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Fat-fueled brain: unnatural or advantageous? (scientificamerican.com)
249 points by todd8 on Sept 28, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 315 comments

I've been doing Keto since Feb 25 2016. My primary goal when switching over was weight loss, which turned out to be easy. I'm 25, male and was experiencing growing health complications related to obesity. I've lost well over 60 lbs since making the switch despite the fact that I maintain a primarily sedentary lifestyle though I now work out weekly as well as take bi-daily walks.

There are downsides though. It's not cheap, it's restrictive and it requires you to build a fairly sizeable knowledge base in order to successfully maintain the diet and your own health. For instance your body consumes more water in order to burn fat stores which leads to the body burning through electrolytes more rapidly. It is very common to supplement electrolytes every day. It is common to drink broth while on Keto in order to cover the daily salt intake requirements of Keto, ~5000-7000mg every day on top of normal dietary salt intake. Failure to cover the daily electrolyte requirement will lead to muscle cramps and more severe symptoms brought on by electrolyte deficiency in the body. Prior to supplementing magnesium I experienced leg cramps and quickly realized what was going on.

However there are significant health benefits. Weight loss, improved mental clarity and better energy levels throughout the day, as well as less need for frequent meals are positive effects that a lot of people experience on Keto. It is also a useful tool for reversing lifestyle diseases such as diabetes type 2 and pre-diabetes.

When it comes to the stuff you "have to give up" while on Keto it's mostly a case of strict moderation rather than completely cutting things out. The things you do try to cut out though like bread, sugar, potatoes, pasta, corn-syrup etc have good alternatives available in most grocery stores. You can bake bread out of almond flour, make pasta out of almond flour (or have someone make it for you), replace potatoes with sweet potatoes and so on.

If you're thinking that keto sounds like it's too much hassle please leave me a reply and I'll gladly talk about whatever you're unsure about.

I also lost a bunch of weight on keto after several failed attempts at simply cutting calories. 235 lbs to about 185 and it all happened pretty rapidly (about half a year) considering I barely exercised. Lots of salads, chicken breasts, eggs & bacon, lettuce wraps, and quest bars. Regular coffee though, never was a fan of throwing butter in there. I mean I did do light cardio on and off, but I think it was mostly the diet that did it for me. Tried to stay under 20 daily grams of carbs.

> I mean I did do light cardio on and off, but I think it was mostly the diet that did it for me.

Most likely. The amount of calories burnt by exercising is surprisingly low. Unless you really do a lot of it simply eating a bit less may be easier, esp. because you get hungry after exercising which easily leads to more intake than you have burned before.

That being the case, isn't exercise still very important to overall health - even if you're at a healthy weight? (Personally, I've never had any weight problems regardless of diet, but regular exercise makes a big difference in how I feel.)

Exercise is incredibly important for our health. It mitigates or even reverses ailments tied to lifestyle choices. To use myself as an example I have a bad shoulder as a result of stupid amounts of online video games (MMOs...) and every Thursday for the past two months I have specifially worked out the muscle group that's causing me pains in my right shoulder. And what do you know, after the initial muscle soreness goes away I feel slightly better and less sore. If I stop my regular exercise, the pain comes back.

I used to suffer from depression and anxiety. Meds didn't really help and I changed my lifestyle around. It helped. I do agree with you, exercise as well as diet is incredibly important if you want to feel normal.

Sure it is good for your health. If you are obese I think it may nevertheless often be better for your health to direct will power onto your eating habits to loose weight instead of using using that willpower to force yourself into exercising thinking it might help you achieving the former.

Keto (and any diet change really) will have effect on the microbio in our guts. That's also a likely large source of weight loss.

What is the logic behind putting butter in your coffee? If your goal is to lose weight, wouldn't not eating that butter still be better than eating it?

You're stuck in the mindset that fat makes you "fat". This is the whole point of ketosis, and a rethinking of wrong dietary guidelines that have persisted for decades.

The butter in the coffee supplies fat for fuel / energy, suppresses appetite, and does not contribute to weight gain or more specifically an increase in adipose fat tissue.

Simply cutting all calories is futile. Your body needs energy to sustain itself. The point of keto diet is replacing carbs with a significant increase in fat (~70% give or take) as a percentage of calories consumed.

But it is crucial to actually consume a lot of fat, not just try to cut overall calories.

But adding calories in whatever form still means more calories in than not eating them.

Edit: I get the point that it stops hunger, but my point still stands, and the parent posters still doesn't make a great deal of sense.

The point of putting butter in your coffee is to extend your natural faste. The faste that you enter every night during sleep. It is done in tandem with also skipping breakfast on keto.

The reason you put butter in your coffee instead of a spoonful of say, sugar, is that fat takes a long time to digest and even a fairly small amount of it (a table spoon of butter in your coffee) takes a while to digest. During that time period your hunger sensation is suppressed.

Coffee also promotes weight loss because it speeds up your metabolism. The idea behind buttered coffee is fairly simple. Put enough fat in your coffee so that you don't get hungry and eat a meal and you help extend your natural faste - and your morning coffee helps speed up your metabolism.


There are good reasons for drinking buttered coffee even if you're deliberately trying to avoid weight loss i.e you are following a net neutral or net positive caloric intake diet. When you're fasting your body isn't spending energy digesting food which means less of your body's immediately available resources aren't spent digesting food.

Even if you're getting calories from your coffee it doesn't impact your weight loss because you're still eating less calories than your body needs to maintain the weight.

> Even if you're getting calories from your coffee it doesn't impact your weight loss because you're still eating less calories than your body needs to maintain the weight.

This is completely dependent on other factors. Weight loss is dependent on a hell of a lot of things in tandem. It is mathematically strictly better to say, drink only black coffee or sugar-free energy drinks in the morning. Caffeine is an appetite suppressant. The difference is that most people don't have the personal willpower to stick to the fasting without a few calories to help them along.

Weight loss in general is precisely mathematical in pacing and it will absolutely make you lose weight faster if you consume less calories.

This assumes calories are all equal and the best measuring stick. Do we know this to be a fact?

> The difference is that most people don't have the personal willpower to stick to the fasting without a few calories to help them along.

You are ignoring an important factor: If you don't have enough calories the body will switch to starvation mode, you'll have low energy, be cold, etc.

The net result is that, unless you are actually starving (which is bad for you), you'll actually lose less weight that way!

> If you don't have enough calories the body will switch to starvation mode

This is a myth which has been proved to be absolutely false. You are simply wrong if you are basing any conclusions at all of of this.

> proved to be absolutely false

I'm perfectly willing to be shown that I'm wrong, but I'll need more than just a sentence from you saying so.

You said "proved" - can you show me the proof?

Dr. Jason Fung has done extensive research and experiments on this topic including fasting. You can read his research in his book obesity code. Very eye opening.

A quick google search results in multiple well cited articles discussing it.

I'm sure it could also yield multiple well-cited articles on the other side as well. It would be much more helpful to actually provide some research that you stand behind.

Lyle McDonald: http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/research-review/meal-freque...

Probably the best and most researched article on this.

Bullet point 4 here: http://www.leangains.com/2010/10/top-ten-fasting-myths-debun... has an article reference.

Basically, you can certainly go into starvation mode, but not in any reasonable amount of time. Skipping meals or even fasting for a whole day will not cause "starvation mode". Prolonged calorie restriction can affect hormones like Leptin and affect energy expenditure.

Bear in mind that Lyle believed in "starvation mode" 10-17 years ago; I believe he mentions it in his first book. He was also a firm believer in strict caloric arithmetic and that microbiome didn't matter. His content is only as good as the current scientific literature is, and that has changed a lot in the past 20 years.

A quick Google search also shows several well cited articles supporting the flat earth theory.

why do you use the word faste? Does it mean something different from the usual word related to not eating, "fast"?

I've been reading about bulletproof coffee, and the more I read, the more unsure I am about it. I think the following article makes good points:


I guess it might seem specifically OK for people on Keto diets only, but still, it seems worrisome longterm.

Who says it's an addition of calories? For many people breakfast is just coffee with coconut oil and butter. It's not adding calories it's just consuming them at a different time. You're still going to be at a deficit at the end of the day.

For me it would be compared to just black coffee and no breakfast, so of course it would be additional calories if I force myself to drink coffee with butter in it.

In that case it probably doesn't make sense. Unless you find that adding it to your coffee allows you to not eat additional calories for a longer period of time.

I have said exactly that in the past. I was wrong! It turns out morning me doesn't have the willpower to truly stick to just coffee.

It's hard for me to explain why the "calories in, calories out" theory is incorrect in so far as it's not useful to structure your diet around to prevent getting fat.

Gary Taubes was the person who I learned from the most, many years ago about high fat, low carb diet, and I have been following his advice ever since, to great success.

He has MANY videos on the internet, here is a recent one:


His book "Why we get fat" is also a great, clearly written explanation of all this, and I highly advise you to look into the subject, with an open mind. You may be surprised.

Not all calories are the same. For example, body excretes excess dietary fat, but stores excess carbohydrates adding 4 times the amount of water to it. You can find the details in any Paleo Diet related site.

I prefer to stick to something published on pubmed.

People often have bullet-proof coffee (as it is called) as a meal replacement. Those calories make them full for a long time, as fat is very filling.

If you don't eat a lot of carbs, that means you need to eat fat during the day to replace it. Would you rather eat the butter raw, or with a cup of coffee?

Um, either is fine IMO :)

Yes, cutting all calories works best. Just don't eat anything at all.

Fat takes a long time to digest in your stomach, as such you feel satiated for a much longer period of time. Butter can be used somewhat to sweeten coffee, and unlike using sugar won't invoke an insulin response and a subsequent crash.

Might as well use heavy cream. 20% or more, just an unsweetened version. Pity the diet trashed my liver long term. Not sure why (the actual dietetician had no idea either), but lab numbers do not lie. (Aspartate, alanine, cholesterol, no inflammation in CRP) It was the only thing effective so far. Long term was around 2 years thereof.

Moral is, diet responsibly and pay for the metabolic panels when dieting.

