This Is Why We Do What We Do – 2015 Version

      127 Comments on This Is Why We Do What We Do – 2015 Version

I wrote a couple of posts back in the day titled This Is Why We Do What We Do. (Here and here if you want to check them out.)


Okay, this is a case of perfect timing, so I need to interrupt myself. I literally just now pasted in the link for the second “This Is Why We Do What We Do” post. That post opened like this:

I received one of those hate mails this week, full of the usual brilliant observations:

Your film was obviously paid for by McDonald’s … Super Size Me was awesome and a really important film because it alerted people to the dangers of fast food … your on-camera experts must be beef-industry hacks if they say saturated fat isn’t bad for you … you think you’re funny but you’re not, you’re just really annoying … your film sucked so bad, I stopped watching before the end … etc., etc., etc.

Later in that post, I quoted from one of the many “thank you for changing my life” emails I’ve received to explain why these goofs who think they’re going to hurt my feelings with a nasty email are dreaming.

About five seconds after pasting in the link, my email program dinged at me. So I checked the email and read this:

I just wanted to tell you I saw FatHead.
Or, should I say, CrapHead.
Because I just saw a full load of bologna. Literally, the worst movie ever.
You sir, Tom Naughton, can go to hell, or better yet, one of the places you defend in CrapHead, and die.
No one will miss you.
And no one will remember CrapHead in 10 years.
Have a nice day.

Another angry little pissant who thinks he’s going to hurt my feelings. You can’t make this stuff up.

Anyway, back to the original topic.

While taking time off to finish the draft of the book, I received a couple more reminders of why we do what we do. One came in the form of a conversation with a co-worker who has type 2 diabetes. His A1C has been climbing, and he’s concerned that he’ll die young, or lose his vision, or suffer some other calamity. I asked him about his diet.

He’s been told almost nothing by his doctor, and the little advice he’s gotten has been lousy. I asked what he eats. Breakfast is usually an apple and a banana, but sometimes he has oatmeal. He was told that’s good for him.

And your other meals?

Well, for lunch he usually has a sandwich. But he uses stone-ground wheat bread, because he was told that’s good for him too.

I explained that he needs to stop filling up on sugars and starches in the morning and try eating bacon and eggs instead. He didn’t disagree, but asked, “So … eggs are okay?”

You can understand his suspicion, of course. We were all told for decades that eggs will clog our arteries because of the cholesterol. The USDA Dietary Guidelines Committee has finally backed off that warning (a mere 35 years too late), but I don’t think most people got the memo.

So here’s a guy worried that his type 2 diabetes will kill him, and he’s been told eggs are bad, but oatmeal and wheat bread are good. No wonder his A1C is climbing.

The other reminder of why we do what we do arrived in an email. Here’s part of it:

Hi, Tom-

I’m a long time reader of your blog and have emailed you a few times in the past. I just needed to send you a message for a quick rant on some extreme frustration I recently had. I work in mental health as an outpatient clinic therapist and recently had a patient who couldn’t come to our last appointment because she went to the ER for chest pain. Turns out she had a heart attack. She’s only 36 years old, but is overweight, smokes, not a good diet, no exercise, and has a strong family history.

She came in after being released from the hospital. The real kicker is this: she’s been told to eliminate saturated fat from her diet to the point of it only being 7% of her diet. She was told no butter, no fatty meats, blah blah blah. They also put her on a statin even though her cholesterol was ok.

The hospital staff apparently was quoting directly from the USDA guidelines. As for the statin … don’t get me started.

Then….she followed up with this comment, “But what’s great is I saw that Graham Crackers have no saturated fat, so I can eat the s#%*@ out of those.” My internal response? NOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

NOOOOO, indeed. Out of curiosity, I looked up the ingredients and macronutrients from a (ahem) “nutrition” label for graham crackers online. The ingredients:

Enriched flour, sugar, graham flour, vegetable oil (cottonseed and partially hydrogenated soybean oil and/or canola oil), molasses, corn syrup.

Refined wheat, sugar and hydrogenated oils.  Nope, no threats to cardiovascular health there.

