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A Rebuttal, Part 2 — Fad Diets & Food Addiction

I’m continuing on with my rebuttal to a series of posts written by another blogger in which she does a “case study” on me in an effort to steer people away from the ketogenic diet. If you missed Part 1 of my rebuttal, which includes some really helpful info, you can click here to get caught up. But let’s continue on…

First of all, I find the whole “case study” pretty bizarre. If I were doing a case study of a person, I would interview them. I would have a whole series of prepared questions that I wanted them to answer. Those answers would probably prompt more questions. I simply don’t know how you do a proper “case study” on a person without actually talking to them or interacting with them one-on-one.

But Debi didn’t do that. She did her “case study” based on subsections of two separate posts that I had written on my Addicted 2 Decorating blog.

Even more bizarre to me is that she states this as the main thesis of her case study:

All diets, no matter how extreme, work in the short term, but they are doomed to fail in the long term.

She states her thesis, and yet in all four posts of her case study, she never even discusses this. She never circles back around to it, so what she claims is her main point is pretty much ignored.

But if that’s her thesis, and she’s doing a case study, then wouldn’t logic follow that she would do a case study on someone who tried keto, had success, and then gained all of the weight back?

But that doesn’t describe me. I’m still doing keto, still loving it, and still thriving on it. I did gain a few pounds over the holidays (along with the rest of America), and then I kind of coasted for a few weeks after that, but I’m back on track now and more determined than ever.

But let’s move on…

Is the ketogenic diet a fad diet?

No. Keto has been around for a while now, and not just for epilepsy.

But has it increased in popularity in recent years? Oh, heck yeah. And for good reason.

Because people are seeing amazing results with it that go FAR beyond just weight loss.

I mean, let’s just talk about Type 2 Diabetes alone, shall we? Obesity and type 2 diabetes are taking over this country at an alarming rate.

  • This is what has happened to our country as the food supply and marketplace has been flooded with what researchers call “highly palatable foods.” (Why don’t we binge on broccoli? Why do we choose Little Debbie’s and Doritos instead? Because those are designed to be “highly palatable.”)
  • This is what has happened to us as processed sugar in all of its various forms has been added to just about every prepared food and drink imaginable.
  • This is what has happened to us as soft drinks have become the drink of choice for everyone from toddlers to adults, which is a huge part of the reason we’re seeing an explosion of type 2 diabetes in young children like we’ve never seen before.
  • This is what has happened after decades of the government (and as a result, medical doctors) telling us that the bulk of our diets should be comprised of bread, cereal, rice and pasta, and that we should avoid fats.
  • And this is what has happened to us as “low fat” and “low calorie” diets have been shoved at us as the fix to the problem, when in reality, THEY are part of the problem.

The effect of a ketogenic diet on type 2 diabetes alone is astounding! And seeing that type 2 diabetes costs Americans more than $300 billion per year, and one of every three Medicare dollars is spent on type 2 diabetes, and one of every six healthcare dollars is spent on type 2 diabetes, the effects of keto on this wretched disease should be…

SHOUTED FROM THE FREAKING ROOFTOPS.

And believe you me, there are medical doctors out there who specialize in treating diabetes who are doing their best to shout this out, like Stephen Phinney, MD, PhD, and his fellow researchers and clinicians at Virta Health who are having tremendous success using keto to reverse type 2 diabetes and get people off of their medications and insulin, and Jason Fung, MD, a Canadian nephrologist who specializes in treating patients with type 2 diabetes using the ketogenic diet, and who is seeing the same success.

But literally thousands upon thousands of people are reversing their type 2 diabetes, getting off of their medications and insulin, and completely turning their lives around as a result of the ketogenic diet.

And diabetes is just the tip of the iceberg. Just read the thousands of testimonials in Facebook keto groups, on forums, and in the comment sections on the above keto doctors’ YouTube channels (as well as all of the other keto YouTube channels), and you will see the other ways that keto is affecting people’s lives other than weight loss.

