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Why Ketosis Diets Will Fail: The Paleo and Keto Manifesto

By Robyn Openshaw, MSW | Aug 13, 2018

The most disturbing trend in Wellness these days is that most people have no idea what to eat. When choices were fewer, 100 years ago, how to eat for good health was so much clearer. Americans have been so steeped in the diet fads, that they’re now thoroughly confused about food.

What You Need to Know About Ketosis

In this article:


Changing Diets and Fads

Recently, I mentioned to a Millennial that when I was a kid, we didn’t have bottled water, and she said, with a shocked look on her face, “Then how did you get any water to drink?!”

Programmed Food Cults

Programmed Food Cults | Why Ketosis Diets Will Fail: The Paleo and Keto Manifesto

Similarly, modern people think that in order to eat, you have to follow one of the diet fads. A strange feature of life in 2018 is the need to align with a programmed “food cult,” as I call them.

Thanks to some strange cultural and market forces I do not believe to be particularly helpful to our overall health, food has become much like religion.

Many don’t know how to eat outside of what their food tribe, congregation, or pastor tells them, and every few years, many people convert to the new cult.

“I’m Paleo,” people say—as if identifying with a coat of arms.

I’ve been asked countless times: “What diet do you eat?”

New Fad | Low-Carb Ketogenic Diet

Several years ago, I wrote a detailed blog post on why the Paleo Diet was a fad, wouldn’t last, and why it would eventually be supplanted by a new fad aggrandizing fat rather than protein.

Paleo followers wrote murderous emails and comments.

Now those same people, it seems, are rabidly promoting the Ketogenic Diet.

The Paleo Diet

I felt I was fair to the Paleo Diet. We were friends, to a point. At least the Paleo cult banned processed food, even while glorifying animal flesh foods and strangely vilifying entire classes of foods that hominids and humans have eaten for 3.4 million years:

Legumes. Grains. Fruits.

Now, it seems, we’ve gone from the proverbial frying pan to the fire.

New Golden Child | High-Fat Diet

As I predicted would happen from many live stages on my lecture tours earlier in this decade, the new “golden child” in the diet industry is, predictably, fats.(It turns out over-eating protein saved us from exactly nothing. Following historical trends, then, a new diet fad must be born, to instruct the Western world how to eat.)(And, fat isn’t really a “new” golden child. It’s a recycled golden child since Atkins already did it, and the Ketogenic Diet isn’t a lot different from that diet that many published studies showed were not beneficial to our health.)

Ketogenic Diet Skeptic

Carbs, Protein and Fats Percentage on a Ketogenic Diet | Why Ketosis Diets Will Fail: The Paleo and Keto Manifesto

I’m sure I’ll get hate mail by going on record for this, too:Over-eating fats, glorifying the state of “ketosis,” and inventing many new “[Insert Diet Fad Name]- Approved” packaged foods will not serve us well, will not reverse the obesity epidemic, and will not reduce the many disease epidemics either.

The least profitable foods—the ones that grow in the ground and on trees—are the least likely to get any significant attention from the food cults.

Paleo and Ketogenic Diet Failure

The most profitable foods, those in packages, made with “proprietary processes” and stamped with “Paleo Friendly” or “Keto Approved,” also have the lowest vibrational energy, the lowest micronutrient levels, and lowest fiber, and the least able to prevent disease.

I’ve invited some of my friends—medical doctors, researchers, and authors who have watched the diet industry’s chokehold on the American diet with growing alarm—to weigh in on the latest fad now often called “Keto.” Their quotes are included in this blog post.

The Inevitable Keto Failure

I believe this latest ketosis diet will be chased off the stage by both research that was already done and published at the end of the reign of the Atkins diet fad—plus additional research that will come—showing how negative the health effects are of overeating animal products, fats in general, and repeatedly manipulating the body into a state of “ketosis.”

I also predict that five years from now, the same people advocating the “ketogenic diet” currently will be onto a new fad, promoting it, instead.

The Diet Industry and Their New Fads

Here’s the thing: the diet industry is big business. Tens of billions of dollars a year. It’s in collusion with the packaged food industry.

These wealthy industries aren’t going anywhere. And they are a treadmill, needing a new fad every few years, to replace “Paleo Approved” products with “Keto Approved” products.

Why Are There so Many Diet Plans?

The diet authors and processed food industries pivot, pose, and preen based on whatever is popular. Not, you should understand, what’s actually good for you.

Elimination Diets

The cabbage soup diet. The green smoothies diet. The werewolf (lunar) diet. The grapefruit diet. The tapeworm diet. The blood type diet. The apple cider vinegar diet. The cotton ball diet. The Wheat-Elimination Diet. The Alkaline Diet.

The authors of some of these books are friends of mine. Good people.

And I’m not innocent. I wrote The Green Smoothies Diet, after all. (I threw that in, to be fair. Someone would have brought it up.) And I’m willing to throw my own book on the pileup, to make an important point.

The Green Smoothies Diet

(As a side note, though, may I share why I wrote that book? What I actually wrote wasn’t a “diet” at all. It was about how throwing lots of superfoods and greens in a blender is an answer to our nutrient insufficiency, in an age where we want all our food to be “fast.” But the publisher insisted on naming it The Green Smoothies Diet. “Write whatever you want,” they said—”but we WILL call it a ‘diet,’ and if you refuse, we’ll find another author to write it.” That book has sold more copies than my other 14 books combined. Which already makes one of my points: diet books sell.)

The Big Business of Diet Fads

So, aggrandizing one food class, or one food, as if it has magical properties that will save everyone from every disease, is good for business.

Vilifying a class of foods, and teaching people how to avoid them, is big business, too, and fundamental to the diet industry.

(To do either of these things, you generally have to cherry-pick data, ignoring a great deal of evidence to the contrary.)

The Diet isn’t for Everyone

I play tennis competitively, and on the court recently, one of my tennis teammates was doubled over. It was only 9 am, so I asked:

“You seem really tired, what’s wrong?”

She said, “I’m on the ketogenic diet, and I’m exhausted. My husband just got really ‘shredded’ on it, but I don’t feel good at all.”

The Calorie and Carbohydrate Restrictions

You can lose weight in countless ways. Atkins, Ketogenic, you name it, they’re banning whole categories of foods, and they’ve all been shown, in studies tracking what the dieter actually eats, to be clever forms of calorie restriction.

(Many evaluations of the popular diets since Atkins have shown that since no one wants to eat unlimited protein or unlimited fats, dieters end up eating fewer calories.)

Low-Carb Diet

But your body has used carbohydrates—70 percent carbohydrates, on average—since the dawn of time. It’s the food your liver requires.

Carbohydrates aren’t bad, just by virtue of being carbohydrates.

The talk about “carbs” is virtually meaningless, since most foods are high in carbohydrates.

Different Types of Carbohydrate Intake

You’ve got simple and complex carbs, whole-food carbs and refined-food carbs. You’ve got “carb” foods full of important soluble or insoluble fiber—or both.

You’ve got wonderful “carb” foods that are extremely high in micronutrients (hundreds of different vitamins, minerals, enzymes, phytonutrients)—and others that are worthless, and harmful, with virtually no micronutrients.

Shortcomings of Fat and Protein Intake-Only Diets

(In fact, it should be noted that “proteins” and “fats” as classes of foods, while they have important properties needed for health, are almost always foods with little or no dietary fiber, and very little micronutrient density as well. Since our gastrointestinal cancers epidemic is largely due to lack of fiber, and lack of micronutrients, in the “standard American diet,” eliminating carbs seems a terrible idea, for cancer prevention, cancer treatment, and especially related to colorectal cancers.)

