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Is a longterm Ketogenic Diet healthy?

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  • Is a longterm Ketogenic Diet healthy?

    It's a great way to lose weight but can you stay ketogenic for the longterm?

  • #2
    Yes. No problem at all. Do a search on the site and you'll find plenty of anecdotes.
    Sometimes you need to be told the truth in order to be able to see it.

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    I see grain people...

    Exist in shadow, drifting away.

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    • #3
      Yes. You'll find different opinions on the importance of including a variety of vegetables in that ketogenic diet, though. My personal leaning is toward including them for their nutritional benefit (antioxidents, micronutrients). I'm not convinced that going entirely carnivore over the long term is the best idea (certainly possible, but maybe not BEST), but you don't have to carnivore to stay in ketosis.

      If you do stay in ketosis for a long time, and get quite lean, it'll be important to add more fat to your diet as your bodyfat vanishes. Your energy has to come from somewhere!
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      • #4
        My first thought is to reference Vilhjalmur Stefansson:

        From wikipedia :
        Stefansson documented the fact that most Inuit lived on a diet of about 90% meat and fish, often going 6–9 months a year on nothing but meat and fish—essentially, a no-carbohydrate diet. He found that he and his fellow European-descent explorers were also perfectly healthy on such a diet. When medical authorities questioned him on this, he and a fellow explorer agreed to undertake a study under the auspices of the Journal of the American Medical Association to demonstrate that they could eat a 100% meat diet in a closely-observed laboratory setting for the first several weeks, with paid observers for the rest of an entire year. The results were published in the Journal, and both men were perfectly healthy on such a diet, without vitamin supplementation or anything else in their diet except meat.
        I'm not sure if anyone has done a study as comprehensive as his since them, seems like too much of nutrition research is sponsored by grain producing agribusiness these days.
        Apathy is tyranny's greatest ally.

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        • #5
          wouldnt recommend a loifelong ketogenic dit for females...just based on our difference in hormonal reactions...just my opinion tho
          Get on my Level
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          • #6
            Originally posted by BarbeyGirl View Post
            Yes. You'll find different opinions on the importance of including a variety of vegetables in that ketogenic diet, though. My personal leaning is toward including them for their nutritional benefit (antioxidents, micronutrients).
            I agree, and you can eat a lot of vegetables (non starchy) and greenery before you go out of ketosis. I do eat a lot of greens and stay in ketosis all of the time.
            Sometimes you need to be told the truth in order to be able to see it.

            My journal

            I see grain people...

            Exist in shadow, drifting away.

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            • #7
              I've never felt better since switching to full-time ketosis. Been eating that way since going primal three months ago.

              The question for me is not so much "is ketosis healthy for the long term", but how healthy is ketosis compared to the alternative of a high-carb diet producing chronically high insulin? I just have to look at my family and friends to see the answer. And I saw it in myself as my horrific insulin-related symptoms from carbs disappeared when I went to protein and fat.

              It only makes evolutionary sense -- hominids did not eat a high-carb diet; going to meat was what split us off from the other primate lineages. That's why we have a ready ability to produce our own glucose as well as ketones and it's why much of our tissue and even parts of the brain prefer ketones as a fuel.

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              • #8
                The answer, as far as I have been able to make out is that knows for sure what being in ketosis for your entire life leads to. No one has done any long term studies. Some people have positive anecdotes other negative ones. I know from myself the least I am happy eating is around 20-30 grams of carbs a day any less and my body rebels. I like mark's balanced take on it, and his carb curve seems like a reasonable intelligent take on things.

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                • #9
                  I'm a noob but I've just had a thought provoking revelation while learning to be primal...and I promise it is relevant to your question.

                  We started eating grains as a way to feed more people for less...it is necessary in some cultures to keep them from starving. Think about the grain fed cow vs the grass fed...grains are a way for farmers to get more mass for less money, but all primal eaters know that it makes for a less healthy meal. If we would prefer to abstain from the grain fed cow, which is less healthful, why would we assume grains are part of a healthy diet for us?

                  So I do not believe that abstaining from grains is harmful unless of course you are starving and that is all that is available to you. Thank goodness I have other options. Grains are NOT an ideal source of food. So if you don't have to eat them, don't...

                  Anyway, that is just what I was thinking about. I'll go post an intro now

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                  • #10
                    Ketosis would have been the default physiological mode for many hunter gatherers living in environments with high game availability (it could be argued that Grok would have gravitated more towards tubers and other low density foods only when good game meat was scarce). I would say that we are not only perfectly adapted to run on fats, but that we run better on fats. And I second Timothy's experience with ketosis: it makes me feel my best.
                    “Every saint has a past and every sinner has a future.” -Oscar Wilde
                    "The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." -George Bernard Shaw
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                    • #11
                      I'll answer you all with a quick question. This is regarding how much we need carbs in our lives and how much metabolism depends on it...

                      How many Essential carbs we need?

                      Now you get it?

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                      • #12
                        hmmm im a female and i think ive been in ketosis for the better part of 10 years. exactly as michaela said: theres no such thing as essential carbs.
                        challenge yourself
                        i blog here http://theprimalwoman.blogspot.com/

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                        • #13
                          I kind of agree with the idea that we evolved to live of mostly meat and so probably a ketogenic diet was normal. I don't think there is real research on this subject, but I know that ketogenic diets are used for children with epilepsy (in some cases) and these are presumably long term. The body is pretty good at letting us know when something is wrong. So long as you feel healthy and look good (by that I mean healthy) you are probably fine.

                          I can't think of any reason hormone-wise why women would be different in this respect. Perhaps someone could enlighten me.
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                          • #14
                            i dont know that their is a hormonal difference, i was just trying to put another view or option out there... what you say makes sense though. i guess we were basically always in a ketogenic state
                            Get on my Level
                            http://malpaz.wordpress.com/

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                            • #15
                              Not enough studies done

                              Just read this in wiki..
                              "Long-term use of the ketogenic diet in children increases the risk of retarded growth, bone fractures and kidney stones.[7] " Found on: Ketogenic diet - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

                              I've been on the diet and have experienced the positive responses mentioned here also but I do have concerns for long term use as well. I am a newbie so there are many things I am still uninformed on but from my personal experiences and observations is that, yes some ancestors of ours had been on similar diets but there is a difference between survival and optimal health nutrition. They may have been healthy but is there a more optimal nutrition? The body is quite complex and was designed to survive and adapt so the fact our bodies make ketones etc doesnt really convince me that it is still optimal. Give the body equal amounts of fat and carbs, what will it use first? Does that mean carbs are preferred, i dont know.

                              There are couple things mentioned in Marks book 21 day that raises concerns if this diet is actually optimal. Dont get me wrong, I am sold on the diet and use it daily except for post workout meals (granted I dont go ketosis completely) but so far I have to take it for what it is and is not a end all be all perfect nutrition plan for humans. Just so people know where I stand, i am a subsriber to Marks daily apple and think highly of this way of living. I think this diet will be a great answer to 90%+ people in today's glutton socities, especially also with the fact most people will not be on intense/taxing workout regimens.

                              I am experiementing with keto/low carb variations and am thinking in my senior years may completely cross over like Mark is living. Wow, what an amazing physique. In my older years i wont be too concerned about optimal performance or workouts so it seems very appropriate.
                              Last edited by wata77; 07-03-2013, 03:40 PM.

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