You better start swimming or you’ll sink like a stone, for the times they are a-changing. – Bob Dylan.

The times are indeed a-changing, and I believe we’re going to see the anti-fat hysteria that led to so much bad dietary advice eventually sink like a stone.  Perhaps even sooner than most of us thought.  As evidence for my optimism, here’s some good news from around the world.

British cardiologist say saturated fat is good for you

Sure, other cardiologists have come out and said saturated fat and cholesterol in foods don’t cause heart disease.  Dr. William Davis and Dr. Dwight Lundell, to name two examples.  But the good news here is that major newspapers are starting to pay attention to the contrarians, as in this article from the U.K. Independent:

Four decades of medical wisdom that cutting down on saturated fats reduces our risk of heart disease may be wrong, a top cardiologist has said. Fatty foods that have not been processed – such as butter, cheese, eggs and yoghurt – can even be good for the heart, and repeated advice that we should cut our fat intake may have actually increased risks of heart disease, said Dr Aseem Malhotra.

He told The Independent: “From the analysis of the independent evidence that I have done, saturated fat from non-processed food is not harmful and probably beneficial. Butter, cheese, yoghurt and eggs are generally healthy and not detrimental. The food industry has profited from the low-fat mantra for decades because foods that are marketed as low-fat are often loaded with sugar. We are now learning that added sugar in food is driving the obesity epidemic and the rise in diabetes and cardiovascular disease.”

I suspect some people will read that article and feel frustrated by all the conflicting advice in the media … one article says saturated fat will kill you, another says it’s harmless, a third says nobody knows for sure, etc.  I feel their pain.  But if you’ve spent years believing something that simply isn’t true, being confused is a step in the right direction.

Anti-fat hysteria blasted on Australian TV

Some months ago, an Australian science reporter named Maryanne Demasi emailed me to ask where I found the news footage of the McGovern committee.  I answered her and then forgot all about it … until some Australian readers sent me a link to an episode of ABC’s Catalyst that aired Down Under a couple of days ago.  Check it out:

I love it.  And from what I’ve heard through the internet grapevine, the Australian Heart Foundation has been swamped with complaints about their lousy advice since the program aired.  (No surprise, since their representative in the Catalyst program admitted the evidence is “inconclusive.”) There’s even an online petition demanding that the Heart Foundation stop with all the anti-fat nonsense.

Swedish government changes its official position on saturated fat

Okay, I’ve made it pretty clear over the years that I want governments to get out of the dietary-advice business.  We were better off before they started telling us what to eat.  But if governments are going to give out dietary advice, they should at least get it right.

In Sweden, they’re finally getting it right.  Swedish doctor Andreas Eenfeldt of course wrote about the change on his blog, but my favorite take on the news came from Dr. Malcolm Kendrick – because as you know if you’ve read his blog or his book The Great Cholesterol Con, the man does not mince words:

Now, I have been aware that there has been a movement towards a high fat low carb diet (HFLC) going on in Sweden for some years. This has been led recently by the heroic Dr Annika Dahlqvist, a General Practitioner who had been advising her diabetic patients to eat a low carb high fat diet (LCHF).

She was, of course, attacked by the idiots…sorry experts.

… In reality all that the Swedes really ‘discovered’ is the quite astonishing fact that eating a high carbohydrate diet is bad for you, and worse for you if you are a diabetic. Well, blow me down with a feather. They have found exactly what a working knowledge of human biology/physiology would tell you would happen.

But we live in a wold controlled by entrenched stupidity, dogma, and the financial interests of massive companies who are making billions selling tasteless low fat mush. These companies know that the only way you can make low fat food, e.g. low fat yoghurt, taste like anything half palatable is to stuff it with sugar. Cheap, nasty, and damaging to health – also driving the ever increasing weight gain and diabetes in the Western World.

In December, I’ll be giving a speech on how the Wisdom of Crowds effect is changing what people believe about diet and health.  I think that’s exactly what we’re seeing here.  Bloggers, independent filmmakers, podcasters, rebel doctors – heck, even people who leave blistering comments when online media articles promote anti-fat hysteria – are spreading the word and turning the tide.  Major media outlets are paying attention, and more and more people are questioning what we’ve been told about saturated fat and cholesterol for the past 40 years.

The times they are a-changing.

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75 Responses to “Good News From Around The World”
  1. The biggest problem in the US will be the big Pharma and big Farma wanting their precious bottom-lines to be unaffected by this international sea change. Expect to find more and more places where the broken “conventional wisdom” science is codified as legal requirements and insurance requirements. Expect it to get worse before it gets better.

  2. Shelley says:

    Good to know that this info is being seen and heard more and more in the mainstream. Here is a really interesting article that was published on our main news website this morning – http://www.stuff.co.nz/life-style/wellbeing/9327862/Fighting-fat-with-fat I love this comment “But in nutrition science, as in all other science, we must be prepared to change our mind on the basis of evidence.” Like a lot of places, NZ has a big problem with obesity and diabetes, and of course the standard advice is not helping at all. I’m really hopeful that this guy’s research can make a big impact in this area.

