A ketogenic diet with fewer vegetables

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Could you be better off reducing your vegetable intake – or just skip it all together? And could ketosis be the answer to improving Alzheimer’s disease and mood disorders?

This is an interesting interview with psychiatrist Dr. Georgia Ede who will give you an answer to all these questions.

Watch the full interview above (transcript).

Table of contents

  0:05  The benefits of a ketogenic diet
  3:34  Alzheimer’s and keto
  4:50  How healthy are vegetables really?
  9:33  The many problems with the current science
13:05  Is fiber really necessary?

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55 Comments

  1. bill
    Well thought out, Dr. Ede. Thanks.
    Reply: #42
  2. Craig
    Too much hypothesis not enough proof in this video for me personally. If someone is going to say that there's no proof that vegetables are good for you and then say that they are actually harmful because of certain factors, it would be good to provide the science and analysis that proves it is harmful otherwise you suffer from the same problem as that which you criticize in the first place.
    Replies: #4, #43
  3. Lisa
    look up her 30 min talk at the ancestral conference on youtube. you'll hear more depth.
  4. bill
    Or go to her website: http://www.diagnosisdiet.com/blog/
    All her info is freely available there.
  5. Jennifer
    I found this talk very interesting and thought-provoking. I would have liked more explanation about the problems with eating vegetables, rather then problems with grains (which, like most people on here, I have already cut out). I wonder if broccoli and cauliflower have any chemicals to protect themselves from being eaten.
    Reply: #44
  6. Lisa
    check out the zero-carb community. You'll be amazed, even if plant foods don't bother you.
  7. Mary
    I'm confused by her stating she was eating too much protein then said vegetables were great for us to stick to animals. Animals are protein. Did I miss something?
    Replies: #8, #45
  8. bill

    I'm confused by her stating she was eating too much protein then said vegetables were great for us to stick to animals. Animals are protein. Did I miss something?

    Animals are fat and protein.

  9. Vicki
    I am skeptical about this. Lots of conflicting statements. Granted, perhaps my bias comes from my layman background and overall conditioning. To think that diabetes and dementia share pathologies and have a common solution, especially where, as mentioned, there is no solution for the latter, is it really the next "huge thing" or is it sincere wishful thinking?
    Replies: #36, #46
  10. Glo
    Eating vegetables are not that bad..just balance it with proteins and fats . . cause there are some minerals found in vegetables and necessary .
    Reply: #47
  11. Glo
    But, thank you dr. Georgia for some information that will guide us how to improve our keto diet
  12. Doreen
    I’m confused by her saying she was eating too much protein too. If vegetables have not many nutrients for us,and we shouldn’t eat too much protein,no fruits as they contain too much sugar, and now not too many nuts,what are we supposed to eat?
    Replies: #13, #48
  13. bill
    This website is called LCHF, low carb high fat (or at least
    it used to be). Why is the second part always forgotten?
    Try HF you'll like it.
  14. Robyn
    Omg. "There's no evidence that I could find that plant foods are good for us." Did you really just say this? When the deficiencies killing us are fiber and micronutrients....all found in plants (none in the fatty foods this shrink says helped her lose weight). How about the Yale metastudy run by David Katz MD and team reviewing more than 10,000 peer reviewed studies and the #1 finding was that eating plants prevents all disease? Did you even LOOK? How about the China study? 6500 people studied in 65 counties of china for decades. Number one finding; eating plants prevents disease. [Last part was removed by moderator]
    Replies: #16, #49
  15. Peter Biörck Team Diet Doctor
    Hi Robyn!

    We encourage discussions in our comment fields but not offensive language, that's why I only removed your last lines!

    I will not start an argumentation but you forgot to tell that David Katz is a fan of vegan food. :)

