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Nutritional experts and other medical professionals have largely accepted the famed nutrition pyramid that places carbohydrates on the bottom (the most important and abundant) and fats up at the top (what we should supposedly avoid). Any dietary regimen that differs from this conventional and established belief is often met with uncertainty, if not outright attacks.

Since the keto diet essentially turns that table upside down by recommending a diet that is low in carbs and high in healthy fats and oils, many medical professionals and supposed nutrition experts attack the keto diet because it differs from the status quo. In this short article, we will attempt to disprove the myth of the “healthfulness” of the USDA nutritional pyramid.

The Monopoly of the USDA Nutrition Pyramid

While the United States Department of Agriculture began offering simple food guides since 1916, it was not until 19921, that they came out with the widely recognized “food pyramid” that was used until 2005. Though the USDA has since come out with two other food guide models, the 1992 model that places carbohydrates as the most important nutrition source continues to dominate.

The problem with this food guide pyramid should be well known to followers of the keto diet. Perhaps even more worrisome is the fact that certain lobby groups have been known to use their political clout to attempt to influence federal dietary recommendations2.

Other independent food pyramids and nutrition guides tend to validate the dietary recommendations that the keto diet endorses. For example, The Food Literacy Project, promoted by Harvard University,3 promotes eating healthy fats and oils at the bottom of the period. While this pyramid is certainly not in direct accordance with the Keto Diet, it does illustrate the increasing acceptance of a diet high in healthy fats and oils by nutritional experts.

Furthermore, the Harvard School of Public Health4 explains that eating a diet that does not discriminate between the types of carbohydrates one eats can lead to health problems. They recommend eating plant and fruit-based carbohydrates in moderation while also including plenty of healthy plant-based oils and healthy protein sources.

Finally, much attention has recently been given by nutrition experts to the health benefits associated with the Mediterranean Diet. This diet is extremely high in olive oil and fish, to name two of the most common nutritional sources. One recent study by Frontiers in Nutrition5 finds that the Mediterranean Diet is more environmentally sustainable, while a similar study finds6 that the Mediterranean Diet is an overall healthier dietary pattern.

While none of the nutritional studies mentioned above are exactly in accordance with the dietary recommendations proposed by the keto diet, they do show that there is room for debate that departs from the traditional guidelines proposed by the original 1992 food pyramid. Furthermore, many of these food guides agree with some of the nutritional guidelines suggested by the keto diet.


The content on this website should not be taken as medical advice and you should ALWAYS consult with your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program. We provide nutritional data for our recipes as a courtesy to our readers. We use Total Keto Diet app software to calculate the nutrition and we remove fiber and sugar alcohols, like erythritol, from the total carbohydrate count to get to the net carb count, as they do not affect your blood glucose levels. You should independently calculate nutritional information on your own and not rely on our data. The website or content herein is not intended to cure, prevent, diagnose or treat any disease. This website shall not be liable for adverse reactions or any other outcome resulting from the use of recipes or recommendations on the Website or actions you take as a result. Any action you take is strictly at your own risk.

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