In the early 20th century, research has
discovered that putting some patients with epilepsy on a high-fat
low-carbohydrate diet helped control their seizures. When you're on this diet
or when you're fasting, you're considered in ketosis. Instead of burning
carbohydrates for energy, your body turns fat into molecules called ketones and
uses those instead. Today for most people, the keto diet has nothing to do with
epilepsy and everything to do with losing weight.
While the keto diet has
been exploding in popularity recently the science behind it like most diets is
complicated and for some people it's not clear whether it's either healthy or
beneficial. With all this in mind, I decided to try the keto diet myself. To
kick things off, I met with Dr. Ethan Weiss. He's a cardiologist at UC San
Francisco and he's also created a device called Keyto that tells you if you're in
So this is a device that looks a lot like a vape pen. We get told that a
lot. This little symbol right here is the chemical symbol for acetone. So acetone
is the chemical that we're measuring in breath and this device allows you to do
that. So in a very simple way of explaining it, there's there is a sort of
chemical signature (yea) in the breath (yes). Once and when you're on the diet, you
can sort of as you get more deeply invested in it you can see that in how
much you'll you're producing and potentially measure it. – And this tells
you what your keto level is. So basically that's your score. So if I messed up and
I accidentally ate a Buttered Salmon with some kind of sugary sauce on it (yeah, yeah), then I might in fact see that in the school that I get.
The one thing that
we're hopeful is that the result of this is people are gonna eat less crap. So
there's gonna be less sugar, less refined carbohydrate. I would absolutely say it's
not for everybody and anyone who makes a big nutrition change like this should
talk about it with their doctor but I'm comfortable being on it. I'd be
comfortable my kids being on it. I'm comfortable my patients being on it. So I
used the Keyto determine my baseline levels and find out where I was starting
Good. Keep blowing. Keep blowing until you're gone. Perfect. And It'll 2! Interesting. So can I throw some foods
out you and could just say 'love it.' You know, maybe in moderation, or not so good. Yea. That's good. Test me. Yeah. Good. How about avocado? Avocado is great. Tomatoes? Tomatoes are probably okay.
Potatoes? Bad. Corn? Bad. Berries? So berries are okay. I know I'm going to miss fruit as I eat a lot of it and I frequently treat myself to ice cream and
chocolate at the end of the day. I'm a real sweet tooth, so I'm gonna have to find a
keto-friendly indulgence that I can have. Another thing on this is certain starchy
veggies, like potatoes. So I'm here at the grocery store and I'm gonna pick up
everything I need according to my Keyto meal plan so that I can get started with
my keto diet. So this is basically the happy place for a keto dieter.
We just really want to be loading up our shopping cart with cheese. Yeah. Okay, I would normally pick
something like this up when I'm in a grocery store but this has just got too
much rice. Probably my, my biggest sacrifice this week has been in tomatoes,
which please, don't judge me, they are my favorite food. I know that's a little bit
weird but I'm obsessed. So I've had to really cut down because they are also
quite sugary. This is pretty much the bad section right in front of us. All done.
So it's day 2 and I blew in my Keyto device and I scored a 2, which is
definitely an increase.
Yesterday, I was on a 1. Ah, so I think I'm getting a little
bit better. It says I'm in- on my way to light ketosis. This morning I had a
very fatty low sugar yogurt and lots and lots of coffee and that's pretty much
all I've had today. So I'm feeling a little bit tired and a little bit
sluggish and I think that's normal. A lot of people say they experienced a little
bit of a keto-flu in the first week as their body is transitioning away from
being reliant on on sugar. The one thing I do really miss is chocolate. So we'll
see how that how that goes as I get deeper into the week. Pudding. It's day
three on the keto diet and I'm about to get up and make myself the same
breakfast for the third day in a row, which is cheesy eggs with avocado and
oil. I'm making this even though I'm sure there are other breakfast options
because this is the thing that I can do quickly before work and I want to just
kind of get it done and get out the door.
Day five hard and not really looking
forward to the weekend. A bit sick of eating cheese and nuts. We made it today eight of the keto diet. So I will say that I'm doing a lot better and I'm not
quite as tired as I was this weekend. When I think I was really hit hardest by
this keto-flu that happens when your body is transitioning away from
carbohydrates into this new energy source. So it's day 13 on the keto diet. I
actually feel quite good today. I've also lost a few pounds but that might be down
to just eating at home or and and kind watching what I'm eating than anything
So day 13 things are looking good. I then talked to Dr. Yoni Friedhof,
Founder and Medical Director of the Bariatric Medical Institute, to get some
clarity on the science behind the diet. There's definitely no evidence to
suggest that keto is better than any other diet at the management of weight.
All diets work by way of a reduction in calories, including the keto diet. And if
a person happens to enjoy living a keto lifestyle and in turn doing, so reduces
their calories, good for them. The other issue in regard to these diets is they really do provide people with this echo-chamber and, and culture and identity and those things, like religions in a sense, confer a lot of belief which in many cases supersedes and outpaces actual evidence. And if you do go on a keto diet
it probably is worth having your Cape, Co-Founder of the healthcare
company, 98point6, the potential drawbacks of the keto diet became very real. There
were two things that I changed that probably were were the reason why I
loved the diet. Number one was I- I started to drink bulletproof coffee in
the morning, which I adored and then in the afternoon.
The way I would get through the afternoon was I would snack on cheese, which I also adore and unfortunately both of these changes to my diet had an offsetting and
negative impact on my blood work. So you went in to your doctor and you had your
standard annual physical and what did the tests show. All of the tests pointed
in the direction of basically concluding that unfortunately for my body and my
metabolism that the diet wasn't healthy. It was making me smaller, yes, but the
impact on my blood was such that you know that my doctor couldn't recommend and, in fact, my doctor joked with me. He said Robbie it's true that we'll be able to build a smaller coffin for you,
but it'll be a coffin nonetheless. So I've been on keto diet now for about two
weeks and I cheated this weekend and so I definitely had more carbs. But for the
most part, I've been pretty strict and on keto and fortunately for me I had this
device and it comes with this accompanying app, where you can look at
certain foods and just make sure that they're okay and for me this is really
important to have because I just don't know how I would have done keto
It's a little bit of a challenging strict diet. So having
something where I could just make sure that I was eating the right foods
coupled with the sensor which was giving me these points scores and when I saw
that my scores are getting better at motivates I need to keep going. I
actually think I needed this this positive reinforcement or I wouldn't
have been able to keep it up for quotes- quite so long. So as far as how it went
for me: The first week was really, really hard and I definitely felt like crap, both on this third day and the fourth day.
By week two, I started to notice a
few of the more positive impacts and I lost a little bit of weight, not a ton
but a little bit, and I had higher energy throughout the day. I didn't get the
typical 4 or 5 o'clock, slumping over my desk feeling that I usually get. I
actually just felt like pretty good. So what I've learned from my two weeks on
keto is that it's been great to just eat it home more and also just to pay
attention to the things that I'm putting into my body and because of that I feel
a lot healthier. So going forward I'm going to be doing a diet that's a little
bit lower in sugar but offers a bit more flexibility than I had on keto.
think just in general I've learned to pay closer attention to what I'm eating.
So that's what I'm going to do next..