What exactly did it do to your liver (what's the diagnosis so to speak), did you have alcohol, what carbs did you have, and how do you treat the issue now?

Could you please elaborate what kind of damages you go by following this diet to your liver?

"Low carb, adequate protein, high fat" is a more accurate description of this diet.

The other Keto adage is "calories count, but don't count calories". Meaning, if you eat a high fat diet, you naturally will feel full.

When I tried keto a few years back (an interesting experience, to say the least), and I eliminated almost all carbs from my diet, estimated the calories that are left, I found I needed to eat a LOT more fat to reach a sensible daily amount of calories. Like heaping a few big tablespoons of mayo on a bowl of broccoli lots (being Dutch, cue the Pulp Fiction references :) ). Maybe it's just that I've never been a very big eater, but yeah I found it a bit of a struggle to keep up. So adding some butter and coconut fat to the coffee helps. Plus fat lasts longer, it doesn't quite spike like sugars do, so getting a whole lot of it in the morning is a great way to start the day.

I kinda want to try and start again, it definitely had some benefits, as long as I managed to get enough calories and vegetables/nutrients (sorry I'm one of those persons that needs to take care they eat enough).

The big problem, however, is that in the mean time I've greatly reduced the amount of animal products from my diet--for environmental and ethical reasons, not health. And I'm not really sure how to do both.

I would need to spend a lot of money on almonds and other foods that may not seem that expensive until you need to consume them in bulk to replace the cheap, cheap carbs :) Being nearly-vegetarian is very cheap.

And even though I could probably hack the costs (or figure out something clever to do so), I'm not at all sure if it's even possible to live on a healthy keto diet while keeping my environmental impact footprint to a reasonable size that I can consider myself a responsible inhabitant of this planet. I don't think I can bring myself to eat very large amounts of meat again, even if they're organic certifiably happy cows. Tempeh has slightly more proteins anyway :p (also tastier than tofu, which is not a very high bar, I know)

If you are not opposed to eating sea food, there are many fish that are good on keto. Mackerels, Sardines, Anchovies, and Salmon come to mind, plus they have a high ratio of omega 3 vs omega 6 and 9. I eat lots of Avacado and use a lot of olive oil you can cook vegetables in. You honestly want to go light on the nuts, because even many of the fatty ones still have quite a few carbs, and the omega fat ratio is not great. Also flax is a big deal. I get what you are saying though; I think it would be difficult to be vegetarian on this diet, though ironically I probably eat less meat than I did before keto.

I'm on a similar boat. Vegan for +10 years, I fast one day a week and aim to keep carbs under 20 grams the day after, I feel my great during those 2 days. I would like to make the switch into full vegan keto, but I've yet to find a plan that I feel would cover my nutritional bases and that I could maintain on a low-budget.

Let me know if you make any headway! /r/veganketo helps.

p.s. I recently found that dumpster diving asian supermarkets I can get infinite supply of still-fresh packaged tofu, that has sure been helping!

Just to get in calories by fat, which generally hold you over longer. I have coffee with coconut oil every morning. I've tried doing on coffee with coconut oil and butter but it's not for me. I'd rather have eggs and bacon.

Are you blending the butter or just stirring? I make mine with butter, coconut/almond milk from califia and a bit of vanilla extract. Blended in bullet mixer for about 20 seconds and it comes out like an unsweetened latte.

Stirring. Oh well, I was getting enough fat from bacon I think.

Yeah the point here is that when you blend the butter it turns from oily sludge into an actual fluffy cap of foam.

I don't disagree with what you've said, with maybe the exception of the amount of salt... That's a lot. I'll periodically eat a pickle or have some garlic stuffed olives and that works for me. People should probably supplementing magnesium regardless, but in tablet form it can cause diarrhea.

I'm replying mainly to raise the point that, in my experience, there are people who can moderate successfully, and there are people that it is better to abstain completely. I fall into the latter. I will fall off the wagon if I don't abstain from the "forbidden fruits."

My wife on the other hand is very capable of moderation. I simply am not, and I suspect I'm not alone.

So it's good to know why type of person you are in this regard.

I definitely am with you. If I'm eating any carbs then I'm eating all the carbs. If I'm on keto I don't crave those foods anymore.

If there are bad snack items available, I will eat as many as I can stuff into my facehole as quickly as I can. I have no willpower.

The best way I've found to combat this is to not buy bad snack items.

Has there been any more research into the long term health effects of Keto?

I tried it years ago, but found it to be more of a pain than it's worth (I seem to have better luck with intense exercise 3x per week and avoiding sugar). And it seems like tons of meat and cheese is actually bad long term, in the sense it clogs your arteries or increases cancer risk.

Atkins did not look like he was in good shape inside when he died.

It strikes me as a body hack that bypasses a lot of bodily processes evolution may have counted on as we developed. But it seems like we know a fair amount about the chemistry and processes involved, so I'm curious.

>And it seems like tons of meat and cheese is actually bad long term, in the sense it clogs your arteries

This is an inaccurate conclusion based on old studies where the subjects underwent a high-carbohydrate high-fat diet. Recent studies on ketogenic diets (low-carbohydrate, medium-protein, high-fat intake) shows that dietary fats and dietary cholesterol barely make any sort of impact on the subject's cholesterol. Rather it is dietary carbohydrates and genetics which are the primary contributor to raised cholesterol and arterial blockage. When it comes to arterial blockage, studies have found that there is no significant correlation between high dietary fat intake and cardiovascular disease.

>or increases cancer risk

Keto is primarily a high-fat diet, not a high-protein or high-carb diet. Studies have showed that a sugar found in red meats called Neu5Gc is primarily correlated with inflammation in the body and the development of certain cancers.

If you're on keto you're less likely to develop cardiovascular disease, and while there is not enough data yet to draw a scientific conclusion preliminary research indicates that individuals who follow keto are at less risk of developing cancer due to restricting sugar intake.

See: https://www.reddit.com/r/ketoscience/search?q=cancer&restric...

All of these posts link to multiple, verified studies which go into details about what I just said.

What you said about cancer risk or long term safety of the whole class of those diets. Especially anything related to mortality and morbidity endpoints.

Cholesterol numbers are nowhere near the end of story, they're just markers. Rat and mice studies are useless for this purpose.

Please correct me if I am wrong. Preferably with published larger studies. In humans.

>shows that dietary fats and dietary cholesterol barely make any sort of impact on the subject's cholesterol.

>Rather it is dietary carbohydrates and genetics which are the primary contributor to raised cholesterol and arterial blockage. So what about APOE4 individuals, which compose at least 20% of the population, who will see massively spiking LDL with higher saturated fat intake?

Yes, it's based on genetics, but also intrinsically tied to dietary (saturated) fat intake.

If by "meat and cheese" you mean "saturated fat," that myth has been thoroughly debunked.


1. Atkins died from slipping and falling on ice, not a heart attack.

2. He did have a heart attack based from a genetic predisposition. His cardiologist said his condition was impeccable, considerint his diet.

Keto is not a body hack that bypasses evolution. Almost all humans are descended from populations with seasonal eating patterns. Carb rich diet in spring/summer/fall, keto diet in winter.

The paradox is that keto diets, in the short term, seem to have a lot of great health benefits, yet all the blue zone diets are carb rich. My gut feeling is that for most people, the optimal diet in terms of health would be primarily high carb diet (with an emphasis on fermented foods and legumes), with occasional periods of keto dieting.

The reason I don't really buy into the paleo theory (yet) is that people have lived in all parts of the world, with vastly varying diets. I haven't seen any conclusive scientific evidence on it yet (to be fair I haven't been searching).

Intermittent fasting would be something that I imagine that most humans experienced wherever they lived however, and rat studies seem promising.

> people have lived in all parts of the world, with vastly varying diets

Yes, though all of them ate animal products and highly valued various animal fats.

That being said, we can find evidence of people eating all-meat diets in every corner of the globe, and often times if there were more agricultural people nearby, the carnivores were healthier and stronger (such as the Masai vs. the Kikuyu, the Sami vs. southern agricultural Swedes, etc.). Just because people were healthy eating one type of food does not mean they could have been even healthier eating another food if they had access to it.

Paleo diet is not necessarily Keto, though.

Some epileptics do keto long term, so I imagine there must be information out there. Rather than searching for it in the context of weightloss, searching in the context of epilepsy might give better and more studied results.

For a nudge in that direction, here's info from my doctor's charity:


Research? Sort of. Experience? Yes.

Owsley "The Bear" Stanley, the famous LSD manufacturer and Grateful Dead sound engineer, lived very healthily on an all-meat diet for over 50 years. (Note: he did have cancer, though likely due to HPV and years of secondhand cigarette smoke and firsthand marijuana smoke, and his diet probably helped him survive it, and he had a heart attack, but that was likely due to complications from his youth that became noticeable after putting on 30 pounds of muscle weightlifting in his 50s.) He posted all about it on a forum years ago. It's a very interesting read: http://activenocarber.myfreeforum.org/ftopic22-0-0-asc-.php

Traditional Inuit also eat an all-meat diet with lots of fat. See Weston Price's Nutrition and Physical Degeneration (http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks02/0200251h.html#ch5), as well as the writings of Vilhjalmur Stefansson (http://highsteaks.com/carnivores-creed/vilhjalmur-stefansson... ).

The Plains Indians, as well. See "Guts and Grease: The Diet of the Native Americans" (http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/guts-and-grease-th...) and this talk by Stephen Phinney, "The Aboriginal Argument" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayf4R-y_RYo). Phinney himself has been on a very low carb, ketogenic diet for, I believe, two decades.

Some argue the Inuit were not ketogenic (http://freetheanimal.com/2014/03/reiterate-elevated-ketone.h...), but they tend to overestimate how long glycogen remains in muscles after death, as well as mistaking a lack of elevated ketones as meaning they weren't ketogenic (it's actually because they just use ketone bodies more effectively, which is why urine tests for ketosis only work during keto-adaptation). Dr. Michael Eades had a good article on this: https://proteinpower.com/drmike/2014/04/18/beware-confirmati...

Anyway, there's a lot more out there, but that'll get you started. I tend to believe an all-meat, ketogenic diet is the natural human diet, and I've had great success on it for the past year.

