16 Keto Diet Dangers You Need To Know About

Posted by , Updated on March 25, 2024

You may already be familiar with the Ketogenic diet or “Keto,” as it is commonly known. Although it has skyrocketed in popularity recently, the Keto diet’s roots trace back to the 1920’s. However, weight loss was not its initial purpose – instead, it was developed to help children suffering from epilepsy. These historical facts, however, haven’t deterred some from leveraging it as a selling point for diet guides and weight-loss programs. The Keto diet, a plan that concentrates on extremely low carbohydrates and high-fat foods, can induce weight loss due to a metabolic condition known as ketosis, much like the Atkins diet. But how safe is it? I’m Mike from List25 and I’m here to share 16 potential risks of the Keto diet that you should be aware of.


Increased hunger

weight gainSource: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/do-diets-make-you-gain-weight

Sticking to a diet is hard. Sticking to a diet that doesn’t allow carbs is even harder. Research shows that more than half the people who tried the Keto diet gave up within the first week. On top of that, people are more likely gain back more weight than they originally lost.


Servere mood swings

Mood SwingsSource: https://blog.bulletproof.com/depression-and-keto/

People who tried the Keto diet complained about mood swings. Trying to fight cravings and being hungry even after you finished your meal is aggravating. The Keto diet may cause low blood sugar which triggers the brain to panic, leading to depression and anxiety.



ComaSource: https://www.webmd.com/diabetes/type-1-diabetes-guide/what-is-ketosis#2

Ketoacidosis occurs when ketosis is over-done. Once ketosis gets built up in the blood stream it can become acidic which then may lead to a coma or death.


Decrease in sodium intake

SaltSource: https://www.rd.com/health/diet-weight-loss/keto-diet-dangers/

Sodium is good for our bodies. It helps our muscles contract and helps to regulate our fluids. While on the Keto diet, some participants struggled to get enough sodium in their systems. This resulted in leg cramping, low energy, and a foggy brain.


The actual flu

sick ladySource: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition/a25657033/keto-diet-dangers/

Part of having a healthy immune system is eating a healthy diet. Foods that are rich in omega-3 fats, like fruit and whole grains, sadly, are not part of the Keto diet. This leaves your immune system at risk. It also causes a disruption with your body’s good and bad bacteria.


Bad breath

bad breathSource: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition/a25657033/keto-diet-dangers/

After your body breaks down the high fat foods from the Keto diet, it turns them into ketone bodies, compounds such as acetone and acetoacetic acid. Your body will naturally try and balance itself and the excess ketones will eventually be exhaled causing smelly breath. While this is not a dangerous side effect, it is a negative.


High cholesterol

High cholesterolSource: https://www.biohackerslab.com/ep8-dave-feldman/

Cholesterol is found in the fats in your blood. Having high cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. The Keto diet emphasis on high-fat foods, like protein and dairy, could lead to high cholesterol when over eaten.


Irregular periods

menstrual cycleSource: https://www.medicinenet.com/menstruation/article.htm

Having a healthy normal menstrual cycle is a sign that your body is functioning properly. Periods also provide the female body with hormones that keep them healthy. Women who lose weight rapidly on the Keto diet may notice irregular cycles which could lead to depression and anxiety.


Stomach Issues

bathroomSource: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition/a19660747/list-of-keto-diet-foods/

I’m sorry to tell you, but the Keto diet has been linked to diarrhea and constipation. Not being able to eat foods filled with fiber like fruit, grains and beans causes constipation. On the other hand, the high-fat foods you are allowed to eat like dairy, meat and oils sometimes causes diarrhea.


Low energy

TiredSource: https://www.elitedaily.com/p/does-the-keto-diet-make-you-tired-experts-say-your-energy-might-be-low-at-first-8578227

Many people have said that they felt lethargic when they began the Keto diet. Your body needs time to adjust to the loss of carbs. Feeling sluggish and tired the first few weeks of a new diet isn’t a good way to start a life style change. It may lead to discouragement and over eating.



DehydrationSource: https://ketogenic.com/importance-electrolytes-ketogenic-diet/

Your body will handle water and electrolytes differently when you start the Keto diet. In the beginning you may feel less bloat but this is caused by the loss of water weight. In many cases some of your electrolytes are being diminished as well. Electrolytes are minerals that help maintain water and acid balance in your body.


Keto Flu

Keto FluSource: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/keto-flu-symptoms

When your body is no longer intaking carbs it looks for other sources to help burn energy. Instead of your body burning glucose, it turns to ketones. This leads to a shock in the body and may cause symptoms similar to the flu like muscle pain, fatigue and muscle soreness.


Your body needs carbohydrates

CarbsSource: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/why-we-need-to-eat-carbs/

Carbohydrates are an important part of our food pyramid. They should be the body’s main source of energy in a healthy, balanced diet, according to the NHS. Especially for people with low blood sugar because carbs have been proven to help control blood sugar levels.


On and off dieting

On and off dietingSource: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/yo-yo-dieting#section1

The Keto diet is strict and is hard to follow for an extended period of time. People on this diet are bound to go back to their normal eating habits after they lost the weight they were looking to lose. Overtime it has been proven that on and off dieting leads to increased appetite and more weight gain. Intense fluctuations in your weight is not healthy for your body.


Kidney Stones

Kidney StonesSource: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17621514

Since the Keto diet is a low-carb, high-fat diet, processed meat makes up a large part of the diet. When your body is processing protein, it increases the acidity and calcium in your urine, making it easier to develop kidney stones.


Muscle Loss

muscle lossSource: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5969192/

While it is true that muscle weighs more than fat, the more muscle you have the more calories you will burn. People that went on the Keto diet for three months were found to have lost muscle mass in their legs.

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