The Guardian declares no evidence for keto

(Jack) #1

The Guardian have decided to publish an article (or rather “hit piece”) on a ketogenic diet today. It is focused on evidence (or rather claims to be) so I think this is the right home for this link:

A few choice quotes…

“By anyone’s standards, this is a tough regime to stick to – adherents even have to limit their fruit intake.” [As opposed to all those other diets people famously find it really easy to stick to! Which is why everyone has sub-10% body fat and looks like a model!]

“Claims about the keto diet have been blown way out of proportion, driven by anecdote, hyperbole and its celebrity following (among them, Halle Berry and Vanessa Hudgens). As a registered nutritionist, I am interested in the evidence.” [Great, that’s good news!]

" Keto is not a free pass to go hard on the butter and bacon (too much of which may increase the risk of colorectal cancer, according to the World Health Organization)" [oh, you meant shoddy science, that’s disappointing…]

“dieting has been shown to increase body shame, anxiety, depression and disordered eating patterns, particularly binge eating and bulimia. It is also ineffective, being one of the strongest predictors for future weight gain.” [Personally I would say the keto diet is the least eating disorder-like diet; certainly better than low kcal / kcal counting “government approved” diets!"]

“One possible solution to diet dogma is an approach called intuitive eating: learning to eat mainly in response to physiological hunger and satiety cues.” [Oh for fucks sake, they believe that just saying what your body tells you to is the best solution! My body tells me to eat pizza and chips twelve times a day, so called intuitive eating is what got us into this problem in the first place!]

“But the answer to long-term, sustainable good health is probably not wrapping bacon round everything.” [Wrapping bacon round everything has helped me lose 12kilos whilst not feeling hungry or losing energy and keeping it off for 6 months. Just because something sounds ridiculous, doesn’t mean it is ridiculous]

This was on the front page of the Guardian today, so all we can do to resist this narrative is using ourselves as examples of what can be achieved. Personally I think people are more convinced by a friend losing a ton of weight than anything the Guardian writes!

Guardian article
(Marius the butter craving dude) #2

First they ignore it (I never heard about keto on mainstream news, I found it after some time doing research)
Then they laugh at you (current state)
And then…

(Marius the butter craving dude) #3

" Its followers, however, swear by it for weight loss and health, sometimes with a fanatical passion."
Vegans are never fanatics… right… ?
Man the hypocrisy in all of this:
"The fear, of course, is that many people don’t seek out information and support from regulated healthcare professionals before making major changes to their diet. " - This would never be stated about a vegan

(bulkbiker) #4

OOO and she’s a PhD and has to tell us…

And as usual with the new way in the Guardian nowhere for comments…

(Whole Lotta Rosie The Riveter ) #5

What exactly is a ‘Wellness Advocate’ anyway? I mean it’s not actually a thing right? It sounds very shallow & instagrammy.

(Now known as "DR JUICE" - it's just that easy! JUICE DC (Doctor of Comedy)) #6

Much as I hate to get into the whole “Fake news” thing (given I was a journalist for so long) you do have to take the source into account. And The Guardian is after the veganesque market, so you get what you expect from that.

(Now known as "DR JUICE" - it's just that easy! JUICE DC (Doctor of Comedy)) #7

To be fair, comments are a seriously difficult thing for any website to tackle, and more so for a media site that gets the traffic they do.


To be fair they also said some half decent things like:

… Jan Vyjidak, 38, a management consultant … has been on the keto diet for nearly a decade. He came to it, he says, to manage his health and improve his athletic performance. “It transformed my life,” he says. “It wiped out my constant hunger, and I was able to stop all medication for my asthma and psoriasis within six months.”

Been on it 10 years, solve his asthma and psoriasis within 6 months. “Transformed” his life.

That’s pretty encouraging actually.

(Omar) #9

they are looking for evidence.

I guess most members here if not almost every member is a living evidence.

the author says keto is hard.

how about blood glucose over 200 isn’t it hard?

kidney disease heart problems and autoimmune related problems aren’t they hard?

(Alex N.) #10

Technically speaking there isn’t much evidence for the benefits of Keto, because most of the body of research was done for “high fat, low carb” diets, without an emphasis for achieving ketosis. And even for HFLC studies, use of vegetable oils and of refined nutrients (instead of real food) is a common confounder. Where there’s definite evidence for Keto (versus HFLC) is in the treatment of various neurological diseases.

Where I worry for Keto is that there are no studies on long term effects, or any evidence that long term Keto is sustainable. Even anecdotal evidence isn’t strong enough, because people haven’t been doing this for long and it takes decades to notice the effects. Note that even the original Inuit population, that was observed to eat a mostly carnivorous diet, had 2 months of the year of eating a diet high in carbs enough to pull them out of ketosis. Human diets have been very cyclical, changing with the seasons.

That said, AFAIK there aren’t many reasons to believe that Keto isn’t sustainable either, at least for people that really need it — e.g. even if there are some risks to it, people with serious chronic conditions like diabetics will surely appreciate putting their life threatening disease in remission.

