The world's leading lifestyle doctors have united to condemn the low carb keto diet in this exclusive Plant Based News video.
The keto diet involves eating large amounts of fat and very few carbs, in a bid to get the body into ketosis (a state where it is burning fat for energy). Fans of the diet tout its ability to aid weight loss and improve certain markers around cardiovascular disease.
But many doctors - including GP Dr. Gemma Newman, Dr. Pamela Popper, Dr. Anthony Hadj, and Dr. Neal Barnard among others - believe the harmful side effects of the diet can outweigh the benefits.
What are the cons of the keto diet?
Cons of the keto diet
"We all see - all of us doctors - will see patients trying a ketogenic diet," says Dr. Neal Barnard. "And it's basically the low carbohydrate diet that has gone the Atkins phase, the Southbeach phase, now it's the keto phase, it's the same thing. What always happens is that people are very optimistic when they start it. They're hoping to lose a lot of weight because that's what's been promised.
"And some of them will lose weight. The ones who lose weight are the ones who kick out all the carbohydrates, and since that's about 50 or 60 percent of their diet, they're kind of starving their way thin. And after about two months or so they get really tired of it or their friends comment on their ketogenic breath. Sometimes they get heroically constipated - these are common problems.
"About one in three, their cholesterol goes through the roof, because they are eating - in some cases - more meat than they were before. But there are a lot of patients who try it, and nothing happens. They don't lose weight at all and wonder why are they doing this. And that's because they are avoiding all the healthy, starchy foods but they're making up for it with cheese and meat. Their calorie intake doesn't drop at all...within a year virtually everyone has given up on it."