Diet & Nutrition Fact & Fiction

The Case for Keto: Rethinking Weight Control and the Science and Practice of Low-Carb/High-Fat Eating

Myth-Busting Nutrition Science

Let’s play a quick game of “Truth, Myth, or It Depends” with 24 common dietary assumptions.

• Worldwide, obesity is a human health challenge topped only by tobacco addiction and, currently, COVID-19: Truth

• Consuming dietary animal fats and cholesterol in such foods as red meat, eggs, and butter is a key cause of coronary artery disease: Myth

• Sugar is addictive: Myth (but it is strongly habituating)

• Many different diets can lead to major weight loss: Truth (at least for every diet from Atkins to McDougall that shares a common final pathway)

• Statements by US government agencies — especially the Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Department of Health and Human Services — regarding diet and nutrition are reliable: Myth (sadly, even the newest ones from the USDA)

• Humans learn best from their own experiences: Truth (and a key to understanding the problem)

• Many, even most, American physicians are poorly educated about nutrition: Truth (the weight control problems of vast numbers of their patients confirm that)

• Consumption of fiber is a key component of obesity prevention: Myth (but it can be useful for gastrointestinal regularity)

• A high LDL-C is more dangerous than established metabolic syndrome: Myth

• The most important medical device is the bathroom scale: Truth (it should be used by all at the same time each day)

• Three square meals a day is the basis for a sound healthy American diet: Myth (three meals a day are not necessary)

• Breakfast is the most important meal of the day: It depends (on what and when the other meals are)

• Intermittent daily fasting (17 hours) or an eating window (7 hours) is one excellent method of weight management: Truth

• By the laws of physics, a calorie is a calorie: Truth

• In human biochemistry, calories in must equal calories out for weight stability: Myth

• Genes rule; some people are naturally lean, whereas others tend to fatten easily: Truth

• The laws of thermodynamics overrule human endocrinology: It depends (on your genes)

• Exercise is of critical value in the successful calorie-in/calorie-out concept of weight control: It depends (once again, on your genes)

• Strong randomized clinical trial data underpin most nutrition recommendations: Myth (and this is unlikely to become true in your lifetime)

• Strong published epidemiologic research supports most clinical nutrition policies: Myth (and sadly misleading to many people and organizations)

• The best way to deal with obesity is to never become obese rather than try to lose weight: Truth

• Obesity is treatable and weight loss is sustainable: Truth

• A diet that includes ample amounts of whole grain is a good diet: Myth (but it is better than one with ample amounts of refined grain)

• A diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables is a good diet: It depends (on which fruits and vegetables)

Modified from