The Older Brother Returns Barefoot to the Kitchen

Fear, anger, chaos. My work here is almost done.

And Tom’s almost back.

I’ve mentioned what The Wife and I call Sarah’s Awesome BLT’s a couple of times, so I thought I’d finish the story before Tom gets back and fills us in on his adventures in L.A. at the Ancestral Health Symposium at UCLA.

Sarah is Sarah Workman, a friend The Wife found, like several of our friends, while the moms (mostly) waited and chatted on the after-school playground back when all of our kids were younger. Much younger. This is how communities are formed.

Besides a fellow parent, Sarah was and remains co-proprietor of Carol Jean’s Fine Cuisine with her aunt, Carol Fraase. They do some of Springfield’s finest catering and in the off-season, they do cooking schools (The Wife went to so many they told her she’d graduated!).

Sarah invited us over one night because we wanted to learn how to put together a Turducken (yeah — chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey). She gave us shopping instruction beforehand, and told us not to eat first — she’d “just make some BLT’s.” Made sense. Why not something simple, basic, and easy when you’re going to spending your evening wrassling with stuffing sundry fowl inside each other.

Simple and easy was right, but we’d forgotten that Sarah never does anything basic; what’s the point, when a bit of extra effort adds so much.

Bacon 101

First of all, Sarah was just finishing up the thick-sliced bacon when we got there. In the oven. We hadn’t ever thought of that, but now it’s the only way we make bacon when we want more than a couple slices.

You just line a cookie sheet with foil, lay the bacon out on it, and pop it in a 450 degree oven for 15-20 minutes.  No turning necessary.

there’s less shrinkage, you can do a whole lot in one batch, and there’s no bacon fat splattering on the stove top. Or you.

Here’s what it looks like when you’re done. Mmmm.

Speaking of bacon fat, you can now just tip the cookie sheet up and pour it through your strainer into a container for the next time you need bacon fat. Later this afternoon, maybe.

For cleanup you just peel the foil off the cookie sheet and give it a quick cleaning. Easy.

Now you probably saw most of the other stars of this party from Veenstra’s Vegetables in my previous post — the mixed lettuce and heirloom tomatoes make up the rest of the traditional BLT, but Sarah added thinly sliced red onion (also shown here from Veenstra’s) and avocado, which adds more flavor, mouth feel, and seems to be one of the few sources of saturated fat even Ancel Keyes would be okay with.  As you can see in the foreground, instead of plain mayo, we stir in some (not too much) of the thick liquid from a can of chipotles.

If you haven’t seen the easy way to deal with an avocado, here’s a quick lesson…

Avocado 101

Start by slicing in down to the pit, then circling the pit with your knife.

Then you can twist the two halves, pulling one half away from the one where the pit stayed.

Now carefully whack the blade into the middle of the pit (if the avocado is very ripe, the pit could spin if you hit it off-center, so if you don’t have good aim, set it down first!).

Once the knife has bitten into the pit a little, you can just wiggle it side-to-side to loosen, then pop it out.

Take each half in your hand, and use the knife tip to “score” lines down through the fruit. The skin is pretty thick so you should be able to make clean cuts without stabbing yourself! If you’re going for cubes (like in my crab/avocado salad), just turn the avocado 90 degrees to make cross hatch cuts.

Now you can scoop the already sliced fruit out with a large spoon.

Nice and neat.

Now comes the dicey part for us low-carb types. What do you put all of this goodness on? I mean, we shun bread. As I explained to someone who asked, you can always just call it a cheat day, of course.

Sarah served hers on toasted potato bread, and we loved it.  We decided on a couple of compromises, so I had to go dig the toaster out of storage.

The Oldest Son decided to go with low-carb bread. Here’s how it preps up.

After final assembly, two slices of the low carb bread are only adding about 5 net carbs.

I went with one slice of the potato bread, but it scores around 18 net carbs per slice. I’m not heading off to sugar spike land, but it is more than I like to ingest on purpose.

The Oldest Son had a great idea of using a couple of the low-carb waffles from the Eade’s Six Week Cure for the Middle-Aged Middle — it uses almond flour and they’re delicious. Unfortunately, although I make batches of them at once and freeze them, they don’t last long, and I didn’t have any on hand.

