Spotlight on Dr. Ken D Berry
Dr. Ken D Berry is a Board Certified family physician and a Fellow in the American Academy of Family Physicians. He received his medical degree from the University Of Tennessee College Of Medicine and has been practicing in Rural Tennessee for 20 years. He is based in Camden, Tennessee, and is affiliated with Henry County Medical Center.
In his Family Medicine practice, Dr. Berry has seen over 20,000 patients over the course of his career. His practice focuses on optimization and prevention care, particularly for treating obesity and chronic conditions caused by the standard American diet.
For decades, Dr. Berry believed in the conventional American Heart Association’s whole grain and high fiber diet and recommended it to his patients. Berry had always been very athletic and lean, so when he started gaining weight, he began dieting using the standard guideline that recommends cutting back saturated fats, increasing grain and fruit intake, and exercising more. After a few months of applying this, he actually gained ten more pounds.
He then realized that the supposed ‘evidenced-based’ diet was actually causing him more harm than good, and he was on the way to developing a metabolic syndrome, a condition that this ‘healthy diet’ was supposed to prevent. Faced with aching knees, obesity, inflammation, diabetes, and overall deteriorating health, Dr. Berry started questioning the exercise health facts and the food pyramid taught in medical school.
Dr. Berry decided to change his nutrition from a high carb, low-fat diet to a high protein and fat, low carb diet, which is the opposite of what his colleagues recommend. By changing his nutrition, Dr. Berry reversed all his health issues and has since made it his life’s work to help others do the same.
His passion is to explain how to use your diet and lifestyle to get the health you want. He has a popular YouTube channel where he discusses thyroid health, intermittent fasting, low-carb, carnivore and ketogenic diets, and hormone optimization. He’s also active on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
He strongly believes that we can reverse diabetes, obesity, and hyperinsulinemia with the right information about diet and nutrition. He teaches people how to lose weight, lower blood pressure, reduce blood sugar, and optimize their hormones for better health and longevity.
Lies My Doctor Told Me by Dr. Ken D Berry
Dr. Berry is also the author of the best-seller Lies My Doctor Told Me, a book that exposes misleading health advice and myths that well-meaning doctors perpetuate. He says that doctors tend to believe what they have been taught and don’t go the extra mile to do their own research to challenge these common truths.
While the book challenges mainstream medical advice, Dr. Berry doesn’t bash doctors as he believes they didn’t go to medical school to harm you or make you sicker intentionally. However, doctors are human too, and only use the tools they were given to solve your problems.
The book explores the following topics:
- Fat and its relationship to heart disease
- Whether milk is necessary for healthy bones
- Why wheat isn’t always good for your health
- The food pyramid lies
- Thyroid hormones
- Calcium and kidney stones
- The fiber myth
- Women’s hormones-it goes beyond estrogen
- Why processed meat/red meat link to cancer is false
The book also tackles the cholesterol myth. He specifically points out that doctors believe high total cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are the ultimate risk factors of a heart attack. According to Dr. Berry, there are other more important risk factors to consider, and there’s no research that shows that high LDL and total cholesterol cause heart attacks.
He is a huge opponent of statins, drugs that doctors prescribe to people with high total cholesterol, and LDL to lower stroke and heart attack risk. Dr. Berry points out that statins perform a role that a proper diet could do better without the risk of serious side effects like peripheral neuropathy in people with diabetes. He also claims that this is a way for Big Pharma to make billions of dollars off lies that doctors unknowingly tell their patients.
He strongly believes that people need to be educated on nutrition to understand better some commonly taught beliefs about our health that aren’t always based on sound research. He encourages people to ask questions, do their own research, and be open to experimenting with their diet and change things that aren’t working for them.
According to Dr. Berry, you only have one life. Every decision you make or allow your doctor to make concerning your health, whether foolish or well-thought-out, will have an enormous impact on your long-term health and happiness.
Blindly believing your doctor or doing everything they tell you to do doesn’t get you any extra credit. If you apply bad advice from your doctor to your health, it’s only you and your family that will suffer the consequences, perhaps for the rest of your life.
Throughout the book, Dr. Berry shares how you can respectfully request for more information, talk to your doctor about their advice, and when it may be time to change physicians.
Dr. Berry on the Carnivore Diet and Its Benefits
When he first decided to change his diet, Dr. Berry started a ketogenic diet and stuck with it for nearly three years. He says that he felt better after dropping the standard high-carb diet and began seeing changes in his health. In the meantime, he did more research, and that’s how he landed on the carnivore diet.
