img/37f06cdb5ad4653c345dad23f18676b8.jpg
codetomake.com

Ketogenic diet: Is the ultimate low-carb diet good for you? - Harvard Health Blog - Harvard Health Publishing

2020.11.16 14:09



Search Cart Admin HEALTH TOPICS

Browse by Topic

Heart Health Back Blood Pressure Cholesterol Coronary Artery Disease Heart Attack Heart Failure Heart Medications Stroke Mind & Mood Back Addiction Adult & Child ADHD Alzheimer's & Dementia Anxiety Depression Improving Memory Mental Health Positive Psychology Stress Pain Back Arthritis Back Pain Headache Joint Replacement Other Pain Staying Healthy Back Aging Balance & Mobility Diet & Weight Loss Energy & Fatigue Exercise & Fitness Healthy Eating Physical Activity Screening Tests for Men Screening Tests for Women Sleep Cancer Back Breast Cancer Colorectal Cancer Other Cancers Prostate Health & Disease Skin Cancer Diseases & Conditions Back Adult & Child ADHD Alzheimer's & Dementia Diabetes Digestive Health Heart Disease More Diseases & Conditions Osteoporosis Stroke Thyroid Diseases Men's Health Back Birth Control Erectile Dysfunction Exercise & Fitness Healthy Eating Men's Sexual Health Prostate Cancer Prostate Health & Disease Screening Tests for Men Women's Health Back Birth Control Breast Health & Disease Exercise & Fitness Healthy Eating Menopause Osteoporosis Pregnancy Screening Tests for Women Women's Sexual Health Children's Health Back Adult & Child ADHD Autism Developmental Milestones Learning Disabilities Nutrition Nutrition for children Parenting Issues Physical Activity Vaccinations Licensing

Search Harvard Health Publishing

What can we help you find? Enter search terms and tap the Search button. Both articles and products will be searched.

Shopping Cart

Description Qty Price The Harvard Medical School 6-Week Plan for Healthy Eating (Print - Free U.S. Shipping!) $20.00 Improving Memory: Understanding Age-Related Memory Loss (PDF - Lowest Price!) $18.00 Harvard Health Letter (Print & Online Access (PDF)!) $16.00 Subtotal $54.00 Update Cart Checkout

Please note: If you have a promotional code you'll be prompted to enter it prior to confirming your order.

Customer Sign In

Returning Customer

If you have an account, please sign in.

New Customers

If you subscribe to any of our print newsletters and have never activated your online account, please activate your account below for online access. By activating your account, you will create a login and password. You only need to activate your account once.

Activate My Account

Library Manage Print Subscriptions Edit Account Settings Customer Service Sign Out

Pay Your Bill Online

Pay My Bill »

Pay My Bill » Cart Free Healthbeat Signup Shop ▼ Subscribe Special Health Reports Books Account ▼ Cart Library Manage Print Subscriptions Edit Account Settings Customer Service Sign Out Sign In Heart Health

Inside Heart Health:

Blood Pressure Cholesterol Coronary Artery Disease Heart Attack Heart Failure Heart Medications Stroke

Featured Content:

Beyond "bad" cholesterol: A closer look at your blood lipids Heart-related complications in people hospitalized with the flu Seed of the month: Pumpkin seeds When walking leads to leg pain Why you should move — even just a little — throughout the day

See All

In Case You Missed It:

Stay on top of heart failure symptoms

Self-help for atrial fibrillation

Grapefruit juice and statins

Get the latest news on health and wellness delivered to your inbox ! Mind & Mood

Inside Mind & Mood:

Addiction Adult & Child ADHD Alzheimer's & Dementia Anxiety Depression Improving Memory Mental Health Positive Psychology Stress

Featured Content:

Blood test could find Alzheimer’s disease before symptoms appear Happy holidays? The thinking on flavonoids Tips to improve concentration Worries on your mind

See All

In Case You Missed It:

Medications for depression: Which is best?

What is cognitive reserve?

Non-drug treatments for adult ADHD

Get the latest news on health and wellness delivered to your inbox ! Pain

Inside Pain:

Arthritis Back Pain Headache Joint Replacement Other Pain

Featured Content:

Use topical painkillers for strains and sprains Can home remedies help my sciatica? Trigeminal Neuralgia (Tic Douloureux) Relief for sore backsides Will my herniated disc heal on its own?

See All

In Case You Missed It:

5 exercises to improve hand mobility

When to seek immediate medical attention for neck pain

5 tips for coping with sciatica

Get the latest news on health and wellness delivered to your inbox ! Staying Healthy

Inside Staying Healthy:

Aging Balance & Mobility Diet & Weight Loss Energy & Fatigue Exercise & Fitness Healthy Eating Physical Activity Screening Tests for Men Screening Tests for Women Sleep

Featured Content:

5 factors to help you gauge where COVID-19 risk is highest 5 things to know about your morning cup of joe About face Are you healthy enough to age in place? New ingredient may keep bugs at bay

See All

In Case You Missed It:

Slow down—and try mindful eating

The best anti-inflammatory diets

Clean eating: The good and the bad

Get the latest news on health and wellness delivered to your inbox ! Cancer

Inside Cancer:

Breast Cancer Colorectal Cancer Other Cancers Prostate Health & Disease Skin Cancer

Featured Content:

Gum disease linked to an increased risk for cancer More daily movement may lower cancer deaths Oral health problems may raise cancer risk Squamous Cell Carcinoma of the Lung Throat Cancer (Larynx and Pharynx)

See All

In Case You Missed It:

Treating prostate cancer with combined hormonal-radiation therapy

Androgens, the family of male sex hormones that includes testosterone, function as a fuel for growth in normal development.

Can diet help fight prostate cancer?

Can adopting a healthier diet help fight prostate cancer?

