Nutritional Bankruptcy: The Real Reason To Avoid “Nutritional Ketosis”


Yes, that’s Wagyu beef liver, onions, and potatoes I cooked last week.

A big part of the goings on at my Ketotard Chronicles Group concerns the following utter bullshit promoted by ketotards, ketoshysters and ketophants (a ketotarded sycophant of ketoshysters; e.g., Jimmy Moore and that ilk).

  1. Calories don’t matter; don’t bother counting them.
  2. Limit both carbohydrate and protein.
  3. Once carb and protein limits have been reached, consume unlimited fat to satiety.

…Like Reggie Owens says, “Satiety…you know…that thing that makes you fat.”

Less often talked about in terms of the general insanity outlined above is what I consider the number one reason to avoid all of these hyper-fat protein-limiting Keto Diets: Nutritional Bankruptcy. It’s very easy to show, yet virtually nobody shows it, I find almost nobody that’s aware of it, and in fact, there’s this perverse ignorance out there I encounter often, that fat, in itself, is highly nutritious when in fact, it’s nearly devoid of micronutrition. Let’s just dive right in. I’m using FitDay because I like the graphs it makes. For a more complete nutritional picture you can plug the same things into Chronometer.

Let’s start with butter because that’s the high water mark for nutrition (because of the milk solids…) and it goes down hill from there. All of these are for ONE WHOLE CUP…about 2,000 calories worth.



Beef Tallow

Beef Tallow

Olive Oil

Olive Oil

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil

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Well, ok, looks like it’s a way to get your vitamin E. Not much else and overall, nearly nothing. Now, you ketotards out there: ask your one-half walnut brains what this means if 80% of your diet consists of some mix of the above? Speaking of walnuts, hell, you’d be better off just eating 2 1/2 cups of those, except you’d be worse off with protein at only 8% and you’d blow your carbohydrate limits with 41 grams for 9% of calories—but at least you’d get some micronutrients.

Walnuts 9/8/83 c/p/f

Walnuts 9/8/83 c/p/f

So, how about we compare a standard day of nutritional ketosis with someone eating a balanced diet, let’s say 2,000 calories for each? For the NK day, we’ll do 5 / 15 / 80 and for the balanced but flexible, non-restrictive diet 40ish /30ish /30ish. For this, we’ll use Chronometer because it gives a better overall nutritional picture.

Nutritional Ketosis Menu. 2017 kcal, 21.1 / 72.3 / 186.5

Nutritional Ketosis Menu. Macros: 2,017 kcal, 21.1 (3.7%) / 72.3 (14%) / 186.5 (82.3%)


Nutritional Ketosis Micronutrition

Nutritional Ketosis Micronutrition

As you can see, the ketotard is deficient in 15 out of 28 nutrients, 54%. This is very stupid, especially as a chronic “WOE.” Now let’s look at a sane and smart fella, like me.

Balanced Diet Menu.

Balanced Diet Menu. Macros: 2,007 kcal, 234.7 (45.3%) / 157.3 (31.5%) / 52.6 (23.2%)


Balanced Diet Micronutrition

Balanced Diet Micronutrition

Wow. Out of 28 nutrients, deficient in only 7 but here’s the deal. I simply plugged in a variety of foods and then played with the quantities to get total kacal and macros close. It’s a flexible diet. I could have easily Googled foods high in those deficient nutrients and replaced things to come out with near no deficients. Moreover, theser other things are likely to be hit from time to time if one eats a variety of foods. But if your diet is 80% no-nutrient fat, you have a very big math hole you’re starting out from.

I’ll note one other thing. In order to be fair, I did not include liver, since most people don’t eat it, and it could be consumed on both sides anyway.

…Ever heard of Don Gorske? He started eating Big Macs every day in 1972 and never stopped. He even saves the boxes, wrappers and receipts. He’s up to over 30,000 Big Macs eaten.


Don is still lean and apparently, healthy. Could find no info on any health problems. So, in that spirit, what would the nutrition of a day of Mc Donald’s look like, compared to a ketotard?