Making ALL Carbs Look Bad

Truly, lumping all the foods containing “carbohydrate” into a single class makes little sense.

Because even if we narrow it down and look at two foods high in simple sugars as an example, a bagel and a banana are very different foods.

The Bagel and the Banana

The Bagel and the Banana | Why Ketosis Diets Will Fail: The Paleo and Keto Manifesto

Bananas and bagels are both ‘carbs’

The bagel is Roundup-sprayed (twice!), stripped of fiber and lacking any real micronutrients, gluey, and will slow your digestion. It has nothing to offer you besides a gluten reaction and a blood-sugar and insulin spike.

A banana, though, has soluble fiber and dozens of nutrients, including potassium and magnesium. It is a high-vibration food that contributes to longevity.

Calling both of these foods “carbs” is misleading—virtually useless, in fact.

The Danger of Restricting Carbs

Eliminating or severely restricting carbohydrates from the diet as both the Paleo and Keto diets do is especially problematic since foods considered “carbs” are the foods highest in fiber and micronutrients, which are linked, in thousands of studies, to reduced disease risk.

Fasting for the Keto Diet

Fasting is part of the ketogenic diet, and fasting is a great idea.

(However, to put the logical fallacy to rest, just because fasting is part of the ketogenic diet, and fasting is good for you, does not mean the ketogenic diet is a healthy, sustainable way to live, or even a good way to lose weight.)

Researched Benefits of Fasting

Fasting is research- and time-tested. Many cultures of the world have engaged in periods of not eating, for physical purification as well as spiritual benefits, and many research studies show fasting to be beneficial for human health.

Fasting Problem with Ketosis

But the benefits of fasting aren’t necessarily related to the state of “ketosis,” where starvation supposedly forces fat burn. (See Dr. Alan Christianson’s quote, below, about whether “ketosis” is even what the Keto diet claims it is.)

Fasting Problem with Ketosis

I’m far more interested in the induced state of autophagy from a 12-hour fast, or for a longer fast lasting several days.

I’ve water-fasted (no food, only water) for 7 days, 9 days, and 12 days, in the past two years.

Why? Because in autophagy, when the body has no food, it scavenges aberrant cells, and immune function goes into high gear, gobbling up cancer cells, yeast, mold, byproducts of metabolism—generally and specifically cleaning house.

Fasting for a Long Life

I believe fasting is one of the most powerful things you can do for longevity and to avoid chronic disease. Thomas Lodi, M.D., a Columbia-trained medical doctor, presents all his patients with information on water fasting and tells them it’s the single most powerful thing they can do, in their cancer treatment.

Why Fasting Doesn’t Work with Keto

Compare that to the ketogenic diet plan, where you may be advised to drink acidic coffee full of butter, and a plate of bacon—which is unsustainable, unpalatable long-term, and artery-clogging, as well as devastatingly low in chlorophyll, oxygen, raw enzymes, phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals.

Is a Low Carbohydrate Diet Good For You?

Let’s take a look at some of the myths around the diet industry’s concept that carbs make you tired, sick, and fat.

Ari Whitten and Wade Smith, MD’s book, The Low Carb Myth, says this:

“The Carbohydrate Theory of Obesity [an attempt to blame fat gain on carbohydrates and sugars] is based on numerous scientific inaccuracies, omissions of data, and countless instances of data cherry-picking.”

The Paleo Diet Do’s and Don’ts

One study showed the Paleo Diet to be most essentially defined, by its followers, as eating more vegetables. If that’s the case, we’re all friends here.

The Paleo diet did ban white flour, processed sugar, and chemicals in your food.

Unfortunately, most people embracing it eat even more animal products (protein and fat) than the average American does, and that is an important note, in pointing out the problems with the Paleo diet.

Banning Legumes, Fruits, and Grains

Legumes, fruits, and unprocessed grains have been part of healthy diets worldwide since the dawn of man 3.4 million years ago, as shown by recent research on early hominids at the University of Utah.

If you don’t want to eat legumes and whole grains, or if you’re reactive to legumes due to a damaged microbiome—fine, you can probably also stay healthy eating really clean forms of animal protein.

But keep in mind that it generally takes 20 pounds of plants to bring 1 pound of animal food to market.

The Vegan Diet

If vegetarians and vegans make you angry (both Paleo and Keto diet proponents tend to be rather anti-vegan), check your thinking—because while vegans may be dogmatic, while you may not like their style in promoting their diet—their diet is using 5 percent of the Earth’s resources to sustain themselves, compared to someone eating the 30 to 60 percent animal proteins of the Paleo and Keto diets.

Less Damage to the Planet

The healthy ones, the ones who eat whole foods—I’m not talking about the junk food vegans—they’re living with far less impact on the planet.

Maybe we should all thank a vegetarian today, even if you’re personally choosing to eat meat. The direction we’re driving the diet bus, these days, with so many packaged foods and animal foods, isn’t sustainable ecologically.

Why The Keto Diet is Doomed

We can all be friends, and I love the Paleo diet getting people off processed food.

But Paleo’s new, sexy sibling, the Ketogenic diet? It’s just bad news. It’s lipstick on a pig.

(Let the hate mail begin.)

And the worst of the bad are these people selling toxic jugs of “ketones.” Please don’t drink this plastic, petroleum-product garbage. It’s pure marketing, it’s not food, and it’s not good for you.

Scientific Warnings Against Ketosis

The Ketogenic diet will get run out of town by scientific studies of long-term results, eventually. Like all the others have. (Eat Right for Your Blood Type, Atkins, and Paleo come to mind.)

And in fact, the ketogenic diet is so similar to Atkins, that many experts have written entire books warning America that the excesses of animal products and the strange “ketones” phenomenon represent a serious threat to public health, based on volumes of published research.

Think of the Long-Term Effects

Use your critical thinking skills rather than sign on as a human guinea pig every time the diet and food-manufacturing industries put a new spin on a tired, old debunked concept in front of you.

We already know what people eat who lose weight and keep it off. High-fat, bacon-and-eggs meals with coffee, that’s not it.

No Health Benefits

Fasting | Why Ketosis Diets Will Fail: The Paleo and Keto Manifesto

In effect, the Keto marketers have brought one of the worst, but most popular, diets in the history of diets (Atkins!), back to life. With a twist. (It’s still bacon and coffee for breakfast. But….there’s fasting!)

Cancer survivor and nutrition researcher Chris Wark says, “The ketogenic diet is like fasting, only with none of the health benefits.”

With the ketogenic diet’s new obsession with “fasting”—diet marketers have taken something good, and made it into something commercial and less than helpful.

Is it Really Fasting?

(Also, how is not eating from early dinner to late breakfast ‘fasting?’ I was raised in a religious tradition, along with millions of others, where we fasted for 24 hours, once a month. Every child over 8 was encouraged to do this. It’s good for the body and spirit.)

Just Another Atkins Diet

In effect, the Keto marketers have brought one of the worst, but most popular, diets in the history of diets (Atkins!), back to life.

With a twist. (It’s still bacon and coffee for breakfast. But….there’s fasting!)

Haven’t we evolved past this? Eat for ‘ketosis’ and plan to have constipation, bad breath, yo-yo weight loss and gain, and your liver breaking down, just like happened for millions of Atkins sufferers. (And Dr. Robert Atkins himself suffered from heart disease and overweight.)

We already learned with the Atkins Diet that bouncing in and out of ‘ketosis’ is a great way to end up heavier than you started, and possibly with diabetes.

