From The News …

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Interesting news from the past week or so …

Yet another “meat kills!” study

Dear nutrition researchers –

We get it, okay?  Seriously, we get it.  We know that you can conduct observational study after observational study and produce statistics showing that people who consume a lot of processed meat are more likely to get heart disease, cancer, diabetes, etc., etc., etc. than people who don’t.  If we took a survey, we’d probably find that more people know about that correlation than know the U.S. is 16 trillion dollars in debt.  We’d probably also find that most people are more worried about processed meats than the ticking debt-bomb.  So congratulations.  You’ve done your job.  You can stop now.  Really.  Please.

But of course, they won’t stop.  They’ll keep producing essentially the same study over and over and over.  The latest “meat kills!” study hit the news late last week.  Here are some quotes from just one of the gazillion articles that appeared online.

Too much processed meat tied to premature death

Eating too much processed meat like bacon and sausage could increase the risk of premature death, a study of nearly half a million Europeans suggests.

The study of people in 10 European countries who were followed for an average of 13 years. In that time, there were about 26,000 deaths.  People who consumed more than 160 grams of processed meat a day — about two sausages and a slice of bacon — were 44 per cent more likely to die over the course of the study compared with those eating about 20 grams.

“The results of our analysis support a moderate positive association between processed meat consumption and mortality, in particular due to cardiovascular diseases, but also to cancer,” Prof. Sabine Rohrmann from the University of Zurich and his co-authors concluded in this week’s issue of the journal BMC Medicine.

Blah, blah, blah.

I took a peek at the full study and was tempted to do a full analysis, but concluded I may as well just cut-and-paste from my posts on other “meat kills!” studies – because this is the same kind of crappy study as all the others.  So here’s pretty much all you need to know:

  • It’s an observational study and therefore essentially meaningless.
  • The data is based on food-recall questionnaires, which are notoriously unreliable – and in this study, different questionnaires were used in different countries.
  • The scary-sounding percentages (increases risk of death by 44%!) turn into small numbers when you look at the actual difference.
  • The people who consumed a lot of processed meat had worse health habits overall:  more likely to smoke, more likely to drink heavily, more likely to be overweight, less likely to eat vegetables, etc.  In other words, we are (once again) looking at the differences between people who are health-conscious and people who aren’t.  Since we’ve all been told for the past 40 years that bacon and sausage are bad for us, health-conscious people are more likely to avoid processed meats than I-don’t-give-a-@#$% people.

The researchers claimed they “teased out” the processed meat consumption specifically, but frankly, that’s not possible.  They can adjust for factors included in their data, such as smoking and BMI, but there’s no way they gathered data on every variable that can affect health — such as the fact that people who eat processed meats typically eat them with a nice, big serving of white flour and probably a soda as well.

‘Nuff said.

We eat less, but we’re fatter

So much for the belief that it’s all about the calories.  According to a study that hit the news recently, we’re eating less, not more:

U.S. adults have been eating steadily fewer calories for almost a decade, despite the continued increase in obesity rates, according to survey data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Researchers, whose findings appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, analyzed trends since the 1970s and found that among adults, average daily energy intake rose by a total of 314 calories from 1971 to 2003, then fell by 74 calories between 2003 and 2010.

“It’s hard to reconcile what these data show, and what is happening with the prevalence of obesity,” said co-author William Dietz, former CDC director of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity, to Reuters Health.

“Seventy-four calories is a lot, and as I said before, we would expect to see a measurable impact on obesity.”

Okay, this is interesting, but I have the same complaint here that I did with the first study:  how do these researchers know exactly how many calories people are consuming?  Unless the Department of Homeland Security has been spying on all of us and tracking every morsel we eat, I find it difficult to believe that they know for a fact that our calorie consumption has dropped by 74 calories.

That complaint aside, I could have predicted (and did) the reaction of the so-called experts.  They of course believe our bodies are like simple engines that can only respond to a slight decrease in fuel by tapping the reserve tank.  So as soon as I saw the headline, I knew the explanation for the calorie equation not working as advertised would be that we’re exercising less.  Yup.  Take a peek:

Experts said it’s possible more time is needed to see obesity rates respond to changes in calorie intake. It’s also possible that Americans have changed their eating habits but are still not getting enough exercise to burn the calories they do consume. Or, the surveys may simply be wrong.