    Another excellent example of why I’m feeling optimistic.

  3. Jorge says:

    I just watched the Australian docu and loved it as well. I could tell right away that it was inspired by Fat Head as there were too many key points from it (and presented in a similar way).

  4. What government can do is hold hearings where everybody is represented.

    One of its mistakdes is the USDA Nutritional Guidelines. A petition to trash that before it gets going and wastes two years of money.

    We have wildly different opinions on the ability of government to come to the correct conclusions and do the right thing.

    • Bret says:

      Government already did that, Doc. Physicians at the McGovern hearing gave a scathing critique of the low-fat approach, but McGovern pushed his low-fat message anyway. There is no reason to believe repeating that event today would generate a different outcome.

      So many people believe that government should fix our problems, but they are ignoring the fact that government largely created those problems in the first place and still perpetuates them currently.

      Bingo. That’s why I replied that he and I have different opinions on government’s ability to do the right thing. To paraphrase George Washington, government isn’t reason or eloquence; government is force. Giving small groups of people the power of coercion over others doesn’t turn them into altruists. It does, however, give self-interested government officials who wield power and self-interested corporations who can benefit from that power a reason to get into bed together, metaphorically speaking.

      • susan says:

        Funny how when they get into bed together, we’re the ones who always seem to get shafted.

        Indeed. And they don’t even buy us a drink first.

  5. Per Wikholm says:

    Tom, this week has been trouly remarkable and might go down to history as the week the dietary paradigm shift really took of. However there are some overoptimistic interpretations of what has actually happened in Sweden.

    The Swedish dietery guidelines to the general public (based on the new edition of the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations) haven’t changed much at all. The only change is that we are now allowed to eat 5 % more MUFA and 5 % less carbs. Recommended carb intake is now 45-60 % of calories, Before it was 40-60 %. Maximun SFA intake ist still 10 %. And our USDA, the Swedish National Food Administration is campaigning to ban schools from serving butter and whole milk.

    http://www.norden.org/sv/aktuellt/nyheter/new-nordic-nutrition-recommendations-focus-on-quality-and-the-whole-diet

    The SBU ( Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment)-report on the other hand is indeed revolutionary but restricted to the treatment of obesity in the health care system. It´s states that low carb is better at least in the short term for weight loss, that it has benificial effects on bloodsugar, HDL and triaglycerides. The most revolutionary aspect of this SBU-report is that they say that the scientific base for the warnings against saturated fats is “fragile”.

    So we how have two different government authorities with very differnts stands on saturated fat. One warning against artery clogging saturated fat, the other one basically saying that warning is based on crappy science. We will have to see what comes out in the future of this controvercy. It might at least produce some good entertainment (so let´s not shut down government).

    Well, it’s a good start.

  6. Mark says:

    So what happens to all these people who dispensed the advice that led to the last forty years of ill health and deaths? They just get a free pass? The old adage is true: “One man is always the dead – and two million is always just a statistic.” We have a lot of statistics from the last forty years.

    They’ll retire or die. As Max Planck put it, science often progresses one funeral at a time.

  7. Jill says:

    Don’t miss Part 2 of the cholesterol and fat story on Catalyst on 31 October.

  8. You are certainly feeling optimistic tonight, Tom.

    I hope you are right. I was not feeling all that optimistic when I wrote my last blog post, on the only significant variable in any nutritional “study.” I made a prediction near the end of that post. (http://nequals1health.com/significant-variable-nutritional-study/)

    Maybe my prediction is wrong. That would be nice…

    I’m not optimistic that the low-fat industry will just give up and go away. Of course they’ll fight — billions of dollars are at stake. But I am optimistic that over time, they’ll lose the “hearts and minds” battle — which means they lose, period.

    • Firebird7478 says:

      You’d think they’d see the writing on the wall then switch gears and just go back to making the full fat versions.

      I kind of wish the oil industry would do the same with biodiesel.

      • Nowhereman says:

        Firebird, that’s really where we need to pay attention. The smart companies and such will start quietly and gradually providing what the market wants, and those that don’t, will fail or suffer losses. But that will be the big marker, much more so than just some government agencies changing policy.

    • Walter Bushell says:

      Let’s just hope the fake food manufacturers are as bad at winning hearts and mind as the American military.

  9. zoe harcombe says:

    Hi Tom
    Don’t worry – you can always rely on Public Health England to keep fighting the good fight. Across the pond, we’re working with the fake food companies to take one and a half swimming pools of saturated fat out of the nation’s diet. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/thousands-of-tonnes-of-saturated-fat-to-be-taken-out-of-the-nations-diet)

    Even Kit Kat is swapping out saturated fat – presumably for those ‘orrible oils and shocking sugars – so that we may all be saved.