Then, as this got discussed a bit in the comments on my “Shopping” post, Saline came up with a perfect low-carb solution — it’s a B (as in Bacon) LT, right?  Why not use a bacon weave as the base. Wow!

That’s why it’s a good idea to hang out with smart people! And good cooks.

If you make these and kick the humble BLT up several notches, a great side would be Dana Carpender’s “Un-potato Salad.” We made it a couple of weeks ago, and it’s one of those “why would I ever want to look a potato in the eye again” dishes. We ate that one too fast for me to get a picture.

Well, thanks again for putting up with me. See you in the comments!

Cheers,

— The Older Brother


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120 thoughts on “The Older Brother Returns Barefoot to the Kitchen

  1. TheGame

    You are about as funny/entertaining as your younger, Cosby-wannabe brother. A post on how to make BLT’s, WOW! Enjoy your clogged arteries after you roast damn near half a pig in all that bacon. By the way, Jerry, you are overweight and look even worse than your baby brother (though I can’t tell if you are balding as bad as him), you should be the last person instructing people on how to eat.

    Go back to watching some Rush and Faux News, liber….errr Republican.

    Btw the way, are you and your brother Birthers as well?

    Congratulations — you’re in first place to win this week’s prize for the most intelligent, balanced, and cheerful vegetrollian to visit the site (a pound of grass-fed ground beef).

    Actually, just not being obsessed with our alimentary canal pretty much vaults you into the lead. Thanks for caring.

    Cheers

  2. C

    You could also serve that on Oopsie rolls, made mainly from cream cheese. I tried making them once and they tasted exactly like bread (of course, that was probably because of my carb-free taste buds; my friends thought they were crap).

    Someone else suggested that, and I’d meant to list it as an option. We’ve only tried Oopsie bread once, and it was a fail. I intend to try it again, though.

    Cheers

  3. Linda

    Another “recipe for disaster”………………..
    Holding that avocado in your BARE hand as you proceed to whack it is very dangerous. Put that avocado into a kitchen towel of some kind first! If you are the least bit distracted when you whack and that knife misses, off you go to the nearest ER………………
    Don’t know how many times I nearly cut myself before reading this tip on a site somewhere.

  4. timmah

    I agree with Linda above: just last night I had an avocado pit spin on me (I whacked it), but I had a hot pad for protection.

    All right, folks — be sure to use protection. I like the hot pad idea because there’s always one handy.

    Cheers!

  5. Erica

    Chiming in on the cooking pork and ickies issue: I’ve heard that freezing meat for about 2 weeks actually kills any organisms that might have made it into the meat. This includes trichinosis. Then, cooking till done but not dry should finish it off.

    Here are a couple of links I found supporting this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trichinosis

    http://www.ehow.com/how_7734135_freeze-meat-kill-parasites.html

    http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/focus_on_freezing/index.asp

    excerpt which maybe negates what I said: Does Freezing Destroy Bacteria & Parasites?
    Freezing to 0 °F inactivates any microbes — bacteria, yeasts and molds — present in food. Once thawed, however, these microbes can again become active, multiplying under the right conditions to levels that can lead to foodborne illness. Since they will then grow at about the same rate as microorganisms on fresh food, you must handle thawed items as you would any perishable food.

    Trichina and other parasites can be destroyed by sub-zero freezing temperatures. However, very strict government-supervised conditions must be met. Home freezing cannot be relied upon to destroy trichina. Thorough cooking, however, will destroy all parasites.

    I personally cook my pork chops until they are juicy and pink. So far, no food poisoning.

    Thanks for the info.

    — The Older Brother

  6. Julie

    If I make a weave of bacon for the sandwich, can I put it on the “grains” partition of the “plate”?

    i don’t see why not. I put my martini olives on the MyPlate fruits part, and the blue cheese I stuff them with in the dairy circle.

    It’s all about balance

    Cheers!

  7. Linda

    Another “recipe for disaster”………………..
    Holding that avocado in your BARE hand as you proceed to whack it is very dangerous. Put that avocado into a kitchen towel of some kind first! If you are the least bit distracted when you whack and that knife misses, off you go to the nearest ER………………
    Don’t know how many times I nearly cut myself before reading this tip on a site somewhere.

  8. Marilyn

    Julie, I don’t remember where I saw it — maybe here?? — but someone posted a “revision” of MyPlate with the four sections filled with four different kinds of meat, and wine replacing the dairy part. MyPlate is so idiotic, I’m surprised there aren’t a lot more “paraphrases” of it. Maybe I’m not looking in the right places?

