Ketosis, a state of the body in which ketone bodies, rather than blood glucose, provide energy, is a natural process and is not dangerous itself. When critics question the safety of the ketogenic diet, which attempts to activate ketosis through changes in carbohydrate intake, they say that you’re actually activating a mild form of ketoacidosis, the leading cause of death in diabetes patients under 24.
But the safety of a keto diet all depends on your body’s ability to adapt. For most overweight individuals, an excess of fat stores provides all the energy necessary for the body to metabolize food and perform daily tasks, including exercise. That means for most people who want to lose weight, a ketogenic diet is perfectly safe and effective.
A Closer Look at Ketoacidosis and Ketosis
The evolved form of ketosis is called ketoacidosis. It causes your blood to become acidic because your body isn’t making enough insulin to break down glucose and use it as energy. The resulting increase in ketone bodies and blood sugar becomes dangerous and life threatening.
However, ketosis, the production of ketone bodies to replace normal energy stores, is largely harmless. Ketosis is the goal of a safe ketogenic diet; by stripping your diet of most of the carbohydrates you eat, your body uses alternate fuel sources, especially fat, to perform tasks.
By portioning food in a ketogenic diet, ketoacidosis is prevented and ketosis is maintained.
How Can I Tell If I’m Suffering from Ketoacidosis?
Ketosis is symptom-free. Rapid weight loss is the usual result of ketosis, which is what makes it such an effective tool for battling obesity.
Ketoacidosis, however, can be identified by the onset of the following symptoms:
- Stomach pain
- Extreme thirst
- Frequent urination
- Fruity breath
- Shortness of breath
If you suffer from multiple symptoms associated with ketoacidosis while on a ketogenic diet, check with a healthcare professional about your concerns and the state of your weight loss as it relates to your diet.
What Makes the Ketogenic Diet Safe?
A keto diet minimizes carbohydrate intake on a cyclical calendar. Instead of completely eliminating carbs, a ketogenic diet plan helps you control the carbohydrates your body ingests and keeps you in a perpetual state of ketosis. As your body increases its production of ketone bodies, it destroys fat cells safely and permanently.
Because the diet does not eliminate the sugar from carbohydrates your body needs to survive, it has no need to fall into a state of ketoacidosis. It can maintain ketosis during a diet cycle, burn fat, reduce weight, and increase your ability to exercise and control your appetite.
Carb-blocking supplements can aid you in reducing your carbohydrate intake as well. As long as you monitor the amount of carbohydrates that enter your digestive system, diets that include carb-blocking supplements are safe to use.
Like any other diet, the ketogenic diet’s safety and success requires discipline and perseverance. Though weight loss can be rapid, it’s important for your health to stick to the cycles and maintain your diet without straying from the plan.