This post, my last on the ketogenic diet — low-carb, high-fat, medium protein — lists a few useful sites to visit.

Before I list them, however, a few caveats.

The web as well as bookshops are full of paleo, ketogenic and similar food diets. There are also many odd hypotheses that nutritionists and physicians are proffering. One I read yesterday said that vegetables are toxic. Another theorised that only obese people suffer from autoimmune disease, which can manifest itself in a number of ways from dementia to rheumatism to bowel disorders. The first suggestion is absurd. As for the second, I have known a great many thin people with autoimmune disorders.

There are also any number of cookbooks on the market which are geared towards the paleo and ketogenic diets. Why not just buy fresh meat and vegetables and make your own meals the way your grandmother did? Are cookbooks really necessary?

Another alert is for women who find it nearly impossible to lose weight. Clearly, not enough medical research has been done into the weight gain following childbirth, certain women’s disorders or the menopause. The usual advice seems to be to get more exercise or fast twice a week (with calorie intake well under 1,000 calories). It does not seem to me that this is very helpful; it is certainly nothing new to women who have tried both without success.

Now for the recommendations.

My first suggestion for anyone who wants to start a ketogenic diet is to visit Rocco Stanzione’s Low Carb for Health site which provides a great introduction for the layman. He’s done a great deal of research in finding studies which support the advantages of the ketogenic diet. He also responds to questions in his comments.

It was on his site that I saw Dr Richard A Kunin’s paper on how the ketogenic diet is used to cure urinary infections and treat epileptics. He observes that the diet also regulates emotions and moods. See pages 4 and 5 of his PDF for a simple ketogenic diet.

Another good generalist site is LCHF for Beginners which gives you an easy to follow guide on the ketogenic diet which may help not only to alleviate depression, epilepsy, cancer, diabetes type 2, dementia, migraines and many more ailments. You will need to eat plenty of fat, dramatically reduce carbohydrates (and sugar), ensure that you salt your food and drink plenty of fluids. Some dieters might also need to include a magnesium and/or a potassium supplement.

To find out how high-carb, low-fat diets became normative, see my post Bad science: obesity, cholesterol, statistics and statins which features Dr David Diamond’s hour-long lecture on Dr Ancel Keys’s findings in the 1950s. Diamond also describes how he tried a high-fat, low-carb diet with meat protein and managed to reduce not only his cholesterol and triglyceride readings but also his weight.

Finally, for those who like high-brow medical and athletic approaches to diet, there is Dr Peter Attia’s Eating Academy. A lot of this went over my head, particularly the medical tests. It will probably make more sense to North Americans. Attia and Gary ‘Good Calories, Bad Calories’ Taubes co-founded the Nutrition Science Initiative (NuSI), a non-profit based in San Diego, CA. Attia is outstanding at answering a lot of readers’ questions. His generosity with his time distinguishes this site as being one of the best, despite its highly medical nature. Unless you’re really interested in a ketogenic diet right now, keep this site for last, otherwise you’re unlikely to start! The diet does not have to be complex or overly involved — and he says so. My favourite posts of his — I’ve still more to read — include ‘Welcome to the Eating Academy’, ‘What I Actually Eat (circa Q4 2011)’, ‘What I Actually Eat, part II (circa Q3 2012)’, ‘What I Actually Eat, part III (circa Q1 2014)’ and ‘How to Make a Fat Cell Less Not Thin: the Lessons of Fat Flux’.

It takes a while — weeks or months — to get the body to adjust to this regime, although weight loss is likely to start quickly and continue. Yes, some people plateau after a year or so. At that point, it’s a matter for the individual what needs to be done: perhaps a reduction in dairy products, in protein or overall calories.

As with all diets, there are conditions which require a discussion with one’s doctor before embarking on the ketogenic regime. Two which come immediately to mind are kidney disorders and gout. As I’ve said before, most doctors will be against experimenting with this, so if you are serious about it, go in to your consultation with the right information and a cogent case for proceeding.

I got interested in the ketogenic diet when I read that it helps regulate moods and even depressive symptoms.

My past posts on the topic are as follows. They can be found on my Recipes / Health / History page under ‘Low-fat, high-carb diets increase depression’. As I read, it became apparent that the ketogenic diet helps overall health:

Does low animal fat intake increase hostility or depression? (a hypothesis)

Fat and a balanced mind (low-fat diets can imbalance serotonin and nerves)

Depression and anxiety: the perils of a low-fat, high-carb diet

High carbohydrate intake and depression

Depression and cancer: more evidence against a low-fat diet

High carbohydrate intake and depression (also epilepsy related [Dr Richard A Kunin’s paper])

High-carb, low-fat diets might cause Western diseases (cancer related)

Low-carb diet a migraine remedy

Low-carb, high-fat diets regulate testosterone, cholesterol levels

Ketogenic diet and gout risk — tips for success

If you’ve tried this diet, I would look forward to hearing from you!

End of series