I’m in Minneapolis tonight, delivering my Science For Smart People speech to a group of dietitians — yes, dietitians, but they’ve been successfully de-programmed and no longer believe saturated fat will kill us or that healthywholegrains will save us.

Dinner at the event was a Caesar salad, asparagus, carrots and a filet mignon.  I saw people enjoying their steaks and pouring heavy cream into their coffee.  How’s that for progress?

I’ll be back tomorrow.

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16 Responses to “Back Tomorrow”
  1. Kay says:

    What group of dietitians was this? When I move back to Minneapolis I want to seek their services (should I need a dietitian).

    They were a group of registered dietitians who work for Lifetime Fitness, a health organization that’s lucky to have Tom Nikkola as the Director of Nutrition and Weight Management. Tom was on the low-carb cruise and (with his wife Vanessa Romero) gave a brief talk about their experiences with diets and health.

  2. Jon says:

    Hey Tom-

    Whereabouts in Minneapolis did you give your speech? I’m from the area.

    It was at a dinner meeting in the Grand Hotel downtown.

  3. Linda says:

    Wow! I would never have put “dietitians” and “heavy cream” in the same sentence!
    There is hope………………………..

  4. bigmyc says:

    Not so fast there with the Lipid Renaissance…there’s this report.
    This could be a textbook case of more “bad science,” but I’d like you to give it a look..If the correlation is with the lifestyles of the meat eaters and not the meat itself, what does it still say about meat eating? Furthermore, they didn’t mention anything about the origin of said meat. Your thoughts?

    http://www.philly.com/philly/health/HealthDay664887_20120518__Bad__Fat_May_Hurt_Brain_Function_Over_Time.html

    It’s yet another crappy observational study based on food questionnaires. Those questionnaires are notoriously inaccurate. But let’s suppose for the sake of argument that there really is a correlation between saturated fat intake and cognitive decline. That doesn’t prove anything. In the U.S., some of the biggest sources of saturated fat in the diet are pizza, dairy desserts and grain-based desserts. So people who eat more saturated fat eat more of those foods.

  5. Marilyn says:

    Oh, wow! Looking forward to hearing about it.

  6. Ellen says:

    Wow! How did you land that gig? So there is some hope. I’ve lost 39 pounds since the fall doing LC/HF. My mother in law’s heart doctor told her to lose weight and she explained to him what I’ve been doing. He told her to do what I’m doing but don’t do Atkins ??? Gee I’m glad doctors are so educated about nutrition.

    Go low carb, but don’t do Atkins? Okay, that’s an interesting take.

  7. Richard says:

    I was wondering why my gym seemed to have it together, and they even sent an e-mail with the subject line “5 Lessons From the Low Carb Cruise.”

    Cool good to know that my new gym is on the right track.

    A sign of progress to be sure.

  8. Craig says:

    I think what Ellen’s mother in law experienced was what Jimmy Moore refers to as “don’t say Atkins.”

    If someone says, “You look great. What have you been doing?” and you respond by saying you cut the processed junk out of your diet and have been mostly eating home-cooked fresh vegetables and grass-pastured meats and eggs they will say that sounds incredibly healthy. If you use the words “low carb” or “Atkins” their eyes will get big and they’ll tell you you’re going to die.

    I’m afraid so.

  9. Marilyn says:

    @Ellen. “. . . but don’t do Atkins. . .”

    Since there must be LOTS of people out there doing Almost Atkins — Atkins with tweaks here and there — one can always say, “No, I’m not doing Atkins.” And leave it at that. Resist the temptation to elaborate. Or say, “No, I’m doing Dr. Eric Westman’s diet as published in Gary Taubes’s ‘Why We Get Fat’.” (Westman’s diet is basically Atkins, but it sounds different.) :-)

    Yup, unfortunately “Atkins” became a dirty word with a lot of doctors.

  10. Brian says:

    Ellen,

    It is funny you should mention that “doctors are so educated about nutrition”. My wife will finish her residency in June (so a pretty recent med school grad) and freely admits that she received minimal nutrition training at her top ten (based on US News.com) ranked medical school. We both adhere to the LC/HF diet and our own doctors are surprised at our yearly blood work. Thank goodness for Dr. Lustig, Tom, those of you who are living proof of this diet, and the sharing of good knowledge.

