Dr. Ken Berry, author of Lies My Doctor Told Me, to speak at 2022 Low Carb Boca Conference
With more than 1.6 million subscribers to his YouTube channel, it’s evident Dr. Ken Berry has a message many people want to hear.
Berry, a board-certified family medicine physician based in rural Tennessee, says the message makes all the difference.
The information he’s now sharing about therapeutic carbohydrate restriction and the ketogenic diet is decidedly different from what he was sharing during the early part of his career.
“Early in my medical career I was the ignorant doctor telling my obese patients to ‘eat less, move more’ as if that was some brilliance they had never thought of…” Berry recently tweeted to his more than 80,000 followers, while holding a hand-lettered sign saying “I’m sorry”.
The homepage of Dr. Berry’s website is blunt: “I used to be a fat, miserable, ignorant doctor, until I slowly discovered the power of removing the slow-poisons of the standard diet, and replacing them with the nourishment of a proper human diet…”
Now Dr. Berry is on a mission to help his patients and social media followers restore their metabolic health and sustainably lose weight through what he calls a “proper human diet.”
In recent years Dr. Berry has focused on metabolic diseases he says are caused by the Standard American Diet, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, chronic inflammation and dementia.
Dr. Berry is well known for his book, Lies My Doctor Told Me: Myths That Can Harm Your Health, in which he dispels myths and misinformation he says have been perpetuated by the medical and food industries for decades.
“One of my overarching goals from the very first YouTube video I made is I’m trying to help people save their own life, before it’s too late. I’m not trying to talk about theoretical stuff, I’m not trying to have debates, and I don’t give a damn what Harvard or the ADA think about what I’m saying.”
Dr. Berry was recently added to the speaker lineup at the upcoming 2022 Low Carb Boca Conference, to be held January 14-16, and he plans to speak about how type 2 diabetes can be predicted 10 years before it is actually diagnosed.
He believes that in a very large percentage of cases, lifestyle changes can restore health and improve quality of life in individuals who are headed toward major health problems. Dr. Berry plans to explain to attendees signs they can look for that are likely to precede a type 2 diagnosis by as much as a decade, as well as steps they can take to prevent that from happening.
“You’ve got to understand you’ve been taught a lot of things that are just not true,” said Dr. Berry, “and those things are actually hampering your success. Once you understand the very simple principles of a low-carbohydrate diet, you’ll see it’s easy to do, it’s not expensive, and you don’t have to sign up for anything…”
Dr. Berry says there are three important things people who are struggling need to know:
- There is hope. Your hope is not lost.
- You are not an idiot. You were just given bad advice.
- Once you have the information and understand it, this is really quite easy. It’s very convenient to eat this way.
Many people are relieved, Dr. Berry says, once they hear about the low-carb way of eating.
“I think most people are very happy to discover that they are not a failure, because that’s how it feels when you’ve tried every diet under the sun. When you’ve failed repetitively, you’re thinking, maybe I’m just broken, maybe I’m just an idiot, maybe something’s wrong with me.”
Dr. Berry says hunger is not an indication something is wrong.
“It’s normal to be hungry,” he said, “just like I want to breathe air and drink water, and sleep at night. All those things are normal physiological processes.”
“The key for many people is the discovery that hunger is not a sin. It’s not bad to be hungry. If you’re hungry, you should eat. A lot of people have never once in their life heard that very simple message. The important thing is WHAT you eat, rather than focusing on how much you eat.”
Dr. Berry says it comes down to four important points.
- Avoid sugars
- Avoid grains
- Avoid vegetable seed oils
- Eat lots of fatty meat, seafood and/or eggs.
“Once people understand those four things they’re off to the races,” he said.
Dr. Berry is currently finishing his second book, tentatively titled The Proper Human Diet. He’s hoping to have it available in advance of the upcoming holidays.
He also stars in Reversed, a documentary series that follows five people living with diabetes as they work with experts to help change their lives. The show prominently features the benefits of the ketogenic lifestyle.
“I think that anybody who has metabolic syndrome, pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, even people with type 1 diabetes, are going to be able to immediately take away nuggets of knowledge that they can immediately apply to their life and immediately start to see an improvement,” Dr. Berry said about Reversed.
Like many practitioners who support therapeutic carbohydrate restriction, Dr. Berry has faced plenty of pushback and criticism from the nutrition and medical establishment, but also from individuals who have been misinformed by decades of bad advice.
“There’s a long list of reasons for resistance,” said Dr. Berry. “The reason I get backlash from hairdressers, short order cooks and mechanics is because what I’m saying goes directly against what their mother or their spouse or their doctor told them. I’m calling into question people whose opinion they greatly respect and blindly believe in.”
Dr. Berry gets a great deal of pushback from mainstream nutrition where many practitioners focus on energy balance and counting calories.
“I get resistance when I point out that the calorie-in, calorie-out model is obviously flawed to the point that it’s unusable by someone trying to lose a meaningful amount of body fat and keep it off. Counting calories is a terrible way to do that.”
Dr. Berry says he is now also seeing more resistance from bigger, more organized forces.
I think we are quickly reaching a point where we’re starting to directly impact the profits of big pharmaceutical companies, big food, and big medicine as a result of the growing masses of hundreds of thousands of people who are adopting this way of eating. I anticipate we’re actually going to have much more concerted, well-funded pushback in the next few years, that’d be my prediction.”
But Dr. Berry says the success of people following low-carb/ketogenic diets gives him reason to be optimistic about the future.
“There’s definitely hope,” he said. “I think that we are getting very close to an inflection point. I feel like we’re closer than we’ve ever been before. At some point doctors are going to say, yeah, this is real, this is not just some foolishness. This actually works, it’s sustainable and it’s obviously healthy.”
Dr. Berry says he is looking forward to meeting fellow practitioners and others looking to learn more about low-carb and ketogenic diets at the upcoming 2022 Low Carb Boca Conference.
“Practitioners are going to get a much-needed paradigm shift that will forever change the way they practice medicine,” he said. “I mean that, 100%. You cannot go back to your old practice of medicine after you’ve attended an event like this.”
“The lay public is going to receive hundreds of knowledge nuggets that they can take home and immediately apply to their diet and lifestyle. They can also start to help their friends and family become healthier too, even without a medical degree.”
Dr. Berry, who was a presenter at both of the successful 2019 Low Carb Seattle and San Diego Conferences, said he always looks forward to the opportunity to meet people at in-person events.
“I love hearing people’s stories and learning about their transformations,” he said. “It’s great to see we are having an effect. There’s not much that makes your heart happier than to see someone who has traveled from several states away to come and get a picture with you and tell the story about how you changed their life. You can’t beat that.”
If you’re interested in hearing Dr. Berry’s presentation at the upcoming 2022 Low Carb Boca Conference, be sure to visit the event page. The conference will be held live and in-person, but virtual options are also available. Register by October 31 and save 20% on tickets and CME/CMHE credits with code OktoberFest. In-person tickets include spectacular low-carb dinners on Friday and Saturday night, and provide attendees with additional opportunities to meet and converse with presenters and other attendees.