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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

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

Leave a Comment
  1. Chava says:

    Reading Vibe. I love it! I don’t keep to keto or paleo, but Sean Croxton’s “Jerf” (just eat real food). 😛
    But I do have a friend who kept to keto for a while and loved it! She and her husband felt great! They only stopped due to a move and other technical issues.. They would go right back to it if they could.. It seemed to really work for them!

    1. Robyn says:

      hey Chava. i like “jerf!” haha. although lots of people would argue that pork fat cured with nitrates/nitrites is “real” food. so there’s that issue–how to define it. pigs have no lymphatic system, their flesh/fatty products don’t digest quickly and of course have no fiber….their juices have the same chemical composition as urine. i guess some people think the taste is divine; i don’t even like the SMELL of bacon after not eating it for 25 years. anyway, it’s a great concept, to at least eliminate the processed food.

      people who feel good on keto, just like people who feel good on Eat RIght For Your Blood Type (debunked, based on the fact that all the cultures of the world have ALL the blood types)…..feel good because they got off all sugars and processed food.

      however, it’s their long-term disease risk that is at stake.

      1. Helen Pierce says:

        Hi Robyn,
        I really appreciate this discussion and your mission to get people to think more about their dietary choices. I just have a tiny quibble with your statement that pigs have no lymohatic system. Pigs are mammals and all mammals have lymphatic systems. As a student studying biology and dissected a fetal pig in the recent past, I just couldn’t look past that! Best regards!

      2. Chava says:

        Haha, I wish I had seen this earlier, no worries here about eating pig – I keep strictly kosher and wouldn’t touch the stuff! 😀

  2. Stephanie says:

    Thank you for writing this! You eloquently put words to what I have had swirling in my mind. As a former low carb-er now turned vegetarian, I have been struggling to explain my concerns to others about keto and lchf diets.

    1. Robyn says:

      Stephanie, what did your “low carb” diet look like? How did you feel on it, and how long did you do it?

  3. Tuli Ross says:

    You are absolutely RIGHT!!!! My partner found this out to his detriment. The result of a few months on the Ketogenic diet brought on a heart attack. One of his arteries of the heart blocked with an occlusion of 90-99%.
    So, now please pass this on!

    1. Marilyn says:

      Thank you, Tuli! I found this article to be true too. While not eating a whole lot of meats, especially bacon, I followed the keto diet by cutting out grains. I had a heart attack in November which required 4 stents and 100% blockage on the right side. Although the past 1 & 1/2 years I have gone organic, I thought the keto diet was best, using lots of coconut oil and eggs. I am not one for Western Medicine, but do believe my cardio doctor telling me about eating solid oils will clog arteries. I can’t imagine bacon which on a rare occasion only for me, would be good for anyone’s arteries regularly.

      1. tanya says:

        Sorry but your doctor sounds as ignorant as they come. Did you ask him if he knew the difference between hydrogenated fats and saturated ones? I bet he doesn’t and has subscribed to the propaganda and delusions of the agricultural industry. As for your cardiac issues, very sorry for you, but I doubt coconut oil or eggs caused them. I would want to know a lot about your lifestyle and eating in great detail before succumbing to the lies of the medical industry. Grains do not keep your arteries clean, but inflammation in your body will cause all kinds of mischief. Particularly years of eating processed and chemically grown food stuffs will make your body acidic and prone to problems. FYI, Mercola has, for years been talking about how our body need cholesterol to survive and the fact that saturated fats are not the problem but inflammation is.

        You may be aware of the fact that just because 2 things occur in a similar time frame, is not proof that one causes the other.

        1. Tanya, maybe Marilyn’s cardio doctor cannot tell her the difference between hydrogenated oil and saturated ones, BUT that no big deal, since it obvious to her cardiologist that the BLOOD IS WATER, AND NOT FAT !!!! Anyway, the whole point why they hydrogenated a polyunsaturated oil is to MAKE IT LIKE A SATURATED ONE, meaning ADDING HYDROGEN to the double bonds, The problem is not the hydrogenation, I synthesized it in my chemistry lab 50 years ago, the PROBLEM IS the hydrogens are ADDED TO the TRANS POSITION, and in Nature, it all in THE CIS POSITION, so it UNNATURAL !!!! for our enzymes to metabolize.And you need to understand HOW DIETARY FAT is transported from the Enterocytes up to the Subclavian vein and into the Atrium of the Heart…….FAT CAUSE INFLAMMATION in the Endothelium !!!! Check it out on Cardio SCAN.

          1. tanya says:

            We disagree here. It is a big deal that a doctor does not know the difference between these fats and how they affect the body: one is harmful, the other beneficial. My understanding is the hydrogenated/trans fats change the shape of the fat molecule which affects the cell’s ability to help its proper use of enzymes. As one article stated “Eating trans fat is like throwing sand into your finely regulated metabolic machinery.” Another take on the issue:

            “The Harvard Schools of Public Health announced in 1993 that margarine, a product made from hydrogenated oils, can increase the risk for heart disease by as much as 70 percent in women. An article in the American Journal of Public Health in 1994, written by Harvard nutritionist Walter Willett, reported that margarine and other processed foods could be the cause of 30,000 of the country´s approximately 750,000 yearly deaths from cardiovascular disease.”

