Be cautious of popular low-carb diets

Last March, U.S. health officials met to review and update the government’s new dietary guidelines and recommendations, which they’ll issue in 2020.

And, for the first time ever, they reviewed research on low-carb diets. The panel of experts even included members nominated by the beef industry and Atkins Nutritional (named for the well-known, low-carb diet developed by Dr. Robert Atkins).

The decision to review the suddenly popular low-carb dietary approach, along with other diets, represents a true seismic shift. And I’m happy to see it finally happening.

But I do urge caution, especially if this approach makes its way into the government’s new recommendations. Because most of the low-carb diets go too far—and government health experts never quite get it right.

For decades, these same government experts warned Americans against eating healthy, whole foods with cholesterol and fats—such as dairy, eggs, red meat, and seafood.

As a result, many people turned to eating low-fat foods filled with extra sugar and carbs. Which played a major role in the development of the modern epidemics of Type II diabetes, cardio-metabolic heart disease, and obesity. Not to mention, it probably also contributed to cancers and other chronic and inflammatory diseases.

Even though the government has now admitted that this low-fat advice was all wrong, all along, there are still countless low-fat processed foods at the grocery store. So, it’s no mystery why people are still confused about what to eat.

And now, we’re going to add important low-carb recommendations to the crowded field of dietary advice…

Low-carb mania hits mainstream America

A traditional, low-carb diet allows up to 30 percent of calories from carbs. And this sensible approach really dates back to the paleolithic era. (That’s why some modern versions of the diet are called “paleo.”)

I researched this traditional diet quite a bit for my doctorates in medicine and anthropology. Specifically, I studied what ancient humans hunted, gathered, discarded, and later cultivated. I also studied modern-day populations that still follow a traditional subsistence—such as the Hadza in East Africa.

During the 1980s, I even tried to convince the powers-that-be at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study the “paleo” diet for insights into how to prevent chronic diseases in modern times.

But I was shut down.

And now, nearly 30 years later, this sensible, traditional paleo diet has spawned many extreme, overly restrictive spin-offs. And some of these modern iterations really go too far.

In general, all low-carb diets limit processed foods that contain carbs and sugars— like bread, pasta, and rice. And this limitation makes total sense. You should remove them from your diet for the most part.

But some low-carb versions, such as the “keto” diet, take an overly restrictive approach…limiting total carbs to under 50 grams a day.

In fact, the keto diet restricts sugars and carbs so severely, it aims to push the body into a metabolic state called ketosis. Once you achieve ketosis, your body starts burning fat instead of sugar for energy.

But this extreme approach also eliminates whole categories of healthy foods and strictly forbids eating fruits—foods that research consistently links to lower disease risks. In fact, proponents of this overly strict diet seem to prefer to drop the “gatherer”—as in nut, seed, and berry gatherer—from the traditional, paleolithic, “hunter-gatherer” culture altogether.

In addition, some low-carb diets even limit dairy, which studies show improve digestive and metabolic health.

Personally, I would only recommend this ultra-low-carb, ketogenic diet as a possible option for someone with epilepsy or Type II diabetes. (Of course, many tools can help control blood sugar. And you can learn all about them in my online learning protocol, the Integrative Protocol for Defeating Diabetes. To learn more, or enroll today, simply click here.)

In the end, I’m pleased that the government health “experts” will finally look at the recent research on low-carb diets. But I’m not convinced they’ll get it right in 2020, any more than they did over the last four decades. Because throughout my 40-year career, they’ve always seemed to find new ways to ignore and obscure the real science on nutrition and diet.

Remake your diet, remake your life

The good news is, you don’t have to wait until the government comes out with its new recommendations in 2020. You can remake your diet now…

Simply skip the processed foods filled with empty, refined carbs and sugars—such as bagels, breakfast cereals, desserts, donuts, confections, pastries, or waffles. These foods will cause you to gain weight. Plus, they’ll put you on the road to developing all kinds of chronic diseases, including Type II diabetes.

Instead, enjoy all the whole, nutritious foods that belong to the Mediterranean-style diet. Opt for foods such as cheeseeggs, fruit, meat, milk, whole grains, and yogurt. And go ahead and enjoy all of the delicious fruits now in season. I’m particularly enjoying all the fresh, local blueberries, which lower blood pressure just as well as drugs and grant numerous other health benefits for body and mind. You can even find blueberry powder as one of the main ingredients in my CoreForce BioBlend.


“In search of guidelines, experts reviewed low-carb and other diets,”

Associated Press, 4/3/2019. (