7 Myths of Ketogenic Diets Finally Debunked

Why Eating High Fat Foods is Essential to Permanently Losing Excess Body Fat, and How Low Fat Foods Have Made Us Fat

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By Karl Lawrence on Thursday, May 7, 2015
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In this week's episode of Your Best Life, Karl interviews Ellen Davis who has a Master's degree in Applied Clinical Nutrition and writes extensively about ketogenic diets on her website KetogenicDietResource.com. During the show, Ellen debunks the common myths about ketogenic, and Karl shares his personal switch to a low carb diet and his journey to losing 11lbs in 10 days.

Main Questions Asked:

  • How did ketones become such a big part of your life?
  • What makes a diet ketogenic?
  • Is insulin is a proinflammatory?
  • Is there a danger in vitamin deficiency, and do you need to supplement if you are on a ketogenic diet?
  • What are some examples of the protein sources in the ketogenic diet?
  • Talk about the myth that ketogenic diets can cause your body to go into ketosis.
  • Can you address the myth that extra protein leads to kidney damage?
  • If I'm eating a high fat diet, do I risk clogging my arteries?
  • We've heard that carbs are a requirement for protein synthesis, what's the research on that?
  • What is a good source of potassium in the green category?
  • Other than weight loss, what are other benefits to the ketogenic diet?
  • Why is the ketogenic diet good for cancer patients?
  • Is there any data that shows cancer patients who have gone into full remission or whose diagnosis changed solely from dietary change?
  • Talk about ketogenic diets for people with diabetes.

Key Lessons Learned:

  • A ketogenic diet is a high fat diet with moderate protein intake.
  • On a ketogenic diet, your carbohydrate intake is low enough so that your body switches from burning sugar for fuel to burning fat, which produces ketone bodies.


  • Insulin is a hormone that tells your body to store fat and pushes sugar into your cells to be burned for fuel.
  • Insulin resistance is another way to refer to a high base level of insulin.
  • If you are insulin resistant, when your blood glucose drops enough so your insulin drops is when you can access your stored fat for fuel and start burning fat as well as making ketones in the body.
  • If you stop eating large amounts of carbohydrates, your blood sugar drops to normal, which is only about a teaspoon of sugar in your bloodstream.
  • There are gateways on our fat cells that are closed when our insulin is high.
  • If your blood sugar and insulin are high, then they inflame the insides of your arteries, and your body sends cholesterol to repair the damage.

Ketogenic Diet Myths Debunked

MYTH 1. Carbohydrates are essential.

  • There are essential fatty acids and essential amino acids, but there are no essential carbohydrates.
  • Dietitians say the brain needs 130 carbs per day to work well, but that presumes you are already on a high carb diet.
  • If you start a ketogenic diet, it takes about two weeks to make the transition and for your body to figure out it doesn't have enough glucose and transition into burning fat for fuel.

MYTH 2. There's a danger of vitamin deficiency if you have a low carb diet.

  • The ketogenic diet is more nutritious than the standard American diet.
  • If you base your meals around fresh proteins and green vegetables, you will get more vitamins and minerals than you would from a standard American diet.
  • Chicken, beef, pork are all good sources of protein, and Ellen suggests choosing higher fat meats so you can have more at each meal.

MYTH 3. Ketogenic diets can cause your body to go into ketosis, which is dangerous.

  • The difference between nutritional ketosis and ketoacidosis is basically volume.
  • When you are in nutritional ketosis, your body is making ketones that your cells can use for fuel, and are shown to be protective and anti-inflammatory.
  • Ketoacidosis is usually a condition for type one diabetics, when there is no insulin in the body to control the process. Your fat cells start dumping huge amounts of fat and ketones into your blood stream.

MYTH 4. Extra protein may create kidney damage.

  • If you already have healthy kidneys and eat 3g of protein per kilogram, you will still have no problems.

MYTH 5. A low carb high protein diet could cause the body to excrete calcium and result in osteoporosis.

  • Studies show that protein intake helps with bone health.
  • If calcium is being excreted, it is more likely that your body is not getting enough magnesium.
  • Ellen believes grain is the most poisonous food for human beings, and that if you have signs of bone loss, it is more likely you are eating a grain-based diet. Gluten is notorious for causing osteoporosis.
  • Gluten causes your gut to leak, which allows other food proteins into the system that causes autoimmune reactions.

MYTH 6. The accumulation of fat in our diets results in an accumulation of fat in our arteries.

  • A ketogenic high fat, low carb diet reduces the amount of blood fats.
  • There is a difference between dietary fat and blood fat. Blood fat is called triglycerides, which are driven by the amount of carbohydrates that you eat.

MYTH 7. Low carb diets don't work because as soon as you go off the diet you will gain all the weight back.

  • At first, on a low carb diet there is water loss, so you will lose minerals. It's important to get enough salt, take magnesium, and eat green vegetables for potassium.
  • People lose hundreds of pounds on this diet as their weight normalizes, which can't be all water.

Other Benefits to the Ketogenic Diet

  • Cancer cells feed on glucose. It's the only fuel they can use because they don't have a working mitochondria.
  • If you reduce your blood sugar and certain amino acids like glutamine in your blood stream, then you are going to starve that cancer.
  • Ketones are protective of normal cellular health.
  • Insulin is a driver for many of the cancer-driving hormones in the body.
  • Cancer patients need protein to keep up their muscle mass.

Thank you for listening! If you enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe and leave a 5 star rating and review in iTunes!

Links to Resources Mentioned

Ketogenic Diet Resource
The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Performance

2 click to tweet links! (Thanks for helping spread the word!)

Tweet: What are the biggest myths of the ketogenic diet? Find out w/ Ellen Davis & @wellnessgroup http://www.Wellness.com/ellendavis

Tweet: Heard of the ketogenic diet but aren't sure what it is? Find out w/ Ellen Davis & @wellnessgroup http://www.Wellness.com/ellendavis

From Your Best Life Podcast with Karl Lawrence

podcast ketogenic
Ian a registered dietitian with a master of science degree in applied nutrition and currently pursuing my doctorate. There are so many things wrong with just the terminology alone which makes me really question where this “expert” earned her degree, let alone the wrong information she is putting out there about the basics of metabolism. It’s irresponsible as a health professional to support and promote one type of diet for every person and really quite frustrating for those of us who are actually providing that care to have to fix the horrible information put out there by hacks like this.
Posted 1 year ago by Taylor

About Karl Lawrence

Karl Lawrence is the host of Your Best Life on the Wellness.com Radio Network. Check out his work at http://www.wellness.com/podcast Read More