Big Fat Keto Lies: Introduction

Welcome to Big Fat Keto Lies

This book is a tour of the most prevalent keto, and low carb myths and misconceptions and my learnings gleaned from my quest for nutritional enlightenment in ‘Ketoland’. 

Over the years, there have been many variations on low-carbohydrate diets, each with their unique theories and beliefs.  More recently, ‘keto’ has thrived thanks to the power of podcasts, YouTube, conferences and social media. 

‘Keto’ is now a broad umbrella term that can mean a lot of different things to different people.  Much like religious sects, new groups splinter and spawn where there is any slight disagreement. 

We now have endless versions of keto, with numerous subcultures and closed communities, where people can celebrate their own version as they follow their preferred guru who speaks ‘the truth’.  Then, when they all come together for conferences or online summits, they all have conflicting messages. It’s no wonder there is so much confusion and so many arguments online (which ironically, likely boost the popularity of keto, because controversy gets clicks)!

I have been fortunate to have access to some unique and large datasets that have enabled me to test the various theories and claims.  I wanted to identify the common themes that make all diets work while eliminating the ‘magical thinking’ that is common in nutrition and other areas where the science is not yet settled. 

Through my journey, I have gained some unique insights that I can’t wait to share with you!   But rather than just ‘keto bashing’, I want to empower you to differentiate fact from fiction so you will be more able to recognise the counterfeit and half-truths, no matter how strongly a particular group believes them.  

You will be able to leverage the many benefits of low-carb and keto while avoiding the beliefs that, when taken to the extremes, often become counterproductive and even dangerous. 

I hope the insights from my journey will help you avoid the pitfalls and potholes that many find themselves stuck in on the road to nutritional enlightenment. 

Note: This post is the first chapter of my new book, Big Fat Keto Lies, which will be available here for a limited time. To read it all now, you can get the full book here.

The twelve lies

I have organised the chapters of this book around 12 “lies”.  Rather than intentional lies, you could see these as half-truths or misguided beliefs, that when taken to the extreme, will lead you away from optimal health. 

  • Keto Lie #1:  ‘Optimal ketosis’ is a goal and more ketones are better 
  • Keto Lie #2:  You have to be ‘in ketosis’ to burn fat
  • Keto Lie #3:  You should eat more fat to burn more fat
  • Keto Lie #4:  Protein should be avoided because of gluconeogenesis
  • Keto Lie #5:  Fat is a ‘free food’ because it doesn’t elicit an insulin response
  • Keto Lie #6:  Food quality is not important, it’s all about insulin and avoiding carbs
  • Keto Lie #7:  Fasting for longer is better
  • Keto Lie #8:  Insulin toxicity is enemy #1 
  • Keto Lie #9:  Calories don’t count
  • Keto Lie #10:  Stable blood sugars will lead to fat loss
  • Keto Lie #11:  You should ‘eat fat to satiety’ to lose body fat
  • Keto Lie #12:  If in doubt, keep calm and keto on

If you’ve spent any time researching low carb or keto diets, you may have come across some of all of these.  Different groups hold some or many of these as their core tenants.  However, you may have also come across plenty of arguments around these beliefs and why they are not necessarily true.  Unfortunately, the arguments on Twitter and Instagram often add to the confusion. 

My goal here is to examine each of these lies through the lens of Nutritional Optimisation to provide some clarity, give you a deeper understanding of what is happening.  I also want to give you practical action steps that you can apply and give you the knowledge to troubleshoot your diet if/when you find these beliefs are no longer serving you. 

Get your copy of Big Fat Keto Lies

I hope you’ve enjoyed this excerpt from Big Fat Keto Lies. You can get your copy of the full book here.

What the experts are saying about Big Fat Keto Lies

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Marty Kendall
 

  • Bill Robinson says:

    …and yet you still seem to ignore bioavailability…
    But go ahead and take down my comment as you usually do.

  • Wenchypoo says:

    It sounds like Jimmy Moore could use a copy of your book–many of these myths are/were being pushed by him and his podcast guests.

  • JR says:

    Hi Marty, what is your take on pufa fats and keto? Some of the mainstream guys have notices, that keto could be good somehow after years of downplaying, but only if you do it on margarine, nuts etc pufa-6 and fish oil based fats. E.g. old but small short study on skinny students https://academic.oup.com/jcem/article/89/4/1641/2844241

    Superficially, it all looks good, sugar/starch resistriction makes first its magic (and overly omega-6 intake messes things up):
    – keto is stronger, which suddenly is a Good Thing
    – glucose drops more -must be good (see sensitivity)
    – insulin drops a bit more
    – triglys drop more (less vldl sent out?)
    – only hdl does not “improve” as much (let’s leave ldl aside)

    All in all, in comparison to starvation fast (this must be transiently natural), everything goes a bit to other direction. Insulin sensitivity remains and improves!, strange, you keep signaling when you like to spare the little glucose for brain and red blood cells…?
    JR

  • Marty Kendall says:

    Good question! I suppose I don’t see elevated ketones as an end goal for the majority of people. (i.e. unless you are using it for the management of epilepsy, dementia, Parkinson, Alzheimer’s etc.

    I mentioned this study in chapter #11 of the book:

    As an aside, an interesting study looked at the response to 70% fat diets with high levels of polyunsaturated fats vs saturated fats (see Differential metabolic effects of saturated versus polyunsaturated fats in ketogenic diets). Participants saw more elevated blood ketones, lower glucose and better insulin resistance on the diet that provided more fat from polyunsaturated fats compared to saturated fats. According to Dr Tommy Wood, it appears that polyunsaturated fats allow us to eat more and put on more body fat before we exceed our Personal Fat Threshold and become insulin resistant. A ketogenic diet consisting of less saturated fat and more polyunsaturated fat may be useful if your goal is simply to maximise ketone levels for therapeutic purposes. However, it may not be ideal for body composition or long-term health.
    A diet with less unsaturated fat may help to raise our Personal Fat Threshold so we don’t become insulin resistant and develop Type 2 Diabetes as quickly. However, the satiety analysis indicates that unsaturated fats may also drive us to consume more energy from refined fat that will cause us to gain fat more quickly and reach our Personal Fat Threshold in a similar time.

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