The Keto Conflict: Ketogenic diet works, but not suggested

SDA Health Column| David Perez-Espinosa

Do you know that guy who used to weigh over 250 pounds a few months ago, who you saw walking around the other day at 170 pounds? That same guy who says he goes to the gym like once a week for spinning classes?

“Doctors hate him, find out how he broke the laws of nature and made up his own!” Yeah, that guy. Chances are, our mutual friend here is on a ketogenic diet. Most people recognize the Atkins Diet, South Beach diet and the Paleo Diet. Well, this is basically just a more scientific sounding name for the same thing.

A ketogenic diet is a low-carb, high-fat, adequate protein diet. The key is to keep your carb consumption at or below 50 grams per day to get your body to start something called ketosis.

During ketosis your body swaps fuel sources (glucose to ketone bodies) and stops storing fat. Unfortunately there is a downside to this – it can take a while to get your body to start ketosis (about a month or more sometimes).

Meanwhile your body, much like a disappointed child on Christmas day, will stew in anger (sometimes violently) because it is not getting what it was expecting. If you survive the flu-like symptoms and energy drought long enough for your body to realize that getting a Harry Potter book for Christmas was not so bad, ketosis will begin and you will once again feel right as rain.

At this point, your body is no longer storing fat which is therefore melting away even if you are not exercising. This is not to say that you can sit on the couch and eat bacon all day and lose weight. Actually, yes, you can do that, but you should not because it is unhealthy.

This is where things get complicated. Your body requires X amount of vitamins and minerals daily and it is your job to make sure that you supply your body with the nutrients it needs to operate as best as it can. A ketogenic diet is limited when it comes to fulfilling your nutrient quotas.

Many diets recommend against eating fruits, grains of any kind and eating out now becomes a game of Russian Roulette because as soon as you even smell a cheese burger your body will revert to its old ways and you will gain all that weight back as quickly as you lost it.

My take on the keto diet is: Although I will concede that it is indeed very possible to meet all your nutritional needs with this diet,  unless you are extremely well educated in all but the minutia of this diet and have unwavering determination, this diet is not a good idea to follow. In other words if you learned anything from reading this, this diet is not for you. A well balanced diet will lead to a well balanced life.             

SDA Health  is a weekly column that runs on Wednesdays and is written by members of the Student Dietetic Association.

6 Comments on "The Keto Conflict: Ketogenic diet works, but not suggested"

  1. You’re wrong about keto diets on many levels. Let me clarify:

    "Most people recognize the Atkins Diet, South Beach diet and the Paleo Diet."

    Well, the original Atkins Diet wasn’t entirely what we call the modern LCHF/Keto/Banting diet (it was still fat phobic), I’ve heard it first-hand from a nurse who worked with Atkins that he would approve of the modern incorporations.

    And South Beach and Paleo are not LCHF. They have their own agendas, and cannot be equated with LCHF.

    "This is not to say that you can sit on the couch and eat bacon all day and lose weight. Actually, yes, you can do that, but you should not because it is unhealthy."

    Actually, nothing unhealthy about a proper LCHF diet. Sure, not completely bacon, but if you’re complaining about sat fat or red meat in bacon, you need to educate yourself in the modern studies. (Hint: nothing bad about either.)

    "A ketogenic diet is limited when it comes to fulfilling your nutrient quotas."

    As they say on wikipedia: CITATION NEEDED. There’s nothing about LCHF that would keep you from satisfying your nutrient quotas.

    "… because as soon as you even smell a cheese burger your body will revert to its old ways and you will gain all that weight back as quickly as you lost it."

    Uh, just eat the cheese burger WITHOUT THE BUN. You’re satisfied. Body is happy. And very low carbs.

    My credits: lost 45 pounds in 6 months with LCHF to reach my goal weight. Maintained it for nearly 3 years. ATE EVERY MEAL AT A RESTAURANT. No starving, no calorie counting, no exercise.

    You should have researched this article further. I’ve been making fun of it in a facebook group.

  2. Margaret Cihocki | September 21, 2015 at 10:17 PM | Reply

    I never see anyone railing against a vegan diet as lacking in nutrients, but it actually is. A vegan diet requires supplements to meet nutritional requirements. There’s no getting around it. A well formulated LCHF (ketogenic) diet, which includes plenty of vegetables, eggs, fish, cheese, and various kinds of meat, does not. To suggest that it is not a well balanced diet is ludicrous. Just because it doesn’t contain grains and legumes? Grains are very poor sources of any nutrition, including fiber. There’s more of all nutrients in non starchy vegetables and leafy greens than in any grain, even whole grain, and legumes. There are plenty of fruits to eat in a ketogenic diet, too, though most people think of them as vegetables–avocado, tomato, peppers, cucumbers, and so on. The truth is, we can get all our nutrients from a diet that includes no plants at all, as evidenced by some cultures that don’t eat plants. But a ketogenic diet doesn’t recommend no plants. It recommends the most nutrient dense of plants.

