Ketogenic Diet
Misconceptions and Biased Reporting

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I have to admit I never expected to have a post like this one on my blog. However, I feel this is the best way to keep people informed of what we have to deal with simply because we dare to promote a healthy way of eating that doesn't conform to the "standard guidelines".

Jack Malvern, a senior news reporter and former arts correspondent for The Times, sent us an email on Friday evening at 20:40 accusing us of recommending alternative treatments for cancer.

He based his accusations on a single sentence taken out of context. You would expect that any respectable journalist would do some basic investigative work before making accusations. But it seems this is not Jack's approach.

We were so shocked by Jack's accusations that the first thing we did was to check if the email address it was sent from is actually legitimate. Our initial thought was that it was the work of a prankster - not a journalist.

We have already informed Jack that we will include all correspondence unedited on our website and share it on social media.

Jack Malvern's Email

Ketogenic Diet: Misconceptions and Biased Reporting

What contributed to our surprise - and may be completely unrelated - is that for the first time ever we received an email just days before Jack's message inviting us to promote an unspecified 'natural therapy' for cancer which we dismissed and marked as spam in our ticketing system:

Ketogenic Diet: Misconceptions and Biased Reporting

So what is going on here? Why would a former arts correspondent who - as far as we can tell - never wrote anything related to nutrition, health or technology suddenly have such an interest in our app?

Our Response to Jack Malvern's Email

Dear Jack,

I'm shocked at your claims. You have taken a sentence out of context accusing us of 'suggesting alternative treatments' when what we’re referring to is using the ketogenic diet alongside standard treatments – exactly as I do for my thyroid condition.

Of course, if you were to contact us in advance or use our app or visit our website you’d know that already, but sadly you didn’t bother.

Let me explain our approach so there is no confusion:

We never did and never will recommend any 'alternative treatments' for any condition. In fact, we actively discourage people from using the ketogenic diet itself as 'treatment' for any conditions and we always urge our users to contact medical professionals.

Ketogenic Diet: Misconceptions and Biased Reporting

When it comes to cancer, below is an example that can be found in our app (and our website https://ketodietapp.com/Blog/lchf/ketogenic-diet-and-brain-cancer)

Ketogenic Diet: Misconceptions and Biased Reporting

If you’re wondering why we refer to the ketogenic diet as a “tool” for cancer, you can find out more in the 4 studies mentioned in the article above and the additional references below:

I believe this clarifies the matter 1, and I'll briefly respond to some other points:

You quote Ruth Kilcawley who states that the ketogenic diet is dangerous during chemotherapy due to 'weight loss'.

Like any diet the ketogenic diet can be used to lose, maintain or gain weight – it comes down to calories consumed. We'd love to see the clinical trials and research that Ruth Kilcawley is basing her advice that the ketogenic diet is dangerous when used in conjunction with cancer treatment.

When it comes to the Cancer Research UK quote I’ll overlook the fact that the whole quote is about ‘sugar’ and not carbohydrates and I’ll provide some info you may find useful in your research:

I believe I have answered your questions.

In addition, I’ve asked our developer to update our App Store listing to further clarify our approach although it has already been explained in our app and our website as can be seen above.

For complete transparency we’ll post all our exchanges unedited on our blog and share them on social media.

Yours sincerely,
Martina Slajerova


  1. By "matter" I refer to the original false accusation that we recommend alternative treatments for cancer. 

Applications of the Ketogenic Diet in Patients with Cancer

Apart from the studies listed in my reply, it's worth mentioning that there are plenty more resources focusing on keto in cancer management:

Is This Bias or Just Lazy Journalism?

So what Jack did was to take a sentence out of thousands of pages of content and give a narrow interpretation to fit his narrative.

Let's be clear about some facts:

  • Jack never contacted us to confirm his understanding of our app and what it actually does.
  • He never used our app to be aware of the content, disclaimers and our approach.
  • He appears to have never visited our website to find out more about us.

The fact that Jack claims we recommend 'alternative treatments' for cancer shows he hasn't spent any time looking at the facts but he simply used one sentence that he misinterpreted to fit his story. Furthermore, I would also have expected to see some effort in learning and understanding the topic itself.

