Low-carb and keto diets: criticism outpaces evidence —

It’s a new food trend that is sweeping the nation: low-carb and keto diets. These diets promise the ultimate weight loss, but new studies have shown these types of diets may not be the best way to achieve it.

What do you do if you’re on a low-carb or keto diet?  You take to the internet?  No.  You look at the science?  No.  You read a blog?  That would be a good start.  Low-carb and keto diets, as they often are called, are a big yesterday in the world of weight-loss (and fat-loss).  How do you defend a diet that features foods like bacon, cheese, butter and sugar?  Or a diet that restricts many vegetables, fruits, legumes and others high in nutrients?  The science on these diets is… well… not great.  There are some pretty good science based

The keto diet, which is often called a “fat-burning” diet, is gaining popularity. But are low-carbohydrate diets good for you? Here’s what the experts say: 1. A low-carbohydrate diet reduces blood triglyceride levels and cholesterol.  2.  A low-carbohydrate diet is often effective for weight loss. 3. Low-carbohydrate diets can reduce high blood pressure. 4. Low-carbohydrate diets can reduce symptoms associated with metabolic syndrome. 5. A low-carbohydrate diet can lead to lower blood sugar levels. 6.  A low-carbohydrate diet can lead to a significant reduction in LDL cholesterol and C-reactive protein levels. 7.  A low-


Because of the ignorant and untrained gurus on social media, everyone who follows the keto diet understands firsthand how bad it is.

However, a new editorial in JAMA Internal Medicine, authored by a group of seasoned and well-respected doctors, casts doubt on the data that backs up the keto diet’s hoopla. These writers aren’t illiterate, but they’re also not uninformed, at least in terms of nutritional science.

Ketogenic diet for obesity and diabetes – excitement exceeds evidence, according to JAMA Internal Medicine

Despite this, the authors discovered some clear biases. While I appreciate their attempts to concentrate on the facts, I believe they have fallen short.

Many of these arguments will be covered in this article, but for a more in-depth look at the science behind keto, check out our guide The Science of Low-Carb Eating and Keto. It includes hundreds of research that back up the use of low-carb and keto diets for weight reduction, diabetes, liver disease, PCOS, and other conditions.

Returning to the JAMA editorial, we must not overlook an essential point: The three writers of the paper are all involved with the vegan ad Forks Over Knives and are well-known vegan activists with financial interests in advocating a vegan diet. While this does not invalidate the data they reference, it may explain why they selected the information they did from the vast low-carb literature. Their dietary prejudices are likely to obscure their judgment and prevent them from seeing the broader picture, which is regrettable. This is instantly evident in the way he expresses himself.

The keto diet, for example, is defined as a diet in which adherents must eliminate virtually all carbs. It enables followers to consume almost unlimited quantities of veggies from the earth as a source of genuine natural carbs, in my opinion.

It turns out that the words we use, as well as our conflicts of interest, make a difference.

What about the science, though? To begin with, they repeat the mantra that all we have to do to lose weight is restrict our calorie intake. How can a low-calorie diet be blamed for obesity and metabolic disorders when data indicate that we are consuming more calories than ever before?

This kind of thinking overlooks the human side of diet and weight reduction entirely. To decrease our calorie consumption, we need a diet that we like, that fulfills us and minimizes our desires. We don’t consume a lot of calories. We are emotional creatures with wants and hunger.

It also overlooks the fact that meal time and the amount of insulin stimulation provided by carbs have a role in weight reduction (or lack thereof). While overall calories are essential, they aren’t the only factor to consider. The quality of these calories is just as essential as the amount, if not more so.

The authors also reference a 2013 meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (the highest level of evidence) that found low-carb diets are more effective than low-fat diets in terms of weight reduction. They do, however, dispute the relevance of the one-kilogram difference in weight. That’s reasonable, because a kilo isn’t much. However, they overlook the fact that the low-carb group had substantially lower blood pressure, triglycerides, and HDL levels (which this 2016 meta-analysis also shows). This strongly suggests that the difference in weight reduction was clinically significant, or that the low-carb diet had additional health advantages. These are significant research findings that would not have been overlooked by an unbiased evaluation!

The next section took me by surprise. There is no qualitative evidence favoring a low-carbohydrate or keto diet for diabetes, according to the scientists. The American Diabetes Association, on the other hand, disagrees. It has updated its guidelines to include low-carbohydrate and ketogenic diets as evidence-based therapy choices for blood sugar and diabetes management.

The scientists also questioned data from Virta Health, which claimed that following a ketogenic diet for two years resulted in type 2 diabetes improvement and even remission. They rightly point out that this was not a randomized trial and that participants interacted with a health coach via a smartphone app.