            This kind of belief system by the allopathic community and taught to the public is why I have such skepticism of the medical industry and any other practitioners whose training is based on it.

    2. Robyn says:

      Tuli, I’m very sad to hear this!!

    3. Cindy in OH says:

      Sorry to hear about your partner’s medical situation. Do look into the research on Liposheric vitamin C (from LivOn Labs). Dr. Thomas Levy has several books and the subject and Mathis Rath assisted Linus Pauling and has an excellent book. Also look into dental issues like mercury amalgams and root canals. Arterial plague much of the time contains nasty stuff that originated in the mouth. Dr. Thomas Levy and Dr. Kulacz have a book about dental toxins. I hope this is helpful to you.

  4. tanya says:

    This has got to be one of the longest blog discussions yet, and for the most part quite civil. Glad to know Robin deleted abusive comments which would have had a destructive impact on the discussion. Sorry Robin had to suffer those attacks, but did address this in a previous comment.

    What I will say summarily is that all these personal experiences are all predicated on exactly how people make the changes in their diet and exactly what they are doing. I always question the negative experiences when so many are having good success. While intending to do good, often harm is created because their is imbalance or some quirky thing that destroys success. As for all the medical people/studies Robin cites? I am quite cynical and skeptical about them as anything coming from the medical industry should be. They are the last resource that I go to. But will trust people who base their claims on history as well as holistic perspectives and experience much more. And then will always factor in individual differences.

    In this regard let me share something from a talk on species appropriate diets for cats. This vet, a homeopathic one, talked about the importance of understanding where a cat genetically developed geographically. Cat breeds that developed near oceans or water bodies tended to be the ones that liked fish. Other cats do not. Cats that developed inland where fish was not a staple, tended to prefer meats which are more like what they ate in the wild. This is also the basis of the macrobiotic mandate to eat what is grown locally and in season. It has to do with living in synch with nature. Our problem is that we are a nation of people who come from all over the world with all its micro and macro climates and soil differences. And given the human cross-breeding we are a genetically complicated and mutated species. This means, at least to me, that we need to be totally responsible for getting to know our own body and what it needs. Everything else is just someone else’s idea that we can think about, even try, but never automatically assume is correct for us.

    1. Robyn says:

      tanya…..the “medical people” i cite, you would love. because i’m right there with you. most people with an M.D. degree don’t have any background in nutrition. the experts i cite are authors of functional medicine and nutrition books and are researchers whose work i’ve followed for many years. they aren’t just random medical people.

      yes, our genetic adaptation is part of the puzzle! i did an interview with Joel Fuhrman, MD (one of those I quoted–you would love his work, not a regular “medical person,” his book Eat to Live changed my life)…..and he talked about how your microbiome can totally change, in just DAYS or even HOURS….based on what you feed it. so, there’s another part of the puzzle….

      1. tanya says:

        Thank you for your response which I just discovered. I must say that I am pretty skeptical of almost all so-called experts, even holistic ones as many are on a band wagon just as wrong-headed or limited as the allopaths. I often find they latch on to an idea as if they just discovered it themselves while ignoring the 1000’s of years of experience amongst traditional and lay practitioners both here and worldwide. I was quite intrigued when I began to read how lightening fast gut bacteria can change from harmful to beneficial and back again. For that matter i am understanding they can even change their species of micro-organism such as from virus to bacteria, etc. Quite amazing. What I learned in studying homeopathy is that the terrain is everything. Our susceptibility is what creates dis-ease states, not the little buggers we are always admonished to fear. Well, I don’t. Germs are our friends is my motto as they help create our immune strength. Not that I subscribe to eating filth, but I also am not participating in the hysteria about keeping everything sterile. Babies get their first dose of gut bacteria on their first trip into the world; ie, from the birth canal.
        So we can alter our gut biome so quickly simply by feeding it the good stuff–broccoli, cabbage, greens, etc.

        As for healing protocols, including diets, I am one that likes to look at all that comes my way and chose what seems best based on what makes me feel healthy and vibrant. Today I lean toward Paleo and Keto but I will never be that fanatical as that is just not my nature. But not eating grains of any sort feels good altho in this very cold weather I seem to want some heartier food; ie, beans, sweet potatoes, etc. I love plantains as a better substitute for regular bananas which rattle my sugar levels something awful and have been learning some interesting, super simple recipes for using them (I am a lazy/impatient cook).

        I will consider reading the Joel Furman book, or at least looking him up to see what he is about. I think we agree of some things and not others and that is okay. I do appreciate this civil dialogue here, especially as most online devolve into Cognitive Dissonant rageful attacks and are useless for growth.

        1. Barbara says:

          I am enjoying this discussion for the most part but I have to say that I am especially enjoying and learning from your posts. I’m glad you are sharing. Robyn too, of course.

          1. tanya says:

            Thank you Barbara. Really enjoy being able to share knowledge. I think I was born to be a health advocate (LOL).