It takes more than a decade for a reduction in calories to stop the rise in obesity rates?  Seriously?

“If you cut back on calories by 100 calories, you’ll plateau 10 pounds (4.5 kg) lower,” but you’d only see about half of that progress over the first year, said Claire Wang, who studies energy intake and expenditure at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

No, if you’re hormonally driven to get fatter and you cut your intake by 100 calories per day, your body will just adjust your metabolism down to make up the difference.  That’s why the “eat less and move more” advice fails over and over.  It doesn’t address the root cause of the problem.  If we are getting fatter while consuming the same or even slightly fewer calories, it’s a matter of what we’re eating, not how much.

Intermittent Fasting sweeps the U.K.

Now here’s a plan that might actually address the root cause of the hormonal drive to get fatter.  A popular TV doctor in Britain has apparently created a frenzy for intermittent fasting:

Visitors to England right now, be warned. The big topic on people’s minds — from cabdrivers to corporate executives — is not Kate Middleton’s increasingly visible baby bump (though the craze does involve the size of one’s waistline), but rather a best-selling diet book that has sent the British into a fasting frenzy.

“The Fast Diet,” published in mid-January in Britain, could do the same in the United States if Americans eat it up. The United States edition arrived last week.

With an alluring cover line that reads, “Lose Weight, Stay Healthy, Live Longer,” the premise of this latest weight-loss regimen — or “slimming” as the British call “dieting” — is intermittent fasting, or what has become known here as the 5:2 diet: five days of eating and drinking whatever you want, dispersed with two days of fasting.

For the record, I would never recommend eating and drinking “whatever you want” on those other five days, but based on my own n=1 experiments, some intermittent fasting here and there does promote fat loss.

A typical fasting day consists of two meals of roughly 250 to 300 calories each, depending on the person’s sex (500 calories for women, 600 for men). Think two eggs and a slice of ham for breakfast, and a plate of steamed fish and vegetables for dinner.

It is not much sustenance, but the secret to weight loss, according to the book, is that even after just a few hours of fasting, the body begins to turn off the fat-storing mechanisms and turn on the fat-burning systems.

Not exactly the strictest form of fasting, but I can see why it would work.  The doctor’s prescription for the (sort-of) fasting days is a low-carb, low-calorie diet.  A clinical study conducted in Britain awhile back showed that going low-carb just two days per week spurred more weight loss than a calorie-restricted diet.  Here’s a quote from an article about that study:

The researchers followed 88 women for four months. All the women were at high risk for breast cancer based on their family histories. One third of the women were put on a Mediterranean-type diet that restricted calories to about 1,500 per day. A second group was told to eat normally most of the time, but two days a week to cut carbs and also calories to about 650 on those two days. The third group was also to cut carbs two days a week, but there was no calorie restriction on those days.

At the end of four weeks women in both of the intermittent dieting groups had lost more weight — about 9 pounds — than the women who ate low calorie meals every day of the week — about 5 pounds.

Women in the intermittent dieting groups also had better improvement than daily dieters in the levels of hormones — insulin and leptin — that have been linked with breast cancer risk.

I haven’t read The Fast Diet (and probably won’t), but after reading the NY Times article last week, I’ve done the mini-fast three times (including yesterday), limiting myself to three or four eggs for breakfast and another three or four eggs for dinner.  Easy peasy.  I barely felt a stomach grumble.  I don’t know if I lost any weight because I don’t own a scale.  But if you’ve been afraid to try intermittent fasting because you can’t imagine going without food for a full day, this mini-fast method might be worth a shot.

Ketogenic diet promoted for treating cancer

I’m not religious, so I don’t follow the Christian media outlets, but I must say, the Christian Broadcasting Network seems way more open-minded on health topics than most of the mainstream media outlets.  Readers have sent me links to CBN articles or videos on low-carb diets, on the benefits of vitamin D, etc.