Keto Quotes | Experts Challenge Ketogenic Myths

Ari Whitten and Wade Smith | The Low-Carb Myth

Ari Whitten and Wade Smith, MD, said, in their book, The Low-Carb Myth:

“….the notion of everyone eating diets of essentially nothing but fat and protein with only a tiny amount of carbohydrate as a widespread initiative to combat obesity is laughable, since any dietary pattern so extreme as to jettison an entire macronutrient (and simultaneously limit another one) is simply unsustainable for the majority of people.”

Harry Massey | Filmmaker

My friend, the filmmaker Harry Massey, was convinced by a mutual friend of ours, one of the diet-book authors, to try the new fad, and this is what he told me:

“I went on the ketogenic diet, I felt like crap, and three months later I was diabetic.”

Dr. Joel Fuhrman | NYT Bestselling Author

Dr. Joel Fuhrman, MD, 4-time NYT bestselling author, shared these thoughts with me about the ketogenic diet:

“There are many variations of the ketogenic diet, and some are more dangerous than others. One thing known without question is that the long-term safety of these diets is unknown, because studies would have to follow thousands of people for decades into their 70s and 80s to truly ascertain the true risks.W hat we do know with certainty from such long-term studies is that as the proportion of products from animal products increase in the diet, so does the death rate from cancer and heart disease.

“In other words, the quality and long-term safety of a diet can be determined by the ratio of ‘produce’ calories to ‘animal product’ calories. We also know that diets richer in antioxidants and phytochemicals—and with a broad variety of such anti-cancer immune-supporting substances—are critical to prevent later-life cancers.

“The ketogenic diet generally uses high amounts of oils, which do not contain a significant micronutrient content as a source of calories, thus diluting the micronutrient density of the diet.

“In summary, it is not the diet best designed to push the envelope of human longevity, though a ketogenic diet, if well designed, may not be as dangerous as the highly processed-food SAD diet, which contains dangerous ingredients such as white flour, sugar, fried foods, soda and junk food.”
—Joel Fuhrman, MD

Dr. Alan Christianson | NYT Bestselling Author

Dr. Alan Christianson, NMD, NYT bestselling author, challenges the entire foundation of the diet:

“The ketogenic diet is a legitimate tool for helping reduce seizures among epileptic children who did not respond to medication. We may learn more in the coming years about benefits to other conditions, but most think of it as an easy path to weight loss.

“The underlying assumption people make is that the ketogenic diet makes them better at burning fat. Sadly, it does the exact opposite, and the confusion comes about from using the phrase ‘burning fat’ in two different contexts. Using fat for fuel is called beta-oxidation. Breaking down body fat is called lipolysis. Ketosis is the state in which your liver cannot burn fat for fuel. It can burn fat for fuel only when carbohydrate and protein are also present.

“A ketogenic diet only leads to lipolysis when it contains fewer calories than is needed. This is true of any diet. When a ketogenic diet has more calories than is needed, the extra dietary fat that is initially converted to ketones gets turned into triglycerides and stored as body fat.

“In a controlled human study comparing a ketogenic diet against a high carb, high-sugar diet with the same number of calories, the high-carb diet led to more fat loss than the ketogenic diet.

“Besides the lack of efficacy for weight loss, the ketogenic diet has risks to consider for those seeking to improve their health. The evidence supporting the benefits of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, is undeniable. The ketogenic diet is devoid of fiber and low in vitamins and minerals.

“Along with a myriad of side effects like fatigue, diarrhea, muscle cramps, and headaches, people on ketogenic diets also run the risks of:

  • hypothyroidism
  • impaired athletic performance

“We may find more medical applications of the ketogenic diet and more ways to mitigate some of the inherent risks and deficiencies it creates. However, ketones are not the ‘preferred’ source of fuel for the human body, nor are they effective hacks for weight loss.”

—Alan Christianson, NMD

Weight Loss Diet Rankings

In fact, when U.S. News and World Report ranked diets for nutrition and successful weight loss, the Paleo Diet ranked at number 32 out of 40…and Keto tied for dead last, at 39!

Keto Claim for Cancer

One of the most troubling aspects to the new diet fad is the claim that it will cure cancer.

When Dr. Charles Majors first began claiming that the ketogenic diet cures cancer, many experts demanded any longitudinal study with evidence of this. Not only did Dr. Majors fail to produce any, he also recently passed away. Of cancer.

Gerson Therapy | Nutritional Regimen for Cancer

As a counterpoint, the Gerson therapy as a nutritional regimen for cancer, has reversed tens of thousands of cancer patients’ Stage IV cancer for 100 years now, and while it’s not a miracle cure, in this age of toxicity and far more virulent forms of cancer, it is based on far more legitimate concepts.

1. Fresh Greens and Vegetables

First, more than 10 glasses a day of fresh pressed green and vegetable juice floods the body with nutrients and oxygen to detoxify and rebuild immune function. (The ketogenic diet is high in fats, but very low in both fiber and micronutrients, as Dr. Christianson pointed out, in the quote above.)

2. Carbohydrate-Rich Foods

Second, Gerson uses efficacious, non-toxic methods of breaking down and eliminating tumor tissue. (That’s glucose plus oxygen in the cells, using organic plant material in “carbohydrate” foods rich in every known anti-cancer nutrient: the effect is alkalizing and cancer destroying.)

Reconsider Diet Fad-Hopping

Reconsider Diet Fad-Hopping | Why Ketosis Diets Will Fail: The Paleo and Keto Manifesto

The “diet before diets” was heavily plant based—rich in greens, vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds.

I hope you’ll reconsider jumping on every bandwagon, each time a new fad diet comes out.

Original Plant-Based Diet

The “diet before diets” was heavily plant-based (as opposed to vegetarian or vegan, which implies no animal products, ever) rich in greens, vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Healthy people from all over the world, as documented best in the Blue Zones research, ate quite widely varying diets based on what was available in specific geographic areas.

But all of the Blue Zones eat a heavily plant-based diet, and two of them eat virtually no animal protein at all.

Dr. Joel Kahn | Wayne State Clinic

Here’s another quote by cardiologist Dr. Joel Kahn, MD, Wayne State Clinical Professor of Medicine:

“While ketogenic diets prompt the production of ketone bodies as fuel and are of proven value in rare cases of refractory epilepsy, they are also associated with data in several studies suggesting they boost the long-term risk of premature death. I would not advise the daily use of a long-term ketogenic strategy based on animal product consumption.”

Diets for a Longer Life

If we must attach a name to the “diet” associated with health and longevity, the plant-based and Mediterranean diets are the only ones that consistently show long-term positive outcomes, across thousands of published studies.

Dr. David Katz | Yale Meta-Study

The 2013 Yale meta-study under the direction of David Katz, MD, reviewed over 10,000 published studies in the field of nutrition over the course of the past decade and concluded that the most consistent finding is that eating more plants prevents disease.

Plants vs Meat Diets

(Both the Paleo and Keto diets, the way that most people follow them, have people eating even more animal foods than in the Standard American Diet.)

Primarily plant-based diets are what the vast majority of people ate before there were “diets.” (Notice that said “primarily plant-based,” which is different than “vegetarian” or “vegan.”)

Disease and Processed Foods

Of course, there has been a wide variety in the specific foods eaten by various peoples, based on their availability, for 3.4 million years of human history.

But the degenerative disease was rare in cultures eating whole foods, including mostly carbohydrates, for the entire history of humans, until 100 years ago when the processed food industry was born and the diet industry followed, right behind it.