Most melanomas start as new spots

Most melanomas come in the form of a new spot on the skin, not changes to an existing mole. Get the latest news on health and wellness delivered to your inbox ! Diseases & Conditions

Inside Diseases & Conditions:

Adult & Child ADHD Alzheimer's & Dementia Diabetes Digestive Health Heart Disease More Diseases & Conditions Osteoporosis Stroke Thyroid Diseases

Featured Content:

Feel woozy? Do this first How does inflammation increase the risk for heart attacks? Should I worry about a sudden swollen tongue? The new-old way to treat gout What could cause low blood pressure?

See All

In Case You Missed It:

Warning signs of a serious eye problem

Choosing the right sunglasses

11 ways to curb your drinking

Get the latest news on health and wellness delivered to your inbox ! Men's Health

Inside Men's Health:

Birth Control Erectile Dysfunction Exercise & Fitness Healthy Eating Men's Sexual Health Prostate Cancer Prostate Health & Disease Screening Tests for Men

Featured Content:

Get back in sexual sync Plant protein may help you live longer Speaking up about orgasms Does human growth hormone slow the aging process? The no-drug approach to erectile dysfunction

See All

In Case You Missed It:

Treatment: Watchful waiting for an enlarged prostate

5 things that can scuttle good sex

An enlarged prostate gland and incontinence

Some men with an enlarged prostate gland (benign prostatic hyperplasia, or BPH for short) eventually start to experience urinary incontinence, the involuntary discharge of urine. Get the latest news on health and wellness delivered to your inbox ! Women's Health

Inside Women's Health:

Birth Control Breast Health & Disease Exercise & Fitness Healthy Eating Menopause Osteoporosis Pregnancy Screening Tests for Women Women's Sexual Health

Featured Content:

A silent condition may be taking a toll on your health Can acupuncture help my menopause symptoms? Smokers may have higher risk of brain aneurysm Protect your bones with tai chi Uterine Cancer

See All

In Case You Missed It:

The muscle-bone connection

The best exercises for your bones

Hypothyroidism symptoms and signs in an older person

Some people over age 60 have few, if any, symptoms of an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism), while others experience the same symptoms younger people do. Get the latest news on health and wellness delivered to your inbox ! Children's Health

Inside Children's Health:

Adult & Child ADHD Autism Developmental Milestones Learning Disabilities Nutrition Nutrition for children Parenting Issues Physical Activity Vaccinations

Featured Content:

Different types of heart murmurs Should I worry about grandkids’ sports? CPR Resource Center School Lunches Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children

See All

In Case You Missed It:

Get the latest news on health and wellness delivered to your inbox ! Licensing Home Harvard Health Blog Ketogenic diet: Is the ultimate low-carb diet good for you? - Harvard Health Blog

Ketogenic diet: Is the ultimate low-carb diet good for you?

Posted July 27, 2017, 10:30 am , Updated April 14, 2020, 12:00 am Marcelo Campos, MD
Contributor

Recently, many of my patients have been asking about a ketogenic diet. Is a ketogenic diet safe? Would you recommend it? Despite the recent hype, a ketogenic diet is not something new. In medicine, we have been using it for almost 100 years to treat drug-resistant epilepsy, especially in children. In the 1970s, Dr. Atkins popularized his very-low-carbohydrate diet for weight loss that began with a very strict two-week ketogenic phase. Over the years, other fad diets incorporated a similar approach for weight loss.

What is a ketogenic (keto) diet?

In essence, it is a diet that causes the body to release ketones into the bloodstream. Most cells prefer to use blood sugar, which comes from carbohydrates, as the body’s main source of energy. In the absence of circulating blood sugar from food, we start breaking down stored fat into molecules called ketone bodies (the process is called ketosis). Once you reach ketosis, most cells will use ketone bodies to generate energy until we start eating carbohydrates again. The shift, from using circulating glucose to breaking down stored fat as a source of energy, usually happens over two to four days of eating fewer than 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. Keep in mind that this is a highly individualized process, and some people need a more restricted diet to start producing enough ketones.

Because it lacks carbohydrates, a ketogenic diet is rich in proteins and fats. It typically includes plenty of meats, eggs, processed meats, sausages, cheeses, fish, nuts, butter, oils, seeds, and fibrous vegetables. Because it is so restrictive, it is really hard to follow over the long run. Carbohydrates normally account for at least 50% of the typical American diet. One of the main criticisms of this diet is that many people tend to eat too much protein and poor-quality fats from processed foods, with very few fruits and vegetables. Patients with kidney disease need to be cautious because this diet could worsen their condition. Additionally, some patients may feel a little tired in the beginning, while some may have bad breath, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and sleep problems.

Is a ketogenic diet healthy?

We have solid evidence showing that a ketogenic diet reduces seizures in children, sometimes as effectively as medication. Because of these neuroprotective effects, questions have been raised about the possible benefits for other brain disorders such as Parkinson’s , Alzheimer’s , multiple sclerosis, sleep disorders, autism, and even brain cancer. However, there are no human studies to support recommending ketosis to treat these conditions.

Weight loss is the primary reason my patients use the ketogenic diet. Previous research shows good evidence of a faster weight loss when patients go on a ketogenic or very low carbohydrate diet compared to participants on a more traditional low-fat diet, or even a Mediterranean diet . However, that difference in weight loss seems to disappear over time.

A ketogenic diet also has been shown to improve blood sugar control for patients with type 2 diabetes, at least in the short term. There is even more controversy when we consider the effect on cholesterol levels. A few studies show some patients have increase in cholesterol levels in the beginning, only to see cholesterol fall a few months later. However, there is no long-term research analyzing its effects over time on diabetes and high cholesterol.

Key takeaways from a ketogenic diet review?