    That’s what the doctors I interviewed for Fat Head told me too. Nutrition is a quick and easy course in med school, not something they focus on.

  11. Bill says:

    Perhaps this starter group of de-programmed dieticians can go out to the schools and save our teenagers from type 2 diabetes. In recent news, government researchers are estimating 23% of U.S. teenagers are either pre-diabetic or full-blown type 2 diabetics. That number should be zero! Only this sort of dietary regimen (low carb, high fat) along with lots of exercise will save these kids and not bankrupt our practically bankrupt health system. However, I noticed the first thing the medical establishment was concerned about were these kids’ increased risk of cardio-vascular issues. Of course, to them, this means that these young T2s should be put on a low-fat diet (by default high-carb) with mega doses of statins. I’m beside myself with worry.

    I’m worried too, but I’m betting we can turn it around.

  12. Ash Simmonds says:

    I don’t even use the term “low-carb” anymore if I can avoid it, just go with high-fat/adequate-protein. I mean I don’t eat much glass either, so technically my diet is low-glass/high-fat.

    I find “modified paleo” works for me.

  13. Amy W says:

    De-lurking to say that I’ve been pretty impressed with Lifetime Fitness. I’ve been a member of a Lifetime Fitness in Atlanta for almost 3 years. For 2 years, I’ve attended their boot camp (similliar to cross fit) classes that are run by personal trainers. All of the personal trainers that run their boot camp classes eat and promote paleo diets. In fact, I credit a Lifetime Fitness personal trainer for really getting me over the “low carb hump.” I was trying to remover sugars and starches from my diet, but was experiencing uncontrollable sugar cravings every afternoon. It was a trainer at Lifetime who explained to me that for all of the carbs that I remove from my diet, I need to add fat. He told me that I had to feed my body fat if I wanted it to burn fat for energy and that it was a myth that eating fat caused one to become fat. He used to email us weekly paleo recipes.

    Excellent!

  14. Ellen says:

    I didn’t realize Aktins was a dirty word. I honestly don’t know all differences between Atkins, Paleo, low carb. I guess I do a combination of all of them, just avoiding carbs and eating healthy fats. I’ve educated myself over the last several months from scratch on the internet with all the wonderful websites like this one, War On Insulin, etc. I watch the medical shows on TV about people suffering with obestity and other health problems and feel so much pain for them when the right nutrition could easily help many of them. The doctors and fitness “experts” drive them to the brink with their low fat diets, exercise routines and drugs. I just try to do my part and explain when people ask about my weight loss and hope it sinks in.

    Unfortunately, a lot of people hear “Atkins” and think it means nothing but bacon, steaks and cheeseburgers without a bun.

    Paleo is related, but still different. Paleo purists don’t consume any grains, legumes, or dairy products and only consume meats that came from free-range animals.

  15. Linda Riddle says:

    I was so glad to read that there is hope with the dieticians! Interesting take on physicians. I recently saw my opthamologist, and he was amazed that I’ve lost 100 pounds in a little over a year (and beat diabetes back with a stick!) He asked what I did and like a fool, I said “Atkins.” His comment was to grin and say, “so now you eat nothing but bacon?’ It was another bang the head on the desk moment! I do wish that physicians could get some education (the right kind) in nutrition!

    That’s what people think when you say “Atkins.” They don’t realize what a mixed diet it can be.

  16. Tom Nikkola says:

    Richard – I’m glad to hear you were pleasantly surprised. We’re trying to get the right message out. It makes it a lot easier when we can use entertainment like Fat Head to help get the message across in a funny, non-threatening way.
    Bill – we started with one elementary school this year. Anika DeCoster, one of our corporate dietitians, has been integral in redoing the menu options at Deephaven Elementary School, which is in MN. It’ll take time, though. Unfortunately, our 15-year-old was told in his health class this year that coconut is a good example of the “bad, saturated fat.”
    Amy – that’s great.

    Tom delivered a great speech to our RDs. I’d recommend having him present “Science for Smart People” to any (or shall I say “every”) health/fitness/nutrition-focused groups. It was a lot of fun.

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