  9. timmah

    I agree with Linda above: just last night I had an avocado pit spin on me (I whacked it), but I had a hot pad for protection.

    All right, folks — be sure to use protection. I like the hot pad idea because there’s always one handy.

    Cheers!

  10. Erica

    Chiming in on the cooking pork and ickies issue: I’ve heard that freezing meat for about 2 weeks actually kills any organisms that might have made it into the meat. This includes trichinosis. Then, cooking till done but not dry should finish it off.

    Here are a couple of links I found supporting this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trichinosis

    http://www.ehow.com/how_7734135_freeze-meat-kill-parasites.html

    http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/focus_on_freezing/index.asp

    excerpt which maybe negates what I said: Does Freezing Destroy Bacteria & Parasites?
    Freezing to 0 °F inactivates any microbes — bacteria, yeasts and molds — present in food. Once thawed, however, these microbes can again become active, multiplying under the right conditions to levels that can lead to foodborne illness. Since they will then grow at about the same rate as microorganisms on fresh food, you must handle thawed items as you would any perishable food.

    Trichina and other parasites can be destroyed by sub-zero freezing temperatures. However, very strict government-supervised conditions must be met. Home freezing cannot be relied upon to destroy trichina. Thorough cooking, however, will destroy all parasites.

    I personally cook my pork chops until they are juicy and pink. So far, no food poisoning.

    Thanks for the info.

    — The Older Brother

  11. Julie

    If I make a weave of bacon for the sandwich, can I put it on the “grains” partition of the “plate”?

    i don’t see why not. I put my martini olives on the MyPlate fruits part, and the blue cheese I stuff them with in the dairy circle.

    It’s all about balance

    Cheers!

  12. Marilyn

    Julie, I don’t remember where I saw it — maybe here?? — but someone posted a “revision” of MyPlate with the four sections filled with four different kinds of meat, and wine replacing the dairy part. MyPlate is so idiotic, I’m surprised there aren’t a lot more “paraphrases” of it. Maybe I’m not looking in the right places?

  13. robin

    Regarding the oopsie rolls; I tried making them as hamburger buns, and yuck! I will definitely just stick to eating a burger with knife and fork, or going with half a bun.
    However, I made the Oopsie roll for a thin crust pizza the other day, and we (my family) thought it was great! It was way more filling than a regular pizza crust so one fed the three of us easily, was a bit softer, but all in all, it is one substitution I really enjoy and will do again.

    I have been HFLC for a couple of years now, so have lost the ‘bread’ tooth for the most part. However I find that if I am really craving sweet or pasta I just go for it all the way as the imitations are often just to much of a let-down!! Because sometimes the bloating, gas and general low mood following a carb binge is just worth it…and a great reminder of why sticking to low carb is so great.

  14. TheGame

    “Actually, just not being obsessed with our alimentary canal pretty much vaults you into the lead. Thanks for caring.”

    Again, more unfunny humor. You should open for Tom’s comedy routines down at the local bowling alley! I’m not sure why you’re so obsessed with an ‘alimentary canal’ either. Sounds like a personal problem.

    Why is an overweight, balding, unhealthy person showing people how to prepare an unhealthy, fattening, sodium packed meal?

    Ok, you’re back off the list, Kenny. You’re boring. Have a nice life.

    Cheers

  15. reduceCrapohydrates

    Newsflash Kenny M/TheGame about two-thirds of men have significant baldness by age 60!!!One of the only proven methods of avoiding baldness is castration so unless you’re planning to get yourself neautered you should be quiet!

  16. Kim Anderson

    Great article, Older Brother! Can’t wait to make this for my husband and two boys…hopefully this weekend 🙂 I’ve been trying to turn my two boys (ages 8 and 11) on to Avacado, this might be the way!

    And can someone explain who is ‘TheGame’ and who is ‘Kenny’?! And what is this list you’re referring to?!

    TheGame and KennyM, who may or may not be the same person, are vegtrollians. That’s a word I made up in a prior post to describe angry, humorless vegan/vegetarian losers who troll low carb blogs to enlighten us poor meat-eaters and convert us to their soy-worshiping religion via their bogus psuedo-science retreads, keen insights, and witty banter. Well, not so much keen and witty, but boy are they persistent. Comments logged under the KennyM nom de plume invariably dwelt on excretory ambiance. Creepy funny sad.

