7 Things About Low Carb Diets Everyone Should Know
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7 Things Everyone Should Know about Low-Carb Diets

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My staff nutritionist Laura Schoenfeld wrote a guest post for my blog called “Is a Low-Carb Diet Ruining Your Health”. Perhaps not surprisingly, it caused quite a stir. For reasons I don’t fully understand, some people identify so strongly with how many carbohydrates they eat that they take offense when a suggestion is made that low-carb diets may not be appropriate for everyone, in all circumstances

In these circles low-carb diets have become dogma (i.e. a principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true). Followers of this strange religious sect insist that everyone should be on low-carb or even ketogenic diets; that all carbohydrates, regardless of their source, are “toxic”; that most traditional hunter-gatherer (e.g. Paleolithic) societies followed a low-carb diet; and, similarly, that nutritional ketosis—which is only achievable with a very high-fat, low-carb, and low-protein diet—is our default and optimal physiological state. 

Cut through the confusion and hype and learn what research can tell us about low-carb diets.

On the other hand, I’ve also observed somewhat of a backlash against low-carb diets occurring in the blogosphere of late. While I agree with many of the potential issues that have been raised about low-carb diets, and think it’s important to discuss them, I also feel it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that low-carb diets can be very effective therapeutic tools for certain conditions and in certain situations. 

With this in mind, here are 7 things I think everyone should know about low-carb diets.

#1: Paleo Does Not Equal Low-Carb, and Very Low-Carb/Ketogenic Diets Are Not Our “Default” Nutritional State, as Some Have Claimed.

Some low-carb advocates have claimed that most traditional hunter-gatherer societies consumed diets that were very low in carbohydrates. I’ve even seem some suggestions that nutritional ketosis was “the norm” for these cultures.

These claims are false.

The majority of studies have shown that traditional hunter-gatherer (HG) societies typically consume between 30–40% of their total calories from carbohydrate, though the range can vary between 3–50% depending on the population studied and the latitude at which they live. (2, 3) The only HG societies observed to eat fewer than 20% of calories as carbohydrate were those living at latitudes quite distant from the equator, often in marginalized environments where fruits, vegetables, starches, and honey were not readily available.

Yet even these cultures—such as the traditional Inuit—often made an effort to obtain carbohydrates from berries, corms, nuts, seaweed, and tubers whenever they could, as Richard Nikoley has recently detailed on his blogWhat’s more, contrary to popular claims, studies have shown that it’s unlikely the Inuit spent much time—if any—in nutritional ketosis. Their high protein intake would have prevented ketosis from occurring. (5)

So, while ancestral diets were certainly lower in carbohydrate than the diet currently recommended by the USDA (45–65% of calories), they were not typically “very low” in carbohydrate (<15% of calories). With virtually no historical examples of human beings following ketogenic diets for any significant length of time, and few examples of very low-carb diets, it’s difficult to imagine how these diets could be considered our “default” nutritional state or the optimal approach for most people.

#2: Low-Carb Diets Are Incredibly Effective in Certain Situations

Lest low-carb advocates think that I am anti-low-carb, I’d like to reiterate that both the research and my clinical experience suggest that low-carb diets can be incredibly effective therapeutic tools for certain conditions.

These conditions include (but aren’t limited to):

  • Overweight and obesity
  • High blood sugar, metabolic syndrome, diabetes (both type 1 & type 2)
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Epilepsy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Other neurological conditions
  • PCOS

I have personally witnessed some remarkable transformations using ketogenic diets therapeutically in my practice. I recall an 84 year-old woman who came to see me complaining of dementia and early-onset Alzheimer’s. She was losing her memory and cognitive abilities at an alarming rate. After just two weeks on a ketogenic diet, this progression not only halted, it reversed: her memory returned, her mind was sharper, and she was far less confused and disoriented. Her family (and her doctor) were stunned, and could hardly believe the changes they were seeing.