Health Risks Of Ketosis Diet | Why Ketosis Diets Will Fail: The Paleo and Keto Manifesto

Do you have more questions about the keto and paleo diets? Do you want to know more about a diet with whole and unprocessed foods? Feel free to leave your questions in the comments section below.

Up Next: I Went Fasting Without Food for 40 Days | Here’s What I Learned


Robyn Openshaw | Why Ketosis Diets Will Fail: The Paleo and Keto Manifesto

—Robyn Openshaw, MSW, is the founder of GreenSmoothieGirl.com and the bestselling author of The Green Smoothies Diet, 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and Vibe: Unlock the Energetic Frequencies of Limitless Health, Love & Success.

Her video masterclass on how she lost 70 pounds, got off 5 prescription drugs, and eliminated 21 diagnosed diseases, eating whole foods (and not dieting), is a free gift to you.

Disclosure: Affiliate links in the post above help support the GSG mission without costing you extra. I recommend only companies and products that I use myself.


Editor’s Note – This post was originally published on January 3, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

Posted in: Food Industry, Research

257 thoughts on “Why Ketosis Diets Will Fail: The Paleo and Keto Manifesto”

Leave a Comment
  1. Ian Breuser says:

    I just read this article and was a bit surprised. I was under the impression that the Ketogenic diet was successful by encouraging consumption of green leafy vegetables, low sugar fruits such as avocados, cucumbers and bell peppers and natural fats such as nuts and coconut oil; while discouraging all grains, high sugar fruits, and especially all processed foods with flours and added sugars. I must be getting my diet plans mixed up.

    1. Robyn says:

      Ian, did you read the part of my article where I point out the things that are positive about Paleo and Keto….that ONE Paleo study showed that the #1 thing that people say that the diet is, for them, is “eating more vegetables?” However, the diet itself, and the way people practice it, while getting people OFF processed food, also gets people ON far more animal foods. This isn’t just bad for animals themselves, and the sustainability of our practices living on the planet–but it’s also bad for our health. Eating more vegetables is good. (But that’s not necessarily specific to Keto.) The ketogenic diet bans carbohydrates, and massively increases the amount of fats in the diet–that’s what it’s known for, not for being vegetable centric, though some people eating it do eat some vegetables.

      1. Jan says:

        Robyn, please do not tell people that the ketogenic diet bans carbohydrates. That is simply not true. The ketogenic diet limits carbohydrates. That is a BIG difference.

        1. Robyn says:

          yes. but the authors of the various iterations of these diets vilify really healthy classes of whole foods, and you’re not supposed to eat fruits, legumes, whole grains (even organic, gluten free)…..and that’s tragic. because the evidence shows clearly that these are a critical part of a disease preventative diet. the carbohydrate restrictions are EXTREME. and almost every healthy culture in the history of man has eaten an average of 70 percent carbohydrate. so the diet makes no sense on any logical level.

          1. Jan says:

            Again, you are not being truthful. The following fruits can be part of a ketogenic diet: avocados, blueberries, coconuts, olives, tomatoes, blackberries, cranberries, lemons, limes, raspberries and strawberries. Some other fruits and starches can be eaten on on carb-up days.

            I am disappointed in your lack of knowledge about the diet you are criticizing.

          2. tanya says:

            Robyn–so much you gloss over or ignore. The grains people ate 1000’s of years ago have nothing to do with the grains available today. Even 19c grains were different. For example wheat got bred in the mid-20c to contain higher levels of gluten. Historically wheat had about 2% gluten; it was bred to contain 35% gluten to appease the needs of commercial bakers. We now have concerns about arsenic in almost all rice due to chemicalization of big ag and fallout from factory wastes expelled into the air. China is a horrible example of what happens when industry has no environmental regulations. We now also have the consequences of Fukushima which is still spewing massive amounts of radioactive wastes into the air and water and we, in the US, are distinctly toxified by this. It is in the water and soil and so is affecting our food. The Korean cook who gave a class yesterday spoke of eating rice 3x/day. Out of this concern for arsenic she washes her organic rice, soaks it overnite, and washes it another 6 or 7 times before cooking. And she annually has herself tested for arsenic levels, such is her concern. Mine is to not spend so much time messing with a single food so I am quite happy to not eating it, or wheat, or most grains. I feel better without them, too. Even beans, which I normally liked, have been getting ignored much to my feeling better without them. I am finding that increasing healthy fats is much more satisfying, and cuts thru the sugar cravings.

            It does seem there is a relationship betw carbs and fats in how our body feels when eating and the sustained energy we derive from our foods. A great green salad with minimal fat does not stay with me very long where more avocado or eggs or olive oil does.

  2. Kristen says:

    Thank you for this information! I agree and hope we are all moving towards whole, unprocessed foods. With an emphasis on fruits and veggies.

    However, how do we know it’s not an increase in toxins that has contributed to our health issues over the past 100 years? I’m curious.

    1. Robyn says:

      Kristen, I think there’s a huge possibility that 80,000 chemicals approved for use in our environment are a BIG contributor to our illness. Those are hard factors to isolate for, since where there’s one chemical, in human tissues, there are hundreds. Those studies are emerging, and there’s pretty clear evidence that a lot of the chemical toxins have made us sick. But the #1 finding of the Yale meta-study run by David Katz, MD, was this: eating plants prevents disease. If you read 2015’s How Not to Die, by Michael Greger, MD, there are 35 pages of references at the end, all with this clear conclusion: if you want to die, of any of the diseases he reviews, chapter by chapter, in the book–eat more animal products.

      So, while chemical toxins isn’t the topic in THAT blog post, I’ve written a LOT on that topic….and it’s a culprit, too!

  3. Brittany says:

    Dr. Atkins died obese and of a heart attack, you think people would realize by now that low carb high fat diets aren’t the way nature designed us to eat. They are an artery clogging disaster! Thanks for posting this and sharing the message.

    1. tanya says:

      Atkins did not differentiate the quality of the food he promoted in his diet. And I don’t think he followed it himself very well. Why? That is more to my questioning than what killed him

  4. ethel grant says:

    We cured my husbands stage 4 Amelanotic Nodular melanoma using the ketogenic diet, which has shown to be the only diet effective in controlling epilepsy and has been used for this for over 100 years. So much for it being a fad diet. I have other people who have also revered their cancers using the ketogenic diet. It is effective in reversing early stage Alzheimer’s, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
    I realise you have an agenda to push your diet and book to earn money.
    As for Dr Christiansen and Ari Whitten they slate and are extremely condescendingly derogatory about anything that does not comply with their agenda, so much so that I do not bother to listen to them any more.
    The ketogenic diet has also shown itself to be very good for high performance athletes and and is advocated by Professors not mere doctors who slate it.
    When my husband was on his Ketogenic diet, His NHS Doctor insisted on blood tests, hoping to prove that Keto was damaging. He was sadly disappointed when my husbands tests came back well above average. Done correctly it is definitely not deficient in anything. He also has more energy at 68 than most young people in their 20’s, He worked as a Chief engineer on Superyachts and out performed all the young crew is mental and physical ability and endurance.

    Paleo is also alive an well, sorry to tell you and as plants are so full of Lectins, Phalates, Oxcalates, Phenols and other nasty toxins to the human one must ask if a plants based diet is really that healthy?

    Not according to many researchers

    1. Robyn says:

      hi, Ethel–yes, as I said in the article, those overcommitted to one of the fad diets, will hate my post.

