Keto news highlights: TMAO, salt and keto dominance

keto news highlights

This week, we summarize the top five news articles and studies in the low-carb realm, plus some success stories.

  1. A new, well-controlled and carefully executed study adds to the evidence that diets high in red meat lead to higher blood levels of a metabolite, trimethylamine N-oxide, or TMAO. However, the evidence about the effect of higher TMAO levels is mixed, with several studies showing no association with elevated TMAO and heart events. Cardiologist Bret Scher recommends a focus on basics like a real food diet, and attention to blood sugar, blood pressure, and inflammation rather than a focus on this uncertain marker.
  2. The New York Times calls out the lack of evidence for the efficacy of low-salt dietary regimens. When it comes to heart failure, the evidence is surprisingly thin — only nine clinical trials with a total of just 479 subjects. Worse, “there were no data that showed that salt restriction reduced mortality or cardiac disease” in heart failure patients.
  3. Last week, a study published in JAMA looked at the costs of unnecessary blood sugar testing in patients with type 2 diabetes who are not at risk of hypoglycemia (dangerously low blood sugar levels). But glucose strips can be used to monitor more than just dangerously low blood sugars… they can help people identify dangerously high blood sugar, too, and modify their eating patterns to avoid reoccurrence.
  4. Canadian physicians take on federal advocacy of plant-based diets in the Calgary Herald with the headline, “Healthiest diets include meat and dairy say health professionals.” The Canadian Clinicians for Therapeutic Nutrition point out that the scientific support for diets without animal products is scant. “Animal products have always been a cornerstone of a healthy diet for humans.”
  5. The New York Times reports that the NIH is tightening controls to minimize the potential for inappropriate industry influence of the scientific studies that it funds that are also partially funded by private donations. However, it stops short of a complete ban on directed donations, hoping to keep the door open to corporate funding.

Want more?

Glug…vegetable oils are everywhere… but should we be eating them? Are you ready for inspiration for green keto meat eaters (environmental series, part 3)? Do you really understand science — like what’s the difference between absolute and relative risk… or observational and experimental studies? Where was this bacon vending machine when you were in college?

  • The keto diet dominates its competitors in search and easily wins most googled diet of 2018. Interest far surpasses the other top 5 diets.
  • Mom Cristina loses almost 200 pounds with a healthier diet, exercise, and ultimately, a keto diet… now she maintains her weight with a low-carb diet!
  • Young woman, Nicki, tries keto and loses 142 pounds… plus, her dad joins in and loses over 100 pounds. “For me, the keto diet worked, not just for weight loss, but also for regulating my hormone levels [PCOS].”
  • Beautiful Sarah, a Canadian woman in her late thirties, loses 170 pounds and kicks her sugar addiction to the curb with keto. “Life today is so much different than I could have ever imagined. I feel like a whole new woman. My body and mind are in great shape.”
  • An ultramarathon runner describes his first fat-adapted race. He finished 5th, far ahead of expectations, consuming just 3,000 calories on the 85 mile course.

Tune in again in January!


This news gathering is from our collaborator Jennifer Calihan, who also blogs at Eat the Butter. Feel free to check out the keto meal-idea-generator on her site.

More with Jennifer Calihan

Top 10 ways to eat more fat

How to eat low carb and keto when dining out

Living low carb in a high-carb world


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