Inner Circle Health Network

The Keto Trap

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What do I mean by the keto trap?
These are the sorts of conversations I have in my Undoctored book (Undoctored — Why Health Care Has Failed You And How You Can Become Smarter Than Your Doctor).

Well, I'm a supporter of becoming ketotic, of having “physiological ketosis”. It's a wonderful way to accelerate weight loss, reverse phenomena like insulin resistance and fatty liver, help diabetics become non-diabetic (Type 2 diabetics) — and lots of other conditions can reverse very rapidly on a ketogenic lifestyle. You also feel better. You have greater clarity and focus; mental focus. You can even improve physical performance over time. You can raise your aerobic threshold a little bit higher.

So I'm a big fan of being ketotic, but you don't have to be ketotic, by the way, to maintain health. It's just one of the options you have to accelerate some of the benefits of carbohydrate limitation, grain elimination, etc. — the kinds of lifestyles I've advocated in my Undoctored book, and in my Wheat Belly books.

But the one pitfall, that most people do not understand, when they follow these keto type diets, is that you must cultivate bowel flora. See, when you go ketogenic, you've eliminated carbohydrates; essentially complete elimination, but prebiotic fibers that nourish bowel flora, only come in carbohydrate foods. So it doesn't mean you need a lot of bunch of carbs — does not mean that — it means that you need to get food such as green unripe bananas, or raw white potatoes, or inulin powder, or fructooligosaccharides, or modest servings of legumes that contain galacto-oligosaccharide prebiotic fibers. Because this is how you cultivate bowel flora.

If you do not cultivate bowel flora, bad things will happen, over a long period. It may take a year, or two, or three, but it starts with constipation, a drop in HDL cholesterol, a rise in triglycerides, a rise in blood sugar, a rise in insulin and insulin resistance, weight gain, visceral fat weight gain, and, a more increased risk for diverticular disease (diverticulitis) and colon cancer.

So, this is not a small matter. This is a big deal. So you should not be ketotic without efforts to control or to cultivate healthy bowel flora. This is all discussed in my Undoctored book, in my Undoctored Blog, Wheat Belly Blog, and Wheat Belly Total Health book.

So educate yourself if you want to get the advantages of a ketogenic diet. But don't make this mistake, and fall into the keto trap of failing to cultivate bowel flora.