“Is it safe to eat a strict keto or low-carb diet indefinitely?”

askdrandreaseenfeld

Is it safe to eat a strict keto or low-carb diet indefinitely? Will you get nutrient deficiencies if you don’t eat fruit? And what can I do about food cravings?

Get the answers in this week’s Q&A with Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt:

Is it safe to eat a strict keto or low-carb diet indefinitely?

I would highly appreciate your comments on the strict LCHF diet. Can it be continued indefinitely without any significant bad effects? Some advocates of ketogenic diets advise it for a short period, maximum for 1 year.

Thanks,
Seema

 
Sure. As far as is known there are no long-term side effects of concern, and there are many people who do it not just for years but even for decades, as it makes them feel and perform their best.

Best,
Andreas Eenfeldt
 

Will you get nutrient deficiencies if you don’t eat fruit?

What are the micronutrients (if any) that tend NOT to be found in vegetables or meat? Are there any that I should watch out for and ensure I get enough of?

Thanks,
Mohan

 
Nope. You can easily get it all from veggies and meat.

Best,
Andreas
 

What can I do about food cravings?

What can you do for food cravings when you are tired and are not able to sleep (i.e. during work) and for food cravings near a menstrual period that keep driving me to eat food I don’t need?

William

 
Make sure you eat enough FAT, so that you don’t get extra cravings because of hunger. Beyond that, distract yourself with something else for a minute and the craving usually goes away. Do not keep bad food around if at all possible.

Guide: The top 10 ways to eat more fat

Best,
Andreas Eenfeldt

More

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6 Comments

  1. Ian
    Is it safe to eat a strict keto or low-carb diet indefinitely?
    "Sure. As far as is known there are no long-term side effects of concern, and there are many people who do it not just for years but even for decades, as it makes them feel and perform their best."

    ... what about folks with APOE(some number?) genotypes, isn't too much fat potentially harmful?

  2. Liz
    I'm surprised William has menstrual periods, but maybe he could try foods rich in vitamin E and iron?
  3. Peggy Holloway
    I've been following a LCHF lifestyle for 18 years and doing great.
  4. Ross Taylor
    26 years here! It’s kept me from the diabetes issues that ravaged my other family members.
  5. Jean
    How do I enjoy something junky once in awhile? I'm great at sticking to my low-carb diet once I've been away from the carbs, but in the past when I try a brownie sundae, it throws me off track within a week. Then I stay off track for awhile. Is that just how I'm programmed (addictive personality) or is there something I can do so that I can enjoy a dessert twice a month without strong cravings coming back? You know what I mean? It's easy to stay away, but if I do decide to have a treat it completely messes me up. It's not even worth it having the one treat for all the trouble it causes but I would hate to swear off some of my favs forever. I'm looking and feeling great and want to figure out how this can be a permanent way of life. Any tips or perspective is appreciated.
    Reply: #6
  6. MIchelle
    Jean - why don't you look for a keto dessert? there is an excellent Chocolate Lava Cake dessert that is made only from 90% dark chocolate (you could use lower % but that increases sugar/carbs) and eggs. Even my picky son loved it! Add some whipped cream (homemade) to the top and it is luscious! You could also have Halo Top Ice cream with it. While is expensive ($) if you only have it occasionally, then it wouldn't add up. And anyway, aren't you worth it?

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