      By Phalates, do you mean Pthalates, which come from plastics? Or Phytates, which are an anti-nutrient in grain? (People ate grains as early as 3.4 million years ago, see the link to the University of Utah study I link to. Most paleolithic cultures ALSO ate grain.) Anyway, lectins in legumes, oxalates in greens, etc, are not “nasty toxins.” Not even close. I’m really sorry someone has convinced you of this. There is a growing body of evidence that these “anti-nutrients” in many classes of whole foods have important functions, and literally over 10,000 published studies (best source: Katz MD’s Yale metastudy, 2013) show that these foods–the ones containing goitrogens, oxalates, phytates, lectins, and more–are the very foods rich in micronutrients and high in fiber that prevent disease. Just because someone ate high in fats and is still alive, doesn’t mean it “cured” anything. While that makes a disease patient angry, because they want to believe that the fad they attached themselves to, cured their disease, there is a huge body of evidence that will challenge anyone’s thinking who follows the 20-60 percent animal products diet industry. I’d suggest several books you might read, but you’ve already dismissed Christianson and Whitten, so I’ll not bother.

      I don’t have an “agenda” to “push a diet or book,” since my whole point is the anti-diet….just eat what people ate for thousands of years, before we had 40-50% of us getting cancer….but I AM interested in helping people realize that the fad diets aren’t in alignment with our wishes to be disease free.

      1. Chelsea says:

        Oh wow! Thank you Robyn for your comments, the post and your knowledge. These fad diets are just that. I have severe infections all through my body due to a bladder mesh. 9 years of this crap and honestly the only thing that ever helps is eating what people have eaten for years and also staying away from the pharmaceutical cash cows. Your spot on about the cancer. Diseases have become much more prevalent from what we ingest and what is now considered the,” norm” for Americans. Society in America has become lazy in our ways of much more than food. Interesting how eating the same way as it has been from the beginning has been a constant and never a fad.

  5. Diana says:

    Enjoyed your article Robyn. I have been having green smoothies for about 8 years now, although slacked off this last year and could feel the difference in my joints and skin etc. But back into my smoothies now. I tried eating more healthy fats….MCT oil and butter etc and put weight on. I grow most of my own fruit & veges and we catch our own fish. I find if I eat bread or other processed carbs early in the day I am done for….crave more. I find eating lots of fresh fruits & veges, a little meat or fish, good fats like avocado, coconut oil & a little olive oil on salads suits me best. I love not eating until lunchtime but do enjoy a black coffee about 10 am. My ambition is to fast for 7 days a couple of times a year for autophagy…to get rid of old and diseased cells. I am 65 and live at the seaside in Tasmania Australia where the air is so clean and we grow great veges….I believe that good nutritious food, clean air and clean water, exercise, plenty of sleep and fasting is the way to good health. I had an older lady a few years back, she was Asian, standing next to me at the markets in Qld, and she said ” you are very healthy ” which was the best compliment a person could ever have. I gave her a hug. I didn’t know her or know why she said it, but she must have sensed something !! I put it down to my green smoothies and all the superfoods like spirulina and chlorella etc that I put into them with lots of greens and fruits.

  6. Marjorie Rosenfeld says:

    If you have intestinal fungal overgrowth, however, you will be encouraged to follow a low carbohydrate diet as well as denying yourself sugar, since candida and other fungal organisms are fueled by sugar, whether cane sugar, beet sugar, corn sugar or the sugar your body turns carbohydrates into. Some of these diets are so stringent it’s a wonder anybody survives on them, particularly when experiencing the die-off symptoms from killing fungal organisms.

    1. Robyn says:

      Marjorie….yes, I agree. I answered another commenter, here, earlier today–saying the same. You’re really going to have to starve candida overgrowth with VERY low carbs. Which won’t make sense, as a disease preventative diet….but meat/eggs is going to be necessary for someone starving out yeast, because otherwise they won’t get enough calories while eliminating fruits, legumes, grains, and even starchy vegetables. Completely agree with you.

  7. Robin Newman says:

    I am grateful for this clarification by Robyn. I was beginning to think maybe we should be doing all this paleo and keto stuff but not wanting to. It just didn’t make sense. I learned to cook 45 years ago by Japanese teachers promoting a macrobiotic diet. Unprocessed whole foods, WHOLE grains of every sort, vegetables and some fruit- foods from your own locality. Oranges don’t grow in Michigan in winter or summer for that matter so we didn’t eat them. Orange juice was not part of our diet because it was “good for you.” We ignored all that thinking. Legumes, beans, nuts and seeds were all a part of my everyday cooking. We did not eat animal food except for special holidays with family. No white bread, white flour products, junk food or sugar.
    (To this day I buy a 2# bag of sugar once a year – because someone else will be here and wants to bake.)
    Nor did we use dairy as a sustitute for meat or in cooking. It was occassional festive food, not the main food. I ate yogurt once every 6 months. Fiber and lack of toxins, pickles, & miso provide good intestinal flora. My husband and I were healthy, lost weight and raised our kids this way for the first 10 years of our marriage. After floating around with the average American diet, some of the fads and other things (Protein Power etc) we are back to whole grain eating as our base. I just made a soup with great northern beans and chopped vegetables. A cooked pot of farrow is ready to eat with veggies. Supper will be couscous (yes processed – gives variety )with chick peas, carrots, onions and celery in a sauce along with steamed fresh broccoli.
    While some may have initial success on paleo, keto, etc it is most likely the change in relation to what they were eating that was processed, commercial and probably junk. hence improvement shows up. Those diets are not sustainably healthy. I agree with Robyn. The majority of the world has eaten plant based. When they change to more processed foods, they begin to get Western diseases. I am sticking with plant based.

  8. Connie Lawson says:

    I am all for you Robyn. Seeds, nuts, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, good healthy fats, pure water. fresh air,
    sunshine and plenty of exercise will do the trick. Eating God’s Genesis 1:29 diet is what we need, not all
    these money making diets. Keep it up maybe it will wake up this blinded world. I will be praying for you.

  9. Cheryl says:

    I agree with Paul and others above. Regardless of what you think about these other diets Robyn, the way you present your OPINIONS make a Hugh difference in how you are perceived. I think you are doing a lot of good for people, but I find that you come across in a self righteous and biased way. You cast aspersions on these other way of eating without objectively listing the pros and cons. Not everyone can eat unlimited amounts of fruits and starchy carbs and that’s not to say that these foods are bad. They certainly are not, but in my study of nutrition, it is always stressed that everyone is different and what works for one may not work for another. I think you would do well to present that fact.

    1. Robyn says:

      Hey Cheryl–it’s an editorial, rather than a pros/cons sheet. I don’t think that a 60% animal products diet is good for anyone. So, I feel strongly enough about this subject to write a “manifesto”–clearly from the comments, it’s as polarizing as I assumed it would be, people either loving or hating it. I stand behind it, and there’s no ad hominem attacks or anything else that’s inappropriate–just an opinion and supporting quotes and studies that some like and some don’t.

  10. Filip says:

    Robyn kicked some ass in this article. Great article, Robyn. If your diet is not plant based, you don’t know what the hell you are doing. Keep up the good work, Robyn.

  11. Ana says:

    Just want to point this out to you: The fact that people disagree with you don’t make hem haters. I have no hate for you here, but I totally disagree with you and your sources are not very credible..

    1. Robyn says:

      Ana, you can totally disagree with me. But, some of the emails I received (and some of the comments that were on this article, until we removed them) weren’t just hate–they were abuse. I’m not lumping in “those who disagree” with “haters.”

