Ignoring the mainstream myths about low-carb ketogenic eating

Italian Food

I have always thought of myself as a congenial person who doesn’t pick fights. I have learned through many years of public interactions that, usually, the most effective way to handle most issues in life is with rational, unemotional calmness — and kindness — if at all possible.

But, sigh, sometimes it’s not easy.

Recently, I have been feeling irritated, even angry and incensed about the lies, half-truths, deception or just plain ignorant statements that are proliferating these days about the low-carb ketogenic diet.

I’ve had to restrain myself this past month from firing off indignant, snarky, fact-filled emails to counter the latest poorly researched or downright biased articles in the mainstream media.

It’s not a fad; and we’re not idiots who don’t know what we’re doing

In the last few weeks, keto-bashing reports are everywhere, describing low carb ketogenic eating as the latest ridiculous diet fad that its followers like us are too dim-witted or gullible to recognize as 1) harming us; 2) ineffective or unrealistic; 3) setting us up (or our children) for future health problems; 4) unsustainable for regular folk; or 5) bad for the planet.

It makes me sad — especially when so many of us have had such dramatic health improvements by cutting carbs and upping fat. I fear for all the people who may not get the life-changing help they could benefit from, because their favourite newspaper or magazine, or an influential blogger, espoused inaccurate opinions which dissuaded them from trying.

My email gets Google alerts every time the words “low carb”, “low carb high fat” “LCHF” “ketogenic” or “keto” appear in web-based publications. Over the last six weeks I have been getting dozens of alerts each day. The surge is partly because of the annual January glut of diet and exercise-related stories and partly because keto is suddenly emerging from obscurity to become a hot (if sometimes misunderstood) trend. Three years ago when I started talking about “keto” nobody had a clue what I meant. Now more and more people have at least heard about it from someone they know.

Some stories and reports have represented fantastic advances in legitimate recognition for low-carb ketogenic eating. For example, on January 16 the highly influential, peer-reviewed Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), which is read by a huge number of family physicians in North America, published a favourable review of uses of the ketogenic diet. Getting such information in front of the eyes of thousands of doctors heightens the chance that patients may now have their most trusted source for medical advice recommend a trial of keto eating. As many readers here know, just two weeks on LCHF can be eye-opening. While LCHF may not work for everyone, once you have experienced the positive effects, and feel the best you have in years, it tends to stick for a lifetime.

Better to operate on healthy organs than recommend keto? Insane!

Every publishing step forward is often linked with a step back. Published in the same JAMA journal edition and linked on the same JAMA internet page were two articles promoting bariatric gastric surgery — reducing the size of the stomach — for weight loss and diabetes reversal. One article compared two types of bariatric surgery; the other was a very positive patient hand out for sleeve gastroectomy — which essentially cuts the patient’s stomach in half. Neither article mentioned, anywhere, the possibility of encouraging patients to try a ketogenic diet first before resorting to the knife.

It astounds me and infuriates me that key medical organizations and experts will eagerly recommend invasive, risky surgical procedures, with potential serious complications, that remove part of a healthy, functioning organ, while balking at advising or supporting patients in at least a trial of keto eating. This is insanity.

Same old, same old

What is equally frustrating is when influential, well read publications convene the same old panels, touting the same old advice “eat more fruit, vegetables and healthy grains” or “eat less/ exercise more” that we have been hearing for years — and that for most of us has proved completely ineffective. That is what US News & World Report did in January in its ranking of best diets, which rated the low-carb ketogenic diet as the very worst. Fortunately Nina Teicholz and Gary Taubes penned a great rebuttal in the Los Angeles Times, but the people who read the initial report may likely not see the well-argued takedown in a different publication.

One article, condemning the ketogenic diet, that particularly annoyed me was penned by a dietitian who helps clients with irritable bowel syndrome. “The ketogenic diet is just plain wrong” she said, going on to espouse her opinion that it would create serious digestive problems and increase the risk of colon cancer. This statement is not based on specific clear research but based on the assumption that the diet is always high in red meat — when it can, in fact, as we all know, be low or moderate in meat or even vegetarian. Even the associational research that high red meat consumption is carcinogenic has serious flaws. Yet she confidently claims: “The ketogenic diet is a textbook example of a high-cancer-risk dietary pattern.”

