Disadvantages of the Keto Diet
The keto diet seeks to induce your body into a state of ketosis, where it burns fat instead of carbs for energy production.
Dieting can help people shed pounds and build muscle mass, but it’s essential to remember that this plan may not work for everyone.
Dieting can deprive you of many nutrient-rich foods, such as whole grains, beans, vegetables, fruits and dairy products. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, this can lead to various nutrient deficiencies.
1. Eating too much meat
Eating too much meat while on a keto diet can be detrimental, particularly when trying to burn off fat for fuel. Meat, especially processed meats, are high in saturated and trans fats which have been known to raise blood cholesterol levels and raise the risk of heart disease.
Processed meats often contain high levels of sodium, leading to water retention that may cause headaches and muscle cramps.
Feller suggests avoiding all red and processed meat, opting instead for low-carb alternatives like turkey, salmon, and seafood. If you must eat meat, opt for organic and grass-fed options.
Protein can be challenging on a keto diet, as it contains carbs. But there are ways to get enough without consuming too much saturated or trans fat. According to INSIDER nutritionist Sarah Marjoram, one way is including eggs and fatty dairy products into your keto meal plan.
Another way to obtain protein on a keto diet is through nuts, seeds and nut butters. Not only do these provide us with quality sources of protein but they also contain heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
Coconut oil, olive oil and avocados are also great sources of healthy fats that have numerous health benefits. These fats may reduce inflammation in the body as well.
If you’re uncertain if a certain food is keto-friendly, consult your doctor before adding it into your meal plan. She can tell you whether or not the item is safe to eat and how much of it to consume. She also has advice on which items are acceptable while following a ketogenic diet.
2. Eating too much dairy
Dietitians warn that choosing the wrong dairy products for a keto diet can make it harder to stay on track with the plan. This is because some dairy items contain too many carbohydrates.
The good news is that most dairy products are low enough in carbs to fit into a keto diet. However, you should check labels to make sure the item contains net carbs and no added sugars, according to Lyssie Lakatos, RDN of Nutrition Twins team.
She advises avoiding cream cheese, sour cream and cottage cheese that contains added sugar. These may be advertised as low-carb or keto friendly options, but can quickly become non-keto compliant when they contain too much added sweetness.
She cautions against flavored yogurts, as they often contain high levels of added sugar. Therefore, she suggests sticking with plain or unsweetened full-fat yogurt.
Butter is an ideal addition to meals and snacks, but for optimal health benefits it’s best to opt for grass-fed, unsweetened butter rather than one with added sweeteners. Not only does this source more healthy fats that support overall wellbeing, but butter also boasts higher levels of essential fatty acids which benefit your wellbeing too.
Dairy can be included in a keto diet, but it’s best to limit products high in saturated fat. Too much saturated fat may increase your “bad” cholesterol levels and put you at greater risk for heart disease. The American Heart Association advises people to limit their consumption of saturated fat–especially from meat and dairy sources–to minimize these risks.
3. Eating too much oil
Many have heard of the keto diet, a high-fat, low-carb eating plan that encourages your body to burn fat as its primary source of energy. It has become particularly popular for weight loss and those living with diabetes.
However, while eating plenty of healthy fats on a keto diet is beneficial, there are also some potential downsides that people should be aware of. It’s essential to note that overconsumption of oil may not always be the best choice.
While certain oils can be beneficial when following a keto diet, industrial seed oils like soybean, canola, cottonseed and sunflower oil should not be used due to their high polyunsaturated fat content which could lead to inflammation or the breakdown of harmful chemicals when heated, according to Laura Silver MS, RD, CDN.
She cautions that eating too much saturated fat, such as from meat, butter, cheese or other sources, can raise cholesterol levels and put you at greater risk for heart disease. Furthermore, those with diabetes or kidney issues should be especially mindful not to overindulge in protein while on a keto diet, since this could lead to ketoacidosis – an uncomfortable condition.
Thankfully, there are plenty of healthy low-carb alternatives to meat and dairy that won’t put you off your keto diet. These include avocado, coconut, fish meat, and olives – all excellent sources of monounsaturated fats. Furthermore, yogurt with its high fat content helps you feel full for longer while providing probiotics for your gut. Lastly, nut butters provide healthy fats without adding too many extra calories into your meals without compromising nutrition.
4. Eating too much chocolate
Chocolate is one of the world’s most indulgent treats, so it may be difficult to resist when on a keto diet. Unfortunately, eating too much chocolate may have negative repercussions for your progress.
The initial issue with excessive chocolate consumption is its high carb and sugar content. Eating too much of either will knock your body out of ketosis and lead to an energy crash.
To prevent this from occurring, only consume a small amount of chocolate daily. Opt for dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa solids and low in sugar and milk content.
It is essential to read the label before purchasing chocolate that meets keto standards. Make sure the chocolate is free from unhealthy ingredients such as sugar, alcohol, and flavorings.
Eating too much sugar can have a detrimental effect on your digestion. When adhering to the keto diet, it’s essential that you get enough fiber in order for your body to digest and absorb essential nutrients.
Fiber can help to slow down digestion and curb sugar cravings. It may also suppress hunger pangs while providing slow-release energy.
Consume a balanced amount of protein to reduce hunger cravings and prevent overeating. Meat, poultry, fish, and eggs are all great sources of this vital nutrient.
With these tips, you can enjoy chocolate without compromising your health while sticking to a keto diet. Just make sure to read the nutrition label for sugar content and carbs before deciding to consume any chocolate treats.
5. Eating too much sugar
The keto diet restricts your consumption of nutrient-rich foods like grains, starchy veggies and legumes, which may pose some short-term health risks.
Psota warned of the potential hazards associated with micronutrient deficiencies. Micronutrients include vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.
On the keto diet, you’ll likely consume a lot of sugar which could have negative health consequences. According to the American Heart Association, these include weight gain, elevated cholesterol and an increased risk for heart disease.
Other potential health hazards associated with the keto diet include flu-like symptoms (known as “keto flu”) and dehydration. While these effects are usually temporary, you can combat them by drinking plenty of water and electrolytes through supplements or homemade broths.
It is also essential to avoid sugar-sweetened beverages like soda and fruit juice, since they are high in calories. Instead, opt for low-sugar alternatives like berries or dark chocolate instead.
Overeating sugar on the keto diet can lead to ketoacidosis, a potentially hazardous condition for those with type 1 diabetes or insulin-dependent medical conditions.
To prevent this, be sure to monitor your blood sugar several times a day and speak with your doctor about any medications that you are taking.
Another potential drawback of overindulging on sugar while on the keto diet is dehydration. Your body’s inability to process carbohydrates properly leads to decreased sodium levels, leaving you feeling under-the-weather with symptoms such as dizziness, headaches and fatigue.