Here are the calories, carbs, etc:

Hmmm, there’s a gram of saturated fat in there, so perhaps those crackers will kill her after all.  The email continues:

How can doctors still believe this jargon? How can one honestly believe a Graham Cracker is better than an Egg?

Good question. We’re living in a profoundly silly age where food-like products made from refined grains are considered health foods, while real foods humans have been eating forever are considered killers — because they contain fat.

But that’s why we do what we do. That’s why I’m determined to finish this book project, and then jump straight into the film/DVD version.

————– Update ——————

More laughs. The pissant whose email I quoted above sent another one on Friday:

Angry loser? Me? You sound like a whiner or a kid that just lost his favorite toy or a bad football player like Adrian Peterson when the NFL suspends him for beating up his child.
You don’t know me pal. I’m a powerful citizen of the US of A, the greatest country in the world.
I have powerful friends that can f@#$ you up, just like they did with Kobe or Armstrong.
Remember good, and write it down Mr.Nutjob, I’m Mr. Hands, I have power, I have influences, and I can beat you up anytime soon.
You f@#$%ing moron.
At least you had the time to answer mi e-mail.
Have a nice day a-hole.

Well, I believe him, of course.  That’s what powerful and influential people with powerful friends do:  they send angry emails to film directors whose films they don’t like.  Then they return to their video games until Mom calls them for dinner.

Figuring perhaps a reply will cause his pissant head to explode, I sent one:

Sure, send your powerful friends on over to f@#$ me up.  I’ll introduce them to my rottweilers and my Mossbergs.

You can’t make this stuff up.


127 thoughts on “This Is Why We Do What We Do – 2015 Version

  1. Jamie

    Thanks for doing what you do Tom! Gotta have thick skin in this world. You have to be really brave to put yourself out there.. Some days it’s tough other days you get those emails that make it all worth it.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I developed rhino skin decades ago when I wrote a humor column for the campus newspaper. It grew thicker when I was a standup comedian. No matter how many people love your work, you’ll always have some goofs out there who don’t and feel compelled to let you know — apparently thinking you’ll give @#$%.

      1. Jennifer Snow

        It seems to a firmly rooted belief in many people these days that if you can point out how something is bad or flawed, that makes you superior to whoever created it. They then proceed to define “bad or flawed” as “involves any limitations or tradeoffs whatsoever”–which means they can freely criticize ANYTHING and feel smugly superior about it.

        That this policy ultimately means living in a world of useless futility doesn’t seem to mean anything, as long as they can feel superior about being “above all that”.

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          Thomas Sowell makes that point in “The Vision of The Anointed.” Point out a flaw in a system, that means the system is BAD … which in turn means anything The Anointed propose to replace it is automatically The Good. In the real world, the choice is almost always between imperfect alternatives.

      2. j

        Theyre called haters, and there will be haters no matter who you are or what you do..especially if youre in the public’s eye. Find the noblest, most selfless person you can think of and there will be someone out there that hates them. Just part of life.

        Anyway, glad I stumbled across your movie one bored night on Hulu..changed all my perceptions about nutrition. Happy b-day and good luck on your new projects..

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          Yup, when I was writing a column for the campus newspaper back in the day, I quickly learned that no matter what you write, no matter what your style, no matter what your position, you’re going to get at least one hate mail. Anyone who puts work before the public has to learn to just laugh it off.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I laughed too. The goofball warns me that in 10 years, nobody will remember Fat Head. Well, it was released nearly seven years ago, and our digital distributor is still selling it to new markets, so I’d say the staying power isn’t too bad.

  2. Beatrix Willius

    People have problems with thinking. This week a colleague told me that her triglycerides are high. I told her that she should eat less carbs. She told me that she doesn’t eat many carbs. Then I asked her what her breakfast is: oatmeal, fruit and yoghurt. According to her carbs are only bad when eaten in the evening.

    Those hate mails are really fantastic. No critisism at all, just hate.

  3. Lynda

    I’ve told you before but I’ll tell you again. Your movie was life changing for me and my husband. It was the pivotal moment when we realised the effect that sugar/carbs had and how they affected our insulin. This was back in 2009. It opened our eyes to a whole new world. Yes, I became a zealot for awhile but six years on we still live a low carb/real food lifestyle. We’re not so zealous now but realise this is for life and we will never go back to our old ways. Thank you again Tom.