What contributed to my annoyance was that I had recently written a research-based article about IBS improvements on low-carb ketogenic eating, in which dramatic improvements were common. People with this embarrassing and socially isolating condition, which can constrain lives for decades, will usually know within two weeks whether a ketogenic diet helps their symptoms. What made me so cross is that this influential expert in IBS was needlessly scaring her readers away from a trial of a simple and potentially effective treatment without doing any in depth research.

Rant and scare

In a similar vein, an influential dietitian who writes for Good Housekeeping wrote in January “The ketogenic diet is B.S. for weight loss”. In her somewhat irrational rant she also raised the spectre of higher rates of cancer and osteoporosis, without any supporting research evidence, as reasons to stay away. I was dismayed that she was doing such a huge disservice for her readers, especially those with worsening diabetes, at real risk of amputations, blindness, heart attack, stroke and kidney failure. They are being scared off by unsubstantiated future cancer claims, and never get a balanced, fair assessment whether cutting carbohydrates and increasing fat may help them reverse diabetes and get off medication today.

Even writers who were ostensibly in favour of ketogenic eating gobsmacked me with their flawed or erroneous statements. One writer for Indian Vogue, wrote “Six keto recipes when you are on the go” but obviously never researched or tried the diet and was simply using a popular keyword like “keto” to get more web hits. She opened with this howler: “Low carbs mean low satiety levels, so it’s natural to feel ravenous when you’re going the keto way.” Anyone who has spent a single minute researching the diet, or even tried just four days of low-carb keto eating, knows that one of the greatest benefits is the loss of hunger and cravings. But then, when reading her recipes, she included honey, passion fruit and other non-keto ingredients so maybe she really was ravenous on her so-called “keto way.”

What makes me so frustrated about all of this misinformation is that I spent 30 years of my working life as a health writer in mainstream media. I know the pressures of the deadlines. I know the tendency to go to established “experts” in recognized academic or organizational roles, which so often tout the status quo. Over the course of three decades, I wrote dozens of articles on diet and exercise. But I always, always went to the research literature to do a search to see what was new, what was controversial, what might be changing.

Can no longer quote the official party line

Doing that three years ago led me to the low-carb ketogenic diet. It seemed so sensible, so amazing, and so revolutionary that I had to try it. I realized immediately that promoting low fat, fruits, grains and veggies no longer held sway. I rapidly improved my health, and my experience then spread to help improve the health of now an increasing number of my family and friends.

In fact, I no longer want to work for mainstream media because I refuse to call up diabetes or obesity organizations and get the official quote from a titular head who says, yet again, that people “need to eat less and move more.” I cannot do it anymore. I cannot contribute to the misinformation when I know it isn’t true.

There was a palpable resistance from my editors and publications, however, to accept story pitches from me that proposed a low-carb ketogenic story angle to a weight loss, diabetes or health story. They rejected my pitches. They didn’t want to stick their neck out with a new approach. They wanted, instead, to take the safe, old route until the old guard changed their tune. Mainstream media follows; it does not lead.

Five stages of keto eating

My anger surprised me. Why should I care? It struck me the other day that, just like Elizabeth Kubler Ross’s five stages of grief, there are five personal stages of the keto journey and I am on the fourth and fifth stage. Here they are:

  • Disbelief: Can it be true that this way of eating removes cravings, comes with no feelings of deprivation and still has you lose weight? Can it be true that it corrects metabolic issues and has you feeling great? How can we have been told for years to stay away from fat and fill up on grains and carbs?! I’m not sure about this, but I suppose I will try.
  • Elation: It is true! It is incredible! I feel so good! The weight is coming off almost without effort. My health issues are reversing! I am getting off my various medications. This is fantastic!
  • Personal promotion: I can’t stop talking about it. I must tell my friends and family. I must post pictures and comment on Facebook and Reddit. At parties I must tell anyone who will listen how great eating fat is!
  • Irritation/anger: How can major health organizations, governments, medical associations and other groups not be embracing low-carb keto eating? How can they still be peddling outdated information that is keeping people sick? How can they continue cutting off the feet of diabetics, or cutting away stomachs of the obese, but not investigating the use and rational of low-carb keto eating? How can the low-fat, calories in/out lies and misinformation still be proliferating? This is outrageous!
  • Advocacy: I must do my part to help spread the word wider than my personal circle. I must give my doctor credible and well-researched books and articles. I must help correct the misinformation. I will ignore the old guard and do my utmost to distribute good, accurate information far and wide.

