When you eat foods high in carbohydrates and fat, your body naturally produces glucose. Carbohydrates are the easiest thing for the body to process, and therefore it will use them first – resulting in the excess fats to be stored immediately. In turn, this causes weight gain and health problems that are associated with high fat, high carbohydrate diets (NOT keto).
Just to put things in context, I read an old scientific report about a seriously obese man who decided to be without food about a year (under medical supervision) and was given only some necessary micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.) during the entire period. In this case all his energy had to come from adipose tissue (plus gluconeogenesis, I assume) in deep ketosis, and eventually he lost a lot of weight, mostly fat. Even more surprisingly, repeated tests during that year and thereafter demonstrated, that his health was continuously improving and he was actually feeling very well. What would be the downside of this kind of “starvation ketosis”, that will obviously last only until the point where the person has lost all his excessive fat?

“It is becoming more apparent that cancer is just another metabolic disease and that insulin and IGF-1 act as cancer growth factors. There is so much science showing that a very-low-carbohydrate diet is more effective at lowering insulin levels than other diets. I educate my patients that diet it is not just about weight but more importantly about metabolic health. I have a number of resources that I recommend to patients and Diet Doctor is at the top of my list.”


Getting your macronutrients—fat, protein, carbohydrates—in balance ensures your body has the best sources of energy. “The ketogenic diet for ‘nutritional ketosis’ is 20 percent protein, 5 percent carbs, and 75 percent fat,” says Jake Crandall, a trainer and CEO and founder of Okie Crossfit in Tulsa, OK. “If you go too high in protein, you’re effectively on the Atkins Diet and are low-carb. You’ll achieve weight loss, but not the health benefits of being in ketosis.” But you can still benefit from the 15 best Atkins diet foods for weight loss.

A review of 13 randomized controlled trials (1,415 patients) found that people on the ketogenic diet lost significantly more weight than people on low-fat diets. They also kept the weight off for 12 months or more.9 While the diets in these studies contained no more than 50 grams of carbohydrate (a typical keto diet plan), low-carb diets with more generous amounts of carbohydrate (≥ 120 gm/day) showed similar results (more weight loss with low-carb than low-fat) in a review of 17 randomized controlled trials.10 More recently, type 2 diabetics lost 12% of their body weight after one year in diet-induced ketosis.11