  5. Jani Lupša says:

    Like dr. Mercola would say: The Devil is in the detail.
    You make it sound like ketogenic diet is something really bad. That may be true for what BigFood is trying to sell.
    Dr. Mercola’s variation includes taking notes about your food intake in cronometer.com, eating high quality fats, organic vegetables, virtually no packaged foods, clean water and limiting NET CARBS. Net carbs get converted to sugar and you don’t burn fat if there is sugar available.
    Also dr. Mercola warns about long term nutritional ketosis. You need “cheat days” of higher carbs to get health benefits.
    That is something completely different than packaged food industry sells as “keto friendly”.
    You need to be aware of what you are eating and drinking is as clean and free of pesticides as possible.
    Some say that flax oil is healthy, maybe even you, Robyn. But in reality flax is highly perishable after opening, so ground flax or flax oil is long rancid before we buy it. That is true for most oils, except perhaps virgin olive oil.

    1. Robyn says:

      agree on all, Jani. some people are taking great pains to do Keto in a vegan way, and getting lots of vegetables on their plate….but I’m very concerned about people having cardiac events, stroke, digestive shutdown, diabetes, and more. it doesn’t seem natural to me, to have people obsessing over measuring ketones. i don’t look to mercola as my nutrition guru. he just paid out $1.5M for fraudulently selling door-hanging tanning beds to his customers. then there’s that old nutritional typing program he sold, and the whey protein…..i just wish we could stay grounded, in the basics of what’s true and helpful, in nutrition, and drop all these weird fads.

      1. Jani Lupša says:

        I respect dr. Mercola a lot. He admits that he’s done a lot of mistakes, learned and “upgraded” his knowledge and teaching. I’ve read about his safe tanning beds years ago. He recommended them to get vitamin D naturally when you can’t get it from the sun. I think they’ve punished him on some bureaucratic technicality just because of what he represents.
        His articles are usually very cool-headed with good arguments unlike a lot of “alternative” community (Mike Adams uses too bombastic style for my taste).
        Mercola has done a lot to let the world know about vitamin D, HFCS, amalgam, GMO, vaccines, … Now he’s warning about electrosmog (mobile phones, wifi, …) just as you do (I’ve got your program 😉 and also blue light pollution, LED lighting and effects on the eye retina. I’ve purchased his book Fat for fuel and also his program MMT. He has tested effects of LCHF on himself with body glucose monitor for 6 months when he figured out the effects of nutritional ketosis on insulin and blood sugar.
        I doubt anybody criticizing Keto has done any testing on themselves.

        If your point is to show that people like to cut corners and do what’s easy (packaged foods), any “diet” can be abused and detrimental for health. There are more ways to it wrong than to do it right and get health benefits.

        PS: I’ve also purchased your 26-day detox manual (overseas customer) and hope to try it out soon (I’ve recently bought a high speed blender and drink smoothies more often). We all need to “clean house” more often to keep healthy. Intermittent and water only fasting is also a way to do that.

      2. Stephanie says:

        If you have read the Paleo Approach you can see it is all based on science. The Paleo diet and AIP saved my life (and countless other people). When I became sick I was eating a very clean vegetarian diet. Now I eat tons of veggies and source the best meat and have never been healthier. I don’t believe you have the educational background or experience to disregard it. What works for one may not work for another. Smoothies make me feel terrible.

        1. Robyn says:

          Stephanie, most people drinking “smoothies” aren’t having what we demo. They’re drinking a lot of sugar. Most people’s smoothies are fruit and whey protein.

          Also, you don’t have to drink smoothies to get lots more greens, vegetables and superfoods in your diet.

          Paleo doesn’t have a corner on the market for “science” actually. If you’re interested in more info, let me know and I’ll share some sources. Each has many, many references on the dangers of eating so much animal protein like most “doing paleo” are doing.

          Have you seen the PowerPoint lecture on YouTube of the anthropologist explaining that the “paleo” diet has nothing to do with with Paleolithic man was actually eating? There are always doctors and cherry picked “evidence” behind every fad diet we are sold.

          And if you’re eating cleaner, that’s categorically a good thing!

        2. Jani Lupša says:

          Dr. Mercola explains that if you eat too much animal protein, you will get bad health consequences. If there is not enough carbs to be converted to sugar, the liver starts converting excess protein to sugar. The effect of excess protein is similar to excess carbs with added nitrogen waste that your kidneys have to eliminate.
          Liver doesn’t convert fat to sugar, but it uses it to create ketones as fuel.
          You need to be careful with eating animal products. More animal products = shorter life.

  6. Diana Flor says:

    Thank you, Robyn. I agree whole heartedly. God bless you.

  7. Barbara says:

    Hi Robyn. Sorry if you have already addressed this but I haven’t found it. I am wondering how much meat or fish is a little or too much? I am eating 5-8 ounces of meat or fish per day on the AIP.


    I do have a question about lectins found in seeds, nuts and tomatoes and nightshade vegies. They are supposed to be at the top of the list for causing inflammation, yet you include them in your healthy eating plan. I love these foods, but have an increasing amount of osteoarthritis in my body causing pain. Can you explain?

    1. Robyn says:

      hi Marti, I don’t have a prescriptive eating plan. I DO have 12 Steps to Whole Foods….is that what you mean? The Blue Zones, worldwide, and people for literally millions of years have eaten legumes as part of a healthy diet. And I have recipes with legumes. Lectins are an anti nutrient and my staff can dig up a blog post, if you want it, about how anti nutrients are in most foods and they aren’t bad; they may actually have an important role. However, people with a damaged gut from years of eating processed food, GMO’s perhaps, lots of animal products, and people who have taken lots of chemical medications ESPECIALLY antibiotics, may have gut issues and be reactive to foods, including some very healthy foods.

