Amy Berger's rant on keto diets

(Cheryl Meyers) #1

Amy Berger has put this up on the Tuit Nutrition site: “Stop Following a Medically Therapeutic Diet “Just 'Cuz” (a.k.a. The Keto Train to CrazyTown)”

tl;dr Seems like she wants to say that everyone should figure out their own level of keto/LC/LCHF. That is what I heard people saying three years ago when I started out…

Here’s a quote that stands out for me:

So here’s the deal: carbohydrate restriction prompts the body to start running on fat. It’s not the presence of large amounts of dietary fat that makes us burn fat; it’s the absence of carbohydrates.

Stated another way:

Ketosis is achieved by what is not in the diet, not by what is. It is the absence of appreciable amounts of carbohydrate that results in ketosis, not the presence of copious amounts of fat.


(ianrobo) #2

she is correct, without the carb restriction ketosis won’t happen and that is different for individual people, I can be in ketosis at the higher 50g level, some people need to be at 20 or less. I follow her on twitter, saw this and saw nothing that wrong.

(ianrobo) #3

Amy Berger is not an enemy of us, she co authored this paper

more like Lustiq she believes natural carbs can be tolerated and this statement sums her up

I am writing this because even though strict ketogenic diets can be great—GREAT—for many people for many reasons, they might not be appropriate for everyone, all the time.

I see nothing wrong in that and of course from her blog she is probably more Paleo which allows more carbs but still anti wheat, added sugar etc.

(Bacon for the Win) #4

I didn’t find it a “rant” more like pointing out info about keto which may not be obvious to the unknowing. There’s a lot of good information in her article.


Her main point seems to be that keto is not a “one size fits all” lifestyle.

Find the levels of carbs, protein and fat appropriate for you depending on your goals and where you are bodyfat-wise.

(Richard Morris) #6

She also states categorically that for people with deranged metabolisms, any carbs are a priori bad. And given that 52% (viz: UCLA) to 85% (viz: Joseph Kraft) of people are on that continuum … then her article is obviously directed at the 15% - 48% un-de-ranged.

Personally I agreed with much of what she said.

(Siobhan) #7

Seems OK to me. It is definitely true that you don’t need to add a ton of fat for no reason as long as you aren’t hungry (not high fat, but fat to satiety/don’t be scared of fat).
Also true that you don’t necessarily need to go strict keto. Plenty of people do OK with <100g carbs per day, but at that point I stall. My bf does best around <50-75, I thrive on <20g some people can’t handle very much at all and over whatever amount they’ll get skin issues, or it will trigger binging. Going lower probably won’t hurt but if it isn’t what you want to do you might not need to.

I’ve seen plenty of people think you need to eat fat bombs, and add fat to everything when really eating fatty cuts of meat, fatty sauces, and/or veggies cooked in fat will do. Seen others think <20g carb is the only way to succeed - not necessarily true and may drive people away from low carb/keto.

(Cheryl Meyers) #8

I did too. Preaching to the choir here.

(carl) #9

I’ve been trying to hit that point home lately. The conventional thinking is “but I’m eating whole grains” or “I don’t eat very many carbs” when in fact, “not very many” is too much for ketosis.

(Alix Hayden) #10

I’m chiming in with the majority here. I’ve read a lot of her information on cancer metabolism and also on Alzheimer’s disease, having lost my father to dementia. I very much agree with how she’s framed the whole piece by stating repeatedly that she’s addressing this to people who do not feel well on the diet they’ve chosen.

(jketoscribe) #11

I thought she made some very good points in the piece as well, particularly that pregnant and nursing women who don’t have certain medical issues have no business doing strict “therapeutic level” keto and long fasts. She is very careful to define her terms. A lot of that needed to be said.

On the other hand, Chris Kresser did an interview on the JJ virgin lifestyle show where he said keto diets are “dangerous”, burn out adrenals, impair thyroid, etc.