  16. Kristin
    I am shocked at the content of this video. She provides absolutely no evidence for her speculations which fly in the face of decades of research on the benefits of plant food. Her stating that there is "no evidence" that plant food is good for you is an outright lie and exposes her as completely ignorant on this topic. I hope people don't give credence to a word she says. Read The China Study or spend 2 minutes on Google researching the benefits of eating plant food and you will find hundreds of studies that provide plenty of evidence. I'm discouraged that material like this video is disseminated by anyone on the internet and I hope anyone watching it will do their research to learn truth.
    Reply: #50
  17. Peter Phelps
    Whilst I am a little skeptical of some of the claims being made, it is certainly thought provoking. It would be good to have some definitive evidence either way that either proves or disproves what she is saying. Sadly we don't and until we do, lets give Dr. Edie the respect she deserves.
    Reply: #52
  18. Elena
    Take it from someone who actully tried not to eat veggies. Just because it flies in the face of everything you know, doesn’t mean that what you know is correct. Not eating veggies has resolved my problems with constipations for the first time in my life, so fiber actually hurts people with constipation and creates the problem rather than helps. There are many people in zero carb community who have done this for 8-10 plus years with fantastic results, never developed any deficiencies and feeling the best they have ever felt. There are at least several populations like Eskimos and Masai that have done the same for thousands of years. If you pull apart any study that says veggies are good for you, you’ll see that they are absolutely without merit, which is what she has in mind when she says that she has never been able to find any scientific proof of veggies being beneficial. As for nutrients, animal products have all nutrients and minerals we need in a bioavailable form, while plants don’t, or if they do, many of us can’t even extract those nutrients due to our gut issues.
  19. Jill
    Dr Ede is correct. I eat just meat and occasionally eggs and haven't eaten a vegetable or fruit for nearly three years. Within a week of starting just meat my aches and pains disappeared. I feel so well I haven't been near a doctor for three years either. I am in my seventies but feel a lot younger. What I like most about eating just meat is that I have zero cravings for the carb laden stuff I used to love. Meat has all the nutrients needed for robust health. I challenge the sceptics to find one that is missing.
  20. Judy small
    What about Vitamin C? I thought among other things vitamin C prevented scurvy and I never heard it was found in meat.
    Replies: #23, #53
  21. Lisa B.
    I am a 50-something post menopausal woman whose life changed several years ago when I stopped eating wheat. The digestive issues I had thought was “normal digestion” disappeared almost overnight. It was at this time that I started questioning everything I had been told about nutrition. I feel better now than I have felt my entire adult life and I find the fewer vegetables I eat the better I feel.
  22. Lisa B.
    My understanding is that If you’re on a low carb or keto diet your vitamin C needs are less. You can get enough vitamin C from animal flesh and fat. High carb diets require more vitamin C consumption because glucose competes with vitamin C for the same metabolic pathways.
  23. 3 comments removed
  24. Delaney
    Thought provoking if nothing else. Even eating LCHF, my kids get quite gassy after meals containing the veggies we eat--cauli, broccoli, cabbage, lettuce--stuff like that. I crave the crunch of veggies sometimes, which is why we eat them!
  25. Pam
    No need to be rude or offensive Jo.
  26. Jess
    The China Study would qualify as one of those meaningless epidemiological confounded studies they were taking about. Georgia is correct when she says there is no quality evidence to support plant consumption for health, and there are known mechanisms for potential harm. Why not conduct your own n of one, unless maybe you are prohibited by bias or religion?
  27. Niki
    Jo Please try listening to Aseem Maholtra a award winning cardiologist from the England. If you still believe that fat clogs your arteries.
  28. Dee
    I have tried the 'healthy' plant-based diet (organic and local) and tried the Paleo version, too. Not just a few months, but for years for each. Ended up cutting out ALL plant foods. I have NEVER experienced a more comprehensive and rapid healing as I did when I cut out all plants.
    NO, fiber is not a necessary food.
    There are NO 'essential' carbohydrates - and all plant foods are carbs.
    A meat-only diet is NOT high protein; it's high fat/moderate protein - and nature provides the ideal balance between the two, with moderate variation in that range.
    Meat contains all essential nutrients. Vit C is only necessary if you consume plant foods! An even better source than sunlight for Vit D is red meat!
    I am never preoccupied with food, anymore.
    I have not been this healthy in 20 years and I expect my health to improve even further.
    I've been on the meat-and-water only diet since 3/15/15 and I'm never going back.
  29. Riedwaan
    I've always been on what is/was considered an unhealthy diet. I am not a lover of vegetables or fruit and for most of my life I hardly ate any fruits and very seldom ate vegetables. The nearest thing to a vegetable that I consumed regularly was rice. Did not really enjoy potatoes and never ate much greens. My diet was mostly high protean and high fat with lots of oily, greasy foods. This was long before LCHF diets became a thing. I am now 47yrs old, have been relatively healthy and strong my whole life, never suffered from any illness, my blood sugar levels are fine and so is my blood pressure and cholesterol levels. I also still look fairly youthful for my age, with most people judging me to be in my late 30's. I could never understand why I've always been so healthy given my so called " unhealthy" diet, but it is now all starting to make sense.
  30. Jill
    Judy small, No one eating fresh meat gets scurvy and fresh meat is the quickest and most effective way to heal scurvy. Google Steffansson, who spent years with the Inuit, and scurvy.
  31. Andrew
    I remember every morning trying to be "healthy" and smash huge quantities of spinach into a blender to make a smoothie, and then spending the next hour on the toilet with horrible cramps and loose stools. I couldn't break out of the decades of constant propaganda to realize those "good things" obviously weren't good for me.
  32. charles grashow
    With all due respect how then do you explain the longer lifespans of the seventh day adventists and the mormons who eat a low or no meat diet with high consumption of fruits and vegetables?
    Replies: #41, #51
  33. Helene
    Dementia is now being called Type 3 diabetes. Same root.
  34. Christie
    As a person living with long-term serious health conditions who has tried vegetarianism and veganism extensively, I am delighted with this doctor's rather unique nutritional theories. As a licensed health practitioner myself, with a strong nutritional background, I have been observing Dr. Ede's quest for dietary truths for quite some time. I hold great respect for this woman's courage to present a theory that is frowned upon by many of her medical colleagues, most of the food and pharmaceutical oligarchy, and the majority of US citizens who are brainwashed by corporate media. Gerorgia Ede, a true scientist at heart, does not seek to push her ideas on anyone but to simply ignite our interest in her viewpoint to encourage us to explore our dietary choices beyond conventional 'wisdoms'.
    Reply: #55
  35. 1 comment removed
  36. Lily
    Watching this really hit home for me because in my 20s, I was on SSRIs for my anxiety. Yet as soon as I mentioned my sibling was diagnosed with Bipolar Type 1, my doctor quickly switched me over to an anti-convulsant: Neurontin. I was surprised to find that my good friend, who suffers from epileptic seizures, took the exact same medicine!

