10 Things to Know Before Trying the Ketogenic Diet

Brittany Risher
by Brittany Risher
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10 Things to Know Before Trying the Ketogenic Diet

Despite being fairly controversial, the keto craze continues. While some celebs credit the high-fat, low-carb diet for helping them slim down, many experts remain cautious about recommending the ketogenic diet for weight loss and find it might be better suited to those with Type 2 diabetes.

Here are the 10 things registered dietitians say you should know before you try the ketogenic diet.

1

YOU HAVE TO REALLY CUT CARBS

The diet recommends a 4:1 ratio of fat to carbs. That means about 5–10% of your total daily calories can come from carbs. However, the average person consumes almost half of their calories from carbs, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. “That’s a big change!” says Julie Stefanski, a registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “You’ll have to slash your carbs considerably to less than 40–50 grams spread out over a whole day.” That means eliminating grains, sugar, most fruit and starchy vegetables.

2

AND KEEP YOUR PROTEIN ON THE LOWER END

The diet recommends protein be around 20% of your daily caloric intake, which can be an adequate amount for some, says Keri Gans, a New York City-based nutritionist, registered dietician and author of “The Small Change Diet.” It’s a good idea to check with a registered dietician to gauge your individual needs before trying keto.

3

EATING TOO MUCH FAT MAY BE HARMFUL

“The diet is high in saturated fat, and research suggests such diets may increase one’s risk for heart disease,” Gans says. Although the fat should keep you satiated, if you eat too much, you may cancel out any potential weight-loss benefits, Stefanski adds.

4

SUPPLEMENTS ARE A MUST

“Supplementation with vitamins and minerals is an absolute necessity on this type of diet,” Stefanski says. “Pure fats like coconut oil, olive oil and butter and many other fats that make up the base of a keto diet aren’t great sources of vitamins. Your body is using these nutrients constantly, but they’re not being fully replaced.” You’re also missing out on beneficial antioxidants in fruit and root vegetables, which have been associated with a decreased risk of cancer, heart disease and other conditions.

5

EXPECT UNPLEASANT SIDE EFFECTS

Constipation, bad breath and dizziness are just a few of the side effects of going so low-carb. “Without carbs, dieters can easily miss out on fiber and end up with digestive issues,” Stefanski says. She recommends including chia and flax seeds, coconut, nuts and low-carbohydrate vegetables at every meal if you decide to go keto.

6

YOUR GUT MAY SUFFER

It’s also difficult to include prebiotic foods such as onions, garlic, bananas and oats on a very low-carb, high-fat diet. “These foods encourage good growth of bacteria that support our intestinal health, which is tied to our overall health,” Stefanski says. “But we don’t know yet how the lack of fiber on a ketogenic diet impacts our microbiome or gastrointestinal health long-term.”

7

WORKOUTS COULD BE SUBPAR

“Keto does not show a performance advantage for athletes, especially in sports which rely on the fuel you already have stored in your muscles as glycogen,” Stefanski says. Non-athletes may also lack the energy to exercise at their best, Gans adds. “Carbs are the preferred type of fuel for the body, so without them your workout could suffer,” Gans says.

8

HAVING A SOCIAL LIFE COULD BE CHALLENGING

Not only do many ketogenic diet advocates advise eliminating alcohol, the guidelines cut out lots of foods we tend to eat when gathering with friends. “It can impact your social life, especially when so many events revolve around food,” Stefanski says.

9

COOKING IS A MUST

Eating out can be a challenge on the ketogenic diet since it bars common foods such as bread, pasta, rice, ketchup and many dressings. Plus, most packaged foods aren’t keto-friendly. “You should be prepared to make the time to cook appropriate options if you want to follow the diet,” Stefanski says.

10

YOU’LL NEED REGULAR CHOLESTEROL CHECKS

The jury is still out on whether a ketogenic diet is beneficial or harmful to cholesterol levels, so see your doctor for a fasting lipid panel before starting the diet and three months later if you plan to continue, Stefanski recommends.

The Bottom Line

The ketogenic diet is very restrictive and takes a lot of commitment to get the nutrients you need for overall health. Gans doesn’t recommend the diet for long-term, healthy weight loss. Stefanski says to seek a doctor or registered dietitian with experience in keto if you wish to try it.

About the Author

Brittany Risher
Brittany Risher

Brittany is a writer, editor and digital strategist specializing in health and lifestyle content. She loves experimenting with new vegan recipes and believes hummus is a food group. To stay sane from working too hard, she turns to yoga, strength training, meditation and scotch. Connect with her on TwitterInstagram, and Google+.

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83 responses to “10 Things to Know Before Trying the Ketogenic Diet”

  1. BigTexan1492 says:

    Brittany, congratulations on getting your article published on MyFitnessPal. I am sorry to inform you that you did not vet your “expert” very well. There are just so many things wrong and misleading about your article and your “expert” did nothing to help you. With all that said, keep working hard and I bet you will find more and more success.