This one goes back to December, but I just became aware of it:  an article and video about how ketogenic diets may be useful for treating cancer.

Meats, eggs, coconut oil, a warning to avoid sugar and grains and margarine, plus an assurance that all that saturated fat will not, despite popular belief, cause heart disease.  I love it.

Morgan Spurlock’s ex-wife now an ex-vegan

If you saw Super Size Me, you know Morgan Spurlock’s girlfriend at the time (later wife, later ex-wife) fed him a “purifying” vegan diet after his all-McDonald’s diet. (And it took him six months to lose 20 pounds on that diet.)  She was known as a vegan chef for many years.

Now she’s had her own Lierre Keith moment and declared that she’s no longer a vegan.  From her blog:

I thought many of the world’s problems could be solved if more people ate this way. We could end hunger if we fed grain to people instead of cattle. We could end global warming if we reduced the fertilizer, trucking and refrigeration required to produce meat. We could end the obesity epidemic.

What I ate aligned with what I believed.  And that was that. But then, a few years ago, something began to shift.

My body started craving the “bad” stuff. Namely, meat.

It used to be that, when a friend ordered a burger out at dinner, I was slightly (though quietly) disgusted. But I started noticing a different reaction.

Instead of disgust, I started to salivate.

The impulse to order salmon instead of salad with tofu at my favorite restaurant was overwhelming.  And, for me as a vegan, it was confusing, too.

At first, I thought: “I must be mineral deficient. Or maybe I need more concentrated protein. I’ll eat more sea vegetables. I’ll just add more nuts and hemp seeds and drink more green juice. Then the cravings will stop.”

I denied these cravings and tried to “talk my body out of them”.

It’s this part of her post that was bound to rile up the vegan zealots:

I began to see my cravings for animal foods from a different angle. It wasn’t immoral or wrong. It just was.

In fact, I came to believe that trusting your body, living your truth, whether it be vegan, part-time vegan, flexitarian or carnivore is all inherently good.

The reaction from the vegan zealots was predictable:  she wasn’t it doing it right, ya see. (Really?  A vegan advocate, chef and author wasn’t doing it right?)  Or my favorite:  she was never really a vegan, ya see.

One of the books Jamieson wrote was Vegan Cooking For Dummies.  Given the reaction to her announcement, I’d say that title was more appropriate than she imagined at the time.

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41 thoughts on “From The News …

  1. Howard Lee Harkness

    “Given the reaction to her announcement, I’d say that title was more appropriate than she imagined at the time.”

    You have a marvelous way with words, Tom.

    I also have to admit that your article on this subject is better-written and more interesting than mine. Guess I gotta try harder!

    I’m just trying to inspire you, Howard.

    Reply
  2. Linda R

    Tom, may I say how much I admire you for being open and frank regarding your religious beliefs.
    I’ve been an atheist for many years and have been slammed on many message boards and blogs for admitting it. I generally discuss this aspect of my life only on atheist sites. Less harassment that way………………………
    Peace

    No matter what your religious beliefs are or aren’t, they’ll piss off somebody, somewhere.

    Reply
  3. Rae F.

    I remember something from back in my college days. A psychology student was conducting different surveys on the same people. His/her goal? To see if people will answer the survey in a manner that will go along with what those who are giving the survey are looking for. The results. When it comes to surveys people are friggin’ liars.

    Indeed. I had to fill out a food-recall survey once at a job, and the questions were so ridiculous, we all turned into friggin’ liars.

    Reply
  4. Lori

    Seventy-four calories: that’s one-fourth of a regular hamburger, or three or four bites.

    Yup. I challenge any of the calorie freaks to produce a study in which obese people dropped their calorie consumption by 74 calories per day and then lost 10 pounds as a result.

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  5. Phyllis Mueller

    If you haven’t, read John Nicholson’s book “The Meat Fix.” He was a vegan for 26 years, suffered terrible health problems, and “fixed” himself by eating meat. It’s a great n=1 story, and parts of it are laugh-out-loud funny. Zoe Harcombe mentioned it in a comment on her blog; it’s available on Amazon.