The need for clear, calm but effective advocacy is what makes me so appreciative of Diet Doctor. Its daily collating of the best of low-carb ketogenic information and inspiration provides a credible and convincing forum for well-informed discussion and the sharing of cutting edge research.

We can’t rely, yet, on mainstream media and its columnists to distribute fair and balanced reports. So it is up to us, the people whose lives have been irrevocably changed, to spread the word and share important articles.

And as our numbers grow and grow, the so-called mainstream “experts” will eventually have to change. Until then they may raise the spectre of fear or promote out-of-date views, but we can remain calm, rational and carry on. When one’s health improves so hugely, mainstream media and its array of tired experts become much easier to ignore.


Anne Mullens

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63 comments

Top comments

  1. Anne
    Hi Nadine, thanks for your comment. I will check out Drs Davies and Mercola's blogs and other sources.

    Applications of healthy carb cycling is something I definitely want to investigate more -- and will perhaps write about here in a future post. It is something I am kinda naturally doing. For example, when I go out to dinner parties I don't impose strict keto on my host. I eat what I am served (but not bread/flour product or high carb desserts) so I am naturally carb cycling with healthier carbs , such as below ground veggies.

    While I am not keto 24/7, I am definitely aiming for moderate LCHF 24/7. I have a big vegetable garden and I grow all kinds of kale, swiss chard, arugula and a host of other veggies. Where I live my kale and arugula grow all year long. So I eat organic, fresh-picked leafy green vegetables almost every single day. I personally feel I am getting enough prebiotic fibre. But I also take a probiotic and a daily vitamin D. I never eat wheat/flour products - they upset my gut -- but I will have a baked potato as a meal every few weeks or so, with sour cream, butter, chives, bacon and it feels like a decadent dessert . It tastes now to me so sweet - and it makes me feel sleepy. Really sweet things - like sugar, honey, sweet sauces taste awful now. Sickly sweet. I don' think I will ever eat those again. But a roast beet salad with pecans, goat cheese and arugula every so often? You bet!

    What I really love about this diet is that I feel most people become very aware of the impact of various foods on their body. So you can work out what feels best for you, especially once you achieve your weight loss and health goals. I am now at the weight I am happy with, my blood sugar is good again. I feel metabolically flexible. I check my blood ketones from time to time with a meter, so I can keep track. If I do have a baked potato, I come out of ketosis for about two days. Then I can get right back into it by just going back to less than 20 g of carbs a day. So it feels powerful. I know what causes me to gain weight and feel off (too many carbs) and I know how to take the weight off, without calorie counting or feeling deprived. I sort of let my body tell me what I need.

    So my aim is not keto 24/7, but feeling healthy and strong 24/7. I will do some research and do a post about the whys and hows/risks and benefits and uses of healthy carb cycling. Thanks for the idea. Cheers Anne

    Read more →
  2. Angela
    Here is my LCHF story. I spent my career in medical research. Many research studies are funded by drug companies. Of course, they want you to stay sick...it keeps money in their pockets. I saw this first hand. It was disgusting. 3 years ago at age 57, I was diagnosed as prediabetic. A1c of 6.3, 60 lbs overweight. My lipid panel was elevated from my previous physical but still within normal values. My BP was slightly higher than it should have been. My Dr. suggested, of course, losing weight and exercising more. She recommended the Mediterranean diet. I cut out ALL processed foods, sugar, potatoes, rice, bread, flour. I ate a lot of “healthy” carbs, grains, beans, fruits and ate relatively low fat. I tried that for six months and exercised everyday on an elliptical/stair climber and alternated days with strength training. I was faithful to my diet and exercise. I kept my calories to 1200-1500 a day. After six months I was disappointed that I only lost 20 lbs and my A1c only dropped to 6.1! I felt hungry all the time and would literally watch the clock for the time I could eat again. It was at that point that I found Diet Doctor. Before jumping in, I did my research and found many journal articles (some authored by former colleagues) talking about the benefits of LCHF. I decided to use my body as my own research experiment. I figured I’d try it for six months like I did the Mediterranean diet. Like others, I had to get past years of brainwashing that fat was bad. What happened was nothing short of remarkable. Within a week, my blood sugar numbers were normal. I lost 5 lbs my first week. Within two weeks, my cravings stopped and I was no longer hungry all the time. I had this amazing amount of energy! No more needing to take naps. I hadn’t felt this good in my 30’s. I won’t go into it here, but the physical labor and major landscaping I was able to accomplish in my yard, by myself, astounds everyone! I could work hours of hard physical labor without getting hungry. I didn’t even think about food! Two months in I was down 25 lbs. My mental clarity was a pleasant surprise. It was like all the neurons that had been asleep were now awake and firing! My sister called me the Energizer bunny. My IBS symptoms and mild adult acne (Yes, acne at 58!) were gone. I hit my goal of the additional 40 lbs. I needed to lose at 3.5 months of being LCHF. My nutrient ratios are typically 75-80% fat, 15-20% protein and 5% carbs. So now, the big reveal! After 6 months on LCHF, my A1c dropped to 5.1, my lipid panel, which had all had normal values at the beginning of this, improved! I am soon to be 60 in a couple of months. I’ve been eating this way for almost 3 years now. My blood work all continues to remain well within normal values. I’ve kept my weight off effortlessly. On past diets, I would have gained it all back by now and then some. I love my new body, but I especially love the way I feel. I went from a size 14/16 to a size 4! I was 210 at my heaviest and I am now 135. I also became a pescatarian (vegetarian that eats seafood) a year ago and I’m still doing well on LCHF. I am the ONLY ONE, repeat, the ONLY ONE in my peer group NOT on any medication, of any kind! All my friends are on metformin, statins, or BP medication, some are on all three! I feel wonderful! I control food now. It no longer controls me. This is my lifestyle and I will never go back!
    Read more →
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All comments

