What Tests Should You Undertake Before Starting a Keto Diet?

The keto diet is a popular low-carb, high-fat meal plan. This meal plan is not for everyone, so consider the state of your health before starting it!

Dr. Asya

Scientific Advisor

How does the keto diet work?

The idea is for your body to get more calories from protein and fat, and less from carbohydrates. You minimize intake of fast-digesting carbs as much as possible: sugar, sugary drinks, baked goods, white bread, etc.

When you eat under 50 grams of carbs per day, your body ends up running out of fuel (blood sugar) very quickly. Then the body begins to break down protein and fat for energy, which helps you lose weight. Your liver makes ketones from fat, which work as a fuel source for your entire body. This process is called ketosis. It usually takes 2 to 4 days to switch to a keto diet.

Pros and cons

In addition to losing excess weight, keto is thought to help the brain, reduce cramps, improve heart health, and even treat acne. However, doing a keto diet wrong can lead to negative consequences including low blood protein levels, excess liver fat, kidney stones, and micronutrient deficiencies.

Preparing for keto diet

If you have health problems or want to know if the keto diet is right for you, consult your doctor and get a number of tests done.

First, an ultrasound of the gallbladder and pancreas will confirm that there are no stones in the gallbladder or chronic pancreatitis, as a sudden transition to a high-fat diet can provoke an increase in problems.

Stool test (general analysis of feces) will tell how well fats are digested. Perhaps it is worth adding choleretic drugs or herbs along with the "fat" diet.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) test-lipid delivery is important to control the dynamics on keto and determine how much omega-3 fatty acids to add to the diet.

If there are problems with carbohydrate metabolism (insulin resistance is a common reason for switching to a keto diet), you should undergo glycated hemoglobin and HOMA-IR (insulin resistance index) tests to track the results. If there are no problems with insulin resistance, there is no need to take these tests.

You should also undergo a test to look at the level of uric acid and amino acid homocysteine in the biochemical blood test. With the wrong approach to keto nutrition, you could consume too much protein, which would cause metabolic disorders that would be visible on the tests.

23 March 2021

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• 3 y.

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