploded the field of cognitive research and transformed the science of the mind from speculation to fact. Such research can do the same in the realm of diet and health. A recent work published by Bertoli et Continue reading >>
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Is Going On The Keto Diet Long-term A Safe/good Idea?
There is a maximum amount of time a person can do the ketogenic diet and still get results. After that time, results SLOW way down unless you add this… From what I’ve read, the keto diet isn’t as sustainable as many people think, but what is sustainable is another form of keto that can last FOREVER. One of the people here who answered this question talked about how he has been doing keto for a long time, but has a slice or 12 slices of pizza. That’s the trick, you have to cheat on the keto diet to make it more effective. This is called “cyclical keto.” Cyclical Keto I’ve talked about cyclical keto quite a bit and how effective it is. People have come to me personally and have told me that when they did strict keto and then “cheated,” they lost more weight. Why is this… Well it has to do with the hormones that are responsible for managing your weight. The keto diet effects T3 hormone (Thyroid) by suppressing it. Leptin is also suppressed when doing keto. By cheating once a week, you reset these hormones to begin the fat burning process again. It’s a pretty cool strategy and works very well. If you want to know more about cyclical keto, it’s one of three hacks I describe in this article published some months ago. When you get to the article, scroll down to fat loss hack number 2 and there is a full description on how to do cyclical keto right=>3 Fat Loss Hacks to Bust Through Your Plateau Continue reading >>
Adverse Reactions To Ketogenic Diets: Caution Advised
As the ketogenic diet gains popularity, it’s important to have a balanced discussion regarding the merits of this diet. Let me emphasize right out of the gate that this is not a diet without merits (excuse the double negative); in fact, it has significant therapeutic potential for some clinical pathologies. However, it is also a diet with inherent risk, as evidenced by the extensive list of adverse reactions reported in the scientific literature—and this has not yet been a thorough enough part of the public discussion on ketogenic diets. The AIP Lecture Series is a 6-week video-based, self-directed online course that will teach you the scientific foundation for the diet and lifestyle tenets of the Autoimmune Protocol. This is the first of a series of articles discussing various facets of a ketogenic diet with an inclination toward balancing the discussion of the pros and cons of this high-fat, low-carb, low/moderate-protein diet. My interest in this topic stems from concerns I have over its general applicability and safety, simultaneous with its growing popularity. I feel a moral and social obligation to share what I understand of these diets, from my perspective as a medical researcher. The dangers of a ketogenic diet was, in fact, the topic of my keynote presentation at Paleo F(x) this year (links to video will be provided once available). This series of articles will share the extensive research that I did in preparation for this presentation, including all of the topics covered during my talk as well as several topics that I didn’t have time to discuss (also see the free PDF Literature Review at the bottom of this post). For every anecdotal story of someone who has regained their health with a ketogenic diet, there’s a counterpoint story of someone who derai Continue reading >>
Is The Ketogenic Diet Right For You? Nutritionists Weigh In
You may be hearing a lot about the ketogenic diet as a way to slim down while noshing on butter and heavy cream. This way of eating is suddenly hot among venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, who believe it will help them live longer and healthier, CNBC reports. Some praise the high-fat/ultra low-carb plan for helping them to lose weight and have energy all day long. Other advocates say it finally helped them to get control of their body. How does it work and could it help you? We asked Bonnie Taub-Dix, a registered dietitian nutritionist and author of “Read It Before You Eat It”; and Keri Glassman, nutritionist, registered dietitian and TODAY Tastemaker. To start with, both said they would never advise the ketogenic diet for weight loss. “Cutting out carbs is usually an invitation to overeat them at another point,” Taub-Dix said. “For a diet where you’re looking to lose weight, look good and feel good… I would not recommend a diet like this.” “For safe and effective weight loss, the carb reduction is too extreme,” Glassman added. RELATED: Read inspiring stories of ordinary people slimming down in TODAY's My Weight-Loss Journey Here’s what you need to know: What is the ketogenic diet? It’s a diet fine-tuned in the 1920s to help treat epilepsy. It does help to control seizures in some children, but it’s not recommended for adults “mostly because the restricted food choices make it hard to follow,” the Epilepsy Foundation says. The diet has just recently begun to be touted as a weight loss plan, Glassman noted. She described it as eating “mostly fat with a teeny bit of protein and carbs.” How does it work? Your body normally relies on carbohydrates for energy. It breaks them down into glucose, which is your main source of fuel. If that� Continue reading >>
Long-term Effects Of A Ketogenic Diet In Obese Patients