    BTW, the “Perfect Health Diet” authors also recommend a version of intermittent fasting not that seemed not all that dissimilar from the British doc’s.

    I not only read “The Meat Fix,” I gave it a glowing review.

    Reply
  6. Clint

    That video was so impressive, I copied the link and sent it off to my family whom I have been trying to tell them this kind of information before with no respect. Cancer killed my grandmother (father’s side), my father, and my grandfather, and they used to eat a lot of carbs! My grandmother (mother’s side) on the other hand lived to be 97 years old, she ate an awful lot of saturated fat, bacon and eggs every morning and her favorite drink was buttermilk!

    I hope they watch and get the message.

    Reply
  7. Kathy

    “No matter what your religious beliefs are or aren’t, they’ll piss off somebody, somewhere.”

    You sure nailed that one, Tom!

    With the few friends I want to keep, I do not (honestly) discuss religion or politics. We skirt the issues, never admitting anything specific enough that can’t be written off with “that’s not exactly what I meant”.

    I try to avoid both, but I’m more likely to get into a political debate. People whose religious beliefs don’t match mine aren’t harming anyone by praying and going to church. People whose political beliefs are opposite of mine go out and vote for politicians who think it’s okay to spend trillions of dollars nobody has and dump the debts on my kids, thus ensuring that they’ll spend much of their lives paying for the government goodies people believed they were entitled to have today. That pisses me off. Royally.

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  8. George @ the High Fat hep C Diet

    I’m a little more convinced by the fact that there’s always a clear difference between red meat and processed meat in these studies. I mean, that’s what we’d expect, isn’t it, all concerns about method aside.
    There is real rubbish in some processed meat products – soy protein, gluten, corn syrup, dextrose, MSG…

    That could be, but I still think there are confounders. Processed meat tends to go into a lot of junk foods or meals often eaten with big servings of white flour: pizza, deli sandwiches, burritos, etc.

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  9. Beowulf

    I agree that the “health conscious” bias is probably very difficult to truly tease out from the data.

    That 74 calorie thing is just bad science all around. Not only are they trying to make an observational study with poor data input into a clinical study, but the analysis just stinks of preconceived notions. They’re NOT looking for an answer to the obesity question. They have an answer that they make the data fit. It’s no different than assuming the world is flat and making all sorts of crazy extra orbits for the planets to account for any variation.

    Yup, they decided they had the answer a long time ago.

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  10. Rae

    I ate less when I was fatter! I found a food log from when I was obese before and compared it to what I eat now. I got a kick out of it. More calories overall now (mostly from fat and some from protein), yet I’m considerably smaller than I was. How can this be, die-hard CICO-believers?

    Glad you posted that video and article – I’m not a Christian but I think this will be good to send to my Christian friends/family, maybe they’ll be more open to this info coming from the CBN.

    It always gives me warm fuzzies when a vegan has the courage to break away and eat meat again, but I’m always horrified by the reaction from the vegan community. Lots of vegans essentially tell ex-vegans they should’ve just suffered along with their ailments, for “the cause”. The further I get away from my past as a vegan/vegetarian, the more I believe it was all some kind of scary eating disorder cult.

    They do seem to have more than their share of True Believer types.

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  11. lantenec

    A bit off subject but, the ‘end world hunger’ thing always makes me chuckle. They always couch it in terms to make it sound as if it’s a logistics problem or something. “If we give them food,” “Get them the right kind of food.” Never realizing that it’s not a logistics problem or whatever; it’s a political problem. Send food to those little third world dictatorships and the warlords that run those places just seize it; either for themselves or they just sell it on the black market, etc. It’s not a lack of food. It’s a lack of freedom.

    Exactly. Point to a country where people are starving, and you’ll pointing to a country that is either 1) run by warlords who use food scarcity as a weapon or 2) a country that is, or recently was, run on command-and-control theories of economics.

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  12. Bill C.