    We still think we run the Commonwealth – it’s going to take us a while to catch on!

    Zoe x

    I expect to see the usual suspects push the same agenda for as long as they can. But once a critical mass of the public no longer believes them, they’ll become irrelevant.

    • Firebird7478 says:

      Dr. Robert Haas who wrote “Eat to Win” and “Eat to Succeed” in the 1980s, two books that starved me into fitness, has since turned the corner and admitted that what he wrote was incorrect.

  10. Nads says:

    Also from the same science program in Australia several weeks ago was an expose on sugar, with no rebuttal!

    http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/3821440.htm

    If you want to see the flood of protests against the Heart Foundation and add your opinions on the dreadful anti cholesterol advice they are defending, go here.

    https://www.facebook.com/NationalHeartFoundation?ref=ts&fref=ts

  11. Jan says:

    Yes, it certainly has been a great week for great news, around the media, blogs and websites. It would appear that the times ‘certainly are a-changing’. I do hope so and that this great momentum keeps with us. We must all keep on spreading the good news.

    All the best Jan

  12. Gerard says:

    A Grade stuff mate…. in reference to the Australian story – seriously that is amazing. ABC are contacting *YOU* for information.

    lol – they are Government Run you know. My taxes paid for that story. But I love my ABC – as do a majority of lefties and righties here. No Government would dare get rid of it.

    Seriously your movie acted as a good summation or better still even what may have spurred this whole thing on. You should be very proud.

    Im so looking forward to the episode on statins next week.

    I’m looking forward to that one too.

  13. Frank says:

    I hope you will be recording and publishing your ‘Wisdom of Crowds’ speech.

    I’m anticipating the backlash against LCHF, something along the lines of Fat Wars: Ancel Keyes Strikes Back.

    Sure, the low-fat industry will fight back. But they’re going to lose in the long run.

    • Daci says:

      >Sure, the low-fat industry will fight back. But they’re going to lose in the long run.

      I hope this happens in my life time,but I’m not holding my breath.
      Anyway, I so wish these shows would be aired on PBS and Dateline,but I sincerely doubt that would come to pass.

      I think it will come to pass. Maybe not soon, but it’ll happen.

    • Jean Bush says:

      Unfortunately, none of these so-called experts bother to study history, which has shown that man thrived for over million years on meat, fish and fat. If it were true that the Food Pryramid was correct, we would have died out long before agriculture was developed.

      How convoluted was that?? Ugh!

      The truth is, the weaker, sicker and more confused we are, the easier we can be controlled.

      Perhaps they’re counting on that.

      • Nick says:

        Just a small correction, Home Sapiens, man, has only existed between 200,000 and 250,000 years. Fossil records are actually more recent than that estimate though, at around 160,000 years.

        If you count our ancesters, such as as Homo Erectus, as “man”, then yes, over a million years would be correct.

        But I agree with your point nonetheless.

  14. Chris Bennett says:

    It was a good week for the pro fat message but it did not seem to last long. Three days after having a cardiologist arguing against the villification of fat the BBC was running a headline about a report which recommends forcing manufacturers to limit salt, sugar and fat in ALL their products.
    This does not effect me too much as I buy mainly fresh fruit, veg, meat, fish and nuts but they better not reduce fat in the cheese! I have seem some lighter versions around.
    It is annoying that only days after that interview the are talking about the dangers of saturated fat and salt in contributing to heart disease. I would like to see these studies that show that but they still do not think they need to justify such statements.

    On another note. Anyone who has not read Malcolm Kendricks ‘The Cholesterol con’ should really read it. He takes a serious subject and makes you laugh at all the bad science going on. Just read it for the second time last week. I think I appreciated it more the second time as the first time I was only just moving away from the fat is bad concept.

    We will see anti-fat hysteria continue to be pushed by the usual suspects for a long time. But the good news is that we’re also seeing more and more media articles/shows pointing out why anti-fat hysteria is wrong. People may be confused by the mixed message, but when they hear a representative for the Heart Foundation admit the evidence is “inconclusive,” that’s got to have an effect.

  15. Kathy in Texas says:

    Speech! Where? Will you post a link for those of us who can’t be there? Or is this a “private event”? Inquiring minds and all ……….

    It’s a private event, but I’ll see about videotaping it.

  16. rudy-in-la says:

    I’d laugh about this if it didn’t make me feel like screaming. The comments in response to the linked articles are as telling, if not more so, about the push for low fat, which seems to now be turning into a fight for Veganism. Dogma does not go away easily.

  17. Lawrence says:

    Here’s a link the Dr Oz show where he ads he’s been giving the wrong advice about saturated fats and carbs. I don’t put much stock into what Dr Oz says but a lot of people do ( my parents included…sigh). Times are indeed changing :)
    http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/do-carbs-cause-alzheimers?video_id=2753218220001

    I see Dr. Oz appearing on all these magazine covers with blurbs along the lines of “Dr. Oz reveals how to lose 9 pounds and six inches in one week!” so I don’t put much stock in what the man says. But since so many people do, I’m glad he’s coming around.

