A review in Frontiers in Nutrition found that keto diets put pregnant women and patients with kidney disease at high risk for adverse health effects. This is the largest ever analysis of ketogenic diets. Ketogenic Diets And Chronic Disease: Weighing The Benefits Against The Risks also showed that most people find the long-term health risks associated with the keto diet (including heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s) outweigh the potential benefits.
Lee Crosby, RD nutrition education program manager at Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, said that “the typical keto diet is a disease promoting disaster.” “Loading up on red meat, processed meat, and saturated fat and restricting carbohydrate-rich vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains is a recipe for bad health.”
The following are five key findings from the Frontiers in Nutrition review paper:
- Keto diets may be especially unsafe for women who are pregnant or may become pregnant–low-carb diets are linked to a higher risk of neural tube defects in the baby, even when women take folic acid.
- Higher-protein keto diets could hasten kidney failure in those with kidney disease.
- Many patients are affected by the Keto diet, which raises “bad cholesterol”.
- Although Keto diets may be presented as a miracle cure, they are unlikely to last long.
- Limiting carbohydrate intake can lead to a diet that favors cancer-causing foods. Many keto-type foods are linked to increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s, which is often the same diseases they claim to prevent.
A ketogenic diet is a diet high in fat, carbohydrate and protein. This combination of fuels is intended to induce ketosis or the production ketone bodies, which serve as an alternative energy source for neurons and cells that can’t directly metabolize fat acids.
The Keto diet has been promoted to lose weight and, less often, to improve health. The review also examined the long-term health effects.
Crosby says that keto diets pose a risk to pregnant women and patients with kidney disease. They can also increase LDL cholesterol and increase the risk of developing chronic diseases. While keto may reduce your body weight in the short-term, it is not as effective as other weight loss methods.
Researchers discovered that this diet is the best way to decrease seizure frequency in people with drug-resistant epilepsy.
Crosby collaborated with colleagues from New York University’s Grossman School of Medicine, New York City Health and Hospital in Bellevue; University of Pennsylvania, Loma Linda University and George Washington University School of Medicine to conduct the review.