The Side Effects of The Atkins Diet

Regarded as one of today’s most popular diets, the Atkins diet is said to cause no adverse effects. However, many experts and health care professionals found that there are actually side effects to the popular diet.

Possible complications

According to Ellen Coleman, a registered dietician, the Atkins diet may have some serious side effects to some people. Some of the complications that are linked to the popular diet include ketosis, kidney problems, dehydration, electrolyte loss, calcium depletion, nausea and weakness.

Coleman further adds that the risks are much greater for obese or overweight individuals with existing medical conditions which include heart disease, hypertensions, diabetes and kidney disease than it is for overweight and/or obese people with no medical problems.

Danger to diabetics? 

Diabetics who are taking insulin are also at risk of becoming hypoglycemic if they do not eat enough appropriate carbohydrates. Plus, people who exercise regularly may experience low energy levels and muscle fatigue from low carbohydrate consumption.

Also, since the Atkins diet works by making the body burn fats and proteins as its energy source instead of carbohydrates, the body breaks these molecules down into 2-carbon chains (faster than Krebb’s cycle can use them to produce ATP and free electrons). Because of this, many of the 2-carbon chains are excreted as Ketones. The side effects of these are:

If the liver is producing Ketones, it’s certain that your breath will stink.

It robs the body not only of physical energy and stamina, but also of mental energy. The brain works best when it runs on carbohydrates. When the brain doesn’t get the sufficient amount of carbohydrates, it will break down the proteins in the body.

This causes the body to lose lean body mass or muscle.

Without fiber (a carbohydrate) in your digestive system, digestion slows down.

The fat factor 

Lastly, there are good fats and bad fats. Some programs on the Atkins diet tell you that you can eat anything you want, fat or not fat. But this is not always advisable because it could lead to high blood pressure and cholesterol. Beware of your fat intake.