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  #31   ^
Old Mon, Jan-11-21, 05:20
JEY100's Avatar
JEY100 JEY100 is offline
To Good Health!
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Originally Posted by BawdyWench
Janet, I fully agree with you and others on the fact that some people can't do high-fat keto because the body will most likely burn the fat you eat (an easy process) rather than burn your body fat (a more complex process). I also find that I simply can't eat that much fat. When fat gets up to around 70% I start having trouble getting it all in without drinking melted butter.

Yesterday I tested my blood sugar when I woke up. It was 94. About an hour later I had about 5 oz of chicken breast with a Tablespoon of butter. An hour after that I tested again and it was 91. I took this to mean that the protein did not raise my blood sugar. Did I do that correctly? Was the timing right to get accurate results?

That's the way to test your reaction to foods, anywhere 1-2 hours after is OK. You can test anything if on its artificial sweeteners raise your BG? Etc. Protein did not for you. But if if want to get fancy in a nerdy, geeky type of way, consider Data Driven Fasting...where your own BG level BEFORE meals indicates if your "fuel tank" is empty.

The Marty Kendall review of Taubes book above looks at the increased consumption of fats (mostly soybean oils) to the decreased consumption of carbs. ... where the "it’s all about carbs and sugar story" get rockier.

Last edited by JEY100 : Mon, Jan-11-21 at 06:03.
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  #32   ^
Old Mon, Jan-11-21, 08:58
BawdyWench's Avatar
BawdyWench BawdyWench is offline
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Thanks for the links, Janet.

I downloaded the Data-Driven Fasting PDF several months ago, but didn't feel like doing all the finger pricks at the time. But, I started today (downloaded the Excel spreadsheet for tracking purposes). I didn't test upon waking, but did after having black coffee before breakfast. Just had breakfast at 9:30, so I'll test again around 11:00. I'll try to keep this up for 3 days and see what my baseline is. Might be an interesting experiment.
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  #33   ^
Old Mon, Jan-11-21, 22:39
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s93uv3h s93uv3h is offline
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If anyone wants it, I have a copy of The Case for Keto to give away. Please PM me your address and it'll be on the way.

edit: this is mailed...

Last edited by s93uv3h : Tue, Jan-12-21 at 20:49.
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  #34   ^
Old Fri, Jan-15-21, 15:57
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Demi Demi is offline
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Why keto is here for keeps – and how to get started on a low-carb, high-fat lifestyle

High-fat, low-carb eating remains controversial. But for some people, a new book argues, it just works

By Tom Ough

Back in 2002, the science writer Gary Taubes was, to much of the medical establishment, a pariah. Taubes had authored an article for The New York Times Magazine called “What If It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie?”

From the piece’s beginning to its end, Taubes cast doubt on the medical orthodoxy that low-fat diets were helpful for weight loss. Low-fat diets, he said, were likely to be partially responsible for America’s ballooning obesity crisis (mirrored here in Britain). The evidence was beginning to indicate, Taubes wrote, that a diet low in carbs and high in fat, however – eggs, bacon, butter and so on – would, counter-intuitively, make its eaters slimmer and longer-lived.

At that point, the most prominent guise of the low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) regime was the Atkins diet. Robert Atkins, whose books on the topic sold millions, was seen by the medical establishment as a peddler of a fad diet that encouraged the consumption of dangerous quantities of fat and protein. On publication of his article, Taubes acquired a similar reputation.

But look at the new arrivals in any bookshop’s food section. Look at the diets being discussed online. Listen to how your friends and relatives are aiming to lose weight. You will read and hear the word “keto” repeatedly.

“Keto” is short for “ketogenic”, a word that refers to ketosis, the bodily state in which you use fat for fuel instead of carbohydrates. The keto diet, which is essentially the Atkins diet shorn of the name of the doctor, who died in 2003, has become more mainstream than ever, and Taubes remains at the vanguard. His new book, The Case for Keto, argues that those who fatten easily – and Taubes includes himself – should spurn carbohydrates, whose consumption results in the release of insulin, a hormone that prompts our bodies to store energy as fat. These people should replace carbs with dietary fat, which doesn’t spike insulin. When our insulin levels are low, our bodies are primed to burn adipose fat for fuel instead of adding to it.

