With so many people hopping on the keto diet bandwagon, you may be wondering whether it’s a meal plan appropriate for the whole family — including the kids. If you’re already eating according to the keto diet, it would definitely be more convenient to only have to make one dinner for everyone, but is that a good idea?
Is the keto diet safe for kids?
While fat is essential for kids’ health, so are carbohydrates. Restrictions of any type are not suggested. An inclusive approach is key for building sustainable healthy habits.
Despite its popularity, the keto diet still isn’t recommended as a first-line approach for encouraging weight loss among kids and teens, mostly because more studies are needed to determine long-term effects and any risks that may be involved.
So why isn’t the keto diet a good idea for children?
The ketogenic diet causes the body to enter a state of ketosis, which results in fat burning as a primary source of fuel. If allowed to advance, it can lead to ketoacidosis, which is a more serious condition where the blood becomes acidic and can be life-threatening. This is due to the body burning fat at such a rapid pace that the liver cannot keep up with processing ketones. Because a child may be unable to tell when they have entered ketoacidosis it is not recommended for children to follow keto.
By the time kids are teenagers, it may be acceptable for them to try out a keto diet. And when in doubt, talk to your child’s doctor.
The younger your child is, the more important it is to get clearance from your doctor first.
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