      So, for you, you may want to avoid the legumes while you heal your gut!

  9. Andrea says:

    Right on, Robyn! It is so refreshing to hear the truth. Also alot of common sense. Thank you so much for your insights.

  10. Nina Mironenko says:

    Seems as though you’re trying to make some noise by mischaracterizing the paleo/low carb diets. They are not high protein… unsubscribing from your emails.

    1. Joy says:

      I agree! I heal an autoimmune disease going paleo. Also, it’s not all meat. They focus on quality meats and tons of veggies. 75% of my plate is veggies and the other is healthy fats and meat.

      1. Robyn says:

        Sounds like you’re doing the diet in a very sensible way. I’ve not seen a paleo or keto breakfast that is “mostly veggies.” And, with fruits and grains like oatmeal banned, and most people eating 50-60 percent of their calories as meat on paleo, health consequences result as documented in Michaels Greger MD’s book Carbophobia, Ari Whitten and Wade Smith MD’s book The Low Carb Myth and many other reviews of the literature on these low carb diets. This isn’t what the blue zones, Mediterranean cultures and other healthiest cultures of the world eat. I don’t care if someone is vegetarian or vegan but, while I didn’t say the diet is all meat, it is very heavily meat. This is also unsustainable ecologically.

        1. Grandma says:

          Most people absolutely DO NOT eat 50-60 percent of their calories as meat on paleo. Where do you get your misinformation? The recommendation is no more than 4-6 oz per meal (2-3 meals per day), anywhere from 25-40 percent. GOOD fat makes up the vast majority of calories. It is far more heavy on veggies than meat, but veggies just don’t have the same calories in bulk. As for my own personal experience, this is what I can tell you – my entire life I have dealt with severe sugar cravings, so severe you cannot even comprehend them, and the only time in my life those cravings have stopped is when I’m in ketosis. I have tried every diet out there, including vegan, vegetarian and Mediterranean, and none ever stopped my sugar cravings. I have personally seen thousands of cases where people following paleo/keto diets were able to get off diabetes meds, depression meds, blood pressure meds, statins, meds for autoimmune disorders, etc., so there is no way anyone is ever going to be able to convince me (or those cured by it) that keto/paleo is bad or unsustainable.

          1. Jim says:

            Kudo’s!! The general public is so misinformed regarding low carb, high (good) fats and moderate protein on Keto/Paleo diets, or should I say, life style! There is so much real science behind this to support your position. The general public has been led to believe that “low fat” is the best approach to good health, look where it has gotten us, 40% obesity rate, children with fatty livers and the cancer rates increasing throughout the world as they adopt our SAD. Look, we’re all on the same team of pursuing optimal health, whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, Keto or Paleo etc. Do the research, primal man ate meat and vegetation. He had no access to grains until around 12,000 years ago. Keto/Paleo, vegetarian has been around for 2.6 million years. They didn’t have an abundance of food. They ate when food was available. Therefore, they were in ketosis “most” of the time. If this was so bad how would we as a human species survived? BTW, that didn’t have to deal with , GMO’s, glysophate, herbicides, Frankenstein Food, foods laden with added sugars and other toxins. Let’s use our purchasing power as consumers and refuse to eat processed and junk foods and start a real food revolution, demanding real wholesome food, instead of fighting amongst ourselves! Write to the General Mills and the likes, and let them know you will not be buying their products until they produce real food with no added ingredients that you would need a biochemistry degree to interpret.

        2. Sophia says:

          Unfortunately you must be following people who eat a "lazy or dirty keto" lifestyle! Most of us eat about 20-25% protein a day and from well sourced meats as well as nuts, nutbutters, eggs, seeds etc. Most of my meals are mainly veggies with a little protein and alot of good fats. I have followed people who have been Keto for 8 or more years and doing better than ever! I read 1,000’s of comments of A1C gone, off all meds, cholesterol lowered, BP lower, IBS, Croins, ADD, ADHD symptoms gone or much improved! Me personally, I have lowered my cholesterol from high to normal and my inflammation markers are amazing now! My brain fog was gone almost immediately and my energy is so improved (I have a very slow thyroid). I used to have adema but those symptoms seem to be gone. Now after a year and a half I can also feel the muscle mass that is being created as well. (I do not work out other than walking, hiking etc. and my biceps would think I work them out daily).
          My point here is that many people can do a diet or a way of eating absolutely incorrectly and it can be very damaging to the body but if you do it correctly it can be life changing! The ketogenics diet has been around for almost 100 years now so there is something to be said about that. And it was created for Epileptic kids. I wonder what your thoughts are on the new 9 part series "the skinny on fat"?

  11. Kimberly Vander Ley says:

    It is important that those that promote these high protein and fat diets make sure that they mention present disorders that one might have which make them a greater health risk for the person desiring to follow the Photogenic diet or Paleo diet.

  12. Carol says:

    I certainly appreciate the perspective that ditching processed foods and focusing on the micronutrients and fiber found in plant foods are foundational for any healthy way of eating. I do feel, though, that some of the generalized targeting of “diets” is unfair. As you said about your own book, the publishers insisted it be called a diet, and so it’s lumped with other approaches, and some of these other approaches have caveats as well that I don’t think you’ve addressed in an unbiased way.