      1. tanya says:

        It seems to be an important truth that some people will always go on destructive attacks against anyone that disagrees with some belief system or other. Religion is not the only belief system that we hold and food is a big one for people. When people feel their belief system(s) are threatened they can become pretty nasty. It is called Cognitive Dissonance.

        The other side of the picture is trolls who stalk the internet. Some of them are actually paid to create disruption; some do it out of ignorance for how they are being duped and used. While there is dynamic discussion here on this article, people need to understand there is a huge and well paid effort by industry to destroy anything holistic. To date there have been 80 deaths of holistic doctors in the past 3 yrs approximately. These are all suspicious deaths, often of fairly young people. Some of these deaths have been violent. People have a hard time taking in this nefarious component of this country, but it is not new and is quite vicious. One only has to think of the assassination of Kennedy!

  12. Betty Kay Landaker says:

    Bravo to you, Robyn! No tomato throwing going on here. You are spot on! Thank you for your honesty and evidence based comments.

  13. Juliana says:

    Having read several comments below, I’d like to tell you, Robyn, I appreciate your concern for people in general, but especially those of us who care about how we eat and want to, not necessarily live LONGER, but as long as we live, live healthy lives. One can be friends with those with whom we disagree when we are polite and caring. You point out that many on the “other side” are friends of yours. Our own daughter, nearly 40 years old now, decided to go vegetarian, but in a militaristic way, forcing her beliefs on her husband and children. Having been praying for her for some time, she has mellowed; she will eat whatever is served her, but when she has the choice, will not eat meat. What a lovely attitude. Keep up the good work, informing and encouraging us all!

    1. Robyn says:

      Juliana, that’s funny, because my own 22-yo daughter, was a “militant” vegetarian 10 years ago. She’s STILL a vegetarian. But in high school, she said to me, “I argue with people all the time about vegetarianism at school,” and I said, “How’s that working for you? Converted anyone yet?” She said, nope. Now she just models it rather than argues, and shares resources for anyone who is open or interested. She’s enjoyed more success as an evangelist since softening quite a bit. She said to me, in that conversation back in high school, “You’re converting people to vegetarianism and you aren’t even one!” (I don’t actually preach vegetarianism….I try to leave more wiggle room than that, not just in what I teach, but ALSO in what I, personally, eat!) So, I couldn’t care less whether someone wears a label of vegan or vegetarian….but I feel passionately that we need to educate more people about how eating MORE plants is key, in avoiding all these modern diseases taking us all down.

      I think the “militant” and controlling stance of many, in the vegan movement, actually cuts the other direction, and sends people packing.

  14. Estrella says:

    No brickbats from Estrella! I’m just finishing off a fabulous green smoothie with banana and mango (really hot summer time in Oz, the bananas and mangoes are ON!). What you have said all along about the good stuff to eat is common sense, really, and the science also backs it AND it feels great, like putting high octane fuel into your tank! I don’t have to think about the ten squillion diets that are out there any more, it is so restful to simply let them pass me by, wooohoooooo!

  15. Cheri says:

    Thank you Robyn for always being the calm voice of reason

  16. Rene Mardis says:

    The truth is, there is no one perfect diet out there that will cure\fix\prevent sickness and disease. Nutrient needs\sources are not one size fits all. Do\find what works for you, and allow others to do the same.

    1. Robyn says:

      hi Rene….yes, people should have the freedom to eat as they wish. as my alarm grows with what looks like worse and worse misinformation “out there” about diet and health, though. so, as an educator, i speak up when i think a trend is not in the public’s best interests.

  17. Paul d says:

    Where do I start.. As I see it their truths on both sides. Please tell me why my thoughts are wrong. Very open minded. Juicing take out the fiber but concentrate the nutrients in the drink. That bad and good. If can afford the high cost go for it. As per Dr. Greger drink it slowly, Explain why one of the longest living population Adventist which lives in California which also live in the very toxic united states are plant base only. Also i read a study from north and south Africa where their diet consists on no or rarely any meats. Color cancer in American is 55 to 1 and breast cancer almost non existance as other cancer. High blood pressure almost non existance even in 90 year olds. Japan once plant base with some fish use to be one of the longest living country and since becoming American ize eating the same diet ( meat ) process foods now have same health problems we do. China also one longest living country now becoming American Ize but started later then Japan is catching up fast with American illness. On the other side I seen a study showing combineing 4 study total 28, 000 vegan follow for 20 years show that vegan live no longer then meat eater. Vegan had less illness than meat eater during their lives but live no longer, except those vegan that did three things and they live 10 years longer then rest of the study. Sorry for bad english. Tell me where i read wrong. Vegan do ur research if want live 10 years longer

    1. Robyn says:

      hey Paul…..well, I don’t actually want to get into a vegan-vs-meat-eater thing here. the post was really about whether the keto and paleo fads really make sense. i don’t think the evidence proves that you HAVE to eat no meat, to be healthy. I DO think it’s clear that the vast majority of us need to eat more plants.

  18. Jim says:

    In some respect I can agree with you to a certain degree. There are many variations of ketogenic diets on the internet. I’ve done a lot of research on this diet and there are a lot of bad food choices one could make, but, like anything else, they’re choices. I went ketogenic about 2 and a half months ago and I can tell you it’s the best I’ve ever felt in my lifetime. My goal was not to lose weight. I’m a health enthusiast and work out at the gym 4 days a week. My goal was to reduce Inflamation and body fat. My Inflamation is significantly lower almost nonexistent and my body fat percentage went from 19.5% to 15.6%. My weight did drop by 15lbs (not wanted) but stabilized now. But what is really remarkable is my mental clarity, emotional state and stamina (no extreme highs or lows in biorhythm) has shot through the roof. My food choices are incorporating lots of good organic greens and low glycemic fruits & vegetables, organic grass fed meats, eggs and dairy. I do introduce slower carb root veggies on occasion. I also supplement with vitamins, some herbs and minerals.

  19. Joanne Mele says:

    Apparently you have much misinformation about the ketogenic diet….. at least the true ketogenic diet which was to my knowledge developed by John Hopkins University for epileptic children and some adults .

    1. Robyn says:

      that’s a study, from john hopkins….not the original developer of the diet. it’s not that i have “misinformation” about “the” diet, because there is no “the” diet…..just a lot of marketers and food manufacturers wanting to get in on the trend. there are LOTS of permutations of the diet out there, as everyone wants on the bandwagon.

      some people “do keto” eating lots of veggies and greens. the studies thus far show that the primary way it is PRACTICED, though, is with too little plant food and excessive oils and animal products.

      and my question is: just because fats are GOOD, we’ve learned (since the 1980’s low-fat diet cult)….why do we have to OVEREAT them, and villainize carbohydrate whole foods?

      the fact that eliminating carbs for the specific issue of pediatric epilepsy was fairly successful (except, they can’t keep the kids on that diet, it’s not sustainable long term) gave oxygen to the fad diet as the answer to everything.

  20. sus says:

    Robyn, Thanks so much for your contribution to the diet conversation. You are so right about the commercialization of every fad diet to the point that any good that was there is lost in the frenzy of money making. I do believe that both Paleo (particularly AIP for autoimmune conditions) and Keto (for pediatric epilepsy) have their place, but certainly only in their purest forms, i.e. where vegetables are the centerpiece (for example, the Wahls Protocol’s heaping plates of veggies). It has always bothered me when any whole foods are excluded from diets, (except in the case of the various healing diets for chronic disease) as I believe that foods come from God for our sustenance, and that a healthy lifestyle can contain a huge variety of foods of all kinds. I do think that we must be lovers of truth, and seek to learn from all who are searching as well, and also that we must watch out for the corrupting influence of money, since the desire to make money can cloud our judgment. Wishing you the best!