How Can You Help?

Please use the Tweet button below to share this story so it gets the exposure it deserves.

We all want to avoid biased reporting based on false accusations to keep our message clear. In the end what matters most is to help everyone follow a healthy diet. This can only happen with your support!

Biased reporting or plain lazy journalism? You be the judge!

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Martina Slajerova
Creator of KetoDietApp.com

Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

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Comments (76)

Thank you for your due diligence. Your site is premier for me because you screen and demand accuracy. In today’s world, unfortunately, there are some people who seem to lack moral perpetude, and never seem to see the responsibility toward the common good. I appreciate your efforts and can say it directly impacts my trust and confidence in this site. Amen!

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Thank you Mary, I appreciate that!

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Good for you Martina!  I can’t for the life of me understand how people who know me can stand and look me in the eye and say I was healthier when I was eating all the grains, bad fats, and sugar.  When I started Keto 20 months ago I weighed 198 pounds, was fatigued on a daily basis, and was a thyroid cancer survivor.  I was boarderline diabetic.
I now weigh 143 pounds.  All blood and diabetes markers are well within normal range now. I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and Inam SO grateful to have lost 55 pounds.  I am much healthier now and am confident my body is much more prepared to tackle the upcoming battles.
People like Jack are the reason that we have so much FAKE and/or incomplete and misleading news.  It is truly sad that you and others have to spend your time addressing such juvenile dribble to spouted by knee jerk reactionists.  I think I would call it not only lazy journalism but hack journalism which in the end is where all “fake news” begins.
Keep up the good work!

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From all those spammy websites he targets someone who never promised anything about treating cancer. Does he even know why people use your app? I doubt that. I think that compared to others you have one of the most skeptic approaches and I admire you for that. He should go keto, it may boost his brain.... if he can figure out how to do it 😊
Best,
Anita

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This "journalist" is just looking for a big story to boost his career. He is the worst of its kind because he doesn't care about the facts. You app is so much more than what he imagines and has nothing to do with cancer treatment. For whatever reason his approach is cherry-picked science. I don't think he has a clue. Keep up the good work!

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Martina, and don't forget the groundbreaking Warburg effect explained by the renowned nephrologist, Dr. Jason Fung.

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Thank you for mentioning that, Mickey!

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Martina Slajerova you are the best!  You will always have my support.

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Thank you Anita!

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They do not want to addmit that 50yrs+ of advised diet of low fat foods was a lie and a ploy to make ppl sicker and reach for medication which we all know is a multibillion dollar industry owned by the few rich 5% of the world....

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Keto is AMAZING for weight loss and overall well-being.
I've never felt as good and full of energy as I do now thanks to ketosis!
There's a documentary on Netflix about the keto diet called "The Magic Pill"
It's a great watch and definetly recommend it for anybody out there trying to get into this.
Also check out www.ketoforwellness.org
Some great free things and info on that site
Good luck with keto everybody, wish you all the best!!

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Thank you Victor!

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Is that quote from Cancer Research UK for real??!?! Even the other quote seems to be ignoring all the evidence of the beneficial effects of keto. I find it hard to believe that the journalist sent that...... actually not that hard considering how some of them work these days, always looking for the next big story. I've been following your blog for many years and never ever got the impression that you recommend keto as a "treatment". You are actually one of the only keto bloggers (if not the only) I know who always urge people to consult their doctor. You provide facts, your posts are very balanced and that's what I admire about you! Keep up the good work!

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Gilly, thank you for your support, I appreciate that!!

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I am so sorry you had to go through this.  I love your app and suggest it to all my friends.  I don't think I could have lost 6% body fat without it.  In today's world anyone can say anything.  You are amazing and keep doing what you are doing.  

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Thank you so much Karen!

