The ketogenic diet is definitely a hot topic these days, and I am asked my opinion of this diet all the time lately! Therefore, I felt it was definitely time to share my thoughts. So, here you go…
Many health experts, including practicing cardiologist, Dr. Joel Kahn, do not believe the keto diet should be followed any longer than about 7 days (if at all), and I agree with this. Otherwise, you could be putting yourself at risk for such diseases/conditions as Type 2 Diabetes, high cholesterol, erectile disfunction, vitamin deficiencies, and heart disease (the #1 killer in America, btw), just to name a few. The only scientifically proven exception to this is for those who experience epileptic seizures, whose bodies do not respond to medication. They are the ones who may want to consider the keto diet for longer periods of time. For others, the keto diet may seem like a miracle weight loss or disease fighting tool, but when it comes down to it, any diet that forces a person to get rid of low quality processed foods, fast food, soda, excessive alcohol, and too much sugar will, of course, temporarily offer positive results.
The bottom line is, fats and oils are not great for the body in high amounts. They offer minimal vitamins and minerals (if any) which we need to stay healthy, they clog up our cells (which can lead to type 2 diabetes), raise cholesterol, damage endothelial cells (the cells that line all of our blood vessels), and can also lead to excessive absorption of toxins and metals, especially if those fats are coming from animal and fish sources (since animals and fish store high amounts of toxins/metals in their fat cells, just like humans.)
We’re much better off sticking to high vegetable, plant based diets that also include plenty of fruit, beans, and whole grains. These foods are loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals that fight off diseases (including certain cancers), keep our arteries clear, and provide lots of good quality energy for our bodies. After all, carbohydrates are designed to provide energy for us; it’s the way nature intended it! Just look at the people in the Blue Zones, which are the places in the world with the highest number of centenarians. These communities all have several things in common, including their diets, which all happen to be plant based ones loaded with whole, unprocessed foods. If these communities do eat meat, it is typically no more than twice a week…. and they most certainly do not follow the keto diet.
For more on the link between fats and diabetes, I recommend THIS book.
For more on the link between fats and heart disease, I recommend THIS book.
And, for more on the Blue Zones, I recommend THIS book.