One of the most common struggles keto’ers run into is flack from the general public. A common saying in the community is “the second rule of keto is don’t talk about keto”. I don’t mean to sound like a conspiracy theorist here, but when it comes down to it, the common idea of what is and isn’t a healthy diet is very outdated, being based on “research” (I use this term loosely) conducted 50 years ago. There is even some speculation that the “low-fat movement” that began in the 70’s correlates perfectly to the timelines of the national obesity, diabetes, and heart disease epidemics. Some countries, such as Sweden, have even begun to see the light and have changed their national dietary guidelines to favour low-carb over low-fat.
But for some reason… low-carb/high-fat is still seen as “unhealthy” to most people.
So… here we go. I have poked through some studies and posts on /r/keto, (I’d like to give a special thanks to /u/gogge for posting many of these), and have compiled a list of some of my favourite studies, articles, and general links about the benefits of low-carb and ketosis, and dispelling the myths surrounding this lifestyle. I hope this helps some of you who may have that brother-in-law or second cousin who went to college for nutrition and thinks that low-fat is the only way to go 🙂
A chart comparing the weight loss comparison between LC and LF in the 23 studies.
23 Studies on Low-Carb and Low-Fat Diets
“The majority of studies achieved statistically significant differences in weight loss (always in favor of low-carb).”
A low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-fat diet to treat obesity and hyperlipidemia: a randomized, controlled trial.
“Compared with a low-fat diet, a low-carbohydrate diet program had better participant retention and greater weight loss.”
Low-carbohydrate diet review: shifting the paradigm.
“It is time to embrace LC diets as a viable option to aid in reversing diabetes mellitus, risk factors for heart disease, and the epidemic of obesity.”
Very-low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet v. low-fat diet for long-term weight loss: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials.
“Individuals assigned to a VLCKD achieve a greater weight loss than those assigned to a LFD in the longterm; hence, a VLCKD may be an alternative tool against obesity.”
What Do 18 Studies Say about Low-Carb Diets?
“subjects…lost more weight during six months on a carbohydrate-restricted diet than on a calorie and fat-restricted diet, with a relative improvement in insulin sensitivity and triglyceride levels.”
Systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical trials of the effects of low carbohydrate diets on cardiovascular risk factors.
“[low-carbohydrate diet] was shown to have favourable effects on body weight and major cardiovascular risk factors; however the effects on long-term health are unknown.”
Beneficial effect of low carbohydrate in low calorie diets on visceral fat reduction in type 2 diabetic patients with obesity
“These results suggest that, when restrict diet was made isocaloric, a low calorie/low carbohydrate diet might be more effective treatment for a reduction of visceral fat, improved insulin sensitivity and increased in HDL-C levels than low calorie/high carbohydrate diet in obese subjects with type 2 diabetes mellitus.”
The effect of a low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diet versus a low-glycemic index diet on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes mellitus.
“The diet lower in carbohydrate led to greater improvements in glycemic control, and more frequent medication reduction/elimination than the low glycemic index diet. Lifestyle modification using low carbohydrate interventions is effective for improving and reversing type 2 diabetes.”
Long term effects of ketogenic diet in obese subjects with high cholesterol level.
“This study shows the beneficial effects of ketogenic diet following its long term administration in obese subjects with a high level of total cholesterol. Moreover, this study demonstrates that low carbohydrate diet is safe to use for a longer period of time in obese subjects with a high total cholesterol level and those with normocholesterolemia.”
Low Carb Diet Research
“The research which highlights the safety, indeed the necessity in some cases, and the efficacy of carbohydrate restriction can no longer be denied or ignored.”
Wikipedia: Medical research related to low-carbohydrate diets
“A 2012 systematic review studying the effects of low-carbohydrate diet on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factors showed the LCD to be associated with significant decreases in body weight, body mass index, abdominal circumference, blood pressure, triglycerides, fasting blood sugar, blood insulin and plasma C-reactive protein, as well as an increase in high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL). Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) and creatinine did not change significantly.”
Is ketosis dangerous?
“You may have heard from your doctor that ketosis is a life-threatening condition. If so, your doctor is confusing diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) with nutritional ketosis, or keto-adaptation.”
6 Not-So-Accurate Objections to Low-Carb
“Ketogenic Diets Are Dangerous […] I’ve never heard someone say this who has actually read about low carbohydrate diets on his or her own.”
The Diet-Heart Myth: Cholesterol and Saturated Fat Are Not the Enemy
“The body tightly regulates the amount of cholesterol in the blood by controlling internal production; when cholesterol intake in the diet goes down, the body makes more. When cholesterol intake in the diet goes up, the body makes less.”
Effects of eating frequency on metabolic rate (related to intermittent fasting – a common meal schedule for keto’ers)
“After 36 hours of fasting, an increase in metabolic rate is seen (and does not change further when measured at 72 hours).” “Alternate Day Fasting (not eating every other day) does not result in a decrease in metabolic rate after 22 days”
How to Win an Argument With a Nutritionist
“Many dietitians are NOT basing their nutrition advice on the latest science. The general guidelines are completely outdated. They have barely changed in the past few decades, even though nutrition science has advanced greatly.”