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I do not use any social except Pinterest (and I pinned your post immediately after reading it), but I want you to know that you've my support too; I alo add that since I discovered your blog and started following it, I've collected a good number of articles to be able to say that yours is one of the most balanced approach to LCHF/ Keto diet, always reporting the pros and cons about making a certain kind of choiche (from adopting a different way of life, or simply decide to avoid a certain food -I'm referring to diary: you've written a great article with lots of informations and scientific data about this...), and never tired to stress that "one size doesn't fit all", and "keto isn't for everyone", and so on; more over, your recipes are always healthy (can't say the same about a lot of other keto blogs where even if the macros are ok they suggest frying everything everyday and also without paying attention to the source of the food they use for recipes: really not your case; last but not least, I found you recipes sometimes even "too much carby"for my stricht approach to keto , but I know that it's due to my therapeutic need to keep carb very low for neurological issue: that's to demonstrate that you offer resources with consciousness and passion and care of your readers and we just feel it)
So,long story made short: The "journalist" has proven that he doesn't even know how you approach to health in general (it's so clearly expressed with passion in every single page on your blog that even someone who doesn't know what "ketogenic diet" is would notice it if just paying attention to what is clearly under his nose!) .
Apologize my bad English, but it was too important for me to keep it under silence. Thank you for reading me and for doing what you do, as you do it. Do not change, go on 😊 I'm with you.

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Thank you so much Roberta, I really appreciate that! Exactly, no diet fits all! I do believe that a certain level of carbohydrate restriction is beneficial for the vast majority of people but there are so many different approaches one could follow (very low-carb, moderate carb, some do carb-us, dairy-free keto or even vegetarian).
I generally steer clear from resources that promote only one way or more specifically "their" way of following any diet. And there are plenty.
Oh I know the "as long as you fit in your macros" approach. I believe that macronutrients, micronutrients and food quality play an equal role in healthy well-being.
I agree, some of my recipes are certainly not for a very low-carb approach 😊 Just in case this helps, you can use the filtering options at the top of KetoDiet Blog: Recipes - select "0-6 g net carbs").
And never apologise for your English - it's perfect. English is not my first language either! 😊
Thanks again for your supportive words!

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Thank you very much, Martina, for your kind words and for the helpful suggestion about the filter to search recipes that I can enjoy more often 😊 And anyway even if some others are out of my possibilities for my restrictions, I almost always find some inspiration, a great way to avoid boreness and add some more options to my diet, being sure that if the recipe comes from your blog I do not have to worry that it could be  based on unhealthy food! Last but not least, I'm trying to involve my parents in a more healthy way of eating and living (both of them are still eating too much sugar & processed foods even if they're a bit more conscious about the problem since when they noticed my strong improvement after my dietary changes -speaking about my disease, that have strongly decreased -thanks to keto- and to let them know without dogmatism the beauty of healing with a simple new way of eating and living baed on whole real food I've already prepared them a couple of your recipes without any modification (they don't need to count nor have allergies or dietary restriction to respect) and they loved them without even know they were eating a dish from a "diet" blog 😊 Your blog is amazing, as you are. Thank you again for the sincere passion you put in it every time you add a post!

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I know how it is when it comes to involving parents and friends. And it's not even about keto. Even a simple change such as removing soft drinks and processed foods makes a big difference!
I'm glad they enjoyed my recipes! 😊 I think this is the best way to show them that a low-carb diet doesn't have to be restrictive (they won't even know) and can significantly improve their health. Thank you again for your kind words and support!

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It had to happen, you are educating and changing people’s perceptions about healthy eating and unfortunately people will come out in ignorance to attack, usually there is always an ulterior motive. Keep up the good work, love the app, your books and the recipes 😁

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Kim, thank you for your kind words and support!

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Jack Malvern is simply a corporate media lackey doing his assigned task of distorting information to suit the agenda of his paymasters.
The chronic disease industry pays a lot of bills for the New York Times, so the gray lady is all too happy to serve the agenda of the AHA, ADA, & ACS (the "non-profits" funded by industry to push industry consensus on the public under the guise of consumer protection).
It's great you took the time to clear all this up, but the pushback from big food & big pharma is only going to get worse as sites such as yours become more effective at disseminating information about reversing chronic disease through healthy eating.

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Mark, thank you so much for your insights!

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Shared. We all apreciate your help on this new life style. Excelent response. You have my support.

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Thank you so much for your support!

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I also do not tweet but this needs to be addressed by the rest of us out here in one fashion or another. How can this man call himself an investigative reporter when he investigated NOTHING? If I have your permission I would love to post this info on the keto Facebook pages I belong to.