Yet as impressive as very low-carb (VLC) and ketogenic diets can be in certain situations, that does not mean that these diets may not have some undesirable side effects over the long term—some of which we’re only beginning to understand. For example, as I discussed with Jeff Leach from the American Gut project in a recent podcast, some preliminary research suggests that long-term ketogenic/VLC diets may cause adverse changes to the gut microbiota. (6) In addition, a new paper soon to be published in the journal Cell by two Stanford microbiologists indicates that diets low in “microbiota-accessible carbohydrates (MACs)” contribute to modern, inflammatory disease. (7)

The phrase “microbiota-accessible carbohydrates” refers to the various fibers found in fruits, vegetables, starchy plants, nuts, seeds, legumes, and other foods that are poorly absorbed by us, but can be utilized as a food source by our intestinal bacteria. It’s worth noting that many of these fibers are found in foods with moderate to high carbohydrate content—foods that would typically be excluded on very low-carb diets. 

It’s important to note, however, that the beneficial bacteria-starving effects of ketogenic/VLC diets can be at least partially offset by consuming non-digestible, fermentable fibers like resistant starch and non-starch polysaccharides that don’t count toward daily carbohydrate intake. This is something I recommend to all of my patients following low-carb diets)

#3: The Fact That Ketogenic/Vlc Diets Work Therapeutically for Certain Conditions Does Not Make Them Appropriate in All Circumstances, for All People

This assumption is a basic failure of logic, but it’s remarkable to see how often it happens. A person has a life-changing experience with a VLC diet, so they assume that their friend will have a similar experience. Or a clinician that works primarily with people suffering from neurological conditions has great success with ketogenic diets, and then makes the assumption that all people (regardless of their health complaints) will benefit from them. 

This is akin to saying that since people with hemochromatosis (a genetic condition that causes iron overload) need to limit their iron intake, everyone should consume foods that are low in iron. 

The belief that “everyone” will benefit from one particular dietary approach—no matter what it is—ignores the important differences that determine what is optimal for each person. These include variations in genes, gene expression, the microbiome, health status, activity levels, geography (e.g. latitude and climate), and more.

When it comes to diet, there is no one-size-fits-all approach

#4: Some People Do Better with Low-Carb Diets Than Others

If you understand #3 above, then this should not come as a surprise. 

Some people may thrive on a long-term, low-carb diet. I have patients and even a family member in this category. And maybe you’re one of them too. But that doesn’t mean everyone will have this experience. If you talk to practicing clinicians who work with patients on a daily basis, or spend any amount of time in internet forums or the comments sections of nutrition blogs, you’ll find numerous reports from people who either experienced no benefit from or were even harmed by following a low-carb diet.

What blows my mind is that the “low-carb zealots” seem completely incapable of accepting these reports at face value. Instead, they’ll argue that anyone who doesn’t succeed with low-carb is either doing it wrong, cheating, or somehow imagining their symptoms.

What’s the more likely explanation here? That everyone who gets worse with a low-carb diet is either incapable of following directions, weak-willed, or delusional? Or that a low-carb diet simply does not work for everyone? You be the judge. 

#5: If a Low-Carb Diet Works as a Therapy in a Given Condition, That Doesn’t Mean Too Many Carbs Caused That Condition in the First Place

This is another error of logic that is often made. Here’s an example:

“A low-carb diet is effective for treating type 2 diabetes. Therefore, eating too many carbohydrates led to this condition in the first place.”

This is like saying:

  • Restricting iron is helpful in hemochromatosis patients. Therefore, consuming too much iron is what caused hemochromatosis in the first place.
  • A low-FODMAP diet helps patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Therefore, eating FODMAPs caused IBS in the first place.
  • A low-histamine diet alleviates the symptoms of histamine intolerance. Therefore, histamine intolerance is caused by eating too many histamine containing foods.

Or, more ridiculously, since wearing a cast on your arm will help the broken bone heal, the reason you broke your arm in the first place is because you weren’t wearing a cast. 