    Later, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Bipolar Disorder (aka manic depression), the kind where I wasn't suicidal, yet constantly overwhelmed and eager-to-please, impulsive in saying "yes" to everything. I was switched to yet another anti-convulsant, this time: oxcarbazapine. Then I was diagnosed with ADHD and social anxiety, and took Adderall, but had all kinds of side effects. As a new mother in grad school, I couldn't sleep and was irritable, unable to cope. So we tried different meds. This time, Abilify. For the first time, I actually began to feel suicidal!

    But when I started eating a Paleo/Primal diet, weaning myself off flour and sugar, my symptoms began to subside. At this point, my psychiatrist and therapist thought I was just "merely on the spectrum" of BP, and advised that I ramp down, and completely off, all meds. They supported my decision to stay off flour and sugar.

    Shortly afterwards, my husband was diagnosed with cancer. A friend told us about the ketogenic diet, and I was reluctant to try it for myself, but wanted to support my husband in learning how to cook and eat this way, eating keto for cancer. And when I read the two studies of two bipolar women who ate keto for several years, watching their symptoms subside, I decided eating keto was the right thing for me to do. I wished they had blogged about their experiences along the way. I have been keeping journals of the past several years when I first began eating keto December 2014. Best thing I've ever done! Not only has my hba1c and prediabetes improved, and my husband's tumor shrunk (with the help of also conventional treatment), I watched my moods become more even. I feel happier than I have ever felt in my life now as a result of keto.

    And to take it a step further, both my husband and I are now defying everything we know about nutrition (e.g., red meat causes cancer, vegetables are vital for health) to begin a zero-carb meat-only diet. We're going to track how this affects us. I'm encouraged by Amber O'Hearn (who had/has bipolar disorder and eats a zero-carb carnivore diet) and Andrew Scarborough (who had brain cancer and also eats a zero-carb diet). Currently reading Nina Teicholz now about the studies with the Masai and Inuit. My whole mindset is shifting. Thanks for putting this info out in the world. So, so needed...

    Reply: #54
  37. Átila
    Meat also have antinutrients, like Neu5Gc and dairy casein A1 and some general anti-casein allegations. And plant antinutrients are not so bad at all: http://www.thinkybites.com/content/2015/8/14/wlur78iyulmfvk47mywyhtnc... .
    Reply: #56
  38. Chris W
    The most likely explanation for epidemiological observations related to these groups in relation to the general population is what is called the healthy user bias. These two subsets of the population are groups with a strong tendency to follow rules.

    Mormons don’t smoke, don’t drink alcohol, wear seatbelts etc. , all things that help avoid premature death. I grew up in a Mormon setting and every meal had animal products as a foundation, with plant based products as side dishes.