I ran an Egg Mc Muffin, Big Mac, Fillet-O-Fish, Mc Double, and a Quater Pounder. It comes to 2,021 kcal, 172 (34%) / 105 (22%) / 100 (44%). In terms of micronutrition, it misses on 17 of 28, so pretty much on par with something ketotarded—if one was to eat nothing but Mc Donald’s sandwiches as a “WOE!” So, whoa, ketotards, you edge out a 100% Mc Donald’s diet by just a nose.

UPDATE: Well, I wasn’t aware of this. I quote from a comment posted below.

Not sure if you use Chronometer much, but a little adjustment of your data makes it FAR worse for the ketotard:

Basically, virtually none of the foods in chonometer list quantities for the following: biotin, chromium, flouride, iodine and molybdenum, so you might as well uncheck them, as they’re complete unknowns. That’s why both yourself and the ketotard are deficient in them. They don’t really exist in any quantity in the database.

When you also remove sodium (surely most modern humans get truckloads of it?) and vitamin D (probably better being outside) the ratios look more like this:

Richard now deficient only in vitamin E: 4.5% deficient overall
Ketotard: down to about 35% deficient overall

Nearly 8 times worse off…. I know it’s massaging the data somewhat… but I feel it’s more accurate.

Elixa Probiotic is a British biotech manufacturer in Oxford, UK. U.S. Demand is now so high they’ve established distribution centers in Illinois, Nevada, and New Jersey.

Still, sell-outs happen regularly, so order now to avoid a waiting list.

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  1. Bill on August 16, 2017 at 22:45

    What if you added a couple of PRIMAL KITCHEN Collagen Fuel Fudgsicles to the keto diet?

    And surely some Macademia Cream in your coffee will boost it’s nutritional profile.

    “Macadamia nuts are sweet and buttery fat bombs. Blend ‘em up into smooth cream for a rich and fatty cup of coffee that also has delicious macadamia flavor.”

    • Richard Nikoley on August 16, 2017 at 22:56

      I don’t love it.

    • Steven on August 16, 2017 at 23:01

      I lost all respect for Mark Sisson years ago.

      I was reading through a comment thread and the only comments that I’ve ever seen Mark come back and post on were defending one of his products or to plug one of his products.

      I get it that he’s an online entrepreneur but the idea that he wants to help people and somehow the only way for them to get the help that they needed was to buy one of his products really turned me off to him.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 17, 2017 at 01:27

      Well, that’s your prerogative.

      I have a different experience with Sisson altogether. He absolutely wants to continue to make and sell products.

      He wants them to be the best he cam make them and he’s willing to change formulations within reasonable constraints and he’ll always listen to a dude like me.

      We exchanged a couple of texts this evening. Mark is the farthest thing away from the crap I’m fighting against you can imagine.

      ….Get this. When I heard he was doing the Keto book, I was concerned, texted, and he had me get him in touch with someone I trust to review it and give input, and he did that.

    • Hap on August 17, 2017 at 07:25

      Sis son seems a decent person. Like everyone he needs to make a living.

      I would contrast him with someone like Dave asprey, who initially attracted me, but even though he dabbles in many interesting subjects, is sort of insufferable.

    • Steven on August 18, 2017 at 20:32

      Well sir, I stand corrected at some level.

      It seemed for awhile that he was losing focus of what he claimed he wanted, make people healthy.

      I’ll bounce in over there and check it out.

      Thank you.

  2. Steven on August 16, 2017 at 22:42


    I was low carb for a while and it helped my arthritis. But that was simply losing inflammation which eventually came back.

    Fortunately I was always high on the protein. Even in my most ardent low carbohydrate moments I typically ate at least 150 g of protein a day.

    Now it’s simply a delightful wonderous mix of all sorts of great food and I’m leaner and stronger than ever before.

    Some days I will eat 3 lb of potatoes with a steak.
    Some days I’ll eat two cups of cooked rice as a side. Most days I eat two to three apples peaches plums pears. And somehow I manage to stay pretty fit.

