7 Dangers Of The Keto Diet | Health.com
The ketogenic dietalso known as the "keto diet" or just "keto"has become the latest big thing in weight-loss plans, touted recently by celebs like Jenna Jameson , Mama June , and Halle Berry . The diet involves cutting way back on carbohydrates, to 50 grams a day or less, to help the body achieve a state of ketosis, in which it has to burn fat (rather than sugar) for energy. Doctors say that the ketodiet can be helpful in treating epilepsy; its unclear exactly why, but something about a ketogenic state seems to reduce the frequency of seizures. Animal studies have also suggested that the diet may have anti-aging , anti-inflammatory , and cancer-fighting benefits, as well. RELATED: Jillian Michaels Slams the Keto Diet: Why Would Anyone Think This Is a Good Idea? But as a general weight-loss plan, keto is more controversial. Some health experts warn against it entirely, citing unpleasant side effects, health risks, and the diets unsustainable nature. Even many ketodiet proponents admit that, if the diets not done the right way, it can be the opposite of healthy. Here are a few things you should know about the ketogenic diet before you try it as a way to lose weight. Yes, you might drop pounds, but you should also watch out for the following side effects or complications. RELATED: Jillian Michaels Isnt the Only One Who Hates KetoThese 5 Other Experts Say Ditch the Diet Some people report that when they start ketosis, they just feel sick, says Kristen Kizer, RD, a nutritionist at Houston Methodist Medical Center. There can sometimes be vomit, gastrointestinal distress, a lot of fatigue, and lethargy. This so-called keto flu usually passes after a few days, she adds. Josh Axe, a doctor of natural medicine and clinical nutritionist, estimates that about 25% of people who try Continue reading >>
How Does The Ketogenic Diet Impact The Liver?
How does the ketogenic diet impact the liver? How does the ketogenic diet impact the liver? There is a lot of concern that a ketogenic diet may negatively impact liver health. But studies on keto's effects on liver health and functioning show varying results. Some studies found that keto can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) [ 1 ] while a large number of studies found that keto had a therapeutic effect on NAFLD, meaning it improved liver health in those with a fatty liver [ 2 ]. So the link between liver disease and keto is controversial. What we certainly know is that having diabets and being overweight are two major causes of NAFLD [ 3 ]. Since keto tackles both, it's more likely that keto can do your liver more good than harm. Eating a balanced ketogenic diet with just enough protein and plenty of fiber will help you maintain a healthy weight and metabolism that also translates to better liver functioning. Still, if you have reasons to worry about your liver health, do speak to your doctor about starting a ketogenic diet. Sign up for the Kiss My Keto mailing list to get free keto resources, recipes, and strategies from the largest keto brand in the world. Continue reading >>
What Everybody Ought To Know About Ketosis
Recently I wanted to explore the world of Ketosis. I thought I knew a little bit about ketosis, but after doing some research I soon realised how wrong I was. 3 months later, after reading numerous books, listening to countless podcasts and experimenting with various diets I know have a sound understanding of ketosis. This resource is built as a reference guide for those looking to explore the fascinating world of ketosis. It is a resource that I wish I had 3 months ago. As you will soon see, a lot of the content below is not mine, instead I have linked to referenced to experts who have a greater understanding of this topic than I ever will. I hope this helps and if there is something that I have missed please leave a comment below so that I can update this. Also, as this is a rather long document, I have split it into various sections. You can click the headline below to be sent straight to the section that interests you. For those that are really time poor I have created a useful ketosis cheat sheet guide. This guide covers all the essential information you should know about ketosis. It can be downloaded HERE. Alternatively, if you're looking for a natural and sustainable way to improve health and lose weight head to this page - What is Ketosis? What Are The Benefits from being in Ketosis? Isn’t Ketosis Dangerous? Ketoacidosis vs Ketosis What Is The Difference Between a Low Carb Diet and a Ketogenic Diet? Types of Ketosis: The Difference Between Nutritional, Therapeutic & MCT Ketogenic Diets Is The Ketogenic Diet Safe? Long Term Effects Thyroid and Ketosis - What You May Want To Know What is a Typical Diet/Macro Breakdown for a Ketogenic Diet? Do I Need to Eat Carbs? What do I Eat On a Ketogenic Diet? What Do I Avoid Eating on a Ketogenic Diet? Protein Consumption a Continue reading >>
The Keto Diet Is Gaining Popularity, But Is It Safe?