A ketogenic diet could be an interesting alternative to treat certain conditions and may accelerate weight loss. But it is hard to follow, and it can be heavy on red meat and other fatty, processed, and salty foods that are notoriously unhealthy. We also do not know much about its long-term effects, probably because it’s so hard to stick with that people can’t eat this way for a long time. It is also important to remember that “yo-yo diets” that lead to rapid weight loss fluctuation are associated with increased mortality. Instead of engaging in the next popular diet that would last only a few weeks to months (for most people that includes a ketogenic diet), try to embrace change that is sustainable over the long term. A balanced, unprocessed diet, rich in very colorful fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, whole grains, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and lots of water seems to have the best evidence for a long, healthier, vibrant life.

Related Information: Lose Weight and Keep It Off

Print

Related Posts:

Sticking to a low-salt diet when eating out Can a low-carbohydrate diet help keep weight off? Menopause and insomnia: Could a low-GI diet help? Getting your baby to sleep through the night: The… What’s good for the heart is good for the mind Comments 54 Topics Diet and Weight Loss | Health | Healthy Eating

Comments:

Posted September 11th, 2017 at 10:59 pm shanderM

I’m not buying this “hard to stick with” forgone conclusion. Living off of romaine lettuce and eggs, steak and broccoli, being able to eat buffalo chicken wings or cheeses make for all sorts of alternatives, and really most food does fit.. just bread, rice or root stuff doesn’t work.

It’s a habit to enjoy a brie cheese for desert instead of a piece of chocolate cake but each are favored deserts in France. I’m personally more satisfied after a 350 calorie sized wedge of brie than the same number of calories of cake.. which will give me sugar crash and .. really I’d like two slices of cake(I’ve got a sweet tooth that once I get going it wants to keep being fed)

It’s no hardship to eat buffalo chicken wings instead of pizza.. they’re both indulgences of the same sort and .. just choose the first if you want to remain Keto.

The real key though is the satiety. I find it harder to over-eat the chicken wings that I can with pizza .

Tuna fish with mayo and lettuce or a bowl of pasta with tomato sauce and chicken? Purely preference . both are rich it’s only a matter of setting a new cuisine preference.

The only issue with keto, is really that I’m afraid that it might be hard to up my calories to a maintenance weight now that I’ve gotten a taste preference for the rich assortment of foods with no carbs in them. I’m satisfied with less calories than I will need after my excess fat is burned off but , maybe I bet my body will send more hunger signs once there isn’t anymore body fat in the cupboard to use instead of what goes down my throat.

Posted September 10th, 2017 at 5:31 pm Lex

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.

So rather than giving one-size-fits-all dietary advice or weaponizing the word “balanced” it might be better if the medical community suggested that there are Individual differences that need to be considered. This might also help those lay folk who have had success with one dietary lifestyle or another also realize that what’s valid for them may not be good advice for others.

Posted September 6th, 2017 at 5:00 pm Jack Daniels

just to be fair a keto diet has its short term benefits but what the doc is trying to say is that it hasn’t been studied long term. I think most studies cover until two years so what happens after that?? in 5 years 10 years???

and for f..sakes nothing beats a balanced diet and exercise. Period.

Posted September 6th, 2017 at 12:06 am Mike Harris

I’ve been on the keto diet for 15 months. My triglycerides went from 293 to 71 after four months. I’m 45 years old. I no longer need statins. I haven’t felt this good in 20 years. I think I eat less meat then the average American. There’s my scientific proof.

Posted September 5th, 2017 at 3:26 pm Yvette Schlussel

Dr. Campos, it is unfortunate that you retain the medical community’s negative stance on the ketogenic diet, probably picked up in medical school when you studied ketoacidosis, in the midst of an obesity and type II diabetes epidemic that is growing every year, especially among populations who will never see the Harvard Health Letter. The medical community has failed in reversing this trend, especially among children, and the public is picking up the tab, in the form of higher health insurance premiums to treat chronic metabolic diseases which doctors cannot cure. The ketogenic diet does not bid its adherents to eat unhealthy processed meats, and the green leafy vegetables that it emphasizes are important in a number of nutritional deficiencies. People lose weight on the ketogenic diet, they lose their craving for sugar, they feel more satiety, they may become less depressed, their insulin receptors sensitivity is improved, and these are all the good outcomes you fail to mention. There is a growing body of research which demonstrates the neuroprotective effects of the ketogenic diet to slow cancer progression, as well as diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, for which there are no effective medical treatments. Please respect your patients by providing them with evidence-based medical outcomes, not opinions.

Posted September 5th, 2017 at 4:06 pm Yvette Schlussel

Here is some of the evidence, by the way:
Ann Intern Med. 2014 Sep 2;161(5):309-18. doi: 10.7326/M14-0180.
Effects of low-carbohydrate and low-fat diets: a randomized trial.
Bazzano LA, Hu T, Reynolds K, Yao L, Bunol C, Liu Y, Chen CS, Klag MJ, Whelton PK, He J.
The low-carbohydrate diet was more effective for weight loss and cardiovascular risk factor reduction than the low-fat diet. Restricting carbohydrate may be an option for persons seeking to lose weight and reduce cardiovascular risk factors.

2)Ann Intern Med. 2004 May 18;140(10):769-77.
A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-fat diet to treat obesity and hyperlipidemia: a randomized, controlled trial.

Yancy WS Jr1, Olsen MK, Guyton JR, Bakst RP, Westman EC.

Compared with a low-fat diet, a low-carbohydrate diet program had better participant retention and greater weight loss. During active weight loss, serum triglyceride levels decreased more and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level increased more with the low-carbohydrate diet than with the low-fat diet.

Posted August 8th, 2017 at 10:47 am Lucas Medeiros

Dr. Campos,

Your article is very good: best evidence-based medicine, avoided “religious” myths about nutrition, was careful and insightful.

Hope to read more posts of your thoughtful expertise.

Congratulations,

Dr. Lucas Medeiros (from Rio de Janeiro Brazil)

Posted August 18th, 2017 at 8:04 pm Robert L. Weiss, L.I.C.S.W., C.A.S.

