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Why Ketosis Diets Will Fail: The Paleo and Keto Manifesto

Robyn Openshaw - Updated: March 23, 2024 - - This Post May Contain Affiliate Links

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 much clearer. Americans have been so steeped in 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

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.

To clarify, 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 all that different from the famed Atkins Diet that many published studies showed was not beneficial to our health.

Ketogenic Diet Skeptic

Photo of person biting fingernails nervously with meat platter in background, from "Why Ketosis Diets Will Fail: The Paleo and Keto Manifesto" at Green Smoothie Girl

Eating mostly meat can lead to many health and wellness issues

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, the lowest fiber, and the lowest ability 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 research that was already published at the end of the reign of the Atkins diet fad, along with additional research that's sure to come, all showing the overwhelming negative health effects of overeating animal products 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 the new golden child instead.

The Diet Industry and Their New Fads

Photo of the words Food Trends in typwriter, from "Why Ketosis Diets Will Fail: The Paleo and Keto Manifesto" at Green Smoothie Girl

The diet industry is constantly changing and selling new ways to lose weight or be healthy

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 so they can replace “Paleo Approved” products with “Keto Approved” products and create the false need for more consumption.

Why Are There So Many Diet Plans?

The diet authors and processed food industries pivot, pose, and preen based on whatever is popular, not what’s actually good for human health.

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 the list, to be fair. Someone would have brought it up.) I’m willing to put 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 combining 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 demonstrates the point: 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

Photo of low carb button, from "Why Ketosis Diets Will Fail: The Paleo and Keto Manifesto" at Green Smoothie Girl

Cutting carbs from your diet is not a healthy or sustainable way to reach your health goals

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 the human body has lived on 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

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

Photo of empty wooden bowl in zen environment, from "Why Ketosis Diets Will Fail: The Paleo and Keto Manifesto" at Green Smoothie Girl

Fasting is actually quite healthy for you; ketogenic fasting, however, is not

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

However, to put the logical fallacy to rest: fasting is part of the ketogenic diet, and fasting is good for you, but that does not mean the ketogenic diet as a whole is a healthy, sustainable way to live or even a good way to lose weight.

Researched Benefits of Fasting

Fasting is well-researched 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.

[Related Article: Will a Fasting Diet Give You The Results You Want?]

Fasting Problem with Ketosis

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.)

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 stretches of 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 sends immune function 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 cancer patients with information on water fasting and tells them it’s the single most powerful thing they can do in their 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 alongside a plate of bacon. This is unsustainable, unpalatable, 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 theory 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 does 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

Photo of colorful fruits and vegetables on wooden platters, from "Why Ketosis Diets Will Fail: The Paleo and Keto Manifesto" at Green Smoothie Girl

A vegan diet provides a number of health benefits many are searching for in other diets

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

Less Damage to the Planet

Healthy vegans, the ones who eat whole foods as opposed to junk food, are living with far less impact on the planet.

Maybe you should 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

Photo of hand underlining Doom in red, from "Why Ketosis Diets Will Fail: The Paleo and Keto Manifesto" at Green Smoothie Girl

The ketogenic diet is not sustainable, for you or the environment

We can all be friends, and I love the Paleo Diet for 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 eventually be run out of town by scientific studies of long-term results, just 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 to 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

The Keto marketers have brought one of the worst, but most popular, diets in the history of diets (Atkins!), back to life. With a fasting twist.

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.

Just Another Atkins Diet

In effect, Keto marketers have brought Atkins back from the dead, even though it's one of the worst diets in the history of diets.

The twist? It’s still bacon and coffee for breakfast, but this time, there's fasting!

Haven’t we evolved past this? If you eat for ketosis, 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, who suffered from heart disease.

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, possibly with a new diabetes diagnosis.

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, 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.”

I also did an interview with him on the Vibe Podcast, Ep.31: The Human Body Field with Harry Massey for more Harry Massey wisdom.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman | NYT Bestselling Author

Dr. Joel Fuhrman, MD, 4-time NYT bestselling author, joined me for Episode 37 of the Vibe Podcast, "Eat to Live," and shared these thoughts additionally 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

I spoke at length with Dr. Alan Christianson, NMD, NYT bestselling author, in Episode 50 and Episode 121 of the Vibe Podcast. Here, he 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

I collected more expert opinions on the trouble with keto diets (22 and counting!) which go into more detail than this overview.