A new twist on extreme weight loss is catching on in some parts of the United States. It’s called the "keto diet." People promoting the diet say it uses the body’s own fat burning system to help people lose significant weight in as little as 10 days. It has also been known to help moderate the symptoms of children with epilepsy, although experts are not quite sure why it works. Proponents say the diet can produce quick weight loss and provide a person with more energy. However, critics say the diet is an unhealthy way to lose weight and in some instances it can be downright dangerous. Read More: What is the “Caveman Diet?” » What Is Ketosis? The “keto” diet is any extremely low- or no-carbohydrate diet that forces the body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis occurs when people eat a low- or no-carb diet and molecules called ketones build up in their bloodstream. Low carbohydrate levels cause blood sugar levels to drop and the body begins breaking down fat to use as energy. Ketosis is actually a mild form of ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis mostly affects people with type 1 diabetes. In fact, it is the leading cause of death of people with diabetes who are under 24 years of age. However, many experts say ketosis itself is not necessarily harmful. Some studies, in fact, suggest that a ketogenic diet is safe for significantly overweight or obese people. However, other clinical reviews point out that patients on low-carbohydrate diets regain some of their lost weight within a year. Where It’s Helpful The keto diet was created by Dr. Gianfranco Cappello, an associate professor of surgery at the Sapienza University in Rome, Italy. He claims great success among thousands of users. In his study, more than 19,000 dieters experienced significant, rapid weight loss, few side Continue reading >>
How Does Keto//os Affect Kidneys And Liver And The Role In Metabolizing Ketones?
As with all medium chain triglycerides, the MCT powder portion of the product will largely be converted to ketones by the liver within a few short hours of consumption. MCT create a readily supply of Ketone production for the liver to use for ketones. The BHB-salt portion should simply be absorbed into the blood as ketones. The BHB supplies another source, which doesn’t require the liver to produce ketones. There is no reason that the ketones produced by the product will affect the kidneys or liver any differently than ketones produced from exogenous fats (such as when eating a ketogenic diet) or ketones produced from stored fats (such as when calorie restricting or losing weight). Exogenous ketone scientific literature does not suggest that either kidney or liver function is negatively affected by ketosis. The major role of the kidneys when it comes to ketones is to excrete excess ketones in the urine. This excretion will likely be highest during the first few days of keto-adaptation (either in eating the keto diet or consuming KETO//OS), but the body will retain more and the tissues will begin to preferentially burn the ketones as consumption continues. The liver is the major site of endogenous ketone production, so taking exogenous ketones with KETO//OS would provide another source besides the liver to make ketones. Remember, KETO//OS and exogenous ketones are a source of calories; so be sure to consider it in your daily goals. KETO//OS and exogenous ketone supplementation is not hard on the liver. Continue reading >>
Is Ketosis Really Bad For You?
A patient recently asked me how bad being in nutritional ketosis was for her. I responded that the worse problem I’ve seen recently is the patient that broke his toe when he slipped on bacon grease. Are there risks with a ketogenic diet? Yes, but these usually only occur when you cheat or fall off the wagon. What problems can arise? Lets talk about them individually. First, as I stated above, make sure you don’t slip on bacon the grease. It really can be an issue if you’re not used to using increased amounts of fat in your kitchen. So, be prepared for how to cook and use fat. Grandma understood this well, we could learn a great deal from her if you ask her about using bacon grease. Second, let’s define the difference between ketosis and keto-acidosis and try to clarify the misinformation that is being spread around the blogosphere. A ketone is a molecule the body produces from the breakdown of fat (specifically triglycerides) and some proteins (amino acids). There are specifically three types of ketones: beta-hydroxybutyric acid, acetoacetic acid and acetone. If ketosis was “bad,” then why would our bodies produce these molecules? They are not bad, and in fact, multiple studies show that the body is often more efficient in weight loss, inflammatory reduction, bowel function, epigenetic influence and maintenance of lean body mass more effectivly when it functions on ketones rather than glucose as its primary fuel source. You can see these studies here, here, here and here. The body can only supply a limited amount of sugar or glucose for fuel. If you talk to runners, marathoners or triathletes, they will tell you that after about 45-90 minutes of continuous endurance exercise the glucose supply runs out and they will experience what is termed a “bonk” (ha Continue reading >>
Are Ketogenic Diets Bad For People With Kidney And Liver Issues?