Hi Dr Mederios,

My point here is that the warnings about the ketogenic principles are well taken and well documented. My concern is implications that this is a fad. I don’t use the word diet with my patients and I’m concerned that the principles behind the label and the real results that these readers have commented on might get minimized. I have found it best to encourage patients to read authors like: Stephen Phinney, Jeff Volek, Patricia Daly, and Charles Gant and the be partners with their doctors and check blood work as they move along. I am not for or against the article. If ketogenic principles offer people enduring, satisfying, and cohesive change then why not read about its potential and flexilbity?

Posted August 7th, 2017 at 12:54 pm Robert L. Weiss, L.I.C.S.W., C.A.S.

I have great respect for Harvard Medical School. I notice that they support their readers posting comments and I am most appreciative of the article and all the many thoughtful comments by the readers. The readers seem to have the most expertise here and I hope that the doctor who wrote the article will think long and hard about the comments by readers. After 35 years of clinical practice in mental health, I notice that all issues of emotion involve medical issues, nutrition, and the gut bacteria. I would say that these issues and all of the executive brain functions seem to improve with ketogenic principles. For those that apply it in a flexible and smart manner, it appears to improve every area of their lives. I strongly encourage the author of the article to take one class via The Institute for Functional Medicine. If he is open to more learning he can take more classes and get certified. I’m sure a fine doctor, he will be an even better doctor and personally healthier, if he gets more training. Are we all open to new learning(especially us healthcare providers)?

Posted August 3rd, 2017 at 10:28 pm Oscar Bressane

Dear Dr. Marcelo Campos.
We are brazilian, living in Brazil. My daughter, Isabel, 21y. o., born in 1996, has syndrome of deficiency of Glut1. She was diagnosed around her first year of life. At that time her baby bottle, her begining diet meal, was 50ml water plus 50ml oil plus vitamin. Since then, which means, for 20 years, she is under this diet. For almost 18 years under 4:1 proportion. At this right moment 3:1. The only problem she had since started the diet were kidney stones in 2002. Nothing else. Grateful to the diet she doesn’t take any kind of medicine to avoid seizures. Her health is perfect, no colesterol at all. We are at your will for any issues related to her health.

Posted August 2nd, 2017 at 3:39 pm Max

Dr. Campos is objective in his presentation, but some of the comments in favor of ketogenic diets are rather exalted in tone. Perhaps a good diet would simply be one where you eat moderate quantities of the basic food groups and exercise a couple of hours a week.

Posted August 2nd, 2017 at 10:32 am Keenan

It is a diet that tells you to cut out sugar and starch. So no more doughnuts. Nothing wrong with that!
Nobody is obliged to consume huge quantities of meat, and meat products. You seem to have a knee jerk bias against this diet because it works, and the usual waffle about “moderation” does not.

Posted August 1st, 2017 at 8:16 pm Heather

Keto is not hard to follow at all. See, this is why I took my diet and nutrition into my own hands. I have PCOS and the ketogenic diet has worked wonders for me. I’m finally pregnant at the age of 32 and after 11 years of marriage because the ketogenic diet made me lose over 100 lbs and brought my insulin resistance under control. I feel better than I’ve ever felt. Sometimes doctors don’t seem to know as much as they should, or as much as they assume they do, and that’s pretty disturbing. Just like they’re still using the old school and very inaccurate BMI charts that are just pure bs. I’ll just take care of myself outside of certain situations involving illness or injury. I’m doing great on my own.

Posted August 1st, 2017 at 5:48 pm Bernard Berger

Isn’t the Atkins diet the traditional Eskimo diet which Eskimos have eaten for countless generations? Almost nothing grows in Northern Alaska, so the Eskimo diet is almost entirely from meat & fish. Shouldn’t be too hard to study.

Posted August 5th, 2017 at 5:22 pm john

there is adaptation,see darwins finches

Posted August 1st, 2017 at 1:37 pm bettyG

Yes you can lose fat on a low carb because it’s just another low calorie diet. How do I know this? I’ve done low carb, (Atkins, etc) high carb, (Slimming Word) moderate carb etc and log my food and was shocked each time to see they were all low calorie. After the initial week or so the rate of fat loss is same as any other diet. It’s calories in calories out. Simple. It’s what some call indirect deficit diet placing silly restriction, rules can eat must eat etc. and of course you lose weight but nothing to do with low carb. It works because it’s a low calorie diet.

Posted August 1st, 2017 at 12:49 pm Claudia Groposo

I’m following the ketogenic diet and I find it very easy, pleasant and varied. I can even say that my diet today is more varied than the previous one. I do not intend to leave this diet and I cannot really see why. My initial focus was not to lose weight, I’ve always been lean, but to feel better, well disposed. And I got it! I am very pleased, I have read a lot about it (including scientific literature) and I have influenced other people who need to lose weight or improve some aspects of their health. But from the beginning I went on my own way, without the help of a nutritionist because I did not want to suffer the influence of others’ ideas.

Posted August 1st, 2017 at 10:50 am Miriam Kalamian

Dr. Campos, it is so discouraging to see that you disparage the ketogenic diet based on your assumption that it is very heavy in poor quality processed meats. No diet that relies on processed foods can be viewed as “healthy”. Become better informed by getting up to speed with what Jeff Volek, RD, PhD, calls a “well-formulated ketogenic diet.” Also, learn more about the potential of the diet to slow cancer progression (my specialty). You owe it to your patients who are depending on you for advice. Present them with facts, not opinions.

Posted August 2nd, 2017 at 5:30 am Randy Dee

Thank you. 🙂
The misinformation on this subject from professionals is very frustrating.

Posted August 30th, 2017 at 8:52 am Álvaro

This kind of opinions leads to misinformation, we need to try harder to give the people nothing but the truth.

Thank you so much Miriam

Posted August 1st, 2017 at 10:25 am Anthony

What about Brain Grain by David Perlmutter.
Also the Australian CSIRO just published Low-Carb Diet which is supported by lots of strong evidence. ISBN 978-1-925481-48-8.

