Keto: Trendy Instagram Hype Or Serious Nutritional Concept? Sharing My Unpopluar Opinion

in keto •  last year  (edited)

The latest - or maybe just loudest - diet obsession (...) is the ketogenic diet, lovingly called "keto", popularized by actors, Instagram stars, and the same people who brought you raw water. - Yvette d'Entremont

In fact it's been on Instagram where I stumbled opon the hashtag #keto for the very first time.

According to the internet, the metabolic state of ketosis you may reach through keto, will help you lose weight, live longer, and even improve your memory.


Now that a real hype seems to be around this new nutritional trend and it's been even discussed by Steemit Inc's CEO @ned on Steemit, I started to do some more profound research - just out of curiosity.

Here's what Instagram doesn't tell you about Keto.


Who profits?

Before we get started, I need to inform you that I'm generally not a huge fan of trendy weight-loss strategies and also haven't ever been on a diet in my life.

Personally I support the theory that our body knows best what's needed to perform perfectly, and that the only problem of modern society is that we have lost our natural instinct to react on those inner drivers.

Instead of simply providing our body with those nutritive substances that are required to perfectly maintain or organs, we prefer to throw any type of scientific knowledge overboard and follow some hyped marketing slogans.

Let me be cheeky and ask: Who seriously needed a metabolic state of ketosis in terms of health a hundred years ago when people didn't knew Instagram would exist one day?

The most important question you may ask yourself before starting any type of health program is: who profits long term?

The problem of most extreme nutrition plans are its heating costs for you (vs. high income for the promoter) as well as its negative side effects on your health (vs. positive outcome for the promoter).

Whenever we start to eliminate a certain group of nutrients from our menu and compensate it by another one, there's gonna be an imbalance.

That also happens with Keto.

The ketogenic diet is a high fat, low carb and adequate protein diet. The first question you might be wondering is, "How can a high-fat diet be healthy?". (...) New research has debunked the fat-makes-you-fat myth. -

While the official website doesn't provide any references for their adventurous thesis, scientists are able to prove the contrary.

Let's consider the following example: the keto-approved Bulletproof coffee, created by the entrepreneur and businessman Dave Asprey.


What you may not know is that the company Bulletproof raised $19 million in Series B funding last year.

They're growing a monster business by selling butter-larded coffee and myriad supplements to the masses.

We feel Bulletproof has created a whole new category around products that fuel human performance. We’re excited to partner with Dave and the Bulletproof team to continue the company’s growth momentum. - Rohan Oza, Partner at CAVU Ventures, one of the world’s most innovative investors in the consumer space

Human performance?

Now one doesn't even need to be a scientist in order to imagine where the metabolic state of ketosis comes from in this case.

The increased energy one feels after consuming such a coffee could have something to do with the nearly 500 calories of fat that are in it.

It's fascinating how popular a piece of butter is actually able to become. Yet, calories still matter.

As The DIETFITS Randomized Clinical Trial proved recently, it's fairly common that, initially, low-carb dieters see more weight loss than people who go on a low-fat diet.

Most of the weight loss by low-carb dieters during the first weeks is actually water. Also over time the weight loss evens out between those two groups.

Calories still matter, and if you start your day with a fat-cocktail of 500 calories then these are 500 calories that count.

A common belief among ketonians is that your body not only switches to burning fat on keto but that a low-carb, high-fat diet turns you into a fat-burning machine.

Well which body wouldn't start to try burning that huge amount of fat immediately? It's nothing but a defense mechanism.

Already in 2006 the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study which proved the following:

Calorie per calorie, you’ll lose the same amount of weight on both a ketogenic diet and a reduced calorie, controlled carb (but not ketogenic) diet.

I'm sorry to debunk the myth but...

We won't magically burn love handles just because our calories are now fat calories instead of carb calories.

What will more likely to happen when increasing the level over a longer period of time, is that low-carb dieters will be facing serious health issues.

A study from 2017 called Diabetes & Metabolic Syndrome: Clinical Research & Reviews showed diabetes, increased blood pressure, and cholesterol in participants who followed the diet for 10 weeks.

So while we may experience a quick loss in weight (mainly due to a loss in water weight as described above) during the first weeks and celebrate it as the beginning of something great, we're actualy conducting ourselves into an unhealthy trap.