  2. Dit47 says:

    I agree with BigTexan1492. The so called expert is very ill informed. It’s not at all difficult to add fibre. It has been proved that dietary cholesterol does not have an adverse effect on your cholesterol although the overall level shows an increase, if you break it down the HDL will be increased and the LDL will decrease. The body learns to take its energy from fat so this diet is excellent for those wishing to lose fat. If you haven’t any to lose then it’s not for you. The adverse effect on the digestion is transitory and people tend to suffer ‘keto flu’ during the first two or three days. After five days this clears up. A lot of the misinformation comes from ill informed people saying you have no energy. That’s because you have to eat fat for it. Those who are still stuck in the low fat mode will fail. Low fat makes you fat. Why do you think people on low fat diets can’t keep the weight off? Do it properly. Join MFP and pay to have the carbs, fibre and protein shown for each meal and set the proper goals. Fruit is fine provided it’s berries and not other fruits. You deduct the amount of fibre from the amount of carbs so lots of things like avocados have so much fibre the carbs are minimal or negative. Raspberries have approximately half fibre to carbs to 8gm carbs but 4gm fibre counts as 4gm carbs. Going out? Easy. Just ask for double portion of veg and no potatoes. Caesar salad available at most places. Junk food, not so easy but if you’re serious about getting fit and losing fat then why are you going somewhere where there is only junk food. Please don’t print articles when you don’t know anything about the subject. Read the Diet Doctor website and think about it. Have been keto for a year. Blood glucose well down. Bad cholesterol down, good cholesterol up. Energy levels sky high. What’s not to like?

  3. Tony Donaldson says:

    Honestly, did the author do ANY research before writing this? There is much of the “science” quoted that is outdated and disproved. Saturated fat causes heart disease? Are you Ancel Keys and is this the 1950s? Do some modern research into what is effectively the way we ate up until recent history. Stop spreading conventional (and incorrect) wisdom and do some real research before posting articles like this.

  4. KCO says:

    To write an article about keto and not include info about electrolyte supplementation is irresponsible.

    • heather bernat says:

      she didn’t really include info on the Keto Flu either , which i fond to be the only real downfall and easy to get over when i know what to do.

      • Bart says:

        Not everyone experiences the mythical, “keto flu”. I’m more in a fog after eating simple carbs, frankly. And when I have cake at a birthday party, I get a massive sugar rush. I used to eat a couple of pieces and feel nothing. Since I cut out most empty carbs that are really little more than a precursor to sugar, good food tastes AMAZING.

        • heather bernat says:

          You are right i think Keto flu means many different things to many different people. i agree with you 100% about sugar its like speed for me now. i do indulge in tasty treats from time to time and when others make them with sugar not stevia oh boy do i feel it. I have also cheated to much and kicked myself out of ketosis and felt it. As more people try this way of thinking i run into lots of people that give up or turned off by the dreaded “keto flu”and it so easy to fix. I just wish the article had talked about this and how easy it is to fix and supplementation are so very important!!

          • Bart says:

            The article could have been balanced, but seems written to downplay low carb or very low carb eating and to promote the outdated, pushed by industry dogma.

  5. 1andomstar says:

    “if you eat too much, you may cancel out any potential weight-loss benefits”

    You don’t say? this has nothing to do with fat. You will gain weight if you eat too much of anything! I hope you didn’t pay for this “expert” advice.

  6. Linda K says:

    1. You are correct! You really have to CUT the carbs. Just because “millions of Americans consume 50% of their calories from carbohydrates “ doesn’t make it right!! All Americans need to start cutting their carbs.
    2. Most people are eating entirely too much protein. Flooding the body with an excess of protein is also an insulin trigger and puts the body into fat storage mode.
    3. Eating too much “unhealthy” fat, like vegetable oil, canola, safflower, corn oil, etc. Yes, those are toxic and cause inflammation. However, eating an abundance of healthy fats has cardiovascular and neurological benefits, in addition to the weight loss benefits.
    4. Supplements are helpful but not required. I had digestive issues before Keto, so I’ve been taking a probiotic for most of my life. But eating spinach, broccoli, asparagus, and other green veggies, can provide you with plenty of vitamins, minerals and prebiotic fiber. I have far fewer digestive issues with Keto, than I ever had on the Standard American Diet.
    5. See my No.4
    6. See my No.4
    7. Research and lots of athletes are utilizing the ketogenic diet to improve focus and endurance. Try googling athletes and Keto!
    8. If the only reason I’m gathering with friends is to eat unhealthy food or drinks, then I probably shouldn’t be gathering with them anyway, lol! I just had lunch with 12 friends today at a restaurant I’d never been too. If you understand Keto, you can adjust at ANY restaurant. It’s not that difficult.
    9. Again…all Americans should be eating less processed and packaged food, not just people trying to lose weight. The only reason I choose to cook more at home, is because it’s less expensive and I can control the quality of the ingredients. You could absolutely eat out, for every meal…but who can afford that?
    10. There is SO much more to your cholesterol score, than any of us average folks know.
    My point…..your research is either outdated or one sided, but I’d encourage the author to expand her research parameters! I’ve lost 128lbs in one year on Keto, so far. I’ve never felt better, my doctors are over the moon with my lab results, and my life and social life are not suffering. Stay #KetoStrong out there!! We’ve got this.

    • Matthew Kiel says:

      Great job!! That is fantastic! And this is a really great response!