  1. Jil McDonald
    God bless you this is all soooo true. I had a strong discussion with a friend the other day, she hasn't looked into keto, new nothing about it, yet she fought be with her own facts, which were wrong.
    I'm so glad you understand!
    PS My Rheumatoid Arthritis is so much better, even after 30+ years of inflamation - my hands are less puffy and I can even see my knuckles now!!! Thank you!!
  2. Anne
    Hi Andy, I am sorry you were offended by my writing about bariatric surgery. I actually know a lot about bariatric surgery. I do think it can be life saving for carefully selected patients who are completely informed of the risks and benefits. But an essential tenet in medicine is always "do the least invasive things first."

    The point I was making is that mainstream medicine is reluctant to recommend keto prior to surgery. If a patient hears about, tries, and fails on keto (they have usually tried for years all other diets) by all means go on to surgery. A keto diet, however, is much less invasive, and risky, (and in the US expensive!) than general anesthetic and an operation -- any operation.

    Going under the knife is inherently risky - post op-infections, healing issues, anesthetic complications, clotting issues and, while rare, even death. There is also a very high rate of failure for bariatric surgery -- eventual regain of weight -- as well as at times addiction transference and other issues such as mental health issues like increased depression.

    Here are some links to peer reviewed articles that outlines the risks and benefits of bariatric surgery (there are dozens at Pubmed). This one, while generally favourable, notes the surgery has a complication rate of 10 to 17% (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3962512/) . Here is another one that while stating the benefits, like diabetes reversal, raises the issues of post op substance misuse, nutritional deficiencies and higher rates of suicide. ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4707708/) As those authors note: "Given uncertainties about the balance between the risks and benefits of bariatric surgery in the long term, the decision to undergo surgery should be based on a high quality shared decision making process."

    That is precisely the point I was making. My concern is not with the people who choose the surgery, but with the medical profession that does not clearly layout all the potential options before an individual choose the most invasive and risky one.

