American News Source Rates Keto the Worst Diet

American News Source Rates Keto The Worst Diet #keto #lowcarb #highfat #theketodiet

Keto has been getting a lot of media exposure lately, and not all of it is positive. Today, I’m debunking the myths and sharing my research in the hopes that this piece will inspire others to dig a little deeper.

I’m always excited to see keto in the news, and in January, keto seemed to be everywhere! While I was excited about the conversation, the source of the debate centered around the results of the 2018 U.S. News panel of dietitians, who rated 40 diets for effectiveness and health. I looked for their findings on keto, and the results weren’t exactly what I expected; the keto diet ranked second to last with an overall score of 1.9 stars out of 5! I couldn’t believe what I was reading, so I decided to pull apart the criteria for further consideration.

book reference icon
You can read more about the benefits of a ketogenic diet in part 1 of my 60-day digital program, The Keto Beginning (page 13). I’ve also included a more scientific explanation of ketosis on page 16, with an overview on page 18 of why a “healthy” high-carb approach isn’t so healthy at all.

While I always appreciate hearing from other nutritionists and nutrition experts, many of the panelists don’t seem to know exactly what the keto diet involves, and hardly any of them seem to acknowledge the latest research on ketogenic diets. You can read their opinions for yourself here.

Since this article came out, so many keto experts have spoken in defense of ketogenic diets – even news outlets like the Chicago Tribune, Greatist, and the LA Times.

As a nutrition educator, I want to set the record straight on keto, so I’m going to focus on the benefits of the keto lifestyle, using the same categories 6 U.S. News used in their assessment.

Category 1: Best Diabetes Diets

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – keto can be a great dietary choice for people with diabetes and pre-diabetes. By cutting carb intake and relying on ketones for energy, research shows that people with Type 2 Diabetes can slow the onset of the condition, reduce their weight, and improve their heart health.

If you want to read more on the science, you can check out the latest research here and here.

Category 2: Easiest Diets to Follow

Switching to the Keto lifestyle can be difficult, especially if you’re a bread-lover! Like with any diet, it takes time and commitment to get started; when I started keto 4 years ago, there were no resources, but now, it’s so much easier!

With recipes, shopping lists, and support from an awesome keto community, you can get on track and stay on track.

Check out some of my beginner’s resources, like Podcast Episode #72 and Keto for Women!

Even better, once you’re on Keto, you feel less hungry, making it easier to reduce your eating! Need proof? Read this and this!

Category 3: Best Heart-Healthy Diets

Keto is fantastic for improving cardiovascular health, which can help to prevent heart failure, especially in people who are obese or overweight. By following a ketogenic lifestyle, people can reduce their risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol levels, and manage risk factors, like weight.

You can read more about that here, here, and here.

Category 4: Short and Long-Term Weight Loss

Many people, myself included, can agree that keto is great for long-term weight loss. Even better, I’ve got the science to back it up!

Take a look at the studies here and here for more information.

Category 5: Nutrition

For some reason, some nutrition experts still think that cutting carbs means cutting out nutrients in your diet. This isn’t true at all! You can get all the nutrients you need from a well-balanced ketogenic diet.

If you feel incomplete in any way, supplements can be a big help — check out this video, or take a look at my keto favorites page for suggestions!

Category 6: Safety

Some experts maintain the outdated belief that reducing your carbohydrate intake can be dangerous for certain populations, including people with heart disease and diabetes and women who are pregnant — the U.S. News experts made the same argument.

Here’s the thing: you can alter your keto diet to suit your body! Keto can be a great fit for people with diabetes and heart disease, and pregnant women can follow the eating style, too, with proper nutritional guidance.

For anyone with a serious health condition, I recommend working with a holistic nutritionist and your doctor to make sure you’re following a ketogenic diet tailored towards your specific needs.

What About the Other Benefits?

This is where the panel ended their assessment, unfortunately. Although the U.S. News panel didn’t discuss them, a ketogenic diet offers benefits beyond the categories they listed! Here are just a few things I would have included in the rating:

  • Cognitive Benefits: Keto actually improves your cognitive function and memory, and there’s tons of evidence that it can help slow the progression of neuromuscular and neurodegenerative diseases like epilepsy and Alzheimer’s! You can read more about it here and here, and check out Podcast Episode #52.
  • Hormonal Benefits: so many women have benefitted hormonally from switching to keto, myself included! Whether you need help healing from amenorrhea like me, or you just want to focus on balancing your sex hormones, keto can be an amazing tool. In fact, women can reduce menopause symptoms just by eating more Omega-3 fatty acids, as found in this study.
  • Protection from Cancer: That’s right, there are studies that show that a ketogenic diet can actually reduce your risk of cancer and improve the efficacy of cancer treatment! This article explains how ketosis can help starve cancer cells, and this one shows evidence that the keto diet can improve cancer treatment!

