Recently experts have called the popularity of the ketogenic diet into question. Some research submits that restricting the intake of carbohydrates may come with some worrisome side effects. Low carb diets leading to speedy weight loss isn’t disputed often, but the long term adverse effects of this type of food reduction is becoming an issue.
Renown weight loss surgeon Dr. Craig Chang for instance, believes the diet causes many advocates’ cholesterol to surge. He proposes healthier methods of keeping weight off, like eating smaller portions composed of quality protein, like fish and eggs. He also suggests we eat fruit and vegetables with every meal.
Fellow bariatric surgeon, Dr. B. Dean McDaniel, joins Dr. Chang in his rebuke of the keto diet’s merits as an optimal weight loss method. According to Dr. McDaniel, the expulsion of carbs decreases our metabolism, saying, “This has a significant impact on how many calories you will burn when you are not exercising and ultimately will have an impact on long-term weight control.”
Nancy Rahnama, MD warns against the way the keto diet promotes nutrient deficiency, saying: “A diet that is devoid of fruit and vegetables will result in long-term micronutrient deficiencies that can have other consequences. The keto diet can be used for short-term fat loss, as long as it is under medical supervision.”
Is the weight loss worth the risks?
A recent study set to premiere at the American College of Cardiology’s annual meeting next week disclosed that people that adhered to the famous low-carb diet were 18% more likely to develop atrial fibrillation. According to lead author, and cardiologist, Dr. Xiaodong Zhuang, “Low carbohydrate diets were associated with increased risk of incident atrial fibrillation regardless of the type of protein or fat used to replace the carbohydrate.”
Atrial fibrillation is an irregular beat in the upper chambers of the heart that can lead to blood clots, strokes, and heart failure. The condition is occasionally symptomless, but the most common tells include, fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain and dizziness.
The new study surveyed about 13,000 participants about their dietary habits over the course of 22 years. The authors hesitate to establish a causal link between low carb diets and heart arrhythmia but the correlative risks seem pretty clear. Dr. Xiaodong Zhuang suspects the removal of foods associated with the keto diet that help reduce inflammation like fruits grains and vegetables play a huge role in the development of AFib. The keto diet additionally supplants carbs with proteins and fats, which has been shown to lead to oxidative stress.
Even still she corroborates Rahnama’s assertion that the diet can be a helpful approach to losing weight, but participants should survey the risk and consult a dietary profession before fully committing.