Other sites of note: http://www.ketotic.org/ http://www.empiri.ca/ https://zerocarbzen.com/ (There used to be an interview on this one with a family that has eaten nothing but ribeyes for the past 18 years. The whole family had tremendous health, and it even helped the mother overcome lyme disease. I thought it was fake the first time I read it. They unfortunately had to take it down because they were getting angry mail from angry vegans.)

Thanks for the links. I went deep into the Bear thread, definitely an interesting man. Funny enough as I began reading I was thinking, "I would only do this if I had access to cheap Australian grass-fed beef," and it turns out he lived there. Commercially available beef in the US is plain awful; Whole Foods carries grass-fed Australian but it's expensive. Fortunately I'll be moving there soon.

Now, I've been doing a lot of thinking about my evolutionary history. My immediate ancestors are from central Asia / mideast but really don't know about anyone beyond great-grandparents. Observing myself, I seem to thrive in dry weather and feel horrible in humid weather (regardless of temp; winter moisture doesn't feel good either). This has led me to believe my "genetic preference" is for dry climates and possibly the foods found in arid places, which would probably be animals that feed on dry grasses and such.

I love fruits and vegetables, I have grown up eating lots of them, and salad everyday. However, I am open to skepticism, as right now in the last few days I've stayed home and eaten nothing but very fresh, healthy vegetables and fruit all day and yet still could not prevent this cold / congestion from taking root. I could not imagine eating zero vegetables for the rest of my life, though, it sounds ridiculous.

I'm fed up with generally being a low energy person, with chronic nasal congestion (inflammation, not mucous) maybe I will give this a shot. I don't need to lose weight, but I do want mental clarity and energy. I'm quite healthy "by the numbers," but a recent finding of almost deficient levels of Vit D and B12 leads me to believe that I require a high meat diet.

Start here: http://www.empiri.ca/p/eat-meat-not-too-little-mostly-fat.ht... (And check out the other posts on the blog, too.)

As for grass-fed vs. grain-fed, most of the arguments seem to center around omega-3, omega-6 ratios. The difference between grass-fed and grain-fed are negligible when you compare them to chicken and pork, let alone nuts and vegetable oils. If I could afford grass-fed beef, I'd eat it, but I think grain-fed beef is fine, especially in the United States. If anything, it has more marbling, so yum! For what it's worth, the Bear argued there was little difference nutritionally and that it had more to do with texture and flavor.

Holy shit, lyme disease! How could I forget posting about this! My friend had lyme disease and was told to look into keto by his doctor to help fight the disease. He's cured as of March this year.

That's so wonderful.

You eat sweet potatoes and stay in ketosis? Those are full of carbs. I have been keto for about a year and would love to eat sweet potatoes.

The digestibility of the carbs in sweet potatoes is highly dependent on the way they're cooked. Boiling them leads to a fairly low glycemic index and glycemic load, whereas baking them essentially turns them into candy: http://www.livestrong.com/article/295025-the-glycemic-index-...

It is also possible to reduce the glycemic index of food by ingesting acetic acid (apple vinegar).

See: http://www.jbc.org/content/135/1/157.full.pdf

TL;DR Apple cider vinegar will decrease the glycemic index of food by interfering with carbohydrate digestion.

Acetic acid is vinegar, not apple cider vinegar in particular.

I should probably have specified that when it comes to foods like that which are high in carbohydrates I won't eat a significant amount or I'll get knocked out of ketosis just like everyone else would.

I rarely eat foods that are primarily carbohydrate based since that defeats the purpose of going keto, but if I do I try to find alternatives (sweet potato replacement for regular potatoes) and even then I severely restrict the amount that I eat. Sweet potatoes have important nutrients in them like beta-carotene, vitamin A, manganese and copper. It is as far as I'm aware always preferable to get vitamins and minerals directly from your diet rather than supplementation.

See http://www.yummly.com/recipe/Low-Carb-Potato-Salad---paleo_-... for an example of a keto friendly sweet potato salad.

For me at least it's important to get creative with what I eat. Staying Keto is a long term goal for me and while I started off doing Keto as a means to lose weight the immediate health benefits convinced me to stay Keto for the foreseeable future. While it's possible to do keto off nothing but cheese, bacon, avocadoes, eggs and low-carb greens such as spinach and broccoli it can get boring.

As long as my body stays in ketosis and I'm covering my body's nutritional needs I believe strict moderation rather than completely cutting all carbs is an acceptable way to diet. While it is completely possible to eliminate all carbs from your diet it is not requisite for staying in ketosis, though you of course do not have much margin for error before you knock yourself out of ketosis. Good news is it's much easier to get back into ketosis if you overshoot your daily carb allowance compared to the initial adaption period where you have to be very strict in order to adapt your body to keto.

For people who are dealing with insulin resistant type health conditions like diabetes type 1, 2 or even pre-diabetes there might be entirely different dietary requirements and a very strict emphasis on eliminating all carbs may be appropriate. When it comes to carefully managing health conditions with potentially severe health ramifications that's something which requires cooperation with a physician.

For most people, as long as you stay beneath the protein and carb limit you're completely fine.

I don't see any potato in that salad.

Not to nit-pick, but Sweet Potatoes are not Keto friendly. They will knock you out of ketosis pretty quick, even if you are keto-adapted.

A better alternative is cauliflower. It can be used in most of the same places as potatoes, but is an acquired taste for some.

Edit: There are 27g of carbs in a sweet potato. That's more than my entire daily allowance on Keto.

I know it's mentioned in the article for long term but for the first couple weeks was there any difference in brain functioning? I'm not talking about anything severe, but if you have a job where you are using a lot of brain power, I'd imagine very low carb diet seems to be a little counter-intuitive. Like the article said the brain gets energy from ketones but is it the same amount/enough energy as regular carbs? Do you feel slightly slower, possibly more tired when performing longer challenging tasks? I've dieted very strictly before with a lack of carbs but also a huge deficit of calories and couldn't think nearly as quick. I agree lack of calories was the primary reason for this but it also seems very low carbs could contribute to constraining optimal brain output.

If anything it's easier to stay mentally alert for longer periods of time on Keto. The body manufactures enough glucose to supply the brain with what it needs on its own, the remaining nutrient needs are covered by ketones which are produced in the liver.

If you have any significant stores of body fat (15-18% body fat is the ideal for males, ~18-20% for females) your body is expending those fat stores in order to supply itself with the energy it needs. This makes it easier to stay calorie-deficient while on keto. During the past 7 months I've easily stayed calorie-deficient 80% of the time or more. I never go hungry, I eat whenever I'm hungry, I eat until I'm full and when I tally up the calories that usually puts me at or below 1500 daily calories.

Now this was the weirdest part of keto for me: When I'm doing intermittent fasting regularly I experience the most significant cognitive improvements.

There's something called 'keto flu' where for the first week or two you can feel a little off while adjusting, but afterwards you have plenty of mental energy, as long as you keep your electrolytes up.

All previous diets for me failed because I always felt like I couldn't think and do my job and needed to flood my system with calories in order to keep going... on keto I haven't had that feeling even once.

When I first went keto, I didn't experience any brain fog, but what was distinctly different was that I had a crazy amount of nervous energy, slept really well for the first time in years, and felt refreshed on 4-5 hours' sleep for the first couple of weeks. I lost 13 lbs. (probably 90% fluids) in the first 2 days... then nothing more for a month.

I've been doing Intermittent Fasting [1] for about 2-3 months now. I didn't realize the electrolytes issue when the body switches into ketosis.

One thing I LOVE about IF is that my cravings have naturally leaned me in these directions. 1) I've been drinking more Gatorade because I craved it. 2) I've added salt, mayo, cheese to my sandwiches to 'make it taste better' even though prior to this diet, I'd have a fairly bland sandwich (no mayo, salt, cheese). 3) I also tend to crave high fatty/protein foods. Like burgers. (I don't tend to crave bad foods for me, Nutella might be bad...but it's keto-friendly. And I only eat it in moderation.)

I also added magnesium to my diet due to my nerves becoming unsettled.

It's remarkable. The things you suggest, my body has pushed me in the direction of your suggestions. One thing I noticed, is that I crave more Gatorade and now I know why. At first, I thought it was one of those 'unhealthy' cravings that pop up from time to time but...I think you're right, that my body needs it to aid in burning fat.

[1] - I know this is about a Keto diet. But IF (Intermittent Fasting) showed a lot of promise after I did a bunch of research on it and it's fairly similar to Keto but without restrictions. It's more convenient for my lifestyle (it exercises my willpower on fast days/times, quicker meals, condensed feeding times).

Namely, in my research, IF showed similar benefits as Keto but without the added hassle of changing the entire diet and learning a new menu. It also simplified mealtimes.

I do a hybrid of two different IF diets. 1) Saturday through Wednesday, I eat 'normally' without going overboard with foods. Also during this five day stretch, I only eat between 10am-3pm, so I'll be fasting from 3pm to 10am (19 hours every day). I'll eat ~3000 calories in that 5 hour window. 2) Thursday and Friday I eat only ~700 calories. I don't 'count', I just estimate one meal and it's eaten between 10am-3pm.

Heck, even Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) used IF to get ripped. http://www.vox.com/2014/12/22/7403247/wolverine-diet-hugh-ja...

P.S. I'm 29. Lost 30 lbs (in 2-3 months). I have 40 lbs more to go. I might get there by the new year. I hope the info is helpful as it has been for me.

Nutella might be bad...but it's keto-friendly. In what sense is Nutella 'keto-friendly'? Out of a 37g serving, 20g are refined sugar.

You're right. I forgot about the sugar. I was just thinking about the protein and fat content. Keto is all about low sugar/carbs. But with my IF diet, it works well as a nice pick me up snack with little drawbacks.

Nutella? Gatorade? I don't trust a word you said.

There are healthier ways to get high fat/protein as a snack (vs nutella) and better ways to get electrolytes than a sugar drink. But they've been helpful on the go and I don't eat many sweets anymore due to my cravings being changed. Sweets seem repulsive to me. If the worst in my diet is a chocolate hazelnut snack and a sugar energy drink, I'm ahead of the game.