    Tom usually lets them hang around for comedic entertainment for a while until they become too boring and pathetic, then puts them on the spam filter. KennyM got voted off the island last week. I was thinking TheGame was the same ding-dong with a new screen name, but it could be a complete other vegetrollian. It’s hard to tell zombies apart.

    I’m not sure which thread the list is you want me to clarify. If you mean the orphan thread that someone posted here (about the fourth comment) referring to my jerrynaughton.com blog (I hadn’t approved their comment, so they thought it wasn’t going through), the list was the group of financial scams and disasters he quoted in the opening paragraph.

    Cheers!

  17. robin

    Regarding the oopsie rolls; I tried making them as hamburger buns, and yuck! I will definitely just stick to eating a burger with knife and fork, or going with half a bun.
    However, I made the Oopsie roll for a thin crust pizza the other day, and we (my family) thought it was great! It was way more filling than a regular pizza crust so one fed the three of us easily, was a bit softer, but all in all, it is one substitution I really enjoy and will do again.

    I have been HFLC for a couple of years now, so have lost the ‘bread’ tooth for the most part. However I find that if I am really craving sweet or pasta I just go for it all the way as the imitations are often just to much of a let-down!! Because sometimes the bloating, gas and general low mood following a carb binge is just worth it…and a great reminder of why sticking to low carb is so great.

  18. Roberto

    He makes a pretty good point.

    Neither you nor Tom have had great success with your low-carb diet, so right off the bat it’s hard to understand your fervour for it.

    [I’ve had great success. I’m far leaner and healthier. The Older Brother is down about 40 pounds.]

    Also, there is mountains of evidence suggesting that low-carb dieting is not only far less effective than it’s touted to be, but downright unhealthy.

    http://anthonycolpo.com/?p=1743

    That link provides a wealth of evidence demonstrating thyroid impairment caused by low-carbohydrate dieting. I found that evidence after being perplexed by countless anecdotal reports on the internet from people suffering symptoms of hypothyroidism on a low-carb diet.

    [Doctors who treat actual patients haven’t found that to be the case. See Carlson’s reply.]

    The problem with this site is that it still presents low-carb dieting as the one-size-fits-all solution for obesity. Tom’s logic is that most obese people are insulin resistant, therefore it’s just plain common sense that they should avoid carbohydrate. That is a rather mypopic approach to the issue.

    [You might try reading more posts before making that accusation. I’ve said repeatedly that people need to find out what works for them. When some people were aghast that Don Maetsz went back to a low-fat, high-carb diet, I replied that if that works for Don, he should stick with it, since we’re all different. But yes, most obese people these days are insulin-resistant, and yes, a low-carb diet is the first diet I’d recommend they try.]

    Tom makes it seem insane for a person to eat carbohydrate and then inject insulin to control the blood sugar. And admittedly, at first glance, that does seem crazy. However, if a person has their health suffer with carbohydrate restriction, than it is better for them to just eat the carbs and take insulin. Especially when all of the popular low-carb gurus have either remained fat or abandoned the diet altogether.

    [You suggest people eat a food that raises blood sugar and then take a drug to beat down the blood sugar, but I’m the crazy one, eh? All the popular low-carb diet gurus are fat or have abandoned the diet, really? Neither applies to me or many other bloggers I know.]

    Jimmy Moore is still quite obese.
    [Jimmy Moore is far thinner now than when he started and has excellent health markers. If you define success as becoming thin after starting at nearly 400 pounds, then nearly every diet is a failure.]

    Atkins was overweight and filled with heart disease when he died.
    [If you’re going to cite vegan propaganda, you may as well give up trying to convince anyone around here. Atkins had a viral infection of the heart some years before he died which caused some damage, not atherosclerosis. He was 240+ pounds on the day he died because of a steroid the hospital administered in a failed attempt to save his life. (The steroid caused massive bloating.) It was that figure the vegan nut-jobs released to the press, but conveniently overlooked the fact that the same medical records they’d illegally obtained showed that he weighed 195 pounds on the day he was admitted. So I guess that low-carb diet really caught up to him when he was in a coma, eh? … you @#$%ing idiot.]

    And the moderators of this site are still overweight.