It’s true that VLC/ketogenic diets are effective for improving the metabolic markers associated with type 2 diabetes. But that doesn’t mean that eating too many carbohydrates led to the condition in the first place. It is certainly possible (and indeed likely) that eating too many refined and processed carbohydrates, in the form of flour and sugar, contributes to diabetes. But I have not seen a single study suggesting that eating whole-food carbohydrates (e.g. fruit or starchy plants) leads to diabetes or other metabolic problems. On the contrary, reviews of prospective studies looking at the relationship between fruit intake and diabetes have found that those with the highest intake of fruit had the lowest incidence of diabetes. (8, 9)

It is also worth pointing out that virtually all studies performed so far showing benefits of the Paleo diet in conditions like type 2 diabetes and obesity have used moderate carbohydrate (not low or very-low carb) versions of the Paleo diet.

#6: If a Low-Carb Diet Is an Effective Therapy for a Condition, That Doesn’t Mean It’s the Only Therapy for That Condition

There’s little doubt, as I said above in #2, that low-carb diets can be remarkably effective in certain situations. For example, there are numerous studies showing that low-carb and ketogenic diets can help with weight loss and metabolic problems. (10

However, that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to lose weight and reset your metabolism through other means. Studies have also shown that calorie-restricted diets, protein-sparing modified fasts, and even low-fat diets can also be effective treatments. (11, 12, 13)  

This means that it’s not necessarily true, for example, that everyone with type 2 diabetes should be on a low-carb diet. They may be able to reverse their condition by following a high-protein, moderate-carbohydrate, moderate-fat diet (such as the Paleo diet with 32% of calories from carbohydrate in this study), or any of the methods I just mentioned. 

#7: Whole-Food Carbohydrates Do Not Affect the Body in the Same Way as Processed and Refined Carbohydrates

This should be obvious to anyone with a basic understanding of nutrition and human physiology, so I’m amazed at how often I see experts talk about all carbohydrates as if they’re the same. 

In #1 above, I referenced studies indicating that most hunter-gatherer societies consumed about 30–40% of calories from carbohydrate. These carbohydrates came from starchy tubers and plants, whole fruit, and in some cases, honey. We also have evidence of specific ancestral populations—such as the Kitava, traditional Okinawans, and Tukisenta—that consumed between 70–95% of calories from whole-food carbohydrate. (14

Yet despite this liberal consumption of carbohydrates, these people were remarkably lean, fit, and free of chronic, inflammatory diseases like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and neurological conditions. (15) If carbohydrates cause these conditions, regardless of their source, why don’t we see such conditions in these groups?

What we do see is that these cultures acquire modern disease when they adopt a modern diet and lifestyle, complete with the highly processed and refined foods that characterize it. 

When it comes to macronutrients, quality is much more important than quantity for most people. 

Final Thoughts

I hope this helps to clarify some of the confusion that has surrounded this issue. Low-carb diets are an effective therapeutic tool in certain situations, and one that I (and many other clinicians) use in my clinical practice. That said, it’s equally true that low-carb—and especially VLC and ketogenic—diets are not appropriate in all circumstances, and they are certainly not our “default” or optimal nutritional state. 

Sadly, it doesn’t seem to matter how much scientific evidence, clinical experience, and common sense is brought to bear on this question: those who preach and follow low-carb dogma will not be swayed. Ah, well. As they say: “You can’t fight faith with facts.”

Did You Know?

Glycemic index is a measurement of a food’s carb content based on its effect on blood sugar levels after a meal. While glycemic index has gained a lot of attention in public knowledge, there’s another concept that’s much better suited to evaluating a food’s carb quality: cellular vs. acellular carbohydrates.

Cellular carbohydrates are:

  • Found in the cells of plants
  • Able to remain intact during cooking
  • Common in functional foods our ancestors would have eaten, like tubers and fruits

By contrast, acellular carbs are:

  • Highly processed
  • Found in foods like refined sugar and flour
  • Often consumed in much greater density

For someone who’s considering a low-carb diet, understanding concepts like cellular vs. acellular carbs can make a major difference in their success. That’s why, as part of the ADAPT Health Coach Training Program, our expert faculty dive into Functional Health topics like macronutrients, diet variations, and which carb levels are appropriate for specific health goals.