    I have read that the 7th Day Adventist are more plant based, but I also know they also strictly adhere to many rules.

    I have followed Dr Ede’s Blog and listened to her speak, and I have a great deal of respect for her work and insights.

    She is one of several intelligent people whose work gave me the strength to try an exclusively animal based diet, and the reversal of chronic, progressive diseases has been nothing short of life-changing for me. I saved nearly $15,000 USD in pharmaceutical cost alone last year from changing my diet, keto initially, then animal based to take it to the next level.

    I do expect to reintroduce some plant based foods to my diet, after I feel I have healed my broken metabolism enough to cope with them, but I expect I will follow Dr Ede’s advice and stick to local, seasonal plants that have a symbiotic relationship with the creatures that consume them.

    Reply: #57
  39. Georgia Ede MD
    Thanks for watching, Bill!
  40. Georgia Ede MD
    Hi Craig,

    I agree I am citing no evidence in this interview, partly because it's difficult to do in an informal, impromptu conversation. I realize my statements are very controversial, so I have documented the evidence in various articles I've written over the years. One place to start if you are curious to learn more would be the "vegetables" page on my website (DiagnosisDiet). You can get there by clicking on the "foods" tab from the menu along the top and then choosing "vegetables." Included on that page is a link to a free video presentation on this topic I gave at the Ancestral Health Symposium held at Harvard in 2012 which is also fully referenced. I recently gave a fully updated version of that talk at LowCarbUSA West Palm Beach 2018. That presentation is called "Plants vs. Animals: Bring It On!"--plenty of references. Unfortunately that video is not free but is available as part of LowCarbUSA's complete conference stream on their website.

  41. Georgia Ede MD
    Hi Jennifer,

    Absolutely! I have a free blog post specifically about broccoli here: http://www.diagnosisdiet.com/is-broccoli-good-for-you/, a post about nightshades (tomatoes, eggplant, etc) here: http://www.diagnosisdiet.com/nightshades/ and a post about plant foods that can interfere with thyroid function here: http://www.diagnosisdiet.com/foods-and-hypothyroidism/
    Hope that helps!

  42. Georgia Ede MD
    Hi Mary--what I meant to say was that simply eating LCHF wasn't enough for me to keep my weight in a healthy range and solve my fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, migraines, IBS, etc. In order to address my weight struggle, I learned I needed to limit protein to about 75 grams per day. In order to address the rest of my problems, I experimented with my diet for about 6 mos and discovered that removing most plant foods (as well as aged proteins like cured meats) was the key to my full recovery. I currently eat about 75 grams of protein per day in the form of seafood, poultry and red meat, and supplement that diet with the few plant foods that I can tolerate. Hope that clears things up?
  43. Georgia Ede MD
    Hi Vicki,

    You are right to be skeptical--this conversation was an information discussion without any references. I have a complete presentation about the (very strong) science connecting high-insulin diets with Alzheimer's disease and explaining why so many chronic diseases have this in common. I'm happy to say that this video, from LowCarbUSA San Diego 2017 lives right here on the DietDoctor website: https://www.dietdoctor.com/lower-insulin-key-better-brain-health Or if you prefer a short read instead, I wrote a brief article for Psychology Today about this topic for the general public (free), here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/diagnosis-diet/201609/preventing...

  44. Georgia Ede MD
    Hi Glo,

    I completely understand your concern! Yes it is true that many plant foods contain essential minerals, but the problem is that many plant foods also happen to contain natural substances that interfere with our ability to absorb those minerals. Three examples of this are 1) phytic acid, a mineral magnet that lives in beans, nuts, seeds, and grains that interferes with iron, calcium, zinc and magnesium absorption 2) oxalates, which are present in spinach, beets, sweet potato, and other plant foods and 3) tannins, which are found in a wide variety of plant foods including black tea, pomegranates, and many other foods. I have a more detailed article about this (free) here: http://www.diagnosisdiet.com/micronutrients-mental-health/ Minerals are actually easy to absorb from animal foods (unless you combine animal foods with too many plant foods).

  45. Georgia Ede MD
    Hi Doreen

    Great question! I didn't mean to suggest that everyone should remove all plants from their diets, although a growing number of people are trying it to see how it feels, and it's safe to try. What I hope people get out of this information is that a) there is no scientific proof that plant foods are necessary/good for us, so you don't need to worry about eating lots of them if you don't like them or can't afford them b) people who are already eating a whole foods, pre-agricultural ("Paleo") LCHF diet and who still don't feel completely well may want to take a look at plant foods as a potential culprit, as some of as are very sensitive to the natural toxins and irritants in plant foods--especially those of us with damaged guts and immune systems. I personally eat seafood, poultry, red meat, along with their natural fats (fatty cuts best) and a handful of vegetables that I have discovered agree with me personally. I hope that makes sense?