    • Rodney Hakes says:

      Great response and informative response. I read this article with eyes rolling the entire time. There’s a lot of half-information or no information in this article. Keto is great – maybe not for everyone, but it can work for just about anyone. I have lost approximately 25 pounds on it in 3 months. I recommend “The Magic Pill” on Neftlix to anyone considering Keto. Great documentary on how the Standard American Diet is killing us and the benefits of keto eating

      • heather bernat says:

        magic pill is a great movie!! everyone should watch. May i recommend some youtube channels to you???Dr. Berg, Headbanger’s kitchen,Thomas DeLauer, Keto Connect, and Dr. Axe. I also like healthful pursuit because i’m a women and live lean however he is more paleo then Keto. keep the movement going!

    • heather bernat says:

      stay Keto strong and keep sharing your knowledge!!!! you are a wonderful testimony on how this does work!!!!

    • OleDad48 says:

      Excellent post! I was ready to write out some of those same refutations, but just salute what you have written. Saturated fat has long been proven to be no problem. Had George McGovern’s Senate Select Committee (report 1978) had not been hoodwinked by the American Wheat Growers’ Association (and others no doubt) into advocating “low fat, especially saturated fat, and 6-11 servings of grains per day, especially whole grains” (The USDA Food Pyramid was published the next year), millions of Americans would have avoid exponential increases in inflammatory diseases (obesity, metabolic syndrome, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, cancers, dementia).the Standard American Diet (SAD) is killing us while enriching the medical-pharma industry that treats the symptoms. Dr. William Davis’ (cardiologist) book “Undoctored” rips the mask off the industry. See also Jason Fung “Obesity Code,” David Perlmutter “Grain Brain,” and Joseph Mercola “Fat for Fuel.”

      I had abused my body with grains and refined sugars for 50 years, and so was severely insulin resistant (body cannot burn stored fat as fuel, and stores calories as fat rather than burning it as fuel). My goal is 20g carbs per day, which is not easy.

      My new best friend is KetoFeed, which provides a delicious protein shake (20g) with MCT oil and very low carbs. Fasting or Buttered Coffee for breakfast, KetoFeed for lunch, and a high fat, low carb dinner (speak or wild salmon, buttered broccoli or brussel sprouts or summer squash or cabbage with a mixed greens salad with apple cider vinegar and (genuine) olive oil — it’s a feast and low in carbs (good fiber), moderate in protein, and high fat.

      The nutritionist’s warnings and recommendations are old school and not correct.

    • James Marks says:

      7. Research has already been done and found Keto to be very beneficial for athletic performance and endurance.

      Cox, P. et al(2016) Nutritional Ketosis Alters Fuel Preference and Thereby Endurance Performance in Athletes. Cell Metabolism, Vol. 24, pp 256–268

    • Gara Rochelle MacDowell says:

      Oh god, you mean you have to remove the bun and skip fries while youre out with friends? or order a steak and/or salad? Eating out is sooo hard. *sigh* *faint*

      • Bart says:

        THere are a ton of options. Do you got out with friends every night? Because you can have whatever you want that night. The rest of the week, eating healthy keto foods is easy and you will not be hungry. Carbs satisfy you for about a half an hour. It’s what they used to say about Chinese food—duh, it’s the rice. BTW, I still have Chinese, not every night, though, and I just limit the rice to about half or a third what I used to eat when I actually believed it was good for me. It’s not.

        • heather bernat says:

          some people believe you can carb up! you will know when its too much because you will feel the crab coma come on. however i follow the rule if i do have some carbs i cut back way on the fat for that one meal. i have one cheat meal once a week, i found more then one meal can kick me out of ketosis. this summer my cheat meal was watermelon , sounds boring but tasty

    • irridia says:

      ” Flooding the body with an excess of protein is also an insulin trigger and puts the body into fat storage mode.” No it doesn’t.

      The main insulin trigger is high blood sugar. Some hormones can affect blood sugar too ie glycogen dump from an adrenaline spike, but just eating protein isn’t’ going to do it.

      While fat intake produces a more gradual and moderate rise in glucose than protein, the difference is negligible especially in comparison to carbs which spike blood glucose.

      People need to seriously stop vilifying protein and insulin!

      Additionally you’d better be taking additional salt when on keto or you’re going to put yourself in serious trouble. You need to monitor potassium too and while you are capable of getting all of it from food, it’s a good idea to track and supplement as needed. Magnesium is good to supplement too and is part of the electrolyte balance.

      Other than that, creatine is a good idea if you are lifting.

  7. Muidar says:

    Didn’t the fat-causes-heart-disease theory’s get shot down by overwhelming research to the contrary?

    Also, feeling like crap and low energy is only a problem during transition. Some body builders follow a keto diet plan because it boosts your energy long term.

    I’m disappointed that MFP would promo such a poorly researched article by someone with no quals.

    • irridia says:

      low energy is totally related to electrolytes and usually more specifically sodium!

      • heather bernat says:

        you are very right about that!! I take potassium/magnesium tablets everyday and make sure i get lots of natural sodium. once my old body got running on ketosis lots of this nasty symptoms natural worked themselves out.

  8. Healthylowcarbmom says:

    Huge fail MFP. The lack of updated science and profoundly unsupported claims of expertise by the writer has officially turned me away from giving much weight to any of your articles. Next time, please find a true expert on the topic at hand- or at least someone with experiential knowledge on the matter. I’m now consider paying for a different tracking app just to not have to run into such outdated & outright wrong information. It’s truly irresponsible. I feel bad for those who are being spoon-fed these “facts” and don’t know enough to question them.