But...I had to upvote you because it made me laugh. I like the idea that my 'diet' isn't the "healthiest" way to lose weight but it sure is ENJOYABLE and that's 95% of the battle, imho.

For me the primary motivation for switching over was as I said, the weight loss and ease of staying calorie-deficient. I can eat 1500 calories or less every day no problem on Keto. If I'm off Keto I get insanely hungry and experience blood sugar crashes frequently on a calorie-deficient diet.

Not gonna lie, the lure of Keto was the promise that it's easy to stick with in terms of how your body reacts to it. I just get so much more hungry when I'm off Keto even if my caloric intake is the same.

That's a bummer. IF has given me a lot of flexibility. Provided I don't over consume in calories, I can eat whatever I desire, keto or not. Although not having the same cravings does change/limit my choices but...they are happily followed. I.e. it's easier for me to stick with it since I choose my next meal, my cravings dictate my next meal, not some 'plan' or 'diet'.

I have been impressed with the effects of IF as well, though my problem is that I am naturally skinny, and it was difficult to keep my weight up, so I do it some times. (I stop when I am planning on exercising more during the seasonal outdoor that sports I do). I notice that when I am doing it, I crave the really fatty parts of steaks, which I used to avoid.

Replacing some meat with veggies, flax seeds, and olive oil can help cost-wise. Trader Joes has olive oil from about $7 a liter.

Not aiming this at you but just people in general, but I'm pretty sure one could lose weight in a much healthier way by just eating a balanced diet (eating REAL food, not processed junk), not overeating, cutting out as much added sugar as possible (under 30g a day is recommended) and getting a little light exercise regularly. Sorry but I hate these fad diets.

Keto isn't a fad diet at all, if a fad diet is one that you do for a while to drop weight quickly.

I've been on Keto for about two years now, and plan to eat this way for the rest of my life. I've gone from 235 to 180. Going from 245 to 235 took forever on a "normal" low fat diet.

My A1C and cholesterol have greatly improved.

There is at least one person in these comments extolling the virtues of keto viz a viz quick weight loss without exercise.

I don't know what a normal low fat diet is, but the overruling factor in weight loss/gain is the ratio of work (exercise) to energy input (calories).

Physics, years of evidence and common sense down voted on HN where solyent is seen as a good thing.

The physics is that exercise burns so few calories it's not worthwhile from a weight loss point of view.

Where have those physics been documented?

I want to see the same person:

    'sitting most of the time, with short commutes and shopping trips
    'intensely exercising 1 hr a day
    'actively working out throughout the day
while maintaining their current diet and weight.

These aren't independent variables. The point is that a half an hour run only burns around 300-400 calories, a deficit which could more easily be accomplished by diet. Also, it's possible that the run would increase your appetite.

The point isn't that exercise _can't_ work, it's that aiming for dietary changes has a higher average ROI than exercise.

"these"? I don't know what that refers to.

No one has argued that there is a lower than average ROI (you get paid for not eating?) from exercise.

It's not physics, it's biochemistry.

But it's more complicated than that. Genetics cause one's predisposition as to how responsive a person is to cardio; see the University of Bath study and/or Michael Mosley's "The Truth About Exercise".

>but the overruling factor in weight loss/gain is the ratio of work (exercise) to energy input (calories).

I don't think you are off, but the key is not weight loss/gain...the key is healthy weight loss/gain and that has everything to do with what you consume.

Calories_out = Calories_in - Calories_stored.

Caloric source matters, your body does different things with different sources.

Your metabolism will be reduced by reducing calories in. They are not independent variables.

He said eat normal and healthy, not eat low fat; low fat is also a fad diet. And yes, keto is a fad diet with no empirical evidence to support its claims, testimonials are not evidence. There was actually a recent scientific study done and it found keto claims lacking. I've done keto, I'm well aware of what it is, but the weight loss is far more likely to come from eating less than from not eating carbs because it's fucking hard to consume a lot of calories once you cut out carbs so most people on a keto diet are actually on a calorie restricted diet as well which is why they're losing weight.

You want to lose weight, don't eat anything in a box, buy fresh whole food, plenty of veggies and fruits, and meat, cut out sugar, and it'll happen automatically. We're fat because of processed foods that have far too many calories in far too small a bulk that makes overeating so easy you don't even know you're doing it.

That is wrong, the ketogenic diet is prescribed by doctors to patients suffering from seizures and it works. There are long term studies and the NYTimes has been reporting about this since the 90s. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/21/magazine/21Epilepsy-t.html

Everyone picks a diet. If you just randomly eat anything thats available to you, in the developed world, you are most likely significantly overweight and at very high risk of diabetes. With rare exceptions, most fad diets will leave you better off than with no guidance whatsoever. Sometimes pointing someone in the wrong direction is better than them walking off a cliff.

Diet science is definitely progressing and getting better. We knew the basics, like what happened when you didn't get enough vitamin C, but the rest of the details are finally getting fleshed out and accepted by mainstream science.

That said, people following the ketogenic diet need to be doing it correctly and under a doctor's supervision. If you half ass it you can end up just eating a shitload of bad fats and miss nutrients while not actually being in ketosis. That will not lead to a good outcome.

Your argument is flawed, doctors prescribe lots of things that aren't good for you because for that person, they're better than the alternative, chemo for example. That something is done by doctors does not make it good.

> but the rest of the details are finally getting fleshed out and accepted by mainstream science.

Uh, no, mainstream science is the only one doing the fleshing out; you're implication that they're behind and only now accepting what diet science already knows is anti-intellectual bunk. If it isn't mainstream science, it isn't science.

"Mainstream" science is regularly hijacked by corporate and other interests. Dietary science is one area that was strongly influenced by producers of refined carbohydrates.

Prescribing it for epilepsy doesn't necessarily make it a healthy diet for your average individual as you are looking for different effect from the diet.

You're also neglecting another benefit of keto for maintaining a low-caloric intake, it encourages you to eat fat. Fat takes a substantially longer amount of time for the stomach to process, meaning you feel satiated for a longer period of time. Whenever I eat carbs I try to supplement them with a good amount of fat to avoid this, yesterday I had a 300cal snack of 5 saltines topped with roughly 3tbsp of peanut butter and felt great for 4 hours, meanwhile this morning I had a single 240cal croissant for breakfast at 8:30 and have been dying for lunch since 10:00AM.

Normal and healthy diets are balanced; most people's diets are excessively heavy in carbs, so no, I didn't neglect that at all. People should eat less carbs and more fat until they're somewhat of a balance, going in either direction by cutting out one or the other is not eating healthy. Keeping your body in long term ketosis is neither healthy nor particularly pleasant. Yea, eating a pure carb snack is going to make you crash, so don't do that, eat something balanced and made of real whole food, not processed crap.

The tricky part is that it isn't clear what "balanced" means. Our bodies can survive on vastly different allocations of the three macronutrients. Carbohydrates are not required at all to my knowledge, while some amino acids and fatty acids are essential and cannot be synthesized from other foodstuffs.

Its possible to get most of your calories from carbohydrates, protein, or fat. The question is what is the right balance for optimum health? How much does this value change across different people (and possibly at different stages of life)? If you have epilepsy then a ketogenic diet might well be best. How about for other people?

What macronutient profile is "balanced"? What do you even base it on? Should it be 33% of each? Should we eat protein and fat in just a little in excess of what we need (to get the essential fatty acids and amino acids) and get the rest from carbohydrates? I don't think we have clear answers to those questions yet. Although, I think we have ruled out some diets as unhealthy (e.g. eating a lot of refined carbohydrates can cause diabetes). Since eating too many refined carbohydrates is bad does that rule them out as a primary calorie source? Probably not, but we need more research.

Personal Note: I've eaten a low carb, high fat, moderate protein diet for about 4 years. All my blood markers (cholesterol, triglycerides, etc) have improved significantly over that time period. Additionally, I used to get incredibly hungry all the time and feel bad if a meal was delayed. Now I can go much longer without eating and still feel well.

You don't have to be able to define balance, to point out unbalanced, and any diet largely cutting out one of the 3 is unbalanced.

> I've eaten a low carb, high fat, moderate protein diet for about 4 years. All my blood markers (cholesterol, triglycerides, etc) have improved significantly over that time period.

That's like saying I've been smoking for 4 years and I don't have cancer so smoking must not have any long term adverse effects; bad logic and insufficient sample size.

> You don't have to be able to define balance, to point out unbalanced

Yes, you actually have to be able to define what range of mixes counts as "balanced" before you can label anything as outside of that range. (And, moreover, if you want to credibly assign significance to that label, you probably also need to be able to provide evidence that your definition of "balanced" corresponds to a range outside of which there are serious negative consequences.)

> Yes, you actually have to be able to define what range of mixes counts as "balanced" before you can label anything as outside of that range.

No, you don't; for example, eliminating one is not balanced now matter what numbers you assign to balance.

It's unbelievable what kind of hive mind exists behind this anecdotal unscientific community.

Absolutely every thread on fat, sugar is filled with huge amounts of anecdotal evidence that is entirely worthless and delusional.

Fat people comment that they've lost weight by planning their diets more carefully (what a luck that it was keto), what a surprise.

I'm aware that being overweight is a huge issue in developed world and that most people easily lose weights on restrictive diets but it's all a fad.

"plenty of veggies and fruits" "cut out sugar"

You can't do both.

checkout studies on fructose/glucose in a glass that is consumed, and the equivalent in fruits.

good thing that the physical reaction isn't equivalent despite the fact that calorical intake of that sugar is the same.

it's a huge shame not to consume fiber, or berries, or other fruits.

fruits were made by plants to prolong the life of the consumer, it's absolutely impossible to overdose on bananas if you aren't deliberately consuming huge amounts and aren't prepared to sit for hours on the bathroom.

Every digestable carb will turn into glucose eventually, all that matters is how fast this happens because you want to minimize time spent at high blood glucose levels.

Sugars generally digest faster than starches but this is not always true. Oranges (as in the whole fruit with its structure and fiber intact) raise blood glucose more slowly than potatoes, even though oranges are mostly sugar and potatoes are mostly starch.