    • Jean Bush says:

      Is he a decent cardiologist?

    • Kathy in Texas says:

      Lawrence, thank you for posting this link. The only time I ever watched Oprah was when Dr. Oz was making an appearance. He taught so many folks things about their bodies, the kinds of things people are reluctant to discuss with their docs. (I admit to being a medicine-biology-nutrition information nut.) But then he became a celebrity and was handing out the advice we know him for now and I lost interest. My point is that this is huge, that he would admit to even the possibility that he had misled his viewers. There is hope for the masses to get the word.

  18. Its sad how the Egg = smoking correlations are still page 1 along with the red meat will kill you studies but this stuff is still stuck in the rear sections of the papers.

    Thankful for the internet where people search by subject, and page order is irrelevant.

    Still its good to have some main stream press to pull out at parties to make my point rather than having to rely on Mark’s Daily Apple whom many have never heard of.

    Fat Head the movie on Netflix, in my mind, deserves a lot of credit for bringing this to a lot of people’s attention that would not otherwise of been interested.

    The usual nonsense does show up in newspapers, but at least in the online versions, people are leaving comments calling them on the b.s.

  19. Ann says:

    YEAH ! I was scrolling through the website of my son’s new school recently and to my disgust found the AHA dietary advice on the overview of their health and physical ed syllabus. Time to write a letter !

  20. Craig says:

    Government-subsidized big pharma and big agri will spend a fortune fighting the truth, but they are ultimately fighting one of the most powerful concepts in the world of numbers — exponential growth. Cutting grains and sugars and eating real food instead of processed junk simply works. And as it works for us we naturally tell friends, create blogs, post instagram pics of our food for people to see the kind of meals we are enjoying, etc.

    And at first it can seem frustrating when the world doesn’t immediately pay attention to what is obviously working. But I’ve had several friends profoundly thank me over the past couple years for “life-changing” advice about nutrition. Each one of us only has to fully convince TWO other people that “low fat, whole grain, lots of cardio and pop a statin every day” is deadly advice for our message to enjoy exponential growth.

    Exponential growth curves always start slow until that doubling effect makes the numbers suddenly start jumping at an amazing rate. The bread industry has had the food pyramid on its packages for decades. but my friends have watched me effortlessly drop weight that I’ve easily kept of for a couple years now. In those friends’ minds the old drawing of the food pyramid is now competing with my instagram pics of meals like the pile of beef short ribs, bacon and vegetables simmering in chicken stock in my Crock Pot.

    I agree. We’re seeing what’s described in “The Wisdom of Crowds” and “The Tipping Point” (both excellent books).

  21. Michael Cohen says:

    I can help but think that the Australian program is simply Fathead done with the resources of a national class TV studio.

    I think it would be more accurate to say Fat Head and the Australian show were both heavily influenced by “Good Calories, Bad Calories” — with rather different styles, of course. I was glad she was able to get Gary Taubes on camera. He agreed to be interviewed for Fat Head, but his publisher didn’t want him appearing in a film billed as a comedy documentary.

  22. Chuck says:

    I’m doing my part, by flooding my Facebook page with as many relevant videos, articles and blog posts as I can. Some are taking notice because they see my results, or know someone else who is trying it and getting great results.

    Dr. Oz supporting it would be great, (for those that take him serious) but he will probably contradict himself in the next show. Can you imagine how horrible your daily diet would be if you took all the supplements, nasty teas, drinks and other things he promotes on a daily basis. YUK! Not to mention the strange ideas that make you fat and methods that cure it. *Warning*– Please put your helmet on first.

    http://www.doctoroz.com/slideshow/your-house-making-you-fat?gallery=true&page=1

    http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/get-rid-belly-bloat (they got one right, sugar)

    It’s no wonder people are so confused with people like him flooding the airways with garbage everyday.

    Dr. Oz is all over the map. That’s why I don’t listen to him.

    • j says:

      I watched the “get rid of belly bloat” segments hoping to learn something. I was hugely disappointed. This is what I call junk info, where it’s more about entertainment than education.

      • Chuck says:

        A commenter posted this link on one of Tom’s older blogs. I believe it tells you all you need to know about “belly bloat”.

        http://www.gnolls.org/1444/does-meat-rot-in-your-colon-no-what-does-beans-grains-and-vegetables/

        If you read the comments there is a bit more info, like: of all living creatures, only some termites can digest plant cellulose (fiber), and the waste product from colon bacteria is a type of saturated fat, and that herbivores like cows, are just basically feeding plant material to the bacteria so they can produce the fat and proteins they need. As the author of the article says “It’s instructive that once you understand how digestion actually works, you end up at something relatively ‘paleo’ by default.”
        Quite interesting.