    I just happened across a YouTube video today and I must say it was a load of laughs. (as well as a load of bologna) It’s called “Food That Kills”. This “Doctor” makes some of the most outlandish statements I’ve ever heard to promote good health. (read that “Vegan agenda”) According to him, every disease known to man is caused by eating meat and dairy products. I find it interesting that he can’t seem to quote any studies to back up his statements. If anyone needs a good laugh it’s worth a watch.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KNCGkprGW_o

    Getting back on topic, in the past it was natural for me to eat only once a day. I would get up, go to work, work a full day and only eat dinner when I got home. I didn’t feel hungry during the day at all and it seemed normal to me. My wife thought it wasn’t good for me because of insulin spikes when I did eat so I started eating three squares a day. I packed on about 30 extra pounds since I started eating that way. Recently both my wife and I started eating a Paleo diet and both of us have lost weight and feel better. My weight loss stopped at about 10 pounds while eating three meals a day. Two weeks ago I cut it down to two meals a day, breakfast before work and dinner after work. I don’t feel hungry at all while I’m at work and my weight has started dropping again. I’ve lost about 20 pounds now. Maybe I’ll try going back to one meal a day and see how that works. If I’m not hungry I see no need to eat. Do you know of any reasons why that would be a bad idea? Is insulin spikes after fasting a serious concern on a paleo diet?

    Intermittent fasting apparently improves insulin sensitivity, so if you’re not breaking those fasts with a big load of refined carbohydrates, I don’t see any problem. Eating three meals per day is a modern practice.

    Reply
  13. Brenda

    And that’s what I always got – you’re a fat vegetarian? Must be doing it wrong! You can’t possibly be a vegetarian – you’re cheating! You should go vegan!

    Anything to avoid questioning the dogma.

    Reply
    1. Walter Bushell

      And if vegan doesn’t work, raw vegan. Then onto Fruititarianism, then on to Breatherism with a mask to filter out the microscopic orgasims^W organisms in the air.

      Reply
  14. Nowhereman

    Slightly off-topic, I found this article:

    http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/03/12/why-shouldnt-go-gluten-free/?intcmp=features

    I found the gluten free poll numbers interesting and the reaction to this is to trot out the scare tactics to keep everyone who’s not got an allergy or celiac disease in lock step in some manner, even if it means scaring them into another grain as substitute. But the very last line is pretty much a “eat your hearthealthywholegrains and eat low fat” party line.

    Ugh. What a load of garbage. Humans didn’t eat grains for more than 99% of their time on earth, and yet now they’re a source of “essential” nutrients. Riiiiight.

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  15. JasonG

    “Eat less but we’re fatter” is always justified with “We don’t exercise like we used to… kids are fatter and lazier today.” Kids we do what they want. Kids have fun. Although I grew up with access to a nintendo, and would occasionally get lost in a game, if it was warm and sunny, I would always go out for football or basketball. I don’t think kids today are any different, at least if their metabolism isn’t damaged early.

    These people remind me of Grandpa from Nickelodeon’s Rugrats. “Back in my day I’d walk 15 miles everyday.”

    Many skinny people are such snobs. They keep patting themselves on the back for not being fat due to superior self control. How many times do they brag about going for a jog? “After 3 weeks of hard work, I can finally run again without getting winded. I’m ready to do a 5k!” If I was a little twig, even out of shape, I could run too. It’s easy when there is so little body weight. Someone overweight a lot of huffing and puffing to work up to run a mile. And then they still won’t be able to run for distance or a sub-8 minute mile. They try harder with the typical medical advice and fail miserably.

    Naturally skinny people who are snobbish about their “discipline” basically were born on the finish line and think they won a race.

    Reply
    1. Walter Bushell

      Maybe many are skinny fat, with high visceral fat, or go directly to diabetes, a fate I would not wish on even the most ardent Vegan.

      Reply
  16. neal matheson

    Interesting to see that that study came from Switzerland, home of the Swiss paradox. Home of Chocolate and lots and lots of smokers. I honestly could’t find non-processed meats in Zurich and people I know there who aren’t Swiss have to go to Germany to get steaks. Naturally the Swiss are the second longest lived people in the world (2010) and I saw two (2) overweight, not obese, people there in just over a week. Maybe it’s all the bread they have with the fondue
    One delight for Brits coming home is seeing how much fatter people are in the ports and airports coming back to the UK. The tunnel port at Calais is truly special for this.