Health coaches offer support to people who are making lifestyle changes. That support can be even more empowering when it comes from a place of understanding—whether that’s understanding a client’s personal experience or understanding why a practitioner recommended a certain treatment plan.

Want to learn more about what we teach in the ADAPT Health Coach Training Program? Click here

457 Comments

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  1. I have been on the ketogenic diet now for 12 days. My weight was 10’4 and is now 9’8 I lost 10llbs altogether. The diet consisted mainly of high fats and protein. I did have fatigue, dehydration, lack of strength in the gym. But this diet suits my body very well especially from a weight loss point of view.
    I cut out the high fats on day 13 but will continue to stay more or less carb free for another 2 weeks consuming some veg in the evening.It will be interesting to see if I continue to drop weight as I believe the fats play a big part in weight loss.

    • Going low-carb and low-fat at the same time is a recipe for disaster. For macronutrients, that only leaves protein, which is insufficient. I would suggest you look into “rabbit starvation”.

  2. Yay! One small item of sanity in a universe of pro- and anti- ketogenic diet folks yelling at each other without either side actually listening.

    From the evangelizing “it’s good for everyone” keto nuts to the evidence denying “it doesn’t work for anyone” anti-keto nuts, I get so tired of trying to sort out the nuggets of fact (and there are many) amidst the swamp of half-truths and outright lies.

    Me, I’m trying keto. I fit the demographic where it might work. If it works for me, great. Doesn’t mean it works for everyone.
    If it doesn’t work for me, damn, but it won’t make me deny the evidence that it does work for some.

    If I still had access to the research databases from university, I’d probably just stay in them rather than risk the morass of competing websites from people who think it’s OK to lie and cheat because hey, that’s business! But I don’t, so I have to.

    Thanks for a small oasis of calm. Now back to the fray.

  3. first av all, I`m sorry for my bad english
    I have been on an off lchf for about 20 years..
    my experience so far is that, as I have been struggeling with Cfs all this time, is that I have to cycle mye diets. 3 months on lchf, 3 months on normal whole food, incl starches, fruits..
    But no bread, junk food or proscessed food.
    On lchh my weigth is going down, wich is good because of predisp. for obesity,, but I have to go easy on my training cause of tiredness and lack of energy.
    On a normal diett with starches and fruits, my energy levels rises and training is about 30-40% more intense..
    but my waight goes up, in those 3 months by 10-15 kilos.
    I have 3 carido and 4 waight sessions pr week.

  4. My N=1 experience with LCHF has been remarkable, and might help others, so here it is. 16 months ago I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer, and underwent a double mastectomy. While convalescing, I read Gary Taubes’s “Good Calories, Bad Calories”, and started a LCHF eating program 13 months ago. I had been obese, with fasting glucose of 116, and was delighted when weight started dropping with little effort.

    I averaged 10 lbs lost per month for the first 6 months (during which I kept net carbs < 50 g, including all above-ground vegetables, berries and cantaloupe), and since then have lost another 30 lbs effortlessly, while increasing net carbs to <100 g daily, still avoiding all processed foods and sugar.

    The big "aha" moment came for me while getting a PET scan to find all cancer–the areas overreacting to glucose are likely cancer. I knew then that I would never go back to being a sugar junkie.

    One big benefit to me was the energy level. Even during 28 rounds of widespread chest/axillary radiation, I never had fatigue. My chronic generalized anxiety was less, too, and no more "stress eating". I realized that, for me, excess appetite had been hormonally induced, and this eating plan fixed it.

    I only wish I had known about this earlier, when PCOS made fertility a problem, but I am confident that I am healthier–not just because my blood glucose is 90 and my BMI is 25, but because I feel great and am no longer enslaved to carb addiction. Of course, zealots are always irrational, but openmindedness is key to finding individualized solutions. Good luck to all who are searching for their own best outcomes.