I’m discouraged to see that nowhere in the article nor in the comments is there a mention of a diet’s best fit to genetics. Consider if someone is an APOE E2 carrier and/or has certain polymorphisms of the APO5 gene. These are quite rare in Okinawa but much more prevalent in the USA (12% of the population). According to a number of well-designed studies, these genetic characteristics point to a higher fat, lower carbohydrate diet as beneficial and even a “moderate” carb diet as problematic.
36. NCD Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC) Worldwide trends in body-mass index, underweight, overweight, and obesity from 1975 to 2016: A pooled analysis of 2416 population-based measurement studies in 128.9 million children, adolescents, and adults. Lancet. 2017;390:2627–2642. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(17)32129-3. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
I recently applied for life insurance after following the ketogenic diet for about six months. I was initially quoted the lowest rate based on the fact that I have no health issues whatsoever. However, my cholesterol readings were very high so they came back and said that I had elevated total cholesterol readings of 378 which alarmed me. They have now doubled my life insurance rates because of it. Even though my total cholesterol was high everything else seems good according to this article. LDL – 272, HDL – 92, Triclycerides – 70. This all translates to an LDL/HDL ratio of slightly under 3:1 and a Triglyceride/HDL ratio of close to 1:1. I don’t know if I should be concerned that my total is well over the 300 that is sited in this article. Does anyone know?
Use fat as a lever.  We’ve been taught to fear fat, but don’t! Both keto and low carb are high fat diets. Fat is our source of energy as well as satiety. The key to understand, though, is that fat is a lever on a low carb or keto diet. Carbs and protein stay constant, and fat is the one you increase or decrease (push the lever up or down) to gain or lose weight, respectively. So if your goal is weight loss, eat enough fat to be satisfied, but there’s no need to “get your fats in” once you’re satisfied.
Blanket statement: It’s always best to check with your doctor before starting on this regimen. With that said, “the keto diet isn’t recommended for those with liver or kidney disease, or someone with a medical condition, such as a gastrointestinal issue, who can’t metabolize high amounts of dietary fat,” says Sarah Jadin, a Los-Angeles based registered dietitian and founder of Keto Consulting, LLC. If you’ve had your gallbladder removed, the keto diet may be a no-go. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and people with certain rare genetic disorders shouldn’t try this diet.
You can have a completely smooth transition into ketosis, or…not. While your body is adapting to using ketones as your new fuel source, you may experience a range of uncomfortable short-term symptoms. These symptoms are referred to as “the keto flu.” Low-sodium levels are often to blame for symptoms keto flu, since the kidneys secrete more sodium when you’re in ketosis, says Volek. A few side effects:
Ketosis improves certain forms of cellular healing, including mitochondrial biogenesis (the making of new, bigger, and higher energy-producing mitochondria), so that your cells are stronger and have more stamina, particularly when it comes to exercise. For example, some endurance and ultra-endurance athletes believe that their performance improves in nutritional ketosis compared to sugar burning, when they have more fat than carb reserves. But because of the limited data, and available data suggesting that athletes may actually perform worse on nutritional ketosis, I do not currently recommend it for elite athletes.
I’ve been following the Keto diet for almost 4 months now. I have lost almost 25 pounds and feel good. I am an active daily walker and have also started doing some strength and conditioning 3-5 days week. I decided to have a physical since I’m being so healthy why not keep up with everything else. All my lab work came back good, and very good except for LDL cholesterol, very high over 200. Immediately the doctor wants to put me on a low dose of medicine. I know I’ve been consuming alot of saturated fats on this diet. I’m confused on what to do now 🙁
I am trying to get back into keto. I did it before and I was so happy when I lost 10lbs (I did the keto for a month). I am ready to go back to this lifestyle. All this information is very helpful, I have written it all down so it can be easier for me to remember what is allowed and what is not. Looking forward to get back on this keto journey. Thank you for all the great info.
Coconut oil has been denounced “officially” by the American Heart Association and others who parrot “authoritative” nutritional advice condemning saturated fats despite the overwhelming independent science that prove they’re wrong about fats. (See: Coconut Oil is Beneficial for Your Heart: Shining the Truth on Mainstream Media’s Negative Attacks Against Coconut Oil.)
35. Crujeiras A.B., Gomez-Arbelaez D., Zulet M.A., Carreira M.C., Sajoux I., de Luis D., Castro A.I., Baltar J., Baamonde I., Sueiro A., et al. Plasma FGF21 levels in obese patients undergoing energy-restricted diets or bariatric surgery: A marker of metabolic stress? Int. J. Obes. (Lond.) 2017;41:1570–1578. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2017.138. [PubMed] [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]