In any event, the Virta research demonstrated higher rates of remission and withdrawal than any other diet study in the medical literature. Despite the fact that the keto group got greater assistance, the keto diet is one of the most remarkable diabetes reversal regimens in the medical literature, according to this research. This issue should be highlighted for the benefit of the millions of people who suffer from type 2 diabetes.

I was especially intrigued by the remark that controlling blood sugar is more essential while eating nutritious, high-carbohydrate meals…. even if weight reduction is not achieved. This remark goes unmentioned in an editorial praising the value of evidence, and it strikes me as a little overstated.

There are many additional issues. Ketogenic diets in children have been linked to nutritional deficits and uncommon consequences, according to the authors. Because most of these diets comprised of smoothies and meal substitutes rather than actual food, they do not qualify as contemporary keto diets.

They also list a slew of other issues that are either temporary (muscle cramps), minor (constipation), or just plain incorrect (bone fractures and multiple vitamin and mineral deficiencies).

Here’s where you can learn more about the low-carb and ketogenic diet debate.

The assertion that the alternative cost of the keto diet is giving up entire grains, fruits, and legumes is probably the most alarming part of this essay. Again, we must examine the facts more thoroughly and not be swayed by sensational headlines.

The majority of research comparing whole grains versus refined grains indicate that whole grains have more health advantages. It’s no surprise, therefore, that whole grains are superior than refined grains found in processed meals. However, the authors of an editorial claim that consuming whole grains is better than a low-carb diet that excludes grains. No such research has ever been performed, therefore this is not a definite assertion.

Uncontrolled observational studies provide further evidence in favor of whole grains, fruits, and legumes. These meals may be part of an overall healthy lifestyle for insulin-sensitive individuals who have other good behaviors, such as B. in the blue zone. This does not imply that they are the primary cause of good health; rather, they may be a component of it.

Blood sugar rises in diabetics who consume a healthy diet of whole grains and fruits demonstrate that these nutrients function differently for various individuals. What is the opportunity cost? I’m more worried about the opportunity cost of individuals losing out on a strong low-carb diet because they believe fruit and whole grains are necessary for good health. That is not the case.

(For a comprehensive approach on whole grains, go here.)

Finally, although this is a reasonable argument against the keto diet, it presents the data from an excessively biased viewpoint and fails to consider the broader picture. Low-carb and ketogenic diets have been scientifically shown to help people lose weight and reverse type 2 diabetes.

That is my point of view. Every day, I make an effort to recognize this and convey the facts as objectively as possible. That’s why I recommend that everyone read our guide on the science behind the low-carb diet and ketosis, which includes many references supporting the low-carb diet’s health advantages. Low-carb and ketogenic diets are effective health aids, and we must see beyond the biases that certain experts bring to the literature review in order to assist our patients and ourselves.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Dr. Bret Sher, FACC


Keto and low-carb science

a manual A summary of the fundamental science behind ketones and low-carb diets. Although these diets are still contentious, there is now sufficient data to support them.


As an alternative, the American Diabetes Association suggests a low-carb diet.

The NuSI research raises several concerns regarding the ketogenic diet.

If you’re looking for a diet plan that will help you lose weight and improve your health, then low-carb and keto diets may be for you. But before you rush off to embrace a new low-carb lifestyle, take some time to read this article, which explores what you can and can’t do on these diets. There are two different low-carb diets in particular, the Atkins and the Paleo diets, and both have their benefits and drawbacks.. Read more about ketogenic diet research 2018 and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there evidence behind keto diet?

There is no evidence behind the keto diet.

What do critics say about the keto diet?

Critics say that the keto diet is not sustainable and can lead to side effects such as fatigue, constipation, and bad breath.

Is low carb healthier than keto?

Low carb is healthier than keto because it does not cause the same level of blood sugar spikes.

Related Tags

This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • ketogenic diet literature review
  • ketogenic diet research articles
  • ketogenic diet research 2018
  • mediterranean diet
  • science of ketogenic diet

Una is a food website blogger motivated by her love of cooking and her passion for exploring the connection between food and culture. With an enthusiasm for creating recipes that are simple, seasonal, and international, she has been able to connect with people around the world through her website. Una's recipes are inspired by her travels across Mexico, Portugal, India, Thailand, Australia and China. In each of these countries she has experienced local dishes while learning about the culture as well as gaining insight into how food can be used as a bridge between different cultures. Her recipes are often creative combinations of traditional ingredients from various different cuisines blended together to create something new.