  4. Tom Welsh

    I have been thinking a lot about abstraction as a general mental process, and the ways in which we use abstractions when thinking and speaking. Here’s the first surprise: it is generally less intelligent, worse educated people who use abstractions most unthinkingly. Often they seem to believe those abstractions are concrete, real things. (“Good” and “evil” are examples that jump out at you).

    Likewise, I believe, less intelligent and worse educated people tend to hold their opinions with the despairing death grip of a drowning man. Perhaps dimly aware that it’s a complicated, confusing world out there and that it’s very easy to be wrong, they utterly refuse to consider that their prized beliefs might need to be questioned.

    That might account for the furious ad hominem attacks you receive.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      There may be something to that, but the excellent book “Mistakes Were Made (but not by me)” offered plenty of examples of very accomplished people holding on to incorrect beliefs until the bitter end.

    2. JillOz

      Can’t agree I’m afraid. well-educated people are equally, if not more, tenacious in their attachment to bad ideas and abstractions. They KNOW better, you see.

      “Well-educated” people jumped on the Nazi bandwagon. Many of them are currently lying anti-Semitic agitators. Many of them blow themselves up for Islam.

      It is not the education, though that can help. It is the attitude and actually many well-educated people, fancying they know better, will be as anti-intellectual as any thickhead, especially if it goes against their chosen ideology.

  5. NM

    A further example for you:

    The GP has been trying to bully a relative to take a statin for the last decade, because their cholesterol is “dangerously high”. This relative enjoys eggs, full-fat cheese and a tot of whisky every night. I primed this relative to tell the doctor to shove the statin where the sun don’t shine.

    This relative is my great grandmother.
    She’s celebrating her 96th birthday this weekend.

    1. Firebird

      Just be glad he doesn’t send your great-grandmother to alcohol rehab for that “tot” of whiskey.

      BTW…she does sound “great”!

  6. Linda

    Tom- Just so you’ll have your quota of positive feedback, thank you for all you do! You have changed my life for the better in an enormous way! I can’t wait for the book. I’m not a child, but I’m sure I’ll get a lot out of it! Keep up the good work!

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Truth is, I hope adults enjoy the book as much as kids. Just because we’re big people, it doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy cartoon characters demonstrating how diet affects health.

          1. Woalter Bushell

            What no pictures of operations on heart attack victims and triple bypasses?!

            Ah well, better to leave the scare mongering to the
            AMA, USDA, Cargill et al.

  7. Thomas E.


    Again, thank you, and my family and I are looking forward to your book, and I guess new movie!

    A quick story if I may. One of the gentlemen I work with, a really good guy, brilliant engineer/physicist type, mostly in optics and light.

    He is still in the statin taking, low fat, whole grains are good standard of care. I’ve referred him to this blog, so I guess there is a chance he is reading this, but none of this will be a surprise to him.

    He was raised on a decent size family farm in Saskatchewan, in fact a brother is still working the land. When he was growing up, his parents would purchase a side of beef, about 2 or 3 times a year to feed the family, they never went out to dinner, but they did have a sweet tooth for ice cream, his dad would bring home a 5G barrel every couple of weeks. Beyond that it was canned and fresh vegetables from their garden, and eggs and chicken of course.

    His parents have eaten this way for their entire lives, approaching 90, still in decent health. ~50 years ago they moved into town in the winter, and about 20 years ago they moved into town all year round, but they still pretty well eat eggs, bacon, chicken, red meat, potatoes and veggies, and go out for dinner rarely. They still might be making their own bread, but I am not sure on that count.

    My friend, and his brothers, they all went to university, they all adopted the standard American diet, and they all have had medical issues, including, but not limited to, diabetes, strokes, and heard attacks.

    When I pointed that out to him, he just looked at me and said, “um, um, yeah your right”. And I said if you want to live as long as your parents, eat what they ate when they were in their 50’s. Yup, home made bread, grass fed free range beef, eggs, bacon, and veggies you knew how they were grown.

    And yes, very much sample size n == 1.

