Low-carb and ketogenic diets have become very popular for weight loss. But high amounts of fat combined with protein and low carbs can not only increase the risk of high cholesterol, but also stress the kidneys.
What is the keto diet and how does it work?
The keto diet is a high fat, medium protein, low carb diet. Carbohydrates not more than 50 g. When you’re on the keto diet, you’re eating fewer carbohydrates to support your body’s energy needs. As a result, your body switches to burning its stores of body fat to fuel your energy. When your body burns body fat for fuel, it produces ketones, which are substances made by the liver. Your body enters a metabolic state called ‘ketosis’. If you strictly follow the keto diet, your body will reach ketosis in about four days. This helps to lose weight. The ratio is usually 60 percent fat, 35 percent protein, and five percent carbohydrates.
What are the conditions in which the benefits of the diet outweigh the risks?
It may help people with heart disease, epilepsy, certain brain diseases, acne, weight loss, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, PCOS, as well as athletes who do heavy exercise. The diet is planned according to the individual. Therefore, it is very necessary to take the guidance of a dietician as regular monitoring is required to maintain a good balance of all parameters.
What are the effects of the keto diet on the kidneys?
The keto diet is high in fat, protein and low in carbohydrates. People with normal kidney function can only handle excess protein. For kidney related problems, we need to monitor protein intake to high standards. Such patients cannot follow a diet rich in protein and fat because it may overburden the kidneys and exacerbate the problem. Those with kidney disease should stay away from this diet.
When it comes to the effect of the keto diet on the kidneys, it may raise creatinine levels. Patients with severe symptoms should follow a nutritional chart diet based on biomedical standards. In addition to creatinine, electrolytes and iron should be monitored.
Does the keto diet lead to the formation of stones? What are its other effects?
The ketogenic diet is risky for patients with gallstones and liver disease because it can raise levels of LDL cholesterol and may increase the risk of chronic disease in general due to its high fat content. Individuals may feel nausea, vomiting, constipation, acidity, and bloating, all of which cause discomfort.
Stone formation can be found in some individuals because the keto diet is high in fat, salt and animal protein. Eating meat, especially processed meat, may increase your risk of developing kidney stones and gout, a severe form of arthritis. High consumption of animal proteins raises the acidity of urine along with calcium and uric acid levels. This combination increases the chance of developing kidney stones, while excess uric acid increases the risk of gout.
Many people who follow the keto diet experience constipation because the diet is low in carbohydrates and may cause nutrient deficiencies such as low potassium (which coconut water can help overcome) and vitamin deficiencies. As a result, the diet should contain avocado, spinach, and low-carb fiber such as chia seeds and flaxseeds.
Individuals can also get keto flu, which causes a fruity odor in their breath. According to research published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health in February 2014, acetone is a byproduct of ketosis and is largely removed through the lungs and respiration. Acetone is a type of ketone that has a fruity aroma in low concentrations. It is difficult to estimate how long it will last because it depends on the individual, but it is usual for someone to experience this side effect for a few weeks.
Do the health benefits of the diet extend to at-risk individuals, those with multiple health conditions, and the elderly?
The keto diet also affects each person differently. While some people can easily transition to dietary changes, others may find that their bodies take longer to adjust to sudden changes. It is important to check your cholesterol regularly. The keto diet may reduce cholesterol in some people, but it may increase cholesterol in others.
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