Posted August 1st, 2017 at 9:41 am Leonora Renda

While there have not been large studies that show the relationship between the ketogenic diet and cancer, we will be publishing a case study about that topic. The author failed to comment that pediatric patients with epilepsy are on the diet for usually about 2 years with no harmful effects. Before the false studies about heart disease and fat, the low carb diet was a respected way to lose weight. Studies into our metabolism show we can use both fat and carbohydrate as fuel. So stepping away from our high carb diet- I am sorry to say that we eat more carbs since the 70s with most of it processed and we now use high fructose corn syrup to sweeten products and we have a wide spread childhood obesity problem. If cholesterol is a concern try plant sterols and stenals to block cholesterol from the receptors in the body. So much more can be said about a keto diet than this article states

Posted August 1st, 2017 at 5:46 am Rita

There are loads of scientific studies, books, blogs, podcasts etc that provide information about the ketogenic diet. All you have to do is visit the ketogenicforum.com and look for the science section.

One point not mentioned is that once you are in ketosis hunger and cravings are reduced to the point that even carb addicted people find the diet easier to follow. There are many delicious foods to substitute for your SAD (standard American diet) diet that caused obesity and T2D to become epidemic.

Posted August 1st, 2017 at 4:43 am S Z Jafrey

Would like to know , how safe this diet in diabetics T2, and how long a diabetic can follow this?

Posted August 1st, 2017 at 3:44 am Richard

Despite the scientific evidence pointing to the harm that olive oil and other oils do to the arteries many doctors still repeat the myth. Just more evidence that most doctors are not a good source of nutritional information.
Even Harvard puts out conflicting information concerning the harmful impact of drinking milk and/or consuming dairy depending on which department at Harvard is putting out the information.

Posted August 1st, 2017 at 3:21 am Ted T

“A balanced, unprocessed diet, rich in very colorful fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, whole grains, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and lots of water seems to have the best evidence for a long, healthier, vibrant life.”

You say a key I diet is very restrictive and hard to follow. Yet, what you recommend, excepting the whole grains, is almost precisely (don’t fear the fat in meat) a keto diet.

As for the marine’s argument, above, extreme military maneuvers, as do extreme sports, demand their own nutritional requirements that bear no relevance to the average person’s diet (including the typical avid “gym rat”). It is neither fanatical nor unreasonable to eliminate sugars and grains (whole or otherwise) from one’s diet.

Posted August 1st, 2017 at 9:21 am Meta

Indeed! Leave out the (whole) grain and you are there. In no way hard to follow, and no hunger, no cravings.

Posted July 31st, 2017 at 10:46 pm Bill Daumen

I have been on the Keto diet for a year. It is easy to follow and for the first time I feel in contol of my health. Your recommendations on cholesterol and saturated fat need to be updated. Eating high carbs and low fat diets made me hungry all the time. Now I eat 2 meals a day and I’m not hungry.

Posted July 31st, 2017 at 10:32 pm Joy Jurena

You may want to become familiar with Dr. Terry Wahls and her version of a ketogenic diet.

The base of the Wahls diet is above the ground vegetables. Far more than in a vegan diet. She doesn’t do dairy or eggs as she is sensitive to both. Further, she consumes mostly coconut oil as her primary fat for the ketones and this allows for higher intake of vegetables and some fruit. The only vegetable oil is olive.

She is very strict about adhering to her protocol and one can understand this . She reversed secondary progress MS.

I do not know if I am in ketosis but I do the daily fast of 12-16 hours, drink homemade bone broth and use only the fat she recommends. I have no chronic conditions but did get rid of arthritic pain and have terrific lipid numbers.

Posted July 31st, 2017 at 9:07 pm Anoush Aleksanyan

Thanks for this inputs. 20 years ago I gain 17 pounds a year for 5 years. I was healthy but my dr told me start diet, any diet just come back in a month I want to see you start loosing I started Atkins and lost 7 pound in a month. She was checking my progress every six months and checking my condition. I lost 64 pounds in 3 years. Now I started eating out of control. I am eating healthy but too much I gain 40 pound back after 20 years. Now I will start again my Atkins to take off 30 pounds

Posted July 31st, 2017 at 8:45 pm Thomas T

.. it can be heavy on red meat and other fatty, processed, and salty foods that are notoriously unhealthy. What is unhealthy about red meat. We should know that acrilamides, pyrroles in burnt meat (and veges) from BBQ and over-heated cooking inflames the colon. According to Clark H R, PhD ND an inflamed part allows easy entry for the cancer nucleus and cancer complex, to start and fuel a malignancy at that location.

Fatty bad? Grass fed animal fats have CLA, LCFAs and Om3, all heart healthy. Cholesterol is essential for life, for stress and sex hormones, for Vit A and D synthesis etc.

Posted July 31st, 2017 at 3:36 pm WOODRUFF W HALSEY II

Would love to hear more about ketosis as a way to fight cancer. Is it true that cancer cells feed on sugar, but not ketones?
Woody Halsey

Posted July 31st, 2017 at 2:54 pm Frank LeFever

I think monosaturated fats should be emphasized such as is found in peanut butter and olive oil. N o need to make a peanut butter sandwich no bread needed, just eat it by the spoonful.
I have also read a study that reports blood levels of PUFAs rise adequately only if these valuable fats [especially valuable omega-3] are ingested with lecithin. I hold lecithin granules in my mouth while I chew on capsules of fish oil.

Posted August 1st, 2017 at 3:47 am Richard

Do you also use voodoo dolls? Try a little science as can be found on the sites of Drs Greger, Fuhrman, Esselstyn, Ornish and McDougall.