This also means that slowly eaten sugar is healthier than quickly devoured complex carbs (if dental health is ignored). E.g. eating 50g carbs worth of candy steadily over 4 hours will result in stabler blood glucose than devouring 50g carbs worth of rice in 5 mins.

On a keto diet you can still consume a good amount of fiber (in the form of green veggies or supplements) and a serving or two of berries. Most other fruits contain too much sugar though.

To the original point, if you consume fruit you're not really cutting out "sugar". The OP probably means added sugar.

Psyllium fiber is your friend. It even adds a nice texture to eggs and such.

> You can't do both.

Yes you can, because unless you're being obtuse, I'm obviously talking about processed white sugar, not fructose found in real food.

"processed white sugar" is half fructose.

Yes, but it's also not diluted with a ton of fiber like fruit; don't be obtuse.

> cutting out as much added sugar as possible

Why do you count this separately from "not overeating"? The important thing is to be calorie-negative to lose weight.

Foods with a lot of added sugar tend to be foods that aren't very good at keeping you feeling full, so if you have too many of them in your calorie-negative diet you can easily find yourself quite hungry so often that it takes a lot of willpower to stay calorie-negative...maybe more than you have and the diet falls apart.

What are some good links to learn more about it? And what's the difference between keto and paleo? Just asking out of interest.

Cool, thanks.

My biggest problem with keto was issues with getting enough potassium. There's no easy way to supplement it in the US, unless you get a prescription for supplements. I tried using No Salt, but I hate the taste. Lite Salt was tolerable, but I'd end up exceeding my recommended amount of daily sodium.

Potassium is easy to get [1]. If you don't want to supplement with a vitamin/power, you can just eat a potato. Although that would go against 'keto diet'. I'm doing a IF (intermittent fasting) diet and I'm not restricted, so I could eat them if I wanted. IF is similar to keto, both put the body into a ketosis state.

[1] - All you need is one teaspoon a day. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ENSA93S/ref=oh_aui_sear...

That product looks great, thanks for the link. I'll probably end up using it even if I don't try keto again :)

I'll also check out IF.

I use no-salt, but not as a salt substitute. I just add it to water and coffee. Not enough to taste.

What? Amazon lists dozens of types of potassium supplements.

Do you have some resources you'd recommend to get started?

I first started learning about keto on reddit - reddit.com/r/keto (although I initinally learned about it elsewhere)

In the sidebar on the right there are two very useful sections labeled "useful links" and "related subs". I personally recommend the ketoscience, ketogains and ketorecipes subreddits depending on your goals. I guess I can't leave out ketoxx either if you're a girl.

In addition to that I recommend reading anything written by Dom D'Agostino who is widely considered the #1 authority on the ketogenic diet. Also read Mark Sisson's books. And finally I recommend Joe Rogan Podcast Ep. 752 - Mark Sisson. Rogan can be somewhat of a pothead/hippie but if you can look past that his guests are often very informative.

I liked Why We Get Fat, by Gary Taubes as background


then, as others have said, reddit.com/r/keto is good for "how to"

I used Ferris' 4 Hour Body, and did a cheat day and then learned more from resources online. Highly recommend. Lost 19 lbs in 9 weeks with a cheat day on keto.

What is your daily carb limit?

Why sweet potatoes, they have more carbs than regular potatoes.

How do you achieve an adequate fiber intake?

20 grams.

Sweet potatoes have important nutrients. I do not eat significant amounts of sweet potatoes, and only eat them for the nutrients. A typical meal with sweet potatoes in them has far less than 100 grams of sweet potatoes in total. There's also things you can do to interfere with carbohydrate metabolization such as ingesting apple cider vinegar which contains acetic acid. See: https://www.reddit.com/r/ketoscience/comments/53kejq/acetic_...

I eat greens with fiber as well as psyllium seed husks. Broccoli and avocados are staples in my everyday diet.

Is something like Ensure allowed on keto? Its awfully convenient mid day.

Check out Keto Chow. https://www.thebairs.net/

I have no affiliation with them and don't drink it often but I can tell you that it tastes awesome.

tried it, tastes like garbage in my opinion. tried like 3 flavors

wow. it is literally one of the most delicious things I've ever consumed. Interesting how significantly tastes can differ.

I used the Keto Fuel soylent for all my food for about four months on keto. It's much more delicious than Soylent (chocolate, cinnamon, vanilla). You add MCT oil and heavy whipping cream to it for the fats needed. Strongly recommended and you can even do local pickup in SF.

> Is something like Ensure allowed on keto? Its awfully convenient mid day.

A regular Ensure looks to have around 15g of sugars per serving, so it would not be conducive to a keto-type diet. For similar convenience there is a product called Ketochow - https://www.thebairs.net/ which I've found quite tasty.

15 grams of sugar is above the daily recommended sugar intake for adults. Recent research indicates that 10 grams daily is a more realistic limit for maintaining health.

You want to maintain a healthy amount of fat, usually 50-70% of calories from fat. If you eat too much protein, it is converted to glucose and you won't reach higher levels of ketosis.

Protein is a big scale that varies a lot - if you're working out or need it to sustain your muscle mass, then it's fine. It's the leftover protein that becomes a problem.

There are Atkins brand shakes that are low carb and achieve the same effect. The chocolate flavor is actually really good.

KetoSoy, KetoLent, Keto Meal Shake, Keto Chow, KetoFuel

I'm on my third ketogenic diet stint, and I can attest to how fantastic it is. I'm narcoleptic and I experience nearly no symptoms on the diet, my fiancée is epileptic and is transitioning off her meds to the ketogenic diet (with the supervision of her nutritionist and neurologist), and a former employee uses it to keep her benign tumor from spreading (actually! And she's totally normal, again with doctors). All of us report much better hair, skin, daily energy levels, ability to think more clearly and focus better, and massive weight loss. The first month my first time doing keto I lost 30 lbs without trying to, ended up being a total weight loss of about 70lbs and I became very lean and muscular.

Why stop? Bread is delicious and it make social eating event difficult / less engaging. You can take a meal off from the diet and be fine, but it's a slippery slope of will power.

I could have written this post. While I am not technically narcoleptic, this whole year I haven't been able to do with out an afternoon nap (where nap == 3 hours, sometimes more).

I've just started a ketogenic low calorie diet, and mentally I feel great. I did go to bed early yesterday but I haven't needed a nap in a few days.

The mental part is a big deal for me. I haven't felt actually "awake" for a long time. Always this haze of sleepiness hanging over me.

I am working with my doctor on the diet. I'm basically using a vegetable protein powder for most of my meals, supplementing with some eggs, greens, and lean meat (mostly turkey at this point). And a multivitamin.

I've been successful before, but the hardest part is the first couple days of transitioning to ketosis. Many times I simply couldn't power through the initial cravings of the first few days. This time I did, and I'm going to ride this train as far as it will take me.

The second hardest thing is after. I'm actually planning to stay on a keto diet after, with the appropriate amount of calories for maintaining rather than losing weight. And eating whole foods instead of the powder (although I imagine it will still be my breakfast because it's so convenient).

Obviously listen to your dr over me, but it's a common 'mistake' with keto to not up your fat enough. More fatty meat might actually work out better for you than turkey. Take a look at The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living for more info on the importance of keeping your fat to protein ratio high.

Very good point. I didn't mention it, but I am eating garlic stuffed olives for electrolytes and fat.

edit: forgot to mention too that I make the protein shakes with almond milk which has a few grams of fat per serving as well.

May I ask exactly how the garlic is treated and exactly what olives you are eating?

I like Mezzetta. Ingredients: Olives, water, garlic (cloves), sea salt, lactic acid, sodium bisulfite, and "natural garlic flavor"

They are large green olives from Napa Valley. I'm not that knowledgable about olives so I can't say more than that.

That's awesome that your doctor is working with you, most will just push drugs to treat the symptoms (usually modafinil or xyrem). I wish more doctors would suggest or support dietary change.

I appear to be one of those weirdos who reacts to something in bread but not celiac.

I was watching that Michael Pollan series and he was talking about his theory that industrial bread was the problem and everyone would be fine if we went back to sourdough. Well this feels like one of those things that sounds good but has no substance, but clearly at this point I'm willing to try anything. There's a little bakery on my way home and they're open late. I've had half a loaf of sourdough bread in two and a half days and other than burping more, I feel no worse than I did last week.

What I wonder every time someone posts about ketosis is just how bad are sugars and starches for us, and how did we get this far without figuring it out?

To answer your second question, this is something we knew and collectively forgot in the middle of the 20th century. Gary Taubes' theory is that if WW2 had not been so devastating, the European scientific community mighy have been healthy enough to prevent the "fat is bad" myth from taking over.

Stephen Jones is a wheat grower who is also an advocate for long rise times. You can read more about him and his ideas here: http://www.bonappetit.com/test-kitchen/cooking-tips/article/...

There's also more and more rhetoric now about the microbial gut biome and the various stuff that we eat nowadays (antibiotics in meat, artificial sweeteners) changes whatever balance we might have had, once upon a time... you get the idea. The more I read, the more it seems like my "sometimes this makes me sick and sometimes it doesn't" experience with food, wheat in particular, is due to something more complicated. Possibly the sprue stage is a symptom rather than its own disease?

I am the same. I did a 23andme and found I had the highest risk gene for Celiac (HLA-DQ2.5). If you have that gene, you get an inflammatory response to gliadin (one of the proteins in gluten and mimicked by proteins in other things) regardless of whether you develop the enteropathy of your intestines that is required for a Celiac diagnoses. Certain parts of Europe never ate bread until globalized food and did not evolve to digest triticea family plants. Eliminating these foods from my diet made me calmer than I have been in my entire life within a week. I find that flour is much worse than baked bread, and baked bread is much worse than sourdough. And this is reflected in the amount of unmetabolized gliadin in each of them. I tried reintroducing enough times to just give up and accept it. And I continue to feel better as time passes - so far no diminishing returns.

