649848 tn?1534633700

"Best Diets" ranking puts KETO last DASH first

I'm not a great fan of "diets" per se, because I believe that our diet is simply what we eat, but for all those who like to have a specific plan to go by, here's an article that might help you decide what to try.  


We all know that the Keto diet has become very popular and that this diet says we should limit carbs to approximately 20 grams/day (or thereabout, depending on the actual plan you go by).  This plan may work for short-term weight loss, but few of us can actually stick with it for any length of time, nor is it really healthy for long term use, especially for those with some medical conditions.

According to the article the # 1 diet is the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), tied with the Mediterranean Diet.  Both of these diets advocate eating more fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains, fish, legumes, nuts and low-fat dairy foods.   Both advocate low meat intake.

The DASH diet cuts back on saturated fat and salt, while the Mediterranean diet allows for a daily glass of red wine and advocates the intake of more fish .

The "flexitarian" diet is a combination of DASH and Mediterranean diets and might be easier for some to adhere to.  It doesn't require the intake of as much fish.

According to the article, the best weight loss diet is Weight Watchers, which stresses over-all well being such as "me" time.  It would seem that one would lose weight following the DASH and Mediterranean diets as well, since food intake would likely be lower and more healthful.

The best diet is what's healthy and will work for you.  For best results, check with your doctor and a dietician who can take your health conditions (if any) and likes/dislikes into consideration before getting started on a new plan.
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649848 tn?1534633700
I wasn't knocking any diet as I started off my post saying I don't really approve of diets at all because I believe a diet is simply what you eat.  

Personally, I've researched just about every eating plan out there, hoping I'll find something that I'll be able to stick with over the long term, but as yet, I find that simply staying with my own plan of more fruits/vegetables, fresh meat, less bread and white flour products and more healthy fats, works better than any plan I've found.

Kelcoo, I congratulate you on losing 23 lbs; that's commendable.  I posted the article to show how experts rank various diets and why (one needs to follow the link and read the article, not just my commentary).  Studies have shown that the Keto diet is not sustainable for many people for long periods and as Sarajogs and myself mentioned, it's not healthy for some people .  We all know that many people start new eating plans without consulting their doctors and may embark on something that could actually be dangerous for them and of course, we don't want to see that.

I wish you continued success in your weight loss journey and hope to see you posting once in a while.  We do have a New Year's weight loss challenge that you're free to join, if you like.
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Thank you for your opinion.  I just happen to have a different take on it.  Keto is sustainable and is a way of eating for life.  That’s where we differ.  I could provide research to support my opinion but why?  I’m sorry if my opinion is different than yours.  Everybody should always consult their doctor before starting a program to lose weight. We can agree on that.  Yes I will do the challenge and post my weight loss.  I won’t be talking about keto though since it’s so controversial.  
Welcome to the weight loss challenge and you're more than welcome to discuss your diet, if you like.  There's no need to be sorry for having a different opinion; however, I'm not sure we even totally differ.  

First off, I merely posted an article for discussion and everyone is welcome to add their thoughts whatever those might be.

Secondly, I said Keto is not sustainable for "many" people; I didn't say it's not sustainable for anyone or that it's dangerous for everyone, but it is dangerous for those with certain health problems.  For instance, my son has type I diabetes and the last thing his doctors want is for him to be in ketosis.  I have bouts of hypoglycemia and not eating enough carbs causes problems with my blood glucose.   If you don't have any medical conditions that make the diet dangerous and can stay on it for the rest of your life, that's great... just don't lose too much weight because that's not good either.  

I'll look for you at the weigh in tomorrow, or whichever day of the week you weigh in.  
I wasnt bashing the actual keto diet, i was just stating the encounter i had with the lady who sells products associated with the diet.