Posted July 31st, 2017 at 2:08 pm Melissa

I actually went on a ketogenic diet last year to see if it would help my migraines. I have a history of chronic migraines which would usually last 3 days, sometimes longer. Triptans help a lot but I don’t like having to take them. I stayed in ketosis for about 8 months and experienced a significant reduction in migraines, from feeling some type of headache (mild o r severe) almost everyday to 1 or 2x per month while in ketosis. Although I’m very healthy otherwise, I do think my migraines may have something to do with blood sugar fluctuations (despite previously eating a whole foods diet and no refined carbs), and keto totally stabilized this. I eventually came off of Keto because I’m not really a meat lover. When I came off, but remained low carb, my migraines stayed under control for the most part. When I increase carbs, they do return.

Posted July 31st, 2017 at 2:54 pm Beth

I actually clicked on the story just to see if they included anything about it’s use in managing chronic migraine. I have chronic migraine, basically intractable. Nothing has helped. I’ve tried medications, meditations, and everything in between including a bunch of dietary changes. Keto is my next consideration. I’m happy to hear it helped you! Thanks for sharing

Posted July 31st, 2017 at 3:00 pm Frank LeFever

Very interesting. My classical migraines transitioned to “migraine equivalents” 20 years ago, but I believe migrainous disturbances go far beyond headaches migrainous confusion, etc. and these may be persisting, accounting for such things as my balance problems, etc.

Posted July 31st, 2017 at 2:03 pm bill reichert

No one knows the long term effects of the ketogenic diet and they never will know because it is impossible to study diet
scientifically over a long time (i.e over 2o years)
.

Posted August 1st, 2017 at 3:51 am Richard

No idea how you came to that conclusion but it simply is not true.
You can dispute the traditional Okinawan diet if you like but the facts are there for everyone that knows how to read.
There have been many cases of large populations consuming almost identical diets for many decades, not just Okinawa.

Posted July 31st, 2017 at 1:53 pm Harley Hill

Interesting article regarding a diet I followed in the 70s with great success. A favor, please. Could you please correct the mispelling of “outweighs. ” (You spelled it “outways,” and it grates. ) Thank you.

Posted July 31st, 2017 at 1:40 pm Romilly Hodges

Thank you for bringing needed attention to this topic.

A ketogenic diet is in our toolkit of dietary and lifestyle interventions that we have seen very helpful for numerous conditions, including weight loss, insulin/glucose dysregulation, neurological disorders, even cancer. We often use it during a period of more intense therapeutic intervention, not as a maintenance diet.

It is not a high-protein diet, however. It is a high-fat diet. Attention needs to be paid to food quality, types of fat intake, and micronutrient intake, just like any other diet.

Increases in cholesterol levels need discussion too. We do see temporary increases in cholesterol levels often as individuals transition onto a ketogenic diet. However, when you examine lipid particle size (a more important way to look at the cardiovascular risks), the risk pattern doesn’t seem to increase with a ketogenic diet. Harvard Health has written about lipid particle size here before: http://www.health.harvard.edu/womens-health/should-you-seek-advanced-cholesterol-testing-

Although four years old now, this is a nice review of the literature on ketogenic diets for various health conditions: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3826507/
Another, more recent review (not free text), here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26782788

Romilly Hodges MS CNS
Director, Nutrition Programs for Dr. Kara Fitzgerald

Posted July 31st, 2017 at 3:16 pm Victoria

Thanks! Excelent comment!

Posted July 31st, 2017 at 1:32 pm Paulo A Franke

Shameful to see a fellow countryman joining the anti-fat, pro-grains stupid Harvard bandwagon.
But then, what should I expect?
Brazilians are happily following the idiotic obesity example of Americans, indulging in sugars and cereals. And getting obese and sick by doing it.
Shame on Brazil, shame on the US of A.

Posted July 31st, 2017 at 1:29 pm cheryl

This was a great read. I aim to restrict carbs always because I believe most are why the American population is obese. I would very much like to hear more about carb restriction excluding the discussion on processed meats and processed high salt content foods because I consume neither. I also don’t consume dairy or eggs. So can you provide some substance.

Posted July 29th, 2017 at 12:03 am Nigel

Another point is protein intake. It needs to be 1g per 1kg of weight, not as this article suggests.

Too much protein can knock you out of ketosis.

I’m now 3 months ketogenic.

Loce it!

Posted July 28th, 2017 at 1:53 am John Wright

There is nothing inherently difficult about following a ketogenic diet. We have many patients who do this very easily over many years. The metabolic benefits significantly outway any perceived challenges from limiting particular food types. Uptake would be far more widespread if nutrition professionals left their predujical opinions of SFA’s behind. Finally, given the expertise in Ketogenic Diets at Harvard, Dr David Ludwig, for one springs to mind, I am surprised the author did not avail themselves of the local expertise.

Posted July 28th, 2017 at 9:56 am eric

Very well put! I’m in full agreement. I also noted the author’s ignorance in suggesting a 2-4 day time-line in the shift to fat-adaptation. Sure, ketones may show up in the bloodstream soon enough, but certainly not full nutritional ketosis in that short of time. I found that to be telling.

Posted July 28th, 2017 at 12:34 am Macrofour

Thanks Dr Campos,

We do need more discussion of the keto diet. That said:

I have been on a low carb keto diet for more than a year. As T2DM my A1C dropped from 9% to 5.4% & I discontinued meds. All my lipids improved even with ample healthy saturated fat. More than a year now so I wonder why this would be a short term improvement when its obvious that I will not go back to a high A1C and taking 3 diabetes medications including sulphonylureas. It is clear from this article that you lack the necessary experience that would be gained from wholeheartedly trying the diet or monitoring patients doing it properly like me. I would be probably be facing my first amputation if I believed the negativity in your article. So for people with diabetes who may be dissuaded by your article. Ignore it and take back your health by restricting carbs ( 25 g a day) or as low as you reasonably can below 130g while being satisfied that you are getting adequate nutrition.

