Side Effects of the Ketogenic Diet and How To Avoid Them

With any change in your diet, your body will experience some changes.This is especially true with the keto diet due to the reduction or elimination of carbohydrates.


Ketogenic diets are characterized by a  reduction in carbohydrates (to <50 g/day) and increased portions of protein and fat. With all the hype about Ketogenic diets, one question comes to mind: are there side effects of the ketogenic diet that you should be aware of?

Most diets or changes in dietary habits have some side effects and the ketogenic diet is no different.

So, in this article, we will cite the most common side effects as documented and reported by researchers.

The side effects listed below have been well documented and most evidence supports that they occur with keto diets.

What are the side effects of a ketogenic diet?

  • muscle cramps
  • bad breath
  • lightheadedness
  • fatigue
  • changes in bowel habits -diarrhea or constipation
  • keto-flu – which is a combination of feeling unwell, craving sugar and carbs, as well as nausea and dehydration
  •  loss of energy
  • irritability
  • micronutrient deficiency
  • changes in the menstrual cycle
  • weight loss (most of the time this is the desired side effect)

Any tips on how to avoid these side effects? 

We could not find any reliable resource for the answer to this question so the list of tips below is largely anecdotal evidence (or unlike the research-based stuff above, this are tips from people’s reports and experiences and is not backed up by any solid research)

  • Easing into the diet: start slowly and make sure you are eating a good variety of foods.
  • Keep your nutrients in check – drinking water and having a good electrolyte balance is key to avoid the keto flu.
  • If you feel weak and irritable, consider a low carb diet versus a keto diet (less strict) and slowly adapt.

Disclaimer: The above post is based on our views of already established research. The paper quoted above remains the property of its authors. The research cited above is not the only one in the field our papers my report different findings so do not take our analysis as an all-encompassing opinion. The opinions expressed here are in no way a replacement of an expert professional opinion. Products displayed throughout the website are not related to the research cited and may contain monetized affiliate links. 


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