Dangers of Keto Diets in Kidney Disease


Dangers of Keto Diets in Kidney Disease

While keto diets have been trending and praised for the past few years, they aren’t for everyone. This high-fat, low-carb diet can be dangerous for many people, so it’s important to check if it’s right for you. Keto diets can have side effects on kidneys, so they are especially dangerous for individuals with kidney disease, and here’s why.

Keto diets are low in carbohydrates and very high in fats. Usually, they also are high in protein because of the focus on eating meat (especially red meat), nuts, dairy, and eggs. While there may be some benefits to this diet, eating large amounts of fats and proteins puts a lot of strain on the kidneys. Extra strain on the kidneys is never good, but especially not when the kidneys are already compromised, as is the case with kidney disease. Studies have shown that overconsumption of fat and protein from animals can increase the risk of developing chronic kidney disease.

Keto diets also increase the risks of other causes of kidney disease, such as diabetes and hypertension. Keto diets are high in fats— not all of which are healthy in such quantities. Red meat, processed meats, and dairy tend to be high in saturated fats, which can contribute to obesity and inflammation— both of which are risk factors for type 2 diabetes. The uncontrollably high blood sugar levels in diabetes put further strain on the kidneys, which work hard to filter everything out of the blood. Hypertension (high blood pressure) is also a common complication of diabetes that can lead to kidney disease (known as diabetic kidney disease).

Ketogenic diets may not be the safest choice for you if you have or are at risk of developing kidney disease. If you want to increase your protein or fat intake, incorporate more plant-based sources instead of processed meats. Overall, it’s best to eat a well-balanced diet comprised of whole foods.