  9. Windtalker says:

    If you’re getting any information on diet from 95% of the registered dietitians in the US, you’ve doomed yourself to the very perpetual obesity, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome caused by the high carb diet they’ve been pushing as a religion since the 1970s.

    • CrazyHermitDogWoman says:

      You’re the only sane voice I’ve ever heard on this topic. As with so many licensed/certified specialties, these people have everyone hoodwinked. I fought the mandated certification of dietitians in my state of Missouri. Of course, who pays attention to me anyway?, and they got what they wanted which is a monopoly on nursing homes, schools, and hospitals–pushing out entirely anyone having opposing ideas. This is how they took over medicine in this country, projecting themselves as being the only ‘professional’ source, all others are old wives tales, voodoo, or what have you, when in fact it is these industries which are killing people.

    • Miranda Molling says:

      Exactly!!

    • Mike Lucotch says:

      Amen.

  10. Karen Brown says:

    Before I address your article, may I point you to the actual results of the study of
    The Long Term Effects of a Ketogenic Diet in Obese Patients done by the National Institute of Health?

    I’ve been on the Keto diet 10 months. For the first time in 3 decades, I’ve watched the scale slowly slide down instead of up. The weight loss for me has been VERY slow. The true benefits are in how I feel- better than I have since I was a teenager. I have more energy. My depression is lifting. I sleep well!

    As to your article – here are my counterpoints:

    1. You have to REALLY cut carbs. Yes. That is the point. And believe, me, it’s not a bad thing. After the first two weeks, and I was no longer dependant on the sugar/carb high every two-three hours, the cravings disappeared. The ‘hunger’ disappeard. Cutting carbs to less than 20g a day was VERY easy.

    2. Keep your protein on the lower end. Say what?? I’m curious to know where you found this information. On the Keto diet, your protein number is a goal. Mine is 79g daily. There are days that I have a hard time reaching it.

    3. Eating too much fat may be harmful. The keyword here is ‘may’. There are a number of studies that show the harmful effects of the inflammation caused by sugar and insulin spikes.
    Here is a great NY Times article I would suggest reading:
    How the Sugar Industry Shifted Blame to Fat

    4. Supplements are a must. OK. I take a magnesium and potassium supplement daily along with my multivitamin pill. Next!

    6. My gut may suffer? I eat a lot of high fiber vegetables daily, including onions and garlic. I LOVE avocados. I have had no issues with my gut.

    7. Exercise is subpar? Which athletes provided this piece of advice? I know many who recommend a keto regimine.

    8. My social life is fine. I can eat anywhere – I just don’t eat the things that are not part of the plan. As for drinking – I limit my alcohol consumption to three nights a week and simply plan accordingly. (BTW – did you know that red wine has 1g of carb per ounce and vodka, whiskey, rum and bourbon all have 0g of carbs? If you watch the mixers and keep your total number of calories in mind, alcohol can be a part of this lifestyle.)

    9. Cooking is a must? I travel for a living and am on the road 40% of the time – eating out is part of my life. Finding a piece of protein and green vegetables on just about any menu is not nearly as difficult as you seem to think it is. Read the menu. Ask questions. It’s really not that hard.

    10.Re: Cholesterol
    A direct quote from the NIH study I reference above:
    “The level of total cholesterol decreased from week 1 to week 24. HDL cholesterol levels significantly increased, whereas LDL cholesterol levels significantly decreased after treatment. The level of triglycerides decreased significantly following 24 weeks of treatment. The level of blood glucose significantly decreased. The changes in the level of urea and creatinine were not statistically significant.”

    I seriously question the research that went into this article.

    • Matthew Kiel says:

      Congratulations! And great job on losing weight and being healthier!! I love keto… 😉

    • gotahugehook says:

      The exercise part had me shaking head. Since I started Keto a year ago I’ve lost 45 lbs, dropped to a normal blood sugar level, came off blood pressure meds and started trail and marathon running. I ran 3 hours on a trail race this Saturday in Huntsville. My energy level has NEVER been higher and I didn’t feel hungry at any point in that race. The world record holder for the 100 miler (Zach Bitter) is also on the Keto diet…dude ran 7:03 miles for 11 hours. This is why I don’t trust nutritionists.

    • heather bernat says:

      congrats on changing your life for the better!! Keep spreading the truth!!!!

    • irridia says:

      Very well put, especially the protein part. I would suggest limiting fat to lose fat though. as long as you are getting at least 50g/day for hormone production. I try to keep mine under 70g/day.

    • akhmadGuntar says:

      “The true benefits are in how I feel- better than I have since I was a teenager. ”

      Now this is really motivating 🙂

  11. Iila says:

    I am really surprised how the MFP can have such ill informed blogger. People should be cognizant of what they write. Infact I was benefited so much from my first keto so decided to do it again. Btw I am not doing for weight loss but for my high cholesterol. Last year my two months keto brought my cholesterol level to the normal range. My Asthma and allergies came under control. Body aches and pain calmed down and many other good side effects of eating clean. This diet is so easy to maintain. No cravings. Energy level is not on seesaw. MFP should immediately pull out this article. Wrong information is serious crime.