    • Firebird7478 says:

      “Dr. Oz is all over the map. That’s why I don’t listen to him.”

      This is where the TSA could come in handy. ;)

  23. Chareva says:

    Tom,
    Hello from Cabo. We are having a wonderful time. We miss you and wish you were here. The wedding was absolutely beautiful. I can’t get into my Hotmail — so I’m writing here. Please remember to unplug the heat lamp in the morning and give the chickens clean water ;)
    Sara wanted to add — we go to the pool every day and look for shells on the beach. Sara has about 150 so far and the girls have created a barter and trade shell system. We love you and I hope to get my email working soon so as not to bore your blog readers. P.S. Marzhan says “Hi”.

    [Apologies to any blog readers who may be bored. Chareva and the girls have been in Mexico since Friday. Apparently this is our only way of getting messages to each other until she can access her email.]

    Hello, Ducky. I’m glad you’re enjoying yourselves down there. Kiss the bride and groom for me.

    The chickens are all alive and well. The heat lamp stopped working, but it’s warmer at night than it was last week, so I’m not worried about them freezing. I am, however, worried about my ability to feed them without getting stung. Some bees discovered all those pears on the ground and apparently invited all the bees in Tennessee to join in the feast. I’ve never seen so many bees in one field. They aren’t at all impressed by my yells of “Get the @#$% out of here, you @#$%ing varmints!” and refuse to leave. There were even bees flying around inside the coop when I finally stopped whimpering and went inside to feed the chickens. I haven’t gotten stung yet, but given my history with stinging insects, I’m not optimistic.

    I believe Rascal misses you all, because he won’t leave me alone. If I sit down, he jumps into my lap and mushes his face against my chin. If I stand up, he walks around my feet and brushes up against my legs. If I walk to another room, he follows me. If he were human, we’d consider this co-dependent behavior and get him into therapy.

    Tell the girls I miss them and can’t wait to see them. Love you all.

    • PeggyC says:

      Not bored at all. I think it’s sweet. Thank someone or other for the internet making it possible to communicate in more than one way.

  24. David F says:

    …and here comes the backlash!! http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-28/professor-says-abc-catalyst-episode-could-result-in-deaths/5050866

    My god…people could DIE from watching this TV program. There’s a second episode on this topic this week…should be very interesting.

    Keep up the great work Tom!

    Oh no, people might watch the show and stop taking their statins! Heh-heh-heh … well, that would be just awful for the pharmas. They’d not only sell fewer statins, but fewer painkillers, fewer erectile-dysfunction pills, fewer memory-loss treatments, fewer diabetes treatments …

    • Chuck says:

      After watching Fat Head and doing some of my own research, I made my mom quit taking her statins (she’d been taking them for 2 yrs.). She was pretty close to a zombie and couldn’t think. She couldn’t recall things she had done earlier in the day and very important things from the past. When asked questions she would just look confused, and after a couple of minutes just say “I don’t know, I can’t think”. She has been off of them for 2 months now, and what a difference (I could see the difference in just one week). She can answer questions without trouble and talks about her childhood on the farm quite regularly now, just like she used to. If your movie had not talked about statins I probably would’ve never been aware of it, just thought it was old age symptoms (she is 73 soon to be 74). You have definitely helped buy her many more years of living independently because of it. Thank you!

      Glad you were able to convince her. I still kick myself for not finding out about the effects of statins in time to save my Dad’s memory.

      • Kristin says:

        It is really nice to read that some folks have been successful in getting a parent off of statins. My folks have both been on statins for over 20 years. My dad passed over last year and in the last few years of his life had progressively more fragile skin and expanding ulcers. It wasn’t until the last year that I knew it was caused by the low cholesterol he was so proud of.

        Now I’ve explained to my mother about how statins actually have a disclaimer that they have not been shown to prevent heart disease. I thought it was a pretty good argument to ask her why she takes a drug with so many side effects when it specifically won’t do what it is being used for. To her credit she did ask her doctor, relaying my specific concern. The doctor’s answer? Yes, I know what she is getting at and keep taking them anyway. My mother of course has listened to her doctor.

        That seems to a common and unfortunate trait among older folks. They think Doctor always knows best.

  25. Honora says:

    I know that we are making progress, but I just got a call from my middle daughter who is a senior at Georgia Tech. She has to take a health class to graduate. She is studying for the nutrition test. All whole grains, low fat and lots of fruit. She has been gluten free and paleo since her oldest sister was diagnosed with Celiac. She planned to regurgitate the crazy talk for the test, shaking her head and LOLing all the way to an A. I feel sorry for all the kids in her class who think that they have been taught cutting edge nutrition.

    I’m afraid that’s what nutrition students who know better will have to do until until all the misinformed professors die or retire.