“A few tens of thousands of physicians are now prescribing these diets,” says Taubes, speaking via webcam from his home in Oakland, California. “That’s all from, say, a dozen 20 years ago.” He says there are about 100 scientific trials of ketogenic diets being conducted in the United States. “The research community has gotten fascinated by them because they’re so effective.”

Taubes has experienced this effectiveness. Around the time that he began researching his controversial article, he weighed 17st 3lbs, an increase of 2st 3lb from his weight as a young man. “I hadn’t had an avocado in a decade. I thought that, like red meat, it would kill me with heart disease or colon cancer the moment I bit into it.”

Intrigued by what was then the fringe science of low-carb, high-fat, he experimented with the Atkins diet. “I switched from this low-fat, mostly-plant diet on which I’d been getting fatter. I started eating eggs and bacon for breakfast, and lunch would be half a roast chicken or a steak with green vegetables.” Dinner would be similar. Taubes lost 11.3kg (almost two stone).

Today he is a lean and muscular 64-year-old. Taubes is a good advertisement for the keto diet, to which he remains faithful. He is still fighting the dogma that obesity is a consequence of individual weakness rather than a hormonal imbalance caused by the modern Western diet. Our bodies, the argument goes, evolved in an environment where fatty meats and fresh leaves were much easier to come by than the starchy, sugary foods we eat today.

Yet public health guidance typically recommends bread, pasta and potatoes. “Starchy food,” says the NHS’s Eatwell Guide, “should make up just over a third of the food we eat.” Guidance along those lines, Taubes says, “is just the wrong advice. It works for lean and healthy people, who, if they follow that advice, will probably remain lean and healthy. But for those of us who are predisposed to get fat, and we are now 50 per cent of the population, that’s the wrong advice. We do that diet and we get fatter, and/or we get hungry. So we’re either going to be fatter, and trying to restrict how much we want to eat all the time, because we’re constantly hungry, or we’re going to eat to satiety and really have a problem with our weight and our blood sugar.”

So why would the NHS and other public health authorities promulgate such a destructive diet? Advocates of low-carb, high-fat argue that this has happened for several reasons. The main one is that people of naturally healthy weights tend to assume that whatever they eat should work for others, too. So in a society in which most people are slim and grain-based diets are cheap and practical, grain-based diets are likely to appear favourable. Based on what was, in Taubes’ view, flimsy evidence, nutritionists such as the charismatic Ancel Keys argued from the 1950s onwards that saturated fat caused heart disease. Food manufacturers used cheap, high-carb products such as corn and wheat, using them to create processed foods that were marketed as low-fat but which exacerbated obesity rather than alleviating it.

Since then, as Taubes has argued, the medical establishment, seeking to first, do no harm, and educated to believe that saturated fats cause heart disease and strokes, has stuck to the default option of supporting the status quo: a high-carb and often highly-processed diet that has pushed hundreds of millions of people into obesity and now keeps them there at terrible medical and psychological cost. As most overweight dieters discover, their bodies have become primed to crave food and to vigilantly store it as fat. Eating a conventional Western diet, they have as much chance of not getting fatter as a child has of not getting taller.

This is a far harder game than calories-in versus calories-out, or indeed the “eat less, move more” mantra offered by the Government. Doesn’t it make Taubes angry? “Atkins got angry when he wrote his first book. He let his anger show, and he thought the conventional wisdom was ridiculous, and he got crucified for it. My editor [of his first book on food, Good Calories, Bad Calories] kept taking out my anger and my sarcasm, saying ‘Take the high road, take the high road. Just state the facts and don’t let it get to you.’ As I got attacked for the things I was writing, part of the learning experience is learning not to get angry.”

Keto is still seen as a fad diet, but it is probably more akin to what our prehistoric ancestors ate than a high-carb diet. Atkins was one of a long line of advocates of low-carb, his notable predecessors including William Banting, a Victorian undertaker who beseeched his peers to follow his example in losing 3st 7lb by giving up starches, and Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, a French lawyer and politician who wrote in 1825, as Taubes notes in his book, that grains and starches are fattening and sugar makes it worse.

