Long-term Consequences of a Keto Diet


The ketogenic diet has gained massive popularity in recent years. This low-carb diet is promoted in magazines, all over social media, and by celebrities. But is this diet actually healthy?

First, let’s talk about what a keto diet means. The Keto diet is a low carb, high-fat diet and involves drastically reducing carbohydrate intake and replacing it with fat. Essentially, you’ll get 80-90% of your calories from fat, which is what’s required to reach ketosis.

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Ketosis is a process that occurs when your body doesn’t have enough carbs to make energy. As a result, your body begins to burn fat and makes ketones, which it can use for fuel. However, people may find this state fairly difficult to reach.

Not only is Keto low-carb, it’s also low in protein. Instead, the diet requires you to eat more fats like avocado, coconut oil, and meat, and very few carbohydrates. The typical keto diet plan will say that 25-30g is approximately the maximum amount allowed if you want your body to stay in ketosis. That’s the equivalent of one apple!

Many studies have shown that following a keto diet can significantly reduce body weight, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and blood glucose levels. It was also initially designed to treat severe epilepsy in infants and children, and was intended to be administered for short periods of time under medical supervision. However, it’s become a mainstream trend for its weight-loss effects.

The Risks

According to Neal Barnard, MD, FACC, an adjunct professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine, “the keto diets contain the types of foods that are associated with cancer risks.”

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This diet places a large focus on the consumption of animal products while limiting many nutrient-rich vegetables, fruits, and whole grains that are essential for the body. As a result, keto is low in many vitamins, minerals, and fiber that we need to function and feel our best. Most human beings are also prone to risks associated with a highly restrictive keto diet.

According to the Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health, “Most people should get 20 to 35 percent of their daily calories from fat, 45 to 65 percent from carbs, and 10 to 35 percent from protein.”

While the keto diet is linked to weight loss and other health benefits in the short term, it may lead to nutrient deficiencies, digestive issues, poor bone health, and other problems over time. Other possible health risks include:

  • May lead to the keto flu
  • Can put stress on your kidneys
  • Can cause digestive issues and changes in gut bacteria
  • May lead to nutrient deficiencies.
  • May cause dangerously low blood sugar.
  • Can damage your bone health
  • May increase your risk of chronic diseases

Due to these risks, people should speak to their healthcare provider before trying the keto diet.

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Does the Keto Diet Kill? Doctor Reviews Low Carb Diets and Mortality

Source: Violin MD/Youtube

This doctor breaks down the ins and outs of the Keto Diet! She references an article in the Lancet Journal associating low-carb diets and animal products with increased mortality! This doctor has tested out the keto diet herself for 6 weeks and wanted to share her results. By the end of this video, you will understand what this new article is saying and be able to make an educated decision about your diet! You’ll also be informed about how the keto diet can affect your life expectancy.

Can You Try Keto on a Vegan Diet?

While the usual keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb, and moderate protein that typically relies on animal products (like eggs, meat, and dairy), it can be easily adapted to fit plant-based meal plans. Essentially, a vegan keto diet follows the same principles [as keto] but without any animal-derived products, like meat and dairy. With careful planning, vegans can reap the potential benefits of a ketogenic diet, and reach ketosis by relying on high-fat, plant-based products like coconut oil, avocados, seeds, nuts, etc.

Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home

Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health, and more! Unfortunately, dairy consumption also has been linked to many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer, and has many side effects.

For those interested in eating more plant-based, we highly recommend purchasing one of our many plant-based cookbooks or downloading the Food Monster App which has thousands of delicious recipes making it the largest vegan recipe resource to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy! And, while you are at it, we encourage you to also learn about the environmental and health benefits of a plant-based diet.

Here are some resources to get you started:

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