  3. Angela
    Here is my LCHF story. I spent my career in medical research. Many research studies are funded by drug companies. Of course, they want you to stay sick...it keeps money in their pockets. I saw this first hand. It was disgusting. 3 years ago at age 57, I was diagnosed as prediabetic. A1c of 6.3, 60 lbs overweight. My lipid panel was elevated from my previous physical but still within normal values. My BP was slightly higher than it should have been. My Dr. suggested, of course, losing weight and exercising more. She recommended the Mediterranean diet. I cut out ALL processed foods, sugar, potatoes, rice, bread, flour. I ate a lot of “healthy” carbs, grains, beans, fruits and ate relatively low fat. I tried that for six months and exercised everyday on an elliptical/stair climber and alternated days with strength training. I was faithful to my diet and exercise. I kept my calories to 1200-1500 a day. After six months I was disappointed that I only lost 20 lbs and my A1c only dropped to 6.1! I felt hungry all the time and would literally watch the clock for the time I could eat again. It was at that point that I found Diet Doctor. Before jumping in, I did my research and found many journal articles (some authored by former colleagues) talking about the benefits of LCHF. I decided to use my body as my own research experiment. I figured I’d try it for six months like I did the Mediterranean diet. Like others, I had to get past years of brainwashing that fat was bad. What happened was nothing short of remarkable. Within a week, my blood sugar numbers were normal. I lost 5 lbs my first week. Within two weeks, my cravings stopped and I was no longer hungry all the time. I had this amazing amount of energy! No more needing to take naps. I hadn’t felt this good in my 30’s. I won’t go into it here, but the physical labor and major landscaping I was able to accomplish in my yard, by myself, astounds everyone! I could work hours of hard physical labor without getting hungry. I didn’t even think about food! Two months in I was down 25 lbs. My mental clarity was a pleasant surprise. It was like all the neurons that had been asleep were now awake and firing! My sister called me the Energizer bunny. My IBS symptoms and mild adult acne (Yes, acne at 58!) were gone. I hit my goal of the additional 40 lbs. I needed to lose at 3.5 months of being LCHF. My nutrient ratios are typically 75-80% fat, 15-20% protein and 5% carbs. So now, the big reveal! After 6 months on LCHF, my A1c dropped to 5.1, my lipid panel, which had all had normal values at the beginning of this, improved! I am soon to be 60 in a couple of months. I’ve been eating this way for almost 3 years now. My blood work all continues to remain well within normal values. I’ve kept my weight off effortlessly. On past diets, I would have gained it all back by now and then some. I love my new body, but I especially love the way I feel. I went from a size 14/16 to a size 4! I was 210 at my heaviest and I am now 135. I also became a pescatarian (vegetarian that eats seafood) a year ago and I’m still doing well on LCHF. I am the ONLY ONE, repeat, the ONLY ONE in my peer group NOT on any medication, of any kind! All my friends are on metformin, statins, or BP medication, some are on all three! I feel wonderful! I control food now. It no longer controls me. This is my lifestyle and I will never go back!
  4. Matt
    I agree with lisa and I think about 1 in 7 don’t benefit from keto. However 6 in 7 don’t seem to benefit from the current guidelines, yet the healthcare community doesn’t seem to have any problem continuing to promote a “one diet must be good for all” approach.
  5. Linda
    Thank you so much for this article!!! I have been Ketogenic for a year and 9 months. I have lost 113 lbs and gained my life back...I am no longer pre-diabetic, off blood pressure meds, off gurd meds, off statins...My Dr. is amazed and saying don't stop! I have my blood work checked every 4 months and it is damn near perfect...The best thing I have ever done for myself...no longer depressed, lots of energy, I could go on and on...So happy to have a voice for Keto, again Thank you!!!
  6. Truly
    I am surprised at your vehemence against "same old same old" advice. From what you wrote, keto diet when done right sounds much like the so called "old advice" done right - eat right, do some excercise. After all, as someone who chose the branding of "Diet Doctor", you should have been aware that the "same old same old" done right is about looking into the major food groups, study what each does to your body, study your own daily routine, and adjust your overall food intake and exercise routine for a healthier lifestyle overall. If that sounds familiar, it should, because that's a similar concept to the "keto diet done right" that your writing promotes.

    The reason why "same old same old" "doesn't work" would be because people tend to expect to see a big result in a short period of time when it's not about that. It's about a sustainable long-term change toward a healthier lifestyle.