    • Hi-I find your story very encouraging and somewhat similar to my experience. I am pre-diabetic (fasting BG of 104). I am a 7 year BC survivor and have been told every year to lose weight. (“Thanks. I’ll get right on that.”) I’ve been trying to figure out how to manage my weight and insulin resistance with absolutely no help from my endochronologist. (He’s just waiting to be “useful” by prescribing diabetes meds when I get to that point.) Also, I am absolutely a sugar addict. There’s no such thing as “just a little” and all that goes with the cycle of sugar addiction. As a last resort, I started doing my own research on insulin resistance, and decided to try the keto diet. While its only been a few days, the results have astounded me. Within 24 hours of starting, I was able to stop taking the amphetamines I was precribed (needed, sadly, so that I would have the energy needed to have a life.) Cutting out sugar has given me back my natural energy and I am so hopeful that this is a sign that my body is repairing and balancing itself. Its been truly remarkable and life changing for me, but I don’t assume this would be everyone’s experience. One thing I know is that sugar addicts like myself have a hard time with moderation (see “just a little alcohol…just a little crack.”) I am so thankful I have found this way to eat and I am hopeful it will be an important tool in getting healthy again.

  5. I went on the South Beach diet in 2005, and lost 20 kgs. This increased my fertility and I became pregnant, after over 5 years of trying. It worked very well then, and I have used similar low carb techniques over the years to reduce weight at times, but have adopted a more lower carb than completely low carb diet. In reality I have found simply excluding bread, potatoes, pasta and baking/pastry for 3 months can lose you at least 5kgs, even if the rest of your diet remains similar. I simply replace these items from the family meal with another vegetable or avocado or cheese. When on a weight reducing phase I tend to try and eat nothing with more than 2g per serving of any carbs for two weeks, and only eat strawberries and tomatoes as fruit. Then I eat all fruits and veges, except banana and oranges, and keep the carb g/serving to under 15g. I have found I am never hungry and that tomatoes in particular seem to fill you up, are versatile and delicious!. The only grain I eves eat is wholegrain crackers, and popcorn.

  6. My 10 month old granddaughter was diagnosed with hunters disease. Since it states that complex carbs will eventually kill her should I cut her off of complex carbs or ALL carbs?

  7. Good Day..
    I have been faithfully low carb, Wheat Belly, since July 25th no cheating. I feel great and have energy. I lost one size in my clothing within the first month. I have not lost any more since then. I can tell the inflammation in my body is pretty much gone. Before doing low carb I practiced Paleo until we moved to Oklahoma. It was not long til I stupidly ate Southern Comfort foods..in a year my weight was up about 45 pounds. Ugg. I am thinking about modifying the low carb diet to come back to Paleo which was not super low carb for me. I did not overeat carbs or fats which seemed to work nicely. I bought some organic sweet potatoes..yay! I will continue to stay away from all grains and any refined non-foods. I am not sure the sweeteners used by low carbers really agree with me either,…the sugar alcohols, etc. I really do consider them to be chemicals and use them rarely. OH..I forgot to tell you all that I put my scale away on July 25th and will not be getting that mood maker out again!! Yay!!!
    Well..that is all for now. I hope you folks have a great day!!

    • The sugar alcohols do not work well for me either. I can eat very small amounts only. If you are having problems with constipation on this diet though, eat something with sugar alcohol in it and that will solve your problem. Always does for me, but I’ve learned to eat more fiber and I try to avoid the sugar alcohol.

      One of my favorite things you mentioned is sweet potatoes. Technically they are not a low carb food, but I will eat a medium sized one once or twice a week and they have good fiber. Just bake them and add lot’s of cinnamon and real butter.

      Serves as a nice desert and adds some fiber and good vitamins and minerals to your diet. The cinnamon is good for you too and has lot’s of health benefits, including diabetes as well. I’ve tested my ketone levels after eating a medium sized one and I’m always still in ketosis, so it doesn’t add enough carbs to really affect me personally, but test it for yourself to be certain.

  8. i am 54 yr old lady.following keto diet for 3 months lost 15 kg. now i am feeling very weak and getting up after little sleep at night. then having some food feeling alright.what is my problem.