Health is a long term project.


The alternative: sanity and reason!

As I mentioned before I haven't ever been on a diet in my life.

To date my strategy has turned out to be successful. I'm in perfect health since almost four decades, haven't ever been overweight or facing other physical irregularities that may be due to the wrong nutrition.

My favorite anecdote in that context occured during my last general check-up at the hospital - which I annually take as a precaution. While having a look at the results of the complete blood count, my doctor admitted:

In my whole career I have rarely seen any better results than yours.

Now here's my secret: I have none.

My nutrition plan is a mirror of my general lifestyle: I want it to be balanced, without extremes but also not missing a thing.


This is how I reach my daily ketosis :-)

I start the day with some cereals, yoghurt and fresh fruit that will provide me with the necessary energy for the first ours of the day.

A couple of hours later - when I notice that I need a slight kickstart again - I have a banana or something similar.

For lunch I prefer a salad, a chicken curry or pasta - something that keeps me pushing but doesn't make me want to sleep a long siesta.

After my surf session in the afternoon I often enjoy a piece of cake, a muffin or doughnut combined with a coffee (black with milk).

For dinner I prefer the classic German style: bread, chicken breast, cheese, tomato slices, etc.

Maybe the best advice I can give you is that: we need to listen to our bodies! Especially when we practice sports, our body will clearly tell us if anything is missing to reach best performance.

When my body asks me for something sweet, then this happens for a reason - unless I've been watching too much ice cream advertisement lately :-)

According to scientists, a balanced and natural nutrition plan is probably the best long term strategy for your body.

Instead of engaging in the next popular diet that would last only a few weeks to months (for most people that includes a ketogenic diet), try to embrace change that is sustainable over the long term. A balanced, unprocessed diet, rich in very colorful fruits and vegetables, lean meats, fish, whole grains, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and lots of water seems to have the best evidence for a long, healthier, vibrant life. - Dr. Marcelo Campos in Ketogenic diet: Is the ultimate low-carb diet good for you?

One of the great benefits of a natural nutritian plan instead of trendy diets is that YOU are the one who profits.

Most of the hyped products and programs you'll find on the internet have no scientific basis and their only goal is to make money out of our ignorance.

I'd rather recommend you to use your good judgement. That is the moment when you'll finally realize that starting the day with 4 tsps of oil and butter can't be really good in the long term...

Just sayin' :-)

Stay healthy, steemians!

Much love,
Marly -
Steem Ambassador
This blog was created in July 2016, aiming to provide thought-provoking content for open-minded people who go on adventure, step out of comfort zones and embrace the new.
Thanks for being part of the journey!


PS: All my blog posts are created and submitted via eSteem Surfer 1.1.12 - my favorite Steem desktop client that was developed by @good-karma's @esteemapp team. Check out their account for more information.

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  ·  last year (edited)

Common sense...a very short commodity in today's fad following Instagram world. So I appreciate you attempting to educate people here with this excellent post.
You make an amazing ambassador but you'd be a lousy 'influencer' much do I hate that term? lol
Stay wet and wonderful Marly :-)

You're comments are just the best, Nathen! Thanks, for the flowers.

You make an amazing ambassador but you'd be a lousy 'influencer'

Haha, absolutely. While elaborating this piece of content I was actually saying to myself: They never gonna send you any products in order to merchandize them through your blog. lol

Well I prefer to be honest and fully enjoy spreading my uncensored opinion over this decentralized place :-)

Thanks for making me smile once more!

My experience of Keto took place over six months earlier this year. I have never been a believer in low fat so a high-fat diet seemed perfect for me. I grew up in the 50's and 60's so fat was normal in the diet and we were not overweight at all. I think at school I knew two people over-weight.

On the positive side, I lost a lot of weight over the first 3 months, I had loads of energy so it was great. My wife had the same results.

Over the last three months of the keto diet, the weight loss slowed to about same as a normal diet of around two pounds a week (1 KG)

On the negative side, I was really bored with the food and my wife got diverticulitis really badly. Fortunately, she responded to antibiotics (three types four times a day intravenously.)
It seems the very high fat stresses the bowl and the seeds used as snacks almost finished her off. Of course, you have to have a few diverticles to get diverticulitis, but most of us don't know until we get a problem.