Climbing back into my hole again..............
Avatar universal
There is so much misinformation on the keto way of eating.  So much so that it takes more than a day to learn about it.  Thats why I joined a free keto group and have learned the benefits myself.  It’s not a one size fits all and I say whatever works go for it.  Of course I’m a big believer in getting your doctors approval first.  My doctors are on board.  I appreciate the hand picked articles and information you provided. I’m not trying to be argumentative I stated I believe it’s about the money.  I’m partial to the keto diet because I’ve lost 23 pounds given up sugar and processed foods.  My testimony is a positive one.  
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I believe there is a lot of misinformation out there about the keto diet as well, but I think the misinformation is coming from both sides.  Being in ketosis isn't easy for all people, and for the vast majority looking to lose weight fast it might be difficult because it's not an easy concept to understand and the science behind it can be complicated even for people with a scientific background.  When my parents went on the Atkins diet back in the 90s, they had to read books on how to even get in to ketosis, how to measure whether they were in it, and even then it was not an easy thing to do.  They are smart, educated people and even with the best tools in front of them, it was not easy, nor was it sustainable.  I know Keto is not the same as Atkins, but getting in to ketosis, limiting carbohydrates, testing for ketones in urine or breath, those are all the same, and not necessarily as easy for everyone to do.  

My knowledge on the topic doesn't come from one day of reading on the internet - I've listened to podcasts, I've read books about running and diet (which include using your own fat reserves for fueling instead of taking in carbs on long runs), I've researched kidney issues and problems with the keto diet.  I also realize there are a lot of pros, and I'm not trying to discourage anyone (who doesn't have a health condition that may be negatively affected) from trying this diet.  I actually think for healthy adults, it could be a great way to lose weight.  I don't have a "horse in this race" since I am not on the diet and don't believe there is anything inherently wrong with it as a short term diet tool, but trying to argue that it's healthier than other diets or that the keto diet doesn't pose serious health risks with long term use is not something I can do at this point.  Your original comment was "why do people keep bashing the keto diet and why is it listed as worst on this article" and I thought I'd point out what I know of the topic, including a whole list of reasons why this diet isn't for everyone and why even if you do try it, it might not be the best for long term weight loss.  And there are serious reasons why it is getting serious pushback from nutritionists and health professionals, and those reasons aren't just "keto flu" (or from the "processed foods industry").

I'm sorry if you feel like I'm bashing the keto diet, I just think people need to know more facts about it if they are going to go on it and I can't just say "go for it" to a broad spectrum of people.  When I search for "keto diet pros and cons", I find a lot of websites that promote the keto diet that just list "keto flu" and "unknown long term effects" as cons.   Seriously - it is dangerous for people with kidney disease and I've seen like 10 websites that don't list this at all so the misinformation comes from both sides.

Personally, I would love to be able to use some of the tools I've learned from my ketosis reading (like being able to use fat reserves on long runs instead of supplementing with carbohydrates - I frequently go on 3 hour runs and glycogen stores only last so long, and being able to burn fat instead would be wonderful), but at this point I don't think that is the best strategy for me with a decreased GFR (glomerular flow rate).   I definitely know there are benefits from being in ketosis (that is why I know a bit about this topic, I don't just learn things to then bash them on the internet).  Just because someone isn't on the keto diet doesn't mean they don't understand the concept, how it works, or can't understand the potential benefits, and it's not necessarily bashing the diet to say that it's not for everyone.