    Reply
  17. Steve Parker, M.D.

    That’s especially interesting about Alex Jamieson, Spurlock’s ex-wife, renouncing her vegan ways. Even if there were proof positive that vegetarians live 10 years longer than everybody else and never get cancer, diabetes, or heart disease, fewer than one in ten people would actually turn vegetarian. That way of eating just don’t seem right. And people feel it in their bones.

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  18. Bruce

    Great post Tom. I love reading your critiques of the latest meat kills study. This might be a little off topic but there is a TED video that got me thinking. The speaker is talking about how desertification is a big problem. The cure which is massive grazing by heard animals goes against all conventional wisdom. My thought is that we could cure the desertification, obesiety and third world poverty problems if we get the people in the third world to start grazing masive amounts of cattle on thier lands and sell them to first world countries. It would make grass fed meat much cheaper. Of course this idea steps on so many toes it will never happen.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vpTHi7O66pI&feature=player_embedded

    I saw that. Excellent speech. I may post it here, along with links to a couple of articles on related subjects.

    Reply
  19. Ulfric M Douglas

    Iantenec ; “Never realizing that it’s not a logistics problem or whatever; it’s a political problem. Send food to those little third world dictatorships and the warlords that run those places just seize it; either for themselves or they just sell it on the black market, etc. It’s not a lack of food. It’s a lack of freedom.”
    I reckon it’s a people problem.

    Reply
  20. Julie

    I was totally going to leave a comment on the ex-vegan’s blog, but the conversation had gotten really heated in the comments and I’d rather avoid that kind of energy. Which is sad, because she made some great points about how vegans are supposed to be compassionate to all animals including humans, and we should all follow the cues our body is sending us.

    Being an ex-vegetarian, I know how easy it is to ignore your body’s distress signals though. I was sick and fat all through my teens and twenties, and I just thought that was the way life was. I’ll admit I still have some issues as a low carb mostly paleo eater, but for the first time in my life, I feel healthy and normal. You couldn’t pay me to go back to my old ways.

    I’m sure she knew what kind of @#$%storm she stirring up when she wrote the post. Kudos to her for having the courage.

    Reply
  21. Liz

    Couldn’t. Agree. More.

    Thankfully it only took me 2 years to realize veganism/vegetarianism/raw foods was completely wrong for my body. Looking back, it was the few that thrived on this diet that would say, “Well, you’re just not doing it right” when I complained of very legitimate health problems. Those people can eff themselves. I’m leaner, stronger, healthier now–the proof is in how you look/feel. Most vegans who lecture me are pale, skinny-fat (or downright obese), weak-looking, etc.

    And before any of them point out vegan triathletes like Brendan Brazier, I’ll venture to say that he’s taking shots and supplements from doctors to thrive, something the average American can never do (and shouldn’t have to). I’ll also be snarky and point out that he finishes 11th and is hailed as a hero. The few that thrive on that diet are really just anomalies, IMHO.

    I also sincerely doubt the vegan athletes were vegans as they were growing up and developing their muscle mass.

    Reply
  22. Drew @ Willpower Is For Fat People

    Or, the surveys may simply be wrong.

    Hold on a second. Did they just say that “unexpected” results might call the methodology into question? There’s a legal principle “inclusio unius est exclusio alterius” (Inclusion of one is to exclude the others) that applies here. If the methodology is questioned when the results are unexpected, that means the methodology is not questioned when the results are expected.

    That’s bad science.

    Bingo. Survey says people who eat processed meat die earlier — they embrace the study. Survey says people are eating less but getting fatter — well, you can’t trust a survey, ya know.

    Reply
  23. johnny

    The last statement of the study article, on which the scientists said “It’s also possible that increased awareness of unhealthy foods has caused people to be embarrassed about eating junk foods or drinking sodas, so they may still be eating those foods but are less likely to admit to it on a survey, Dietz added,” admits that surveys are worthless and should be the nail on the coffin to bury this, previous and future similar studies.

