There is a very attractive female doctor on Youtube who goes by Dr. Boz who advocates the keto diet. She is a real true believer in it. She says, for instance, that “fruit is poison.” And I don’t doubt that she is very strict about it. She gives an example of one of her meals being green salad, a small portion of meat, and then most of the calories on the plate from fats, such as avocado and cream cheese. Cream cheese. Now, there’s something that nobody needs to be eating.

But, I have a very strong suspicion that the people who follow that diet, and especially as strictly as Dr. Boz does, develop a severe degree of carbohydrate intolerance. The reason I say that is because I have much experience with people who have been on a keto diet. I am referring to people who have been water fasting.

Do you realize that fasting is like being on a keto diet? It’s just that it is internally generated, rather than provided from the outside. When fasting, you’re in a state of ketosis; your body has switched from burning sugar to burning ketones; and increasingly, your body burns ketones instead of glucose the longer you fast. If you suddenly start putting carbohydrate in, your body will get the message that it doesn’t have to stay in ketosis any longer, and it can start burning sugar again. But, it takes time to make the switch. It isn’t instant. So, if you just start off by pouring sugar into yourself, even wholesome foods such as fruits and melons and sweet vegetables, such as carrot juice, your blood sugar can spike. And I mean spike more than it would under normal conditions when you’re not fasting.  Temporarily, you are sugar-sensitive.

And that’s why it’s a good idea not to go overboard eating sugary foods right after a fast- even wholesome ones.

How do I know this? I know it from testing the blood of post-fasters and seeing that they are sugar-sensitive, that they spike from eating an amount of sugar that a normal healthy person would tolerate easily.  The effect doesn’t last very long. Within two weeks, it’s gone, and they’re back to tolerating carbohydrate normally. The reason that it happens is because the body has to change gears to get into a fasting state, one in which they are going to efficiently get through it. And it takes time to change back.

But, if these Keto people are really staying in a state of ketosis all the time, then I presume they have those adaptations going all the time, and thus, they develop sugar sensitivity and sugar intolerance. And in their case, it may be going on for months and years. How entrenched is it going to be then?

Now, if they remain as strict at avoiding carbs as Dr. Boz apparently does, then their blood sugar obviously is not going to spike. But, I suspect that in the real world, even among her most devoted followers, who think the world of her, that they sometimes cheat. And when they cheat, they may cheat a lot. They may actually binge on carbs sometimes. And they may think that it doesn’t matter because they avoid them most of the time. But, because they avoid them most of the time, they are probably sugar-sensitive, like a faster, and the result is that their blood sugar spikes, even from a normal amount of wholesome carbohydrate.

So, my advice is: don’t train your body to be insensitive to carbs by eating such an extreme diet as the keto diet. The important thing is to cut out all junk carbs, refined carbs, because you surely don’t need them. And make some of your carbs complex, such as beans, which digest slowly and tend not to cause spikes- even in diabetics.  And eat plenty of non-carb foods, such as green and yellow vegetables which are non-starchy, and also raw nuts, seeds, and avocado. In other words, you should find a balance that works that relies very largely on, if not exclusively on: whole, natural, plant foods.

But, if you don’t eat carbohydrates at all, then you are setting yourself up for trouble.