Macro Four

Posted July 29th, 2017 at 12:48 am Michael Souza

You’re but one of many fanatics I’ve observed whose minds contract once they happen on something “new and miraculous.” The good doctor is sharing his bit of wisdom; if you don’t agree, it’s wiser to keep your fanaticism in check, lest you come across as a mindless jihadi.

I was a Corpsman (not a corpse-man as some recent somewhat fanatical president would say), and I can tell you many stories of Marines and Sailors who maintained restrictive diets (aka picky eaters). Most obvious was lack of sustaining energy (hypoglycemia) at mile 15 (with 80lbs of gear including a 6.5lb rifle and 200 rnds of ammo, etc.) and depletion of essential vitamins, electrolyte imbalance. They were always the first to collapse and have to hear me scold “see I told you so.” An IV of D5W usually does the trick (D is for dextrose, OMG!)

Look, the good doctor is right he only forgot to stress “portion control” which is why many fanatical dieters are so kee-jerk reactive to any discussion odds are you over ate like a hog before your keto diet, and are weak and insecure in your diet plans. Eat EVERYTHING in small amounts, and you will live long and prosper. The only thing to avoid are processed foods. Cook your meals from scratch using quality ingredients.

Posted July 30th, 2017 at 8:02 pm Helen

Fanatic? Someone with T2D, a disease usually claimed to be progressive and a never ending stream of problems and medications, was REVERSED. That’s something to shout from the rooftops. The drop in medication use alone, but the big pharma companies would prefer that people’s stories of reversing (well, putting it into remission) T2D get called fanatical instead of insightful.

The poster isn’t weak and insecure he was probably following the food pyramid that tells people to eat five (5!) meals a day, and to load each and everyone up with carbs.

Keto and LCHF have tremendous health benefits, in particular for people who have overeaten themselves into metabolic diseases.

Posted July 27th, 2017 at 6:09 pm Othman

Hello,
i am Personal Trainer and own a gym, and i tried along with our dietionist this diet plus 5 days weekly training on 4 clients to be honest we’ve got a huge amazing result, one of my clients went from 149kg to 82kg in 9 months
But we used mixed diets, Ketogenic diet was for 1 month and it wasn’t difficult due to the nature of our region (Mediterranean), but we used also some supplementation to protect the body cells and also some other supplementation like the BCAA during the training sessions
I guess Ketogenic diet is a must especially for the First month, than you can change the diet and training also is a must.

Posted July 27th, 2017 at 3:13 pm Jonah

Thanks for this article. I just started a Keto diet so found it appropriate to my current lifestyle. Though I don’t believe your bottom line is strong enough since you simply stating that the diet is “hard to follow” and food is “notoriously unhealthy” without evidence going deeper into why those “notoriously unhealthy” foods are worse than keeping carbohydrate-heavy food that are addictive and give the body a quick sugar high for energy. I believe “hard to follow” is your opinion only, since acceptable Keto foods are found at all restaurants easily and also all grocery stores. All the foods you mention: “rich in very colorful fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, whole grains, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and lots of water” are all Keto-friendly. Many people have been on a Keto-diet for years. A healthy lifestyle is a healthy mindset change and making right choices it’s not going to be easy.

Posted July 27th, 2017 at 10:54 am Keegan

A great read! Thank you for the thorough explanation of ketogenic dieting. For me this just reinforces the obvious; a healthy balanced diet is the best approach to obtaining and maintaining a healthy body. Moderation is key.

I love my carbohydrates!

Hope to see more posts from you Dr. Campos!

Posted July 31st, 2017 at 3:02 pm Frank LeFever

Very interesting. My classical migraines transitioned to “migraine equivalents” 20 years ago, but I believe migrainous disturbances go far beyond headaches migrainous confusion, etc. and these may be persisting, accounting for such things as my balance problems, etc.

Commenting has been closed for this post.

Sign Up Now For
HEALTH beat
Our FREE E-Newsletter

Get weekly health information and advice from the experts at Harvard Medical School.

Recent Posts

Birth control and high blood pressure: Which methods are safe for you? Nov 13, 2020 Quarantine snacking fixer-upper Nov 12, 2020 A new Alzheimer’s drug: From advisory panel to FDA — what’s at stake here? Nov 12, 2020 Drugstore skincare: Science-backed anti-aging ingredients that don’t break the bank Nov 11, 2020 How to recognize a ministroke or stroke — and what to do Nov 10, 2020

Recent Comments

Comment on Quarantine snacking fixer-upper Comment on Early birds may be more active, but night owls can catch up Comment on Coping with IBS Comment on Coping with IBS Comment on Coping with IBS

Archive

2020 November October September August July June May April March February January 2019 December November October September August July June May April March February January 2018 December November October September August July June May April March February January 2017 December November October September August July June May April March February January 2016 December November October September August July June May April March February January 2015 December November October September August July June May April March February January 2014 December November October September August July June May April March February January 2013 December November October September August July June May April March February January 2012 December November October September August July June May April March February January 2011 December November October September August July June May April March February January 2010 December November October September August 2009 December November October September June April March February

Our Experts

Howard LeWine, M.D. Chief Medical Editor, Harvard Health Publishing Nancy Ferrari Managing Director and Executive Editor, Harvard Health Publishing Heidi Godman Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter Kelly Bilodeau Executive Editor, Harvard Women's Health Watch Matthew Solan Executive Editor, Harvard Men's Health Watch Julie Corliss Executive Editor, Harvard Heart Letter

View all of our experts

Harvard Health Bestsellers

Walking for Health Stretching: 35 exercises to improve flexibility and reduce pain Fighting Inflammation A Guide to Men s Health Fifty and Forward Better Balance: Simple exercises to improve stability and prevent falls

Follow Harvard Health Publishing

Become a Fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Subscribe to our RSS Feed

Disclaimer:

The contents displayed within this public group(s), such as text, graphics, and other material ("Content") are intended for educational purposes only. The Content is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding your medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in a public group(s).