Most bakeries use commercial yeast in addition to starter in what they call sourdough. If you haven't already been doing this, you need to ask if there's commercial yeast in their sourdough. You might need to shop around to find a bakery that does it pure.

My partner has a similar condition (not celiac, not gluten sensitive, but 'something in bread' sensitive) and she found that sourdough from locally made starter was way easier on her system than anything from bakeries or the store.

(Source: We've been experimenting with breadmaking at home, so I've learned more than I ever expected to about bread over the past year.)

It's hard to not start a starter with yeast and can be dangerous to not use a commercial yeast to keep a starter going. If the conditions are not right or it's not a safe yeast colonizing your starter it can be deadly.

I don't have a strong opinion about the origin of the starter. It will definitely influence the flavor of the bread but other than that I don't think the origin is important. More important is the rise times. A longer rise is more likely to convert more sugars and also more likely to give indicators of a bad batch.

I heard a crazy thing last year that there's a wasp in France that harbors one of the yeasts that flavors the wines of the region. The wasps, while a pest, also end up inoculating the vines and grape skins with the 'right' kind of yeast.

I wondered about that. 'Tastes like sourdough' might not mean actually sourdough. Good to have a confirmation of my suspicions.

I said bakery, but there are commercial bakeries around and I meant a baker bakery (a boulangerie, if you will). The place I went to is the sort where you walk in, the bread is on wooden racks and they give it to you in a paper bag. I figured there are maybe three places I can think of that are more likely to be doing 'real' sourdough and they're all in the other direction.

Have you ever tried Cloud Bread? While certainly not the same, it's a convenient replacement for bread if you want to make sandwiches or so.

For reference, a general recipe (without any sweetener, but use stevia or something if you want):

  - 3 eggs
  - 3 Tablespoons cream cheese
  - ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
Takes around 20 min to bake. Makes six slices. As you can tell, it's low carb.

But I get the social thing. I have been moderate carb (50-150g/day) and gluten free for around 7 years now. Things have certainly gotten easier with the social aspect, but so many things are breaded.

Also try cream cheese pancakes! Very similar recipe and my kids love them. Also good for Gyros.

One great feature of keto in my experience is that if you're truly rocking ketosis, cheating oftentimes feels absolutely awful. It's just the first few weeks that's somewhat hard really.

Yes, the automatic negative reinforcement of feeling gross is helpful

When I use to live in Toronto there was this German Bread Factory in Etobicoke. I was able to eat various breads they made and stay in Ketosis. I didn't eat a lot but a slice here and there.


A great bakery with so many different varieties of breads. Most of it still warm when you buy it.

Dimpflmeier black rye is the greatest toasting bread in the universe. So dense.

I started 3 weeks ago, and have been losing weight steadily (10 pounds in 3 weeks), have no real appetite (can go for half a day without eating something, but force myself not too), and am more alert during the day at work, without the "sleepy" low period in the afternoon anymore.

I eat mostly what's allowed on "Atkins 2.0, stage 1", plus some small stuff that's not like watermelon). Scientifically the calorie intake is more important than the what (for losing weight), but this diet helped me reduce that too.

>Why stop? Bread is delicious and it make social eating event difficult / less engaging. You can take a meal off from the diet and be fine, but it's a slippery slope of will power.

Can try with some extra rules, like "only on weekends", "only when having dinner at friends house" and also limit it to specific "light" items, not full-on refined-sugary/starchy stuff.

> Scientifically the calorie intake is more important than the what (for losing weight)

This has been the assumption but there's reason to believe it might be more complicated than that. Gary Taubes addresses the subject here:


I've been on this diet for a little more than a year. I lost 35 lbs but have an appetite. I would love to lose 35 more.

My doctor says all evidence of pre-diabetes is gone. I used to get ear infections or bronchitis a few times a year. None since starting. She (my Dr.) says that is likely from the fact that keto dieters have less internal inflammation, though we have not measured that.

>Bread is delicious

Bread taste sooo good when you haven't eaten in a long time, it really is addictive.

I wonder how much of this is cultural/emotional.

I'm ethnically Indian, and grew up with white rice as by far the dominant carb in my diet. To this day, I'm not particularly fond of bread (though I like crusty, soft-crumbed bread like french baguettes from time to time). However, if I go more than a week without a rice based dish, I crave it on a visceral level.

Which carb you crave is probably cultural, but craving of carbs seems to be pretty universal.

I can concur. Thats the one thing thats hard about switching, here in the Netherlands bread is THE lunch thing. I found low carb bread at the supermarket, so i can eat that, it has a lot less carbs. Lifesaver!

Really is, sucks too cause I love baking bread and making pizzas :P

Try making pizza crust with almond flour.

or cauliflower.

Nugget grocery stores has in their steamtables mini pizzas that use a cauliflower crust.

Maybe bread with real butter?

have you tried making the keto flax focaccia bread? it changed my life.


as far as pizza crust goes, there are myriad alternatives for that as well.

no alcohol either ... that is a deal breaker for a lot of people (including myself)

Alcohol is actually fine on a low carb diet. Beer has carbs but Vodka, Rum, etc are totally fine.

In fact alcohol tends to have a greater effect on you when in ketosis so you even save some money when out drinking.

You can have alcohol. I follow a ketogenic diet and regularly drink liquor and wine. Wine has carbs, but not a lot. ~4 grams per 5 ounces.

how much wine do you drink (if you dont mind me asking)

your basically saying you follow a low carb diet but drink alcohol and that is you main source of crabs right?

  alcohol and that is you main source of crabs right?
Alcohol is a vector for crabs in general. ;)

I drink alcohol once per week, give or take. I drank a bottle of wine on Saturday and it didn't bump me out of Ketosis. You have 50 carbs to spare typically without completely exiting. A bottle of wine is about 20-25.

Liquor has 0 carbs unless it's infused with something.

actually, many hard liquors don't have any carbs. i do keto and drink bourbon regularly.


you can have alcohol. beer obviously is off limits except for some low carb beers but liquor and wine is OK.

You can have some wine.

whisky and red wine, my friend

Genetics plays a very large factor in fat and cholesterol metabolism, and one that I think explains the variance in success with the ketogenic diet.

e.g. FTO, PPARG, APOA5, FABP2, and APOE.

Essentially, not everyone processes fat the same way, and for some, especially those with APOE4/4, a high fat diet may actually be deleterious to health.

People with the right genes will have great success with ketogenic diets... but convincing their friends to join in might not have the outcome they expect.

This is key.

Apoe status appears to control the absorption rates of LDL cholesterol (tiny balls of fat).

Individuals with apoe4, appear to have really low LDL cholesterol absorption rates between cells, and high blood-LDL cholesterol concentrations.

Having done a bit of research on optimal dieting, its pretty inconclusive.

This study shows negative consequences resulting from high fat diets for apoe4: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27656136

what I wonder every time I hear people be very enthusiastic about how their diet improves their quality of life, is if it's just a case that eating good food and working out (which a lot of people do when starting a new diet) is the trigger to feel better as opposed to the vegan / raw food / ketogenic / paleo / high-carb specifics, not to mention the obvious placebo effect of starting something new that supposedly will help you feel better.

It does feel that we as a species, being omnivore, can do just fine on all sorts of different diets, and maybe the reason these testimonials come up for all sorts of different diets, is that it's the staying away from sugar / processed food, the working out, caloric restriction, weight loss and consequent improvement in quality of sleep that cause the improvements, as opposed to the food specifics.

Going from eating fast food, not working out and sleeping badly, to eating less caloric whole foods, working out and sleeping well would make anybody feel so much better and lose weight, regardless of what type of whole foods they pick.

If this is the case, then it opens the opportunity to pick your diet more based on say environmental impact or ethical reasons, as opposed to say feeling that your veggie diet is not as good as your friends' paleo diet because you have been veggie for 10 years and your friend just went paleo and so they are in the "omg I feel so much better" phase.

Wish it was possible to do a double blind study on diet and its effects but unfortunately for obvious reasons that's not possible. On the other hand it is quite possible to quantify your diet's environmental impact / footprint, which makes minimizing it reasonably feasible.

My first experience with it came after 6 months of regular diet and exercise (daily). I was losing a little weight steadily, and exercising gave me more energy.

When I started the ketogenic diet, I felt much better, stopped exercising, and started losing a lot more weight rapidly.

I don't think it's simply lifestyle change, the diet specifically targets ketosis (which we are in naturally after 8 hours of not eating, i.e. Sleep) and maintaining the state to prolong the effects of ketosis (maybe indefinitely).

What makes you stop though is social eating, especially if it's pizza and beer :)

I was wondering about this too. Many of the comments on this thread are "I felt great on keto and lost X lb/kg". Could you be feeling better just because you lost weight? if you have no weight to lose is there anything to gain?

I think a lot of those types of testimonials come from people who have tried other dieting styles and failed with them. One of the biggest reasons that people really enjoy keto is that a high fat + protein diet leaves you feeling sated even though you are eating less calories. You are not STARVING all the time like with a simple calorie reduction diet. Another reason is that by eliminating sugar/carbs, you aren't dealing with large insulin spikes anymore, and that evens out your mood.


I tried the standard advice (Canada Food Pyramid + exercise). I felt miserable (tired, irritable, hungry) and couldn't sleep well.

Keto has been the exact opposite. I feel great all the time. I sleep better. I no longer get daily nosebleeds. For the first 6+ months, I didn't exercise at all.

I definitely get this concern. I personally can't do blinded studies, or even controlled ones, but I've been very happy trying different things. That is, I try not to see a change as a permanent change, just something to try for a while. E.g., lately I've been doing the paleo-ish thing Whole30, but alternating a month or two of that with time eating whatever.

My take currently is that there is, as you suspect, benefit just in the experimental process. Novelty and change compel attention, which causes subtle improvements. But I think I also experience food-specific effects. I have no idea if those foods work the same way for others, but I could also believe that the profusion of diets that work is partly due to as-yet unrecognized differences between people.

Yeah I would like to hear more from people who are like me -- already eating very healthily, not looking to lose weight -- who have tried switching to keto.