IT. IS. ASTOUNDING.

I asked in one of my keto Facebook groups if people could share their personal experiences of medical conditions that have improved or completely reversed as a result of keto. Here’s a sampling:

  • The pain in my hips is mostly gone. I’m only in week three.
  • My blood pressure is normal. No meds now!
  • 20+ years of depression with suicidal thoughts and anxiety. Six months med free for the first time in my life since my teens after 11 months [of keto]. And easily the best 11 months of my entire life. I was always miserable mentally and physically. Keto singlehandedly changed my life around. For the first time ever I can feel positive emotions and have so much energy!
  • Before I started, my resting heart rate was around 99, now it is about 75. That is in less than a month. I have also as of today lost 25 pounds.
  • My blood pressure has been normal all of my life until I got over 200 lbs. I’m at 182 and [my blood pressure] is normal now. The tendons in my ankles have also been tight every morning for the past 2-3 years. I couldn’t jog or go walking anymore with my feet going numb. They are no longer a problem. The cravings and the need to eat heavy meals is gone.
  • I reversed my pre-diabetes diagnosis and was able to get off of high blood pressure meds. My cholesterol numbers are also much improved.
  • Joint pain in the mornings — gone!
  • My depression has gotten better. I have more energy. My blood pressure is better.
  • Joint paint is gone…my mornings were very uncomfortable, even painful at times. My blood pressure dropped 15-20 points into the normal range. I had been hypertensive and now don’t require meds. I have never felt this good.
  • Off Metformin and blood pressure medication.
  • Mental fog gone, inflammation leaving, skin improving, less pain, more energy.
  • My cholesterol has improved! My Achilles tendinitis is much better! My blood pressure has also come down some. My constant fatigue and lack of energy is gone. I now have consistent energy throughout the day most days.
  • I reversed my type 2 diabetes diagnosis! Been off all meds for a year. My depression is way better as well. If I go off keto at all my depression hits hard.
  • My nerve pain from fibromyalgia lessened a great deal. My eyesight has improved. My migraines and cluster headaches are completely gone.
  • I was pre-diabetic started on meds when I started Keto. 3 weeks of Keto kicked me out of being diabetic. No more foot and horrible leg pain!!
  • I’ve lost a kidney stone, a fatty tumor on my kidney, my fatty liver is healing, no longer have sleep apnea, I’m off all prescriptions and my A1C is normal at 5.0 after 9 months on Dr. Berg’s healthy Keto. Also, pit edema in my legs is gone and plantar fasciitis is no longer crippling me.
  • Acid reflux, my pre-diabetes, depression, anxiety is a lot better, so much energy it’s unreal, blood pressure is a lot better, but still watching and waiting on that to come off meds.
  • My diverticulosis is no longer there.
  • I was diagnosed type 2 diabetes with a 14.4 A1c and a fasting blood glucose level of 366. I weighed 264 pounds had high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I refused all drugs and went on the keto diet and started walking. My A1c is now 5.5 and my fasting blood sugar level 92-116. I now have normal feelings in my toes that were numb. I weigh 187 pounds need to lose 67 more. Cholesterol is great, blood pressure is great, migraines are gone. 
  • Rheumatoid arthritis and lupus are in remission for me.
  • Atopic dermatitis gone after two years of trying EVERYTHING.
  • Crohn’s in remission since starting a year ago. Psoriasis gone without use of steroids and lotions. No more dandruff. Dry hands and scaly dry feet soft now. No more need for naps during the day or when driving. No pain and aches, where I thought before it was part of aging.
  • I’m off of my thyroid medication.

These personal stories go on and on in keto groups.

And new research is showing the unbelievable affect that the keto diet and ketones can have on people with Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Annette Bosworth, MD, another doctor who’s desperately trying to get the word out about the keto diet, is at the 2019 Metabolic Health Summit right now as I write this, and she has been posting updates on her YouTube channel as she’s been there throughout the week.

Just yesterday, she posted this update about the effect of ketones on brains with Alzheimer’s.

