Are Keto Diets Safe: What to Expect When Using Low-Carb Diets

Keto diets involve the consumption of high-fat content, limited carbs, and moderate protein. Implementing such a diet usually leads to ketosis after a few days. Ketosis is a state where the body uses fat and not glucose as its main source of energy. But are such diets safe to use and do they come with certain risks? Let’s find out!

Are Keto Diets Safe?

Keto diets have a good safety profile. They fine-tune the body naturally to ensure that users attain their wellness goals. Some of the upsides that come with using these diet plans include disease treatment and prevention

Several research studies show that keto diets can play a significant role in preventing or treating certain diseases. Besides that, a low-carb diet is great in improving general wellness. Keto diets are safe for:

Weight Management

This is one of the popular uses of ketogenic diets. A high-fat and low-carb diet will quickly trigger a higher metabolic rate. This will translate to faster burning of excess body fat leading to weight loss. Besides that, the high-fat content promotes a feeling of satiety and reduces food cravings. Note that if you eat fewer calories than what your body needs, it will most likely end up utilizing the stored fat cells.

Treating Certain Types of Cancers

Using a ketogenic diet in combination with chemotherapy as well as radiation can help to treat certain cancers. The Oncology Journal published in 2018 that a low-carb, high-fat diet can be beneficial in cancer therapy. However, patients are advised against using this diet as a standalone treatment and they need to consult with their doctor’s first.

Treating Obesity

Typically, it’s known that the best way to lose weight is by consuming a low-carb diet. For those struggling with obesity, keto can be beneficial. The low-calorie diet promotes weight loss, especially around the midsection area. Besides that, it can help to enhance the development and preservation of lean mass.

Treating Type 2 Bipolar Disorder

Clinical drugs are great in managing health issues like bipolar disorder. However, these medications are not only costly but they also result in overdependence. Additionally, they are known to have adverse side effects and may worsen the symptoms of the already pre-existing condition. But did you know it’s possible to manage type 2 bipolar disorder by using a low-calorie diet such as keto?

It’s been established that keto can help to stabilize mood. According to reports published by the Neurocase Journal, low amounts of carbs, high amounts of healthy fats, and moderate intake of protein can be effective in managing bipolar compared to prescription medications.

Managing the Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is one of the medical issues that require long-term management. We understand the complexity that comes with this disease and how the symptoms can flare up from time to time. But a good diet can be helpful in managing such health problems?

Looking at the ketogenic diet and relating it to this condition, it can help to considerably reduce the symptoms. This is because it helps to improve the levels of HbA1c in the body.

Improving the Metabolic Syndrome

There are several ways that a low-calorie diet can help to improve metabolic syndrome. This condition is a cluster of several risk factors such as abdominal obesity, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol among others. The ability of keto to control or reduce the symptoms of these conditions one-by-one is what makes it great in managing metabolic syndrome.

Keto and Dementia

The introduction of ketones in the body by this diet normally results in neuroprotective benefits. Ketone bodies can considerably reduce the aging of brain cells. Besides that, they reduce inflammatory effects and promote mitochondrial function. This creates a potent effect with therapeutic benefits for neurodegenerative issues such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)

This is a hormonal health issue that occurs as a result of the overproduction of male hormones. PCOS is also characterized by polycystic ovaries and ovulatory dysfunction. Medical reports show that a diet rich in carbohydrates can increase the severity of PCOS. This is because high amounts of carbs normally interfere with hormonal balance.

Although there are not many clinical studies highlighting the relationship between keto and PCOS, pilot studies indicate that such a diet can improve the symptoms of this condition. Women with PCOS who use this diet plan normally end up with a better hormone balance, fasting insulin, and can experience weight loss. The overall impact is that the PCOS symptoms end up reducing.

Preventing Heart Diseases

High-carb diets usually involve processed junk foods with high sugar content. Generally, people love such foods because they are sweet. However, the high sugar and cholesterol content in them can increase the risk of heart diseases. That’s why those who love processed foods are usually more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease.

But using keto can improve heart health. This is because it’s a low-carb diet that can help drop the level of cholesterol in the body. Studies show that such a diet normally increases the level of high-density lipoprotein i.e. the good cholesterol and reduces the level of low-density lipoprotein i.e. the bad cholesterol. By doing so, a keto diet can, therefore, reduce the risk of heart complications.

Managing Epileptic Seizures

The low-carb, moderate protein, and the high-fat combination has a way of altering the way the body naturally produces energy. Such a diet will quickly lead to ketosis where the body uses ketones to produce fuel.

Reports by the Epileptic Foundation suggest that the introduction of ketones in the body can reduce epileptic seizures. There are those who have positively responded to this diet plan by experiencing reduced frequency and severity of epileptic seizures. But we can only hope that more research is done on this because epilepsy still has no cure.

So, are keto diets safe? From the above benefits, it’s clear that implementing such a diet alongside your wellness plan is good. Keto diets are safe when used correctly and can be effective in the management of various health conditions.

However, we understand that certain health problems come with serious risks. So, before you start using a ketogenic diet, it’s always advisable to first consult with your doctor.

The Risks of Using Keto Diets

But just like any diet plan or supplement, using keto diets come with some potential risks. We are all different hence our bodies tend to respond differently to various food products. For those who want to use keto, you should be aware of a handful of potential side effects that can happen when you use the keto diet. These can be treated by following a healthy keto diet plan and taking proper supplements, as well as getting enough exercise. 

  • Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
  • Excess blood protein
  • Excess buildup of fat in the liver

Besides that, the onset use of a low-carb and high-fat usually leads to the keto flu. This is a combination of discomforts and health issues such as:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Low blood sugar and
  • Headaches among others.

What You Need to Know

If you seek expert advice and then use a keto diet as recommended, chances are that you might not experience the side effects. And in case you, it will be mild and disappear after a few days. So, you need to understand that:

Fat should be used wisely

As much as keto diets involve high-fat content, this is in comparison to the carb content. So, do not use fat in excess without cutting carbs, thinking that you are inducing your body to ketosis. Taking excess fat can lead to constipation, diarrhea, and bad breath among others. On top of that, if you increase fat intake and do not decrease carbohydrate intake, you are also going to be boosting your calorie intake and will likely gain weight instead of losing it. 

Look for nutritional ketosis

A common mistake that a lot of people make is looking for higher ketone levels. Having more ketones is good. But you can only gain the benefits of a low-carb diet if you are focused on getting nutritional ketosis. This means that the ketones level should be between 1.5 mmol/L and 3.0 mmol/L. Such a level indicates that you are eating keto-friendly meals as recommended and you won’t be subjecting your body to extremely low-carb intake.

The Bottom Line

The hype behind these diets isn’t fake and when used correctly, they can be beneficial. There are many types of keto diet plans with different ratios of fat, protein, and carbs. All you have to do is do research and find what works for you. If you are still unsure, then you can seek the advice of your medical care provider.

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