Dr. Berry believes that the carnivore diet is a subset of the ketogenic way of eating that dials-in to an even more low-carb diet. He believes that the carnivore diet isn’t some new fad diet but a more healthy diet that works best due to our ancestry, gut bacteria, and metabolic health.
According to him, humans were meant to survive on a meat-based diet, just like our ancestors and many other civilizations throughout history have. Dr. Berry believes our bodies weren’t designed to consume sugar or vegetable oils, especially in the high amount common in the current standard diet.
After changing to the carnivore diet, Dr. Berry has seen his health greatly improve. He attributes his positive response to the carnivore diet to his Nordic ancestry, saying his DNA is well-suited for a fatty meat diet. His hypothesis is that the Nordics mostly survived on a heavy meat diet for hundreds of years, and that’s why his DNA adapts well to the carnivore diet.
Some of the benefits of the carnivore diet that Dr. Berry has experienced include:
1. More Energy and Focus
According to Dr. Berry, the carnivore diet provides him with all the nutrients he needs to be as vigorous and as vibrant physically and mentally and feel and look the best. He was more forgetful and irritable when on the high-carb diet, but after a few weeks on the carnivore diet, Dr. Berry noticed he had better focus, improved memory, and higher concentration.
Dr. Berry also says in this YouTube video that people with anxiety, depression, ADHD, and severe autism report that their symptoms significantly became less severe on the carnivore diet.
2. Improved Gastrointestinal System
Dr. Berry noticed an improvement in his digestive system after eating a carnivore diet. After just a month of carnivore diet, Dr. Berry says that his severe heartburn completely went away. He had been suffering from it for years and had always taken two heartburn pills every day for nearly 15 years. He also noticed that his bloating issues were resolved.
Dr. Berry’s patients with gut conditions like Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and chronic constipation also got dramatically better.
3. Lower Inflammation
As a carnivore, Dr. Berry reports that the chronic joint pain and allergies, which had reduced slightly in the keto diet, entirely disappeared on the carnivore diet.
Dr. Berry also says that his patients who had joint inflammation like degenerative joint disease, osteoarthritis, psoriatic and rheumatoid arthritis, gout reported a significant reduction in their symptoms after eating a high-fat, low-carb diet. Dr. Berry’s patients with severe acne also noted enormous improvements after trying the carnivore diet.
4. Improved Health Markers
Dr. Berry says that the carnivore diet makes all his important markers better. For example, his inflammatory markers, and HDL and triglycerides, are perfect on the carnivore diet. Even though his total cholesterol and LDL are high, he isn’t worried about it since he doesn’t believe they are indicators of a heart attack risk. He says that his HDL to triglyceride ratio greatly improved on the carnivore diet.
To check if you are more predisposed to be on the carnivore diet, Dr. Berry recommends checking your DNA, insulin, glucose metabolism markers, inflammatory markers, and doing a lipid panel to check triglycerides and HDL.
5. Weight Loss
Dr. Berry caused quite a stir on social media when he tweeted: “Don’t take advice from a fat doctor.” He says that 10 years ago, he was a morbidly obese doctor giving his patients wrong and ignorant nutrition advice using the knowledge he had at the time.
But after starting his alternative nutrition journey, he realized that losing weight using the standard techniques doesn’t work. According to Dr. Berry, the carnivore diet balances all hormones that control weight, such as insulin, leptin, ghrelin, thyroid hormones, testosterone, and human growth hormones.
For people looking to lose weight, Dr. Berry recommends cutting carbohydrates from your diet. He says 90% of the weight loss battle is what you eat, specifically carbohydrates. The ‘eat less, and move more’ advice is useless and impractical.
Dr. Berry believes you don’t have to afford a fancy gym membership; simply eliminate processed grains, industrial seed oils, and refined sugars from your diet, and you’ll lose weight without exercising. He says that he lost a significant amount of weight and started to gain more muscle mass. His body fat percentage reduced significantly while rarely working out after starting the carnivore diet.
That’s because a grain-based, plant-based diet contains high amounts of carbohydrates. When you consume carbs, your body breaks them down into glucose for energy, and the excess is converted to fat and stored. Therefore, being on a high-carb diet will naturally result in weight gain. But by eliminating carbs, your body will use the stored fat for energy, and as a result, you’ll lose weight.
According to Dr. Berry, the carnivore diet is the ultimate elimination diet. It has zero carbs but provides many proteins and fats essential in helping you lose weight while maintaining/increasing your lean muscle mass. Protein and fat have a high satiating effect, and you’ll feel fuller after meals, which will drastically reduce your caloric intake. Dr. Berry eats just one meal a day, and he doesn’t get hungry throughout the day.