  7. Karen
    Appreciate the article, as I too have recently noticed a lot of low-carb/Keto bashing. I'm over a year in
    and couldn't be happier with most aspects of this way of life. I feel tons better and my labs
    are normal. What I wish someone would explain, however, with evidence to back it up
    is WHY, OH WHY has my hair fallen out??!!! I am forced to wear a hairpiece now, as my hair
    is so thin. I've followed low carb with a multivitamin, D3, magnesium, biotin, salts, pickle juice,
    on and on, yet my hair fell out horribly!! Same thing happened to my son. I see this complaint
    all the time across low carb boards, yet no one explains what to do to prevent it, stop it, or even
    why it occurs in the first place! It makes one wonder: if we truly don't need carbs, then why
    does our hair fall out??!! It is maddening!!! I could cry every morning as I try to make myself
    look presentable with a hairpiece! It's the most miserable and frustrating part of this way of eating,
    yet if I start eating carbs, my blood sugar soars.
    Reply: #60
  8. Peter
    As a former physical education teacher I have always done lots of exercise - olympic distance triathlons, cycling, running, swimming, grade tennis - but have always struggled with my weight. I have mostly been a fit fat guy - or a fat fit guy. I recently went to a dietician who looked at my diet and said it was basically fine. Reassuring but unhelpful! So when I discovered LCHF and Diet Doctor it was an absolute revelation. I have lost 17 kgs over the last 4 months and feel so much better - and people keep commenting on how well I look. I too get frustrated at the media's incorrect reporting but I have decided to share my information with those who would like to know. Yesterday I spent an hour with my 80 year old aunt who has been blown away in the change in me. I'm never going back.
  9. Lisa
    I have started keto and I couldn't be happier. I'm a type Two diabetic and I have cut down from Fifteen units to five of insulin. I do get a little irritable. I am going to in corporate a slightly higher carb day maybe once a week into my diet at least temporarily.
    I am not going to tell my doctor I'm on this diet. Let them think at least for now that what they are doing helps. I am doing the work and educating myself. Thanks for your excellent information and support.
  10. Gentiann
    Diet Doctor has written a post about hair loss.
  11. Peter
    As a former physical education teacher I have always done lots of exercise - olympic distance triathlons, cycling, running, swimming, grade tennis - but have always struggle with my weight. I have mostly ben a fit fat guy - or a fat fit guy. I recently went to a dietician who looked at my diet and said it was basically fine. Reassuring but unhelpful! So when I discovered LCHF and Diet Doctor it was an absolute revelation. I have lost 17 kgs over the last 4 months and feel so much better - and people keep commenting on how well I look. I too get frustrated at the media's incorrect reporting but I have decided to share my information with those who would like to know. Yesterday I spent an hour with my 80 year old aunt who has been blown away in the change in me. I'm never going back.
  12. Janet
    This article is so spot on! I'm currently in stage 4 and rapidly moving into stage 5. I've never posted much on Facebook, but my first post in a very long time was a rant against a yogurt shop that had posted the words "Healthy for your waistline" in big letters on their wall. I had to point out that 7 teaspoons of sugar per 4oz serving is anything but healthy. I've also started posting pictures of my fat laden meals with comments on how much weight I've lost to date (12kgs in the last 5 months!), and every well written article I can find that shoots down the old conventional ways of thinking about cholesterol, sugar, fat and carbs. I live in Australia and had never heard about the Keto diet until I saw a show called My 600 lb Life. The doctor on the show was telling an obese patient that if she followed the diet she would produce ketones and would no longer feel hungry. That immediately caught my attention and I did a little online research. That's when I stumbled upon Diet Doctor and I'm so thankful I did. I started their two week challenge that same week. It wasn't easy at the start. My body threw everything at me to try to get me to go back to my old way of eating, but I stuck with it and now it's so easy because I rarely feel hungry. I'm 48 and had tried traditional dieting on and off since I was in high school. I always felt hungry, always counting the minutes until I could eat that dry bit of cardboard, and whatever weight I did manage to lose always came creeping back. It's still early days, but I'm having absolutely no trouble sticking to this way of eating - I even made it through Christmas without gaining any of the weight I'd lost! I still find it hard to believe I get to eat such delicious, satisfying food and keep losing weight. It's a miracle and I want to share it with everyone I know. So far I've convinced my husband, a friend, a co-worker and my brother to give it a try and they're all seeing results. We have to do everything we can to spread the word around the world about this amazing way of eating for not only weight loss, but health as well.
  13. 1 comment removed
  14. Prashant
    I looked through the Best Diets article. Interestingly, they find the Mediterranean diet to be best for Diabetes control. In the article, they quote some studies : I am pasting the clipping below for reference.

    They reference three studies, a 2016 Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology Journal Study, which concluded that people with a Mediterranean Diet supplemented with Olive Oil lost the most weight. A 2010 study that assigned a Low Carb Mediterranean Diet, A traditional Mediterranean Diet and a ADA recommended diet which found that the Low carb Mediterranean Diet had the best results. And a 2008 New England Journal of Medicine article that found that between a calorie restricted low fat diet, a calorie restricted Mediterranean Diet, and a non calorie restricted low carb diet, the last two performed the best.