So what are the objections? Some trials have not found that keto is any more helpful for weight loss than other diets, though such is the complexity and variation of human nutrition that it is hard to find unanimity on any intervention.

There is little research on the diet’s long-term effects (though Taubes would point out that the long-term effects of a Western diet can be pretty atrocious). Famously, diets of the ketogenic variety – eggs and bacon, steaks etc – are associated with high cholesterol, in the form of low-density lipoproteins, and heart disease. Taubes refers to studies including one that was completed at Indiana University in 2019 and that showed that two years of ketogenic eating decreased participants’ risk of having a heart attack “by over 20 per cent, compared to the usual treatment programme for diabetes and all the drug therapies typically prescribed. Even with the rise in their LDL cholesterol, these patients got significantly healthier, as did their hearts.”

It may be that some people’s physiologies benefit from low-cholesterol diets, says Taubes, but that is not enough for it to be worthwhile for an overweight person, who is in a constant low-level state of inflammation and who is at a higher-than-average risk of cancer, heart disease and, of course, Covid, to stick to the high-carb diet that put them there. “Ninety-nine out of one hundred of us who avoid butter and bacon for a lifetime,” he writes, “may well do it for no health benefit whatsoever, even if the conventional wisdom on saturated fat is right.”

Other critics include those concerned by the environmental cost of eating lots of animal products; vegetarian and vegan ketogenic diets are possible, but difficult. Some low-level dissent even comes from within his home, where Taubes’ wife and children keep a drawer full of crisps and pretzels. “I wonder how many marriages this keto thing has ruined,” he says wryly. But he will stick to his butter and bacon, his avocados and his olive oil. Ketogenic diets remain controversial, and there may be other important factors behind the obesity crisis. Other mooted culprits include the addictive nature of processed food; snacking; eating within too large a window of time each day; imbalance between omega-6 fats (found in vegetable oils and nuts) and omega-3 fats (found in oily fish, coconut oil, butter and so on); and even central heating.

Even within this range of options, ketogenic diets are viewed increasingly widely as an escape route from the problem. And given our society’s profound issue with obesity, perhaps the truly extremist position is not Taubes’s, but the status quo.

Interview by Tom Ough. Extracts below taken from Gary Taubes, The Case for Keto (Granta) © Gary Taubes 2020

How to begin a keto diet

What to eat, what not to eat, and how to plan it

Carbohydrate-rich foods are fattening. Or to complicate it slightly such that naturally lean people might be more likely to understand: For those of us who fatten and particularly those who fatten easily, it’s the carbohydrates that we eat – the quantity and the quality – that are responsible. The relevant mechanism appears to be simple, as well: Carbohydrate-rich foods – grains, starchy vegetables, and sugars – work to keep insulin elevated in our circulation, and that traps the fat we eat in our fat cells and inhibits the use of that fat for fuel.

The only way to eat a satiating meal while minimising insulin secretion is to add fat. It’s the one macronutrient that does not stimulate an insulin response.

Abstaining from carbohydrates and carbohydrate-rich foods means you won’t be eating the foods in the list below. You won’t be eating them because they are predominantly carbohydrate and so will raise your blood sugar, stimulate insulin, and promote fat accumulation and hunger.
  • No grains, which means no rice, wheat, corn, or even “old world” grains like quinoa, millet, barley, and buckwheat. No products made from these grains: no pasta, breads, bagels, cereals. No sauces that use cornstarch as a thickening agent, as many do.
  •  No starchy vegetables, so no root vegetables or tubers. No potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, or carrots. You won’t eat vegetables that grow below ground. It’s OK to eat those that grow above ground.
  • No fruit, with the exception of avocados, olives, and tomatoes (all technically fruit), and with the possible exception of berries.
  •  No beans or legumes, which means no peas, lentils, chickpeas, or soybeans.
  •  Absolutely no sugary foods and particularly sugary beverages, even if the sugar comes from “natural” sources like fruit: so no soda, fruit juice, smoothies, cakes, ice cream, candy, bonbons, or even health-food bars, and perhaps particularly those advertised as low in fat.
  •  No milk or sweetened yogurts, particularly low-fat varieties (in which the fat content is removed and replaced, typically, with some kind of sugar). I agree with Michael Pollan, the author of In Defence of Food, that if a food product makes a health claim on its packaging, it’s probably a good idea to avoid it.

