Agriculture is the basis of our modern world. Even though it has been our way of life for a mere 10,000 years — a short time from the perspective of evolution — it is easy to think of a grain-based diet as normal and natural. In contrast, a diet very low in carbohydrate appears strange and unnatural. However, it is likely that before the advent of agriculture, it was common for humans to eat little carbohydrate and be in ketosis for extended periods — at the very least through the winter, during ice ages, or when living near the Poles.
Because of the rarity of low carbohydrate diets in modern times, there has been ongoing concern about their safety. Over the last few decades, various claims about specific dangers have received much attention from the media. Of those that have been experimentally tested, none have turned out to be true. The others have not been adequately studied, and have only weak support.
As we develop this site, we will be addressing many of these claims. This is a preview of what's to come — we will link to the articles as we write them. Tell us what you'd most like to see next!
These are myths that most people are likely to have heard, and are relatively easy to refute.
- Myth: ketosis is a deadly, dangerous metabolic state.
- Myth: eating a diet high in fat, especially saturated fat and fat from animals leads to heart disease.
- Myth: keto diets are bad for the kidneys.
- Myth: keto diets cause bone loss / osteoporosis.
- Myth: keto diets are not suitable for athletes.
- Myth: ketosis is "stressful" to the body, because gluconeogenesis requires excess cortisol.
- Myth: ketosis is "stressful" to the body, as evidenced by higher circulating cortisol in keto dieters.
Poorly Justified Claims
These are popular claims that we feel are not justified. Some of them are not necessarily easy or even possible to disprove, but because there is no good reason to believe them either, they are still myths.