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You can’t afford to ignore these 4 health risks of the keto diet

Published on:6 May 2020, 10:46am IST
Depending on one type of diet has never been considered to be a wise decision and if you are on a keto diet then read what the expert has to say.
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Keto diet is equal to high cholesterol. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Everything has a flip side to it–including those fad diets you are following to the T these days. Yes, no matter how safe a particular diet plan may seem–or how glorious its results-it could have side effects for you. Take for example, the keto diet.  

Keto diet gained popularity in India when a slew of Bollywood celebs confessed to following the diet for weight loss. This was enough for anyone looking to lose weight to jump on the keto bandwagon. And while the ketogenic diet does indeed show weight loss results, it’s not all that great for your overall health.    

The keto diet used to be a “medical diet” once upon a time
A true keto diet is based on the consumption of a high amount of fat at the cost of carbohydrate and protein. The aim is to drive as much as 90% of calories from fat. “It is actually a medical diet which has been used for a long time to treat epilepsy in children,” informs Dr Pramod Kumar, director and HOD, Interventional Cardiology, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh.

He adds:

Keto diet is supposed to change the metabolism in our body. It focuses our body to utilise a derivative of fat called ketones in place of carbohydrates as body fuel. 

This ketone is derived from burning fat in the liver. This in return helps in losing weight.

“Ingestion of body saturated and unsaturated fat is very high in keto diets. In a typical diet of 2,000 calorie, almost 165 gm of fat is indigested,” Dr Kumar says.

This is what a keto diet looks like
You can eat seafood, low-carbs vegetables like cauliflower, cheese, eggs, meat and poultry, cottage cheese, coconut oil, olive oil, nuts and seeds, butter, cream, dark chocolate, etc. Basically, it’s a high fat diet. And that’s why it has a negative impact on our body

1. Keto diet can increase bad cholesterol (LDL) in your body: Normal recommendations for healthy diets call for 7% of total calories derived from saturated fat. But all kinds of saturated fats-butter, coconut oil, etc–are used in large amounts in keto diets, exceeding that limit. This can put you at the risk of high cholesterol.
2. Keto diet can cause nutritional deficiency: Since the keto diet lacks vegetables, fruits, and grains-it can very well put you at the risk of deficiency for certain micronutrients like magnesium and selenium.
3. It can impact your liver: The keto diet puts your liver on the task of metabolising a whole lot of fat, which can make any existing liver conditions worse.
4. Keto diet can cause constipation: You need a whole lot of fibre to keep your bowel movements functioning smoothly. Now, since fibre-rich grains and legumes are a rarity in this diet, it can open the doors of constipation to you.

ketogenic diet
Keto diet isn’t what your body really wants!. Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

Bottom line
Every diet has its pros and cons. And so, it is very important that before diving into one, you should consult a dietician or a nutritionist to decide whether or not it will suit your body type. Because just choosing a diet because everyone else is losing weight while on it is definitely not the way to do it. 

(With inputs from IANS)

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