Behind all the of the hype...behind all the drama... behind all the confusion... there is always a group of people pushing and pulling a new diet into popularity. Some of these people are doing the research, some of them are getting the message out, some of them are doing a bit of both, and others are criticizing everything being said... All of these people are important. After all, where would we be today without challenging the beliefs of others?
So this week, I am pulling together a group of quotes from people who are in the limelight for health today. These quotes may relate to keto, paleo, or fasting, and some of them aren't really quotes, they're more like thoughts. They are all people I respect. They each have spent a number of years proving themselves in their given field. Not all of the quotes are in favor of keto. While most of them are, I think it's important to look at the ketogenic diet objectively as more research continues to be done.
Here are 14 influential health leaders and what they have to say about the ketogenic diet, paleo, and fasting.
Please Note - The following quotes do NOT necessarily reflect the overall viewpoint of the person on the topic. I have provided links after each quote for additional context.
Dr. Phinney has some 40 years of experience in the health field and has widely been considered one of the top authorities on the ketogenic diet regimen. He co-authored the “Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living” book with Dr. Jeff Volek. He has led more than 87 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters on clinical nutrition and biochemistry. Phinney also served a number of years under Dr. Adkins. [*]
Physician, Researcher, Author
“To do this (the ketogenic diet) right will result in an increased well being and function (for a person). The neat thing is, this is not a calorie restricted approach. You don’t have to go away from the table hungry. You don’t have to count calories. You let your natural instincts empower you to succeed” [*]
“A well formulated ketogenic diet and nutritional ketosis is a healthy metabolic state. This is not something that is abnormal. This is not something that you should only do for a week or two at a time. This is something one can do for months, years, and decades.” [*]
Dr. Volek has published more than 300 peer-reviewed articles and five books. His primary focus has been with human performance. Much of his research has been with carb restricted diets and adaptation to nutritional ketosis. He co-authored “The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living” with Dr. Stephen Phinney. [*]
Dietitian, Researcher, Author
“If the majority of Americans are consuming too much carbohydrate relative to their tolerance, a perfectly reasonable solution would be to recommend that people consume less sugar and starch” [*]
“Although low-carbohydrate diets are often regarded as unbalanced, consider that during the majority of human history people had access to much lower levels than we are consuming now. The reality is that people vary widely in their tolerance to carbohydrate. Those who are carbohydrate intolerant include most people with excess body fat, metabolic syndrome, or type–2 diabetes. That’s probably close to 100 million people in the U.S. alone.” [*]
Dr. Hallburg founded Indiana University Arnett’s Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program where she still serves as medical director. She’s an expert on metabolic control and type 2 diabetes. She’s also the executive director of the Nutrition Coalition, a nonprofit organization that encourages policymakers to change nutrition policy in favor of conclusive science. [*]
Physician, Director, Exercise Physiologist
“Low carb intervention works so fast that we can literally pull people off of hundreds of units of insulin in days to weeks” (referring to type 2 diabetes) [*]
“Low carb is NOT 0 carb and it is NOT high protein. These are common criticisms that are frustrating because they are not true.” [*]
“My patients eat fat… and A LOT of it…” [*]
“What’s going to happen when you eat fat!? You’re gonna be happy! …because fat tastes great and it is incredibly satisfying!” [*]
“Rule Number 1… If says ‘light’, ‘low-fat’, or ‘fat-free’ it stays in the grocery store… because if they took the fat out, they put carbs and chemicals in.” [*]
“Rule Number 2… Eat FOOD… the most important rule in low carb nutrition. Real food does not come in a box and no one should have to tell you this is ‘natural’. You should know that when you look at it.” [*]
Dr. Attia is the founder of Attia Medical practice which focuses on the applied science of longevity. He is a relentless self-experimenter and has done several talks on his experiences with the ketogenic diet. He has extensive knowledge on performance and energy metabolism. [*]
Physician, Podcaster, Blogger
“If you want to ACTUALLY understand this topic, you must invest the time and mental energy to do so. You really have to get into the details.”[*] (Referring to someone learning how the ketogenic diet affects the human body)
“We evolved to produce ketone bodies so we could not only tolerate but also thrive in the absence of glucose for prolonged periods of time. No ability to produce ketone bodies = no human species.” [*]
Ali Miller is a registered dietitian from Houston and a big advocate of the ketogenic diet. She runs the “Naturally Nourished Podcast” that focuses on food as medicine and functional medicine. Her voice in diet and nutrition has been influential to medical institutions such as MD Anderson, Baylor, and UT Health. She recently authored the “The Anti-Anxiety Diet” [*]
Dietitian, Podcaster, Author
“We’re chasing results, not ketones” (referring to people getting overly obsessed with blood ketone levels) [Naturally Nourished Podcast]
“A ketogenic or high-fat, low-carb diet can enhance your mind and mood by regulating a consistent low glucose level, which reduces insulin response and has anti-inflammatory mechanisms while reducing excitatory neuron activity, thus mellowing out and stabilizing your body and mind.” [Anti-Anxiety Diet Chapter 2]
“Phase 1 of the anti-anxiety diet is a six-week high-fat, low-carb (HFLC) ketogenic approach that allows the body to starve off bacteria, start gut restoration if treating leaky gut, reduce food sensitivities, improve insulin signaling, and promote hormonal balance.” [Anti-Anxiety Diet Intro]
Chris is a globally recognized leader in the fields of ancestral health, Paleo nutrition, and functional and integrative medicine. He is the creator of ChrisKresser.com, one of the top 25 natural health sites in the world, and the author of the New York Times bestseller, Your Personal Paleo Code. [*] Chris has a knack for looking at commonly held medical beliefs objectively.
