I am frequently asked about how I discovered the ketogenic way of life. When I started this journey back in 1999, the word "keto" was almost unheard of, unless it was used to describe diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA). Diabetic ketoacidosis is an extremely dangerous and sometimes fatal metabolic illness that diabetics can develop; it is the combination of extremely high blood sugar and extremely high blood ketones. DKA should not be confused with nutritional ketosis.
Nutritional ketosis is the presence of ketones in the blood, along with the presence of normal blood sugar levels. Dr. Stephen Phinney defines nutritional ketosis as “a natural metabolic state in which your body adapts to burning fat rather than carbohydrates as its primary fuel.” I want it to be very clear: it is very important for everyone to be able to distinguish between the two conditions.
Circa 1999, I was basically on my own trying to figure out the low-carb lifestyle. At the time, there weren't amazing websites like Ketogenic Success to help me learn all I needed to know about how to live and eat keto. There were no movies, no documentaries, no clinics, and certainly no support groups for keto on Facebook (which didn't even exist!). All I knew back then was to cut the sugars and keep carbohydrates to no more than 20 grams daily; which meant ditching all things considered a carbohydrate, including starchy root vegetables like potatoes. Out went rice, pasta, bread, and basically all “junk foods." Back then it really was that simple. No weighing, no measuring, and no tracking apps! Just keep the carbs to a maximum of 20 grams daily. Seven months later, I was down about seventy-plus pounds! I started this journey in the early Fall as a caterpillar, and emerged in the Spring as a beautiful butterfly.
Fast forward a decade, and the much-needed research and data to back up the ketogenic lifestyle slowly started finding its tiny voice, thanks to people like Drs. Eric Westman, Stephen Phinney, and Jeff Volek, who at last started doing research about the benefits of maintaining nutritional ketosis via a low-carb way of eating (WOE). Nearly two decades after discovering the benefits of cutting sugars, carbohydrates, and refined processed foods out of my life, I am proud to report there is a plethora of information available just a mouse click away!
If you don't have time to sit and read one of the many amazing books or websites on keto, no sweat! You can easily curl up on the couch and get the info during your daily screen time. Below is a list of documentaries, many of which are self-funded, these films will help provide a strong foundation of useful information for everyone.
The aim is to help you better understand your metabolism, ketosis, and the foods that are beneficial for a ketogenic lifestyle. I hope you enjoy watching and learning as much as I have. This is not an all-encompassing list, but these are some of the most well-known films with a fat-focused and/or ketogenic bent. Without further ado and in no particular order (with links!):
Carb-Loaded: A Culture Dying to Eat (2014)
FAT: A Documentary (2019)
Fat: A Documentary 2 (2021)
Fat Fiction (2020)
The Magic Pill (2017)
Fat Head (2009)
Fat Head Kids (2018)
Fed Up (2014)
Cereal Killers (2013)
Cereal Killers 2: Run on Fat (2015)
That Sugar Film (2014)
The Big Fat Fix (2017)
Sugar Coated (2015)