Why Keto Works

Keto, short for ketogenic, is not a new fad diet. In fact, it was developed in 1924 by Dr. Russell Wilder at the Mayo Clinic as a treatment for epilepsy, and it was soon noted that weight loss was a common side effect.

Interestingly, in 1862, William Banting wrote a diet book that described the ketogenic diet without knowing it.

When your body generates ketones to be used for fuel, you are in a state of nutritional ketosis (not to be confused with ketoacidosis). Your body has two sources for fuel: glucose and ketones. When you consume more carbohydrates than your body needs for fuel, the excess is stored as fat. But when you consume fewer carbohydrates than your body needs for fuel, the liver converts stored fat into energy in the form of ketones.

In short, by consuming less than 20g of carbohydrates, your body enters a state of ketosis, and your liver converts fat into ketones that your brain loves to burn for fuel.

Why does keto work?

So why does keto work? To lose weight and get healthier, we need to lower our insulin levels and insulin resistance. The easiest way to do this is to restrict carbs and give the pancreas a break. This can be combined with intermittent fasting, which we discussed in a previous post here.

But perhaps the best argument for keto is that it is ancestrally appropriate. Humans evolved on a diet without grains, abundant sugar, or fruit. Science shows that we were not just carnivores, but super or hyper carnivores. We didn't just eat prey; we ate predators as well. By following a ketogenic diet, we can return to a more natural way of eating and achieve optimal health.

Dr. Michael Eades' lecture on the proper human diet:

Dr. Michael Eades - 'Paleopathology and the Origins of the Low-carb Diet'

Meat has always been a part of our diet. The low fat and plant-based diet movement completely dismisses that.

We will do best on the diet that we evolved to eat. Early humans, Neanderthals and other humanoid species were not only carnivores, but they were also super carnivores, meaning they ate herbivores and carnivores. This is what we evolved to eat.

Interestingly, when distinguishing between early hunter/gatherer and farmer populations, the farmers were the ones with the sick and brittle bones and teeth showing sever nutritional deficiencies. Links to studies and more info at https://www.proteinpower.com/LCDEN2020/

Gary Taubes' talk on the Case Against Sugar:

Gary Taubes - 'The Case Against Sugar'

Gary Taubes makes a compelling case for why sugar is incredibly harmful to our metabolic health. Based on his research and findings, he argues that sugar should not be included in a healthy diet, not even in moderation. Taubes highlights the negative impact that sugar can have on our blood sugar levels, insulin response, and overall metabolic function. While it can be challenging to eliminate sugar entirely from our diets, Taubes' work serves as a critical reminder of the importance of limiting our sugar intake and prioritizing whole, nutrient-dense foods instead.