The Keto diet (aka Ketogenic diet) has been getting a ton of press as an amazing weight-loss diet. But is Keto safe to do?
That’s why we’ve written this post. To clear up all the myths surrounding the Keto diet…
- Is keto safe in general? Don’t you need carbohydrates?
- Is keto unhealthy for you? Isn’t fat bad for you?
- Is being in ketosis for a long time good for you?
First, we’re going to discuss the most common myths around keto being dangerous, plus explain why they’re not true. (Based on solid evidence, of course.)
Then we’ll go over two important topics:
- How do you do Keto in a safe way?
- Should you do Keto long term?
Note: we are not doctors or nutritionists and the information provided in this article is based on our research and designed to help you educate yourself on the Keto diet. And now for our medical disclaimer:
Note that information contained in this article (and website) is not intended to and shall not convey or recommend any medical or nutritional advice or course of action. Any diet, health, or nutritional program you undertake should be discussed with your doctor or other licensed medical professionals. All opinions expressed in this article are based solely on personal experiences and research. We are NOT licensed doctors.
7 Myths About Keto Being Dangerous That Aren’t True
You might have seen these myths mentioned in articles online – that doesn’t mean they’re true, though.
MYTH 1: The Keto Diet Causes Nutritional Deficiencies
TRUTH: If you do keto in a healthy way, then it becomes a highly nutritious diet.
Technically, you could eat a variety of un-nutritious foods in order to reach nutritional ketosis. Just like you can eat pizza and be a vegetarian.
Technically, the main requirements for getting into ketosis are:
- Restricting your carbohydrate intake,
- Limiting your protein intake, and
- Increasing your fat intake.
Eating this way causes your body to start burning fats for fuel instead of sugars.
And yes, you could do this by eating only mayo, beef patties, and margarine, which could definitely lead to severe nutritional deficiencies.
But this isn’t the only way (or even a recommended way) of doing Keto.
Instead, you can eat on a healthy Keto diet plenty of:
- Healthy fats (e.g, coconut oil, ghee, and olive oil)
- Low-carb vegetables (e.g., spinach, kale, cauliflower, and others)
And that’s a diet which is packed full of nutrients and is very healthy for your body.
MYTH 2: The Keto Diet Causes Dangerous Ketoacidosis
TRUTH: If you’re not a Type 1 diabetic (or late-stage Type 2), ketoacidosis is not something you should be worried about.
This is a big misconception.
In reality, you can’t go into ketoacidosis if your body is producing insulin normally.
You have a hormonal feedback loop which prevents this happening.
Why Ketosis From a Keto Diet Is Different From Ketoacidosis
Let’s crunch some numbers…
For Nutritional Ketosis:
Your ketone levels are usually between 0.5 to 6 mmol/L.
Your Feedback Loop Is Triggered:
If your blood ketone levels go above 6 mmol/L.
If your blood ketone levels go above 20 mmol/L.
As you can see, there’s a vast difference between mild ketosis (the level most folks aim for when using a Keto diet for weight loss – and often you don’t even need 0.5 mmol/L) and ketoacidosis.
And your body prevents you from ever reaching ketoacidosis, thanks to that feedback loop.
How Your Body Prevents Ketoacidosis for Most Of Us
If your blood ketone levels go above 6 mmol/L, your body releases insulin.
And this has a few knock-on effects…
Your fat cells stop releasing fatty acids, which are the thing your body uses to make ketones.
Your liver starts producing ketones much more slowly.
Your body moves ketones out of your bloodstream and they’re excreted in your urine.
All of this has one consequence – to bring your ketone levels back to a healthy range.
So, as long as your body produces insulin normally, there’s no need to be afraid you’ll get ketoacidosis!
MYTH 3: The Keto Diet Causes Severe Dehydration
TRUTH: If you take care to drink enough water and get enough electrolytes, you won’t be dehydrated.
There’s an easy way to avoid dehydration on the keto diet –
Drink more water!
But there’s more to it than that…
You’ll also need to replenish your electrolytes since you’ll flush a lot of them out along with “water weight” when you first go keto.