There is an international organization of doctors and other professionals who have clinical experience with ketogenic diets. It's called the International Ketogenic Diet Study Group. They publish guidelines for safe use of ketogenic diets. The guidelines include a list of medical conditions (contraindications) which would make a ketogenic diet unsafe. At least one of the conditions on the list (carnitine deficiency) can cause liver dysfunction. You don't say exactly what sort of liver problem you have in mind. If you personally have a disease that affects the liver, maybe you should look at the list of contraindications carefully. Another condition on the list, beta-oxidation defects, can cause the liver to lack the ability to oxidize fatty acids. Regarding this condition the guidelines say, "An inborn metabolic error at any point along this pathway can lead to a devastating catabolic crisis (i.e., coma, death) in a patient fasted or placed on a [ketogenic diet]." Ketogenic diets increase the risk of kidney stones. Doctors often prescribe potassium citrate to people on medical ketogenic diets as a prophylactic measure against kidney stones. Here is a link to the full text of the guidelines. Contradindications are in Table 2. The title says "children" because virtually all clinical experience with ketogenic diets has been with kids. If you want to read more about the risks of ketogenic diets, click here to see a bibliography on my website (with many links to full text) of articles about risks and prevention. Some people seem to believe that ketogenic diets are harmless, risk-free, totally wonderful things. This isn't true. Ketogenic diets are like medications. They bring benefits but they also bring risks and harmful side effects. They involve tradeoffs. I'm not against Continue reading >>
What Is Ketosis?
"Ketosis" is a word you'll probably see when you're looking for information on diabetes or weight loss. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? That depends. Ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body does to keep working. When it doesn't have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones. If you're healthy and eating a balanced diet, your body controls how much fat it burns, and you don't normally make or use ketones. But when you cut way back on your calories or carbs, your body will switch to ketosis for energy. It can also happen after exercising for a long time and during pregnancy. For people with uncontrolled diabetes, ketosis is a sign of not using enough insulin. Ketosis can become dangerous when ketones build up. High levels lead to dehydration and change the chemical balance of your blood. Ketosis is a popular weight loss strategy. Low-carb eating plans include the first part of the Atkins diet and the Paleo diet, which stress proteins for fueling your body. In addition to helping you burn fat, ketosis can make you feel less hungry. It also helps you maintain muscle. For healthy people who don't have diabetes and aren't pregnant, ketosis usually kicks in after 3 or 4 days of eating less than 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. That's about 3 slices of bread, a cup of low-fat fruit yogurt, or two small bananas. You can start ketosis by fasting, too. Doctors may put children who have epilepsy on a ketogenic diet, a special high-fat, very low-carb and protein plan, because it might help prevent seizures. Adults with epilepsy sometimes eat modified Atkins diets. Some research suggests that ketogenic diets might help lower your risk of heart disease. Other studies show sp Continue reading >>
Not to be confused with Ketoacidosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state in which some of the body's energy supply comes from ketone bodies in the blood, in contrast to a state of glycolysis in which blood glucose provides energy. Ketosis is a result of metabolizing fat to provide energy. Ketosis is a nutritional process characterised by serum concentrations of ketone bodies over 0.5 mM, with low and stable levels of insulin and blood glucose. It is almost always generalized with hyperketonemia, that is, an elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood throughout the body. Ketone bodies are formed by ketogenesis when liver glycogen stores are depleted (or from metabolising medium-chain triglycerides). The main ketone bodies used for energy are acetoacetate and β-hydroxybutyrate, and the levels of ketone bodies are regulated mainly by insulin and glucagon. Most cells in the body can use both glucose and ketone bodies for fuel, and during ketosis, free fatty acids and glucose synthesis (gluconeogenesis) fuel the remainder. Longer-term ketosis may result from fasting or staying on a low-carbohydrate diet (ketogenic diet), and deliberately induced ketosis serves as a medical intervention for various conditions, such as intractable epilepsy, and the various types of diabetes. In glycolysis, higher levels of insulin promote storage of body fat and block release of fat from adipose tissues, while in ketosis, fat reserves are readily released and consumed. For this reason, ketosis is sometimes referred to as the body's "fat burning" mode. Ketosis and ketoacidosis are similar, but ketoacidosis is an acute life-threatening state requiring prompt medical intervention while ketosis can be physiological. However, there are situations (such as treatment-resistant Continue reading >>
The Ugly Truth About Ketogenic Diets
