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Is the keto diet bad for you? Disadvantages of a ketogenic diet


By now you've probably heard all of the ketogenic diet, the high-fat, low-carbohydrate eating style everyone is talking about Benefits of keto are fairly well known – weight loss and loss of appetite – the disadvantages are usually minimized by keto advocates. "The positive aspects of a ketogenic diet are about much more than just the disadvantages," says Alix Turoff, RD, CDN, CPT, a nutritionist and personal trainer.

"The diet was introduced in the 1920s to treat epilepsy and became less popular with the advent of seizure drugs," says Turoff. Ketosis (the goal of keto, a condition in which the body uses fat instead of carbohydrates to produce energy) is something people experience during starvation ̵

1; even in people with anorexia nervosa. "The body is deprived of carbohydrates and must therefore rely on ketone bodies as a fuel source," explains Turoff. "People really need to understand that this is not just a low carbohydrate, high fat diet – it actually changes the way your body uses fuel."

Turoff does not believe that the keto diet should be a solution to weight loss, and she is not alone in this opinion. Many of the dieticians Shape shared similar thoughts on the keto diet with this story. That's why many of them are calling on anyone who wants to think about a ketogenic diet to first chat with a registered dietician. 19659002] In the meantime, keep in mind a few things before deciding on a full keto:

Nobody knows what the long-term effects are.

"The first major drawback is the fact that we really do not have long-term research on how keto trailers are on track after 10, 20, 30 years," says Turoff. "What will the results look like? Will they regain weight? Will they have health consequences? We also thought that smoking and diet pills were a good idea until long-term studies showed us that we were wrong."

"Keto." Influenza is not a fun experience.

Keto dieticians often strive to experience symptoms as their bodies adapt to their diet, but experts say this transitional period is not a joke. "When your body first enters the There are a number of side effects known as "keto-flu," says Jennifer M. Brown, a professor at the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion faculty at Arizona State University. "These include fatigue, dizziness "Drowsiness, insomnia, physical difficulties, and constipation, all of which are due to extreme carbohydrate restriction." These symptoms usually resolve when the body relies on fat as fuel, but it can take several days to a few weeks Losing weight really worth it to be sick for three weeks? "Given the fact that low-carb diets have no advantage in weight loss I would say these side effects are not worthwhile and unnecessary, "says Brown. (See also: is it possible to follow a vegetarian keto diet?)

It can unbalance your body's hydration.

"Electrolyte imbalances may also be common when keto-afferents are unaware of hydration," Turoff says. It's important to stay hydrated on keto, she says, especially at the beginning. "If you restrict carbohydrates, your body will produce less insulin and the glycogen stores (like carbohydrates are stored) in your muscles and liver will be exhausted – for every 1 gram of glycogen you use, you'll lose about 3 grams of water." As a result, the kidneys flush out more water and along with the electrolytes your body needs, such as magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium. "Unbalanced electrolytes can lead to muscle cramps, irregular heartbeat, fatigue, cognitive biases, and lack of control of body temperature," says Turoff. According to Turoff, some people may get kidney stones during the keto due to insufficient hydration. (PS: These are the hydration tips that every fit girl needs.)

The initial weight loss mainly consists of water.

Your kidneys flush out all the water, which is why people start seeing dramatic scale drops in their keto trips. "I wish people knew that the weight loss they will initially experience on this diet is mainly due to water loss," says Brown. This means that most likely you will not actually lose fat in the first few weeks, but will instead lose water that returns in the form of glycogen stores when you consume carbohydrates again. (By the way, here's how to get away from the keto diet safely and effectively.)

You could have a seriously funky breath.

This does not seem like a big deal, but it's worth knowing. "When the body goes into ketosis, the breath smells like acetone because of the breakdown of acetoacetic acid," says Turoff. For reference: "Acetone is the chemical that gives the nail polish its scent." Uh, noted.

The brain nebula you heard about is a real thing.

