The Side Effects of a Ketogenic Diet to Consider
Before you decide to begin a ketogenic diet, it’s important to understand the side effects and risks. A Keto diet is high in fat, very low in carbs, and moderate in protein. When your body doesn’t have enough glucose from carbs available, it creates another source of energy called ketones.
The result is that most of your body’s energy comes from fats instead of carbohydrates. If you want to adopt a ketogenic diet as a lifestyle change rather than just for weight loss, then read on. This article will explain the many benefits of this eating plan and the potential side effects you should be aware of before beginning it.
Side Effects to Be Aware of with a Keto Diet
- Decreased energy levels – This could be due to the lack of carbohydrates and could mean you need to increase your daily dosage of caffeine or other stimulants.
- Digestion issues and constipation – This is easier to manage during the initial adjustment period of your body and eating more fiber-rich foods such as veggies, berries, and nuts can help.
- Weight loss plateaus – At some point, your body reaches ketosis and will start burning more fat, but this could mean you lose muscle as well. This can be avoided with a protein-rich diet.
- Bad breath and bad taste in mouth – This is due to the release of ketones in the body and can be counteracted with mouthwash or chewing gum with xylitol.
- Headaches and dizziness – This is a potential side effect due to your body adjusting to the ketogenic diet.
Potential Health Issues with a Ketogenic Diet
- Kidney stones – These are caused by the high-sodium content of the ketogenic diet and can be managed by drinking more water.
- Iron deficiencies and anemia – This could be caused by the low intake of iron-rich foods and can be avoided by increasing the intake of leafy greens and fish.
- Impaired cognition – This can be caused by a deficiency in B-vitamins, iron, and zinc. It’s easy to avoid by taking a multivitamin supplement.
- Vitamin A deficiency – This can lead to impaired night vision and can be managed by increasing your intake of vitamin A-rich foods such as sweet potatoes and carrots.
How to Make the Ketogenic Diet Healthier
- Eat a variety of different proteins to avoid deficiencies and include fish, nuts, and eggs.
- Consume plenty of fiber-rich foods such as berries and broccoli to avoid constipation and maintain a healthy gut.
- Add vitamin A-rich foods such as sweet potatoes to your diet to avoid a deficiency and maintain healthy night vision.
- Drink plenty of water to avoid kidney stones and anemia.
A ketogenic diet is a great way to lose weight and improve your health. However, it’s important to be aware of the potential side effects and health issues associated with it before you begin. By eating a variety of proteins, fiber-rich foods, vitamin A-rich foods, and drinking plenty of water, you can make the keto diet healthier.