Why You Should Think Twice Before Taking Keto Diet Pills

The controversial ketogenic diet has been used to lose weight quickly by depriving the body of carbohydrates. And now products are being marketed that claim to help you quickly reach ketosis, a state where your body burns calories from fat. Not only are these new products and the claims that come with them not supported by science, they could be harmful to your body in a number of ways (via Good Housekeeping).

According to Harvard Medical School, a ketogenic, or "keto," diet that's used under medical supervision gives you up to 90 percent of your daily calories from fat (via Harvard Health Publishing). This differs from commercial keto diets that often contain more protein. A real keto diet is used by physicians to help control seizures in kids with epilepsy, not for weight loss. While commercial diets almost always focus on keto as a way to quickly lose weight, there have been conflicting results about their effectiveness. Long-term studies of the safety of keto diets have not been done, and medical experts warn that you could be putting your health at risk by following one.

Some of the newest products related to keto diets are supplements that claim a host of benefits, such as eliminating "brain fog" or even burning fat in "problem areas," a claim that's been debunked by the scientific community (via Healthline). These supplements also claim to help your body burn ketones, which come from stored fat. But because the keto diet itself requires that you dramatically increase your fat intake, it can also raise your LDL, or "bad," cholesterol levels.

What doctors say you should eat instead

Additionally, the keto diet and the supplements that come with them essentially put your body into a state that is hormonally similar to starvation mode. This can decrease your appetite in the short term, but studies have shown that when you resume eating a normal diet, your hunger levels can actually rise above where they were before you tried keto. Doctors also warn that depriving yourself of a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and other carbohydrates can produce dangerous vitamin deficiencies and other serious health problems.

While keto diet pills may help with the initial dehydration that occurs on the eating plan, they don't contain much more than regular table salt. And for the price tag, you're probably better off following doctors' recommendations of eating a balanced diet in moderation.