    As I said, he is a great guy, and I really hope he lives as long as his parents.


    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I hope he listens to that advice. When I think of healthy ancestors, I think of my great-grandfather, who spent much of his life on a farm and lived to be 101. He was entirely lucid until about age 98.

    2. Josh

      I try to avoid sugar and processed grains, and even grains in chunks. But, when I eat them I enjoy them. So, I make my own home made bread and eat a slice or two every day or so. But, it replaces sugars, which for me, are far more damaging to weight control.

      I think there is some truth to the belief that the natural fiber in some foods counters some of the ill effects of the sugars and carbs in the food, but not if the food has been highly processed. So, I use a ‘chunkier’ grind of flour ( I do the grinding myself) rather than the pulverized stuff sold at the store.

      Still, eggs, cheese, meat and veggies (lots of veggies) are my main foods.

      On Thanksgiving if my friend makes his home made apple pie, I will eat a big slice and ask for another. 🙂 If I am going to eat lots of carbs and sugar, it’s going to part of a very tasty food, not a store bought cupcake or candy bar.

  8. GrannyMumantoog

    Haven’t sent you a comment in quite a while but I just wanted to let you know that I’m looking forward to your new projects!

    Keep on keepin’ on Tom! It’s helping many so I’m glad you’re able to ‘suffer the slings & arrows’ of a few ignoramuses with such good humor. Thanks for all you do.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I’ll keep on keepin’ on until it’s just plain common knowledge that real food is good and food-like products made from refined grains and industrial seed oils are bad.

  9. Firebird

    There seems to be a correlation between veganism and the maturity level of a 10 year old…unless those haters are really 10 years old.

      1. Bob Niland

        re: Naw, just adults whose brains have been deprived of essential fatty acids.

        It’s about more than just EFAs, such as Omega 3 DHA & EPA. In an article I maintain to support some blog work I do, I’ve so far identified 12 nutrients that vegetarians commonly need to consciously address.

        10 of the 12 have adverse neurological consequences if materially deficient:
        What happens if many of these are left hypo?
        Might explain some odd emails.
        But you won’t be able to explain it to the sender.

        1. Woalter Bushell

          Vegetarians on statins are at particular risk, low cholesterol means less vitamin D from sunlight. OTOH, most probably cover up and apply sunscreen when going out to pick up the snail mail.

      2. Don

        I play chess regularly. It’s kind of a constantly updated IQ score, as your rating is always being calculated based on the strength of your moves and the strength of your opponents. I take a fish oil capsule regularly and have begun to notice that my rating drops if I miss a day and increases if I up my dose. It’s an effect you can see almost immediately. Guess there’s something to the old saw about fish being brain food.

  10. Jamie

    Oops…well now I feel extra guilty for letting my kids have graham crackers as a special treat. Should’ve read the label.

    I’ll make up for it with bacon and eggs for breakfast. Which is what we have almost everyday.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      As long as it’s a special treat (and not every day is labeled “special”), I doubt you’ve done any harm.

      1. Walter Bushell

        Note: the idea of the vegetarian diet was to reduce sexual desire. Since sexual desire is highly correlated with health, this is a very bad idea.

  11. Rae Ford

    What is the world coming to when people simply can’t just agree to disagree with you but instead, they have to send hateful diatribe in an email? Confidence is silent and insecurities are loud.

    Keep fighting the good fight, Tom. There is no telling what state my own would be in if I hadn’t seen your film 3 years ago. Since then I have made changes to my diet that have eliminated the problem I was having with my feet and ankles swelling. So thank you from the bottom of my healthy heart.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Some people just aren’t right in the head. If I see a film or read a book I don’t like, I make a mental note to avoid further works by that creator. I don’t feel compelled to send hate mail.

  12. Archie Robertson

    Anne’s tried to comment, but her message seems to be unacceptable, probably because it contains rude words (such as “hepatologist”). We’ll see if this comment arrives…
    In the meantime, you’re absolutely right about why we keep on doing what we do; yesterday I was teaching a group of second-year nursing students, and shocked them by showing that the things they are taught to be “slow carbs” such as wholemeal bread, potatoes and rice, are in fact even “faster” than sucrose.