    Exactly. Diet surveys are either reliable or they’re not.

    And they’re not.

    Reply
  24. Marilyn

    Thanks to all these chicken sh*t “news” releases and articles, people are sitting up and taking notice and buying only the leanest cuts of whatever meats they buy. Which is ruining our food supply. Have you noticed that even the “dark” meat on a chicken — the thighs and drumsticks — are just as white and dry and tasteless as a chicken breast these days? And pork chops are about as yummy as a cardboard box? Even the “organic’ or “free range” or “pasture fed”?

    And I wonder how many people would consider the chicken in the salad at a typical fast food restaurant to be unprocessed — and fill out questionnaires accordingly. It probably isn’t: “Chicken Breast, Water, Seasoning (sea salt, maltodextrin, natural flavors, yeast extract, onion powder, garlic powder, sugar, gum Arabic, dextrose), Modified Corn Starch, Sodium Phosphates. Rubbed with Paprika and Spice.”

    Good point.

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  25. Marilyn

    @Steve Parker, M. D.: “Even if there were proof positive that vegetarians live 10 years longer than everybody else and never get cancer, diabetes, or heart disease, fewer than one in ten people would actually turn vegetarian. That way of eating just don’t seem right. And people feel it in their bones.”

    Or as my dad used to say about such things, “You might not live longer, it will just seem like it.”

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  26. Phyllis Mueller

    Apologies, Tom, for forgetting about your review of “The Meat Fix.” Your mentioning it (can you provide a link to that post?) solved a riddle–first I thought I already owned the book (but when I looked I couldn’t find it); when I received the book and saw the cover it looked familiar, and I couldn’t explain why.

    Thanks especially for posting for that CBN video link. It does a very good job of explaining the ketogenic diet and allaying people’s fears about eating animal fat and saturated fat. I very much liked the reporter’s quick and simple explanation for the “sore joints” issue–not enough fat!

    Here you go:

    http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2012/08/09/book-review-the-meat-fix/

    Reply
  27. Marilyn

    Dr. Richard D. Feinman had a two-part guest post by Dr. Eugene J. Fine on the matter of cancer and glucose/insulin. My take-away from that is that carbohydrate restriction can be useful for some types of cancer, but not all. If I were diagnosed with cancer, I’d certainly give it a try, though.

    The problem with CICO is that people assume it’s something that can be done with precision. It can’t. I remember reading that even the nutrition facts posted on a carefully analyzed, uniformly packaged processed food item can vary by a certain percent. When it comes to real food, there are just too many variables.

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  28. Bruce

    Marilyn wrote…Or as my dad used to say about such things, “You might not live longer, it will just seem like it.”

    Exactly. I think there is a difference between living longer and surviving longer. The end of it is the end. No one gets out alive. Like the toys that I had as a kid that I see on ebay or the news that sell for a large sum of money. You say to yourself, “I had that toy. Just think if I never played with it, kept it in its original unsealed box with the instructions, I could get XXX amount of dollars for it.”
    How much more fun did you have rolling it across the floor and letting the dog chase it and gnaw on it a little, or play with it outside and leaving it out in the rain, and let dad find it and help you get it playable again using some 3in1 oil, but only after a lecture about how money doesn’t grow on trees.

    Reply
  29. Jason

    IF is really making headlines. In all honesty, it’s more about calorie management than anything else. I low carbed for a long time before I began a 16/8 protocol. It is very easy to do, flies in the face of all nutritional advice, and works like a charm. The only problem with it is “everyone knows” you must eat breakfast or you’ll be fat. Well, the last time I ate breakfast was December of 2011. Everyone thinks I’m in “starvation mode” and it’s unhealthy. My mom even told me my “metabolism was screwed up” and I should “eat something” and it would help me stay lean.

    Huh? How does that make sense? If you eat something, you’ll be more lean than if you don’t?

    The stuff “everyone knows” doesn’t make any sense at all.

    If you’re not hungry, there’s no reason to eat.