In general, the more fibre a food or food product contains and the greater the proportion of calories from fat, the lower the blood sugar response, the lower the insulin response, and the more benign this food might be. Research suggests that we have huge individual variation in how our blood sugar responds to different foods, which implies a huge variation in insulin as well. Maybe potatoes are benign for some, but not others. The problem is we don’t know, and if we did, “more benign” might not be good enough. So the best advice, if we’re committing to being healthy and ideally lean, is to abstain from all.

Those who succeed are those who come to think of abstaining from carbohydrate-rich foods as critically important to their health, in the same way that ex-smokers consider continued abstinence from cigarettes vitally important and members of Alcoholics Anonymous consider the act of abstaining from drinking. This means you will have to figure out how to avoid temptation in a world that will serve it up.

Foods that you can eat

These are foods that are very low in carbohydrates and/or high in fats. You can cook these foods any way you like (baking, grilling, stir-frying, roasting), but you have to avoid using flour, breading, or cornmeal in the preparations.
  • Meat: from animals or fowl (chicken, turkey, duck, goose), the fatter the better and all preferably raised on grass, in pastures, and not in factory farming conditions
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Eggs

You can also eat:
  • Butter, preferably from grass-fed animals, and oils, preferably from fruits rather than nuts, seeds, or legumes, and so olive, coconut, or avocado oil
  • Low-carbohydrate vegetables, which means all leafy green vegetables, in particular, kale, spinach, and lettuce, but also cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, brussels sprouts, tomatoes (technically, a fruit, as mentioned), mushrooms, cucumbers, zucchini, peppers, and onions
  • Fatty fruits: olives and avocados
  • Dairy fats: cheeses, cream, (unsweetened) yogurts, all full fat

These foods you can eat but in moderation:
  • Low-sugar chocolates, the lower the better
  • Berries
  • Nuts and nut butters
  • Seeds and seed butters

“In moderation” because they fall on the borderline of acceptability: Clinical experience suggests that they can be a problem. Individual variation plays a role in how our bodies tolerate these foods.

Five key guidelines to success

For those who need more help, here are the keys.

1. Guidance: Find a physician with whom you can work.

It’s best to look for a doctor who is well-informed about LCHF/ketogenic eating, or who is at least open-minded and willing to do the necessary homework.

2. Goals: establishing reasonable objectives

A few weeks are not enough, just as they’re not enough to know whether quitting smoking or alcohol is worth the effort. I would say three months is a minimum, ideally six – long enough to get a realistic feel for what is possible.

3. Abstinence

If you want to shift to this new way of eating, slowly, a step at a time, the obvious first step is to start with an essential requirement for any rational approach to weight loss, weight control, and healthy eating, regardless of the belief system: Stop eating and drinking sugar.

4. Contingencies

The most common side effect is what used to be known as the “Atkins flu,” now typically known as the “keto flu.” Symptoms are temporary, but they can include headache, fatigue, nausea, lightheadedness, and constipation. You can avoid the keto flu or reduce the symptoms by making sure you’re eating sufficient fat and, more specifically, by replacing the sodium and water you’re losing.

5. Adherence

Sustain what you started in a world that makes it as difficult as possible by planning ahead for experiences and environments that are likely to weaken your resolve. Among the habits you have to form and reinforce is that of thinking ahead about what you can and cannot eat at events like office parties, in airports and on flights, on vacations, and at holiday meals.

If you expect no LCHF/ketogenic-friendly foods will be available, then plan to bring your own. If you were a vegan or a vegetarian, this is how you would approach such situations without a second thought.

A greater implication of this power-of-the-environment phenomenon is that you will more likely succeed if your family eats the same way you do.
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  #35   ^
Old Sat, Jan-16-21, 04:42
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WereBear WereBear is offline
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Taubes refers to studies including one that was completed at Indiana University in 2019 and that showed that two years of ketogenic eating decreased participants’ risk of having a heart attack “by over 20 per cent, compared to the usual treatment programme for diabetes and all the drug therapies typically prescribed. Even with the rise in their LDL cholesterol, these patients got significantly healthier, as did their hearts.”