  26. erik van altena says:

    Its great to read this! Still I haven’t had much luck convincing friends, family and colleagues. At first my efforts were amusing to them and they asked lots of questions and some even watched fat head, but now several months later where i have visibly lost 5.5 kilos (sorry, european) just through diet alone, its like they turn a blind eye. The only response i sometimes get is the “You shouldn’t think about it so much, everything kills you apparently” deal while they keep piling up on their grains, white rice and sugar… Knowing and be powerless to stop it hurts.

    Good Calories Bad Calories should become a high school textbook if you ask me – also for history classes.

    Heh-heh-heh … interesting rationalization on their part. Sure, we’re all going to die, but I’d rather not spend my time on earth being fat and sick.

    • Chuck says:

      “If you eat potatoes you might as well eat candy.”

      When I was looking through my grandma’s old recipes a long time ago, I found one called mashed potato candy. ¾c cold mashed potatoes, vanilla, 4c coconut, 4c powdered sugar, pinch of salt, and some baking chocolate. The final product is a Mounds candy bar. The strangest part of making the recipe is when you add the powdered sugar to the potatoes. Looks like it would be tough to mix 4 cups of powdered sugar with a small lump of cold mashed potatoes, but the powdered sugar liquefies the potatoes as you stir. I won’t be making this ever again.

      Doesn’t even sound very tasty to me.

      • emi11n says:

        We have a traditional christmas cookie recipe in my family that is pretty much the same thing. “potato cookies” sure don’t sound good but they’re actually really tasty. You can’t tell there’s potato in them. Too sweet for me these days though.

  27. Pierson says:

    This is a bit OT, but I wanted to ask, where did you find that information regarding wheat and LDL? I’ve looked around, and can’t find anything. I’ve even looked on the wheat belly blog, to no avail (in terms of sources). Also, when will you post on your other blog?

    You’ll have to remind me what I said about wheat and LDL.

    I haven’t even looked at the other blog in months. I work at BMI as a contract programmer, I’ve been designing and programming a new version of a software package I sell to law firms, I have a speech coming up in December I haven’t written yet, and I’m supposed to be working on that book for kids with Chareva. Plus there’s the usual stuff with family, the farm, etc. I decided to let the other blog go dormant until I wrap up a few things.

    • Pierson says:

      You had mentioned in your post, ‘I’m expecting a lecture from my doctor’, that Dr. Davis had mentioned that eating wheat causes an increased production of LDL for several days afterwards. Also, you sound super busy, so I guess I’ll be looking at Reason magazine (or anything by John Stossel) for the time being.

      Ahh, okay. Dr. Davis mentioned that in his cruise lecture last year. I believe he also wrote about it in Wheat Belly, but I can’t find my copy of the book to confirm. (No doubt I lent it to someone and forgot who.)

      Yes, a wee bit busy these days.

      • I’d have to recommend revising that to “anything by John Stossel as long as it doesn’t relate to nutrition.” He appears to be genetically thin and a CICO proponent, and pretty closed-minded about it.

        Cheers

        We’ll get to him eventually. I would think the angle of “the government screwed up the nutrition advice” would pique his interest.

    • Dallas says:

      Oh the irony that you should work at a company called BMI! :)

      We’re dedicated to making assumptions based on everyone’s height and weight.

      • Dallas says:

        The great part about that is you can royally screw up the programming and nobody would even know the difference…you might even get yourself onto the cover of Time Magazine! :)

        Or you get yourself a no-bid contract to develop a web site for HHS.

  28. Jacquie Watson says:

    So happy to find this site. I am appalled at the medical profession and the government, that they can be bought by ‘Pharma and Farma’. Not new to me but needs to be exposed.
    However, there is still more depth to the conversation about carbs. Not wanting to tell my grandma how to suck eggs, but I believe that wheat varieties now grown are bad, that processed grains are crap and these should be the smallest part of our diet.
    So when speaking of carbs we should be careful to distinguish between good and bad, and to explain how to distinguish, the low GI varieties should be recommended. Veg and meat or fish, I am even wondering about the vegetarian diet and what bullshit is made up about it???
    The food pyramid needs a radical overhaul, and food education in schools needs a giant overhaul, but so does the education of the general population. Thank you to this website, and Catalyst, and SBS (Michael Mosely the truth about exercise another eye opener).
    God forbid, doctors may even want to use maggots to help treat wounds!!!!!

    Overhauling the food pyramid would be an improvement, but I think we’d be better off if governments got out of the diet-advice business — or in the case of our schools, the diet-command business. Michael Pollan correctly described the school lunch program here as a disposal system for surplus crops subsidized by the USDA. Horrible? Yup. Inevitable? Also yup. Whenever a small group of people have the power to make decisions for millions of other people that result in billions of dollars changing hands, the big-money interests will eventually get their people in there to run the show. That’s the norm in government, not the exception. Take away the power, you take away the motivation for corruption.

    • I hope Tom doesn’t mind me chiming in but when I hear questions about Vegan lifestyles I recommend the following video free on Youtube.
      http://youtu.be/rNON5iNf07o
      When Humans developed grain agriculture the effects were tragic, anyone who takes a semester of Anthropology should learn this and it should be common knowledge among school teachers.

