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BIGGEST Keto Mistake

By October 6, 2020September 26th, 2021Nutrition Education

BIGGEST Keto Mistake

I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my 23 years of eating keto such as eating ranch dressing at restaurants. What’s wrong with that? Let me tell you!

First off, what do you think is worse? Vegetable oils OR sugar?

I once thought sugar but I know now that Vegetable Oils (PUFAs) are causing just as much damage! I always knew that trans-fats were bad, but I didn’t know HOW bad they were.

Let me put it in a way that my boys would understand (they love superheroes!).

If you have ever watched Batman, you know the Joker and the Penguin are the bad guys and if sugar was a supervillain it would definitely be the Joker. A bad bad substance BUT vegetable oil is the Penguin: slimy, globulus and hard to pin down.

These harmful vegetable oils are hidden everywhere AND our doctors tell us they are HEALTHY.

So mistakenly too many people are trading healthy animal fats for harmful vegetable oils like soybean oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil and corn oil. Instead of eating healthy saturated fats, people are eating fats that release toxic chemicals called aldehydes that have been linked to dementia, cancer, and heart disease.

If you are concerned about heart disease, vegetable oils can be one of the causes of plaque buildup in the arteries, which leads to heart disease.

Vegetable oils also contribute to weight gain because they block the enzymes used to help break down fat for energy.

Soybean oil now accounts for 60% of edible fats consumed in the United States. That increase in soybean oil consumption mirrors the rise in obesity rates in the United States in recent decades.


Scientists have been researching this for years and the results of such studies like THIS are remarkable!

  1. Group 1: Included coconut oil, which consists primarily of saturated fat.
  2. Group 2: Included half coconut oil and half soybean oil.
  3. Groups 3 and 4: Included added fructose, comparable to the amount consumed by many Americans.

Each group was given the same number of calories, so you would think that their weight must have stayed about the same. However, the group on the soybean oil-enriched diet gained almost 25% more weight than the mice on the coconut oil diet and 9% more weight than those on the fructose-enriched diet.

In the past, I would have thought the group given the fructose would have gained the most weight, but in this study, the group given the fructose only gained 12% more weight than those on a saturated fat diet.

The study is remarkable! Compared to group 1 on the high coconut oil diet, group 2 on the high soybean oil diet had an increase in weight gain, larger fat deposits, a fatty liver with signs of injury, diabetes and insulin resistance, all of which are part of the Metabolic Syndrome.

Adding fructose in the diet had less serious metabolic impacts than soybean oil even though it did cause more negative effects in the kidney and a marked increase in prolapsed rectums, a symptom of inflammatory bowel disease.

“This was a major surprise for us – that soybean oil is causing more obesity and diabetes than fructose – especially when you see headlines everyday about the potential role of sugar consumption in the current obesity epidemic,” said Poonamjot Deol, a professor of cell biology and neuroscience who directed the project.

For more about this check out this excellent presentation by Dr Michael Eades.

Where are Vegetable Oils Hidden?

Even on a keto diet, I am shocked at how often I see it! I have even see it in SALMON!!!  Here are a few ways I see it in keto diets:

1. Mayo (brands like Helman’s and Kraft)

2. Salad dressings

I once would order a burger with Ranch dressing at restaurants but I now know better!

Just about every salad dressing at grocery stores and restaurants are filled with harmful vegetable oils. Do not be fooled by “keto” salad dressings like ranch, blue cheese salad dressing or other low carb salad dressing offerings. I now always make my own and pack it with me.

3. Omelets and Scrambled Eggs

IF you are lucky enough to get REAL eggs that aren’t from a carton, they are usually made in vegetable oils. I always request real eggs made in butter on the Low Carb Cruise.

4. Melted “BUTTER”

One day Craig and I had a date night (LONG before we had children) at Joe’s Crab Shack.  The beautiful King Crab Legs came and I asked for melted butter with my crab, and to make sure it wasn’t an oil blend with butter. The waiter said they didn’t have any plain butter, only mixed with vegetable oil! WHAT! NO BUTTER? It is a hydrogenated oil mixture! They claim they have NO BUTTER in the restaurant! We ate the crab without butter and I quickly learned how to cook King Crab Legs at home! Cheaper and so simple! Click HERE to find my Crab Recipe.


Unless your burger is grilled (which I believe only Wendy’s grills the burgers) they are cooked in vegetable oils.

I see a lot of people ordering “animal style” burgers at In and Out restaurants. Those burgers are cooked in 100% sunflower oil. Not to mention the sauce is filled with soybean oil.

6. Protein Bars

Do not be fooled by keto or low carb bars claiming only “3 NET carbs!” And watch for vegetable oils.

7. Coffee Creamer

Sugar Free Coffee Mate is neither sugar free nor healthy. Nothing but corn syrup, harmful vegetable oils and chemicals.

8. SALMON!!!! 

Even SALMON can have hidden vegetable oils: Sealectables Cedar Plank Alaskan Salmon


Most Peanut Butters are filled with cheap hydrogenated oils or refined palm oils. Do not be fooled by the word “Natural!”


Thanksgiving is a bitter-sweet day for me. My grandpa Vince survived his first heart attack at age 32, but with the diet that his doctor recommended it is no wonder his heart never healed. The doctor told him to use butter substitutes like “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.” He eventually required heart surgery at age 45, then another one at age 52. At that point, the doctors gave him 5 years to live; he made it 9 and died at age 61 on Thanksgiving morning. He was given nutrition advice from his doctor to never eat eggs, butter, or saturated fat.  This diet of fake fats also caused Alzheimer’s for my grandmother.

Not only do these butter substitutes taste terrible, they are nothing but harmful for everyone!

11. CHEEZ-ITS and other snacks marketed to children.

Stop giving children Cheez-Its, Nutella, Granola and other “treats” that are changing their cellular health! This dogma that children should be able to enjoy sugar-filled vegetable oil snacks is what is setting them up as adults with terrible health issues.

12. Protein Drinks marketed to patients with Epilepsy and Seizure: the primary fat they use are cheap soybean oils!

What’s my take-home message? 

You can be in ketosis and still be harming your health.

Just because a ketone meter tells you that you are in ketosis isn’t a magical process that will automatically help you heal your body. What you eat in order to be in ketosis is more important that a ketone number.

I also want you to remember how essential cholesterol is to the human body!

Cholesterol is so important to the human body that nature has devised a backup plan in the event your diet falls short. When that happens, your liver steps in to make cholesterol to give your body a baseline level. The high levels of insulin that are released in a low-fat, high-carb diet also trigger the body to tap off leftover blood sugar into the liver to make cholesterol and triglycerides which are used for energy and fat storage.

In its natural, unstressed state your liver makes 75% of the cholesterol your body needs. The rest you have to eat, which is my favorite food group: butter, meat, whole-fat dairy products, shellfish and eggs.

If you deprive yourself of cholesterol, your liver overproduces cholesterol to make up the difference and stocks up. This overdrive state can’t shut off until you start eating cholesterol again. So, a low-cholesterol, high-carbohydrate diet can actually lead to heart disease!

In this YouTube video Craig discusses all things cholesterol related.

Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".


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