The Ketogenic Diet is Crap
By: Robert A. Schinetsky
Ok, the title statement of this article isn’t entirely true, but it accomplished its goal — you’re here to read what we’ve got to say.
Chances are, if you did click the link, you’re either an avid ketogenic dieter or toying with the possibility of ditching carbs and embracing keto. And who can blame you?
Keto is the cool kid on the block in the diet world these days. It’s touted to cure everything from obesity to type 2 diabetes, and promises a life of health, wellness, and prosperity. And while it’s true that there are several benefits to adopting a ketogenic diet, we’re here to tap the brakes on the keto love fest that’s been going on recently and show you that there are a fair amount of drawbacks to going full keto that you might want to consider before completely banishing carbohydrates for good.
For those of you who may be hearing the phrase “ketogenic diet” for the first time, let’s give a quick refresher on what the keto diet is.
What is the Ketogenic Diet?
The ketogenic diet, a.k.a.keto, essentially involves eating very high amounts of fat, moderate amounts of protein, and extremely low amounts of carbohydrates. This makes the liver to produce “ketones” to fuel your body in place of glucose (which would usually be provided from carbs), a state called ketosis.
To put the diet in terms of macronutrient percentages, the “standard” keto diet contains:
- 75% fat
- 20% protein
- 5% carbohydrates
For many of you reading this, that 5% for carbohydrate intake will come as a shock as most people are used to consuming 50-60% of their daily calories from carbohydrate.
Why follow the Ketogenic Diet?
Ditching carbs and eating high fat forces your body into ketosis where you burn more body fat for energy. This is incredibly beneficial for fat loss, and other research has shown it improves memory and extends lifespan (in rats, that is).[1,2]
Sure the prospect of living longer and having a better working brain are certainly appealing, but there’s a few other things about keto you need to know…
Why Keto Diets Suck
Keto diets aren’t all rainbows and sunshine, for more than a few reasons
- Incredibly restrictiveEven too much protein kicks you out of ketosis
- Fatigue during transition from carb to fat-fueledBrain fog, irritability, and lethargy all come when ditching carbs and transitioning to fats
- TediousGoing out to eat, socializing with friends, even meal-planning at home all become 1000x more complicated
While each of these is certainly a nuisance, they don’t really highlight the real reason the keto diet is crap. Remember what the biggest perceived “benefit” to going keto was?
As it turns out, keto isn’t any more effective when it comes to losing weight than low-fat diets. Recent research involving over 600 adults found that over 12 months (an entire year) there was “no significant difference in 12-month weight loss” between low fat or low carb diets.
So, why again do you want to toss aside tasty, delicious, and nutritious foods such as blueberries, sweet potatoes, or oatmeal?
We rest our case…The Keto Diet is Crap.
- Newman JC, Covarrubias AJ, Zhao M, et al. Ketogenic Diet Reduces Midlife Mortality and Improves Memory in Aging Mice. Cell Metab. 2018;26(3):547-557.e8. doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2017.08.004.
- Roberts MN, Wallace MA, Tomilov AA, et al. A Ketogenic Diet Extends Longevity and Healthspan in Adult Mice. Cell Metab. 2018;26(3):539-546.e5. doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2017.08.005.
- Gardner CD, Trepanowski JF, Del Gobbo LC, et al. Effect of Low-Fat vs Low-Carbohydrate Diet on 12-Month Weight Loss in Overweight Adults and the Association With Genotype Pattern or Insulin Secretion. The DIETFITS Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2018;319(7):667–679. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.0245