The Risks of a Ketogenic Diet in the Long Term

In the long term, the ketogenic diet can increase a person's risk of developing vitamin or mineral deficiencies if they don't get enough nutrients. People with some chronic conditions should not follow the ketogenic diet. A ketogenic diet emphasizes the consumption of animal products and limits many nutrient-rich vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. They also found that ketogenic diets are particularly dangerous for people who are currently pregnant or who could become pregnant.

This can cause you to feel sluggish during workouts and may mean that the ketogenic diet is not a good long-term option for athletes or people with very physical jobs. Neal Barnard, MD, FACC, an adjunct professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and a co-author of the study, tells Verywell that ketogenic diets contain the types of foods that are associated with cancer risks. Originally developed in the 1920s as a treatment for patients with severe drug-resistant epilepsy, the ketogenic diet has been shown to be effective in reducing seizures in extreme cases. So whether or not the ketogenic diet is the “best long-term diet for you” depends on your unique physiological and therapeutic goals.

But then, people can transition to a more relaxed form of keto that allows more carbs or less monitoring, sometimes known as lazy keto, keto cycle or “maintenance mode”, as Jenna Jameson has called it. In a recent study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, researchers found that participants performed worse on high-intensity cycling and running tasks after four days on a ketogenic diet compared to those who had spent four days on a high-intensity diet. carbohydrates. Some have taken the ketogenic diet one step further, using a feeding tube inserted into the esophagus through the nose.

Usually very low in carbs, modest in protein and high in fat, the goal of ketogenic diets is to push the body into ketosis, the state in which the body uses fat as fuel. The high-fat ketogenic diet is a known cause of acute pancreatitis because it causes an increase in circulating fats, author and nutritionist Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph. D., tells Verywell. In the study, obese women lost more weight on a ketogenic diet than controls who lost on a calorie-restricted low-fat diet.

Barnard adds that most humans are prone to the risks associated with a highly restrictive ketogenic diet. By restricting carbohydrate intake, the ketogenic diet forces the body to break down fat into ketones as an alternative energy source. Following the ketogenic diet for an extended period of time can be difficult, and even some of its top advocates caution against following its strict guidelines (such as cutting carbs to 50 grams a day or less) for more than 30 to 90 days. However, several studies (63,6) have recently been published with appropriate control groups comparing the effect of a low-fat diet with a low-carb ketogenic diet. The long-term effects of following a strict ketogenic diet are still unknown and may be potentially dangerous for some individuals. It is important to consult with your doctor before starting any new dietary regimen to ensure that it is safe for you.

Bruce Chen
Bruce Chen

Medical & health reporter. Award-winning internet evangelist. Embraced the low-carb keto diet and lost 9 pounds.