So make sure you get plenty of sodium, potassium, and magnesium in your diet.
Whether that’s through foods like leafy greens, broccoli, and salmon or by taking supplements.
And drink plenty of teas, soups and broths, and water.
MYTH 4: The Keto Diet Increases Your Risk of Heart Disease
TRUTH: In fact, the Keto diet could reduce your risk of heart disease.
Although some folks think eating a high fat keto diet will increase your risk of heart disease…
The opposite is often true!
Provided you’re eating a healthy keto diet which is full of good fats, of course.
There are a few ways keto reduces your risk of heart disease –
It reduces your triglyceride levels:
A study investigating the long-term effects of a Ketogenic diet followed 83 patients and found a “significant decrease in the level of triglycerides” (you can read more here).
It reduces your levels of “bad” cholesterol:
That same study also found the participants’ levels of LDLs (aka bad cholesterol) decreased significantly.
It increases your levels of “good” cholesterol:
Another study which followed 63 patients found that their levels of HDLs (aka good heart-healthy cholesterol) significantly increased, thanks to the healthy fats the diet provided (check it out here).
MYTH 5: The Keto Diet Leads to Muscle Loss
TRUTH: Going Keto doesn’t mean you lose muscle mass – there are bodybuilders who follow the keto diet.
Some people find they lose muscle while losing fat on the diet…
But that’s true for every weight loss diet!
And if you add some strength training to your exercise routine, you can combat this.
There are also suggestions that a strict keto diet can actually preserve muscle mass.
MYTH 6: The Keto Diet Causes Gallstones
TRUTH: There’s no scientific evidence for high-fat diets causing gallstones although low-fat diets have been linked to gallstone formation.
The conventional belief is that a high-fat diet causes gallstones. But science actually points the other direction – suggesting that a low-fat diet is actually more likely to cause gallstones to form.
If you eat a very low-fat diet, then all that bile that your body produces (in order to digest fats) sits unused in your gallbladder. And this could then lead to gallstones forming.
Several studies point to this hypothesis:
- In one study, 4 out of 51 participants developed new gallstones after going on an extremely low fat diet.
- In this smaller study, half of participants on the low-fat diet developed gallstones whereas none of the participants on the higher-fat diet developed gallstones. The study concluded: “In the obese during rapid weight loss from a very low calorie diet, a relatively high fat intake could prevent gallstone formation, probably by maintaining an adequate gallbladder emptying.”
MYTH 7: The Keto Diet Causes HPA Axis Dysfunction (Adrenal Fatigue)
TRUTH: Keto doesn’t cause HPA Axis Dysfunction (which is still often called adrenal fatigue) – but if you already have adrenal fatigue, you might struggle with the Keto diet.
HPA Axis Dysfunction is likely caused by being in a chronic state of stress.
Whether that’s mental and emotional stress from work/relationships/life or physical stress from over-exercising or eating too few calories.
And this disturbs your body’s hormone balance which has a bunch of negative knock-on effects.
The only ways that keto could cause adrenal fatigue?
If you’re excessively restricting your calorie intake over a long period of time…
So make sure to keep nourishing your body instead of using Keto as a crash diet to lose weight.
What Do People Who Easily Lose Weight Know That You Don’t?
Does it feel like no matter what you do, weight loss is ALWAYS a struggle? Yet for others it comes easy. What do THEY know that you don’t?
What are THEY doing that you aren’t?
I’m sorry to say, it’s not the latest exercise craze, dietary supplements, magic pill, or extract that’s helping others lose weight.
It’s a sustainable program that is focused on your unique metabolism, hormones, and lifestyle. A program with YOU in mind.
When I launched the 3-Week Ketogenic Diet 1 year ago, I never thought over 3,000 people would have downloaded and used this plan. Much less have over 100 people lose over 20 pounds in 21 days.
The results keep coming in and I’m STILL shocked to see some of the transformations, but the messages NEVER get old.
If you’d like to become the next success story, then watch the free presentation and read the success stories, then share yours in 3ish weeks inside our private support group on Facebook, here’s some of the messages: