While hopping on a ketogenic diet is the new fad, one should be wary of its potential side effects, including poor skin and hair health. 

“Keto diet leads to quick, temporary weight loss. This stress of losing weight quickly, slashing protein, and intake of key nutrients which promote healthy hair can lead to excessive shedding of hair (telogen effluvium). It is a condition which also happens post-pregnancy which may cause excessive hair fall,” Dr. Anupriya Goelspoke, dermatologist and medical director of Berkowits chain of clinics told HealthShots.   

A ketogenic diet requires an individual to consume high-fat, moderate protein, and low-carbohydrate food. Because our bodies prefer carbohydrates as the primary source of energy, a lack of carbohydrates can result in a few side effects. 

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“Keto can lead to better skin and hair in the short run but in the long run, it may affect the gut bacteria negatively. It may lead to severe deficiencies that may impact the skin and gut negatively. A connection between skin rashes and breakouts and keto has been found out as well,” according to Delhi-based nutritionist Kavita Devgan. 

A keto diet puts the body in the state of ketosis. Ketosis involves the body breaking down its stored fat, creating tiny molecules. Because of the breakdown, the body sheds excessive fat and experiences weight loss.

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The human skin mainly feeds on vitamins and fatty acids. Due to the lack of fat intake during a keto diet, skin, hair, and nails begin to show signs of nutrient deficiency. 

Initially, a ketogenic diet was meant to treat children with seizures and epilepsy. Recently, several individuals have started to opt for a keto-based diet to treat obesity. Avocados, cheese, nuts, poultry, fish, and seafood are considered good keto diet components. On the other hand, foods such as grains, chips, crackers, high sugar fruits, and baked goods are not considered keto-friendly.