Prior to the advent of exogenous insulin for the treatment of diabetes mellitus in the 1920's, the mainstay of therapy was dietary modification. Diet recommendations in that era were aimed at controlling glycemia (actually, glycosuria) and were dramatically different from current low-fat, high-carbohydrate dietary recommendations for patients with diabetes [1,2]. For example, the Dr. Elliot Joslin Diabetic Diet in 1923 consisted of "meats, poultry, game, fish, clear soups, gelatin, eggs, butter, olive oil, coffee, tea" and contained approximately 5% of energy from carbohydrates, 20% from protein, and 75% from fat [3]. A similar diet was advocated by Dr. Frederick Allen of the same era [4].
WY conceived, designed, and coordinated the study; participated in data collection; performed statistical analysis; and drafted the manuscript. MF assisted with study design, performed data collection, and helped to draft the manuscript. AC analyzed the food records. MV assisted with study/intervention design and safety monitoring. EW participated in the conception and design of the study, and assisted with the statistical analysis. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.
While keto diets minimize sugar and other food sensitivities, they often allow full-fat dairy such as yogurt that, for some people, can stall fat loss. And some packaged keto-friendly foods (yes, there's a whole industry of keto-friendly cookies, candy, and other junk food!) can contain gluten, artificial sweeteners, and other reactive ingredients. These foods and additives cause dysbiosis (an imbalance between good and bad bugs), leaky gut syndrome, and increase insulin resistance, which raises blood sugar levels—stalling weight loss. Read your labels carefully: Food sensitivities can be sneaky and hide in foods that you would never suspect, like mustard.
The ketogenic or “keto” diet is a low-carbohydrate, fat-rich eating plan that has been used for centuries to treat specific medical conditions. In the 19th century, the ketogenic diet was commonly used to help control diabetes. In 1920 it was introduced as an effective treatment for epilepsy in children in whom medication was ineffective. The ketogenic diet has also been tested and used in closely monitored settings for cancer, diabetes, polycystic ovary syndrome, and Alzheimer’s disease.
Frederick F. Samaha, M.D., Nayyar Iqbal, M.D., Prakash Seshadri, M.D., Kathryn L. Chicano, C.R.N.P., Denise A. Daily, R.D., Joyce McGrory, C.R.N.P., Terrence Williams, B.S., Monica Williams, B.S., Edward J. Gracely, Ph.D., and Linda Stern, M.D., “A Low-Carbohydrate as Compared with a Low-Fat Diet in Severe Obesity,” N Engl J Med 2003; 348:2074-2081. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa022637.
“After a decade of watching patients with chronic disease get sicker with traditional medical advice, discovering the effectiveness of low-carb was a breath of fresh air! My practice now focuses entirely on patients wishing to follow low-carbohydrate and ketogenic diet treatment for diabetes, hypertension, sleep apnea, and other weight-related concerns. I also use ketogenic diets for the treatment of weight-loss surgery patients who regain weight. Diet Doctor is a terrific resource for patients and for the medical students I teach in my Obesity Medicine clerkship; it has nutritionally and scientifically sound information on ketogenic lifestyles and great recipes.”
What do LeBron James, Tim McGraw, and Halle Berry have in common? They all attribute their fab physiques to the keto diet plan, a high-fat, low-carb diet that is currently blowing up the internet. According to Google Trends, the keto diet peaked in popularity this week — and shows no signs of stopping. There are 4 million #keto posts on Instagram and more than 69 million keto diet recipes on Pinterest.[1] As the ketogenic diet goes mainstream, some news outlets have described it as another unhealthy celebrity fad diet. Here’s what you need to know about the keto lifestyle — and how the Bulletproof Diet does it one better.
This is because the triglycerides from those fat cells are metabolized for energy while the cholesterol is not. The cholesterol is simply released into the blood where it will remain until removed by the liver, making it appear that our cholesterol has suddenly skyrocketed. Many people are quick to assume that this is due to an increase in dietary fat and cholesterol intake.
Physical activity was determined by means of the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ), which is used worldwide to indirectly evaluate an individual’s volumes of sedentary behavior and moderate to vigorous physical activity throughout the last seven-day week [26]. It is readily available, very cost-effective, and can generate large data sets. The IPAQ comprises a set of 4 questionnaires. In this study, the short form of the IPAQ was employed (7 items). This measure assesses the types of intensity of physical activity and sitting time that people do as part of their daily lives, which is used to estimate total physical activity in metabolic equivalent task minutes per week (MET-min/week) and time spent sitting [26].
In the absence of glucose, which is normally used by cells as a quick source of energy, the body starts to burn fat and produces ketone bodies instead (it’s why the keto diet is often referred to as the ketone diet). Once ketone levels in the blood rise to a certain point, you enter into a state of ketosis — which usually results in quick and consistent weight loss until you reach a healthy, stable body weight. See this keto diet review, a before and after trying keto for 30 days.
I think you may be experiencing what I did on an ultra low carb diet. I did try to follow the "20 grams of carbs" approach but it didn't work for me. I felt sluggish, I was tired, and anxious (especially that anxiety!). Having said that, I have Hashimoto's (autoimmune hypothyroid condition) and I can't do very low-carb for that very reason. These days I eat 20-30 grams of net carbs, sometimes up to 50, especially after a workout when my body naturally craves carbs. Keep in mind that some people tend to overemphasise the importance of high ketones while it's not as simple and most people don't even need high ketones: The Ketone Craze - Who Really Benefits From High Ketone Levels? I hope this helps!