  21. Cindy in OH says:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the subject.
    My research on Keto is ongoing but here are some of my thoughts and questions.

    1. Would a traditional Eskimo diet be considered Keto? If so they did not have troubles with cancer and remained healthy. I’m unsure on what their longevity looked like.
    2. Dominic D’Agostino on video said he has been doing Keto for 10 years. So far so good for him.
    3. Toni Bark MD does a vegan keto diet so is it whole food plant based?
    4. A doctor (can’t remember who) in a video said that ketosis will only last about 3 weeks before the liver begins to make carbohydrates. So they suggested discontinuing the Keto diet for 1 week a month.
    5. Are we equipped with a primary carbohydrate digestive system and a backup fat digestive system?

    From a sustainability issue plant based whole foods is best. If we did away with commercial meat product and everyone had to hunt or fish that would be a step in the right direction.

    Every disease is caused by deficiency and/or toxicity. Maximizing nutrition and minimizing toxicity are fundamental to health in this day and age. Plants are our lifeline, try animal protein weekly not daily.

    No more hypertension medication, arthritis has stopped progressing, and feeling great with extra energy at 56 years young. Neuro-muscular issues disappeared with mercury amalgam removal. EWOT, juicing, IV chelation, vitamins, minerals and herbals. No doctor required except for IV chelation.

    Human evolution has kept a fat and carbohydrate burning system. How much should each be used? Eventually we will have an answer.

    Thanks again for tackling a hot topic in a thoughtful way.

    1. tanya says:

      Thanks for mentioning the Eskimo diet with, traditionally, is very high, saturated fat. But in those very cold winters, they burn that fat just to stay alive.

      And again, thanx for mentioning Toni Bark’s veggie keto diet. That seems to be what I lean towards myself and am always looking for interesting recipes that support this. For sweets I lean towards fruits or non-sugary goodies like plantain cake which uses the natural sweetness of the ripe plantain or even using things like sweet potato or squash in things like no-sugar fudge. These foods feel really different in my body. Last nite I went to a food event that had carrot cake. Even a teeny taste felt toxic in my body. Feel similarly to eating rice these day as I have stopped eating it. Learned years ago that if you stop eating something for awhile and then eat it again, your body will let you know asap if that food is good for you or not. Even the white sticky rice in the kimbop sat poorly in my mouth.

    2. Robyn says:

      hi Cindy, the Eskimo diet is a strange one, and they actually have an obesity issue and don’t have great longevity…but they ALSO don’t eat processed food, so any healthier outcomes, that has to be factored in, too? so, that’s an interesting one i’ve studied it as well, but it’s a mixed bag of results.

      yes, ketosis is a problematic concept. and i wish we’d all just let go of this whole thing. ketosis is not the holy grail that will make us healthy. fasting for 1 or more days a month is a great idea, though.

      vegan keto: yeah, i have a longtime friend who is teaching “vegan keto” as well. i guess people want to get in on the fad, while the getting’s good! (huge money maker, because everyone’s talking about it.) while vegan keto seems an improvement over bacon-and-butter keto…..i still fail to see the evidence that the long-term outcomes will be positive. just eat whole foods. including carbohydrates.

      D’Agostino….yeah, several people in the comments are holding him up as their idol. we can always find an idol. it’s still an unnatural diet with no evidence of positive long-term outcomes. there is a lot of evidence that Atkins’ similar diet caused diabetes, cardiac issues, and more.

      to your #5, we have a 30′ to 35′ digestive tract that NEEDS a lot of fiber. we can digest all three macronutrients, but lots of fiber and only small amounts of animal products seems to be what our GI tract is adapted to.

      congrats getting off the meds!! you sound like you’ve done lots of research on your own. kudos!!

  22. lovajoy says:

    I don’t get your contention that ketogenic is devoid of plant food. Exactly the opposite. Keto is based on high fats (>60%) and low carb and low protein. Most of the good fats are plant derived – avocados, coconut oil and other healthy vegetable oils. Moreover, one can basically eat a lot of vegetables – even though they are classified as a carb, their carb content is low as they are basically fiber. Two thirds of the plate should vegetables.

    1. tanya says:

      Agree. It is a very confusing thing to talk about carbs without qualifying the difference between vegetable carbs and processed food carbs like grains/sugar and their derivative foods. No one so far as mentioned the damaging effects of corn and soy oil with their high Omega-6 content, particularly the GMO variation of these crops. No one has talked about how Big Ag seriously went after coconut oil which is not a North American crop so no profit from it. No one has talked about how the food industry NEVER did research on the difference between saturated fats and hyrogenated fats. They were both thick and both attacked as bad for us. Big lie that is still ongoing and the medical industry still supports it. Of course most of the medical industry is supported by Big Pharma money which thrives on disease, not health!
      It seems important that we develop a new language for differentiating between vegetable carbs that we desperately need and grains and processed carbs that we desperately need to avoid. Some people talk about staying away from white foods but that can eliminate things like turnips, radishes and other root veggies which is not what is meant.

  23. Ivory says:

    Wow, can’t wait to start my green smoothie diet. I love your site. Thanks for all the helpful tips, good, bad, or indifferent. Happy 2018

  24. Bobby Hartway says:


    I endorse your recommendations, but I think this discussion has caused a lot of misunderstandings.
    I see that ‘diet’ comparisons brings out great debate on all sides, along with a lot of misstatements, misunderstandings, erroneous arguments, and omissions. Mostly, I find it all educational, and thought provoking, and that is good, since it gets most people really thinking about what is healthy and what is not, instead of just reacting to what ‘side’ they may want to take. The one omission I would like to point out though, to all I see discussed here, is that there has not been an obvious clarification that ALL foods should be ORGANIC, NON-GMO, and WILD CAUGHT or PASTURE RAISED. Also, even if veggies ARE organic, it doesn’t mean they were grown in healthy, natural soil, as compared to sterile, depleted soil, which even if fertilized will be missing all of nature’s micronutrients which are totally necessary for good health. As to the water we drink, it would ideally be nature’s uncontaminated spring-water, which almost nobody can get. Most of us will have to filter our water with super-filtering to remove chlorine, fluoride, industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, growth hormones, and pathogenic organisms. That leaves essentially distilled water, which is unhealthy unless the pH is balanced and trace minerals added back in.
    As for me, I am tending to believe that all our health is dependent upon getting the right microbiome balance in the gut, which usually requires detox and cleansing and removing any parasites, then a period of gut cleansing by doing an ‘elimination’ diet, then re-inoculation of the gut with proper prebiotics and probiotics [fermented foods are perfect for doing this], and finally then eating only clean, healthy foods, including some fermented foods.
    As to what kind of diet this would be, I like to think of this overall approach as an ‘autoimmune diet’ – which is of course yet another diet fad, if you want to think of ‘diets’.
    So, as for my opinion, ALL diets are doomed except this autoimmune diet, since almost ALL our food is poisoned or compromised or corrupted or sterile. You just about have to raise your own food on natural soil with only natural water. Indeed, a very small percentage of people have started doing just this – including me.
    Just call me ‘Prairie Bob’. And, by the way, my sister down the road goes by ‘Prairie Mary’. And, yes, we live in the Old West, and are quite old. If we were younger, we would probably be called ‘Preppers”.
    God Bless Everyone, and God Bless America, and keep up your good work, Green Smoothie Girl!