  12. Glenn Wilkins says:

    Asking a vegan to write about the keto diet……. Can’t imagine why it would be so negative. MFP can do much better than this. A total insult to the countless keto folks who use your app.

    And then I just read a previous article she wrote about the paleo diet. Same. Sad

    • John Nace says:

      My first thought, as well. Asking a vegan to write an article on the pros and cons of a ketogenic diet is akin to asking a member of PETA to write an article on the pros and cons of fur coats. One *might* get a grudging acknowledgement of a pro or two, but one certainly *should* expect a laundry list of cons and a higher-than-average level of misinformation. A brief perusal of this article shows precisely that.

  13. Dawnell L Smith says:

    Very misinformed article and should be listed as an opinion not fact.

  14. shooter2009 says:

    Ms. Risher is an expert because she’s a vegan, you haters.

    Every other vegan I know is an expert as well…LOL

    • heather bernat says:

      with her being a expert, i’m very surprised she didn’t know that you can do Keto vegetarian. hard but can be done. but that may have put a positive spin on this gloomy article

      • John Nace says:

        Keto vegetarian is challenging but doable, yes. Keto vegan? Much, much more difficult, and vegans tend to look down on ovo-lacto vegetarians as traitorous compromisers, in any event. The chances of convincing a vegan to downgrade (in their view) to ovo-lacto vegetarianism in order to take advantage of a ketogenic diet are low-to-nonexistent.

        • heather bernat says:

          i am a Wallace so i love your clan pin!! I was a pescetarian when i started the keto diet , it was doable. However you are very right vegans look down on and are not always nice to vegetarians (know that by personal experience) and I would not want to sway someone to go against their beliefs(it was hard for me to move into full keto mind set) that said she could have put more cons and how to work them out in this article and one that may have made her happy was this can be done and done well in a vegetarian way, she made no mention of this and it may have peaked some people’s interest?

  15. floriana rolon says:

    OMG this article is so 1980’s. You do get plenty of fiber on the keto diet from greens vegetables and berries. The fats you are eating are healthy fats and it already has been debunked that saturated fats / animal fats do not cause heart disease, it’s trans fats. (especially grass fed,I do HITT work outs better than I ever did at 43 years old and this diet or way of eating has substantially changed my level of performance, endurance and weight, with a decrease in fat and increase in muscle. Going out every restaurant has keto options such a as a green, a salad, a nice steak etc. So many articles are now coming out scaring people away from eating keto ….High carbs leads to insulin resistance, fat storage and constant craving. I don’t get why so much misinformed dieticians like to talk about a diet they have never tried. It’s healthy if you incorporate the greens.

    • Lisa says:

      Yes, I can’t agree more, I can’t believe how inept most of the articles are…reflection of our society today. Believe what you want to believe . Not what reality

    • heather bernat says:

      keep spreading the truth!!!! The drug companies cant make money if we all get health and don’t need their drugs.

    • Iza Zuza Kotkowska says:

      Exactly..It’s very disappointing that My Fitness Pal posts such nonsense without proper research. The dietician has a very inaccurate knowledge and should surely read more of the recent studies…but when You are trying to discourage me by saying “8”…that it will impact my social life…My gosh Ms. Stefanski..you have a Polish last name. Please don’t make me feel ashamed and PLEASE both: journalist and the dietician – do Your homework first before spreading such nonsense…Maybe it’s worth rewriting this article..shameful…My Fitness Pal should be up to date with all recent data and as for the ketogenic diet and HEALTHY FATS and no impact whatsoever of FATS AND HEART DISEASE…Keto is challenging because you need to train your body how not to overload with carbs (it’s not genetically natural for humans by the way) and to get into “starvation mode” which is super healthy…if it wouldn’t please tell me how hunters would hunt after fasting and being deprived from food for a couple days… My Fitness Pal team – please provide correct data about KETO.

  16. Suzanne Graf Slupesky Beck says:

    What an idiot.

  17. heather bernat says:

    who wrote this?? the Government?!!!1,2, and 4 are basic keto knowledge . 3 is right if you eat BAD fats. 5,6, and 7 may be true in the begin but quickly fixes themselves and I had many tummy problems that went away on Keto . 8 is a complete lie and my friends are always surprised when they hear i have pizza, chocolate mint ice cream and soda on Keto. I have converted quite a few people this way. When i go out i know how and what to order to stay Keto , and there is an app Keto Finder you can use. 9 should be true for everyone, package foods are killing us!! And as for 10 you should always talk with your doc and have regular check ups. I am health and happier nowt hen every and i have done Kote for 3years. dont let this scared yo away! do research for your self!!!

  18. Results says:

    Just terrible inaccurate advice. There are acidic and alkaline keto diets that have vast differences, but the author would not know that given her level of education about ketogenic diet. The article could not be more wrong on over 1/2 the points she makes.

  19. Mango says:

    If you go to a dietician with no experience in Keto they aren’t going to help you do it. They’ll tell you things like “oats and grains are good for you” and “saturated fat will kill you.” Do the research yourself and decide if it’s worth a try. If Keto were harmful you wouldn’t be reading about it everywhere because nobody would want to do it. You don’t need to pay someone to do Keto. Just make sure you take your time in learning exactly what you’re supposed to do and why. If you don’t, you’ll fail for sure. But take advantage of the many free resources and support groups on FB and you’ll be fine.

