Protein And Normally Functioning Kidneys
Why is dietary protein intake sometimes raised as a concern for kidney health? Well, when kidneys are damaged one of the first signs is protein leaking out of the kidney and appearing in the urine. This condition is called proteinuria and it shows that the kidneys filtering system is malfunctioning.
Because of this, some hypothesize that eating too much protein might stress the kidneys and cause proteinuria and kidney damage. And, because people associate low-carb diets with high-protein, this leads some to wonder if low-carb diets lead to proteinuria.
Of course, a well-formulated ketogenic diet is typically not high in protein. Even low-carb diets that arent ketogenic do not necessarily equate with eating large amounts of protein. At Diet Doctor, we recommend most people eat 1.2 2.0 grams of protein for each kilogram of desired body weight which is moderate or adequate protein consumption.
This guide about protein gives lots of examples of what that moderate level of protein could look like in a typical day of eating a low-carb diet:
For the average person on a low-carb diet, there is probably no reason to worry the most credible research available shows that low-carb diets are not associated with kidney damage.7
Can Keto Dieting Damage Your Kidneys
While some studies indicate that kidney damage may be possible due to a large amount of protein and fats ingested, most research shows that there is no correlation between the keto diet and kidney damage in people with normally functioning kidneys. It is true that too much protein causes the kidneys to work harder however, the goal of keto is not mass amounts of protein but instead, keeping carbohydrate intake as low as possible.
Does Keto Cause Kidney Stones
In short, yes. Keto can cause kidney stones. Kidney stones are a well known side effect in children who follow a keto diet for epilepsy. In fact, kidney stones are so common, a medication called potassium citrate is sometimes given for prevention.
Unfortunately, no research has investigated the prevalence of kidney stones in adults who follow a keto diet. So, it is difficult to know how likely kidney stones are in adults on a keto diet. Or, the impact of diet culture keto diets on kidney stones.
I can report that, in my clinical experience, many of my Kidney Stone Nutrition School students and patients can trace their kidney stones back to a keto diet.
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Ways To Prevent Kidney Stones Naturally
The problem with kidney stones is that they tend to recur. In fact, about 50% of people that form one kidney stone will develop another within the next ten years.
Therefore, if youve had a kidney stone before taking steps for prevention should be a health priority for you. Here are six natural ways to prevent kidney stones:
How Do I Test For Blood Ketones
Ask your healthcare provider where to purchase a meter that tests for blood ketones. The meter is similar to the one you use to check your blood sugar level. Your healthcare provider will teach you how to use this meter. The following is an overview on how to use a meter to test your blood for ketones:
- Follow directions to set up the meter. Insert a test strip.
- Clean your finger with an alcohol wipe. Let your finger dry for 30 seconds.
- Use a lancet to prick your finger. Gently squeeze your finger to make it bleed.
- Touch the end of test strip to the drop of blood. The meter will beep when the strip has enough blood on it.
- The meter will tell you your blood ketone level on a tiny screen. Write down the results.
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Keto Can Put Stress On The Kidneys And Possibly Give You Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are a well-noted potential side effect of the ketogenic diet. ResearchJournal of Child Neurology observed that among children following the keto diet as a treatment for epilepsy, 13 out of 195 subjects developed kidney stones. Children supplementing with potassium citrate in the study noticed a decreased likelihood of kidney stones. Speak with your healthcare practitioner about supplementing if kidney stones are a concern.
If youre going to do keto, theres a better and a worse way to do it, says Yawitz. Loading your plate with meats, and especially processed meats, may increase your risk for kidney stones and gout, which is a painful type of arthritis. High intake of animal proteins makes your urine more acidic and increases calcium and uric acid levels. This combination makes you more susceptible to kidney stones, while high uric acid can increase your risk for gout, adds Yawitz.
And the ketogenic diet can be dangerous for people with kidney disease, as people with kidney disease need to follow an individualized diet as prescribed by their doctor. According to Davita Kidney Care, people with kidney disease often need to consume a low-protein diet, which may not align with the type of keto youre following.
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Is The Keto Diet Bad For Your Kidneys
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The Root Cause Of Kidney Disease
The most common risk factor for kidney disease include:
- Poor diet
The common factor connecting all of these risk factors is inflammation. Inflammation is at the root of most chronic disease, and kidney disease is no different.