    [Have you been spying on me? I’m not overweight anymore, dumbass.]

    I went on a low-carb diet, lost a bit of weight, and then developed a low-body temperature, fatigue, bad breath, congestion and a host of other problems. Returning to a high-carb diet made those symptoms swiftly disappear.

    [Good, then you should stick to what works for you.]

    I’d rather remain a little chubbier than i prefer than deal with those symptoms. If I were diabetic I’d rather take insulin – and god forbid exercise and monitor calorie intake – than deal with those symptoms.

    The fact is that low-carb dieting damages a lot of people. A lot of uneducated people will reach this sight and become convinced that they are doomed to a life free of carbohydrate to control their insulin – nevermind that studies have shown protein to be just as insulin stimulating as carbohydrates.

    [Cite the studies showing how low-carb diets damage people. Then look up the studies showing improvements in several health markers resulting from low-carb diets.

    I don’t tell people to eat 300 grams of protein per day. I tell them to replace carbohydrate with natural fats.]

    Many of those people will have their health suffer as a result of reading this propoganda. Are you concerned about this?

    [Hmmm … am I concerned about encouraging people to adopt a diet that’s been shown to induce weight loss, lower blood pressure, lower triglycerides, raise HDL, reduce hemoglobin a1c, improve insulin sensitivity, and mitigate many other problems including irritable bowel and GERD? Uh … no, not really.]

    Well, nevermind, I’ll leave you guys in lalaland – where all those Christmas pig outs and Fast-Food binges have nothing to do with obesity, rather it’s the evil government and it’s conspiratorial advice that no one ever did follow.

    [I’d love it if you’d leave us guys in la-la-land, but you’ve already demonstrated that you’re a troll who won’t go away until you manage to convince everyone to get off the low-carb diets.]

    Just drink the low-carb kool-aid and you’ll be fit as fiddle after a few months of sitting on your butt staring at a computer screen.

    [Wow … how did you manage to write all those comments without sitting on your butt staring at a computer screen? Are you dictating while jogging?]

    Everyone to blame but yourself and no work involved. Is it really a surprise so many low-carbers remain overweight?

    [No work? Huh? Did you miss the posts and comments where I described how many miles I walk and the success I’ve had with weight training to improve my strength?]

  19. Roberto

    http://www.ajcn.org/content/66/5/1264.full.pdf+html

    Steak, eggs and cheese spike insulin too. Sorry folks.

    I really like the part where a thousand calories of cheese and a thousand calories of beef both caused a greater insulin spike than a thousand calories of carby oatmeal.

    [Tom] It’s The Older Brother’s post, but I’m taking this one. You’re citing the same old nonsense as other vegan zealots. Yes, protein raises insulin, as it should since insulin is required to push amino acids into cells. But 1) the studies you goofs cite used very low-fat meats to generate those numbers, whereas most of us replace carbohydrates with fat, which doesn’t raise insulin, thus replacing an insulin-provoking food with one that isn’t insulin-provoking, 2) meats and cheese may raise insulin (see first point) but they don’t spike blood sugar and thus don’t lead to insulin-resistance, which is the real problem — not the temporary and expected rise in insulin after meals, and 3) protein also raises glucagon, which counter-acts insulin. If you can find an obese, diabetic population that lives or lived mostly on meat, let us know.

  20. TheGame

    “Actually, just not being obsessed with our alimentary canal pretty much vaults you into the lead. Thanks for caring.”

    Again, more unfunny humor. You should open for Tom’s comedy routines down at the local bowling alley! I’m not sure why you’re so obsessed with an ‘alimentary canal’ either. Sounds like a personal problem.

    Why is an overweight, balding, unhealthy person showing people how to prepare an unhealthy, fattening, sodium packed meal?

    Ok, you’re back off the list, Kenny. You’re boring. Have a nice life.

    Cheers

  21. Roberto

    My tone was snarky yes, but insulting no. I don’t appreciate being called a goof.

    [Stupid is as stupid does. This is Tom answering since you addressed your comments to me. ]

    “meats and cheese may raise insulin (see first point) but they don’t spike blood sugar and thus don’t lead to insulin-resistance, which is the real problem”

    Please, Tom, show me the studies convincingly demonstrating that blood sugar spikes cause insulin resistance, last I checked it was the other way around.

