Dietitian’s Thoughts on What Netflix’s The Magic Pill Gets RIGHT About the Keto Diet

Dietitian’s Thoughts on What Netflix’s The Magic Pill Gets RIGHT About the Keto Diet

Medical Disclaimer:
The content in this video is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

In this episode of Abbey’s Kitchen, Abbey is discussing the new Netflix documentary called The Magic Pill and this one is looking at the controversial keto diet. This doc is about how the low carb high fat diet can supposedly cure a variety of chronic illnesses and promote weight loss. Abbey is going to take a look at the doc and all the recent literature and talk about the things that The Magic Pill got right and next week Abbey is going to explore what The Magic Pill got wrong.

Let’s do this.

(1:00) Claim #1: The Keto Diet Can Cure Childhood Epilepsy
Abigail has epilepsy and after being on the keto diet her seizures have decreased, her bowels have improved and her speech as improved. A systematic review did find that a keto diet was able to reduce the number of seizures in children however this was not the case in all children.

(2:43) Claim #2: The Keto Diet Can Treat Autism
Aaron is on the autism spectrum and after six months on a keto diet, he was able to express himself and use full sentences. A recent review found that a keto diet may be beneficial for patients with autism. Still more research needed.

(3:51) Claim #3: Research Flaws in Low Fat Diet
Fat is a controversial topic, and this doc hits this home by criticizing a lot of research on low fat diet. Several reviews have not been able to find a clear association between total dietary fat and heart disease. Abbey agrees with the doc where they say a low fat diet may do more harm than good because many low fat products are highly processed and packed with sugar and salt. Also another high fat foods are really good for you and should be incorporated in a healthy diet.

(6:15) Claim #4: The Keto Diet Cures Diabetes
The doc talks about a patient that is able to get off their diabetes medication completely. This doc makes some dramatic claims and this one is kind of right and wrong. Research has shown that a low to moderate carb intake may help manage blood sugars, but it is unclear whether that is also in the long term. A keto diet may help in the management of diabetes but whether it cures it has yet to be seen in the literature.

(7:36) Claim #5: The Keto Diet Helps You Lose Weight
One of the big reasons people go on the keto diet is to lose weight and the doc makes these claims when we meet Debbie. It is supported by the literature that a keto diet can lead to weight loss, but that is likely you are eating less and you are losing water weight (especially at the beginning). However, the next question is whether this diet can be sustained in the long term due to its restriction.

(8:57) Claim #6: The Keto Diet Kills Cancer
Very much like diabetes claim, this claim is right and wrong. The doc shares the story of a woman who was able to cure her cancer by going keto. Sadly, a lot of the research in this area is only done on animals. Some research has shown that the keto diet may help to suppress tumor cell growth however we need a lot more research in this area. However, Abbey would never make the claim that you should stop your treatment and medication and just go keto, but it may provide some therapeutic benefits.

At the end of the day, Abbey thinks the Magic Pill makes some claims about the keto diet that has some research to back them up but a lot of the time this research is early, based on animals and lots of case studies. We don’t yet know the long term impacts, and while Abbey agrees with some of these concepts based on early research, we still have a long way to go before we can call the keto diet the “magic pill” . Be sure to tune in next week where I explore what The Magic Pill got REALLY WRONG about the keto diet.

For more tips on staying healthy, recipes, dieting and information fit for consumption by foodies everywhere stop by Abbey’s blog.

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