The main problem I have with ketogenic diets is that it's actually quite difficult and sometimes expensive to eat a 90-95% fat diet. I tried it for a while, and since I couldn't have carbs OR too much protein, I had several instances where my dinner in a pinch was melted down cheese and half-n-half. Your diet basically becomes cheese and avocados with some, but not too much, salmon or chicken. I'm not arguing that it doesn't work for a good subset of people, but it's not the kind of diet that's easy to keep up over time or is all that economically feasible for some. Keto diets are actually more restrictive than vegan or kosher or halal, and it's not a surprise that they're mostly prescribed for epilepsy - it definitely feels like a "sick person diet".

I also wonder if it's possible to work out while doing keto. Since muscles use glycogen to work, and the keto diet is intentionally low in glycogen, does that make weight training and cardio harder? Especially the former, since you're limited in how much protein you can eat, and strength training benefits from having ~150g of protein per day.

> The main problem I have with ketogenic diets is that it's actually quite difficult and sometimes expensive to eat a 90-95% fat diet

From what I've seen, your diet should be ~60-70% fat, 5% or less carbs, and ~25-35% protein. Definitely not 95% fat.

> I had several instances where my dinner in a pinch was melted down cheese and half-n-half. Your diet basically becomes cheese and avocados with some, but not too much, salmon or chicken

What about vegetables? I ate a lot of salads when I did keto. I also ate a lot of fattier meats, such as cured italian meats and ground beef. No reason to eat super lean protein when fat is most of your calories; buy the cheap fatty stuff and enjoy it. Also, eggs? I was having an omelette every morning.

> I also wonder if it's possible to work out while doing keto

It's very possible: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22835211 but I doubt it would be if you're not eating any protein...

I prolly fucked the diet up, then. It certainly _felt_ like I was eating almost all fat...good to know that I can take advantage of cheap fatty meats like short ribs, oxtail, and marrow then.

As for vegetables, I missed carrots and peas too much. Mustard greens and broccoli are apparently okay, though. I could always just make salads out of baby spinach and arugula, but I suck at making salad dressings.

> As for vegetables, I missed carrots and peas too much. Mustard greens and broccoli are apparently okay, though. I could always just make salads out of baby spinach and arugula, but I suck at making salad dressings.

The rule for veggies is to avoid starch and stick to dark leafy greens.

My go-to easy dish would be a "taco salad", where I'd cook some ground beef and serve it with cheese, salsa, sour cream over lettuce. There's also lots of dishes possible with kale and spinach.

> take advantage of cheap fatty meats

Fish included! No reason to worry about eating "too much" salmon. Cook it with butter sauce and it should fit your macro-nutrient ratios perfectly.

> I prolly fucked the diet up

As another comment said, it's no wonder you felt sick. Also, the "keto flu" is a known phenomenon while your body adapts and flushes all the water out of your system. Drink a lot of electrolytes (chicken broth is a good source) and you'll feel better.

Leafy vegetables can be difficult to eat in large quantities, but that's where the high-fat aspect of the diet comes in handy. Most vegetables are very tasty when stir fried in fats and oils.

Ranch dressing is fairly low-carb and generally the go-to for store-bought and restaurants. There are recipes out there for excellent low-carb French dressing that uses no-sugar Ketchup (Heinz, available on Amazon), Apple Cider vinegar, olive oil, and spices.

That study is only for a very short duration of keto.

Most people only do keto for a few months at a time anyway. 30 days seems more than sufficient to capture the changes that occur when doing keto short term. I doubt keto is very healthy long term.

Not sure where you got the 90-95% fat, but I've never seen anyone suggest that you should be eating anywhere near that much from fat. If you were actually trying to get that high I can understand why you'd feel like it's a "sick person diet". From what I've seen, the traditional advice for 'macros' is that you should be eating 65/30/5 for fat/protein/carbs. However people often misinterpret that to mean that that's a goal for each and if they haven't eaten that much they should force themselves to eat that.

If you're serious about your diet, you should really take 5 minutes and figure out exactly what your body need. Each person is going to be a bit different, but in general (but slightly more specific than the last 'in general') you should be eating less than 20-50g of 'net' carbs, you should eat at least 1-2g/kg of lean body mass, and you should eat as much fat as it takes you to not be hungry. There are calculators that will walk you through all this, http://keto-calculator.ankerl.com/ is one that I've used before, it's more targeted at weight loss, but it's only one that I've found that makes an effort to cite the calculations it does.

As for working out, yes it's definitely possible. I've been lifting since December and making great progress. There are also occasionally stories of endurance athletes that swear by a ketogenic diet. My understanding of why it can be beneficial is that it basically removes your dependence on glycogen, when runners 'hit the wall' it's their body running out of glycogen their body then has to transition to running on fat. Keto-adapted runners are just running on fat from the beginning so they don't hit the wall and are more used to burning fat for energy.

I'm not a runner so I don't have personal experience in any of that, but in my lifting I do find that I have to take it a bit slower than I expect others have to. When you're keto you lose a bit of the 'bursty' power that people with glycogen reserves have.

I don't claim to be an expert on any of this, but I do continue with it. I've been mostly ketogenic since May of 2013, and I've had many improvements in things like mood, hair, skin, and sleep and I definitely notice a change in those things when I decide that the social aspects of eating are more important than my diet.

I could have sworn that there was an upper limit on the amount of protein you can eat on keto. Something like, more than ~150g would mean that the protein starts getting used for energy instead of fat, which ruins the keto. Maybe that was misinformation. Does that mean that I can eat mostly stuff like steak, chicken, and eggs, then?

If it's really more of an upper limit on carbs ~20-50g, a minimum of protein, and the rest is fat, then I guess that's fine. When I tried it, I was very strict on the carbs such that I couldn't go over 20g. In fact, that calculator says I shouldn't be eating above 25g, and also says this:

> It is important to get enough protein to maintain your muscles, but not too much or it will kick you out of ketosis.

Which confuses me. I've since moved away from keto to a mostly-protein diet with some carbs here and there via veg and bread, and it's worked alright with lifting. Does that mean that keto diets are different for weightlifters than for non-weightlifters?

> more than ~150g

Have you ever tried eating that much protein? It's very challenging. Protein fills you up super quickly and keeps you full, and, psychologically-speaking, that's one reason why the keto diet works well when other diets fail.

Yep - that's what I aim for now that I'm doing weight lifting. I definitely don't get as hungry/munchy as I used to, and I'm filled up pretty easily. It's certainly not impossible, but it does get kinda hard without feeling way full. Protein shakes help.

Yeah, this whole thread is a pretty good summary of why specifying a diet is so hard. There's no way to get any definitive answers. People try to do good, hard studies on this, but they're almost impossible to control/fund.

Because of that you'll find a bunch of different 'right' answers. You have to kinda sift through everything and figure out what seems reasonable and see what actually works for you. There's a lot of that out there and that means that what is currently true can shift back and forth a bit.

It used to be 'generally known' that too much protein was bad and would kick you out of ketosis. But there was a new study released that seems to indicate that it has more to do with it being too high of a proportion rather than too much absolute quantity.

Unfortunately I don't have access to the journal databases anymore, so I can't find the links.

> Does that mean that keto diets are different for weightlifters than for non-weightlifters?

The definition of 'ketogenic' isn't changing based on what you do outside of diet, 'ketogenic' simply means that you body is producing a ketones and your body is using them for energy, it's more that some people will use other energy sources with specific timing to enhance their athletic performance. There's something called TKD, targeted ketogenic diet, (which think is named a bit backward) which is mostly used by weightlifters and powerlifters to increase short term performance by eating small amounts of carbs just before a workout.

TBH, I don't fully understand the effects of that so I haven't started doing it myself. I assume there must be benefits to staying ketogenic during my workout so I condition my body to always be used to using fat as a fuel source, but I don't have any data to prove that is actually beneficial. It also helps that I'm more focused on weight loss, baseline of strength, and general health rather than powerlifting or and goals for the super lean and large muscle look.

That's more or less what I'm thinking. It depends on what works best for me, and for me keto diets are a little too high-maintenance for my liking, even though they're technically simple. I still naturally tend towards a high-protein diet, so that won't change - ketosis is just gonna have to take a backseat to that.

Maybe I'll take on a macro setup that's closer to keto, but I'm not going to move too far out of my comfort zone.

There is different types of keto diets, and the ones recommended for "non-sick" people, does not asks you to restrict your protein intake. You should still consume around ~1g of protein per lb of lean mass, probably even more if you are an intense bodybuilder. Only carbs are restricted (often <25g/day), and then fat become inevitably your de facto energy intake.

I also recommend the `Tim Ferriss - Dom D’Agostino on Fasting, Ketosis, and the End of Cancer` podcast, and as you will see, being a bodybuilder on keto does not seems to be an issue. Not for him also.

There is another podcast with him `Dom D’Agostino — The Power of the Ketogenic Diet` but I haven't got the chance to listen to it yet.

I'll have to knuckle down and listen to those podcasts, then. As for the protein limitation, the calculator in the other comments have upper limits. I keep getting conflicting information on this point.

You should listen to the Tim Ferris podcast with Dominic D’Agostino. It's pretty fascinating what Dominic does with keto diet as a researcher.

Could you provide a synopsis or a bit more info regarding the relevance to the topic at least?

Dominic is a PhD researcher in this area. He has a lot of DOD type work where the Navy Seals want "Ketogenic Diet in a Pill" because subjects under ketosis are more resistant to oxygen toxicity when diving at depth.


Dominic is also a super-strong guy and deadlifts like 600+ pounds while in ketosis. It's a fascinating 2 hour podcast. I don't think you'll be able to listen to it without wanting to be in ketosis.

I would like more info or a small review as well, too. Mostly cause I'm at work and I'll forget by the time I get home...

I'll also admit that a big reason I had middling success on keto was that I had no idea how to cook for myself without relying on a source of carbs. Learning how to cook fat-heavy, low/no-carb meals is something that I've never learned, and I'm stumped. I'd be interested in resources on cooking for keto!

If you're looking for a cookbook, this one is good for some ideas: https://www.amazon.com/Ketogenic-Cookbook-Nutritious-Low-Car...