So for me except for the boring diet I got on with it well. My wife almost died and was 24 hours away from major surgery when the antibiotics finally worked.

For us, we prefer to not bother with keto anymore.

Jesus, what an experience, I hope your wife is doing well again!!

I've read similar stories on the internet which is why I decided to write this article. It's impressive how many people have already been in contact with keto. It's really dangerous as your story perfectly demonstrates.

Thanks for sharing your point of view with us and again I hope both of you are in perfect health conditions again!!

She is fine now regarding that. Strange for me it was great but for others not so good.
Probably not so good long term I would think.

So I am slowly losing weight the old fashioned way. I only needed to lose 20 pounds to begin with.

There's a website called that has a fantastic article debunking the keto diet with scientific facts. I don't know if you came across it in your research, but I have found it a great resource when people ask why I would never recommend it (even vegan keto) or try it myself. Nice to see an article like this when, like you said, everyone seems to be jumping on the bandwagon.

Oh I love that article on, thanks a lot for directing my attention to it! In fact I hadn't found it earlier during my research.

My favourite part: "Ketosis Misconception #4: Carbohydrate is Not an Essential Nutrient".
How often have I tried to explain that to people, but they just don't wanna listen :-)

Whenever you tell someone that you just had some pasta for lunch, they're like: Wuuuuuut, the evil carbs? And I am like: Did you ever do sports in your life? Then you'd know that without carbs, you're actually nothing :-)

Thanks for stopping by and helping to spread a more rational view on such diets.

Happy to share! I always like refreshing my brain with actual science. ;)

I actually had a client years ago shocked when I was talking about eating a baked potato. Topped with black beans, salsa and avocado--not a bunch of butter, cheese and bacon. Life isn't worth living without spuds!

I'm trying to catch some of the presenters during the Plant Fit Summit right now, too. Lots of world class athletes carbing the heck up! 💪

I'm very glad to see you opinion on this. I have a great respect for you because I've seen your recipes and like your way of thinking. I don't like this keto madness either.

Thanks so much for that @erikah! I think everyone needs to do their research and find what works for them, but in all the research I've done this type of diet is not the best for overall health and longevity. It may be appropriate in certain special cases, but most of the people I've seen jumping on the bandwagon are just looking to lose weight quickly. I try not to judge others unless someone is asking for my opinion, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to advocate for a balanced whole food approach that I have come to believe is the best lifestyle to follow! I love all fruits and veggies and beans and grains, so I'm quite happy sticking with my varied and colorful plate! 😉

I'm with you on that! Amin! My friend I was taking about in my comment to the author, he's reason for choosing this diet was he can lose weight without starvation. I think many people are not willing to give up sweets and fatty food. If you want to lose wait, you have to make some changes.

Kind of ironically, one of the comments I see most on a lot of the plant-based groups is that people have a hard time eating enough to not lose weight! I think that's one of the things I love about it--I get to eat a ton of food because I choose very nutrient-dense foods that tend to be lower in calories naturally or they just get broken down into energy better and faster. I eat more than just about any other woman I know and maintain my body weight much easier. I have a feeling I will have an easier time as I get older, as well, because I try to keep a healthy relationship with food and don't live in fear of it.

That's a very healthy way of thinking. You should considering putting together a recipe book, don't you think?

My boyfriend keeps saying I should do a cookbook, so maybe some day. ;)

See? That proves I was right! Do an ebook, a downloadable one for a certain price! :)

Evolutionary speaking, we are built to forage and hunt food. This meant that our diet was historically hugely varied - far more than it is today.

Personally, I believe that our best bet is to seek to eat as varied a diet as possible - and ideally not eating too much in terms of portions (ideally with a bit of fasting here and there).

I suspect that our main problem today in the Western world is over-nutrition!

But having said all that, I'm no medic or doctor so take everything i say with a pinch of salt (just not too much salt cos that would be bad for you ;) )

I like your way of thinking, Steve :-)

Evolutionary speaking, we are built to forage and hunt food. This meant that our diet was historically hugely varied - far more than it is today.

Absolutely. And I believe that - no matter how far we may have come in other areas such as technology - this is still valid.