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Thank you Marcelle! I would be grateful for any shares!

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I don't tweet but my full support is yours. Having had cancer if i had known about keto I would have followed it because now I feel even better than I did before.

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Thank you Pat, I appreciate your support!

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hopefully, this will shame him into leaving you alone.  The truth will prevail.  I'd ask HIM to provide any references for well-documented long-term medical studies showing that dietary consumption of sugar is necessary and that keto is harmful.  The science doesn't support the existing media bias against fat.  
Tim Noakes just won a 4-year court battle against dietitians in South Africa for recommending the Banting low carb high-fat diet.  There are many people out there who assisted with his defense in this landmark case supporting low carb diets. https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/national/health/2018-06-08-tim-noakes-is-finally-free-and-clear-after-winning-banting-diet-advice-case/

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Thank you Catherine! I'm so happy for Tim Noakes, he has gone through hell for 4 long years. I've been to the PHC conference in London where he  was speaking and got the most amazing standing ovation!

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Great response.....I hope he feels at least a tiny bit sheepish!!!

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Thank you Marion!

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Brilliant response!  Bravo Martina!

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Thank you Bruce!

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Well answered. He is probably receiving payment from the corporate food makers, to put keto down. They don’t want to see any evidence as it is not good for their profits. I know I have jumped to a conclusion, but if it is good for the goose then it is good for the gander.

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Thank you Chris! It's hard to tell and I know that there are people with interests - I assume it's just lazy reporting in this case but you never know.

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Hi Martina
Great reply and I actually did read all the conditions you mentioned here before embarking on a Keto regime. Saw my Doctor, consulted an independent dietitian and poured thru the app, recipes and information you provided here.
The ground work was worth the effort and my steady weight loss and gains in energy and improved outlook have also been worth the effort.
I also have a son who worried me greatly with the weight he was carrying. He was bordering on type 2 diabetes.
He eventually came to the doctor with me and set him on a great diet and exercise plan and two years down the track he is a healthy weight, training 5 days with a group and maintaining weight well.
A little knowledge is dangerous, informative action is a much better way to go.
Thanks

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Thank you so much Soraith. I'm happy to hear about your experience and your son's health & weight loss results. Well done!

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Some people are so quick to judge, they don't even have a clue about keto, all I can say is that keto has changed my life for better.

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Hi there, registered nurse from Australia here who regularly frequents your page, reads your blog. I’d just like to say that I’ve been following (loosely albeit) a ketogenic diet on and off for about 5 years now, and the movement is indeed gaining traction. In the ICU when I was initially mentioning my regime to other health professionals I was met with the idea the “Keto acidosis is very bad for you” and “why would you do something so dangerous” - obviously referring to diabetic KA, a completely different thing. Safe to say after seeing results, I went away on holiday and came back to the better part of 20 people on ketosis and feeling better than ever with regards to their health, energy levels, weight loss and skin. There is a stigma associated with ketosis that is slowly improving and ever evolving studies on this type of regime on many areas within health. Jim’s response is one that is (fortunately) less encountered these days but still prevalent. Your retort is well cited, and provides important warnings for those embarking on their ketosis journey with pre-existing ailments - I would argue that your wording supports the idea that people with cancer should NOT pursue this without confirmation by their specialist. Thanks for sharing and I look forward to reading his response (if there will ever be from the likes of this character).

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Elliott, thank you for your kind words, I appreciate your support! There is so much misinformation surrounding ketosis and the applications of the ketogenic diet. There is always some resistance and it will take time for the low-carb approach to get accepted as a healthy way of eating.

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I appreciate all you and those that work with you do.  Thank you for dealing with this situation very eloquently and factually.  Shame on Jack, who apparently is no journalist and I hope fails miserably at his newest adventure in journalism as a ignorant malcontents.

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Thank you for your support, Mary!

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8 pm on a Friday night, says it all. He was hoping you would not reply in time so he could say "were not available for comment" and make you sound like you're trying to dodge the "hard hitting" questions.

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Initially I thought this was a prank also because it was quite late (almost 9 pm). I was surprised to see it was actually written by someone living in the same time zone.

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He obviously had nothing better to do on a Friday night!

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