When you first switch to a carnivore diet, you’ll experience carbohydrate addiction withdrawal symptoms for 3-10 days, Dr. Berry says. But once you get past that, you’ll realize how sustainable this way of eating is.
The Carnivore Diet Reversed His Type-2 Diabetes
Diabetes is one of Dr. Berry’s most passionate topics, as he was once a diagnosed diabetic himself. His one pet peeve on diabetes is the recommended diabetic diet by the American Diabetic Association. According to Dr. Berry, this diet does nothing to decrease the degree of metabolic syndrome. Instead, it serves to increase your blood sugar, cause you to be hungry more often, and in the end, you’ll need more prescription medications to control your blood sugar levels.
Dr. Berry recommends a different diet for diabetics – the carnivore diet, which helps prevent, treat, and reverse Type-2 diabetes. By changing to a low-carb high-fat diet, he was able to reverse his type-2 diabetes diagnosis. He has also helped over 400 patients reverse their diabetes diagnosis by recommending the same diet.
Most often, people with diabetes have high blood pressure, but Dr. Berry reports that after a few weeks of his patients being on a low carb, high-fat diet, their blood pressure reduced until they got off the blood pressure medications entirely.
Dr. Berry on the Carnivore Diet and Pregnancy
Dr. Berry appeared on Zero Carb Channel with Kelly Hogan to discuss the carnivore diet for pregnant women, breastfeeding, and children. As a family doctor, Dr. Berry has extensive experience in this topic.
During the interview, he questioned the conventional advice the medical community gives pregnant women on what to eat. Dr. Berry disputes the belief that when pregnant, you should only eat tons of fruits and vegetables since there’s no definitive research that backs up this advice.
He discussed the fact that most women on a vegan or vegetarian diet stopped having their periods, and his hypothesis on the cause is that a vegan diet doesn’t supply the body with enough essential amino acids and fatty acids that are vital for creating a healthy environment for fertility and pregnancy to thrive.
He also says that a low-fat, high carb diet causes the body to turn off the reproductive system since the lack of essential nutrients signals the body that it would be too dangerous to bring a pregnancy to term in that nutrition environment.
Dr. Berry believes that the carnivore diet provides the body with all the essential nutrients it needs to prove that it’s safe enough to get pregnant and bring the pregnancy to term. He also believes that the carnivore diet is also healthy enough to breastfeed on.
On his YouTube channel, Dr. Berry discussed in depth the right diet for pregnant women and the common misconceptions in the traditional diet guideline for pregnancy. The American diet guideline recommends eating a lot of grains, fruits, bread and has minimum amounts of animal protein sources and dairy products.
Since this diet is too low in protein and iron, and other nutrients, Dr. Berry recommends women eat more animal foods, especially red meat. Many of the macronutrients required in high amounts in pregnancy are highly concentrated in animal foods and are sometimes only found in meat. These include Vitamin B12, iron, zinc, Vitamins A and D, and choline. Meat also contains glycine, an amino acid that’s conditionally essential in pregnancy as it forms collagen.
Dr. Berry also believes that you should include more seafood in your diet as it contains a lot of essential micronutrients like iodine, DHA, and healthy fat that’s helpful for brain and vision development and selenium, which is crucial for thyroid function throughout the pregnancy and also aids in the baby’s brain development.
Some of the seafood you can eat includes:
- Oysters, Clams
Dr. Berry also advocates for more eggs for pregnant women, especially if they are raw or not well-done. This is because eggs are a great source of choline, which is a vital nutrient for your baby’s development.
Due to the high amounts of carbs recommended by the pregnancy guideline, Dr. Berry believes that this diet predisposes pregnant women to gestational diabetes. As Dr. Berry explains, a high amount of carbs in the body forces it to produce more insulin to control the blood sugar level. Continued carb consumption creates a vicious cycle where the body is constantly producing a lot of insulin, resulting in insulin resistance and gestational diabetes.
According to Dr. Berry, what makes it worse is that most OB-GYNs diagnose gestational diabetes using fasting blood sugar, which isn’t a perfect indicator. As a result, the mom becomes hyperglycemic, forcing the baby to become hyperinsulinemic to counteract the mom’s hyperglycemia. Dr. Berry recommends all pregnant women demand a hemoglobin A1c and a peptide test during an intake lab test. This is a more accurate way of testing for gestational diabetes.
Dr. Berry strongly believes the carnivore diet is the proper human diet, and it’s what we were meant to eat. The standard American diet is why there’s an epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases caused by diet. He believes the conventional medical advice on nutrition is misleading. That’s why Dr. Berry is dedicated to educating people on proper nutrition and providing them with honest, science-backed medical advice to help optimize their health.