Here are the problems that can arise when you 'cheat' on a keto diet.

Obesity continues to remain a major worldwide health issue with adult mortality as high as 2.8 million per year. Everyone today visits the gym or practices yoga and various versions of it to lose those extra calories.  However, only physical and strength training would not help in weight reduction.

Weight loss is a combination of diet and physical exercise. There are several diet regimes that people follow for losing weight. One of the most followed diet regimes is the keto diet. Why is "keto diet" so popular? 

Keto diet consists of a high-fat, sufficient protein, and a low-carbohydrate diet. This kind of diet is primarily used to treat uncontrolled epilepsy in children. Keto diet is also recommended for people with type 2 Diabetes. It exerts pressure on the body to burn fats rather than carbohydrates. Hence, keto diet is suggested to people who tend to reduce body weight.


The pathway through which food is assimilated in the body is as follows: the carbohydrates present in food are converted into glucose, which is then transported around the body. However, when there is only a small amount of carbohydrates present in the body, the liver converts fat into fatty acids and ketone bodies. This process is called ketosis. The glucose that must be transported in the body is replaced by these ketone bodies. 

A study conducted at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus, Canada, showed the after-effects of keto diet. Volunteers selected for an experiment consumed  75 gms of carbohydrates in their diet before and after 7 days of the keto diet.

Further, on examining these volunteers, damage in the blood vessel were observed. It was examined by using biomarkers present in the blood due to the sudden spike in the blood sugar level. As the diet changes to normal, the biomarker levels of the body comes back to normal. 

Glucose intolerance in such a situation eventually leads to cardiovascular disease, due to the increase in blood sugar levels. This damage is caused by the body's own metabolic response to spiked blood sugar levels, which might cause the blood vessels to even burst


It is good to maintain healthy body weight and lifestyle. But, such diets can pose side effects on the body, especially when you try to cheat for a day with a carbohydrate-rich diet. Therefore, when on a keto diet, stay loyal by not cheating and maintaining the strictness of the diet. Else, be ready for the menacing after-effects!

The research work was carried out by Indian authors named Ms Joshi Shilpa and Mr Viswanathan Mohan. The work was based on the topic of Ketogenic diets: Boon or bane? published in the year 2018 in the India Journal of Medical Research (IJMR). The ketogenic diet has been shown to have immense benefits in blood sugar control. It is effective in the treatment of cancer and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and epilepsy. But, there are some disadvantages of ketogenic diet. These include muscle cramps, bad breath, changes in bowel habits, keto-flu and loss of energy. Hence, monitoring individuals on keto-diet closely once or twice a month for blood glucose, ketones cardiac and other parameters are required. One should be careful while following any long-term diet plan. The ketogenic diet can show drastic improvements in less time, however, these can increase the risk to life at a later age.

Editor: Anomitra Dey

2. Cody Durrer, Nia Lewis, Zhongxiao Wan, Philip Ainslie, Nathan Jenkins, Jonathan Little. Short-Term Low-Carbohydrate High-Fat Diet in Healthy Young Males Renders the Endothelium Susceptible to Hyperglycemia-Induced Damage, An Exploratory Analysis. Nutrients, 2019; 11 (3): 489 DOI: 10.3390/nu11030489



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