    Many people are suffering from chronic illnesses and are looking for ways to find a new normal that supports health and decreases inflammation. Plant foods are the best cure…within limits for certain people with certain conditions; for instance, epileptics, who benefit from ketosis as Dr. Christiansen mentioned, don’t benefit from a plant-based diet. I have Type I diabetes as well as celiac disease as well as thyroid disease. I’ve been self-experimenting with many different approaches in trying to manage my own health and prevent more autoimmune conditions: elimination diets, AIP, low-carb, keto, etc. I’d say I’m a mixture of all those approaches now. I’d like to begin adding back more plant foods like legumes, gluten-free grains, fruits, etc., but my body doesn’t always react well.

    When I make a smoothie, even without fruit, my blood sugar rises faster than I can get my insulin to cover it. Dr. Berenstein of The Blood Sugar Solution explains that when the carbohydrate chains are broken by blending, the glycemic response increases. I have a continuous glucose monitor, so I sadly see that play out. So vegetables, yes. (Many of the AIP bloggers I follow have food photos with #morevegetablesthanavegetarian hashtags.) Fruits, not often, and smoothies, only rarely. When I eat fruit that isn’t a berry or make a smoothie I have to count the cost and worry about the rapid high and then usually a crash later because of taking too much insulin to keep the spike lower.

    All that to say, please don’t lump everyone together in their choices to follow a particular style of eating. Some are concerned with brain health, and have heard that higher fat diets can help with that. Some have autoimmune conditions and have heard that eliminating grains and legumes and eggs and nuts and dairy can help with that. Some have diabetes and are trying to control their blood sugars by limiting fruit and starchy carbs. We’re individuals looking for answers. I agree that we’re all too quick to follow the next big promise of a quick and easy cure. Some have to learn the hard way that their choices don’t work with their own chemistry.

    1. Robyn says:

      Hi Carol. You make a lot of good points. And some of them I also made in my post. The rest I have written about many times. I don’t teach vegetarianism or veganism. And don’t think that one thing works for all.

      Though if government supports fall out for meat and eggs, most won’t be able to afford them.

      They already make a paleo lifestyle very expensive.

      We would all do well to eat more plants. Those you see hash tagging that they eat more vegetables than a vegetarian might do just that! You can have nothing but twinkles and Diet Pepsi and be a “vegetarian!”

      But still, the average american eats 1-2 servings of produce a day. The average keto follower isn’t actually eating a lot of veggies.

      The average child eats less than one. And remember our government counts ketchup, fries, and juIce as “fruits and vegetables” in that number.

      So. We still have a desperate problem. My goal is to help people eat more plants. And develop critical thinking skills about diet. Rather than following a cult hero or a fad.

      You’ve already done so. You read all the books on AIP and the other diets you mentioned and you eat a Whole Foods diet.

      If everyone did that (it’s what I’ve done too, but like you I am committed to none of them) we wouldn’t have a problem.

      1. Carol says:

        Thanks for your response, Robyn. I wholeheartedly agree we have a desperate problem, and appreciate all you do to promote more plant consumption! And gosh, government involvement in our food supply? But that’s always been for our good. As for expense, that’s a real struggle, especially when focusing on free-range, wild-caught, grass-fed proteins, which is the only way to actually heal with an AIP moderate-carb approach. Thanks for reminding people to think before blindly following.

        1. Carol says:

          My rolling eyes emoji didn’t appear in my comment after the government remark. That was sarcasm, just in case someone takes that literally!!

          1. Robyn says:

            By the way Carol, I’ve not seen any EVIDENCE that putting greens and superfoods in a blended smoothie is anything but tremendously helpful. Overeating fruit or putting things like processed whey protein is what many do but not what we teach. I think there’s actual EVIDENCE of what happens that is destructive to health of meat products, though, especially barbecuing.

          2. Carol says:

            Yes, I haven’t explored any research about it, other than the N=1 type of research where I’m the only subject and what happens to me is the only thing that matters. 😉 When I drink a smoothie, MY blood sugar does wacko things that I can’t control with outside insulin (and then with additional fast-acting carbohydrate to counteract the crash a few hours later). It seems that no one has really done scientific trials of that, so I can only say what happens to me (and what other Type I diabetics have reported who try to tightly manage their blood sugars and so are very aware of how different foods and preparations affect them). I did run across a study, albeit from 1977, that compared the blood sugar response of whole apples, apple puree (which I guess could be similar to a smoothie), and apple juice. I found it very interesting, because it explains what I’m doing myself when trying to manage my blood sugar-after-smoothie event as opposed to what a “normal” pancreas would do.

            “Surprisingly, the fibre in whole apples did not slow down the rise in blood sugar after eating compared to juice, as is often claimed. More worryingly, the effect of juice or smoothie seemed to be to disrupt the normal mechanisms that keep blood sugar under control after the initial blood sugar rise after eating. The rebound fall in blood sugar in the second and third hours after drinking the smoothie or juice was in stark contrast to the steady levels seen after eating the apples.

