Pros and Cons of Low-Carb/ Ketogenic Diets


The National Lipid Association has released a comprehensive scientific review of the effects of low-carb and very-low-carb diets on blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, body weight, and other cardiometabolic risk factors such as blood sugar control and blood pressure. These diets, often called “ketogenic diets” dramatically restrict intake of carbohydrates, with or without restrictions on protein and fat intake. In a 2018 survey of Americans between 18 and 80 years old, 16 percent reported following some type of low-carb eating pattern in the past year.

In reviewing all current evidence, the researchers found that low-carb or very-low-carb diets appear to increase energy expenditure (calories burned), and that people following these diets reported lower appetite and hunger. They concluded that following a low- or very-low-carb diet for six months or less may result in greater weight loss than a high-carb, low-fat diet. Longer term, the effects of these two diets appear more similar (perhaps in part because low-carb diets are difficult to maintain).

Low-carb diets may improve triglyceride levels and help with glycemic control in people with pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, but can also increase LDL (bad) cholesterol in some individuals and may severely restrict nutrient-dense foods associated with cardiovascular benefits. No clear advantages were seen for other cardiometabolic risk markers.

The authors recommend talking to one’s doctor about risks and benefits of various weight loss options and choosing health-promoting dietary changes that fit with personal preferences and lifestyle, and that can be maintained long-term.


  1. As and Oncologist who himself is now being treated for high grade GBM, I have been on the keto diet since August/September2019. Along with my wire and 27 year old son. I have been on a Statin for several years, and upon changing diet , LDL stayed about the same (perhaps a slight bump.

    Within 3 months, however, I had lost about 30 lbs which has since stablized. I have had no hunger, or sense of weakness. Not looking for any more weight loss, but hopeful the diet, and the OPTUNE electromagnetic cap help my standard treatments work even better.


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