Interestingly, a ketogenic diet can help prevent kidney damage by reducing systemic inflammation in the body. Meaning, keto is actually good for your kidneys.
Keto Diet And Stage 4 Kidney Disease
There are no studies at this time that focus on the benefits or risks of those with late stage chronic kidney disease, including dialysis ckd patients.
However, one study did show that a long-term ketogenic diet performed on rats induced metabolic acidosis, anemia, and oxidative stress. These are often complications that can happen in stage 4 kidney disease and later. Therefore, it is important to work with a dietitian if the keto diet is of interest.
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A Ketogenic Diet Causes Increased Frequency Of Kidney Stone Formation
Kidney stones are hard deposits of minerals and salts that form in the urinary tract and can be incredibly painful.
Ketogenic diets have been associated with the development of kidney stones due to the fact many in the community have diets which are rich in animal proteins.
The belief is that metabolites and by-products of animal protein digestion and metabolism may increase urinary acidity and contribute to kidney stone formation.
It has also been argued that a high protein diet forces your body to excrete excess amounts of sodium, calcium and potassium. This can contribute to low blood pressure, another kidney stressor.
However, the research doesnt appear to support these hypotheses.
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A 2016 meta-analysis investigating the impacts of low-carbohydrate diet on renal function ultimately found that a low carbohydrate diet and the corresponding high-protein diet was not harmful for renal function in overweight and obese individuals without renal dysfunction.
In fact, they actually suggested a low-carb diet may be beneficial to kidney function thanks to its contributions to weight loss!
So, now that we better understand the arguments against a ketogenic diet and kidney health, lets look into what other possible causes may be contributing to the discomfort.
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Saturated Fat Is Beneficial Not Harmful
For several years, the official dietary recommendations have blamed saturated fat for increased risk of heart disease and mortality.
Thats why many people think the heavy meat consumption on the ketogenic diet is bad for your heart and kidneys. We have been led to believe that red meat and other fatty meat products would damage our organs.
Research now proves this is false.
Studies have shown unprocessed meat doesnt significantly increase the risk of cardiovascular disease only processed meat is harmful.
Processed meats which we dont recommend on keto lead to a 70% increase in the risk of heart disease. So as long as you stick to grass fed meat, your heart will be healthy.
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Why Keto Is Not Good Long Term
In the long term, the keto diet may increase the risk of a person developing vitamin or mineral deficiencies if they do not get enough nutrients. They may also be at higher risk for conditions such as heart disease if they eat a lot of saturated fat. People with some chronic conditions should not follow the keto diet.
Possible Changes To Gut Bacteria
We know keto and high fat diets cause changes to the community of bacteria that live in our intestines. We are also just beginning to understand that these bacteria play a role in kidney stone prevention.
The impact of a keto diet on the gut microbiome could be yet another reason for the keto kidney stone connection.
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Always Get An Experts Opinion First
Moreover, some experts believe that attempting to enter ketosis through a diet plan could be dangerous for anyone with poor kidneys. For example, in a scientific article for Harvard Health Publishing, Marcelo Campos, MD, explains that patients who currently have a kidney disease should be wary of the Keto diet altogether. His opinion is that the Keto diet, in general, could worsen these patients conditions over time.
With that in mind, before you make the decision to start thediet plan, its worth speaking to your doctor about it. Theyll be able to assessany medical problems you currently have and offer you advice on the best courseof action for you.
Discussing your overall health will mean that you can designa diet plan that suits your particular needs.
Keto Is A Bs Fad Diet
In an attempt to find what people were saying about the keto diet being a fad diet, we uncovered some shocking news from business insider.
The ketogenic diet aims to get dieters in a metabolic state called ketosis, where the body burns fat for energy, but it is not a plan people should toy around with on their own. The keto diet could be considered the OG of fad diets.
Thomas Whitaker from Wisconsin struggled with weight loss since a child. He says:
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Is The Keto Diet Bad For You
Both Condon and Kleinman said they wouldnt recommend the keto diet to their patients because it is ultimately not realistic or sustainable. The diet restricts fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low fat dairy that can help with long term weight loss and overall health.
Theres not one diet thats good for everyone, Kleinman said. Do your research, consult a dietitian, discuss with your doctor, and make sure youre being safe.