  20. Gary Choate says:

    The Bottom Line, you have no clue what your writing. Lets just look at # 4 “supplements are a must” not a must but a preference just like a Vegan or traditional diet. The sad thing is a nutritionist thinks a natural magnesium supplement is bad but getting off a half dozen toxic prescriptions is not a consideration.

    So a lack of root vegetables may cause cancer? Let’s not look at the link of vegetable oils and sugars the things Vegan’s live on. SMH

  21. Dave Davis says:

    What I’m curious about, is what someone who is a Vegan is writing an article about Keto. There are great aspects of both. Both are very hard. Both require a lot of work. As for the science behind it. Brittany needs to do a little more research. There is a lot. Recent books like The Obesity Code by Dr. Fung have a ton of research (human, not mice) listed for how good the diet is and other diets are. If you really want to dig into Keto, head to Diet Doctor. The doctors there are MDs from all over the planet. They even show you how to do a Vegetarian and Vegan version of Keto if you want to go that extreme. I was on Keto for 6 months. Dropped from 8.6 on my A1C (type 2 diabetic) to 5.8 in 6 months. Came off of 4 of my 5 meds. Weened myself back to a lazy keto. (low carb) maintenance. Would love to lose more than the 60 pounds I lost, and might go further with it, but I’ve also toyed with going the vegetarian route again. This time though, I’ll do a more keto version of vegetarian. Good luck everyone. There are a few documentaries out on the Diet Doctor site that dispell the cholesterol myth above.

  22. Tara Woodruff says:

    Sad to see the points in this are antiquated and missinformed

  23. Briana says:

    Restrictive because you cut out all the junk food! I have been Keto since June 8th of this year, 13 weeks or so. The 1st four weeks were the toughest. First two weeks were tough because your getting rid of the cravings for carbs and sugar. The next two weeks for me were the transition period where I was extremely tired, but after two weeks my energy increased, some may refer to the fatique part as the keto flu and there are a variety of symptoms with it like bad breath, fatigue, trouble sleeping etc however there are tips to help. For example the breath thing…lower your protein a bit during the transition. It is not as restrictive as this article makes it seem and a lot of comments below cover all that but I want to say that this diet actually makes you realize the full potential for natural foods and what you can cook with them. I love to cook and I am never at a loss of what to make of how I can make something I love keto safe. Now about energy, I know a lot of keto people lose weight with diet alone and that is great! I personally believe in the benefits of having a strong and flexible body so I work out. I swim 2 miles every 3 times a week and I do weights and cardio on the rest of the days. With Keto my body feels healthier and stronger whereas before when I was working out all I felt was pain and aches, not to mention a steadily increasing weight despite working out. Now I will say that working out does slow the weight loss a bit but does not stop it. I always rely on measurements over weight and my body keeps shrinking so I know I am doing great! In fact this morning I was celebrating because for the first time in a long time when I looked down I only saw my breasts and not my belly! It’s very disheartening to see how much these “articles” are biased against something that is working for so many especially when they post unresearched information as fact.

    • heather bernat says:

      you should have written this article!!! 13 weeks in you already grasp a great deal about this life change!!! here are some you-tub channels a like to watch ? Dr. Berg, Headbanger’s kitchen,Thomas DeLauer, Keto Connect, and Dr. Axe. I also like healthful pursuit because i’m a women and live lean however he is more paleo then Keto. keep the movement going!

  24. Lostfleas says:

    “Brittany is a writer, editor and digital strategist specializing in health and lifestyle content”…who also likes to experiment with recipes. KETO is a medical diet created by DOCTORS at JOHNS HOPKINS, please tell me what Brittany’s source material is or in what way she is qualified to write on this issue…..

  25. Kara DePaul says:

    I’ve been doing the Ketogenic lifestyle for 4 months, my husband for 8 months. He was referred to the diet by his primary physician. Points 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10 are wrong in our experience. My workouts are better, I have more energy through out the day. My gut performs better than before, with no digestive discomfort like I had when I was eating glucose based foods. There is no causal link between cholesterol and heart disease; it is correlative, what may be causing the heart disease may also cause the body to deposit cholesterol on the blood vein walls. There aren’t any studies that confirm that the relationship is causal. There are some studies that are just starting to look at inflammation being the cause of body’s damaging use of cholesterol.

    • heather bernat says:

      how awesome for you and your husband!! the Keto diet is given to kids with autism and cancer patients for a reason! keep Keto strong and check out the Magic Pill on net-flicks

  26. Bart says:

    Well, here we have it. Yet another hit piece on ketogenic diets in my “fitness” pal.

    According to your app, I’m killing it at weight loss, fitness, and exercise. People see me and say I look great. You want me to have a discount buying your underwear even (I’m so flattered).

    But your jr. college, “nutrition experts” still think we need to go low fat. Hey, “experts” that diet coincides with the ruination of public health all around the world.

    Keep telling people that grains are “good for you” even though they are essentially sugar as soon as you consume them. We know better. I still hold hope that you someday you post something about dieting which would actually WORK to control weight. You apparently can’t.

