What can you do if the low carb or keto diet is not (or is no longer) helping you lose weight or improve your health? That question was the focus of Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt’s presentation at the Metabolic Health Summit in Santa Barbara.
The answer: “Don’t eat less; eat better.”
How? By focusing on eating higher-satiety protein and fiber-filled nutritious foods that contain fewer calories (without having to count the calories).
“If you eat foods that are full of nutrients and full of protein, then you will stop eating sooner, you will not need to eat that much,” said Dr. Eenfeldt in his presentation entitled “Low carb, protein, or satiety for metabolic health?”
“But if you eat foods that are depleted of nutrition, that are low in protein, or that are ultra-processed foods, then your body would drive you to eat more to get the nutrition and protein you need,” he said.
Satiety, Dr. Eenfeldt explained, is a medical term that means being full or not wanting to eat any more food. The concept of eating “higher-satiety” foods means filling up on higher protein, more nutritious, fiber-rich foods — that have less energy density, such as foods with more water and fewer calories from carbs or fat — and avoiding “hedonic” foods (think cookies and donuts, etc.) that drive over-eating with little to no nutritional value.
The philosophy of higher-satiety eating can be applied — like a lever — to any eating pattern, whether it is low carb, keto, Mediterranean, vegetarian, vegan, or more, he explained. Low carb and keto are already higher-satiety eating methods. Still, if needed, they can be tweaked to make them even higher by focusing on more protein and fiber and less fat while keeping carbs low.
Dr. Eenfeldt said in his presentation that Diet Doctor is working on an algorithm, a satiety calculator, that will take all these factors into account to help people choose the foods that bring about higher satiety — more fullness and satisfaction — while consuming less.
“What we’re really doing here is improving on a theme, which is that it’s not about counting calories and restricting. It’s about eating better,” he said.
You can watch Dr. Eenfeldt discuss key points of his talk with Dr. Ted Naiman in a video interview, available for free on the Diet Doctor YouTube channel.
Also at the conference, cardiologist Dr. Bret Scher, medical director of Diet Doctor, talked about the situation when people see their low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol rise when eating a low-carb or keto diet. His lively and practical talk, Evaluation of low carb LDL hyper-responders, is a must-see for anyone who is one of the estimated 10% of individuals who experience this rise or the doctors who treat them.
Dr. Scher’s key message was that this rise in LDL impacts a specific subset of individuals who usually see improvements in other heart disease risk factors, such as weight, waist size, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, blood pressure, fatty liver, and more.
When patients experience a higher LDL, it is a time for the doctor to pause, reflect, and evaluate them individually with a more in-depth investigation, potentially including imaging studies such as coronary calcium scores. If, in that context, there are still concerns, LDL can be lowered by altering the diet to have more healthy carbs, reducing saturated fat intake in favor of monosaturated fats, or even taking medications, where appropriate.
Dr. Scher and Dr. Naiman conducted more than a dozen short video interviews with presenters and attendees at the conference, which are all available on the Diet Doctor YouTube channel.
Already the videos have had thousands of views. Along with Dr. Naiman’s interview with Dr. Eenfeldt, the Diet Doctor YouTube channel has fascinating short discussions with pediatrician and author Dr. Robert Lustig, women’s health specialist Dr. Jaime Seeman, popular podcaster and performance coach Thomas Delauer, Stanford researcher Dr. Lucia Aronica, among others.
The Metabolic Health Summit (MHS) is an annual scientific conference on metabolic health co-hosted by Dominic D’Agostino, PhD, Angela Poff, PhD, and Victoria Field. Diet Doctor has several podcasts and videos detailing the cutting-edge scientific research of both Agostino (here and here) and Poff (here and here).
The summit brings together international clinicians, academics, scientific researchers, and keto influencers, but it is also open to the general public. Recordings of the conference proceedings are still available to watch for those who register. See: Metabolic Health Summit.