The ketogenic diet is an incredibly popular way to lose weight and improve overall health. It's a high-fat, low-carb diet that has been proven to help people lose weight and reduce their risk of chronic diseases. But, like any diet, it can come with some side effects. One of the most common side effects of the ketogenic diet is diarrhea.
The main reason for ketogenic diarrhea is the diet's incredibly high fat content. Fat takes longer to break down in the body than carbohydrates or proteins. A common result of eating fewer carbohydrates is constipation. Carbohydrates are a rich source of dietary fiber, which adds volume to stools and softens them to make them easier to eliminate.
Eating less fiber will have the opposite effect. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, diarrhea is also a common side effect of low-carb diets. This is likely due to the foods you have added to your diet to replace the carbohydrates you have reduced. You can try soluble fiber supplements if constipation is a problem, or add vegetables and high-fiber foods to create a diet that you can maintain for the long term.
Broccoli, flaxseed, chia seeds, leafy greens, and bell peppers can be eaten in moderation while staying low in carbohydrates. It's better to slowly change the amount of fiber in your diet rather than making drastic changes. If you're experiencing bile malabsorption or want to prevent it in the first place, then you might consider trying the carnivore adjacent diet or the cyclic ketogenic diet. These modified keto diets allow for small amounts of fruits and tubers. If done right, the diet adjacent to carnivores can prevent deep ketogenic states and reduce dietary fat requirements. But instead of constipation, maybe things are moving a little too fast and now you're constantly running to the bathroom.
While diarrhea may not be as common as a reaction to the ketogenic diet, it's also possible. If fat doesn't break down in the small intestine the way it should, it travels to the colon and activates bacteria that can cause gas, bloating and fat in the stool, he says. Excess fat in the stool makes the stool looser. Since the standard American diet is high in carbohydrates, switching to a ketogenic diet places you on the opposite end of the spectrum. Now, keep in mind that the standard American diet gets a lot of its fiber from grains and that the ketogenic diet is low in carbohydrates. Sugar-free, low-carb products often contain sugar alcohols to give them a sweet taste and avoid table sugar (sucrose).
They are usually used to reduce carbohydrates from sugar, but they can do more than just reduce carbohydrate intake. The ketogenic diet is an extremely low-carb diet that reduces carbohydrates to a maximum of 50 grams daily, but often much less than that. Many people on a ketogenic diet count so-called net carbs, which are grams of total carbohydrates minus grams of fiber. Most people who reduce carbohydrates experience some side effects of the low-carb diet, and those who drastically reduce them experience more. Based on a typical list of ketogenic diet foods, this approach is high in fat (70 to 80 percent), moderate in protein, and very low in carbohydrates that many people consume 20 to 50 grams (g) per day. If you're experiencing diarrhea on your low-carb diet, there are several things you can do to help alleviate it. First, make sure you're getting enough fiber from vegetables and other high-fiber foods like nuts and seeds.
You can also try taking soluble fiber supplements or adding probiotics to your daily routine. Finally, if you're still having trouble with diarrhea on your low-carb diet, consider trying a modified version like cyclic or carnivore adjacent diets that allow for small amounts of fruits and tubers. By making these small changes to your low-carb lifestyle, you can help reduce your risk of diarrhea while still reaping all the benefits of this popular weight loss plan.