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your healthcare provider or 911 immediately. Any mention of products or services is not meant as a guarantee, endorsement, or recommendation of the products, services, or companies. Reliance on any information provided is solely at your own risk. Please discuss any options with your healthcare provider.

The information you share, including that which might otherwise be Protected Health Information, to this site is by design open to the public and is not a private, secure service. You should think carefully before disclosing any personal information in any public forum. What you have written may be seen, disclosed to, or collected by third parties and may be used by others in ways we are unable to control or predict, including to contact you or otherwise be used for unauthorized or unlawful purposes. As with any public forum on any site, this information may also appear in third-party search engines like Google, MSN, Yahoo, etc. Your use of this site is governed by Harvard University and its affiliates Terms of Use located at www.health.harvard.edu/privacy-policy and may be amended from time to time.

View Less

The contents displayed within this public group(s), such as text, graphics, and other material ("Content") are intended for educational purposes only. The Content is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. . . .

View More

Topics

Addiction Adolescent health Alcohol Bones and joints Concussions Cooking and recipes Coronavirus and COVID-19 Cosmetic surgery Environmental health Fatigue Fertility Folk remedies Food as medicine Health Addiction Allergies Alzheimer s Disease Anxiety and Depression Arthritis Asthma Autoimmune diseases Back Pain Behavioral Health Brain and cognitive health Breast Cancer Cancer Caregiving Children s Health Cold and Flu Complementary and alternative medicine Dental Health Diabetes Diet and Weight Loss Digestive Disorders Drugs and Supplements Ear, nose, and throat Emergency Planning End of life Exercise and Fitness Eye Health Family Planning and Pregnancy First Aid Foot Care Genes Headache Health care Health care disparities Health policy Healthy Aging Healthy Eating Hearing Loss Heart Health Hypertension and Stroke Incontinence Infectious diseases Injuries Kidney and urinary tract Lung disease Managing your health care Medical Research Memory Men s Health Menopause Mental Health Migraines Mind body medicine Neurological conditions Osteoarthritis Osteoporosis Pain Management Parenting Pets Pregnancy Prevention Prostate Health Radiation Relationships Safety Screening Sex Sexual Conditions Skin and Hair Care Sleep Smoking cessation Stress Surgery Tests and procedures Thyroid Disorders Travel health Vaccines Women s Health Workplace health Yoga Health trends HIV Immunotherapy Infertility Inflammation LGBTQ+ Marijuana Memory Nutrition Probiotics Prostate Knowledge BPH Diagnosis ED Hematospermia Incontinence Living With Prostate Cancer Patient Perspectives Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia Prostatitis Q & A Risks and Prevention Screening Treatments Vitamins and supplements Sign up for HEALTHbeat Digital Subscriptions Special Health Reports Print Subscriptions Customer Service About Us Permissions Do Not Sell My Personal Information Privacy Policy Facebook Twitter RSS © 2010 - 2020 Harvard University. All rights reserved.


  • The Keto Diet for Beginners | Ketogenic.com
    The ketogenic diet is a very high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, which has a fasting-like effect bringing the body into a state of ketosis. The presence of ketone bodies has a neuroprotective impact on aging brain cells. Moreover, their production may enhance mitochondrial function, reduce the expression of inflammatory and apoptotic mediators. ...
  • A Ketogenic Diet for Beginners: The #1 Keto Guide - Diet ...
    The ketogenic diet (or keto diet, for short) is a low carb, high fat diet that offers many health benefits. In fact, many studies show that this type of diet can help you lose weight and improve ...
  • Keto Diet: What is a Ketogenic Diet? - WebMD
    The ketogenic diet causes a rapid and sensible weight loss along with favourable biomarker changes, such as a reduction in serum hemoglobin A1c in patients with diabetes mellitus type 2. However, it also causes a substantial rise in low density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and many physicians are therefore hesitant to endorse it.
  • The ketogenic diet: Pros and cons
    The Diet. There is not one “standard” ketogenic diet with a specific ratio of macronutrients (carbohydrates, protein, fat).The ketogenic diet typically reduces total carbohydrate intake to less than 50 grams a day—less than the amount found in a medium plain bagel—and can be as low as 20 grams a day.
  • Diet Review: Ketogenic Diet for Weight Loss | The ...
    A ketogenic diet—also called a keto diet—is a very low carbohydrate diet designed to force your body to burn fat instead of glucose for energy. Proponents of the diet claim that it is the most effective way to burn fat and achieve or maintain a lean body.
  • The Ketogenic Diet for Diabetes: Is It Good for Diabetics?
    The ketogenic diet is a high fat, moderate protein, low carbohydrate eating pattern, which differs from general, healthful eating recommendations. Many nutrient-rich foods are sources of carbohydrates, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, milk and yogurt. On a keto diet, carbs from all sources are severely restricted.
  • Ketogenic diet | healthdirect
    A ketogenic diet may help endurance athletes -- runners and cyclists, for example -- when they train. Over time, it helps your muscle-to-fat ratio and raises the amount of oxygen your body is able ...
  • Ketogenic Diet in Alzheimer's Disease - PubMed
    The ketogenic diet was developed as a treatment for epilepsy in 1924 by Dr Russell Wilder at the Mayo Clinic. Research has found the diet to be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of seizures in patients with severe epilepsy, but many people, including Hollywood's A-list, have adopted the extreme diet for quick weight loss.
  • Ketogenic diet: Is the ultimate low-carb diet good for you ...
    A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-fat diet to treat obesity and hyperlipidemia: a randomized, controlled trial. Yancy WS Jr1, Olsen MK, Guyton JR, Bakst RP, Westman EC. Compared with a low-fat diet, a low-carbohydrate diet program had better participant retention and greater weight loss.
  • Ketogenic Diet Plan and Detailed Guide for Beginners ...
    The ketogenic, or keto, diet is popular as a way to help people lose weight. But is it a safe, effective method to keep diabetes under control? Scientists are still studying how the diet affects ...