    1. Robyn says:

      hey Prairie Bob! agree on all….though the AIP is a good diet for people who are immune-compromised, while they heal their gut—but it bans grains, legumes, some vegetables, and those shouldn’t be off the table for healthy people. they’re a huge part of the mediterranean and blue zones’ diets, and the diets of healthy people for a few million years now.

  25. Janice says:

    Thanks, Robyn. I’ve not subscribed or purchased any of your GSG products (yet), but do have your book, “Vibe”. Your suggested way of eating is basically common sense, which some lack. Biggest single factor, in my humble opinion, is to eat organic, whenever possible. I know some “studies” claim there’s no nutritional difference, but my taste buds tell me they are a whole lot better and go a long ways cutting out “the crap”, i.e. pesticides, herbicides, hormones, as well as other “enhancing” chemicals and sugars.
    In short, and in general, those who eat plant-based live a happier and higher quality life. Yes, we become what we eat. Appreciate your encouragement.

    1. tanya says:

      Studies that show no nutritional difference between organic and conventionally/GMO grown foods are typically done by the Big Ag industry itself or Monsanto. Those are studies that set up a goal to prove and often manipulate the data or misrepresent the data and so are false, just simply marketing tools for these industries. All independent studies show the difference.
      Even logic would tell you that from the simple fact that toxic chemicals such as Glyphosate (Roundup) are designed to chelate important minerals out of offending bugs. They do the same in our body when eating that foodstuff. The chemical does not break down easily as is the marketing propaganda. This list of problems with industry promoted/funded ‘research’ is quite long. Further, it IS the nutrients, including the trace minerals that make food taste so much better

  26. Brenda says:

    First, Happy New Year! Second, I’m glad you and yours are okay from the mishap!
    And, my comment is, my husband, and I get fast food now and then but we usually come back to Green Smoothies from your 12 steps book we bought which brings us back around to trying to eat right.
    Thanks for the above information plus your time and effort to keep us healthy.

  27. M says:

    I have been dieting for the past 50 years. Ive been on almost every diet known to “man”. I’ve only been able to lose weight on low carb diets and they have seemed to be the easiest to continue long term. I agree with you, Robyn, because you make sense to me. I recently lost 30lbs, mostly from the old Scarsdale diet, but basically from cutting out sugar, pasta, rice, potatoes and all junk foods.
    Felt awful for weeks, but finally felt better. A1c was down and stopped Metformin.
    Okay, since losing the weight, I’ve been doing Keto and although for once in my life, I have maintained the weight loss, I have not been losing any more weight. Atkins suggested eating cream cheese to get the weight to start moving again, this is not working at all.
    So, as I agree with you, I am totally confused as to what to do as far as getting the scale moving downward again.
    Healthy, high veggie, low protein diets haven’t worked well for me. Way too boring, if I can be so direct.

  28. Alden Huckvale says:

    I was saving up to take your class, but no more. I’m really surprised to see you representing or should I say misrepresenting the Paleo diet. I’m totally against anyone who misrepresents for their own ends. Please read Sarah Ballantyne’s book and to get a thorough understanding of the Paleo diet.

    1. Robyn says:

      hey Alden, you wouldn’t have liked my program anyway, as we aren’t the Paleo fad you’re committed to. we lean FAR towards eating plants, not animals, in the 12 Steps program (which is probably the “class” you’re referring to? the “detox” is 100% plant based, so if you like Paleo, you wouldn’t like our detox either).

      I’ve read extensively on the Paleo diet for many years–I don’t know if you missed, in the article, where I said the things I really like, about the diet? I just don’t like fad diets. And, the “Paleo Diet,” while noble in getting people off processed food (I didn’t need a diet fad to get me off processed food, personally), advocates for far too much animal product, and has nothing to do with what Paleolithic cultures were actually eating, according to quite a few anthropologists, did you check out the YouTube video detailing that? The fact that it’s called “paleo” while not at all what paleolithic cultures ate, is just a demonstration of how it’s a fad. not the end-all, be-all of nutrition science.

  29. Mary says:

    I had been on a no carb, no sugar, no fat diet for almost a year and I lost 45 lbs, but I was unable to lose anymore weight, so I decided to take a break for a while. In the interim I have been doing my own research to the point where I became overwhelmed and confused.

    I was leaning toward the Ketogenic Diet, but I was warned by my health professional that I should reconsider as I have brought my cholesterol down sharply on the previous diet as well as controlled my blood sugars.

    I am now leaning toward the whole foods diet….when I prepare the meals I would say there is now one part meat and three parts vegetables for our meals. I have almost abstained totally from sugars. I buy treats from the organic section for my husband, because the regular desserts have such a huge list of ingredients and I would have to have a chemical dictionary with me! I prefer to bake for my husband. I keep it simple, like making a healthier cookie or dessert breads. I cook almost everything. If I make the family pasta, I have a small amount or none. In the past few weeks we have eased up on the pastas and focused more on sprouted bread, (which I do partake in) and brown rice and beans.

    On the diet plan I couldn’t have beans, brown rice, sprouted bread or any grain for that matter. I am now focused on a more common sense approach to eating. I used to force myself to eat in the mornings but now I wait until I am hungry and that might not be until noon or three in the afternoon. I guess you could call that intermittent fasting? Surprisingly I have not gained nor lost weight since I have been off the no carb, no sugar, no fat diet. I was concerned that I would yo-yo. I weigh myself frequently, so I know if there would be a weight change.

    After reading your article, I have to admit I was a bit depressed, since I had considered those diets, but now, I am going to go with what I believe is right for me and focus on more vegetables, some fruits, healthy carbs and small portions of meat. If I need to cut out meat later on, I think I can do it if I ease myself into it. All in all your article was thought provoking.

    1. Robyn says:

      Mary, I hope you’re NOT depressed, and instead feel empowered that eating a whole-foods diet is easier than you think. here’s a short video masterclass about how I got free of the diets and just started eating 95%+ whole foods, and got well and found my ideal weight, without counting calories or following the fads. i hope it serves.


  30. TL says:

    Interesting. Personally, I didn’t read all the details about the keto diet once I discovered that I had to keep up with whether or not I was in ketosis, then have days I came off ketosis, etc. WAY too much time & mental energy spent on food, which is not what I want to spend it on! For myself, I eliminated all white flour, all whole grains that aren’t organic, almost all rice & rice products, and most sugar. I eat more veggies & fruits, eat mostly fish & chicken when I eat meat, & not only have lost weight, but food has lost its hold on me. It may sound silly, but it’s no longer difficult to be hungry for a while if the only alternative is to eat something I shouldn’t! Oh, & I also drink lots of green smoothies! I just turned 62, and have more energy than most people half my age, and I teach high school full time & go to many after school activities! The positive from those diets for me is that I’m no longer afraid to eat avocados, coconut oil, & free-range eggs. My problem now is that I don’t need to lose any more weight, and I never thought that would be an issue!!
    Thanks for being brave enough to share what you believe is best for people, even though it means you will get a lot of criticism – that takes guts!

    1. Robyn says:

      HI TL….on a basic, logical level, measuring one’s ketones obsessively doesn’t seem like a natural or normal way to live, and what you’ve said here is part of why the fad doesn’t resonate with me. i did a water fast for 9 days at an ashram, a year ago, and a man there who was trying to starve out candida, measured his ketones and blood sugar obsessively, every hour. sometimes, despite FASTING, he wasn’t “in ketosis.” the obsession, paranoia, time kill, and just strangeness of it doesn’t seem like the way we were meant to eat/think.

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