    Reply
    1. Walter Bushell

      Some exceptions exist. For example on my trip from Maui to NYC which lasted over 24 hours. The appears to be little or no food in airports.

      Reply
  30. Bullinachinashop

    I kind of feel bad for her. She’s taking some guff from the vegan trolls and she’s probably getting a lot of “I told you so” from everyone else. She did the right thng, I hope she gets her due credit.

    She had to know what she was stirring up when she wrote the post. She must’ve decided she could handle the blowback.

    Reply
  31. Namu

    There are also good news around 🙂 Today the french-german TV channel Arte broadcasted this: http://www.arte.tv/guide/fr/040953-069/x-enius (podcast format, this is the french version, it’s also available in german).

    It’s a very positive review of much of the recent low-carb science, with interviews of Dr Ronald Krauss on cholesterol myths, Gary Taubes on carbohydrates and the ‘french paradox’, and a visit of a weight-loss clinic serving fried eggs and lard to their patients, with a quick summary on insulin and fat metabolism to boot.

    Interestingly, they christen ‘american paradox’ the fact that americans have been eating less, and less fat, for the least few decades, yet are not getting any thinner nor healthier on average. The message is getting through, it seems 🙂

    Yup, I’m seeing more and more articles and newscasts like that in the mainstream press. That’s why I’m optimistic. The Wisdom of Crowds effect will win out.

    Reply
  32. Zach

    I’m a two meal a day person myself. Just cut out lunch. Eat breakfast then dinner after work. I am usually getting hungry by the end of the day but I can pull a 10hr stretch without eating.

    Since going low-carb, I find it easy to skip breakfast, sometimes lunch.

    Reply
  33. Danideskjob

    I knew a vegan who ended up with bowel cancer. After fighting with it for a very long time, he introduced a bit of chicken back into his diet. His doctors told him that he needed more sustenance and that a bit of chicken would help him.

    The amount of backlash he received from supposed “friends” was heartbreaking. They told him that the doctors were lying to him and that it was bad for him.

    Yes, because clearly his vegan diet was doing wonders for his body.

    I recently discussed low-carb diets as a method of “treating” cancer with a woman I know who works for a big pharma company. I brought it up delicately, because I know that bringing up simple dietary changes with people who work in industries that “treat” disease and illness can be…tricky.

    “Oh yeah, if you can actually manage not to eat sugars, the cancer can’t grow, because cancer only feeds on sugar. But doctors don’t recommend it because they don’t think it’s reasonable for people to eat that way.”

    Hmmmm…carbs or cancer? I think maybe they should be giving people the choice.

    A change in diet isn’t reasonable, but drugs with nasty side-effects are?!! That says it all.

    Reply
  34. Walter Bushell

    Ah, modern medical care is all Trick and Treat. First they give bad dietary advice and then they treat you with bad therapy that increases the problems keeping you in the system.

    Reply
  35. Brooke

    I have recently read Dr. Davis’s “Wheat Belly” in which he talks about processed/cured meats and “AGEs”(Advanced glycation end products) and its link to cancers, heart disease etc. He does say that meats “are not instrinsically bad; but they can be made unhealthy through manipulations that increase AGE formation.” He recommends avoiding endogenous AGEs (found in sugars) and exogenous AGEs (found in processed meats and animal products heated to high temperatures). Reading it, to me, it makes sense to avoid these processed meats,even the ones that are labled “nitrate-free” or “hormone-free” as they are cooked at high temps for prolonged periods. Davis does say more research is needed in the area of AGEs, but from what science is already available, it seems reasonable to only consume meats in their purest form and cooked at lower temperatures as Dr. Davis suggests. Was wondering what your thoughts are on this..

    I’ve also heard that cooked meats contain AGEs, but I’m not sure if they end up in our tissues. A lot of what we ingest doesn’t. I’m far more concerned about AGEs produced internally by high glucose levels.

    Reply
    1. Walter Bushell

      And we know that sugar goes directly into the blood system, from the stomach itself as it is water soluble. We have no defense against carbs getting into the blood stream.

      Now if you’re insulin resistant they may stay there for a long time.

      Reply

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