            The greater rises in insulin after drinking the apple juice or smoothie means that more insulin was needed to keep blood sugar the same. Although drinking quickly reduced the peak in insulin a bit it didn’t help prevent the rebound drop in blood sugar. This means that removing the fibre from the apple, or even just breaking up the physical structure of the fibre, contributes to disrupting the normal mechanisms that regulate blood sugar and insulin after drinking it, compared to eating the fruit whole.

            If repeated regularly these inappropriate insulin responses and falls in blood sugar after drinking juice seem unlikely to be very good for you. In real world situations apple juice or smoothies are likely to be drunk in greater amounts than would be eaten as whole apples, further exacerbating these effects.” — Matthew Dalby, honey-guide.com, posted November 7, 2016

            This was only 10 people, none of whom were diabetics that I can tell, and there was only one food (apple) being tested. Combining a variety of superfoods in a smoothie would of course change the rate of response, the release of insulin, etc., and obviously smoothies shouldn’t be all fruit! I’d love to see a study using greens. However, trying to control and track all those variables for me, frankly, becomes a stressful event. I don’t use whey or any other prepackaged protein powder, although in the past I have experimented with adding some grass-fed collagen powder to see if the protein would slow the response, and I’ve used more fat like coconut milk and nut butter to see if the fat helps. My best balance has been coconut milk, spinach or kale, a tablespoon of nut butter, some collagen powder, and a handful of blueberries. I’ve found a few other combinations that are a little more predictable, but still not ideal.

            Again, it’s all individual response. I keep trying, because I really love the idea of getting a super hit of nutrients in one glass. It’s just that I’ve become more cautious about whole-heartedly recommending smoothies to other diabetics.

    2. Carol – very well said!
      We think that because it works for us then it MUST work for everyone, but we are all unique. Of course there are basic principles that always apply re real food etc. I have been doing low carb (but not high fat) for years and for the first time have maintained my weight and also reversed some health issues so I am bound to think its right for everyone else – we are all on an ever evolving journey of discovery! Best on yours

      1. Carol says:

        Thanks, Kathryn, it sure is hard not to think that what works best for ME should be the optimal plan for YOU! You’re right that having some basic core principles, like eating real food, gives everyone a solid starting place. Best of health on your journey too!

  13. Great NEWS !!!!l Glad to hear High fat Keto diet is doomed. The Keto diet is the MOST UNNATURAL way to eat. “Trashing” our God Given LIFE sustaining INSULIN, and our LIFE GIVING glucose from PLANTS. Manipulating one’s metabolism to “function” like a type 1 diabetic to burn Acetyl CoA for ATP, and exhaling Acetone (nail polish) instead of CO2 is a “disease” metabolic state, that the Liver MUST DO, not because it naturally CHOOSES TO. Also the Beta Cells (synthesize Insulin) of the Pancreas CANNOT metabolise KETO BODIES without being DESTROYED BY ROS (free oxygen radicals) lacking Catalase. So it a diet for one to ‘MARCH TOWARDS type 1 diabetes, Don’t like your INSULIN, well???you get your wish.(Nasty hateful remarks like” Insulin, mother hormone, FAT Storage). I must admit, Fat, is the hardest to give up. To me, it more addictive than sugar, since it Hardwired in the brain for SURVIVAL (famine). One man did not have to eat for 12 months, just “burned” 178 lbs body fat.

    1. Robyn says:

      Georgie…agree. Haven’t heard anyone put it the same way I often do, that “manipulating our metabolism” isn’t a way to live. To me, it’s a fundamental disrespect and mistrust of the body to be constantly manipulating it and denying it carbohydrates. Fasting is good. For the rest it provides. Not for this clearly disproven idea that in fasting we “burn ketones for fuel”.

      I’m drinking my favorite breakfast smoothie made of carrots, beets, blueberries, coconut liquid, cashews, and strawberries and feeling bad for all the people who have been brainwashed by the keto cult that this is a bad meal. Delicious and healthy.

  14. Monika says:

    Thank you Robyn, You are right on again! Keep up the good work.


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  17. Shelley Doyle says:

    Thank you for the info. I have a dog The was diagnosed with cancer and have had him on a Keto diet that I saw from TTAC. I’m wondering if it’s a good diet for him or is it not for animals as well?

    1. Helen Blair says:

      Hi Shelley, []
      I really don’t know about putting dogs on diets. Way outside my expertise.

  18. Paula M says:

    Hi Robyn! Your buddy, Chris Wark recently posted an interview (https://www.chrisbeatcancer.com/dr-valter-longo-on-fasting-longevity-and-the-fasting-mimicking-diet/) about a researcher that says fasting more than 12 hours a day on a regular basis is bad for you, skipping breakfast can increase your risk of disease/death and high protein keto diets are dangerous (no news to you). I know you do a lot of research, so I wonder what you think about this? My daughter and I have been following a one meal a day protocol with 18-20 hour fast in between. It’s been so easy and great results. There is so many conflicting opinions out there, it’s hard to know what to think/follow. I’m just about to start your 26 day cleanse, so excited about that.

