What Makes the Keto Diet GREAT? And Is It True?
One of the biggest selling points made by
proponents of the ketogenic diet is that it’s
supposedly a lot easier to stick to than other
If true, then the keto diet will improve the
crucial element of ADHERENCE.
Although a great marketing soundbite, whether
evidence of improved adherence exist is another
In that case, does the scientific literature
show greater adherence with the ketogenic
Let’s find out.
First, I want to give a shout-out to the guys
It was their amazing review that provided
the information for this video.
So, a big thank you to them.
To analyze keto adherence, the guys over at
sci-fit.net first searched for the relevant
In doing so, they made sure to exclude metabolic
ward and feeding studies.
Studies where participants were given pre-prepped
Such studies are great for observing specific
ketogenic elements but does not mimic real-life
Thus, the exclusion.
Accounting for this and other criteria, like
prescribing subjects to eat at most 70 grams
of carbs daily and the goal required is weight
loss, it came down to 10 suitable studies.
As far as measuring adherence, one method
is to see if participants remained in ketosis.
A blood ketone level of 0.5 millimoles per
liter or higher is commonly accepted by keto
proponents as being in the state of ketosis.
If subjects were not above this mark when
they’re supposed to be, thus not in ketosis,
then we would assume they were eating too
many carbs thus lack adherence.
Now, let’s get to the findings.
Out of the 10 studies, only two groups ever
actually achieved ketosis at any point of
Others were within borderline ketosis but
ketone levels decreased over time.
Now some have theorized, without clear evidence,
that keto adaptation will naturally decrease
blood ketone levels, thus lower levels don’t
necessarily mean a lack of diet adherence.
However, if we do look at those metabolic
ward studies where diets are more tightly
controlled, we should see a decreasing ketone
effect if the adaptation theory is true.
But, we do not.
We instead see ketone levels remaining high
throughout the experiment, contradicting the
But, beyond blood ketones, we can also at
look self-reported carb intake data.
If subjects reported eating above their carb
limit, then clearly, they did not adhere to
That being said, in long-term studies, it
was common to see groups break well above
the 70-gram carb threshold, at times more
Short-term studies at 13 weeks or fewer, though,
did show better adherence.
However, self-reported data isn’t exactly
the most reliable information.
In fact, studies on the self-reported intake
show that people typically think they eat
less than they actually eat, especially when
trying to lose weight.
Something to consider.
Luckily, there’s one more factor to observe
that’s also a bit more concrete for measuring
We can look at drop-out rates.
The guys at sci-fit.net pooled together 1,307
experimental keto participants, of which 319
dropped out, versus 1,294 control participants,
where 311 dropped out.
That’s 24.4% of dropouts in the experimental
groups versus 24% for the control groups.
AKA, dropout rates were virtually the same.
Now with scientific data, it looks like keto
advocates might not have been entirely accurate
with the “easier to stick to” agenda.
But if you PERSONALLY feel that you can stick
to the diet without much problem, then by
all means continue with it.
For those that repeatedly struggle eating
so few carbohydrates, you might be better
off trying something else.
Thank you once again to the guys over at sci-fit.net
for all the great work you guys do.
I’ll leave a link to their article on this
topic in the description below if you’re
interested in a more in-depth analysis.
Please come check it out.
If you enjoyed this video, don’t forget
to give it a thumbs up and share it with your
Subscribe for more future videos.
As always, thank you for watching and GET
YOUR PROTEIN, even on keto.