Low carb diets are all the rage right now and have been for the past decade.
Beginning with diets like the Atkins Diet and the South Beach Diet, following a low carb diet can be extremely beneficial to your weight loss goals. But can it also be dangerous to your health? When following a low carb diet, a few things going on in your body which can lead to going into a state of ketosis. Read along with this article to find out all about ketosis, it’s side effects, and if it’s okay to go into.
What is ketosis?
Sounds scary…right? Well, ketosis is simply a scientific word for the action of our bodies using fat for energy. Typically in a normal state, the body uses carbohydrates for energy, not fat. That’s why we aren’t in a state of ketosis.
That’s also why people get scared when they hear the word ketosis and wonder to themselves, “is ketosis dangerous?” Here’s how ketosis works. When a person begins to eat little to no carbohydrates throughout the day, their body automatically turns to their fat for energy.
If you’ve ever followed a low carb diet, you may have noticed that your energy levels were lower, you had a headache, and you may have felt moody. If you stuck to the low carb diet, after a while you noticed that all of those negative feelings went away and you felt better. This is because the body started realizing that you weren’t giving it carbs for energy anymore, so it started using fat.
Is ketosis dangerous?
If brought up ketosis to your doctor, he or she may begin to freak out on you and tell you it’s a bad state for your body to be in but do doctors know everything? Typically, ketosis is directly related to diabetes but in that case, your body would be in ketoacidosis, which is another state that can get dangerous.
When your body goes into ketosis, ketones are produced. When you have highly elevated levels of ketones, ketoacidosis may occur and that can be life-threatening. But is regular ketosis dangerous? Not necessarily. As long as you manage your ketosis regularly and begin eating small amounts of carbohydrates every once in a while, you should be just fine.
Signs and Symptoms
How can you tell if you are in ketosis? What are some ketosis side effects? When a person first begins following a low carb diet, they may experience a few negative signs of ketosis. Just like any change we do to our bodies, we need to adapt to change.
The body needs to adapt to the presence of ketones rather than glucose. Early on, a person may experience lethargy, headaches, dizziness, hunger, and mood swings. As you continue this low carb diet, you may have dry mouth, weakness, sleeping problems, frequent urination, and may taste a metallic taste in your mouth.
These aren’t the best symptoms that can occur. If you or anyone you know has ever tried following a low carb diet, they have given up early on because of the first stage of ketosis. As you continue your diet, your body begins to adapt and you are going to experience some more pleasant feelings. Your thinking will be clearer, you’ll sleep better, your energy levels will increase, and you’ll feel a feeling of euphoria.
Why do people want to go into ketosis?
So what’s the point of ketosis anyway? Well, remember how ketosis uses fat for energy instead of glucose? Well with that, you will begin burning body fat. Low carb diets like the Atkins Diet or South Beach diet or even the Ketogenic diet which has now become popular are all diets that are used for a quick way to lose body fat.
Dealing with Ketosis Side Effects
If you plan on following a low carb diet and getting your body into the state of ketosis, try following some of these tips to dealing with signs of ketosis:
- Take multivitamin.
- Drink water.
- Snack regularly.
- Take an amino acid supplement such as BCAAs.
- Consume an adequate amount of fats and proteins.
With all the low carb talk going around in the fitness and health industry, more and more people are putting their bodies into ketosis. More and more people are also scared of ketosis and what it could do for their health. Ketosis is simply a state of using fat for energy rather than glucose.
If you stay in this state for too long, things can get dangerous but staying at a normal level of ketosis is perfectly safe and provides numerous health benefits such as fat loss, clearer thinking, increased energy levels, and increased feelings of euphoria. Have you ever followed a low carb diet to the point of ketosis?