Weight Loss Diet Rankings

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

Photo of fruits and vegetables with their juices in glasses, from "Why Ketosis Diets Will Fail: The Paleo and Keto Manifesto" at Green Smoothie Girl

The Gerson therapy consists of an intake of juices from a wide variety of fruits and vegetables

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 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.)

[Related Article: Gerson Therapy: My Observations From a 20 Clinic Tour]

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 and guest in Vibe Podcast Episode 140:

“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. I've spoken with him on what true health means and how to get there in Episode 90 of the Vibe Podcast for even more valuable information.

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.”

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 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

Photograph of Robyn Openshaw, founder of Green Smoothie GirlRobyn Openshaw, MSW, is the bestselling author of The Green Smoothies Diet, 12 Steps to Whole Foods, and 2017’s #1 Amazon Bestseller and USA Today Bestseller, Vibe. Learn more about how to make the journey painless, from the nutrient-scarce Standard American Diet, to a whole-foods diet, in her free video masterclass 12 Steps to Whole Foods.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links that 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: 12 Steps To Whole Food, Eco Friendly Living, Health Concerns, Lifestyle, Whole Food

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

Leave a Comment
  1. Lisa says:

    I have been on a LCHF diet for 2 years now. My blood work is perfect and I feel better than I have in 10 years. My Hashimoto’s is completely reversed, and I no longer have that extra 10 pounds that I was never able to shake before. I eat 100% whole foods, including a ton of vegetables with loads of fiber and micronutrients, along with the micronutrients found in bone broth and coconut oils. I eat minimal protein from both animal and plant sources, and a lot of delicious healthy fats. I no longer have to take snacks with me every where I go because my meals sustain me for hours at a time, and I no longer suffer from hypoglycemia and constant hunger. I drink lots of green smoothies, with plenty of fat and protein. If you don’t eat a lot of vegetables and fiber, then you’re doing the keto diet incorrectly! Much love to Robin, I’ve read your book Vibe, and found lots of helpful information that has made my keto diet even better. But keto is good for many people, as long as they’re eating lots and lots of vegetables. I don’t do it because it’s easy, OR because it’s the next big diet fad, I do it because it makes me feel really good and keeps aches, pains and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis at bay!

    1. Robyn says:

      Lisa, for sure eating a whole-foods diet, whether it’s called "keto" or some other thing is a great idea. Sounds like you’re doing it with the "lots and lots of vegetables," and that’ll keep disease states at bay, for most, especially if you’re not buying into the idea that burgers and bacon are good food–and of course, one thing I LIKE about all the fad diets, actually, is that they get people off flour and sugar. I’m glad you’re feeling good!

      1. Kelly says:


        While I agree with most of what you wrote regarding the keto fad, I think you were unfair to Dr. Majors. Yes, he died of cancer, but he lived six years longer than his oncologists said he would. That’s something to praise, especially when it’s multiple myeloma.

  2. cassidystauffer says:

    Hi Robyn! I’m trying my best to get my family as healthy as possible but I have a question I hope you can help me with. While I totally agree with you and we try to eat as plant-based as possible with minimal animal protein my 13 year old son has epilepsy and the side effects from his medication are horrible. He’s been seizure free for 2 years so we are going to try to wean him off of his meds this summer (again!) but I have a strong feeling he will still have seizures. What do you think of of eating a keto diet to control epilepsy so he can stay off of medication? I’m so conflicted because I don’t want him to be on medication but eating keto has it’s downfalls too. What do you think???

    1. thispiehole says:

      Please look into CBD oil and seizures. Also, Dr. Fuhrman is really smart about the way he goes about nutrition.

      1. Kelly says:

        Furhman is a nutjob with bad hairplugs.

        Just like keto isn’t healthy, neither are vegan diets.

        Humans are OMNIVORES, not herbivores.

        Also, the plant-based fats the ‘GreenSmoothieGirl’ recommends are the same that Ari Whitten (who she quotes above) says should be avoided.

        A balanced approach is the only way. Too many green smoothies and you’ll have oxalate overload in no time.

    2. Robyn says:

      Hi Cassidy, that’s the one area where I think there’s an argument for a high-fat, low-carb diet: childhood epilepsy. Worth a try, especially if you keep the fats to mostly plant-based fats. Good luck!