  29. Jane says:

    I sent the link to “Heart of the Matter” documentary to many of my family and friends. This is the response from one of them, a 65-yr-old male who would like to lose a few kilos but is not obviously overweight.

    “This stuff fascinates and confuses me. I can see the sense in what they are saying, but I have finally worked out that if I have cream on my porridge, or fry things in butter, I put on weight. If I don’t, I don’t!
    Whether there is something else I’m doing or not doing, I have not yet worked out.”

    I don’t have any answers for him, but maybe someone else does. Thanks.

    Mixing fats and refined carbohydrates is the worst combination as far as gaining weight. You’re giving your body a signal to store fat (insulin spike from the carbs) at the same time that you’re ingesting plenty of fat to store. So yes, porridge with cream is more fattening that porridge without cream.

    • Jane says:

      Thanks Tom – I learn something new every day!

      Thanks for reading.

    • Firebird7478 says:

      Dr. Sears in his Zone Diet books valued the addition of fat to carbs because adding the fat would slow down the absorption rate of the carbs, thus staving off hunger while sustaining energy for longer periods of time. He rationalized that eating a potato chip or french fry was better for you than eating a plain baked potato.

      I remember that. But I agree with Dr. Eades that fat and refined carbs together are the “killer combo.” I think there’s a reason people can eat a whole bag of potato chips.

      • Firebird7478 says:

        I agree with Eades. The fact that fat slows down the absorption rate of carbs is immaterial. They still get absorbed and still get stored as fat.

  30. Rae Ford says:

    I couldn’t help but smile when I noticed that the advocates of Low fat and low cholesterol diets offered no scientific explanations for their arguments, simply stating that it just is. While Dr. Eades and the others actually explained why it wasn’t true.

    At least they didn’t fall back on the line about how there are thousands of studies backing them up — without actually naming any.

    • Mike G says:

      I had that exact conversation with a cardiac surgeon two years ago. When I asked him to name one, he said he couldn’t remember any specific studies, but he “knew” they existed. I kept the discussion going by asking “why would you need to do thousands of studies to prove a point? You would think they would have stopped after the first 900 or so…” He didn’t get my point at all. I had to spell it out to him that just because he memorized that line in medical school does not mean that those studies actually existed.

  31. Jill says:

    I was going to email you the Australian links Tom!

    An epidemiologist was so concerned about the first part of the 2 part program she actually wrote a letter to them to not air Part 2!! For fear people would not take their statins!!

    Oh the amusement…;)
    One of the rare occasions the Aust. ABC pay attention to actual science.
    Unfortunately they are complete and corrupt pushers of the human-induced-climate-change myth and constantly preach the “need” for a carbon tax.

    I guess nobody’s perfect.

  32. Firebird7478 says:

    I watched part one last night. That Aussie doctor was awfully smug. His attitude that saturated fat causes heart disease is a factor was pretty much “Because we say so.” The idea that THEIR studies say it is conclusive but other studies that say it’s not are labeled as “there’s no way of knowing” is incredibly pompous and arrogant.

    My TV will only take so much more physical abuse from me throwing things at it before it walks out and leaves me for good.

    There’s no way of knowing … so just accept what we tell you.

  33. CathyN says:

    RE: Wheat raising LDL.

    Pierson: It is my understanding that wheat causes inflammation, which in turn raises LDL, because the LDL works to heal the inflammation. So yeah, it will go up for a few days. LDL is not bad cholesterol. It serves a huge purpose. Dr. Perlmutter in “Grain Brain” has some good stuff about that.

  34. Grouchicarpo says:

    Tom, thanks for using your website to keep the conversation going about health, diet, and self-education. I watched “Fat Head” some time ago, and since then, my family and I have watched it multiple times.

    Having had Type I Diabetes for almost 40 years, I’m very conscious of effects of diet on physiology. After watching your documentary, I did what the scientist in me always does. I began my own footwork to prove or disprove it.

    Although the Internet seems to contain far more misinformation overall than useful, correct information, I encourage folks who are interested in pursuing the topics you present to use it anyway. The various research papers about cholesterol, saturated fats, CHD, etc, may be dry reading to some, but almost all of those I’ve found on-line and have read so far are in agreement: the Lipid Hypothesis doesn’t hold up.

    I wrote all that just to write this next bit. My recent reading uncovered this article from 2012:

    http://www.tbiomed.com/content/9/1/11

    which proposes that coronary atherosclerosis may not begin with inflammation. Based on the morphology of the arterial wall and where the “plaque” actually begins to accumulate, another factor may be at work. I’ve not finished digesting it all (HA! Cracked myself up…), but it makes for intriguing reading and shows that researchers are still digging into this health problem.

