Ketogenic diets have been around for almost 100 years on record. They have a history of use to treat epilepsy in children with successful results for kids that do not respond to medication. But how about for the general population? Is Keto Safe? According to the Mayo Clinic, ketogenic diets are comparable to other low-carb diets that come with their own risks. Eliminating or drastically cutting carbohydrate intake, especially suddenly, can result in temporary side effects like headaches, weakness, bad breath, fatigue, muscle cramping, rashes, and either constipation or diarrhea. There is a word for this in the keto community called “keto flu” or “carb flu.” This is a risk that people take as they embark on their transition towards a ketogenic lifestyle.
Is Keto Safe? | Know The Risks
But it is only a temporary problem. Additional risks of ketogenic diets include what happens when a person gets into the state called “ketosis” where your body breaks down stored fat to use as energy instead of glucose. Though achieving ketosis is the goal for people looking to lose weight with a ketogenic diet, ketosis brings with it its own risks. These include side effects like nausea, mental and physical fatigue, headaches, and bad breath. Some doctors claim that the high fat part of the keto diet puts you at a higher risk for heart disease and certain cancers. But other physicians who believe in the health benefits (rather than drawbacks) of a high fat diet would say that a low-carb diet filled with high amounts of healthy fats is beneficial rather than risky. So you will get different answers to the question “Is Keto Safe?” depending on who you ask!
Is Keto Safe: The Verdict
When you ask the question “Is Keto Safe?” you’re asking a couple different questions. The way to approach knowing it is to think about how people live their ketogenic lifestyles. When done right, ketogenic diets can be quite safe. Just like any other diet, there is an element of balance and good or bad choices. For instance, though you are supposed to eat high quantities of fat on a ketogenic diet, the kinds of fats you select will determine how healthy the diet will be for you.
Full fat dairy is included in a healthy ketogenic diet, but that doesn’t mean you should be eating all the butter you can get your hands on. A balanced diet of full fat dairy, eggs, healthy oils like olive and coconut oil, fatty fish, and grass-fed meats make up the healthiest version of a ketogenic diet. So, Is Keto Safe?
Is Keto Safe? | When Done Correctly, Yes.
Yes. Certainly, with the diet trends since the 1980s, fat-phobia causes alarm bells to sound for many who hear about a diet like keto. But, when you ask Is Keto Safe, the short answer is yes. If someone is following a ketogenic diet but is also living off processed cheese and hot dogs, it’s not going to be healthy or safe because you are consuming processed foods full of harmful chemicals. However, if you practice a ketogenic diet with whole, unprocessed, unrefined foods in a balanced way, the diet can be considered quite safe. “Keto flu” is the one major side effect of a ketogenic diet that may warrant concern, but this is typical and just something people experience in the beginning. It goes away as the body and brain adjusts.