  3. Vera DeBroeck says:

    Hello, I support a plant based diet with small portions of meat and what would be considered nowadays as too much fat. Not all ketoers are eating the diet incorrectly as you mentioned, saying people are eating far too much protein. Some are, but not all and I would argue if it is even a majority. Most people I have spoke to, face to face, want to prevent any bad reactions and are being very cautious to do it right. As the research has found, that this form of diet has its place and has been around much longer than you think. Body builders have been using keto diet in ther regime since before you and I were kids, I am 39. It was used as early as 500B.C. for epilepsy and again makes note in history in the 1920-30’s.

    I do not pretend to know all, but what I have found by personal experience and that through others like me, is that this diet can treat diabetes. Seriously, look it up. You will be surprised.

    Also, it wasnt designed to help industry. This diet was kept underwraps because it was thought of as too extreme for everyday use. However, with a few tweaks and adjustments you can healthily live and thrive on a keto lifestyle provided you carb cycle and eating 30 to 50g of carbs per day to maintain the fat lost. Honestly, you can just eat the 50g and be done with the cycling. I like to keep my body on its toes so I change the carb intake daily. You can also beat industry with this diet by only getting pasture raised and fed meats and eggs. Farm fresh and organic veggies and fruits, grown locally. All the sites I read to research before I started all boast eating organic locally and pastured raised. No cages or big farm animals or produce. My husband and I plan on sharing a whole cow, from a trusted pastured raised farm, with friends and keep in the deep freeze to save money. So much cheaper to do this way. Getting our own chickens for eggs and meat. Goats too, for milk and a milk cow. So, it can be done…this diet is the easiest for me and my body is actually responding well. Healthy poos and pees, heathly skin, clear mind and so so so much more energy!!

    So, it is worth doing your due diligence and research thoroughly before posting your opinion.

    I do appreciate the time you spend on helping others, and I support and agree with most of what you say. So, please understand this comes from a place of caring in helping you educate others accurately and with a more opened mind. Yes, I just told someone who appears to be a liberal to have an open mind….we forget sometimes too.

  4. Dawndc says:

    Robyn has overlooked the support of many professionals for keto because of the results seen in people using it. Yes high fats have been considered very unhealthy so people have been eating low fat for many years, the result being obesity and diabetes. I think Robyn is overlooking the ketosis effect on eating those high fats. There are several keto Facebook sites where you can see the amazing impact on people’s bodies and reduction of their health problems. Natural pure as possible foods. I say bring on the avocados, nuts and almond meal.

  5. Jim Starkey says:

    I have lost 35 lbs in 6 months on Keto and I don’t eat that much meat. 8 grams a day of protein with lots of salads and vegetables so not sure where your getting your info. Atkins was close he just was over doing the protein. Keto is an adjustment to his work. Your way of eating is great too I will admit but I do believe to much fruit creates to much of an insulin response which Keto avoids and since most of us are insulin resistant due to our SAD diet keto is a better way to go to reverse this condition in mine and a lot of other people’s opinion who do and love keto. Keto is here to stay i’m pretty sure.

  6. ABP says:

    You… didn’t actually research the effects, did you?
    I used to be anti-keto as well, but while trying to find legitimate studies to use in my paper, I realized the worst it got was low energy. And before I started looking into the benefits, I had no idea what the actual causes of this was. Those side effects you’ve listed. The psychological ones. They go away. It’s part of adapting. And there ARE benefits. So many, I found, while researching keto.

  7. Dianna says:

    THANK YOU for consistently reminding us of the most basic, cleanest, most natural, most flavorful form of eating around and helping us to be careful about jumping on the latest fad diets. We don’t need them, do we? Thanks again!