    [Last time you checked what exactly? Show me your studies on that one, you goof. Does insulin resistance just sort of happen, and then we get blood sugar spikes having nothing do with our diets?

    http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/2/1/5

    Beck-Nielsen H, Pederson O, Lindskov HO: Impaired cellular insulin binding and insulin sensitivity induced by high-fructose feeding in normal subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 1980, 33:273–278.

    Stanhope KL, Schwarz JM, Keim NL, et al.: Consuming fructose-sweetened, not glucose-sweetened, beverages increases visceral adiposity and lipids and decreases insulin sensitivity in overweight/obese humans. J Clin Invest 2009, 119:1322–34.

    If you’ve been paying attention (which you haven’t) for a long time, you’ll also know that I believe if I’d never discovered Captain Crunch and Coca-Cola as a kid, I could probably eat rice and potatoes today. Unfortunately, once sugar has done the damage, many of us fatten up on starches as well. in his upcoming book, Dr. William Davis also cites evidence that wheat may induce insulin resistance in many people. If you can eat potatoes, bully for you. I can’t, and the same goes for a lot of other people who became insulin resistant earlier in life.
    ]

    I guess there’s two schools of thought on the matter. Some low-carbers think blood sugar spikes are the problem, most believe that excessive insulin production leads to obesity. If I’m not mistaken that’s what Atkins believed and Taubes still believes. So it’s a serious contradiction to that logic when you see that the basic low-carb staples – like meat and cheese, which both Taubes and Atkins recommend – cause insulin spikes greater than a whole-food, carb rich food like oatmeal.

    [I’ve seen charts from clinical studies that tracked blood sugar, insulin and epinephrine after two breakfasts, one of oatmeal the other of scrambled eggs. Same caloric content. The oatmeal breakfast caused dramatically higher spikes in blood sugar and insulin. Blood sugar also dipped below baseline and was only raised to normal by epinephrine. The breakfast of scrambled eggs produce a gentle rise in both blood sugar and insulin.]

    Honestly, Taubes entire logic is that rises in insulin increase appetite and suppress fat-burning – you know this. So tell me, if that is true, how does it make any sense to eat foods that are calorically dense in fat, that also happen to spike insulin to a significant degree. Probably a bad idea to suppress fat-burning and increase appetite along with a fat-rich diet.

    [Okay, now you just proved you’re even more of a goof than I thought. Fat doesn’t spike insulin to a significant degree. It barely moves insulin at all. If you can prove otherwise, do so. As for your “probably bad idea,” I’ll be sure to share that with the many people who email me every week to tell me how much weight they lost on low-carb diets after seeing “Fat Head” — many of them after years of struggling with low-fat diets.]

    Your moving the goal-posts blaming it on blood sugar spikes.

    [Did you mean “you’re” moving the goalposts? If you read previous posts, you’ll see that I’ve said it’s chronically elevated insulin that makes us fat, not the temporary spikes after a meal. Meals high in refined carbohydrates can lead to chronically elevated insulin and insulin resistance, especially excess fructose. Again, if you can name a population that became fat and diabetic on a diet of fatty meat that didn’t include sugar and starch, do so. The most diabetic people in the country are Native Americans, who never heard of the disease while living on buffalo and other fatty meats. They didn’t become obese diabetics until we introduced them to grains and sugars.]

    And you didn’t address the issue of low-carb dieting reducing thyroid function. That’s a serious concern. It happened to me, and as I said I’d rather eat carbs and take insulin if it came to that. Which it won’t, I maintain lean body eating carbs and spiking insulin till kingdom come.

    [You’d rather eat carbs and then take insulin, would you? I suggest you do that, then. As for thyroid, a quote from Dr. James Carlson:

    “That is an absolutely false claim. I have been placing my patients on low carb eating (I do not like the word diet as it suggests something transient) for over ten years. I lost count as to how many people I have done this to, but the number is in the thousands. I routinely check thyroid function studies on my patients on low carbs, and as long as they do not already have a thyroid problem, the TSH, T4 and T3 remain completely normal. If what you read had any modicum of truth, I would find higher T4s and lower T3s. Anyone can make any claim any where, but whether it’s true or not—well, entirely different story.