Also it should go without saying that the reason Keto isn’t well studied is because scientists have been following false leads pushed for political reasons. Now that Keto and other low-carb diets are popular, maybe we can get the science we deserve.

I think this claim is true. It is tough to limit fruits and for some of us this was the biggest problem.

It’s basically the reason for why I switched to a Paleo-inspired diet, because by cutting fruits (like bananas) from my diet I ended up being deficient in nutrients without being able to compensate with keto-friendly foods. I suspect I have a damaged gut flora and that Keto made it worse somehow.

Fruits are also a comfort food that’s much healthier than cookies or junk food. I also love butter and stuff with butter on it, but humans have an ingrained sweet tooth and I’d rather eat a fruit than risk binging on unhealthy carbs later.

I would advise caution. As a personal experience, in 4-months of dieting on Keto I developed a serious eating disorder, like nothing I’ve experienced before and I’m a senior when it comes to dieting.

The problem with Keto is I believe the focus on achieving ketosis by severely limiting carbs, which drives one to avoid not only foods really high in carbs, but also foods that are at the edge. How many of us here feared eating onions or garlic? If ketosis is your goal, you probably feared onions or garlic too.

You can also see many posts here fearing not only foods high in carbs, but also foods high in proteins, or natural foods that contain Omega-6 and so on and so forth. This systematic exclusion of foods from the diet does eventually affect the physical and mental health of people, because you may not get the nutrients the body needs, or because you’ll feel excluded in social circles, or because food no longer provides the pleasure it once did. And this is the definition of an eating disorder.

I’m not saying that Keto necessarily leads to an eating disorder, what I am saying is that Keto makes it easy to develop one and I would advise people to watch out for the signs.

That said, when the author of that article says:

This is a laughable appeal to authority and nutritionists in general are giving the healthcare industry and science a bad name, as nutrition has been highly political.

(Jack) #11

A good point, well made!

(bulkbiker) #12

They used to have a comment is free section on nearly every news article these days fewer especially dietary ones… almost as if they wish to preach their message and no other…

Edit to ad just seen they bloody opened a comments section under the article… here we go…!

(Scott) #13

I don’t recall diabetes or insulin resistance being mentioned. So far the only intuitive eating that works is for people on a keto or LCHF WOE IMO.

(Bunny) #14

Lol what a contrived bunch of crap looks like nothing more than a bunch of attention grabbing jargon based on a whole lot of nothingness and cherry picking stupidity at its worst for a journalism piece? You can tell that Laura Thomas PhD <== :joy::rofl::joy::joy::rofl: did not really do her homework? Or If you want peeps to visit your sight, you need to create controversy? So let’s get Laura to do some half baked research, after all if your not buying the processed sugary goodies from their advertisers and invested stocks how would they make money?

Bottom line if you eat three meals a day of crap and eat the nice sugary snacks in-between; that the stock investors make for you to buy, then your a good little robot?

(Bob M) #15

That’s not really true. Here are some outcomes for type 2 diabetics:

These people are/were on a keto diet.

Also, a lot of these studies at least started at a keto level (few or none ended at that level, though):

And we should also note that often it was ad libitum (eat as much as you want) low carb versus calorie-restricted low fat.

I do think we need more keto studies, including studies with varying levels of PUFAs in different groups.

(Carl Keller) #16

The author of that article, Laura Thomas PHD, has a website called I think she forgot the ‘i’ that should be after the ‘b’ in her website name.

*edited link. Forgot a dash in first posting.

(Scott) #17

Plant based? I never suspected that to come up.

(Alec) #18

And a dietician… hmmmm.

I’d like to ask her where her evidence is for what dieticians peddle. They are the quacks here, head in sand, following a dogma that has failed again and again and again and again.

(Bunny) #19

”…Intuitive Eating is a non-diet approach to health and wellness that helps you tune into your body signals, break the cycle of chronic dieting and heal your relationship with food. In short: intuitive eating is normal eating. …More

NORMAL? How did we get in this predicament in the first place?

It is more like:

How to intuitively eat your way into a cardiac arrest (eventually), is more like it?

It is not even a diet, just eat whatever?

No distinguishment from SAD and most importantly NO SCIENCE AT ALL?

From Laura’s site:

How Can We Help?

”…Intuitive Eating is a process to help you get out of your head when it comes to food and body image and tune into the signals your body is sending. So many of us feel guilt or anxiety about eating the ‘wrong’ things. We worry and beat ourselves up for that doughnut we had last week. Intuitive Eating helps break down arbitrary food rules and restrictions and external influences over what you can and can’t eat so you can focus on internal cues. It’s about relearning how to eat from the ground up! …More

(Carl Keller) #20

She’s still young and likely able to eat ‘whatever’ without noticeable repercussion. I’d like to see what whatever gets her in 20 years. I already know the answer because I was on the eat whatever diet for most of my life. It did catch up to me.