    Given that Higher Fat Mediterranean diets do better than other Mediterranean Diets (As above), It is then surprising that the Ketogenic Diet ranks 39th on the Best Diets list, when it kind of performs the same function, except possibly allowing for a lot more saturated fat over the Mediterranean Diet. It then probably boils down to the residual concerns that experts and people have around Saturated Fats, the heart, cholesterol etc. I must admit, that this is the biggest hurdle that I face when talking about Low Carb, High Fat Ketogenic Diets. I find Diet Doctor and its library of resources very helpful in framing the concerns around this issue.

    The good housekeeping article that trashes the Keto Diet is a “Tweet” of the Best Diets article without much substance. The basic premise is that the diet moves away from the American Guidelines on nutrition (Which recommend 250gms of Carb). Which Diet Doctor disagrees with in the first place, so it is easy to ignore.

    Personally, I find going back to first principles the best way to deal with these things - Dr Jason Fung, and Dr Robert Lustig were the two people that I first read to understand the process by which the body controls weight - namely the Insulin Signalling process.

    If you then say that you want to reduce the Insulin response that your body has, your are given two basic tools - What you eat and When you eat as the two levers to make changes. The What question from an insulin optimisation point of view will lead you to a Low NET CARB (Veggies, ex Starchy Veggies, Berries), more fibre, more fermented food (Vinegar, Kimchee(?)), Moderate protein (Enough to give you amino acids that you need and build muscle if you are at an age that you are doing that), and then filling yourself with good fats - Omega 3 Rich, vs Omega 6 (Grain Fed Meat, I am told gives you more Omega 6 v Omega 3 - so Grass Fed meat, Fish, Oil, Nuts, Ghee etc). Exercise helps - I find that I go into Ketosis more easily if I do the diet, but also do some moderate exercise (Walk, Tennis, Lift weights).

    The interesting thing for me is that while the goal of LCHF is not calorie restriction, the diet leads to a point of satiety faster than the other foods and keeps you full for longer. So in effect the outcome is probably an energy deficit, but not as a Goal, but as an outcome that then over time leads to weight loss in a more satisfied state.
    The need for going to below 50gms of Carb to achieve fat burn is also very science driven - as explained by Drs Volek and Phinney. It has to do with the brain - which needs 600 calories to survive. The brain being the spoilt child of the Organ family, is selfish to the point that if you give it 600 easy carb Calories (150gms of Carb), it will not force the body (liver) to adapt and produce ketones. They good doctors also found that the body doesn’t respond linearly until enough of a deficit has been created to force the brain to take alternative measures. That point is, as I understood it, below 50gs (200 Calories or 1/3rd of the Brain’s needs)
    Once these two things are put together, it is easier to understand what needs to be done to get in good health - Low Carb, High Fibre, Moderate Protein, and Good Fats to the point of feeling full, Some exercise and consistency. Depending on where you start (how obese, how diabetic etc), you then have to skew this diet in one direction or another...extreme measures for extreme problems! It is a slow process though and needs to be done over time...!

    All I can say is power to Science - disabuse lack of knowledge with facts and information, rather than getting angry and lamenting the fact that people don’t understand you...and keep yourself open to alternative facts as they emerge. I am hoping that Diet Doctor will keep an open mind too. And we change and Modify our views as we go along in the face of new information!
    Happy Ketosis, and good health!

    Clip of the article from the Best Diets Article from the Mediterranean Diet Section:
    “Here's a look at a few studies addressing weight loss:

    A 2016 study in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal that analyzed data from Predimed – a five-year trial including 7,447 adults with Type 2 diabetes or at risk for cardiovascular disease who were assigned either a Mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil, the same diet supplemented with nuts or a control diet – found that people on the Mediterranean versions added the fewest inches to their waistlines. The olive oil folks lost the most weight.
    A 2010 study in Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism assigned 259 overweight diabetics to one of three diets: a low-carb Mediterranean diet, a traditional Mediterranean diet or a diet based on recommendations from the American Diabetes Association. All groups were told to exercise 30 to 45 minutes at least three times per week. After a year, all groups lost weight; the traditional group lost an average of about 16 pounds while the ADA group dropped 17 pounds and the low-carb group lost 22 pounds.
    Another study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2008, assigned 322 moderately obese adults to one of three diets: calorie-restricted low-fat; calorie-restricted Mediterranean; and non-calorie-restricted low-carb. After two years, the Mediterranean group had lost an average of 9 7/10 pounds; the low-fat group, 6 4/10 pounds; and the low-carb group, 10 3/10 pounds. Although weight loss didn't differ greatly between the low-carb and Mediterranean groups, both lost appreciably more than the low-fat group did.
    A 2008 analysis of 21 studies in the journal Obesity Reviews concluded the jury is still out on whether following the Mediterranean diet will lead to weight loss or a lower likelihood of being overweight or obese.”