Vlckd Is Confirmed As A Safe And Effective Tool For Weight Loss And Metabolic Improvement In Subjects With Obesity
Ninety-two patients with obesity were consecutively evaluated. The mean age was 51.3 Â± 12.2 years the mean BMI was 33.8 Â± 5.8 kg/m2. Baseline characteristics are summarized in . After the dietary intervention, body weight and BMI were significantly decreased, and BIA data showed this was predominantly caused by a significant reduction in fat mass, with a minor yet significant and expected loss in muscle mass. Of note, 1.1% of patients were deemed as non-responders, with < 5% weight loss achieved 11% reached a weight loss between 5% and 10% the majority of patients lost 10 to 20% initial weight , with 24.2% reaching a weight loss equal to or exceeding 20%. A reduction in Total, Intra and Extra cellular water was also observed, consistent with the known diuretic effect of ketogenic diets . Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure improved over time, and 33.3% of those on antihypertensive medication had it reduced or discontinued due to the blood pressure lowering. Glucose metabolism evaluation showed a frank improvement, with a significant decrease in both fasting glycaemia and HbA1c. Lipid metabolism assessment demonstrated a significant reduction in total cholesterol and triglycerides levels, and no significant modification in HDL and LDL levels. Uric acid and ferritin were also significantly decreased .
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Keto May Lead To High Cholesterol And An Increased Risk For Heart Disease
The ketogenic diet doesnt put a cap on saturated fat or even trans fats. The latter are fats you should always avoid. Read ingredient labels and avoid any food with partially hydrogenated oils, aka trans fats. These fats heighten your LDL cholesterol levels and lower your HDL cholesterol levels. They also raise your risk of heart disease and stroke, according to the American Heart Association.
Certainly, the quality of fat counts, says Yawitz. Theres a big difference nutritionally between bacon and almonds. As much as possible, people set on the keto diet should emphasize plant-based, unsaturated fats like nuts, seeds, olive oil, and avocado, which have even been shown to protect the heart. If you have high cholesterol or other risk factors for heart disease, you should speak with your doctor before beginning the keto diet. This is because the diet may but doesn’t have to include large amounts of saturated fat. Some studies have shown increases in cholesterol and triglycerides in people following the diet, while other research reveals that the keto diet may actually decrease heart disease risk as well as saturated fat intake.
Ketogenic Diet Causing Kidney Problems Myths Busted
Although in certain contexts it has been suggested that ketogenic diet may lead to renal dysfunction, dedicated research has revealed the weight loss phenomenon which is triggered off by this form of diet has proven to be rather beneficial for the health of the kidneys. Moreover as suggested in a number of contexts ketosis causes a change in the Ph balance of your urine is again not correct. The pH of the urine gets affected due to ketoacidosis and not ketosis. These two are different conditions. Ketoacidosis is a condition that occurs mostly in people suffering from type 1 and 2 diabetes. This condition makes the blood really acidic that adversely affects the kidneys and also the liver. Ketoacidosis is a condition which occurs when the body is unable to produce the required amounts of insulin. In the process of ketosis, the level of ketones in the blood remains within the normal range and does not lead to any damage.
The process of ketosis is quite a normal one and occurs quite naturally to people who do not have access to carbohydrate-rich meals all around the day. Research has proven the fact that the human brain and heart can function better with ketones for energy instead of glucose. Hence, even if you have renal problems keto diet will not affect you adversely.
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Foods Not Allowed On The Traditional Keto Diet
As with many diets, there are foods that will not be allowed on a keto diet. Examples of foods to avoid include:
- Sodas or higher-carb beverages like hot chocolate and juice
- Breads and tortillas
- Beans and legumes
- Sugar, honey, agave nectar, and maple syrup
As a result, many people struggle with following a keto diet for a long period of time due to these restrictions.
How Does The Keto Diet Work
Here are the basics of keto: The diet aims to force your body into using a different type of fuel. Instead of relying on sugar that comes from carbohydrates , the keto diet relies on ketone bodies, a type of fuel that the liver produces from stored fat.
Burning fat seems like an ideal way to lose pounds. But getting the liver to make ketone bodies is tricky:
- It requires that you deprive yourself of carbohydrates, fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbs per day .
- It typically takes a few days to reach a state of ketosis.
- Eating too much protein can interfere with ketosis.
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