Thanks for stopping by and stay healthy! :-)

I think the reason why the keto hype is doing so well is because of some people who have awesome results on it (like a woman who lost 130 pounds in 18 months!). I've read another article elsewhere where they said that any diet will have similar results, in the beginning at least. They have done studies with low carb and high fat/protein intake versus high carb low fat/protein intake and the results were the same. The issue with carbs (I think) is that most of it nowadays in the Western world is that it is mostly GMO or has pesticides or both. If you'd take these kinds of foods in moderation (preferably organic) there's no issue. However, if you chug down huge plates of pasta made of GMO/high pesticide grains, yeah well, that's when the problems start.
I don't believe in the high fat diets. However, I do use about one teaspoon of coconut oil a day (raw) and feel a lot better for it. And carbs I like to get from fruit and vegetables mostly.

And you're right, if people learn to listen to their bodies, you never need a diet. However with all the crap that people eat these days, their ability to listen to their bodies also disappears.
That's why pregnant women crave certain things during their pregnancy: it's their body telling them they need a certain nutrient because they're lacking it. If everyone could just have the craving body like a pregnant woman LOL. With my eldest daughter I was chugging down a gallon of home made lemon iced tea, without any sugar each day! So I am pretty sure my body was telling me to hydrate and get those vitamin C's!

The question is: which side effects did that woman who lost 130 pounds in 18 month face? How's her liver doing after that fat-therapy? Which story does the blood count tell?

Losing weight can't be the only and ultimate goal, it has to be: living healthy and staying in shape.

A body is like a vehicle that will conduct us through this one and only life. Sometimes people spend a fortune on the very best oil for their cars and then go check-in at McDonald's drive-in.

Education is everything.
Thanks for stopping by @misslasvegas :-)

Very true, losing that much weight in such a short period of time isn't always healthy. However, staying that heavy for that long isn't either. I guess it was choosing the best of two bad situations. She did a couple of videos after she lost that weight and I have to say she looks great and says she feels amazing. Maybe she didn't eat those huge amounts of fat and meat and still kept eating lots of vegetables...And yes, that is a great example about the oil and McDonalds. In Holland, where nearly everything can be reached by bicycle, it always struck me how some people would spend huge amounts on health centre subscriptions, drive to the gym to get on a bicycle... I think with the Keto diet, they just drove it too far. If you look at their food pyramid, it would tell the average person that it's OK to eat huge amounts of meat and nearly as many fats. Then the vegetables are very low...This can never be right and people with some common sense could probably figure this out. However, people nowadays don't have common sense any more and trust new trends blindly without even doing some due diligence. So I completely agree: education is everything.

Very well said. Often one of the main problems is the lack of common sense. Also people don't have the time for (or better said: don't want to invest so much time in) educating themselves about healthy and sustainable nutrition. They just follow the next hype like:

If Halle Berry does it, it can't be wrong.

What they forget about is that all these celebs are paid for their promotion. Supposedly none of them would ever effectively go on keto for the above mentioned reasons.

Thanks for your time, I really enjoy this conversation.
Btw, after having a quick look at your blog I decided to follow you :-)

I enjoy it too. It's great to have conversations with people who are willing to look past whatever they have in front of them and see through these trends that are everywhere. I believe now more than ever, people are being influenced by Hollywood and the next trend these entertainers follow.
It used to be girls that ended up anorexic due to the unrealistic image super-models and actresses portrayed. But nowadays it's even more dangerous because the internet, social media like Twitter and Facebook and such just seems to be full with people who are very good at telling others how they should look. Having a teenage daughter and another one getting there soon enough, I am very much aware of this and I am terrified to be honest because you can't watch them 24/7.
So I hope by informing them as much as I can all the time, that somewhere down the line they will filter things
out that can benefit them and by showing them that I trust them to make the right decisions when faced with peer pressure and such.
It's always an ongoing battle. I even got rid of the TV for that very reason, it's really all rubbish they're showing.

Thank you for the follow, I really appreciate that! We did meet briefly at last year's Steemfest, but yeah very briefly :) I did enjoy your talk then.

I am going to check the # tag, I know about ketogenic is the diet for beginners.