    For all the shit you take and continue to do what you do I have to thank you.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 16, 2017 at 22:48

      It’s a yob, meng.

    • Robert on August 17, 2017 at 01:11

      How to argue with someone claiming the most important factor for weight-loss is insulin? It’s optimal for weight-loss to keep insulin low.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 17, 2017 at 01:47

      You tell them it doesn’t matter much. Take Jimmy. He has high insulin but he’s fat as fuck and can peg a constant glucometer in the 7os.

      If he was skinny and had high levels of base insulin, it would be a huge cause for concern.

      He’s still highly insulin sensitive.

    • Robert on August 17, 2017 at 04:32

      No, you are wrong, in fact he’s insulin resistant. I’ve heard him say so… ;)

      They are all insulin resistant, that’s why they are not losing weight despite gorging on fat.

      But how do they explain real T2 diabetics, with proven very high insulin resistance, cutting calories and exercising and losing weight and restoring insulin sensitivity?

    • thhq on August 17, 2017 at 04:49

      I did that and my T2 is gone robert. I’m still doing it 10 years later.

      I may be exercise-tarded but so were Ancel Keys and Jack Lalanne. Diet doesn’t make you as healthy as living does.

    • Robert on August 17, 2017 at 05:21

      thhq, you are a good example for everyone. And I’ve been meaning to ask you about counting calories. Do you still log everything, or have you developed an “eye” for it, being able to roughly gauge intake based on experience?

    • thhq on August 17, 2017 at 08:13

      I physically log in a notebook robert.

      But I log in units of 70 calories, which I eyeball from my plate. This causes errors of undercounting for foods I like, so at the end of a week I need a ca 100 calorie daily average deficit to maintain.

      The system of counting in units started with Yudkin’s carb counting I think. I learned it from ADA’s carb exchange method for controlling blood glucose, then converted it to count calories only. Weight Watchers Points use the same principle.

      Unlike the diet-only methods I also count exercise. A mile walked is a 70 calorie unit. A mile on the bike is half of that. Counting CO is critical IMO, rather than using “moderate activity” factors. Over the long haul you need consistent CO, not random compliance.

      I suppose I could modernize to a FitBit. But old habits die hard.

    • Robert on August 18, 2017 at 00:46

      thhq, I’m interested in your thoughts on consistency. I always find it hard to be consistent. I count, then I get lazy, then back again, and so forth.

      What do you think would happen if you stopped keeping track? You already have a routine for exercise, you already have a basic healthy diet. Do you think you would start cheating a lot if you didn’t keep a log of calories?

    • thhq on August 18, 2017 at 04:19

      I would definitely cheat without a log, even though I only fill it out once a day. It’s consistency over weeks that makes counting work. I saw this first in the initial 2 lb/week weight loss, and see it now in maintaining the loss. Over 10 years hunger is still the enemy of weight maintenance.

      I was initially motivated by my diabetes diagnosis, and over time have shifted to a long healthy life as a goal to keep doing it. I don’t count to get cut or lose vanity pounds. It’s long term therapy for a chronic condition.

  3. David S. on August 17, 2017 at 02:03

    Not sure if you use Chronometer much, but a little adjustment of your data makes it FAR worse for the ketotard:

    Basically, virtually none of the foods in chonometer list quantities for the following: biotin, chromium, flouride, iodine and molybdenum, so you might as well uncheck them, as they’re complete unknowns. That’s why both yourself and the ketotard are deficient in them. They don’t really exist in any quantity in the database.

    When you also remove sodium (surely most modern humans get truckloads of it?) and vitamin D (probably better being outside) the ratios look more like this:

    Richard now deficient only in vitamin E: 4.5% deficient overall
    Ketotard: down to about 35% deficient overall

    Nearly 8 times worse off…. I know it’s massaging the data somewhat… but I feel it’s more accurate.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 17, 2017 at 07:23

      I suspected something like that may be afoot.