    • Describe your diet better, then maybe we can help. First thing that comes to my mind is not enough veggies. VLC (Very Low Carb) is known to cause insomnia in some individuals, I know it was my case when cutting carbs too much (i.e. eating minimal vegetables). Increase veggies, and/or try the “honey hack” which is to take a tablespoon of honey before going to sleep. It helped me. But really you should describe the way you eat.

  9. I’ve personally been far more healthy since I switched to LC. I wouldn’t go back. My only gripes with VLC have been insomnia and constipation. I upped the fiber a little (more high fiber veggies, some oat bran, some chicorey root) and voilà… Problem solved.

    I allow myself some legumes from time to time.

    • Agreed that low carb definitely seems like the best fit for myriad modern ailments, Don. The lady who talked about giving up after 4 days chose to loosely quote the article that low carb is not for her or her son. It’s unfortunate that they quit so early because it may have been exactly the way they needed to be eating. Quite often those who need it the most because they’re hooked on the sugar fix are the same ones who have the strongest symptoms of low carb flu…I hope they’ll try again if that is the case.

  10. Helpful piece . I loved the points . Does someone know where my company can access a template Acord 125 & Acord 126 version to complete ?

  11. This is the first intelligent and rational talk about low carb that I have read in awhile and I thank you for writing it and you are so right that the low carb community will defend low carb against every scientific result to the contrary to death do them part.

    Low carb does keep my blood sugar (I am not diabetic or even close as far as I know) stable and that seems to help keep the number of weekly migraines down and low carb seems to keep my monthly moodiness in check 🙂

    However, I have noticed some pretty significant pain in my big toes and middle finger joint and have to wonder about gout, though I am only 50. (I am due for my annual physical soon)

    Thank you for your common sense in writing that the one size fits all approach is not so rational 🙂

    • For ages people thought gout was associated with meat eating, but it’s apparently from ingesting too much sugar and starch. Perhaps someone remembers where those studies are to show you as I can’t dig them up right now..

  12. I’m on a starvation diet under 1000 calories a day (mostly). I have lost 25 lbs in 45 day’s. I’m per-diabetic also I’m at 216 lbs 5’7″ and 58 years old walking 3 to 4 miles a day. how do I transition from a calorie counting diet to a low carb diet any thing I need to be aware of ?

  13. Was diagnosed T1D a year ago, and have been low carbing for the last 9 months, Im a 49 year old male, was 200lbs, have lost 30lbs, My weight has remained the same for the last 2 months. My diet is protein and fat based, with a carb intake of no more that 75g a day. Most importantly my sugar readings are stable between 5.5 in the morning to 7.5 in the evening. I no longer inject Nova Rapid during the day, only Levermir at night of about 40 units. Have got used to the diet, never really think about all the bread and potatoes that i used to love, its a way of life. Feel strong, plenty of energy. Im probably not sleeping so well but its a small price to pay.

    • Great job of sticking to your guns and reaping the benefits. I’ve had the same but more extreme results. For your sleep, before going to bed take Magnesium, Calcium and Zinc. It did wonders for me!

  14. I have been in a low/no carb diet for about 2 years now, this was not to lose weight but more to control my diabetes as after some scary results i.e. Low kidney function and high cholesterol plus bloods being so up and down I thought I would try it after some research, the results were pretty amazing I lost weight, and my bloods have been amazing since plus back to good kidney function and 3.2 cholesterol, one down side has been hair loss which has been quite noticeable at the front and sides but I hope this will grow back the little research iv found says it does ??

    • Never heard of hair loss being associated with low carb; in fact, just the opposite. I’ve only heard of it being associated with testosterone levels (in men and women), drug reactions and sometimes thyroid issues. Do you have any links to studies which associate hair loss with low carb?