Here's what you need to know... Ketosis occurs when carbs are in such low quantities that your body relies almost exclusively on fatty acid oxidation and ketone metabolism. Ketogenic diets have about 70-75% of your daily caloric intake coming from fat and about 5% from carbohydrates. Ingesting protein above approximately .8 grams per pound is enough to kick you out of ketosis. Ketogenic diets improve body comp, but so does any diet that reduces calories from any source. There is no literature to support that a ketogenic diet is beneficial for promoting increases in muscle mass. Ketogenic diets affect performance negatively. Questions About Ketosis While the ketogenic diet has been used widely and rather effectively in some cases, there's still a lot of confusion about it. What exactly is a ketogenic diet? How does it differ from low carb dieting? Most importantly, at least for the T Nation demographic, is the question of whether ketogenic diets allow you to put on, or at least keep, muscle. Ketosis: What is it? Ketosis is a metabolic state that occurs when dietary carbohydrates are in such low quantities that your body must rely almost exclusively on fatty acid oxidation and ketone metabolism. That sounds simple on the surface, but let's unpack that explanation a bit. To function, your body requires a substantial amount of energy in the form of ATP. So, let's just assume that the average person uses about 1,800 calories per day to create enough ATP to keep him alive (not including any physical activity). Now this is where it gets interesting. You have this thing in your skull called a brain. It uses about 400 or so calories per day and runs almost exclusively on glucose. (There's some evidence it can use small amounts of fat and lactate, but in the big picture it's not Continue reading >>
What's Up With The High-fat Diet Trend—and Does It Work?
If you're looking for the trendiest diet since Paleo, this might be it—only with more fat, way less protein, and virtually zero carbs. The ketogenic diet, which has reportedly been used by celebs like Kim Kardashian and NBA player Lebron James, is a high-fat, low-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that was originally developed to treat epilepsy in children (experts can't say for sure why it reduces the frequency of seizures, but it does seem to work). The whole diet is based on a process called ketosis, which is when your body is so depleted of carbs that your liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies, which can be used as energy, says Tracy A. Siegfried, M.D., medical director at The N.E.W. Program, a bariatric and metabolic weight-loss center in California. The ketones replace carbohydrates as your body’s main energy source, meaning you are running on (and burning) fat. To tell if your body is in a state of ketosis, you can measure your blood or urine for elevated levels of ketones (Ketostix, used to test keto-dieters ketone levels, are available at many pharmacies). If this sounds familiar, it's probably because ketosis is also the goal of the first stage of the Atkins diet. But unlike the keto diet, the Atkins diet aims to get you into a mild state of ketosis and allows for more carbohydrates. In other words, keto is more hardcore. So What the Heck Do You Eat? To get your body to reach ketosis, 80 to 90 percent of the calories you consume should come from fat, and the rest should come from a combo of protein and carbs, says Siegfried. Plus, your carb intake is limited to 10 to 35 grams per day. That's roughly the amount in a single apple, glass of milk, or piece of bread. In fact, it's pretty much impossible to eat fruit or milk-based products without su Continue reading >>
Should You Try The Keto Diet?
It's advertised as a weight-loss wonder, but this eating plan is actually a medical diet that comes with serious risks. In the world of weight-loss diets, low-carbohydrate, high-protein eating plans often grab attention. The Paleo, South Beach, and Atkins diets all fit into that category. They are sometimes referred to as ketogenic or "keto" diets. But a true ketogenic diet is different. Unlike other low-carb diets, which focus on protein, a keto plan centers on fat, which supplies as much as 90% of daily calories. And it's not the type of diet to try as an experiment. "The keto diet is primarily used to help reduce the frequency of epileptic seizures in children. While it also has been tried for weight loss , only short-term results have been studied, and the results have been mixed. We don't know if it works in the long term, nor whether it's safe," warns registered dietitian Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital. The keto diet aims to force your body into using a different type of fuel. Instead of relying on sugar (glucose) that comes from carbohydrates (such as grains, legumes, vegetables, and fruits), the keto diet relies on ketone bodies, a type of fuel that the liver produces from stored fat. Burning fat seems like an ideal way to lose pounds. But getting the liver to make ketone bodies is tricky: It requires that you deprive yourself of carbohydrates, fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day (keep in mind that a medium-sized banana has about 27 grams of carbs). It typically takes a few days to reach a state of ketosis. Eating too much protein can interfere with ketosis. Because the keto diet has such a high fat requirement, followers must eat fat at each meal. In a daily 2,000-calorie diet, t Continue reading >>
Low-carb Diet To Treat Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease – Does It Make Sense?