  8. D says:

    Gotta say, I felt the same way, until my husband, who has stage IV cancer, and has outlived his diagnosis by eight years now, announced he wanted to try keto, at the recommendation of two naturopaths we work with. We found a book called the Keto Bible, we also found Dr. Anna Cabeca, both seem to be credible. I agree with everything you’ve negatively said about KETO – it’s the worst that’s out there. But these two sources I just mentioned don’t condone those things you’ve mentioned. In my opinion, eating pork is the absolute worst thing one can ever eat and is very toxic due to the bio-accumulation, the same can be said for garbage filters such as Talapia and catfish, almost all crustaceans and mollusks, yet all of these creatures give us a cleaner world. It is amazing how the bible got it right when it comes to toxic foods that should not be eaten. The internet abounds in ‘keto mistakes’ and at the top of the list, in almost every article I’ve read, is ‘too much protein’. I reluctantly made this change, keeping high amounts of raw vegetables in our diet; at the pinnacle of the keto diet is an ‘avocado a day’, something you neglected to mention. I have suffered from migraines most of my adult life, even though I have been completely off from sugar for many years. We are eating a very ‘clean’ keto diet, very close to vegetarian keto (yes, there is such a thing). It seems that you launched into all of keto, and I agree you hit the worst of it out there, but you missed some critical pluses, and variances. I have not had a migraine since I started this. I was extremely reluctant, but satiety was the most amazing thing I’ve ever felt – having been ‘hungry’ most of my life. We are still primarily plant based, we have added healthy fats, focused on keto accepted nuts (pecans, macadamias, brazil nuts). It has been impressive. I think digging a little deeper may be advised, discerning the plethora of ‘bad keto’ from the better practices seems more prudent than this shoot from the hip, broadly lambasting all keto. But, yup, you did nail some of the worst of the worst out there. Please look a little deeper. No longer a keto skeptic, just prudent.

    1. Emily says:

      Hi D!
      So glad you commented. I totally dig the ‘avocado a day’. It really works for me too.
      Can you please tell me how long you have been eating this way? I ask because I did keto for 3 years and my migraines began at this time. So I stopped. I have blogged about it as well.
      I’m not affiliated with Green Smoothie Girl but I have been reading this post since it first came out.
      In other words this is for my own personal interest.
      Thanks in advance!
      Oh and if you could tell us a sample of a day with your keto menu that would be helpful as well!

      1. D says:

        Emily – I have tried to reply – it won’t let me. You may contact via dm on my IG Goddessoffire

  9. Tjeerd Geerts says:

    Very good post and I agree, again now it is high-carb, low-carb while not all carbs are the same, for carbs, look at the glucamine index chart and don´t stop to eat legumbres and fruit. Plant based fats and fat from milk and eggs. I don’t agree with the vegans, if you don’t like to molest animals get yourself a chicken or two and you got two eggs a day! We all grew up with animal fat, actually is was the first food we ever took: Mothermilk…. And also, when you lose weight what so you live on, right, your own animal fat….. 🙂

  10. Asher Sommer says:

    3 stars
    First of all I want to debunk the main statement.
    Legumes, Grains, Fruits.
    If you have ever went to a rain forest, you would take 10 mins to understand humans cannot live there. The mosquitoes, the many dangerous animals and the complicated accessibility to food will not give you an easy pass to get anything before something else will eat you. We humans are naked. We don’t have fur. Therefore we have never lived inside the forests. No matter how many Videos National Geographic is shooting. There are no fields inside forests of you favorite vegetables. There are no salad bars with cucumbers zucchini and tomatoes. Most of those vegetables were not even discovered before 1472 when the Spanish discovered America. Almost all vegetables are human creations. grains the same way. Every flag of an empire prides a symbol of wheat. This was the grain which allowed them to feed their many soldiers at low cost. Raise the population and conquer nearby states. Fact is we did not eat any grains prior to 5000 years ago. Fruits as we know them exist since less than 400 years. Most of the fruits we see in the supermarkets have not been in mass production since the 1980s. Only modern shipping and delivery methods allow us to eat Bananas in Great Britain. A fruit which was 1/10th of its size and discovered in a jungle in Papua.
    We humans are also not able to eat meat like wolves and lions. We don;t have the teeth to do this. But what we truly are. We are beach animals. We have been living by the beach for over 100000 years. We have populated the beaches around the mediteraneans, the Arabic peninsula and the Indian ocean.
    all we have been living from is the sea. This is why we don’t have fur. Why we can swim. Why we should bathe in sea water. and what we can bite are small fish called Sardines. Shrimps, Oysters, mussels. squid, cancer crabs.
    Why do the people in places like. Okinava Japan, Hong Kong and Sardinia get so old? Because they eat tofu and oranges? Whenever it became too cold for fishing we would go to the land. We would steal the eggs from the chicken, once in a while we would kill an entire chicken or duck. Just when we were able to build more advanced hunting weapons we went to kill larger animals.
    Still our basics are fish, oysters and shrimps.

    I do not eat any vegetables or fruits. It was the best decision I have ever made.

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