    More personally, my doctor recognizes that I’ve had success experimenting on myself, diet-wise. The first VAP lipid panel he recommended years ago reported that my LDL had a higher percentage of Type B, the denser type. He ordered the same panel about 1.5 years later, and my LDL had shifted to a higher percentage of Type A. I managed that change by significantly reducing carb intake but not saturated fat or cholesterol intake. He’s still scratching his head over that. I enjoy bucking the so-called “conventional wisdom”. :)

    Keep up the good work.

    Interesting. That’s the hypothesis Dr. Uffe Ravnskov has been working on lately as well: some kind of infection triggers the process.

  35. Firebird7478 says:

    Bodybuilding pioneer Dan Lurie died yesterday at the age of 90. Lurie was a big meat eater. I guess it finally caught up to him.

  36. Moreorless says:

    Hey Tom. Do you feel a bit of goose by vilifying Ancel keys by accusing him of scientific fraud without even looking into whether or not it was true?

    Someone actually took the time to do the research which I think you could learn a lot from.
    http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLv3QDzdxan_IVgksyJDGR_PO6noKU0r_1

    Do I feel like a goose because a vegan group rushed in to defend the lipid hypothesis with faulty logic worthy of Ancel Keys? Uh, no. Notice the association they hyped between animal protein (egads!) and heart disease across various countries. Once again, that’s nothing more than a proxy for rich nations vs. poorer nations. People in rich nations ate more sugar, smoked more cigarettes, drank more soda, etc.

  37. Moreorless says:

    Wow really? So it’s ok to make stuff up and accuse dead scientist of fraud and manipulation if it suits your agenda?
    Your DVD was extremely influential in propagating this myth. I actually own a copy. And I’m defintely not a vegan but I find this kind of agenda driven sloppyness and you’re lack of willing to correct the issue kind of shocking.

    Uh … what exactly did I make up?

    The dead scientist cherry-picked his data. Denise Minger has a long chapter about him in her latest book. She points out that as a result of his cherry-picking, he didn’t create a correlation that otherwise wouldn’t have existed — I was under the impression from books I’d read that he did create a non-existent correlation — but he certainly made the correlation appear much stronger and more linear than it was. So yes, that’s fraud and manipulation in my book. Tossing out data to strengthen your results isn’t far removed from making up your results.

    I presume “sloppyness” = “sloppiness” and “you’re lack of willing to correct the issue” = “your lack of willingness to correct the issue”? Just making sure I’m interpreting correctly.

  38. Moreorless says:

    I suppose in your mind, disregarding countries with inadequate mortality data and uneven food supply due to the war, including countries that would of best supported his hypothesis constitutes cherry picking. This is comical for anyone who takes a look at your blog roll.

    Tom, I also truly can’t understand how someone can write a blog post about The True Believer and see these characteristics in militant vegans but not within yourself or the rest of the low carb world. I understand when your personally and professionally invested your own bias can blind you, but it’s still strange you seemingly haven’t picked up on it and woken up after following the low carb diet and blogs for years.

    See if you can spot the inconsistency:

    The argument the vegans are making is that we mustn’t accuse Keys of cherry-picking because he offered an explanation for the cherry-picking. The data wasn’t reliable, and we must accept that it wasn’t reliable because Keys said so.

    A few minutes later, the vegans say Keys missed the real culprit, which is animal protein. Animal protein causes heart disease, and we know this because if you look at all 22 countries, that’s the correlation you find.

    Have you spotted it yet? Go on, take a minute …

    … Okay, here it is in case you don’t have it: The data from most of those countries wasn’t reliable. We know this because Keys said so. (How nice that the “reliable” countries produced a nearly perfect correlation.) But the real problem is animal protein. We know this because we’ve spotted a correlation in the data for 22 countries — most of which we just declared unreliable based on the word of Ancel Keys.

    If you think the Plant Positive people are taking an objective look at the science, you’re dreaming. They are far more agenda-driven than I am. They want to convince everyone — EVERYONE — that animal foods will kill them and the only way to be healthy is to be a vegetarian. That’s a True Believer mindset. I want to convince people that a low-carb diet might be the key for them if they’re having difficulty losing weight and/or controlling blood sugar. I don’t try to convince people that the only way to be healthy is to go low-carb. It’s an option, and a great option for many people including me, but not the only option.

    Did you happen to catch the part in my most recent speech where I said that the diet that works for me might not be the diet that works for you and vice versa? Is that a True Believer talking? If you can find a post where I wrote that anyone who doesn’t go low-carb is going to get sick and die prematurely, or that a low-carb diet is the only healthy diet out there, please send me a link.

    Oh, I see … it’s my blogroll that makes me a True Believer? Um … because I link to blogs that fit the general theme of this blog? Because if people want to learn more about low-carb or paleo diets, I provide links to sites where they can find more information? Yes, you’ve got me there. A non-True Believer would link to vegan blogs warning them that a low-carb diet will kill them. Moron.

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