Personally, I'm not a huge by-the-book cooker. For my keto/very-low-carb diet, I just focus on certain foods that are in line with the target macros. That means lots of:

- 80/20 hamburger meat

- Fatty steak cuts (e.g. ribeye)

- Fatty fish (e.g. salmon)

- Fatty chicken cuts (e.g. legs/thigh/dark meat)

- Most pork (except lean cuts like loin) e.g. pulled pork, bacon, belly

- Avocados

- Macadamia nuts

- Eggs (particularly yokes)

- All coconut products (e.g. oil, milk, unsweetened flakes)

- Green, leafy veggies that are low in carbs (e.g. kale)

- Green veggies that are high in fiber relative to carbs (e.g. Brussels sprouts, broccoli)

Spices are all good, so a lot of my meals turn out like meaty stir fry-type dishes without the starch and with a focus on adding fats (e.g. coconut oil, olive oil) if needed.

This site has quite a few good recipes:


However, you don't have to be fancy. I usually just eat meat and low carb veggies for dinner. For instance, baking a bone-in chicken breast and heating up frozen veggies (lots of great mixes available) or doing a stir fry with chicken or beef and low carb veggies again (don't use packaged stir fry sauce, however since they are mostly sugar).

Over 70% fat is where you want to be if you are using it for epilepsy. There's no reason a healthy person should go that high.

No comment on the main topic, but the "unnatural or advantageous" binary in the title is a confusion that I really dislike. "Natural" and "good" are independent axes. No relationship should be assumed. Tuberculosis is natural, but not good. Brushing your teeth is unnatural, but I'm happy to call it good.

This can seem obvious, but the error crops up all the time in serious ways. E.g. women voting and joining the workforce was seen as unnatural, therefore wrong. People market all sorts of quack remedies as natural, and therefore good.

It goes the other way, too. Slavery was seen as right, and people decided it was therefore natural. (See the various declarations of secession of the US states for examples.) Violence is seen as wrong, so people decide it must be unnatural, ignoring our long history as predators, the amount of education we give children about not hitting, and our societal structures for limiting violence.

Is and ought: two entirely separate things.

Cyanide is also natural.

Organic farming permits organic pesticides, half of which are cancerous as well and may have worse environmental impacts [0]. The organic label doesn't guarantee that you're getting more ethical/better/safer products - and it is worth a lot of money.

[0] https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~lhom/organictext.html

Funny, when I first saw your comment it was collecting negative votes, so I came in to lend it some support. Now it's on top!

A few thoughts: Does 'organic' regulation permit the use of paraffin coatings? I imagine the prolific use of paraffin in conventional produce could make rinsing away pesticides quite difficult.

Copper sulfate is one of the most common organic pesticides that I am aware of. It's certainly nothing to gorge on. However, when handled safely, it may be preferable to directly engineering a pesticide into the plant.

On the organic farms I tended, there was very minimal use of pesticides or herbicides. The inherent diversity of the farm allowed the temporary discontinuation (rather than synthetic maintenance) of problematic plants, and either experimentation with others, or the continuation of what was presently working. For weed control we relied on hay and profuse weeding by hand, some of the weeds being edible (amaranth) and providing snacks during the process, at least for me ;) Personally, I prefer this method to glyphosate.

The term "natural" may not be synonymous with "healthy and safe", but it does functionally delimit e.g. Roundup from acetic acid.

"For weed control we relied on hay and profuse weeding by hand,"

For a while I've said that "robotic fast food joints" are one of the touchstones I'm using to say that robotics has really arrived. I've been considering adding "robotic weeders" to my list. How much would our agriculture change if instead of pesticides, we physically weeded everything?

The robot may not even need to "remove things by their roots", which would be quite complicated; if it can sweep by reliably every two or three days just trimming everything that isn't desired crop would probably do fine.

Bushy plants low to the ground might take more work, but given the way corn grows it seems like we could robotically weed corn pretty effectively.

Of course, it would result in less hours/pay for some, but I'd still welcome effective robotic (solar-powered?) weeding anytime. Maybe it would work with corn, but the vegetables I'm accustomed to are delicate and I suspect it would be a great undertaking to duplicate the efficiency of the hand on a large scale. I'm honestly not sure if "trimming" would work or not. Seems frightfully difficult to me, but so is ingenuity. PS: I am not a professional farmer, so take my opinions accordingly.

Thank you for pointing this out! I glossed over it in the title, but it is bears special attention to avoid falling into any traps of rhetoric.

There definitely seems to be a trend in diet right now to search for the "natural" cure to all our ills. The Paleolitic Diet is probably the best example of this because it is explicitly named as being based on the past. There is an unfounded belief that primitive people were healthier, stronger and better in many ways. However, I don't know of any evidence to support those claims and most of the arguments don't hold together if you don't assume the correlation of natural and good.

I'm really curious what causes such as fixation in our modern culture on the "natural" as being healthy and good.

There's also an odd opposite assumption that anything that is "unnatural" is probably "bad". GMOs are a good example of this. Anything derived through selective breeding is good, but as soon as you directly modify the genes it's bad, despite more rigorous testing.

I agree with you that a "natural" diet is not necessarily better. And I think we could engineer better food for us than the stuff we used to eat. There's some of that going on with golden rice for example.

But the vast majority of food "innovations" in wealthy countries like the US are not engineered to improve health. Mostly the goal is to save money or improve taste, and these goals can make a diet less healthy.

Strictly speaking, the title just contains an "OR" clause and whether both operands of this clause are exclusive should not matter to the evaluation of the clause. Exclusivity is in this case assumed by the reader.

Your comment is rather unnatural, but quite good. :-)

Actually, I've tried the ketogenic diet. It's great, however it does have negative side effects. That is the lack of fiber. This can lead to hemorrhoids. Which can be extremely painful. Everything was great, I burned a lot of baby fat, but it was painful in the toilet, there was bleeding involved.

You need to supplement yourself with fiber if you want to try the ketogenic diet.

When I did keto for a while, I actually got a LOT of fiber, since any carbs bound up to fiber don't get processed and kick you out of ketosis. I was always on the look out for 'em, to help with food variety.

I am often doing a variation of this meal:

- take 2 salmon fillets, crush whole garlic and spread over the top; put for 10 minutes into air fryer. Put a few drops of olive oil on top of garlic texture

- take frozen vegetables (it's up to you what you like), put them for 3 minutes to air fryer

- take frozen "frutti di mare" and frozen spinach, put them for 10 minutes to air fryer

This should be a balanced ketogenic meal, very tasty with lots of fiber as well and added benefit of garlic compounds fighting imbalances caused by sugar-based diets (fungus, candida etc). I lost 20 pounds in the past three months (took a lot of sports as well) giving me a nice sixpack. I used those urine strips to monitor if I indeed had ketones in my blood or not.

Why do you air fry if you need high fat intake with keto?

I feel sick when eating food fried with oil; for example eating french fries with oil sits in my stomach for ages and I feel really bad; with air fryer it just passes through with no bad effects I can notice.

Flax seeds and meal are low carb and high fiber. I put them in my smoothie every morning and am an olympic-class pooper.

I would recommend ground flax seeds. They pretty much go straight through otherwise.

Edit: sorry, just saw you mentioned meal too.

You can eat practically unlimited amounts of green leafy vegetables (and hence fiber) on a ketogenic diet. Perhaps that wasn't a major part of you diet before you went keto?

Also important is to supplement with potassium or magnesium citrate. The ketosis diet will push down urine PH, which can cause uric acid kidney stones

Magnesium does double duty helping with leg cramps.

There are many options for avoiding your problem. Vegetable fiber using vegetables with minimal or zero reserve carbohydrate should do it. Cabbage for instance also offers additional benefits from its phytochemicals. See for instance http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0304423806...

You can even go one step further and eat Sauerkraut. A lot of the (limited) carbohydrates in the cabbage are fermented into lactate, which has some health benefits, and if you make it yourself it is a good probiotic.

Yup - and it's got a lot of potassium too! Definitely a keto staple for me.

Consider stir fries containing broccoli and cabbage. Its a good strategy.

Just stay away from traditional corn syrup sauces.

You can take fiber pills or powder and mix it with water. The carbs in the fiber do not contribute to blood sugar at least not very much.

Actually, there is the idea of "net carbs" on keto. This means if the package says: Carbs: 4g Fiber: 3g

Your net carbs is 1g. You always subtract out the fiber from the carbs. There's a long explanation for why you do this, I'll leave it to you to find.

Yup. That is what I should have said.

There's ample opportunity to get enough fiber on a ketogenic diet.

This seems more like a negative side effect of your version of the ketogenic diet, not a negative side effect of the ketogenic diet itself.

However, if you feel you were still taking in enough fiber, perhaps you weren't taking in enough water? Not drinking enough water while eating/supplementing high fiber will result in some constipation as well.

thanks for sharing the experience!

How long did you stay on this diet?

I am on high protein diet (proteins in grams ~= my weight in pounds) and I take a fiber supplement to make sure I am Ok on the bathroom side of the things. I noticed I need to take more fiber (27-30 grams, which is above recommended 25 grams) comparing to the days when I do not eat a lot of proteins.

I wonder how much fiber one needs to take when on ketogenic diet.

I did it twice, the first time was 3 months long, the second time was only 4 weeks (I couldn't deal with the pain)

I've heard some people also suffer from ammonia breath from ketosis. Maybe you have experienced that?

It's acetone breath, it is a temporary side effect of keto-adaptation. Other ones include excessive thirst, light headedness and headaches.

Most people never heavily use ketones, so it takes the body some time to re-build the machinery to do so.

Yeah, the symptoms sound like detoxication, those generally having foul smells and needing extra water to wash away our old fears.

I confirm I did have all of the above. Possibly the light-headedness was also cause by not having eaten enough, but it was too strong for that to be the only factor.

as mentioned in the article-- It's acetone, not ammonia.

Acetone is one of the byproducts of keto metabolism, and, unlike other byproducts which are expelled in the urine, acetone is breathed out, resulting in the slightly-sweet-smelling "keto breath".

"I burned a lot of baby fat, but it was painful in the toilet, there was bleeding involved"

Best comment i've read on HN.

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