      OK, I’ll put an update up on the post.


    • Jerry on August 18, 2017 at 21:20

      I can’t believe that fluoride is listed. Then again, I can. No doubt it’s there for political reasons. It’s a rat poison and an obsolete thyroid-hormone lowering drug, a waste product of aluminum smelting and uranium processing. And the cause of the epidemic of hip fractures in the elderly.

      It took decades, but our illustrious govt and the ADA slowly and carefully managed to convince the gullible public first that it prevents cavities, and now that it’s a “necessary nutrient”. We are doomed.

  4. Sassysquatch on August 17, 2017 at 03:36

    Even though fiber isn’t a nutrient, it should also be figured in these diet comparisons. Low carb, high fat = low fiber, constipation.

    • Robert on August 17, 2017 at 04:28

      High protein, high fiber = high satiety and low calorie

    • thhq on August 17, 2017 at 04:52

      Impacted bowels in ER’s were one of the early effects of Atkin’s Diet Revolution.

  5. Tim Steele on August 17, 2017 at 12:09

    I think that the new wave of “nutritionally complete” keto diets, like Sisson seems to be promoting, with lots of LC plants and fiber, is either going to be:
    a) Not really a keto diet when measuring blood ketones, but a normal low carb diet.
    b) Ketotarded. A diet in which failure to lose weight will be blamed on the vegetables and fiber or protein.

    Here’s the rub with a keto diet…it’s all or nothing. One potato or rice meal will ruin all “fat adaptation” and ketogenesis effects, and you need to start over (“endless Atkins induction”). There are NO cheat meals on a keto diet.

    This type diet is so far removed from Sisson’s sensible Primal Blueprint which uses the 80/20 rule, allowing for 20% off-plan eating. I can guarantee that Jimmy’s biggest problem is eating off-plan, secretly, and sabotaging what possible keto-related weight loss he could be getting.

    Who the hell would want to be on a diet where one bite of the wrong food or one drink of beer will ruin any gains you made?

    • thhq on August 17, 2017 at 14:12

      Photoshop an elephant head on to Jimmy’s body.


    • Robert on August 18, 2017 at 00:54

      It’s a horrible way of life, always searching for some crazy thing that could bring you out of ketosis, believing that’s what stops you from losing weight. The sweeteners in toothpaste was a hilarious example in the chronicles.

      Now, Keto people that lift weights or actually are in caloric deficit, nothing brings them out of ketosis. Lots of protein, even moderate amounts of carbs can be handled. Who knows, maybe they can even brush their teeth, drink green tea, experience stress and travel without being knocked out of ketosis…

    • thhq on August 18, 2017 at 04:31

      No matter how you lose weight it’s a discipline to make it work long term. All diets are sold as being simple and easy to follow. This is generally true when you’re obese. Once you’re past that, you have to deal with the rest of your life. That’s what makes ketosis unappealing to me. I can put up with counting long term, but I could not put up with the strict ketosis food regime.

    • Shameer M. on August 20, 2017 at 10:49

      “a) Not really a keto diet when measuring blood ketones, but a normal low carb diet.”

      Which is essentially what Sisson’s original Primal Blueprint advocates and, like yourself, I think he should stick with. It’s a great plan and has helped a ton of people.

    • George on August 20, 2017 at 19:22

      Like the Wheat Belly?

  6. Robert on August 18, 2017 at 01:22


    I’d like to politely ask you about your choice of tactics.

    Seeing the stuff on the ketotard chronicles and also here on the blog has really opened my eyes to what is going on in ketotard land. It’s crazy really, a real scam, and people suffer from it. Someone had to speak out against it. You did it despite your previous connections, and that really is commendable.

    However, do you think mocking them is the best way? Sure it’s fun for us, but is it the most efficient way of helping people trapped in this scam?

    An experienced friend once gave me an example regarding trying to win someone over to your side: “If you go to someone and start tearing down their house, he will get angry and fiercely defend their own house, because he likes it, and he has no other house. It’s better to ‘come in peace’, and start building a better more beautiful house next to his. In due time, the other person will see that your house is bigger and better, and by his own choice come over to your house.”

