Why You Should Stay Away From Ketogenic Diet!

ketone_bodiesEvery person’s bodies produce biochemicals which are water-soluble whenever their body is breaking down fatty acids. These are the simple by-products which are made during the process. Two of these three biochemicals are utilized by the heart and brain as a source of energy whereas the third (acetone) is excreted by the kidneys. The brain uses ketone bodies as a source of energy whenever the body is undergoing rigorous and lengthy strenuous exercise. Even though these biochemicals are referred to as ketone bodies, they are not actual molecules or particles. They are also not proteins.

Ketone bodies tend to be released when people are on high protein, low carbohydrate diets for extended periods of time. Being on a diet like this can have serious consequences to your health.  Some of the potential side effects are:

  • Kidney failure: Your kidneys are not made to process huge amounts of protein day in and day out. Doing this over a long period of time can eventually lead to severe kidney failure or even long-term kidney disease.

  • High cholesterol: Research has proven that high protein diets make a person more susceptible to high cholesterol because of all the red meat, dairy and other foods high in fat which are consumed. Having high cholesterol will also make you more susceptible to developing heart disease, having a stroke or developing cancer.

  • Osteoporosis and/or Kidney stones: Research also shows that people who stay on high protein diets for long periods of time tend to develop either osteoporosis or kidney stones. This is because they tend to excrete large amounts of calcium into their urine. Calcium in urine eventually gets calcified into kidney stones which can be extremely painful. Ask anyone who has ever had one (me!) and they will attest to this fact.

  • Cancer: The main reason that people who stay on high-protein diets over a long period of time are more prone to developing cancer is because they are not consuming enough whole grains and antioxidant rich foods which are known to be cancer preventing.

  • Ketosis: This is by far THE most dangerous side effect of this type of diet. It happens when your body burns muscle instead of fat for energy. It is an extremely dangerous metabolic state. It can be avoided by eating carbohydrates but if you’re on a high-protein diet, you’re probably not eating enough carbohydrates which is why you go into a ketoacidotic state. This can be a medical emergency requiring immediate medical attention.

The Ketogenic Diet In A Nutshell

This kind of dieting has always been on the fringes of normal dieting practices and for good reason. It should stay there because it is very dangerous. Diets that are similar to the ketogenic diet are the South Beach Diet and the Atkins Diet Plan. Those diets do, however, have some leeway for incorporating small amounts of carbohydrates into the plan and this is what prevents most people who are using these plans from achieving true ketoacidosis states.

You need to understand some basic metabolic terminology before you can really decide if this is the kind of diet you want to pursue or not.

First of all, when you eat, your pancreas releases a hormone called insulin. Insulin is the key to allowing glucose (a byproduct of almost all foods eaten) to be allowed into the body’s red blood cells and used as energy. If you are eating too many carbohydrates (and remember that almost ALL food contains some form of carbohydrate) the insulin will put the excess energy into the muscles in the form of fat stores.

When you are eating only protein, your body does not have any energy to draw on because there are virtually no carbohydrates in protein.

If you really want to go on a low-carbohydrate diet, then choose one that incorporates foods which are low on the glycemic index. I can not stress enough that dieting is about balance: again, all things in moderation. I am dramatically opposed to anyone embracing a diet like the ketogenic diet because I see it as being so dangerous to one’s health and well-being.

There are lots and lots of ways to lose weight safely and healthily without resorting to methods which can potentially make you sick or even land you on dialysis. Speaking of which, being on long-term dialysis is definitely a way to lose weight. If you are undergoing weekly dialysis treatments  you will soon find your diet to be SO restricted that maintaining a healthy weight will soon turn into a nightmare. So, be wise and be safe and stay far, far away from this weight loss method. Your kidneys and bones will thank you. And those are two body parts you will probably no doubt want to hold on to for many years to come.


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