Have you heard that a keto diet might negatively impact your kidney health?
Many well-intentioned people warn about the potential dangers of eating a ketogenic diet. But is there any merit to these claims?
With so much conflicting information on the internet, it is hard to know what to believe. That is why we are here to tell you the straight truth about keto and your kidneys.
Keto Diet and Kidney Health Myths
You can find countless articles and videos warning you to avoid eating a ketogenic diet. As a result, people are often concerned about the health implications of a low-carb diet.
One of the primary concerns people have is whether or not a ketogenic diet is bad for the kidneys. This is understandable considering that over 100,000 people experience kidney failure each year in the United States.
Due to the prevalence of kidney issues, many potential keto dieters are concerned about the following keto diet and kidney health myths.
Myth 1: Keto Diet is High in Protein
It is a common belief that high protein diets can be hard on the kidneys. This is due to limited research showing that high protein diets are detrimental for those in late stage kidney failure. However, there is no research showing that high protein diets are dangerous for those with healthy renal function.
With that said, even if high protein was bad for the kidneys, a healthy ketogenic diet is not high in protein. The Keto Zone diet is high in healthy fat, low in carbs and moderate in protein.
So there is no reason for concern about protein damaging your kidneys on a keto diet.
Myth 2: Keto Diet Causes Kidney Stones
Kidney stones form when mineral deposits crystalize together in the kidneys. The crystals primarily consist of insoluble calcium. Other constituents include oxalates and uric acid. Since ketogenic diets cause an increased loss of electrolytes, some people speculate that this can lead to kidney stone formation.
Yet, there is no evidence to back this up claim.
In fact, most of the research shows that low-carb diets generally improve kidney function. This is especially true for those keto dieters who stay hydrated and make sure to keep their electrolyte levels up. On the Keto Zone diet we recommend that you drink enough water to stay hydrated. We also recommend that you supplement with electrolytes from Instant Ketones.
Myth 3: Ketosis = Ketoacidosis
Many people confuse ketosis and ketoacidosis. Ketoacidosis is a dangerous physiological state. It occurs when you have high levels of both ketones and blood sugar. This causes the blood to become too acidic. As a result, damage can be done to the kidneys.
Ketoacidosis usually only occurs in those with type 1 diabetes. If you have any insulin in your body at all, you will not go in to ketoacidosis.
On the other hand, ketosis is completely safe and natural physiological state. Ketosis will not acidify your blood or damage your kidneys.
In fact, most research shows that a ketogenic diet may actually support healthy kidney function! So then what actually causes kidney disease?
The Root Cause of Kidney Disease
The most common risk factor for kidney disease include:
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
- 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. This means that keto is actually good for your kidneys.
The Truth: Keto is Good For Your Kidneys
You do not need to worry about a ketogenic diet damaging your kidneys. In fact, a healthy low-carb diet is likely to improve your kidney health.
Due to the fat that ketosis will lower systemic inflammation, you can expect a keto diet to support your renal function.
The Bottom Line
Low-carb diets do not damage your kidneys.
A healthy ketogenic diet is moderate in protein. Furthermore, even high protein diets only cause kidney damage to those with advanced kidney disease.
If you keep electrolyte levels up and stay adequately hydrated, you do not need to worry about kidney stones on a keto diet.
Ketosis and ketoacidosis are not the same thing. Ketosis is a perfectly safe and natural metabolic state that will not acidify your blood and cause kidney damage like ketoacidosis.
Above all, a healthy keto diet can lower systemic inflammation and actually lead to better overall kidney function.