    I always explain that I’m not trying to make them fail their exams, nor that they have to lie in their tests in order to pass. I’m thinking of their patients ten years down the line, when they can’t lose a pound no matter how hard they try, and are developing their Type II diabetes and morbid obesity very nicely. I ask the students to remember what I’ve suggested as avenues for exploration, and how they can help those patients by going outside the guidelines they’re currently being force-fed.

    And to counter the worry about exams, I suggest that they use “weasel words”, such as
    “In the textbook by Professor Dupont, we read…” or “In our course on diet and health, we learned that… “. In this way, they can regurgitate the nonsense they’ve had to absorb, thus passing their exams, without having to state that it’s actually true!

      1. Tom Naughton Post author

        Yup, you’ve got to figure out what works for you. There’s no single diet that’s best for everyone.

  13. Bonnie

    After his heart bypass surgery, my husband was told he could eat animal crackers; they’re even lower in fat than graham crackers, but have slightly more carbs. 🙁

  14. Karen Anderson

    Nothing new to add, except more props to you! I’m old now and am finally not trying to”fix” anyone around me. I have a relative who generally eats SAD, low fat, and is in better shape than folks 1/2 his age. We watched our father change his diet from eggs, with occasional oatmeal, to every other day “cereal” days, in order to be more healthy. His type 2 diabetes caused 2 lower leg amputations. Both after our mother died.

    I try not to think what “might have been” for either of my parents, had the USDA food standards been based on science rather than politics. I firmly believe that people are diverse, adabtible, and some, more diet resilient than others. Keep up what you are doing — information is the footbridge to people’s ability to personal decisions.

    Thank you

  15. Stephen T.

    Tom, you’re challenging a stupid orthodoxy, so people are bound to react. It says a lot about them that they feel the need to be ill mannered and threatening.

    Nina Teicholz gets similar criticism for her important work and it saddens me. I’m sure Gary Taubes is in the same position.

    I agree that a small element of vegetarians are particularly frightened by the success that most people on a low carb diet achieve. When the system does finally fully acknowledge that natural fats are healthy, the whole vegetarian health argument will collapse and they are desperate to avoid that.

    Those of us without agendas, who just want to know the truth, are grateful to you and all the others working in this field.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      What was weird about this loon is that he never even hinted at why he hated Fat Head. Based on experience, though, I’d say the odds are 90% that s/he is a vegan.

    2. Firebird

      I became a vegetarian in HS. I want to say my sophomore year. I had a friend who was a vegetarian (Still is) then met another guy around 30 years of age who was closer to being a vegan (still is). Both seemed to do pretty good on the diet so I tried it, too. I whittled down to 138 lbs. from 165 (I built up a bit of muscle from weightlifting, which I started the year before). My junior year was horrible. I missed a lot of school. Felt depressed (more so than normal) and my grades were the worst they ever were. I stuck with it for another year before I began eating meat again.

      The one friend from HS is 52 years old. I saw him a few months back at a Denny’s. He was fat, his skin complexion was borderline purple and he was eating a cheese quesadilla. The other guy is nearing age 70 and still looks, as my mom put it 30 years ago, “Like death warmed over.”

      I’m 51, high protein, low carb and I am mistaken for a 35 year old.

      Let the naysayers bang on.

  16. Maria J

    As a kid I remember dunking honey grahams in milk until the glass looked like it contained custard or porridge and I remember them tasting good. Not that long ago I slathered peanut butter and jelly between two graham crackers and that tasted good. The other day at a friend’s house I tried a graham cracker and it was awful, cardboard would be a complement. Not sure if the ingredients have changed or my tastes have improved, perhaps a bit of both.
    Thanks for all you do, Tom. I think some people just don’t have enough to do.

      1. Namu

        Yup taste buds evolve from childhood and onwards, there are at least three seperate genes coding for specific bitter receptors that undergo varied expression based on age – they’re the reason why kids often hate brussels sprouts, beer, very dark chocolate and kale, while many adults enjoy them.

  17. Mark

    I’d take hate mail seriously if they would just get their grammar, spelling and sentence structure correct. It would be a long wait.