    1. Helen Blair says:

      Hi Paula, Just watched the whole thing. He doesn’t say fasting for more than 12 hours a day on a regular basis is bad for you. He says that skipping breakfast regularly is bad for you. In fact he puts people on 3-5 day fasts. Only he can’t get people to do it so he puts them on periodic “extreme low calorie” plant based 3-5 day “fasting mimicking” diets.Skipping meals is a great idea. People have been fasting for even weeks at a time and there are entire books devoted to it, so Longo’s opinion is defied by thousands of years of fasting. I have done it for 9, 7, and 12 days in the past 18 months. Best preventative ever. Your body is metabolizing aberrant cells instead of food. Some cancer docs put everyone on 30 days of fasting for this reason including Tom Lodi MD. The fasting f for 2 meals a day is a fad of the keto diet and I like fasting….that seems a sustainable way to do it….most people won’t do it for days on end. Not true that doing it for days is bad for you. It certainly requires some willpower.

      1. Paula M says:

        You might want to listen to it again. Specifically just before the 30 minute mark he specifically states that people who fast 13 to 14 hours a day or more are at higher risk for gallstones and the need for surgery because of it. He claims that fasting 12 hours a day is the optimal and anything more or less starts getting negative results. That is for people who do that on a consistent basis. He does mention fasting for several days in a row, but then you stop.

  19. D.R. says:

    My take on Paleo and why people feel so much better on it is that for the first time in their lives they’re using PROPER FOOD COMBINING, and so they’re pretty much ‘swept away’. Proper food combining on it’s own, can have a significantly healthy effect on digestion because you are finally addressing the mechanics of how your stomach and digestive tract actually works (not pairing quick-exit foods with longer-exit foods) and will make you feel significantly better … for a while ’til the toxic meat effects catch up with you. (Mechanically speaking, meat takes up to 5 days to wind it’s way thru the digestive tract, and with improper food combining it provides an environment conducive to putrefying).

  20. Rhonda says:

    Excellent article!! As one who has been there – done that – you speak the truth! I have always seen food as my enemy rather than nourishing and sustaining.. Now my main concern is to nourish my body.
    Thanks again.

  21. Anne Nichols says:

    Around age 60 I noticed that my handwriting was getting smaller and I was writing faster. I also noticed a small tremor in my right hand. The doctor went over my different symptoms and he suspected I’d either had a small stroke or the beginnings of Parkinson ‘s disease. After finding a neurologist and some testing I was diagnosed with the beginning stages of Parkinson’s disease. That was 4 years ago. I take Sinimet four times a day to control my symptoms, which include falling, imbalance, gait problems, swallowing difficulties, and slurring of speech,December 2017 our family doctor started me on Mbeki Herbal Clinic Parkinson’s Disease Herbal mixture, 5 weeks into treatment I improved dramatically. At the end of the full treatment course, the disease is totally under control. No case of dementia, hallucination, weakness, muscle pain or tremors.

  22. Brittany says:

    I thought this was a great read! I like that you try to set the record straight. A lot of people believe in this diet. I hear everyone around me talk about it and I know several people doing the diet right now. I find it frustrated that doctors like Dr. Axe recommend this and are promoting their products on this diet.

    1. Jim says:

      I couldn’t agree more, imagine eating lots of veggies, quality fats, eliminating grains and sugars, keeping carbs to less than 100 grams and moderate quality protein at 20%. No wonder doctors are frustrated with Keto patients. No drugs to administer. What would all the poor doctors do without sick patients. It would destroy our healthcare system.

      1. Naomi says:

        Exactly. This article is so off base, it’s as if the writer knows nothing of what he/she writes. I’m tired at the end of my work day, or I’d say more. They just talk all kinds of extremes of the LCHF life. I just know that I’m totally off all diabetic meds, including high doses of insulin, have already lost 50-plus pounds, and feel better than I have in years. I am 68 years old. I’ve never had such dramatic weight loss all my life and had resigned myself to the idea that I’d be fat the rest of my life. I’m so excited to get some semblance of a life back!

  23. Haleigh says:

    Well, I am on the keto diet (for my epilepsy). It was created to help people control their seizures. Iv’e been diagnosed with epilepsy for 9 years. I wanted to do WHATEVER I could to get them under control since there isnt a cure for it and honestly its helped SO much. I havent had a seizure in over a year and I use to have a seizure every 4 or 5 months. I was suggested this diet and I researched it a bit obviously there are good and bad things about EVERY diet. Plus every body is different. Yes, I’ve lost weight being on keto but its helped clear my mind and controlled my seizures. I never thought I would be able to go this long without a seizure. I have not had ANY headaches or migraines. I’m not sending you hate at all. I get it, but I want you to understand how this diet works for me. So don’t hate on it too much because I’ve never been this happy. It’s not fun having to see your family and friends scared for your life after your seizure and you have no idea that you even had one. I’m sorry I feel like i’m telling you a sob story but I want you to see it from my point of view.

  24. Cabar says:

    So I started LCHF Ketogenic eating when I was diagnosed with type two diabetes and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and my digestive doctor gave me a piece of paper on LCHF Ketogenic eating. My next blood test 3 months later I had no sign of fatty liver disease and my blood sugars were in normal ranges without medications. He also reduced my hypothyroid medications in half from what I have been taking for years. Now 3 years later all my blood panels keep improving with my triglycerides low, my inflammation markers low and my HDL high. This is why I eat LCHF Ketogenic.

