What are the long-term effects of consuming a LCHF diet? Well, we cannot base any conclusions on the controversial study conducted by the Lancet Public Health. However, some researchers in Poland support the conclusion that mortality and low-carb diets are linked. Recently their findings on this were made known at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Vienna. However, these findings are yet to be made available in a peer-reviewed journal. Consumption of a diet low in carbs has been found to be responsible for the following conditions.
- Ketosis occurs when levels of ketone bodies in the tissues become elevated. A metabolic state is usually seen in pathological conditions such as diabetes. It also may be the consequence of a diet that is very low in carbohydrates; when one eats less than 130 grams of carbohydrates daily. Consuming less than this amount triggers in the buildup of ketones, which are fat partially broken down present in the blood. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, this condition arises when the body does not have the needed glucose for energy. The body then turns to fat, breaking stored fat, thus producing ketones. Elevated ketones result in painful swelling of the joints and development of kidney stones.
To be successful on the keto diet, there are helpful guidelines to follow:
- Be prepared with a meal plan
- Adapt to change, be adventurous
- Drink half your weight in water
- Buy quality ingredients, grass fed meats, butters, and healthy fats such as avocado and coconut oil
- Check with your health provider first and stay within the recommended carb intake
- The first few weeks over-the-counter or homeopathic remedies can help with the ‘keto-flu symptoms’
- Temporary bad breath and constipation have easy fixes with common OTC products, for bad breath: mouthwash, mints, or saliva substitute; constipation: DSS, stool softeners, and laxatives.
- It is claimed that the consumption of a LCHF diet could result in high cholesterol, thus increasing the risk of having heart disease. However, this has been countered by several studies which show that people on LCHF diets for up to two years usually experience decrease “bad” cholesterol levels. A surprise for many people to learn is that fat is necessary for a healthy, functioning body. For years, fat was demonized by a large part of the medical community. Research shows that fat is essential for synthesis of our neurotransmitters, cells, tissues, and metabolism. There are incredible benefits to fatty acids.
- The regular consumption of LCHF diets can aggravate kidney problems for people who already suffer from kidney disease. This warning is for people who have existing compromised kidney function. LCHF diets contain a high amount of protein that the kidneys must process. This adds additional strain on the kidney, which can worsen existing poor kidney function.
- Some in the medical community are of the opinion that consuming a diet low in carbs and high in protein causes a higher than average elimination of calcium from the body via urination. Low levels of calcium in the blood cause the body to pull calcium out of the bone to maintain stasis. As the bone depletes of calcium stores, it leads to a condition known as osteoporosis. In addition, the filtration of higher levels of calcium through the kidneys elevates the risk for the development of kidney stones.
The Big Takeaway
The King Solomon quote,
“A joyful heart doeth good like a medicine” opens the door to discovering new ideas, reflections, and your personal best.
All research studies and data must be scrutinized at with a discerning eye. Critical thinking and analysis is the foundation of building principles. It would be foolhardy to dismiss outright the Lancet Public Health results without due diligence. This is especially true since there are many low carb diet enthusiasts, who value health, mind, body, and spirit. Nevertheless, there are valid concerns raised as to the lack of credibility in the methodologies employed, study repeatability, and independent replication, and peer review confirmation.
Eat healthier byreplacing high sugar, processed foods, and fats with quality protein, essential oils and fats, green leafy vegetables, and fruits.
Keep hydrated with your favorite water to prevent dehydration. It is commonly recommended to drink eight 8-ounce glasses or two liters per day.
Sleep hygiene habits are fundamental. This includes exposure to natural light, limit daytime naps to a 30-minute power nap, avoid stimulants, such as caffeine, cell phones, and computers, follow a bedtime routine, and mute disruptive thoughts and worry.
Movement, exercise is a great way to promote health, sleep, and your energy cycle. The flow of energy is within us, which supports positive emotions and enhances the happiness neurotransmitter serotonin. Just do it.
For now, there is a need to embrace moderation in the consumption of a low carb diet in terms of not only satisfying the present but also avoiding any future consequences.
As we progress into the future, more research that provides insightful information is required. In this way, it can be analyzed, rejected, or accepted by both advocates and critics of low carb diets. Yet, the consumption of diets low in carbs and high in protein contradicts the recommendation of the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, and the National Cholesterol Education. Perhaps the message is a balance; an integrative approach of moderation that is in alignment with health.