    This reflects my own experience when being a believer in low-carb. In Sweden there’s one guy who is extremely sharp, and the main man for criticizing the pseudo-science in the LCHF movement. But he does it in a very demeaning way. Nowadays I love his stuff, it’s hilarious when he makes fun of some of the stupidity in LCHF circles, but when I was a believer I hated it. It made me avoid his writings. And this is the general opinion in LCHF, there is one never-ending thread in dietdoctor forum “exposing” the “fallacies” of this guy, almost everyone hates him. It’s not fun being labeled an idiot by some smart guy, and it can cause you to fight back rather than listen and try to understand the science.

    I’m saying that mockery possibly could cause many of them to “circle the wagons”, and in fact stop them from listening to the valid arguments you present.

    What say you on the matter?

    • Bret on August 18, 2017 at 03:55

      Not presuming to speak for Richard, but I’ll offer a defense based on a different perspective.

      Ridiculousness deserves to be called out as such, unequivocally. Jimmy has overplayed his hand big time, and he is getting not nearly enough overt criticism relative to the insanity of his advice. If people don’t see that criticism, they are likely to assume it doesn’t exist for a good reason (which is not the case…people are only withholding criticism due to politeness, which is ultimately a weak, spineless attitude).

      As for trying to catch flies with vinegar… People will come around over time. The true retards will remain retards no matter what style Jimmy’s critics take. But the non tard followers are harboring doubts about an extremist regimen being pushed by a morbidly obese guy that chants “health” while promoting low carb peanut butter cups and other such shit. They’ll embrace those doubts much sooner if they see them well articulated elsewhere.

      Plus, folks like Stephan Guyenet and Chris Kresser have the genteel high road approach covered. Richard is very much at his best when attacking a problem like a pit bull.

    • Robert on August 18, 2017 at 04:05


      You make a very convincing argument. Good point that the lack of criticism is dangerous.

      Of course, in the echo chamber no one will read or refer to Kresser or Guyenet. In fact, the chronicles show that numerous people were banned from the Keto groups just for having a different opinion.

      The aggressive approach might just be the only thing that can break the barriers of the echo chamber and make a dent.

      Also, I thought that the Ketotard Chronicles must be a very effective protection against someone new joining Keto madness. If you are a newbie, you haven’t yet made up your mind, and then seeing the chronicles will certainly make you think twice. It’s another story for the already “brainwashed” of course, they need more time.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 18, 2017 at 07:05

      What Bret said.

      I’ll also point out that I do this pretty much non-emotionally and without great particular pleasure.

      Sometimes it’s quite unpleasurable. For example, back when I chastised Mike Eades over the whole Inuit deal. But we’re good friends now. Don’t necessarily agree, but we privately shoot stuff back and forth often. Tom Naughton is another one. He could be so much better and I still hold out hope he will be, but I keep up the unwavering pressure.

      Since there are others out there always on the high road, I’m just fulfilling a niche. When someone “breaks” and finally dumps the bullshit, they feel a great catharsis and in some cases, become mockers in their own right.

    • George on August 20, 2017 at 19:24

      Who is that Swede?

    • Robert on August 21, 2017 at 07:40

      The Swede is Jacob Gudiol.

      But he writes his stuff in Swedish, so in order to be able to read his beautiful works, one must know this ancient Viking language.

  7. Bret on August 18, 2017 at 05:02

    “Also, I thought that the Ketotard Chronicles must be a very effective protection against someone new joining Keto madness.”

    Fully agreed. Prophylaxis just as important as remediation.

  8. JP on August 18, 2017 at 06:35

    As if we needed another diet/lifestyle, now come the Nordic diet:

    The article says “the diet which is high in fish, non-root vegetables, fruit, rice and chicken, washed down with plenty of water and tea…Another principle is avoiding eating too many root vegetables, potatoes, refined grains, butter, sugar and fruit juice.”