  18. lollo

    Being honest Tom , I wouldn’t push nut jobs too far ! His emails sounded well disturbed ! Nothing to do with diet , just hatred !
    Ignore the moron and he will go away and move on to someone else

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Good advice, and that’s what I did. He kept emailing, so I blocked him. Pretty sure he’s a genuine loon.

  19. Eric from Belgium

    Just keep on the good work Tom. You’ve been a source of inspiration to many of us.

    >”Some people just aren’t right in the head.”

    Hmmm… They actually are. But for inappropriate reasons.

    To quote Shakespeare’s Hamlet “Nothing is either goor or bad. Thinking makes it so”

    Have you ever investigated belief systems? I’m currently working on some aspects of the “climate change” facts and beliefs, and I found that there are lots of parallels to some points of medecine and nutrition…

    We are all “psychologically built” on beliefs and values (ie is it good or bad), and sometimes when I challenge some people’s beliefs, the result is usually what I would call the “fear of the unknown”, that leads too often to verbal violence.

    All it takes is asking five or six times “why” and/or “how do you know that”

    The shorter approach is to show some object and ask “what color is this”, followed by “can you prove that?”

    And it’s a very hard task to alter someone’s core beliefs and values.

    Anyway, my initial training was in science, and a good scientist is a skeptic scientist. Organised skepticism is the foundation of good science.

    By the way, did you ever get a chance to read some of Michael Crichton’s lectures? Some brilliant material in that, and a similar intellectual approach to Thomas Sowell’s work.

    And I am currently experiencing another “Anointed crisis”. I live in Brussels and it currently looks like a city under siege…. To quote you “Head. Desk…”

    Anyway, I look forward to your upcoming work.


    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I did reach a couple of Crichton’s lectures, as well as his book “State of Fear.” Brilliant stuff.

      1. Eric from Belgium

        >State of Fear..

        Yes, I re-read it again a few days ago. One of his best work. Well thought out book. But the lectures he gave before commiting to the book were very interesting.

        I wonder what will happen next week in Paris. Maybe the terrorist thing will focus attention on the real issues for a change rather than pseudo climate science ???


        1. JillOz

          No, they won’t. Hollande and various other pollies are insisting that the climate talks are THE priority for the world!! Can’t discard Agenda 21 just because terrorists are on the loose!

          However, because terrorism is real – as distinct from AGW – they have scaled back on some of the events that were to take place, and have organised extreme security measures.

  20. Don in Arkansas

    If no one hates you, Tom, you’re doing it wrong. You’re not a pizza – you can’t please everyone. I love your movie and have watched it numerous times, sometimes with friends. Sparks some interesting discussions at times.

    “Sure, send your powerful friends on over to f@#$ me up. I’ll introduce them to my rottweilers and my Mossbergs.” Love it. And I’ll add a hearty “AMEN!”

  21. John C Lewis

    Reading your post got me laughing so hard – I started choking on my eggs and bacon. The Pissant is right, this stuff can be harmful to your health. BTW: another great post Tom.
    Regards: john

      1. Woalter Bushell

        The police train them to grab male “suspects” by the genitals.
        This stops resistance in nearly all cases.

        Under the rubric of a threat is stronger than its execution.

  22. Galina L.

    Some people have almost religious hate for the McDonalds chain, while anyone can buy the same fast food basically everywhere. I am sure a regular store contains even more unhealthy items, even small stores at gas stations sell less healthy food than that McD.

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I see people buying “foods” at the grocery store that are waaaay worse than a cheeseburger and fries.

      1. Susan Herd

        I just got rid of the last firearm in our house. Unconditional surrender to our local police. it was left over from my father’s career as a farmer.
        I am so glad that I live in Australia.

