The Dangers of the Keto Diet

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Natalia Cullins, Contributor

If you’ve been on tik tok enough, you would know that the keto diet took the dieting game by storm and changed the way people look at carbs and nutrition in general. Some people don’t exactly know what the keto diet is and what you can and can’t eat. The “keto” or ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet commonly used for weight loss. Restricting carbs and increasing fat intake can lead to ketosis, a metabolic state in which your body relies primarily on fat for energy instead of carbs (Healthline).  

Unlike calorie restriction, keto helps you lose weight by putting your body into ketosis. “When you eat minimal carbohydrates, your body produces ketones for energy. Ketones are made in your liver from fatty acids found in food on your own body far. Therefore, your liver actually burns fat to make ketones,” says an article about weight loss (Vitagene).  

Even though the keto diet can be seen as a great way to lose weight without having to work out or cute crazy things out of your diet, it still comes with some risks.  

The first risk is that it could lead to the keto flu. As your body depletes its carb stores and switches to using ketones and fat for fuel at the start of this eating pattern, you may experience flu-like symptoms. This could include headaches, fatigue, and nausea because of the dehydration and electrolyte imbalances that happen as your body adjusts to the diet. 

The second risks are it may stress your kidneys. This is because high-fat animal foods could give you a higher risk of kidney stones if you eat them a lot. This is because a high intake of animal products can cause blood and urine to become more acidic. The keto diet reduces the amount of citrate that releases in your urine according to some cases and without citrate, it could raise your risk of getting them.  

The third risk is that it could lead to nutrient deficiencies. This is because keto restricts several foods like nutrient-dense fruits and grains. The foods that the keto diet restricts usually provide the recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals. Some studies show that the keto diet doesn’t provide enough calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and phosphorous (Healthline).  

If you still want to try the keto diet, just try to get the vitamins and nutrients you need and drink lots of water to counteract the high protein diet.