Beginners of what exactly? :-)

Woo! Love your post - we've given you a full upvote with a chance to be featured in the weekly curation. Hope this helps you continue to write such amazing posts. We've also resteemed it. We encourage you to use the #naturalmedicine tag so we can more easily find you

If you're a supporter of all things natural healing, and haven't already got on board our collective, you might like to read our introductory post here. We'd also love to welcome you on Discord here!!

We love this post for the balance it provides. Whilst we're happy to share keto diets too, we think a range of opinions form a wealth of knowledge on Steemit. As for the writer of this comment personally - I've also never been on a diet in my life - well, for longer than two days when I usually wake up and go - what the!

Oh, how could I have missed this comment!?
Thank you so much for the feature, I really appreciate it :-)

I'm glad I've bumped into your article. I've heard of this keto madness myself, one of my friends is doing it and he's also doing a whole media circus out of it, posting videos all the time. Last I've seen he was telling people how great it is to eat chocolate for lunch and still losing weight.
I'm a bit like you, have never been overweight and have never been on a diet. My strategy is to keep the ballance. But I also think those who can't stop eating (like my friend who's 174 kg again) need a therapist who would help them figure out the cause that makes them eat more and more. Rewarding yourself with food is not a very good idea and treating your fear with food isn't either. Having a balanced nutrition is in the other hand. Just my two cents.

First of all, sorry for the delay. Not sure why I missed your comment, thanks for stopping by though :-)

Last I've seen he was telling people how great it is to eat chocolate for lunch and still losing weight.

Haha, yeah.... How could one consider that being a good strategy? :-)
I mean, health is a long term project, so even you don't suffer from it now you may do in the future.

I'm all in for the balanced way you mention!
Wishing you a happy and healthy weekend :-)

Thank you very much for replying. Me too, balance is everything, let's keep it that way 😉
Have a nice weekend!

Yeah! :-) You, too.

Everyone's body is so different and what works for you would certainly never work for me. I have a genetic problem metabolizing fructose, so your fruit-heavy diet would make me feel ill. And all the pasta, cereal, and bread in your day would make my gut ache - I feel lighter and less of that ache avoiding most grains. This is not to say I begrudge you a moment of your diet preferences. But please don't begrudge me mine.

I didn't. I was talking about a media hyped weight-losing strategy called keto, not about genetic health issues. Keto is nothing but a good working marketing plan. If you can't eat fruit due to a genetic problem, then of course you shouldn't eat them - and follow a diet that has been customized by a doctor according to your specific situation and needs instead.

I am allergic to avocado which is why I have to avoid them completely. So I fully agree on what you said about preferences. Yet, keto promotes something completely different: it tells people to exessively eat fat and protein, independently from their personal situation or constitution. No human being in the world is able to process such amount of fat ever, which is why so many are suffering health issues after such a diet. They start having diabetes, increased blood presure or even suffer a cirrhosis of the liver.

Talk to a scientist or a doctor who's not paid by those gurus, and you'll get a valid response yourself if you don't trust mine :-) Or read the comment from @honeycup-waters in this thread...

I want to stay healthy like you!

This comment was made from

Very informative article. We too have done a lot of Research on the Keto Diet and Clean Eating. Being that we run a Barbecue Cooking Guide, we get asked these questions a lot. Personally, we Follow a balanced diet as the USDA recommends but we did learn that Good Fat (not butter) like Omega 3 is good for many with Health ailments. For instance Mental Health (anxiety), Heart Health, etc. If you are interested in reading more check on Pitmaster and the Cook at
Eat Like your Ancestors Did!

Thanks for stopping by @coolpeopleifb!

I enjoyed this one very much:

Eat Like your Ancestors Did!

I totally second your point of view and am all in for a balanced nutrition that includes everything our organism needs to perform long term.

Totally agree. Our bodies know what they need to function and support itself. Our immediate heritage dictates our eating patterns. Unfortunately the American diet consists of people not listening to their mind & body. Topics such as Keto, Paleo, Carnivore are just “Tags”. Personally, we have adapted Keto thoughts such as low carb, low sugar. But that’s just common sense. We’re all on board now with #nutritarian ism. And #eatdirt (must read/watch). Talk soon. Nice to meet you!