Good to know

Considering my body rejects gluten, lectins, and fiber I am effortlessly doing Atkins Induction. More meat, less vegetables than most: but it kills cravings DED.

That's priceless.
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  #36   ^
Old Sat, Jan-16-21, 06:34
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BawdyWench BawdyWench is offline
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I agree. Once I upped my protein intake, decreased the fat intake, and ditched all veggies, my hunger went away. It's funny, but I almost enjoy the different feeling of hunger that now comes right before meals (around 1:00 pm and 6:00 pm). This is natural hunger, not an unnatural feeling of being so ravenous you want to eat anything that's in front of you.

This reminds me of the section of Taubes' book where he describes Ancel Keys' starvation experiments (starts on page 59). I remember reading about this several times before, but it was good to be reminded of what it was and what happened to the men.

They were fed around "1600 calories of what would today be considered a very healthy, if very boring diet: whole-wheat bread, potatoes, cereal, and considerable amounts of turnips and cabbage, with token amounts of meat and dairy.... It was a low-fat diet, as nutritionists would call it, low in saturated fat surely, so it was right in line with the dietary guidelines of most twenty-first century health organizations. The calorie level would put it well within the range recommended for weight loss today."

He said that for the first 12 weeks, the men lost an average of a pound of body fat a week, but slowed to a quarter pound weekly for the next 12, despite the same diet. Their metabolisms slowed dramatically, their hair fell out, they thought obsessively about food, and four developed neuroses -- one of whom had several breakdowns and had to be committed to a psych ward, and the other chopped three of his fingers off!
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  #37   ^
Old Mon, Jan-18-21, 05:47
Demi's Avatar
Demi Demi is offline
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Gary Taubes: 'Obesity isn’t a calorie problem, it’s a hormone problem'

The author of The Case for Keto argues that conventional approaches to tackling obesity and diabetes aren’t working, and that low-carbohydrate diets could be the way forward

Over the past two decades, the UK’s rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes have spiralled, something that has invariably been blamed on our intake of saturated fat. Conventional nutrition science argues this leads to elevated cholesterol levels and a greater risk of heart disease, but journalist Gary Taubes believes we need to rethink this idea. Over the past 20 years, Taubes has suggested that fat has been unfairly demonised, and instead our excessive carbohydrate and sugar consumption is to blame for many of these societal health problems, a concept that has begun to interest increasing numbers of scientists. In his new book, The Case for Keto, Taubes discusses the potential benefits of the ketogenic diet, a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet that is being studied as a potential treatment for a range of diseases, from obesity and diabetes, to even cancer and Alzheimer’s.

You’ve long been one of the biggest advocates for the benefits of low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets. How did this all begin?

I did an investigative piece for the journal Science back in 2001 on dietary fat and heart disease. I interviewed around 140 researchers and administrators, and I concluded that there was never really compelling evidence for this low-fat diet we’d all been told to eat since the mid-1980s. When writing the story, I had a National Institute of Health administrator say to me: “When we told everyone to go on low-fat diets, we thought if nothing else they’d lose weight, because fat is the densest calorie in the diet. And instead they started eating more carbohydrates and everyone got fatter.” So I always had it my head that one of the main things that caused the obesity epidemic was this switch to a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet.

In the book you point out that in 20 years, obesity and type 2 diabetes rates have doubled in the UK. Why do you think this has happened?

We have this fundamental belief system about obesity, that it’s caused by caloric imbalance or overeating. So the idea is that we’re taking in more calories than we’re expending, and so the cure is to eat less, and reduce our calorie intake. I think that’s biologically naive, and rather than being about calories, obesity is actually a hormonal regulatory defect. The conventional approaches don’t work because while we can sustain eating less for a while, eventually the hunger gets us because we’re semi-starving ourselves. So, wrong approach – and when it fails, we blame the patients for not sustaining it.

The ketogenic diet is a widely accepted dietary treatment for epilepsy, but in your book you go further, describing it as a potential solution to the obesity epidemic and type 2 diabetes. What is the thinking for why a ketogenic diet can help in these cases?