  15. The reason why people with auto-immunity or chronic issues do well on ketogenic as opposed to healthy people who are not ketogenic is the following reason. The brain needs fuel / energy to function … people with AI, etc have vasculitis blocking the information that “carbohydrate” fuel is IN the blood for the brain to function so the brain sends signals that make the body ill. When these type of people are on ketogenic the fat is not blocked by vasculitis and so it will inform the brain it has fuel and so the brain does not slow the body down. A person who is not chronically ill and not ketogenic does not usually have the vasculitis blocking signals to the brain. Sorry, my opinion is controversial … but people are dwelling on the foods but it has nothing to do with it … it has to do what informs the brain it has energy to function. It is the brains survival that is at play for good health.

  16. I’ve been on keto now on and off for a year. Whilst on it, after the initial adaption I feel fine and shed weight no problem. Off it I feel awful, crave sugars and bread and in turn develop very bad IBS and my fibromyalgia is much worse. I understand people think keto is seriously low carb, for done that may be true. For me I consume mostly green veg and let me tell you I go through about 400 gms of it a day. Kale, spinach ect. My fat intake isn’t that high and neither is my protein content. It is however right for me. I am in constant ketosis and never hungry. I eat to be nutrious and every meal I do eat is healthy. Good fats, greens, some home grown fruits and I would say I’m consuming 30 gms easily of carbs a day. So if you think keto is Atkins then your mistaken.. . Keto is a healthy diet, filled with nutrious foods, low in sugars and full of quite fats like avocado and coconut oils. I don’t binge on bacon or cheese either.

    • > So if you think keto is Atkins then your mistaken.<

      No, not again!…

      If you think Atkins is any different than what you are actually eating, YOU are mistaken. Your way actually IS the Atkins way. Why do people always equal Atkins with the INDUCTION phase only..? Come on! Atkins is plenty of vegetables, right form the start. Atkins is VLC/keto only during the fat loss phase. After that, Atkins is NOT a VLC/Keto way of eating. It's a low-carb way of eating, including lots of plants.

      • I think Atkins left his diet too open ended, especially the original version from the 1970’s. You could legally eat a pound of bacon, and as gross as that sounds people did. Really all these low carb diets are variations on Atkins, he was the pioneer.

        The current Atkins diet encourages eating non- processed food with lots of veggies and reasonable meat consumption.

        • Actually Banting was the first to publish which dates back to the mid- 1860’s. If interested look up Letter on Corpulence. William Banting. December, 1863.

  17. Sorry havent read all the comments here as there are too many for my available time, but regarding the comment about being on a zero carb diet! To be on a zero carb diet you would need to exclude all vegetables! If you are doing this then please expect your health to deteriorate!

      • So it’s not zero carbs. Veggies do have carbs. All of them.

        Though of course, If we’re talking NET carbs (i.e. carbs that end up as glucose after digestion), then yes it’s possible to have a “close-to-zero-net-carbs” with a diet full of veggies.

      • I know several people on Zero Carb, including a doctor and none of them eat any veg whatsoever. Not sure where you got the idea that ZC includes vegetables. That would be a LC or VLC diet if that were the case. We need to all get on the same page and not spread misinformation to others as that is what causes people to throw their hands in the air and give up.

    • > So if you think keto is Atkins then your mistaken.<

      No, not again!…

      If you think Atkins is any different than what you are actually eating, YOU are mistaken. Your way actually IS the Atkins way. Why do people always equal Atkins with the INDUCTION phase only..? Come on! Atkins is plenty of vegetables, right form the start. Atkins is VLC/keto only during the fat loss phase. After that, Atkins is NOT a VLC/Keto way of eating. It's a low-carb way of eating, including lots of plants.

  18. My husband and I have been doing a Ketogenic diet for about 3 months. My husband had a lot of weight to loose and I had some to loose as well. I got to my target weight in those 3 months and my husband has lost 50! He still has a little more til his goal.

    Recently, my husband came across an article saying that long term ketosis can damage your metabolism and you may need to stay in ketosis, or else you’ll gain back weight. I have been having gut issues since starting, and I have been starting to have some doubts about this way of eating.

    So my question is, do you think this 3 months messed us up? Will we gain back all our weight if we stop eating like this? What would be the best diet to transition us out of a Ketogenic diet, and help me heal my gut? I loved loosing the weight so fast, but my health is more important than quick weight loss.