Did you note what she says about how the ability of these Alzheimer brains to use glucose as a fuel diminishes, but ketones seem to awaken them? It makes you wonder what would have happened had they been fueled by ketones instead of glucose the whole time, right?

I mean, it goes on, and on, and on. Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, joint pain, autoimmune diseases, inflammation and the whole slew of chronic illnesses that stem from chronic inflammation, and even cancer. (Read the story of Dr. Bosworth’s mother, as well as the research by Thomas N. Seyfried, PhD, whose research culminated in his writing a book about how cancer is a metabolic disease).

Just READ THE THOUSANDS of testimonials that you can find just about anywhere the keto diet is discussed.

And let’s not forget that doctors (at least the smart ones who stay educated on current research) are now starting to prescribe the ketogenic diet to patients suffering from chronic pain and inflammation instead of steroids (which have a whole host of negative side effects) because of the incredible anti-inflammatory effects of the keto diet (explained very simply here, and about ten thousands other places from legitimate medical/scientific sources online, if you’re willing to look beyond a stupid click bait Popular Science article or a Jillian Michael’s video).

In fact, because of this anti-inflammatory nature of the keto diet, some doctors are starting to “prescribe” the keto diet to their pre-op patients in order to reduce or even eliminate the need for steroids after surgery. (discussed here)

So is it a fad? Well, if that’s what it takes to get the word out to people, then great! It’s a fad! But what I do know is…

IT’S

CHANGING

PEOPLE’S

LIVES.

So the rest of Part 1 and almost the entirety of Part 2 of Debi’s case study on me focuses on the fact that I said I have an addiction to carbs and sugar. And she goes on and on about how food addiction isn’t real.

So is food addiction real?

Well, my initial response to that is…

WHO THE HECK CARES?

Honest to goodness, Debi, who cares what label you put on it? Who cares whether food affects the brain EXACTLY like meth or alcohol? Who cares if you’d rather call it a habit or a craving? Who the heck cares about the label you put on it WHEN THE WHOLE FREAKING COUNTRY LOOKS LIKE THIS!!!

I mean, honest to goodness, you don’t have to have more than a few useful brain cells and firing neurons to be able to look at that map and see that something has gone terribly wrong.

Talking about whether it should be called a habit or a craving or an addition is just about as worthless as standing in front of raging wildfire tearing across a dry plain and debating whether it should technically be called grass fire or a brush fire. WHO CARES? The question is what do we do about it?

But to set the record straight, yes, it’s an addiction. And yes, it affects the brain in similar ways to addictive drugs. And yes, the brains of obese people respond differently on a biochemical level to highly palatable foods. But you don’t have to believe me. You can just read this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this, and this.

Or if you don’t want to do all of that reading, you can listen to David Ludwig, MD, PhD, explain the biochemistry in a pretty elementary and understandable way. He explains why it’s futile to tell an obese person to simply use self control. He also explains why low calorie diets do not work for overweight/obese people, and actually end up reducing the person’s resting metabolic rate, which is why obese people trying calorie restriction/low fat diets almost always end up putting the weight back on plus some, while permanently destroying their metabolism. (Ummm…HELLO, The Biggest Loser contestants!) Dr. Ludwig explains why this happens. (watch from about 6:00 to 21:00)

I cannot stress this enough…

The facts and evidence (both scientifically and anecdotally) are abundant that show that the ketogenic diet is way more than just a fad, and that it is possibly the best hope we currently have for reversing so many horrible things that plague our society today (like hypertension, obesity, type 2 diabetes, inflammation, and all of the resulting chronic illnesses that result from inflammation, and a whole host of other things). But you have to be willing to dive into the information that is being put out by these medical doctors, researchers, and other very knowledgeable people who are working tirelessly to get this information out.