Go to: Abstract Although various studies have examined the short-term effects of a ketogenic diet in reducing weight in obese patients, its long-term effects on various physical and biochemical parameters are not known. To determine the effects of a 24-week ketogenic diet (consisting of 30 g carbohydrate, 1 g/kg body weight protein, 20% saturated fat, and 80% polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat) in obese patients. In the present study, 83 obese patients (39 men and 44 women) with a body mass index greater than 35 kg/m2, and high glucose and cholesterol levels were selected. The body weight, body mass index, total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, triglycerides, fasting blood sugar, urea and creatinine levels were determined before and after the administration of the ketogenic diet. Changes in these parameters were monitored after eight, 16 and 24 weeks of treatment. The weight and body mass index of the patients decreased significantly (P<0.0001). The level of total cholesterol decreased from week 1 to week 24. HDL cholesterol levels significantly increased, whereas LDL cholesterol levels significantly decreased after treatment. The level of triglycerides decreased significantly following 24 weeks of treatment. The level of blood glucose significantly decreased. The changes in the level of urea and creatinine were not statistically significant. The present study shows the beneficial effects of a long-term ketogenic diet. It significantly reduced the body weight and body mass index of the patients. Furthermore, it decreased the level of triglycerides, LDL cholesterol and blood glucose, and increased the level of HDL cholesterol. Administering a ketogenic diet for a relatively longer period of time did Continue reading >>
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The Fat-fueled Brain: Unnatural Or Advantageous?
Disclaimer: First things first. Please note that I am in no way endorsing nutritional ketosis as a supplement to, or a replacement for medication. As you’ll see below, data exploring the potential neuroprotective effects of ketosis are still scarce, and we don’t yet know the side effects of a long-term ketogenic diet. This post talks about the SCIENCE behind ketosis, and is not meant in any way as medical advice. The ketogenic diet is a nutritionist’s nightmare. High in saturated fat and VERY low in carbohydrates, “keto” is adopted by a growing population to paradoxically promote weight loss and mental well-being. Drinking coffee with butter? Eating a block of cream cheese? Little to no fruit? To the uninitiated, keto defies all common sense, inviting skeptics to wave it off as an unnatural “bacon-and-steak” fad diet. Yet versions of the ketogenic diet have been used to successfully treat drug-resistant epilepsy in children since the 1920s – potentially even back in the biblical ages. Emerging evidence from animal models and clinical trials suggest keto may be therapeutically used in many other neurological disorders, including head ache, neurodegenerative diseases, sleep disorders, bipolar disorder, autism and brain cancer. With no apparent side effects. Sound too good to be true? I feel ya! Where are these neuroprotective effects coming from? What’s going on in the brain on a ketogenic diet? Ketosis in a nutshell In essence, a ketogenic diet mimics starvation, allowing the body to go into a metabolic state called ketosis (key-tow-sis). Normally, human bodies are sugar-driven machines: ingested carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is mainly transported and used as energy or stored as glycogen in liver and muscle tissue. When deprived of d Continue reading >>
Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe For Weight Loss?
Share it: If you’ve been contemplating various weight-loss strategies, you may have run across the ketogenic diet. This dietary strategy, which is often used in a clinical setting to help improve seizure control in children with epilepsy, is picking up steam as an effective treatment for weight loss. But is it right for you? We turned to the experts to find out more. WHAT IS IT? The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, moderate-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that forces the body into a state of ketosis, where fat is burned for fuel instead of carbohydrate. (This isn’t to be confused with ketoacidosis, a dangerous condition typically caused by a lack of insulin in the body.) According to Dominic D’Agostino, a researcher at the University of South Florida who specializes in ketogenic diets, “The ‘classic ketogenic diet’ used originally for the management of drug-resistance seizures is a 4:1 ratio of fats to protein and carbohydrates.” That equates to about 80–90% fat, 5–15% protein and 5–10% carbohydrates. For weight loss, he says, this diet is typically modified “to allow a more liberal consumption of protein” (20–30%) with the same carbohydrate restriction. IS IT FOR YOU? Advocates of the ketogenic diet are quick to point out many of the benefits this diet can have for those looking to lose weight. “Rapid weight loss and a decrease in hunger are the most common and evident benefits,” says Kristen Mancinelli, MS, RD, author of “The Ketogenic Diet: A Scientifically Proven Approach to Fast, Healthy Weight Loss.” D’Agostino references promising studies that have been shown to “lower blood glucose levels, increase sensitivity to insulin, decrease inflammation and reduce triglyceride levels while raising HDL cholesterol.” READ MORE > 21 DIETIT Continue reading >>
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