  23. Dianne

    Tom, maybe you’d better teach those sweet little girls of yours how to take over their daddy’s blog when you retire, because it looks like it will be a while before the movers and shakers of the medical world get the word. I had a physical Friday and got the results of the previous week’s blood work, which showed a fasting glucose of 106 which my doctor said was in the prediabetes range. (A1c was also “high” at 5.8.) Since both grandmothers developed Type 2 diabetes in their old age, I checked out the Mayo Clinic website for info on prediabetes, and found the following advice:

    “If you have prediabetes, healthy lifestyle choices can help you bring your blood sugar level back to normal or at least keep it from rising toward the levels seen in type 2 diabetes. However, some people will progress to type 2 diabetes even if they lose weight. Recommendations to help keep prediabetes from progressing to type 2 diabetes include:

    •Eating healthy foods. Choose foods low in fat and calories and high in fiber. Focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Strive for variety to help you achieve your goals without compromising taste or nutrition.

    This type of diet may be referred to as a Mediterranean-style diet.”

    Sighhhhhhhh – apparently all fat is just plain bad and protein doesn’t figure into the equation at all. Naturally, I’m gonna ignore that advice. I think what I’d better do instead is (1) forget about having a weekly “cheat” day, (2) severely limit or eliminate milk, and (3) cut my fruit intake way, way back. Brussels sprouts and spinach aren’t as much fun as grapes and watermelon (though butter makes ’em pretty darned tasty), but they’re probably a lot better for me.

  24. Namu

    “Remember good, and write it down Mr.Nutjob, I’m Mr. Hands, I have power, I have influences, and I can beat you up anytime soon.”
    Thus wrote the deluded narcissist suffering from the intolerable anxious pressure of his dysfunctional amygdala. Some people have such badly (self-)damaged brain they cannot survive without lashing at anything helpful and hopeful within their field of perception 🙁

    Oh well. The only way your movie could be forgotten in 10 years, Tom, is if everyone suddenly came to their senses, ditched grains for healthy fats, and if CVD and diabetes became truly a thing of the past. Let’s keep trying to achieve that 🙂

  25. Bret

    A guy whose blog I read many years back used to get hatemail. If it was ridiculous enough, he would post not only the hatemail itself but the email address from which it came.

    Typically the sender would get so much hatemail as a result that he ended up emailing the blogger apologizing and begging him to take it down. Just an idea. 🙂

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      He’s still emailing me, changing email addresses so I can’t block him. It’s getting beyond hilarious. He’s now assuring me that he’s friends with the owner of the Kansas City Royals, and that his friend will send goons to mess me up. I’m sure the owner of the Royals wouldn’t mind being fingered in an email before sending the goons. Not as if that could lead the police to his door or anything.

      1. Dianne

        Next he’ll tell you that The Guy From CSPI is his brother-in-law. But kidding aside, please be careful of you and yours. I know that threatened men live long, etc., but this poor wretch just might work himself up to doing something monumentally stupid — as if sending hate mail weren’t stupid enough.

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          He’d have to travel all the way from Mexico City to do something stupid. Not sure he could find his way, given the apparent mental issues.

  26. Michael Steadman

    Thankfully you do what you do; just saw a Chicago TV “health” reporter report on a study that–get this–shows that not only does a high fat diet cause weight gain, but also causes permanent memory loss! I’m not making this up, it was on WGN news at 4 p.m.!

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I’ll betcha it was one of those studies where they feed mice utter crap that’s also high in fat.

  27. JillOz

    Don’t dismiss him completely Tom. Some powerful people like to have their village idiot,
    or he might be one of those “brother-in-law” types Big Gangster has to support for his wife’s favour.

    Not suggesting you panic, just bear in mind even Powerful People have dipsticks in their social circle. 😉

    Congrats on the book and your birthday!

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      Well, the internet footprint says he’s somewhere in Mexico City, and I can’t believe the owner of the Royals does favors for a friend stupid enough to announce in an email who’s sending the goons. My guess is that it’s a young, stupid vegan.

  28. Firebird

    I was watching the local news last night and they ran a feature on the local food banks helping senior citizens for the holidays. They showed one elderly woman opening up her box of donated non-perishables….grape juice, apple juice, bread, pasta. I don’t think I saw one can of chicken, tuna or turkey. She was reading the label on the grape juice and remarked, “This is the good stuff.” Then she pulled out the box of spaghettie and said, “Ooh, I needed this.”