What I argue in the book is that obesity is not a caloric imbalance problem, it’s a hormonal regulation problem. Fat accumulation is primarily regulated by the hormone insulin, and the idea is that for those who are obese, diabetic, or predisposed, they have to minimise their insulin levels to solve the problem. By restricting carbohydrate, the ketogenic diet minimises insulin, and so instead of accumulating fat, your body starts mobilising it, and synthesising ketones out of it to use as fuel.

While there is some evidence that restricting carbohydrate intake can help obese patients, and those with type 2 diabetes, many doctors and nutrition experts feel that it remains relatively limited. What do we know so far?

The most impressive research has been done by a Californian startup called Virta Health. They did a clinical trial at Indiana University where subjects either received conventional nutritional advice and medications, or a well formulated ketogenic diet. Over two years, the patients on the diet had remarkable results, effectively putting their diabetes in remission. The argument against this is that it wasn’t a randomised clinical trial, which would compare the ketogenic diet to other dietary therapies. But studies like this are causing a shift in the medical community, and people are embracing the idea that carbohydrates are fattening. As an example, there’s a Facebook group of female physicians in Canada, eating low-carbohydrate, high-fat diets for their weight, and there’s 4,000 of them in this group, which equates to around one in 10 female physicians in Canada.

One of the main criticisms of the science around the ketogenic diet is that most of the studies are only short-term, for a couple of months, and the diets are often poorly defined. Do we need better quality data?

In an ideal world, the diabetes and the obesity research communities would say: “Between us, it’s costing over $1bn a day in direct medical care in the US, and if we spent one day’s worth of these costs doing rigorous clinical trials of different diets, we might learn enough to save trillions of dollars down the line.” Ideally, we would have a trial involving several tens of thousands of people on the spectrum from overweight to obese, and pre-diabetic to diabetics. You could compare four diets, for example the ketogenic diet, vegetarian/vegan, Mediterranean, and the Dash diet, and then follow them for three years minimum. It would cost in the region of $20-30m, but it would hopefully tell you which diet helps people live longer.

There are some scientists looking at whether ketogenic diets could be an adjuvant cancer therapy, sensitising tumours to treatment, and in 2020 a study came out suggesting that low-carbohydrate diets may help prevent age-related damage to the brain. What do you think about this research?

The cancer research makes a lot of sense, that tumours rely on us gobbling down blood sugar. There’s always been evidence that if you increase insulin, you can stimulate tumour growth. This would explain the increased cancer rates in populations when they transition to western diets, and begin to manifest obesity and diabetes. But it’s still a hypothesis, and we need more clinical evidence proving that these diets can help. At the moment there are 262 clinical trials running, looking at ketogenic diets for everything from Alzheimer’s disease to traumatic brain injury. If more of these studies start showing benefit, I think it will shift people’s thinking.

One of the common criticisms often levelled at the ketogenic diet is that it’s too restrictive (with less than 50g of carbohydrate a day). Is it a practical long-term solution?

If you’ve got a medical problem that might be diet-related, then it makes sense to see if you can find what foods are triggering it and what not to eat so you don’t have to live with that problem. I have a friend I met while researching this book, who comes from a family with a history of obesity, and weighed 400lb (28st 8lb/181.4kg) at age 18. He had never walked away from a meal not still hungry until he started the ketogenic diet. He lost 130lb (59kg) in four months, and the last time I saw him, he weighed about 230lb (104.3kg). So for people who lose 150lb on the diet, get to be lean, mean, and eat to satiety – for them, it’s not too restrictive. For other people, maybe it is.

The ketogenic diet typically involves eating a higher protein intake. As it’s been gaining in popularity in recent years, so too has veganism, which has the opposite paradigm. What is your perspective?

The vegan diet does worry me because there’s another fundamental principle here, which is that we should eat what we have evolved to eat, and no human population has ever evolved to be vegan. If they had animal products available, they consumed them, which would suggest that there are reasons to consume animal products and not only plants, which go beyond gastronomic preferences. But if someone’s struggling with their weight, or is becoming diabetic, they could certainly try a vegan or a vegetarian diet. If they get healthier, then great, but if they don’t get healthier and they don’t have ethical issues with eating animals, then ideally they would say, perhaps I should try this carbohydrate-restricted diet with animal products.
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