  15. john
    question....
    why is it when i plug these keto recipes into the my fitness app ( so i can monitor my macros ) they are way over, actually no where near what recipe says......
  16. Chen
    Anne Mullens, you really do NOT have to be "irritated, even angry and incensed" as you mentioned in your first paragraph. YOU should be happy and proud that LCHF is starting to make a mark in our world and it is finally noticed. Noticed enough that folks feel a need to fight back.

    As you have mentioned, ALL the published successes and many have proved that LCHF is sustainable long term, very long term like years. I am very happy with my results and I try to help my family members and friends who are willing to listen and even try. Like my public talks on an unrelated topic "Bokashi", all I want is to encourage 3 people to want to do it, and if each can also encourage 3 more people, then 20 levels later the whole world will be doing "Bokashi", fermenting their kitchen and garden waste enriching their garden soil and NOT spewing methane into the atmosphere, which is a major cause of global warning.

    Likewise for LCHF, if we ALL continue to encourage 3 of our family members and friends to join in and they also encourage 3 more, then 20 levels later the population in this world will be so HEALTHY and Happy!!! How cool is that!!???!

  17. Here are two answers to your problem:
    1) America is a capitalist nation that thrives off of its medical industry. Our government does not truly want us to be healthy.
    2) If they actually *do* want us to be healthy, then there is this: America is full of lazy people. Doctors will, indeed, give dietary advice, but regardless of the type of diet those doctors suggest, people will not follow them. The select few who have willpower, motivation, and just plain give a crap will find the right diet and stick to it on their own. The rest of the population finds it easier to pop a pill and sit on the couch watching TV commercials for pharmaceuticals.
    #BonAppletit
  18. Adam Ashcroft
    Well, I'm 52 and have been living low carb for several years. No ailments, no issues and a body to die for lol.....I walk every day and bodybuild 4 days a week for 45 minutes. I DON'T need carbs for energy as I get it from the natural fats and protein I eat. I don't get or feel hungry and have masses of energy....

    So no-one's going to tell me that this lifestyle is wrong....

    Organisations like DiabetesUK have a lot to answer for - for example, telling people to eat cereal and slices of wholemeal bread for breakfast! That's so much sugar in one sitting - I've emailed them but have had no response....surprise, surprise....

  19. Karen
    If you're in disagreement with this keto lifestyle, don't do it. It's that simple. It works for a lot of people. Just because "there are a lot of studies out there" that "prove" this to be an unhealthy way of eating doesn't make it true. Studies are flawed. If you're really interested, look up Ansel Keys and his low fat dogma. The US government, major players in the manufacturing of "food" products, mainstream registered dietitians etc have all fallen prey to the garbage spewed by Keys. https://www.regenexx.com/low-fat-diet-heart-disease/

    So again, if you don't like the keto lifestyle, avoid it.

  20. nyride
    One of the major reasons the Keto diet is not viewed well is because most people on the Keto diet do not follow it properly. There diets consist mainly of animal fats, proteins and cheeses and you may lose weight on a low carb diet like that but its a recipe for disaster for longer term health. Almost everyone I know on a Keto diet eat bacon, sausages, cold cuts, hams, and processed meats as much as they can because it's easy to do so and I bet you any amount of money that people reading this on your site will be calling me a Keto basher, but I'm not. Most processed meats contain nitrates and other preservatives which are scientifically proven to cause cancer. A diet high in animal fat will also flood your body with chemicals and pollutants and in today's world even the best raised animals are subjected to pollutants, we cannot escape this. Where do you think all these contaminants end up in the animals body, the organs and the fat! Milk is also another Keto acceptable food which I find absurd, the human body is not made to drink cows milk, sheep or goat milk is much healthier. I'm not in disagreement with the Keto diet, but do it properly and incorporate fruits and vegetables as much as "allowable" especially vegetable fats instead of exorbitant amounts of animal fats.
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