  46. Georgia Ede MD
    Hi Robin,

    I understand that my views fly in the face of everything we are accustomed to hearing. I am aware of Dr. Katz and his position, as well as the many other well-known proponents of plant-based diets, the China Study, etc. I have looked quite closely at the plant-based arguments and theories and have written many fully-references articles and given several evidence-based presentations on this topic if you are curious to see how I have come to my strange conclusions. A good place to start would be here: http://www.diagnosisdiet.com/vegan-diets-and-the-brain/ where I compare the pros and cons of plant-based diets and omnivorous diets.

  47. Georgia Ede MD
    Hi Kristin,

    Please see above for my response to Robin. Another place to start if you prefer a video to a written post is here (free)--a presentation I gave at Harvard's Ancestral Health Symposium in 2012, fully-referenced: https://vimeo.com/52606062

  48. Georgia Ede MD
    Hi Charles,

    Yes, there are peoples around the world--in the so-called "BlueZones" for example, who appear to contain individuals who live a very very long time compared to our modern expectations. Unfortunately it is impossible for us to know what precisely is responsible for their longevity, because there are so many differences between how they live and how the average westerner lives--not the least of which is that their diets are extremely low in refined carbohydrates and other processed foods. Many of them do eat animal foods, as well, so these are not plant-based folk, for the most part.

  49. Georgia Ede MD
    Hi Peter,

    I welcome the skepticism and appreciate your having given me the benefit of the doubt! Our conversation was informal and impromptu--I didn't know in advance that Ivor wanted to interview me and didn't know what the topics would be until a few minutes before filming, so I wasn't prepared with any references. I have lots of evidence to support my unconventional views in a variety of free articles on my own website http://www.diagnosisdiet.com as well as on Psychology Today https://www.psychologytoday.com/experts/georgia-ede-md. A good place to start would be my vegetables page: http://www.diagnosisdiet.com/food/vegetables/ Hope you're having a great weekend!

  50. Georgia Ede MD
    Hi Judy,

    Great question! As Lisa B. mentions in her nice response, our requirement for vitamin C is much lower if we eat a low-carbohydrate diet because sugar competes with vitamin C in the body. Our true requirement is only 10 mg per day to prevent scurvy. There is an excellent, detailed exploration of this topic by my friend and colleague Amber O'Hearn, who is very knowledgeable about all-meat diets: http://breaknutrition.com/ketogenic-diet-vitamin-c-101/

  51. Georgia Ede MD
    Lily, thank YOU so much for putting your OWN information out into the world! So glad to hear that healthier eating has improved your mood symptoms AND your husband's cancer progression--miraculous, really. I hope many will read your comments here and be inspired!
  52. Georgia Ede MD
    Christie, thank you so much for your very kind comments here; I really appreciate your support and am so glad that the tone and content of my work is coming across (to some) as I am intending it. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!
  53. Georgia Ede MD
    Hi Atila,

    Just for the record, I agree with you about dairy. I do not eat dairy and advise people to be careful with dairy, as many of us have sensitivities to it and it raises insulin and growth hormone levels in human beings, making it harder to lose weight. Meat does not equal dairy:)

  54. Georgia Ede MD
    Hi Chris,

    Congratulations on your health improvements (and your financial savings)! I agree with your excellent response and also wanted to thank you for voicing your support for these unusual ideas here. I hope that you will someday be able to reintroduce some tasty plants into your diet without suffering any symptoms. I'm down to about a half-dozen or so plant foods that don't seem to bother me much if at all. Unfortunately every time I try to put a new one back in, it seems to backfire:( Hope you're having a great weekend!

  55. Margaret
    I have been following you ever since I heard your 1st talk/lecture. As a retired nurse and great recipient of LCHF (45-47 lbs already) I say “yes yes” to all you share. I am continuing to live it as I think it is the best example because, as you know, people do not like change,(until there is often a crisis).
    Keep up the good work. More and more people are at least curious about the benefits of the diet. I feel like a neighbor since I am only 100ish miles from you.
    Stay well!!!! Bless you!
  56. Olga
    Hello Dr. Ede,
    Would you mind telling us which vegetables you are able to tolerate? How often do you eat them? Thank you for all your presentations. Best regards, Olga

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