You cannot simply read some click bait article in Popular Science or Vox and consider yourself “in the know” about the ketogenic diet. If you don’t put the hours upon hours upon hours of time in to do an actual, real, DEEP dive search into the scientific and medical information available, then you probably shouldn’t be talking about the topic, and you CERTAINLY shouldn’t be using your platform to dissuade people from looking into it.

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9 Comments

  • Reply
    Linda
    February 2, 2019 at 2:36 pm

    Outstanding points made.

  • Reply
    Dolores
    February 2, 2019 at 5:39 pm

    The problem is there’s no money to be made if we adapt to this lifestyle & get healthier. My drs dead set against it til I came in for my yearly checkup & was 100 lbs lighter. When he asked how & I told him he said it will all be back soon. However he’s wrong cause it had already been a year. And now 6 months after that I fluctuate only 5 up & down! P.S. he’s not my dr anymore!

    • Reply
      Melanie
      February 5, 2019 at 6:17 pm

      good call on getting rid of that doc 😀

  • Reply
    Kathy
    February 2, 2019 at 6:38 pm

    I’m happy to see the Ketogenic Diet slowly gaining acceptance as the positive results keep tallying up. As a pharmacist I can promise you the pharmaceutical industry has zero interest seeing this movement gain momentum and will use their billions to keep us on all the low-fat processed foods they can. I suggest reading Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss for a background on how the food industry has created a nation of addicts. It’s science. The brain responds to specific ranges of sugar, salt and fat for optimum satisfaction which creates addiction and the food industry uses that as a weapon against us. If you don’t educate yourself to these facts you will never break free.

  • Reply
    Karen
    February 3, 2019 at 2:36 am

    I am flabbergasted that anyone would read/believe Debi’s blog about me to. She does not appear to have any qualification to make the claims she states, nor does she reference ANY experts. It appears to be only her personal opinion with no basis in fact.

    Thank you for your rebuttal posts. Not only have you provided your personal experiences, but you have provided expert references and anecdotal info from others who have found success with keto.

  • Reply
    Carolyn
    February 3, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    Just want to mention that people are also seeing these positive changes — reversing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, autoimmune diseases, etc.– on a whole food plant-based lifestyle.

  • Reply
    Sabrina
    February 4, 2019 at 3:30 am

    Kristi—
    I really appreciated your well-researched article on the Ketogenic diet, especially how it can help the brain. I also appreciate how Carolyn mentioned you can get the same results by eating a whole-foods plant based diet.

    The enemy is sugar!!!

    https://samaritanministries.org/blog/hormone-wreckage-culprit-behind-obesity-disease-fat-chance-says?utm_source=%22This+Month+at+Samaritan%22+newsletter+emails&utm_campaign=fc6f88fb56-TMAS+201902&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_79b7ae7374-fc6f88fb56-67569209

    This article above, your post and other things I’ve read explain why we are eating Keto, Paleo, and vegan. As for me, I try to follow the “Trim Healthy Mama” plan, which is a hybrid of low carb/eat good carbs.

    I have eaten healthy and with so many healthy eating plans out there one wants to ask “What’s the best one”.

    Keto seems great, yet it doesn’t seem right since I don’t want to cut out sprouted/soaked whole grains and all fruits, or beans. My body responds fine to these foods.

    And my husband is choosing the wholefoods plant-based diet…

    So maybe your article and Carolyn’s comment have answered my question—

    What whole-foods healthy diet is best?

    The one that helps your body and is sustainable for you.

    I’m hoping the food industry will repent of that red HCFS blood on their hands! And that more folks will take charge of their health and start eating more real food (vs processed consumables) and heal our bodies. 😁

    Enjoy your tasty foods!

  • Reply
    Guerrina Hernandez
    February 8, 2019 at 6:47 pm

    All true! I don’t think the other blogger knows how to do a case study!

  • Reply
    Linda
    February 8, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    The food industry along with big pharma along with big ag doesn’t want healthy people. That’s why they spend so much money to petition our gov to keep things as they are. They’ve ruined our foods, the ground it’s grown in, the chemicals they use to poison it with all so they can sell drugs.

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