      1. Paula

        My workplace recently gathered food for the needy. I was so sad when I saw the boxes and boxes of cereal, candy, canned ravioli, carb-laden “health” bars, oatmeal, cans of fruit cocktail and other syrup-added fruit, and on and on. I agree that when it’s a choice between bad food and going hungry you have to go with the bad food, but I really wish someone would come up with a way to get real, unprocessed food into the hands of the poor without it going bad first. THAT is something we could all get behind.

    1. flies

      “I don’t think I saw one can of chicken, tuna or turkey”

      Maybe they’re donating things they don’t eat anymore and keeping the meat for themselves…

      My uncle did that, he gave some cereal boxes that were too sugary for him, since he learned that his twin brother had diabetes.

      Win-win situation, food is given, and no waste.

      1. Firebird

        Perhaps, but knowing what we know, it is tough to watch this and knowing that starvation is avoided by providing foods that have little to no nutritional value. This is what Gary Taubes exposed in “Why We Get Fat”.

  29. Marilyn Harris

    Hi, Tom! I’m a huge fan of your movie and your website and am in agreement with most everything you say and do – with ONE notable exception; my experience with hate mail is that it isn’t worth the time or energy to respond to it. You have much more pleasant and profitable things to do with your time, such as enjoying your beautiful family, gorgeous farm, successful career(s), loving friends – and maybe even thinking about making ANOTHER terrific film someday? Please don’t let the hate-mailers distract you from getting your message out there and sharing what you know! Haters don’t deserve anything but the “delete” button when they wind up in your in-box! XOXO – M

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      I agree, and I mostly ignore them. Now and then I reply to one just for kicks.

      There will be a DVD version of the book we’re producing. I hope to make it work as a stand-alone film as well.

  30. toomanyspiders

    Well Tom, I am one of those people whose life you changed, if not outright saved. Perhaps I should add my 1 year old son to the list.

    When I was pregnant with him I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. I was 5’9″ and 130 lbs when I conceived, and had a gained a whopping five lbs by the time of my diagnosis.

    I was given a gestational diabetes diet to follow which consisted of 200+ carbs a day of “healthy whole grains and fruit.” Low fat only, of course.

    I knew something wasn’t right here, and in the back of my mind I recalled watching your film. I’d found it entertaining and funny, but didn’t take the nutritional message too seriously. After all, I was thin on a “healthy” high carb vegan diet.

    So I went back and re-watched it, and I was converted. For the remainder of the pregnancy I ate low carb, high fat. My son was born slightly premature but needed no time in NICU. Unfortunately the diabetes did not go away and I’m now type 2 diabetic- at 125 lbs. But my A1C is normal, I’m on no meds nor insulin. And oh how I love bacon grease!

    I really think you saved my life, if not my vision and limbs. So thanks! (2 days 2 late)

  31. Brandon

    Reminds me of something that happened to me, not related to nutrition but more about overly-offended people.

    I posted a political meme/picture on my facebook wall. Someone immediately flies into a rage, calling it propaganda, and announces that he has removed me from his news feed. All this, over just one thing he doesn’t agree with and with no attempt to even prove it wrong.

    I guess some people need their safe space?

    1. Tom Naughton Post author

      If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it at least twice: lots of people these days judge their self-importance by how easily offended they are.

    2. JillOz

      I used to have a friend that reacted like that – and worse – over me recommending him a book. Won’t go into the awful details but he is no longer my friend, having crossed a number of lines, all of them unacceptable.

  32. Brandon

    I just realized, based on the email response from the ‘powerful guy’, that he is likely a troll. I don’t even think he means any of what he said; he’s just trying to screw with you.

  33. David

    Sorry if you’ve already answered this; what’s the ETA on your book? When I saw Joe Cross released a sequel to FSND, I thought it’d be awesome if you did the same to Fathead.

      1. David

        Thanks Tom, cannot wait for the May release.

        FSDN, as in Joe Cross’s “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” documentary on vegetable juice fasts. He released a sequel on Netflix and was wondering if you would ever consider doing a Fathead 2. I only knew about Fathead from seeing it suggested to me on Netflix.

        1. Tom Naughton Post author

          I had no plans for a Fat Head 2 until we started working on the book. Then I decided I’d like a movie version to with the book.


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