Limitations and Strengths of the Ketogenic Diet
Because there is a lot of confusion mingled with misleading and risky allegations with regard to the popular Ketogenic diet, this Presentation will examine the hard evidence. In this perspective, i will therefore briefly introduce the subject so that workshopees will be broached on the subject. For starts, suffice to characterize the Ketogenic diet as a nutritional regime that reshuffles the ratio of the three basic macronutrients. It reduces carbs to less than 5 percent or around 30 grams a day. Fats are the highest of all macronutrients. But trans-fats are rejected and grass-fed animal fats are prioritized. Protein from most animals is either moderate or relatively high.
The Ketogenic diet has been used as medicine for close to one hundred years. In particular with regard to epilepsy. More recently, certain scientists like Professor Seigfriend (who we interviewed for two hours) have promoted its use for certain types of brain cancer. Depending on many variables, other cancers can also benefit from this diet, but usually not long term. And more recently, after a few sweeping internet marketing tsunamis, a growing number of the educated population, including within Drs Hyman, Perlmutter and Mercola’s keto-communities, has been using with some success this diet for diabetes, blood sugar, weight management. For many people, they are satisfied because they can quickly see and feel improvements, in particular, the Hemoglobin A1C is low, insulin is flat-lined and weight is shed. And for some people that’s enough to kickstart a healthy holistic lifestyle. Moreover, by adopting this diet, the Keto-people are opting out of the GMO processed food standard american diet rabbit hole. Just this by itself is beneficial. And secondarily, the keto-guerrilos are seeing short term success with regard to the stabilization of their blood sugar. So that’s good too. For some people, all they need is a little extra voltage to rewrite the Subconscious’ self-sabotage program and dare live more holistically.
Keto-Flaws and Serious Pitfalls
However, the deleterious effects of this diet eventually catches up to the patient. And the published evidence has corroborated that this keto-diet should not be used long term for many decades. But the Keto-scientists have used flawed studies, in particular small population sizes conducted over short time periods, often over weeks or months. Monsanto used this same deceptive investigatory trick too. GMO foods were given to rats for a few months, no cancer. And the French followed up with a two years study with the same GMO food and rats and cancer spread all over (cf Senelli). An illustration of this flaw is a keto study published in 2017 documenting the results of 10 weeks of a ketogenic diet on 262 patients following a diet containing less than 30 grams of carbohydrate per day, with high fat and an average of 175 grams of protein per day (McKenzie AL, Hallberg SJ, Creighton BC, Volk BM, Link TM, Abner MK, et al. A Novel Intervention Including Individualized Nutritional Recommendations Reduces Hemoglobin A1c Level, Medication Use, and Weight in Type 2 Diabetes. JMIR Diabetes. 2017;2(1):e5). These researchers showed how 10 weeks of ketosis resulted in an average A1c decrease of 1.0%, an average weight loss of 7.2%, and how more than 56% of participants reduced their need for insulin drugs. However, in order to ascertain the true effectiveness of any diet, the cohorts should involved thousands if not tens of thousands of people. And for nutritional studies to be well designed, we need at least 2 to 5 and more years. And we already have these studies, all of which show that low carb diets and high animal diets are unhealthy.
Noto H, Goto A, Tsujimoto T, Noda M. Low-Carbohydrate Diets and All- Cause Mortality: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies. PLoS ONE [Internet]. 2013 Jan 25 [cited 2014 May 9];8(1). Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC355597.
Song M, Fung TT, Hu FB, Willett WC, Longo VD, Chan AT, et al. Association of Animal and Plant Protein Intake With All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality. JAMA Intern Med. 2016 Aug 1
Fung TT, van Dam RM, Hankinson SE, Stampfer M, Willett WC, Hu FB. Low-carbohydrate diets and all-cause and cause-specific mortality: Two cohort Studies. Ann Intern Med. 2010 Sep 7;153(5):289–98.
As these and other studies show, the keto diet long term tends to increase the risk for hemorrhagic stroke, hypertention, atherosclerosis (cf via the Tmao metabolite mechanism), diabetes mortality, risk for obesity risk for cancer (animal cholesterol is a factor) and, inter alia, an increased risk for all-cause mortality.
Furthermore, there’s evidence that even ketones can fuel cancer growth. (Source). Naturally induced ketones with restricted caloric intake or fasting is usually healthy, if only because other longevity mechanisms kick in, including autophagy. But taking exogenous ketones and eating in a way that gets the body to run on ketones most if not all of the time has been shown to be long term deleterious to health
On the other hand with organic plant-strong Mediterranean or Vegan diets, based on healthy carbs, mushrooms and little if any animal food and chemicals, insulin is not spiked and there are no issues with uncontrolled obesity, diabetes or other metabolic disorders. The scientific data shows that insulin resistance and blood sugar instability result from animal fats in association with refined toxic carbs and toxicants. (Source)
Another way to demonstrate this above-mentioned assertion would be to conduct an experiment to simply reduce free fatty acid (fat) in the bloodstream to see if insuline resistance got better, became more sensitive. This working hypthesis was put to the test in 1999 and since, it has not been refuted.
“We conclude that lowering of elevated plasma FFA levels can reduce insulin resistance/hyperinsulinemia and improve oral glucose tolerance in lean and obese nondiabetic subjects and in obese patients with type 2 diabetes” (Diabetes. 1999 Sep;48(9):1836-41. (Source))
The Strengths and Limitations of the Paleo Diet
In this Presentation, we will analyze the evidence that suggests that paleo diets are ok short term as long as the principle of nutritional synergy (the combo of nutrients) is respected. However, the evidence also suggests that mid to long-term, the paleo diets are inconsistent with human optimal healthy long lives, let alone evolutionary biology and human cellular homeostasis. These animal-strong and plant-weak (under 5 percent of total calories a day) diets tend to fuel endocrine, cancer, kidney and, among other ailments, cardiovascular complications. Cancer for example does not only use glucose, glutamine, acetate and animo acids to grow. Cancer cells are metabolically flexible, when glucose is insufficient, they will use fatty acids and in particular cholesterol as a fuel. Research has shown beyond any reasonable doubt that for key oncogenic events to materialize, an abundance of cholesterol is needed. Without enough cholesterol, cancer cells just can’t proliferate. (Source). Animal foods also promote CVDs, (Source), Kidney failure and a slew of other chronic diseases. Plants (carbs) don’t because they don’t have cholesterol and not much saturated fats (outside of coconut oil). And they are rich in fiber and key nutrients, including polyphenols, bioflavonoids, omega 3 and antioxidants.