  25. Mari Terrance says:

    Around age 60 I noticed that my handwriting was getting smaller and I was writing faster. I also noticed a small tremor in my right hand. The doctor went over my different symptoms and he suspected I’d either had a small stroke or the beginnings of Parkinson ‘s disease. After finding a neurologist and some testing I was diagnosed with the beginning stages of Parkinson’s disease. That was 4 years ago. I take Sinimet four times a day to control my symptoms, which include falling, imbalance, gait problems, swallowing difficulties, and slurring of speech,December 2017 our family doctor started me on Green House Herbal Clinic Parkinson’s Disease Herbal mixture, 5 weeks into treatment I improved dramatically. At the end of the full treatment course, the disease is totally under control. No case of dementia, hallucination, weakness, muscle pain or tremors. Visit Green House Herbal Clinic official website I am strong again and able to go about daily activities.‌ This Herbal Formula is Incredible!!

  26. Mari Terrance says:

    Around age 60 I noticed that my handwriting was getting smaller and I was writing faster. I also noticed a small tremor in my right hand. The doctor went over my different symptoms and he suspected I’d either had a small stroke or the beginnings of Parkinson ‘s disease. After finding a neurologist and some testing I was diagnosed with the beginning stages of Parkinson’s disease. That was 4 years ago. I take Sinimet four times a day to control my symptoms, which include falling, imbalance, gait problems, swallowing difficulties, and slurring of speech,December 2017 our family doctor started me on Green House Herbal Clinic Parkinson’s Disease Herbal mixture, 5 weeks into treatment I improved dramatically. At the end of the full treatment course, the disease is totally under control. No case of dementia, hallucination, weakness, muscle pain or tremors. Visit Green House Herbal Clinic official website

  27. Ilko Dossev says:

    Ketosis is a metabolic state of the body. There is a variety of eating regimens which support such state.
    The “Keto Diet” for weight loss is a fad indeed. Ketonix supplements are maybe dangerous thing which could even damage the pH levels in the blood.
    However, lumping ketogenic metabolism and commercial “Keto Diet” together does the former a disservice. A proper eating regimen for ketogenic state does not preclude eating greens, it does not include only certain carbs. The same argument made here about all carbs not being the same holds true about fats and proteins. It is important to point out that high amounts of proteins are not leading to ketogenic metabolism.
    For some time, my ketone levels vary between 0.3 (low) and 6.5 (post-100km-cycling) and my serum glucose levels vary between 4.2 (intensive exercise) and 8.8 (post-meal) without me feeling any negative side effects. If the practice does not support the theory, then shall we adjust the practice to fit the theory?
    Complex carbs are not bad. Fiber is not bad. Excess of fructose intake, year-round, is hardly good. Excess of starchy foods, year-round, is hardly good. Processed food – meat, candy, juices – is definitely bad, and on this I completely agree.

    1. Ilko Dossev says:

      Follow-up from today, when actual measurements go opposite the theory…
      Since Friday evening I was fasting, that makes it 36+ hrs.
      Data from Sunday morning: betaK=0.2, serumG=5.8. How so? The theory says, keto high, gluco low.
      No breakfast, 1 hr 15 min walk in -4C (25F) then measure betaK=2.1 serumG=4.2; now theory fits.
      Rich lunch, salad + beef soup + beef stew + melon&blueberries at the end. 45 min later, last measurement shows betaK=1.1 serumG=5.2. How shall we interpret the data?

      I think, that keto-adapted body knows what it needs. In the morning, even w/o breakfast, when only activity is sudoku puzzles, beta ketones are not needed, so no production of them. For the walk, different story, muscles and heart can use ketones and liver obliges. Mid-walk cardio take is: pulse 78, systolic 122, diastolic 76. Rather normal, eh?

      Now the nice post-meal readings is what illustrates keto adaptation. Insulin allows modest amount of glucagon to get in the cells to replenish the reserves, while beta ketones are thrown out. Urine reading is 8, that is, kidneys dispense of the excess right away. THIS IS WHAT MAKES KETOGENIC REGIMEN ATTRACTIVE – no spikes or bongs in serum glucose.

      I will finish the day with big cup of spinach/kale/mango/banana smoothie, to restore electrolytes and prevent cramps in my legs. No big carbs intake, but high on minerals and fiber.

      Mind you – I do not use ANY SUPPLEMENTS to change artificially my hormone levels, everything is left to my endocrine system. I am not too concerned about my weight, it is about 75 kg (165 lb) since I follow my ketogenic regimen – down from 95 kg (210 lb) while on SAD, during a period of 5-6 months.

      “Keto Diet” for weight loss – hardly attractive.
      Beta-ketone supplements? Yikes!
      Keto adapted body -YES!!!

  28. JeffD says:

    Impaired athletic performance ? I’ve had the best race results of my life in ketosis.

    More difficult fat loss ? I’m slowly loosing my extra fat, while eating as much as I feel like and I never feel hungry.

  29. MOOBM says:

    When I looked up the definition of “Paleo Diet”, I had to laugh. The definition said it is: “based on the types of foods presumed to have been eaten by early humans, consisting chiefly of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit.”

    Interestingly, according to the Bible (which, granted, many people don’t put much faith in), humans didn’t eat meat until after the flood. So, for over 1,600 years, no one ate meat. An intriguing thought.

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