Keto/LCHF Articles in the Popular & ePress - the Good, the Bad, the Fabricated & the Insanely Stupid

(Sharon A Peters) #1

We all see and share articles about lchf or keto WOEs, praising them reporting on them, and, certainly, criticizing and fear-mongering about them. Some are well-researched and responsibly written, others are based on fairy tales and bubbe meises, and some are hired hack jobs, underwritten by industries and interests that wish to cover up just how unnecessary and harmful their products are, enhancing only the corporate bottom line and the amount of visceral fat you accumulate on the road to full-blown T2D. Rather than toss out the “fibrous carbs, protein, and fat” articles together with the ignorant and deceitful ones, I am finding that the responsibly written articles can be quite a help to open the door with friends and acquaintances - and fellow shoppers - who want to know more about what I am doing and, even more importantly, why. Explaining LCHF, and most especially Keto, can be a challenge, perhaps a too-advanced place to start the conversation. (That’s why Brenda Zorn’s cards are a genius idea and door-opener). I am also beginning to see some “keto kindergarten” articles appear in places such as The New York Times: solid, positive reviews of Gary Taubes’ last book, a feature on Robert Lustig, M.D. and his work on sugar, especially fructose, and its negative impact of the population, and now, an Opinion Editor, David Leonhardt, has written a piece about going a month without (added) sugar. If you “search” in the NYT, (, then upper left corner of the masthead, “search”) on sugar, you will find several articles, including one pointing out the bias in studies and articles funded by the soft drink industry about the dangers of sugar consumption. There are other articles, predictably, that extol the virtues of fruit, and that frustrate because they begin to go toward LCHF/Keto, but don’t go fully there. The point is that sugar, especially Big Sugar, is coming under scrutiny, discussion, and getting enough heat through attention that it is beginning to caramelize at the edges. People read this - people who can’t lose weight despite efforts, and who have been mightily abused by the tsunami of misinformation about foods and diet and nutrition that wash over us all. The NYT looks to be cracking the door open just a bit on this topic of health, sugar, etc., which can help lay some informational foundation to begin sharing more solid information about just what is going on in every person’s metabolic “black box”. I’ve already found it useful to print out and give or send a link to friends and colleagues who start asking questions, but need a small information stepping stool to help build a base of information on which to build deeper understanding. Otherwise, this surge of articles (notice that most are recent in the last 2 or so years), leaves them confused and depressed, and ready to give up because they all seem so contradictory.;;


I am in favour of the concern sugar is getting in the press, and the message of reducing or removing sugar entirely from food. However, I see the message getting mangled with much cognitive dissonance, with the use of “added sugar” being the sole focus. So, the sugar-laden soft drink gets replaced with apple juice - and that is seen as a positive action. A cup of sliced cucumbers in a child’s lunchbox gets the same rating as a cup of seedless grapes.

And then there is the higher cognitive dissonance barrier to overcome…the separatist movement towards glucose from “added” sugar versus glucose from “natural occurring” sugar versus glucose from starch. Glucose is glucose. Period. It seems crazy to me that this is not obvious.

(Sharon A Peters) #3

I understand your concerns completely, but this is what we’re going to see put out there, so this is the received “wisdom” and “education” that many concerned folks who are not in possession of a solid understanding of the basics of macro metabolism are going to receive. I see that we have the choice of launching into the full Keto story and slamming shut the door that these articles have begun to open for them, or read these articles, formulate responses to them - not Commandments - and use them as steppingstones for us to be able to open the door - and understanding of the problem and its solution - wider for them, and for them to have a basis, however small, on which to receive that information, and begin to question and to grow. It is easy to poo-poo it with an initiate’s sneer; it is quite another to be able to support the good info, debunk the bad, and maximize the person’s interest in learning more and improving, vastly improving, their health. This really must be an inclusive movement, not an exclusive club of initiates.