Wondering how many carb foods you can eat and still be “in ketosis”? The traditional ketogenic diet, created for those with epilepsy consisted of getting about 75 percent of calories from sources of fat (such as oils or fattier cuts of meat), 5 percent from carbohydrates and 20 percent from protein. For most people a less strict version (what I call a “modified keto diet”) can still help promote weight loss in a safe, and often very fast, way.
“I have an interest in diabetes and preventative medicine and have started recommending intermittent fasting in combination with a low-carb, high-fat diet to all of my patients both for treatment and reversal of diabetes and general good health and prevention. I recommend the Diet Doctor website to all of my patients so they can find the best information from knowledgeable experts regarding living a low-carb lifestyle, from educational videos to amazing recipes and everything in between.”
Insulin is a hormone that lets your body use or store sugar as fuel. Ketogenic diets make you burn through this fuel quickly, so you don’t need to store it. This means your body needs -- and makes -- less insulin. Those lower levels may help protect you against some kinds of cancer or even slow the growth of cancer cells. More research is needed on this, though.
Carbohydrate-restricted diets are no more effective than a conventional healthy diet in preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes, but for people with type 2 diabetes they are a viable option for losing weight or helping with glycemic control.[11][12][13] There is little evidence that low-carbohydrate dieting is helpful in managing type 1 diabetes.[1] The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes should adopt a generally healthy diet, rather than a diet focused on carbohydrate or other macronutrients.[13]
First, I want to thank you for all of your dedication and work in providing this site. The difficulty of maintaining a healthy weight is a big problem for so many people. My personal question & issue in staying on Keto is my craving for fresh fruit. This a.m I had a large fresh peach along with my “Bullet Proof” coffee. Have I now sabotaged today’s Keto eating?
Although many hypotheses have been put forward to explain how the ketogenic diet works, it remains a mystery. Disproven hypotheses include systemic acidosis (high levels of acid in the blood), electrolyte changes and hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose).[19] Although many biochemical changes are known to occur in the brain of a patient on the ketogenic diet, it is not known which of these has an anticonvulsant effect. The lack of understanding in this area is similar to the situation with many anticonvulsant drugs.[56]
The ketogenic diet is calculated by a dietitian for each child. Age, weight, activity levels, culture, and food preferences all affect the meal plan. First, the energy requirements are set at 80–90% of the recommended daily amounts (RDA) for the child's age (the high-fat diet requires less energy to process than a typical high-carbohydrate diet). Highly active children or those with muscle spasticity require more food energy than this; immobile children require less. The ketogenic ratio of the diet compares the weight of fat to the combined weight of carbohydrate and protein. This is typically 4:1, but children who are younger than 18 months, older than 12 years, or who are obese may be started on a 3:1 ratio. Fat is energy-rich, with 9 kcal/g (38 kJ/g) compared to 4 kcal/g (17 kJ/g) for carbohydrate or protein, so portions on the ketogenic diet are smaller than normal. The quantity of fat in the diet can be calculated from the overall energy requirements and the chosen ketogenic ratio. Next, the protein levels are set to allow for growth and body maintenance, and are around 1 g protein for each kg of body weight. Lastly, the amount of carbohydrate is set according to what allowance is left while maintaining the chosen ratio. Any carbohydrate in medications or supplements must be subtracted from this allowance. The total daily amount of fat, protein, and carbohydrate is then evenly divided across the meals.[37]
Specific fiber goals for every day will depend on your overall intake, current weight, and weight-loss intentions. Thankfully, some high-fat, low-carb foods are also loaded with fiber. These include nuts and seeds, avocado, and squash. “I see so many clients go for high protein, high saturated fat, and no carb,” says Sunny Brigham, MS, CNS, a board-certified nutrition specialist with a private clinic in North Texas. “They become constipated because they aren’t getting enough fiber.” And that’s just one of the 11 hidden dangers of the keto diet.
The transition period: In the first few weeks of the diet, you may feel like absolute crap. Scratch that, you most likely will. Your body won’t be used to using fat as its primary fuel source, leaving you with decreased performance and a lingering foggy-headed feeling. However, as your body adapts, your energy will increase. You might even find yourself feeling better than ever.
Move more. You’ll lose pounds faster if you increase your daily physical activity. Keep in mind you don’t have to go to the gym 6 times a week or jog every morning, just move more in your everyday life. For instance, take a short 2-minute break from sitting in your chair every hour, take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk to make errands if you can, get a standing desk, or take phone calls standing up and pacing around. These small calorie-burning movements add up at the end of the day.
A systematic review in 2018 looked at 16 studies on the ketogenic diet in adults. It concluded that the treatment was becoming more popular for that group of patients, that the efficacy in adults was similar to children, the side effects relatively mild. However, many patients gave up with the diet, for various reasons, and the quality of evidence was inferior to studies on children. Health issues include high levels of low-density lipoprotein, high total cholesterol, and weight loss.[24]
There is little doubt that one key to maintaining a healthy weight is exercise. Cardiovascular workouts burn off energy and improve musculature so the body works more efficiently. However, it can be hard to reduce body fat. This is where a ketogenic diet may help. By reducing daily carbohydrates, the body must look for other sources of energy, and it is forced to use fat reserves. Loading up on carbohydrates right before exercise provides energy when you need it.