    It then gives a sample breakfast, which includes potatoes and butter.

    I’m sure the diet would be an improvement to fast/processed foods, but beyond that, I don’t see anything special or new.

    • thhq on August 18, 2017 at 08:01

      Not the Nordic diet I grew up on. They left out all the pastries. And root vegetables, flour, white sugar, dried meats and dairy are key foods in a climate too cold for growing fresh green vegetables. The ancestral Nordic diet revolves around portable non perishable foods that get you through long winters. Dried cod (stockfish) has a shelf life of 20 years.

      Whatever. It’s their diet and if they want to stamp a viking on it that’s their business.

    • Robert on August 18, 2017 at 08:23

      I have a dream – us Vikings shall return to our ancestral strength giving diet. Once again we shall terrorize and annihilate our weak and feeble neighbours. Finally, we shall reclaim what is rightfully ours – North America. The fat and stupid Americans shall not be able to stop us.

    • JP on August 18, 2017 at 08:48

      Yeah, that version of the Nordic diet made no sense to me. Cut down on root vegetables but eat plenty of rice and fruit? Did the Vikings make frequent stops to Southeast Asia to load up on their “staple” foods?

      And Robert, I’m afraid that’s very politically incorrect. If there are any Viking monuments in your area, they’re probably coming down soon…legally or illegally.

  9. meli on August 18, 2017 at 06:46

    I can not find the appropriate message to respond…but you once mentioned that you would write about easily quitting alcohol. I’d like to know your strategy…and tactics. Thank you

    • Richard Nikoley on August 18, 2017 at 07:20

      Well, quitting or just reducing way down.

      In a word, protein. Keep it high, 1g per pound of body weight. Target leaner sources. Keep calories in check. Stay active.

    • meli on August 18, 2017 at 10:01

      Thank you…I have plenty of lean protein, so I’ll give it a try–hope it works as well with high blood pressure.

    • meli on August 18, 2017 at 10:07

      Please excuse the stupid comment–it’s my problem/issue, not yours.

  10. Otto on August 19, 2017 at 07:39

    Hey Richard, cancer researcher Dr. Thomas Seyfried PhD, recommends for cancer patients and survivors a low-calorie “ketogenic” diet consisting of 80% fat, with the rest (20%) being made up of protein + carbohydrate.

    What do you think?

    • Richard Nikoley on August 19, 2017 at 08:12

      Google Chad Masias and see his recent paper. Also, check out his podcast as Sigma Nutrition.

      I don’t have links handy right now.

      The short of it is that the cancers are all different. Some respond well to Keto, and some, ketones make tumors grow and metastasize more quickly.

  11. George on August 21, 2017 at 07:44

    Robert, jag förstår svenska, the Viking language, alldeles utmärkt:)

    • Robert on August 21, 2017 at 08:35

      Haha, trevlig läsning då ;-)

  12. Duck Dodgers on August 23, 2017 at 21:07

    Interestingly the standard diet recommended by the Netherlands’ Dietary Guidelines is pretty much spot on with the RDA. Just plug in 7 slices of whole wheat bread and some dairy (3 slices of cheese) with a tiny portion of meat and maybe 2 eggs and lo and behold it works out to roughly 100% RDA of pretty much everything except potassium and Vitamin C. Throw in a kiwi and a banana and get to 100% RDA of Vitamin C. Gives you plenty of RS. Couldn’t be easier. Their dietary guidelines even state that supplements are unnecessary, and potentially harmful, for most healthy people eating a balanced diet.

    • Shameer M. on August 23, 2017 at 23:03

      7 slices of whole wheat bread sounds excessive. Even assuming one is healthy, wouldn’t that much daily wheat intake increase one’s chances of getting an autoimmune disease via intestinal permeability?

  13. […] and even limiting protein—the most satiating macronutrient—such that the diet is 80% fat, and fat has nearly zero vitamins or minerals (see here too, a post from four and a half years ago!). This is not controversial. Isolated fat […]

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