"Your brain uses glucose (a simple form of carbohydrate)," notes Adrien Paczosa, RD, LD, a registered dietitian and specialist in eating disorders. "When you cut out carbohydrates, your body has to" decompose "carbohydrates from other parts of the body, which leads to what I call a hungry brain, experiencing slower perception, memory loss, headaches, and confusion." That does not sound that good, right? "Even those who suffer from depression and anxiety may have a higher level of periods if they regularly do not eat carbohydrates." Because of this, keto may not be the best choice for people with mental health problems.

They eat less fruits and vegetables.

"With a ketogenic diet, the intake of fruits and vegetables is extremely limited. We all know the importance of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other compounds in fruits and vegetables," says Libby Parker, RD, a nutritionist specializes in the treatment and prevention of eating disorders. True, there are many healthy, but high-carbohydrate foods that you can not eat with the ketogenic diet. That's one of the reasons why keto is generally low in fiber, which is not great in the long run. "Fiber not only protects many gastrointestinal tumors, it is also an important contributing factor to body weight loss and weight loss," explains Parker. "In addition, constipation is low in low-fiber diets like the keto diet." (That means these healthy, high-fat foods can help you feel full for longer.)

This can negatively impact your athletic performance.

There are people who say Keto helps their athletic performance, and those who say it hurts "The literature is mixed, as an extremely low carbohydrate diet such as the keto diet affects athletic performance," says Grant Cox, CSCS, head coach of Iron Tribe Fitness. However, one thing is pretty clear: "There is a lot of evidence of a steady decline when athletes are looking for maximum performance (in weightlifting, vertical jumps, sprinting, etc.) and it would be difficult to do so" This is part of the reason why the keto diet is better for endurance athletes, but the evidence is mixed for them as well. "The keto diet was for athletes Brown, who explains why they have to rely on less frequent carbohydrate feeds to get around (think chewing gum, drinks and goos) and more on their body fat stores, "Brown says To reduce unpleasant gastrointestinal symptoms (less stops at the Porta pots!), but a keto diet can be as difficult for an athlete as it is for a layman. "[19659003] Also, some research has found that athletes with a keto diet are less efficient in their exercise, "says Brown. Because of this, instead of going on a keto diet, researchers involved in the study are switching between training in a carbohydrate-depleted state when they want to use their body's ability to use fat as fuel ( Sober training in the morning after you did not eat carbohydrates the night before) and carbohydrates as usual. (Related: 8 Things You Need to Know About Training in the Keto Diet)

It can cause disturbed food.

Keto is actually a no-go for those who are prone to disturbed food. "Such a restrictive diet can quickly become a compulsion, and if you are prone to eating disorders, it can be even more dangerous," says Turoff. To be honest, this is not just keto diet, but it applies to any style of eating that restricts entire food groups.

Even if you have no history of eating disorders, keto can still leave people behind (though certainly not everyone!) With negative feelings about food. "For the vast majority of people, keto is not sustainable, which means it will not last more than a few months," says Brown. "Not being successful with this diet and returning to your usual eating habits can trigger feelings of guilt and failure." These two feelings can, in the worst case, lead to eating disorders in some people, says Brown. (In addition, we must seriously stop thinking of foods as "good" and "bad.")

It can be emotionally exhausting.

"Most people who try a ketogenic diet and decide not to move on because of the emotional and lifestyle implications," says Turoff. Simply put, people do not eat carbohydrates. "That does not mean that you should eat pizza or cupcakes every day, but how about a sweet potato with a meal or beans in a chili, or a fresh watermelon in the summer?" Turoff asks. "Whether we want to admit it or not, food plays more than just a physical role in our lives, and such restrictions on the types of food you can eat and that you can not eat can take a toll on short-term carbohydrate-free foods, but at some point, the idea that you can no longer eat your favorite foods can be intimidating. "

Eating in a restrictive way can be socially isolating, says Brown. "You can avoid parties and other gatherings because you may be worried about what foods are available to you or what foods you can tempt to eat in. Planning and controlling what you eat so accurately can increase anxiety and stress And who you would like to enjoy a beer with a friend or a piece of cake on your birthday? "As you probably know, emotional well-being and physical health are closely linked. This is one more reason to choose foods that make you feel good mentally and physically. If Keto does that for you, great! If not, you know you are not alone.

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