  27. blackheart2442 says:

    While I appreciate all of the first-hand experience on here, doing Keto for 3 months (or even 5 years) is not a long-term analysis. And for those saying that everything in this piece has been disproven by science; which peer-reviewed long-term studies were those? I’d love to read them. Being fanatical about something is great, but not when you throw logic out the window. Not saying she is correct, and you are wrong; but there needs to be objectivity and actual facts. Anecdotal evidence, is not sufficient.

    • Bart says:

      Do your own research, it is not our job to educate you. You have just as much access to research as the rest of us, the difference is you are ignoring it.

      • blackheart2442 says:

        No, you aren’t doing so, because no such information exists. The “Do your own research” trope, is the best sign someone has no idea of what they’re talking about. Present verified facts, or stop preaching about something you have no validated information on. I’m not saying your experiences didn’t happen, or that this can’t have benefits. But don’t blast someone, who has much more credibility than you, and use unsustantiaunsu claims to try and make Keto out to be the next penicillin. Speak about anecdotal experiences, as such; and not claim they’re facts.

        • Bart says:

          1. You’re an idiot. 2. I don’t owe you anything, I don’t have to supply you with any data, and if I did, you’re just spout the same bull that we’ve been hearing since the 60’s, that fat is bad and carbs are the “preferred fuel”. Since this idiocy has taken root, most foods now have sugar and wheat added to satiate the body’s craving for it. Simple carbs are like poison, and the evidence is overwhelming.

          • blackheart2442 says:

            So…you’ve got nothing then? I didn’t say I agreed with everything here. I just don’t like the panacea prophets in these comments sections, who have nothing substantive to offer, only “this worked for me for 3 months, so it’s a fact”. Just want critical thinking and writing, that’s all. Lack of it, has led to some pretty bad current situations.

          • Bart says:

            I’m not here to educate you. That seems like a monumental task. All of these people are sharing their personal experiences. It’s not a research blog. I conduct research for a living. I have done some reading on this, admittedly not a lot. These days, I’m more likely to watch videos on YouTube. Go ahead and laugh. My doctor just took me off blood pressure medication I had been on for six years. I don’t care what you think, or how much you ignore the science. It’s not my job to give you citations you will never read.

    • heather bernat says:

      hello my friend!! Let me start out by saying No one should follow a diet they don’t agree with!!! Keto came about as a treatment for epilepsy by Dr, Wilder in 1921, 97 years ago! It also has been used to treat cancer, Alzheimer, and now autism. So this Diet has been around for 97 years! And is a treatment not a diet. There are five variations of the Keto treatment out there today all by different names but all limit the amount of carbs you take in. 4%, 5%, 6%,10% 0r 17%, There is also intermittent fasting that can help those who are insulin resistant( i bet 85% of you) which was not brought up in this article. There is proof out there right now on what are bodies do with and how our hormones need good fat to work properly. In this form it’s going to hard for me to converse with you and provide what i see as truth about this diet and what i see as lies by the Doctors, government, and drug companies . That may be why some of the other people on here told you to do your own research!! Because it is out there and as you can see by reading the comments are helping a lot of people. I also believe you should research this for your self and make up your own mind on whats best for blackheart 2442. that is not to be nasty but so i don’t push something on you that i believe in and are very excited about!! let talk about cancer! i hate it !! that said when you eat cards like sugar( cancer loves) you body is in a state of inflammation. all simple carbs turn to this and even protein if you eat to much. This is also why so many people have big weight lost when starting this diet, its mostly inflammation. But it gets you pumped and feeling good baby!!!So your body is in a state of inflammation, you are eating low-fat yogurt and the cancer is living in there happy and healthy. look at the low-fat yogurt THEY take out health milk fat and add what??? Sugar!!! please go to the store and look at food labels most things that are low-fat will have sugar and or chemicals in it!so lets have some meats no they have nitrates in them and are not good for us. Our brains and hormones are awesome things but both need good fats to work properly( there are so many studies out there right now about this) but you took good fats out of your low-fat yogurt. so now you stuff your poor body with sugar and chemicals. your body is sad and the cancer and what ever disease is happy. Not good for you my friend. May i suggest you watch the Magic Pill on net-flicks and watch some of Dr Berg or Thomas Delauer stuff on you tub??? also check out the lecture Evolution of Nutrition by Dr. Wilder !!what ever you do be healthy happy and kind!!!

  28. Mike says:

    Unfortunately, much of this information is inaccurate.

