STEM-Talk: Jeff Volek on what we’ve learned in 30 years about keto, carb-restricted diets and health

Dr. Jeff Volek has been investigating how humans adapt to ketogenic and carbohydrate-restricted diets for 30 years.   

On his return to STEM-Talk — available on our website and wherever you enjoy podcasts— Jeff talks about a growing accumulation of studies supporting a ketogenic diet to improve metabolic health, as well as research confirming the relative safety of dietary fat. 

Jeff is a professor in the Department of Human Sciences at Ohio State University. He is known for his research on the clinical application of ketogenic diets in the management of insulin resistance and type-2 diabetes. His first STEM-Talk appearance was in 2017. 

Americans have long been led to believe that saturated fats lead to obesity and heart disease. This flawed assumption remains at the root of much public health policy, despite there has been a steady accumulation of studies over the last 20 years supporting carbohydrate restriction as well as the relative safety of dietary fat advances.  

Jeff addressed this in a paper in Science titled “Dietary Fat: From Foe to Friend?”, and also, a paper in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology titled “Saturated Fats and Health: A Reassessment and Proposal for Food Based Recommendations.” 

He says this even furthermore “debunks the dogma that saturated fats should be limited because they cause obesity.” 

Our STEM-Talk conversation also includes:  

  • The remarkable progress that has been made in the science of low-carbohydrate nutrition in the past 30 years. 
  • How Jeff’s research has expanded to look at a well-formulated ketogenic diet’s potential in the treatment of mental health, heart disease and cancer. 
  •  An initiative Jeff is conducting to address how the poor metabolic health of the nation is impacting our military and therefore poses a significant threat to the future of the military and our nation’s defense. 
  • Jeff’s thoughts on the recent popularity of fasting and time-restricted eating.  We also ask what Jeff’s own daily diet looks like.