Functional Practitioner, Podcaster, Blogger
“I have personally witnessed some remarkable transformations using ketogenic diets therapeutically in my practice.” [*]
“The fact that ketogenic/VLC diets work therapeutically for certain conditions does not make them appropriate in all circumstances, for all people” [*]
“Paleo does not equal low-carb, and very low-carb/ketogenic diets are not our ”default“ nutritional state, as some have claimed.” [*]
Mark is a former elite endurance athlete and the founder of marksdailyapple.com where he blogs daily about health and fitness. His calling now is to work as an independent researcher, critical thinker, motivator, and communicator. His blog gets an estimated 15,000 unique visitors every day.
Athlete, Speaker, Blogger
“I probably get by on 30% fewer calories now doing the same activities that I did before I was keto.” [*]
“Cells have a finite number of divisions. That’s what the telomeres are all about. If you can prolong the time that it takes the cell to divide, and then have that cell do some house cleaning, this is the theory behind the anti-aging movement and of keto, intermittent fasting, and long-term fasting.” [*]
“It's like a new era of science that we are embarking on” [*]
“I see the power of food so intimately and so strongly that I’ve made these blanket assertions. We could take a trillion dollars off of the national health bill in the next 18 months if everybody ate the way that you and I know how we should be eating.” [*]
Dr. Ethan Weiss is a cardiologist specializing in general cardiology at the University of California San Francisco. His special interests include preventive cardiology, genetics of coronary disease, risk assessment, and heart disease in the young. [*]
Doctor, Professor, Researcher
“It’s incredibly powerful (referring to keto diet)…Cutting back on carbohydrates, there are so many metabolic benefits. The body processes the remaining carbohydrates more efficiently, and so it requires much less insulin.” [*]
Dr. Verdin is the President and CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. He studies the molecular virology of HIV and novel approaches to eradicate HIV infection. He has received various awards and has published more than 200 international papers. He has also contributed 14 published patents. [*]
Physician, Researcher, CEO
“One of the major pathways that has emerged as promoting aging, is the insulin signaling pathway. If you know this, you can backtrack and ask what is it that insulin does? ...It is the major hormone that allows you to utilize carbohydrates. The implication of this is that the more carbohydrates you eat, the more you activate the insulin signaling pathway. The prediction is that you would age faster.” [*]
“Beta-Hydroxybutyrate protects against oxidative stress both as a nutrient and as a regulator of gene expression.” [*]
Dr. Patrick has done extensive research on aging, cancer, and nutrition. [*] She has a very popular YouTube channel called FoundMyFitness where she interviews medical experts on cutting edge health topics. She has also been featured on “The Joe Rogan Experience” Podcast a number of times.
Physician, Researcher, Youtuber
“I eat something like a modified paleo diet where I’m eating fish, meat, poultry, and a lot of leafy greens, and nuts. You could also do a ketogenic diet that helps with autoimmunity issues and has been studied very well.” [*]
“With the ketogenic diet, some people can’t really do it. There are certain gene polymorphisms such as the PPAR-alpha gene which is important for the process of making ketone bodies. This can be dangerous and cause inflammation.” [*]
Dr. Dominic D’Agostino is a research scientist at the Institute for human and machine cognition where he assists with their efforts towards optimizing the safety, health, and resilience of the warfighter and astronaut. [*]
“We know that beta-hydroxybutyrate is not just a metabolite but also a very powerful signaling molecule. We are just beginning to understand the therapeutic effects of these metabolites as signaling molecules” [*]
“By following a (ketogenic) diet that is more liberal with protein (20%–30%) and less restrictive, I have been able to maintain a moderate state of ketosis. I think that makes the diet more accessible to people.” (He’s been doing this since 2008) [*]
Tim is the best selling author of the 4-Hour Work Week and the 4-Hour Body. He is a very well known self-experimenter and challenger of the status-quo. “The Tim Ferriss Show” regularly hosts some of the most brilliant minds in the world from a variety of fields.
“I think there are benefits that can be derived from intermittent ketosis which doesn’t necessarily mean you need to use the ketogenic diet.” [*]
(Tim has adopted the slow-carbohydrate eating method that he discusses in his book 'The 4 hour body')
Dr. Kossoff is the Director of Child Neurology Residency Program at Johns Hopkins. He has research specialties in seizures and epilepsy and has interests in alternative treatments to medication such as diet (Ketogenic Diet and Atkins)." [*]
Physician, Researcher, Author
“In children with a GLUT–1 deficiency, the ketogenic diet has had a 95% success rate (with treating epilepsy in children). Those kids need to be on the diet as soon as possible. Neurologists have accepted this.” (There are 8 other conditions it is very likely to help.) [*]
“Generally they (cholesterol levels) normalize in 6 months. If they don't sometimes we’ll add carnitine.” (Referring to the initial bump in cholesterol levels in adults.) [*]
“Some countries say 'How do we do a ketogenic diet without a dietitian?' In the next phase of my career, My goal is to get the map filled in so that anywhere in the world ketogenic diets are offered and people can find help.” [*]
“We talk about ways we can bring the diet all over the world. There are unique challenges. What may work in Africa may be completely ineffective in the Caribbean. We have to learn from each other… What cultural changes, what food changes… Some of these foods don’t have food labels.” (Talking about his team that has a member from every continent.) [*]
Professor Longo is one of the world experts in the field of longevity and healthy eating. He is currently Professor of Biogerontology and Biological Sciences as well as Director of the Institute of Longevity of the School of Gerontology at the USC. He is done extensive research on the fasting mimicking diet. [*]
“Food Puts you in a weak position. Fasting puts you in a strong position.” (Discussing the healing abilities of fasting) [*]
“I would not be surprised, if in 10 years, worldwide, these types of interventions are going to be standard in doctor’s offices.” (referring to fasting and intermittent fasting use in treating patients.) [*]