Approximately 30 percent of people in the United States have a disease that is characterized by abnormal deposits of fat in the liver. The disease is not contagious, and unlike many other disorders of the liver, it is not caused by overconsumption of alcohol. It is called non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and has become the leading cause of chronic liver disease in many countries around the world (1). It is normal to have fat in the liver. However, if the amount of fat is more than 5-10 percent of the weight of the liver, fatty liver disease is probably present. But why is having much fat in the liver a bad thing? NAFLD may progress to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) which is associated with inflammation and may result in chronic scarring of the liver and liver cancer (2). Furthermore, patients with NAFLD have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. (3). The prevalence of NAFLD has increased steadily during the last 25-30 years, along with the prevalence of central obesity, type 2 diabetes, and the metabolic syndrome (4). Most individuals with NAFLD have increased abdominal fat and signs of insulin resistance which is reflected in high blood levels of triglycerides, low HDL-cholesterol, and increased risk of type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure (hypertension). So, an educated guess might be that NAFLD is caused by eating too much or that it is caused by eating too much of the wrong thing. The Role of Insulin Resistance and Carbohydrates It is primarily triglycerides that accumulate in the liver in patients with NAFLD. Triglycerides are composed of three fatty acids attached to a molecule of glycerol. But, where do the fatty acids come from and why do they load up in the liver? The Role of Insulin Resistance Insulin is a hormone produced by beta cell Continue reading >>
Metabolism And Ketosis
Dr. Eades, If the body tends to resort to gluconeogenesis for glucose during a short-term carbohydrate deficit, are those who inconsistently reduce carb intake only messing things up by not effecting full blown ketosis? If the body will still prefer glucose as main energy source unless forced otherwise for at least a few days, is it absolutely necessary to completely transform metabolism for minimal muscle loss? Also, if alcohol is broken down into ketones and acetaldehyde, technically couldn’t you continue to drink during your diet or would the resulting gluconeogenesis inhibition from alcohol lead to blood glucose problems on top of the ketotic metabolism? Would your liver ever just be overwhelmed by all that action? I’m still in high school so hypothetical, of course haha… Sorry, lots of questions but I’m always so curious. Thank you so much for taking the time to inform the public. You’re my hero! P.S. Random question…what’s the difference between beta and gamma hydroxybutyric acids? It’s crazy how simple orientation can be the difference between a ketone and date rape drug…biochem is so cool! P.P.S. You should definitely post the details of that inner mitochondrial membrane transport. I’m curious how much energy expenditure we’re talkin there.. Keep doin your thing! Your Fan, Trey No, I don’t think people are messing up if they don’t get into full-blown ketosis. For short term low-carb dieting, the body turns to glycogen. Gluconeogenesis kicks in fairly quickly, though, and uses dietary protein – assuming there is plenty – before turning to muscle tissue for glucose substrate. And you have the Cori cycle kicking in and all sorts of things to spare muscle, so I wouldn’t worry about it. And you can continue to drink while low-carbing. Continue reading >>
“my Fatty Liver Is Gone”
Here’s another remarkable success story on LCHF: The Email My name is Vicente and I am a 43 year-old guy from Spain. Just before last summer my doctor told me I had to lose weight, again. At that time I weighed about 94 kg (207 lbs). I am 175 cm (5’9″) tall. My non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) had returned. It had improved by losing weight the previous time. But after slimming, once again I regained the lost weight and the fatty liver came back. My iron was out of limits (the ferritin, to be precise). I was taking omeprazole for my GERD. The doctor gave me a paper with a summary table of the calories from different foods. The message I got was that I should control the amount of calories I was eating. It’s a nice doctor, but he has no idea about nutrition, obviously. Anyway, I started to eat less, again. I also increased the amount of exercise I was doing, spending at least half an hour every day on the exercise bike. Instinctively I eliminated bread and pasta from my diet and I started eating very little, about 1200 calories/day. I was often hungry, but I have willpower. I used fatsecret.es to control what I was eating. It is a free page where you write down what you eat and it tells you how many total calories, carbohydrates, protein and fat you are consuming. Now I think it was a mistake to eat so little, but I was desperate to lose weight and did not know what else to do. I lost a few kilos but after about three months I reached a plateu. I had stalled and I was eating only 1200 calories/day! So I thought that as soon as I ate a normal amount of food, around 1700-2000 calories, I would recover all the lost weight (no doubt I would have). I was scared and I started reading articles on the internet about the rebound effect, looking for a way to avoid Continue reading >>