  3. This article was written by a brain dead imbecile.

  4. This article was written by a brain dead imbecile.

  5. If you are trying to start a dialogue to get people talking about the ketogenic diet, you certainly will with your comments. I think you are clever to get everyone stirred up because in this day and age, there is no way anyone can still think grains are good for you, especially being in the health field yourself.

    Your material has not been properly researched if you really feel this information is accurate. Not only is the ketogenic diet used by bodybuilders and a growing numbers of general practitioners, but cardiologists are recommending it as a way to prevent heart disease and clogged arteries. Check out Johns Hopkins studies

    Grains convert to sugar which inflames arteries. Fats can flow through with no problem until the arteries become so inflamed over time from sugar and products that convert to sugar that eventually nothing can flow through properly causing heart problems.

    This diet is no fad…it has been around over 100 years and originally nutritional ketosis was used to treat childhood epilepsy. The diet has been improved over time and now is used to treat many serious illnesses from diabetes to Alzheimers. Lab rats live 20% longer on this diet and there have been extensive tests in humans, headed up by a Gates scholar in the UK to confirm it’s healing effects (mentioned).

    Low fat was wrong and the incidents of heart disease, diabetes and obesity rose exponentially when the American guidelines for what was supposed to be a sound diet were imposed on the public in general..Doctors and surgeons everywhere are putting up their hands and saying ‘We were wrong".

    Many diseases are being not only being stopped in their tracks but their progress is actually reversing causing people to heal. it is a sound and sustainable diet. Losing weight is just a wonderful byproduct of the wonderous healing properties of this diet. You should exercise of course and everything in moderation naturally. No matter what diet you choose, there will always be micronutrients that need to be supplemented as there are restrictions on any diet.

    I respect your opinion and in some places here you have correct information. Others shouldn’t run you down for speaking freely. Unfortunately a little knowledge is dangerous so please take the time to check out everything i.e. do your due dilgence and you will be quite shocked. The body burns fat instead of carbs for fuel so it is like getting your car to run on a cleaner and more efficient energy source.

    I could type for hours here, however, I’ll let you go and spend some time researching unbiasedly. Any diet that you go off means regaining weight of course. This is the easiest one to stay on because there is no hunger and every single craving can be satisfied if you do it correctly. Just name a favourite meal or product and I will happily give you a substitute as well as answer any questions you may have. I am just a regular female over 50 and have never been able to sustain weight loss until now. Pretty tough usually for a menopausal woman.

    Fat will keep you sated longer than protein and much longer than carbs so eating good fats such as coconut oil and grass fed butter will keep you in peak condition energy wise and hunger will be a distant memory.

    There is only room to list one website and there are so very many to check as well as Youtube videos. Please check out as many as you can. You truly will be happy you did as you will think of someone who could really use the help this diet can offer. Thank you for allowing this comment section to be used. Much appreciated.

    Narda A. Gillogly

  6. Greetings to everyone at Florida International University.

    Might I suggest you read this excellent piece of research published very recently by Credit Suisse, an investment bank, for investors giving information about trends in investing. Here is the link to this article called "Fat: the New Health Paradigm".

    What is so amazing about this is that they give they whole story on how flawed research by Ancel Keys on heart disease and saturated fat dominated and influenced dietary advice, particularly over the last 30 years. People ate less fat and ate more carbohydrates, including sugar. This has led to the explosion of obesity and type 2 diabetes, and many dangerous (to our health) misunderstandings that have permeated medical advice and treatments, and still do, and are treated as facts. There is much to be desired in medical scientific research these days with so many biased results etc.

    The article gives all the history to this, it cites the research they examined and it written in a very readable style. In my view, it gives the best overall and comprehensive account of how we got to where we are today. For example, the notion that high cholesterol caused heart disease and the subsequent use of statins.

    So the low carb high fat diet is not another diet for losing weight, although people who are overweight will lose weight. It is about good nutrition. In part it is going back to when people did not fear eating fat (which are bodies and brains need to function well) and knew that carbohydrates are the food group which, if consumed in larger quantities, led to putting on weight.

    I hope that helps. The books listed on the article are very interesting and some give the political backdrop to all this.

    I look forward to another article on your website about diet and I would also like to see opinions backed by research that is ethical, unbiased and sound – which sometimes mean we have to be willing to have what we believe as fact challenged and be open to these challenges – and also means that we have to be ready to scrutinise research methodology, and to be alert when a truth which does not fit with a pre conceived agenda is being concealed from us.This is how good science works at it’s best and being able to say "Well, I was wrong" – this is also a very valuable contribution to learning.

    Best Wishes and good luck!

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