The Impact of Keto Diets on Muscle Growth and Bone Density

Are you considering a keto diet to lose weight and improve your athletic performance? Before you jump on the bandwagon, it’s essential to understand the potential drawbacks. A position paper by the International Society of Sports Nutrition shed light on the effects of keto diets on muscle growth and bone density. While these diets may offer some benefits, they also come with their fair share of risks.

Shawn Yancy Weight Loss
Shawn Yancy Weight Loss

The Ergolytic Effects of Keto Diets

The position paper highlights the ergolytic effects of keto diets on both high and low-intensity workouts. Ergolytic refers to the impairment of athletic performance, in contrast to ergogenic, which means performance-boosting. For nonathletes, ketosis may undermine exercise efforts. Those adhering to a ketogenic diet experienced increased feelings of perceived effort, fatigue, and mood disturbances during physical activity, suggesting that the ability and desire to maintain sustained exercise might be adversely impacted.

Moreover, the study revealed that individuals following a keto diet experienced muscle shrinkage. In an eight-week study comparing muscle mass changes among individuals following standard training protocols versus a keto diet, the results were striking. Those on the nonketogenic diet gained approximately 3 pounds of muscle, while those on the keto diet saw no significant change in muscle mass. This suggests that a ketogenic diet may not only blunt the performance of endurance athletics but also strength training.

Bone Loss and Keto Diets

Additionally, the position paper highlighted the potential for bone loss with keto diets. Studies have shown that children placed on ketogenic diets face a higher risk of bone fractures, growth stunting, and kidney stones. This steady rate of bone loss is attributed to the acidic nature of ketones, which can put individuals in a chronic acidotic state. Particularly heartbreaking are the case reports of children suffering from glucose transporter deficiency syndrome, who experienced severe complications such as osteoporosis, bone fractures, kidney stones, and even pancreatitis.

Pancreatitis, a potentially life-threatening condition, can be triggered by having high levels of fat in the blood. A ketogenic diet, which is high in fat, can increase the risk of inflammation in the pancreas. While a ketogenic diet can be a godsend for families dealing with glucose transporter deficiency syndrome, it’s vital to weigh the risks against the benefits.

The Importance of Choosing a Healthy Diet

While a ketogenic diet may be effective for certain medical conditions, the cost-benefit analysis seems to differ for those seeking weight loss alone. The study mentioned a year-long comparison between the low-carb Atkins diet and the low-fat Ornish diet, revealing that the weight loss outcomes were almost identical. The authors concluded that recommending any diet that a patient will adhere to in order to lose weight is the right approach. However, this may not be the best advice.

It’s crucial to consider the overall health effects of a diet. The Last Chance Diet, for example, led to several deaths and paved the way for First Amendment protection for deadly diet books. While it’s possible to construct a healthy low-carb diet, the health effects of a typical low-carb ketogenic diet like Atkins can be vastly different from a low-fat plant-based diet like Ornish’s.

Research shows that low-carb diets impair artery function, while a low-fat plant-based diet improves blood flow to the heart muscle. Heart disease, the leading cause of death globally, tends to worsen on low-carb diets but can be reversed by an Ornish-style diet. Given these findings, recommending any diet solely for weight loss purposes seems irresponsible when considering the impact on cardiovascular health.

Choose a Healthy Path to Weight Loss

When it comes to weight loss, it’s essential to prioritize your long-term health. Instead of resorting to extreme diets, consider adopting a balanced and healthy eating plan that is sustainable in the long run. Find a diet that suits your lifestyle and supports your overall well-being.

At Losing Weight | Healthy Weight, Nutrition, and Physical, we believe in promoting healthy weight loss practices that prioritize your long-term health and well-being. Visit our website here to explore helpful resources, tips, and recipes to support your weight loss journey. Remember, your health is too precious to compromise for short-term results.

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