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Jan 26

An early keto advocate says the diet has gone ‘too far’ and we need to stop demonizing carbs – Business Insider India

The high-fat, low-carb ketogenic diet has skyrocketed in popularity in the past several years, with advocates claiming it can boost weight loss, energy, and overall health.

But the keto trend has gone too far, according to Dave Asprey, CEO of the health and performance company Bulletproof.

"Carbs matter," he told Insider. "People like to simplify - now we have the keto trap."


As an advocate for the low-carb diet in the early 2000s, Asprey personally experienced the enthusiasm for keto that currently runs rampant in popular diet culture.

Read more: A nutrition journalist dieted his whole life and still gained weight. Then he tried the keto diet, and 'it was like a switch being flipped.'

However, while there is evidence that keto can be effective in some contexts, such as treating diabetes. studies are still mixed on whether keto is really best for weight loss.

Asprey said the main problem with the modern keto diet (and its precursor, the Atkins diet) is that it focuses too much on fat versus carbs.

That means low-carb diets can rely on plenty of foods that we know aren't healthy, included highly-processed meats, cheeses, and snacks, and even some fast food. In this school of thought, known as "dirty keto," any food is allowed as long as it's low in carbs. Asprey said that while it can work for weight loss in the short-term, it's risky for long-term health.

Low-carb diets are routinely critiques by dietitians, who caution that it relies too heavily on saturated fat, which is linked to increased risk of cardiovascular illness. Experts also warn that avoiding carbs can limit your intake of important plant-based nutrients, including dietary fiber.

Then, don't neglect your vegetables, even on a keto diet - broccoli, zucchini, cabbage, avocado, and celery are low-carb and very nutrient-dense.

Ketosis can sometimes have side effects, however, such as raising your level of cortisol, the stress hormone. That's particularly true for longer periods of fasting or very-low-carb diets without enough time to adapt.

"If you force it, if you do fasting wrong, it can break you. The stress response can break your endocrine system," Dr. Mark Cucuzzella, a professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine who has published several studies on keto and diabetes, previously told Insider.

"Carbs matter. People are missing out. Moderation and cycling are important, and that's what we've lost," he said.

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An early keto advocate says the diet has gone 'too far' and we need to stop demonizing carbs - Business Insider India

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