Anyway - I apologize if I offended you, I just think the more someone knows about the topic, the better choices they can make for themselves, and I realize other people read these threads.  If someone is healthy, if they want to try a short term keto diet, if they understand how it works and know potential problems and what to do if something happens, then I am all for them trying it out.
Avatar universal
Pills and shakes aren’t keto.  You don’t need any special products to do keto.  I’ve lost 23 pounds since October 7th and I don’t eat tons of bacon or butter.  A lot of bashing of this diet and it’s not necessary.   I’ve tried weightwatchers and every eating program under the sun and this way of eating has helped me lose weight.  I realize most people just read headlines and don’t do research.  Keto is in the headlines now and it’s ruffling some feathers.  Processed foods are frowned upon and that industry has a lot to lose with people doing keto.  Money my friend is the reason keto is being bashed.   I’m eating more vegetables , don’t eat sugar and don’t have to eat all the time.  I count my calories, carbs, fat and protein.  It’s not a eat all the fat you want and endless calories.  It’s really helped me and I hope you do your research instead of just reading headlines and the article it supports.  
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Hi Kelcoo,
I don't think Barb135 was bashing the Keto diet specifically, just pointing out any diet where you lose weight quickly is often unsustainable for the general population.  I don't think "the processed foods industry" is leading the backlash against the keto diet, because many diets discourage the consumption of processed foods (Whole 30, Paleo, Mediterranean, etc.), and I've seen a ton of "Keto snacks" marketed to me which are clearly processed foods.

Anyway, I thought I'd tell you why the widespread use of the Keto diet worries me so you may understand why the Keto diet is often ranked so low on lists of diets and why health professionals are concerned.  They aren't "bashing" the diet, as much as raising some concerns about this diet to the general public.

1.) When I do a quick google of who shouldn't be on the Keto diet, I come up with a pretty long list including growing children and teenagers, pregnant women, breastfeeding women, people with adrenal fatigue, people with thyroid problems, type-2 diabetics with kidney disease and all type-1 diabetics, anyone with COPD, women with irregular menses, anyone with kidney disease... the list goes on and on.   (Some people in these groups might actually benefit from the keto diet, but the majority of people in these groups might have an adverse effect, and you especially don't want to mess around with growing fetuses or children when long term implications are unknown, and apparently breastfeeding while on the keto diet can in some rare cases result in ketoacidosis, which is very, very bad.)

2.) Long term effects from an extended time in ketosis.  Using fats and protein instead of carbohydrates (ketosis) as far I can tell, is a starvation mode our bodies have to prevent us from starving in times of low/no food.  It is not clear how staying in ketosis for an extended period of time will effect a large population where a lot of people. Does the increased protein/fat breakdown cause kidney stones and liver problems?  I've done a quick search, and gotten mixed results and a lot of comment threads about people arguing about the keto diet, but no clear evidence one way or the other, but kidney stones have been suggested.  Does the diet cause nutritional imbalances?  I see people who are on the keto diet take electrolyte supplements (I know this because I take electrolytes to help decrease muscle twitching that I sometimes get after I go on very long runs, and they're all covered with the word "keto" now, I wasn't looking for this).  You say pills aren't necessary, but for the latest electrolytes I bought for my endurance running, lots of reviewers swear it helps with the keto flu.  I'd have to assume decreased fruit intake is going to cause some vitamin deficiencies - supplements help but they are not the same as getting nutrition through healthy foods.

3.)  Some people struggle to get into ketosis, even with severely limiting carbohydrates.  Every body behaves differently, and this is not a "one size fits all" diet.  From what I have read, this diet can be difficult to manage - it can involve test strips and urine or breath tests to determine if you are in ketosis, and one day of eating more than 50 g of carbohydrates can cause you to get out of ketosis, and this adds an additional complexity level compared to other diets (maximum carbohydrates to maintain ketosis can range from 100g to as low as 20 g a day - which is difficult).  This alone makes this diet more complex and difficult for some people to manage.

4. ) The Keto diet could cause serious health problems in people with certain conditions, and the health professionals we see bashing the Keto diet may be aware that most people do not consult their doctor before starting a new diet, so instead of just saying "talk to your doctor first", they are telling everyone to avoid this diet.  Also, from my experience with my primary care physician about my hypothyroidism, even great PCPs are not experts on all medical conditions, and may be unaware of the more serious problems the keto diet can cause.  For this reason, it is easier to say "avoid the keto diet" rather than risking someone having an adverse reaction to it when they shouldn't be on it in the first place.  This is kind of like the same reason certain medications get pulled from the market - it may help most people but cause heart attacks in 1 in 50,000, and the risk has to be measured against the potential benefit to see whether it should be available or not.  