  29. Lowell Morton says:

    I’ve been following the keto diet for going on 30 months. I began because I was told I had a fatty liver. I’ve followed Dr. Berg’s keto diet which includes 7 to 10 cups of vegetables a day. I do this in two salads that I eat at two breaks during work. I eat about 5 to 7 oz. of meat for dinner with a couple vegetables. The result after two years, my doctor said my liver is normal. I’ve lost about 70 lbs., lost 6″ around my waist and eliminated 90% of my medications, including insulin (was insulin dependent for 15 years), and my blood work is all in the normal range. My endocrinologist says that I can either go to once a year to see him or not at all. My primary doctor said I should start a clinic teaching people what to eat and showing them how to prepare it. He said he would send me a lot of his patients. Eating out is not a problem. My wife and I go out each week for a date night. I usually order a fatty steak (ribeye) and only eat half of it. I take the rest home for another day. Usually broccoli and a salad. At home I make my own salad dressings: ranch with homemade mayonnaise (with avocado oil) and sour cream, Italian with apple cider vinegar and MCT oil, and a “Hunny” Mustard with mayonnaise, organic dijon mustard and non sugar sweetness. I usually keep walnuts that I have soaked for 8 hours and dehydrated on a very low setting (to release the enzymes, which can be killed at high temperatures). It’s very doable and I plan to keep on it. I feel better, sleep better, think better, my stamina is increased, my skin is much better and my chiropractor says that my body is responding to his treatments with no inflammation. I would say that I am much healthier than I’ve ever been and I can see my belt when I look down. I’m almost to the point that I will be able to fit in the same size clothes when I was in high school. My results speak for themselves. I read articles like the one above and think, these people have no idea what they’re talking about.

    • Bart says:

      Exactly!!! Nice going. I’ve only been on it for 10 months, my doctor just took me off blood pressure pills. He says “keep doing whatever it is you’re doing”.

    • heather bernat says:

      love me some Dr Berg!!!Texas Road House baby!!! steak, salad, and steamed vegs with butter!I am also i fan of bunless bugers and a salad! MAy i suggest Headbanger’s kitchen,Thomas DeLauer, Keto Connect, and Dr. Axe on youtub?? I also like healthful pursuit because i’m a women?? they have some great info and recipes but it all started with Dr Berg for my husband and I.;) Keep Keto strong!!!

  30. ForeverBlue says:

    This is an incredibly mis-informed article and as other comments have already indicated, does not have facts to back it up. What she doesn’t mention is how people who are morbidly obese, have metabolic syndrome, or who have developed insulin resistance can really benefit from keto because you can lose weight incredibly quickly which can help those conditions.

    One thing I’d also like to point out is that in numbers 2 and 3 she mentions protein and fats. Keto is a moderate protein diet so it should be above 20%. And once again, as has now been disproved by MANY studies, fat in foods does not make you fat.
    I’ll say it again for anyone still not paying attention: FAT DOESN’T MAKE YOU FAT.

  31. John Nace says:

    A few of those are *potential* negatives, but they’re almost entirely avoidable. A good many of the author’s points are simply incorrect. This post should be removed from MFP’s site. It’s highly misleading.

  32. LisaB says:

    a Vegans view on the Keto diet, doesn’t sound like you have ever tried the keto diet to me

    • LisaB says:

      it’s kinda like a smoker saying quitting smoking is bad cause it will raise your stress levels and make you gain weight, yes, getting over the sugar addiction wont be easy the first couple weeks, but it’s worth it

  33. BSquared says:

    I’m not a big fan of Keto; it’s not for me. But the nutritionist world is so ridiculously biased in their views of this and similar diets. Britanny, in your article on the DASH diet, your source tells you that most people will get enough protein on DASH, about 60 grams a day. That’s about 12% of a 2000 calorie diet. Yet, your source for the Keto diet says that 20% of your calories (about 100 grams of protein on a 2,000 calorie diet) “can be adequate for some”, insinuating that the diet may not provide enough protein. So why is 12% okay on DASH, while 20% may not be enough on Keto. Also, anyone I know that follows a Keto diet eats tons of non-starchy vegetables and a little fruit. They’re getting plenty of fiber, vitamins and minerals; way more than many of the other popular diets that U.S. News seems to like.

  34. Please check out Dr. Berg’s information on YouTube and learn about insulin resistance before you warn against this diet. Since I’ve been eating a keto diet with intermittent fasting, I have lost 10 lbs in two weeks, eating mostly delicious veggies, clean meats, and nuts/seeds/avocados/olives for fats. When I go out, I ask for green veggies or salad instead of the potatos or rice so many restaurants offer with their entrees. Every one of them has accommodated me, with no upcharge on pricing. I feel great and satisfied after eating now, instead of sluggish, bloated and craving more food (especially sweets).

  35. Lacey McConnell says:

    This article is filled with FALSE information. So sad. The keto diet is GREAT and none of these risks are actually recorded. Many pro athletes and super marathoners actually credit being in ketosis to having more energy/longer endurance without having to stop every few miles for sugar.

  36. heather bernat says:

    wow i’m only 3 years in that’s awesome!!!

  37. spooky says:

    This diet was invented in 1920 as a way of treating epilepsy, as the act of ketosis changes the acidity in the brain and stops the seizures in general types of epilepsy. I know this works for me as I was having 3 to 5 petit mal seizures a week for the last 2 years before going on this diet. (Recommended by my GP, Neurologist and dietitian; my dietitian actually practises what she preaches and is on the diet herself.)
    After 2 1/2 months I’ve lost 14 kilograms (30 pounds), I’ve had NO seizures since starting the diet, and my wife and kids have a happier and healthier husband/ father in there lives.

  38. Arilwyn says:

    If your social life depends on food, then you are doing it wrong, and need to reevalutate your social life.

  39. Keto is in trend. Following ketogenic diet becomes an important part of many lives. But everyone should know every aspect of any diet before it should be followed. Thanks for sharing these helpful tips that should known to a newbie of keto diet.

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