In short, I’m more than a little disappointed by U.S. News’s coverage of the keto diet, but I hope this information gives you a bit more background and empowers you to make an informed decision about whether a ketogenic diet is right for you.

Struggling to lose weight


  1. Bless you, Leanne, for the ammunition!! I have in-laws who are constantly challenging (often pointing out some latest ‘research’ against) my choices to find more natural (& alternative) options to help my autistic/epileptic children function. Grrrr! It is so much to manage, there are so many challenges to overcome, but thankfully The Keto diet seems to be helping (Yay!). We are still trying to figure it all out, but there are definitely less melt downs, better concentration while doing school work, and a lot less seizures! I will certainly pass this article on to my in-laws … and a few other friends considering The Keto Diet. :-) Thanks so much for the time you put into this rebuttal … and all your other resources. They make this journey not as daunting. :-)

    • Hi there! I’m glad you like the article! I hope it can bring some great conversation to the table!

  2. I purchased The Keto Beginning 2 months ago and still have not received my book.
    I used my PayPal to pay the $35 and payment from my bank account was on Jan. 18, 2018. I am completely lost as trying to do this without the basic info.
    Please look into this for me, it appears your books have changed into a bundle.

  3. I think your platform is awesome and full of great info. I am very inteigued by this diet, especially since I am a Chef by trade. I had watched the documentary “The Magic Pill” when my wife has been dealing with some mysterious health symptoms which had lead both of us to research further. It truly does seem like it can be miraculous. Thank you for your knowledge and wisdom.

    • Thank you so much, Clayton! I hope your wife finds out what is going on soon!

  4. People really need to watch the series ‘The Real Skinny On Fat’ where the truth has been uncovered and the value of Keto has been exposed. See for more information. Naomi Whittel has done a spectacular job of creating this series. Well worth the time.
    Keep up the great work Leanne. You are ahead of the curve on this one.

  5. They”re so right! Keto is the worst diet…..right after the other 50 or so I’ve tried over the past 40 years that never worked. With keto I’ve got down to what I haven’t weighed in 40 years, feel better and the “incurable” -except-with-liposuction lipedema I have on my knees has shrunk (so far) 5 inches. But if U.S. News says keto’s the worst, they couldn’t possibly be wrong. So I must have fantasized my results. I’m so impressed with my creative imagination as well as that of all the people who’ve remarked on my weight loss. My body seems to think it’s smaller on this worst-of-all-possible diets. It’s amazing how well it’s even fooled my bathroom scale.

  6. So sad they ranked 1.9 out 5, is sad because show that people are not prepared or well informed. I started Keto diet because I red a magazine, my husband is a doctor and received JAMA, said exactly the opposite: how good the diet is at short and long term. I was curious, investigate more and find the Keto diet by Leanne and my life change for ever for good.

    • What a great story, Judith! I’m glad your husband has done his research! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Well done, Leanne, as always: very clear and with all the sources to read more about… Thank you for sharing!
    Off topic: I’ve seen that you had a bad episode of intense pain that made you go to the hospital, and read your comment on Facebook about the reaction you had athe the beginning with yourself… I write here because I don’t have a Facebook profile and don’t use this social, but I just want to add my small, for you maybe insignificant, support and encouragement to THINK TO HEAL YOURSELF, both body and mind and heart, regaining lover for yourself as you teach us. Maybe you’re overdoing with all the exciting but very stressful programs and things you’re absorbed in last months. SLOW DOWN… or you’ll crash… we need you, we love you, but we want you to be at your best to share that with us again :-) Hope you understand what I’m trying to say, it’s absolutely not a criticism, just an affectionate concern about you…

  8. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. It seems to be taking a while to get the good word of healthy Keto out.

    • Hi Dawn! I really appreciate it – everything takes time!

  9. It’s a shame that so many news outlets are basically run by their sponsors anymore. That’s why it’s so important for everyone to take a step back and do their own research into their health, and not just believe one source. I, for one, was amazed at the effects of Keto on my own health. For example, I used to have to eat every 2-3 hours, otherwise I’d get HANGRY. With Keto I’m full for so much longer, and while I get hungry, it feels manageable. I know that I can wait just a little longer until it’s mealtime. I don’t feel like I’ll kill someone if I don’t eat right this second. That’s worth everything to me.