All of these combined make it hard for this diet to rank high on lists of diets for weight loss or overall health, but that doesn't mean it isn't the best diet for you.  It's not great for a large portion of the population including people with health problems, the overall long term effect of a large population on this diet is not known, and it is a difficult diet to maintain.  It actually might be a really great way to lose a large amount of fat quickly for some people, but they're not going to rank it high on a list of diets if it is not sustainable or if most people are unable to be on this diet for whatever reason.

Keto diet pros:  1.)   It's actually apparently great for people who want to run long distances without consuming a lot of carbohydrates during their run, and run off of their own fat stores, which is where I have learned a lot about the Keto diet because I listen to running podcasts when I'm running  (Some ultrarunners/marathon runners swear by it.  I'm not about to try it because I have decreased kidney function due to hypothyroidism right now).  2.)  You can burn your own fat and lose weight quickly, which is great if you have a lot of weight to lose. 3.) The  Keto diet can help improve outcomes in some diseases (epilepsy in kids, brain cancer, PCOS, etc.)

I'd also like to say that when you hear someone criticizing the keto diet - they are not criticizing you, or your choice of trying out that diet.  My guess is in most cases, people criticizing Keto are just tired of hearing about it (in the same way other "fad diets" have been criticized in the past).  But, some of the criticism of the diet actually has a scientific backing and this diet is not going to work for everyone, and long term ketosis or limiting of certain nutrients has biological implications which shouldn't be ignored.  I can't say this is a "healthy" diet over a long period of time because we just don't know that, unlike the Mediterranean diet which is associated with extraordinarily long life expectancies in so-called "blue zones", lower heart attack and stroke risks, and overall healthier lives as people age.

Diets come and go (south beach, paleo, caveman, zone, Atkins, whole 30, etc.), and many people have tried them all and still struggle with their weight.  If keto is working for you, that is great!  Finding a diet that leads to sustainable weight loss is difficult, and you should be proud of losing the weight.  Hopefully this leads to sustained weight loss over a long period of time.
As someone who at times struggles with my weight - I can say that dieting and weight loss is difficult.  There are so many factors that come in to play, and I'm thankful that I love endurance running which usually keeps my weight at a "normal" level, but I have a thyroid condition (and now no thyroid) which has in the past caused me to gain weight while not overeating and still running a lot.  Losing the weight when my metabolism was malfunctioning was quite difficult, I have a lot of sympathy for anyone who has a large amount of weight to lose.  I'm not bashing the keto diet, but I don't want people to jump into it misinformed either.

495284 tn?1333894042
I was hounded by the lady who sells all the KETO drinks etc.  She said i could eat all the bacon and butter i wanted after i drank these shakes for a few days first to flush my system.  I told her i was working on lowering my cholesterol and she told me i would be fine by losing weight.  It would only cost about 150.00 a month.  I asked her if i should "assume the position" and would she kiss me first!!  lol  She doesnt come around anymore!!!
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1081992 tn?1389903637
I can't remember any classic jokes about seaweed. Or plankton. The 'fish eat fish' one is from long ago.
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134578 tn?1642048000
Don't forget plankton.
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Is plankton not a sea animal aka fish? Well, I guess not all sea animals are fish, are they?  lol
Things classified as plankton include bacteria, fungi, algae, protozoa, invertebrates, and some vertebrates. Maybe there's an outside chance that some of the vertebrates would be classified as fish.  
Oh, forgot to add "lol." That joke fell flat without help!
1081992 tn?1389903637
(Q) Why are fish not fat?
(A) Because they eat fish. Haha...
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Ha... A jokester on my thread, huh? Lol

Don't some of them also eat seaweed, which some say is healthy for us as well?
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