High Protein Diets Promote Illness

High Protein Diets Promote Illness

High protein diets such as the Atkins or Paleo diet may result in initial rapid weight loss, however, there are numerous adverse health consequences associated with these types of diets. So, while the weight may be decreasing other serious health risks are increasing. Is it worth the risk to lose weight in this way? In a nutshell: No! 

 Dr. John McDougall has written an exemplary article on high protein diets which starts out discussing "High-protein Diets: Trading Your Health for Temporary Weight Loss." The bottom line is to not allow yourself to be fooled into adopting these type of quick weight loss diets with harmful side effects. 

Instead adobt a diet high in complex carbohydrates and low in fat in order to restore your metabolism. What I want people to avoid is the metabolic state of ketosis. This is basically weight loss through starvation. It can make you sick and, given enough time, seriously so. 

For more information regarding high-protein diets, see:

(1) The Paleo Diet Is Uncivilized"

(2) Dr. McDougall Says Humans are Starchivores

(3) Dr. Michael Greger Reviews the Paleo Diet

(4) Are You "Dying" to Lose Weight?

John McDougall MD Links

John McDougall MD  |  LinkedIn  |  Wikipedia  |  VegSource  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Books  |  Videos

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  1. Denise Rose

Dr. Carney, I want to better understand something about ketosis being used to resolve diabetes type2 particularly as it applies to people eating meat even though it is not an approach I would support as a WFPB educator. When diabetics uses this approach, how is it that the fat leaves their muscle cells when they continue to eat meat? Does this happen nevertheless because fat is being burned because they are in ketosis? So even though they are taking in meat that potentially adds to the fat in their body, because they are in ketosis, this fat is released instead as it is burned for fuel? I understand insulin resistance gets better once a person loses weight, but it seems odd to me that this could happen when still eating the meat (and other fatty foods) that caused the resistance in the first place. I am assuming it is because of the special nature of ketosis that this can work. So if a diabetic is in ketosis and loses weight and blood sugars start to fall as insulin resistance declines, does this mean at the same time that the heart vessels are not being compromised by fat because the fat is being burned? I assume that is not the case because you and other docs talk...

Dr. Carney, I want to better understand something about ketosis being used to resolve diabetes type2 particularly as it applies to people eating meat even though it is not an approach I would support as a WFPB educator. When diabetics uses this approach, how is it that the fat leaves their muscle cells when they continue to eat meat? Does this happen nevertheless because fat is being burned because they are in ketosis? So even though they are taking in meat that potentially adds to the fat in their body, because they are in ketosis, this fat is released instead as it is burned for fuel? I understand insulin resistance gets better once a person loses weight, but it seems odd to me that this could happen when still eating the meat (and other fatty foods) that caused the resistance in the first place. I am assuming it is because of the special nature of ketosis that this can work. So if a diabetic is in ketosis and loses weight and blood sugars start to fall as insulin resistance declines, does this mean at the same time that the heart vessels are not being compromised by fat because the fat is being burned? I assume that is not the case because you and other docs talk about the long-term detrimental effects about being in ketosis. If you can help clear this issue up for me, I would appreciate it. Thank you again for all you great posts on keeping us healthy.

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  1. Linda Carney MD

Being in ketosis is not healthy nor is it healing. Being in ketosis does not resolve type 2 diabetes; however,weight loss does. Eating animal protein can never overcome insulin resistance unless you are eating so few calories and such small portions that you are losing weight in spite of eating the animal proteins. Eating animal protein causes insulin resistance, unless weight is lost. Therefore the reversal of insulin resistance is caused by the weight loss, not by the animal protein or the ketosis. The rise in inflammatory markers despite the weight loss and reversal of type 2 diabetes makes animal protein an extremely dangerous way to either lose weight or overcome insulin resistance. Switching to a plant based diet can even help some obese people completely reverse diabetes before they have even lost any weight.

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  1. Denise Rose    Linda Carney MD

I understand that that animal protein can cause insulin resistance. But I don't understand then how some people are using ketosis to reverse diabetes. I understand it is unhealthy, but I was trying to understand why it can work for some people despite the negative problems that come with it. I have known people who say they reduced or got rid of their resistance through ketosis. But I don't understand how that happens. Is there anything else you can add?

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  1. Denise Rose    Chris Dove

Thanks Chris. I'm going to share the first video on my educational site.

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  1. Ken Thomas


Denise Rose Linda Carney MD

I understand that that animal protein can cause insulin resistance. But I don't understand then how some people are using ketosis to reverse diabetes. I understand it is unhealthy, but I was trying to understand why it can work for some people despite the negative problems that come with it. I have known people who say they reduced or got rid of their resistance through ketosis. But I don't understand how that happens.


Hi Denise,

As a Type-1 diabetic and a fault analysis engineer obsessed with the mechanics of diabetes, I can say from first-hand experience that ketosis does not and cannot cure or improve diabetes. The confusion is in the definition. The general definition of diabetes is the condition of elevated blood-sugar. But that definition is over simplified, ignoring the mechanics of the condition. In my opinion, diabetes is anytime the metabolic system is compromised to where its response timing is too slow. This means that if one's blood-sugar spikes after eating anything; white potato, white rice, cup of cake frosting, sugar drink - anything - then, in my opinion, that is diabetes. Ketosis makes one's blood-sugar numbers look...


Denise Rose Linda Carney MD

I understand that that animal protein can cause insulin resistance. But I don't understand then how some people are using ketosis to reverse diabetes. I understand it is unhealthy, but I was trying to understand why it can work for some people despite the negative problems that come with it. I have known people who say they reduced or got rid of their resistance through ketosis. But I don't understand how that happens.