(Meeping up the Science!) #12

Many people also follow therapeutic diets without understanding the mechanisms. For instance, 20g or less of carbs a day is “keto,” however the reality is most of the low carb diet plans put the majority of people in ketosis. That level virtually guarantees it, though.

It’s always best to understand the mechanisms behind our choices rather than just blindly making them.

(Carol Hawkins) #13

I agree with her outlook, since that’s what I’ve naturally come to over the past year. I refuse to count the carbs in bell peppers (and I absolutely love the orange and red ones!), so if that makes me more toward the low carb vs. keto spectrum, so be it. I will also occasionally have plantains when eating at my favorite Caribbean restaurant (gasp). I’m at my goal weight and did not have any medical issues, so now I’m finding out what works for me in the long term. As she said, someone following this WOE for medical reasons may need to be more strict, but this is what works for me.

(ianrobo) #14

same as you @CHawkins because of my exercise I can be a bit loser but I still want to be in ketosis and if I can do that at a slightly higher level as I love tomatoes and peppers (like you) then great.

I also understand those with as @carl says with deranged metabolisms have to be more careful … it is all just one big N=1 experiment for each of is making US the empowered patient !

(jketoscribe) #15

Yup, I did my first (and very successful) round of LCHF (Protein Power back in the dark ages) when you had to track carbs with a paper and pencil and you had to look each food and serving up in a “carb counting” book you’d carry around in your purse. I counted ONLY carbs and I refused to count the carbs in non-starchy vegetables and foods that were primarily fat and protein like high fat dairy, meat, fish, and eggs. I only counted carbs in starchy veggies and (gasp!) very small servings of grains and fruit that I ate occasionally. I kept the total of those carbs to around 20 - 30. And guess what? I lost weight like a house afire until I got pregnant :open_mouth:

Nowadays we have these apps that count EVERYTHING including the carbs in brewed coffee (!), eggs(!) etc. :rolling_eyes: Some count carbs down to the tenth of a gram.

Forget it! When I track with one of those apps I always give myself a 3-5 gram “discount” for those stupid little fragments of carbs which are not going to derail my efforts.

(Michelle Flores) #16

I agree. I try to make sure that I have at least a basic understanding of anything new that I’m doing so that I have some sort of idea as to what I’m doing and WHY I’m doing it. Just blindly following because someone said it was a great idea got me into a lot of trouble in my younger years, so I don’t do that anymore, particularly when it comes to the health of me and my family.

(Peter Barney) #17

It’s what is great about this forum and keeps it so interesting that we are all just N=1 experiments. After listening to and reading many articles on too much protein i dropped mine back and blindly increased fat this sent me off on a rollercoaster of weight gain and loss and general control of my diet. I got back to looking at my own N=1, increased protein, decreased fat and as i have always needed to, kept carbs as low as I can under 20g this seems to work best for me and im still seeing high ketone levels and loss of any cravings. The keto woe is great in that we all have to look closer at ourselves and ask questions and constantly evolve our learning and knowledge. That’s why you’ve got to love this forum :slightly_smiling_face: Many people don’t want to take on the responsibility of looking at what they are eating and just want to be told, I have some of these in my family and I have not recommended the keto woe as one size does not fit all. I hope they can look what I have achieved and there curiosity will fire up and then its their choice to start reversing their type 2.

(Michelle Flores) #18

That is how I got into keto - by watching a family member experience great results and then asking her what she was doing. It wasn’t just the weight-loss she experienced, but her improved mood and the scientific articles that she shared with me that really piqued my interest and encouraged me to start my own keto path. Honestly, I think that’s the best way since everyone is different.


Personally i thought she was putting a realistic perspective on the whole keto, LCHF world, i found it a very interesting article.

(ianrobo) #20

All I call for is the full info backed by science and not dogma then people are free to make their own decisions. When diabetics being told to eat sugar as part of a ‘balanced’ diet you know it is totally wrong