High levels of triglycerides in the blood are thought to be a sign of poor metabolism. Poor metabolism, or metabolic disorders, are associated with obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Often times, elevated triglycerides are a byproduct of insulin resistance. In these cases, a ketogenic diet is an excellent strategy to improve those numbers.
Specific fiber goals for every day will depend on your overall intake, current weight, and weight-loss intentions. Thankfully, some high-fat, low-carb foods are also loaded with fiber. These include nuts and seeds, avocado, and squash. “I see so many clients go for high protein, high saturated fat, and no carb,” says Sunny Brigham, MS, CNS, a board-certified nutrition specialist with a private clinic in North Texas. “They become constipated because they aren’t getting enough fiber.” And that’s just one of the 11 hidden dangers of the keto diet.

It's important to keep in mind that when you are on a low-carb diet of any type, you will lose several pounds in the first few days. That's because your body is dropping water weight. When I returned to typical eating over the wedding weekend, I gained 4 pounds. I didn't overeat that weekend. I had just returned to eating carbs, so the water weight returned.


Eating out while going keto can be tricky. Planning ahead helps you know where your next snacks and meals will come from, so you aren’t tempted to reach for an easy—high-carb—fix, like fast food. Each week, plan out everything from meals to snacks and if you’re using an app, go ahead and fill in your estimated macronutrients ahead of time. This will help you get an idea of your overall intake, so you can make adjustments to reach your daily goals more easily. Get started by planning to make these 10 keto recipes so good you’ll never know you’re on a diet.
“I see many patients whose wellbeing is affected by shortness of breath and sleep disorders. By adopting a low-carb, healthy fat lifestyle, many of these people feel better, avoid unnecessary medications and achieve great overall health. My family and I live this way and I love to inspire others to gain the same benefits. The Diet Doctor website is a great resource to help people adopt a LCHF lifestyle.”
If you want to try a ketogenic diet, be aware that you'll have to adjust it for your individual metabolism and experiment with the right balance of carbs and calories. While some low-carbohydrate dieters find they are able to break stalls in their weight loss, others find that it is more difficult for them to stay in this state. You may want to consult a registered dietitian to build keto-friendly menus for you that will meet your nutritional needs. Be sure to keep your health care provider informed when you start a new diet, especially if you have ongoing health conditions.

Melinda – I’m afraid there’s no getting around the fact that one of the Keto requirements is to *calculate your macros,* based on the amount of calories you need to consume each day, in order to (a) maintain your current weight level, or (b) lose weight. Go to an online Keto macro calculator – there’s one linked to a good one on this site, further up the thread. They are generally very easy to use. Then stick to your calculated results, with trust and patience. It may be slow, but you will absolutely see results. I did – and I’ve tried absolutely everything. I barely have time to exercise, but I still lost at least a couple of dress sizes, and I feel absolutely amazing – no more brain fog, tons of energy – maybe too much energy! And best of all, I’m no longer miserable about food, because on Keto, everything is delicious! One final thing in the interest of full disclosure – I am an uber-clean-Keto advocate. I put in the work to eat only healthy fats and carbs from healthy sources. I’m pescatarian – no meats except seafood. I also carefully limit my saturated fat intake to 10% of total calories (the recommended daily allowance), to keep my genetically problematic cholesterol level from skyrocketing, as it did when I first began. This is all working well for me so far – I was able to cut 40 points from my abnormally high LDL (bad cholesterol) level within three months, And hope to get it down to normal levels in three more months. You do want to make sure you get your regular physical exams and monitor your blood work whenever you change your nutritional lifestyle. I wish you the best!
Dirty keto diet: “Dirty” is the apt term, as these version of keto follows the same strict percentages (75/20/5 of fat/protein/carbs) but rather than focusing on healthy versions of fat like coconut oil and wild salmon, you’re free to eat naughty but still keto friendly foods like bacon, sausage, pork rinds, diet sodas and even keto fast food. I do NOT recommend this.
At the first visit, participants were instructed how to follow the LCKD as individuals or in small groups, with an initial goal of ≤20 g carbohydrate per day. Participants were taught the specific types and amounts of foods they could eat, as well as foods to avoid. Initially, participants were allowed unlimited amounts of meats, poultry, fish, shellfish, and eggs; 2 cups of salad vegetables per day; 1 cup of low-carbohydrate vegetables per day; 4 ounces of hard cheese; and limited amounts of cream, avocado, olives, and lemon juice. Fats and oils were not restricted except that intake of trans fats was to be minimized. Participants were provided a 3-page handout and a handbook [11] detailing these recommendations. Participants prepared or bought all of their own meals and snacks following these guidelines. 
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