Hi Denise,

As a Type-1 diabetic and a fault analysis engineer obsessed with the mechanics of diabetes, I can say from first-hand experience that ketosis does not and cannot cure or improve diabetes. The confusion is in the definition. The general definition of diabetes is the condition of elevated blood-sugar. But that definition is over simplified, ignoring the mechanics of the condition. In my opinion, diabetes is anytime the metabolic system is compromised to where its response timing is too slow. This means that if one's blood-sugar spikes after eating anything; white potato, white rice, cup of cake frosting, sugar drink - anything - then, in my opinion, that is diabetes. Ketosis makes one's blood-sugar numbers look good only because the system is in an extreme state of glucose starvation; not because of a healthy metabolic system. So, the appearance of ketosis curing or improving diabetes is a false indication. Blood-sugar numbers can be good even with extreme insulin resistance.
It may also be good to understand that ketones are extremely toxic. You can buy ketones at Home Depot. It is an industrial organic solvent and is labeled extremely poisonous. It may be argued that that is a different ketone, but - it works the same way in one's body. It is a solvent damaging and dissolving fat, muscle, organ tissue, etc., etc., etc. - it's some really bad stuff.

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  1. Chris Dove    Ken Thomas

I was going to reply in a similar fashion but I knew you would respond sooner or later and it explain it so much better. Thanks!

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  1. Denise Rose    Ken Thomas

Hi Ken, So if I understand your point, when diabetics try to use ketosis to "cure" their diabetes, they are not really getting the fat out of their cells which are keeping the insulin receptors from doing their job properly, to let the glucose in. It appears they are getting better, because they are not taking in glucose (carbs) in their desire to be in ketosis so their blood sugar numbers are better. To just make clear I understand, they are not burning the fat in the cells that is causing the problem for their insulin resistance? I am trying to wrap my ahead around these mechanisms... From the plant-based docs, we learn that when diabetics go on a WFPB diet, the fat actually starts to leave their cells, and that is how they start getting better. And by not reinjuring themselves with more fatty foods (meat, oils, processed foods), they can begin to heal. So you can see my trying to understand what some say happens in ketosis with diabetics. In writing about this, I think the main question I am posing, is the one above, are these diabetics in ketosis actually burning the fat out of their cells that are a symtpom of their harmful diets and causing their insulin resistance?...

Hi Ken, So if I understand your point, when diabetics try to use ketosis to "cure" their diabetes, they are not really getting the fat out of their cells which are keeping the insulin receptors from doing their job properly, to let the glucose in. It appears they are getting better, because they are not taking in glucose (carbs) in their desire to be in ketosis so their blood sugar numbers are better. To just make clear I understand, they are not burning the fat in the cells that is causing the problem for their insulin resistance? I am trying to wrap my ahead around these mechanisms... From the plant-based docs, we learn that when diabetics go on a WFPB diet, the fat actually starts to leave their cells, and that is how they start getting better. And by not reinjuring themselves with more fatty foods (meat, oils, processed foods), they can begin to heal. So you can see my trying to understand what some say happens in ketosis with diabetics. In writing about this, I think the main question I am posing, is the one above, are these diabetics in ketosis actually burning the fat out of their cells that are a symtpom of their harmful diets and causing their insulin resistance? Again just to be clear, I am not a proponent of this and know it is dangerous. I just want to be able to understand what actually happens better with this harmful approach and why these diabetics think they are getting rid of their disease. And thank you Ken for your answer, please add more if you can elaborate on this post to make sure I get it.

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  1. Ken Thomas

Hi Denise,
Yes, the fat is actually leaving the cells with ketosis, but it's a matter of how it's leaving. imagine you have a box of contents and you want to remove some of the contents from the box. One way is to open the box and remove the specific contents. Another way could be to bash the box with a hammer until the contents are out, or you could dissolve the box with a solvent to get the contents out. The problem with the last two option leaves the box damaged. If you have cells that have been purged of fat by ketones or any other chemical solvent, they may no longer be inhibited by fat, but they are now inhibited by damage or killed entirely. They are still insulin resistant, because they are damaged such that they cannot fully function even if properly fueled.

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  1. Denise Rose

Ok, so the fat does come out, but in the process, the ketones injure the muscle cells to the point that new insulin receptors would still not develop or work properly to bring glucose into the cells and that is why insulin resistance remains??? Am I summarizing your point correctly or incorrectly?

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  1. Ken Thomas

Yes,very close. Although any damage, even if not necessarily the insulin receptors will cause the cell to not function properly. So even if the glucose actually gets in, the cell still can't metabolize to do its job. Like if your car engine is damaged, it still won't work even if there is plenty of fuel in the tank.
Note that if a person on a ketogenic diet adds carbohydrates to their diet, the ketones will diminish. Also note that if a person who has "cured" their diabetes with ketogenics eats a high glycemic meal, their blood-sugar will spike, meaning they are still diabetic.

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  1. Sean Carney

Excellent thread here. Enjoying it very much. I am so grateful that Ken answered because I knew that Dr. Carney was going to have a hard time answering any questions until November. She has some deadlines hanging over her head right now.
Thanks, Y'all

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  1. Ken Thomas



Sean Carney 13 hours ago

Excellent thread here. Enjoying it very much. I am so grateful that Ken answered because I knew that Dr. Carney was going to have a hard time answering any questions until November. She has some deadlines hanging over her head right now.
Thanks, Y'all


Thanks Sean, but please - no one assume I speak for Dr. Carney or that I am an authority in any form. I'm just another member of this community sharing my experiences and what I have learned from them.

Ken

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