    • I’d recommend reading (or listlening to on Audible) the book Smart Fat; in summary, the quality of the fat and quantity of fibre in a low carb diet is just as important as keeping the carb count down when it comes to the overall health benefits of a low carb diet. Hope this helps 🙂

  19. What I find more disturbing than the followers’ of this strange sect insistence is the ignorance of the medical world on the matter. While I agree that a low carb diet may not be for everybody so long as you are insulin sensitive and not suffering any complications due to obesity. If you are among of the lucky few then by all means. Most of the rest of us will, at some point in our lives ,become insulin resistant and or suffer from metabolic syndrome.. and the main culprit, plainly put is the intolerance of carbohydrates. If you are a type 2 diabetic then a low carb diet high fat diet is probably your best alternative to staying healthy.

    • Just finished 3 months on Zero carb diet & everything has been fine except I just cant seem to get enough sleep…kinda feel wired all the time….had milk instead of butter in my coffee this morning just to get some carbs into me. I actually don’t eat any vegs or grains or anything…just meat eggs & dairy. (no milk) Now I’m not sure what to do as really like this way of eating ….but also need my sleep ;(

      • Maybe cut out ALL coffee?

        Why so strict?

        You may have your reasons but, personally, unless you are Inuit, I think veggies are a good thing (no or low starch and even occasional “safe” starches for your gut flora). Better yet, cycle in and out of ketosis, eating some veggies (and even fruit!!!) during the summer/wet season and back into ketosis for winter/dry season.

      • I have this problem a lot on low carb … especially if exercising a lot during the day. Find myself reaching for a slice or two of bread, to enable me to get some sleep! Conteractive, but desperate for sleep!

      • Try sipping on a magnesium drink at night before bed. Calm is my brand of choice. It is a miracle mineral that we are all deficient in…especially if you are not eating any veggies or fruit. Also…why not eat some strawberries and greens. They have a VERY VERY low glycemic index. Best Wishes.

      • I’d recommend reading (or listlening to on Audible) the book Smart Fat; in summary, the quality of the fat and quantity of fibre in a low carb diet is just as important as keeping the carb count down when it comes to the overall health benefits of a low carb diet.
        Also ZMA supplements and Ashwaganda help with my sleep.
        Hope this helps ?

      • I was having the same problems with sleep, especially on days where I was closer to zero carb than my usual VLC. It got to the point that I was so desperate and sleep deprived that I tried virtually all the suggestions given to me: eat resistant starch; just eat more carbs; have a large tbsp. of honey each night before bed; warm milk; natural sleep aids, etc. etc. I tried it all and absolutely nothing worked until I decided to have a meal later in the day/evening than previously. I was having a big main meal around 1-2pm and felt great all day and felt no hunger at night before bed. Trouble was, I couldn’t sleep for longer than 1.5 – 3 hrs per night, so I switched things up and added a 2nd meal at roughly 7 pm (vlc with <10g carbs per day) and my sleep returned to normal. I've stuck to this, continue to lose weight, blood work is great and I sleep 7 hrs per night. All the best to you..

    • You need plants back in your diet. Plain and simple. If you insist on VLC, just keep the digestible carbs low, by avoiding starchy tubers and vegetables. It’s beyond me that you’d turn to milk/lactose to get carbs back in your diet, when zucchini or endives would do the job better AND would be healthier IMO.

  20. I was diagnosed type 1 diabetec a year ago, at the age of 49. Was injecting 5 insulin times a day, put on about 10lb of weight within 3 months. Did my homework and found my high blood sugar levels were coming mainly from my carb intake. 4 Months ago I changed to a low carb diet, eating about 70 grams a day, plenty of protein and veg, and an amount of fat.
    I have lost 18lb of weight and only now inject once a day, that is the Levermir 24 hr slow release insulin. have cut out the Novo Rapid completely. Feel fine, have few hunger cravings, and feel that i have beaten the curse of having to inject insulin up to 6 times a day. Happy

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