Keto flu: Does restricting carbohydrates in the diet really trigger flu symptoms? – 2021/07/30

Keto flu: Does restricting carbohydrates in the diet really trigger flu symptoms?  - 2021/07/30

Fatigue, pain in the body and lack of concentration do not always indicate that a pain It may be on the way. Depending on how your diet is going, these symptoms can be evidence of a lack of carbohydrate consumption.

When this happens, what the body really feels is a lack of energy, caused by the restriction of this type of nutrient, very common on ketogenic diets, where carbohydrate intake can account for only 5% of total calories per day – which would To be about 25 g, taking into account a 2,000 calorie diet. The result is the emergence of symptoms very similar to the symptoms of influenza.

“Consumption of carbohydrates is necessary for energy. When there is a severe and very sudden restriction, symptoms similar to those of the flu appear, hence the name ‘keto flu’ [algo como gripe cetogênica, em tradução livre]’,” explains Antonio Chakra, an endocrinologist at Serio Hospital Lebanon.

According to him, a lack of macronutrients can cause fatigue, pain in the body, lack of focus and lack of energy. “This occurs on the ketogenic diet, which severely reduces carbohydrates and favors a diet based on proteins, and ultimately on fats,” he adds.

This change in diet, according to Chakra, is conducive to burning stored fat, which leads to the formation of ketone bodies, which are primarily responsible for the onset of symptoms. “Other common symptoms are bad breath and fatigue, also seen in diets intermittent fasting. It usually goes away within a few days or weeks as the body adapts.”

Is this dangerous?

The keto diet isn’t really a dangerous diet, but it does require some attention at some points. According to dietitian Lara Natacci, of SBAN (Brazilian Society for Food and Nutrition), in the classic ketogenic diet, fat accounts for 90% of the total energy value. In these cases, carbohydrate consumption is only 5%. “There may be variations in diet, where carbohydrate consumption can be as high as 10%, 20%.”

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In some cases, carbohydrate consumption in a restricted diet may vary to less than 50 grams per day, triggering a warning signal of reduced immunity. “When there is a very severe restriction, a change in immunity is possible, due to the weight loss it causes. The body can be said to be weaker, but it is relative weakness. There is no conclusive evidence that the lack or absence of carbohydrates reduces immune resistance, even because no one can Restrict carbohydrate intake for a long period of time,” Chakra analyzes.

For Natacci, it is essential to be aware of any and all symptoms that a lack of carbohydrates may exhibit. He notes, “This is the nutrient most frequently used as a source of energy, including for brain function. Radical changes in diet put the organism at risk, because if you restrict many foods, they restrict the injection of nutrients.”

Moreover, the moment we live in today must be taken into account. “Now is not the time to make any drastic changes in food consumption or nutrients, because we are in an epidemic season. The ideal is to eat a balanced diet, and eat the amount of fruits and vegetables provided by the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends eating at least five servings a day, consuming fiber-rich whole grains, consuming protein sources. This will ensure our immunity,” says Marchiore.

Why doesn’t the diet usually last long?

Primarily indicated for people suffering from epilepsy, keto has also been sought after by those who want to lose weight quickly. The problem is that, since it cuts off the main source of energy in the body, it is very difficult to diet. “It really does cause weight loss, but it’s kind of an eating pattern that’s not easy to maintain, because you’re restricting foods that are normally in the diet. And when you go back to eating, the fat increases again. . . is one of the consequences of this type of diet,” he says. explains nutritionist Vanderley Marchiouri, also of SBAN.

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Chakra says that the ketogenic diet is recommended when a patient is significantly overweight, but today there are safe and effective medications that can aid weight loss, gradually reducing the importance of highly restrictive diets in managing excess weight and obesity. “Furthermore, the ketogenic diet is contraindicated for children, the elderly, and patients with a history of cardiovascular disease,” he says.

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About the Author: Camelia Kirk

"Friendly zombie guru. Avid pop culture scholar. Freelance travel geek. Wannabe troublemaker. Coffee specialist."

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