    If I may, let me give a little endocrinology lecture. The thyroid gland, which is second in command only to the pituitary (for you Star Trek fans the thyroid is like Mr. Spock, while the pituitary would be Captain Kirk) produces two hormones, T4 and T3. T4 undergoes what’s referred to as peripheral conversion to T3. (sounds fancy eh? I could’ve just said is changed to, but I’m trying to impress you 🙂 This peripheral conversion occurs at many sites throughout the body, not just the liver. So, if what you read was true, when I checked the T3 levels on my low carb people, I should see lower T3s, which I don’t.
    This is a great question because in my book I tell my readers that I, too, was against low carb dieting way back when. I used to tell my patients—oh boy, watch out for those low carb diets, you’ll get proteinuria, steatosis, ketosis – No, I had no idea what I was talking about either; but those words would scare, the you know what, out of my patients and they would (unfortunately) come off the low carb diet. It appears that this whole peripheral conversion thing is just another example of the dietary ignorance of whoever made that statement.

    Now, it must be stated that patients can develop thyroid disease while on low carbs; but these people were going to have thyroid issues anyway. Hope that helps :-)”]

    And by the way, I’m not a vegan zealot. Just had a steak for dinner actually. I had the potato too, because without carbs I’m a useless, foggy-headed, bad breathed, fatigued shell of my former self.

    [Can anyone tell the difference?]

  22. Roberto

    And glucagon counteracts insulin by raising blood sugar.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glucagon

    How is that advantageous for a program seeking to lower blood sugar?

    You might want to think these things through before spouting off. First you warn us that beef will raise insulin, then when I point out that protein also raises glucagon, you cite an article that states specifically that glucagon works to counter-regulate insulin as if that proves something. (Well, it proves what I said, but I don’t see why you’re citing it.)

    Glucagon raises blood sugar when it’s low by prompting the liver to convert glycogen to glucose. That’s why (along with gluconeogensis) I don’t get low blood sugar even if I eat a low-carb meal. Emptying your glycogen stores is good. When your glycogen stores are full and you put more glucose in your body, your body produces insulin in an attempt to shove glucose into your cells and keep your blood sugar from going too high. But if the cells can’t use more glucose and the glycogen stores are full, there’s nowhere for it to go. So your cells resist the insulin because they can’t take any more glucose (perhaps leading to insulin resistance over time) and the liver ends up converting the excess glucose to triglycerides.

    If your glycogen stores are empty, your body up-regulates insulin sensitivity to make it easier to store whatever excess glucose may exist by converting it to glycogen. In theory, that’s why hard exercise helps prevent diabetes — by emptying the glycogen stores and making the body more sensitive to insulin as a result.

  23. Roberto

    And I shouldn’t even phrase it as “counteracting insulin”. It’s a push-pull relationship to ensure glucose levels remain stable. They aren’t at war with each other.

    Yes, exactly … the body’s imperative is to keep blood sugar in a very narrow range. Flood the system with glucose, and you force the body to deal with an emergency situation.

    I’m still waiting for you to cite your evidence that fats raises insulin.

  24. Roberto

    “Last time you checked what? Show me your studies on that one, you goof. Does insulin resistance just sort of happen, and then we get blood sugar spikes having nothing do with our diets?”

    Nobody knows definitively what causes insulin resistance. It could be industrial toxins, a disgusting lack of exercise, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, epigenetics. Many believe that leptin resistance precedes insulin resistance by allowing excessive fat storage which itself creates insulin resistance. If you’ve got absolute proof that blood sugar spikes progressively – starting in a healthy individual – lead to insulin resistance, well there’s a lot of actual researchers who’d love to hear from you. But wait, every researcher out there is stupid, it’s the comedians we should be listening to.

    “I’ve seen charts from clinical studies that tracked blood sugar, insulin and epinephrine after two breakfasts, one of oatmeal the other of scrambled eggs. Same caloric content. The oatmeal breakfast caused dramatically higher spikes in blood sugar and insulin. Blood sugar in fact dipped below baseline and was only raised to normal by epinephrine.”

    To paraphrase your schoolyard words:
    “Show me your studies on that one, you goof”

    Rather be stupid than a hypocrite.

    Still, are you saying that means the very well-conducted, seminal study I cited is wrong. They clearly saw significant insulin spikes from cheese, meat and fish. And tell me, how does low-carb dieting reduce basal insulin levels (if it does) if not by reducing post-prandial insulin spikes.

    And ‘dramatically higher spikes’ doesn’t mean dangerously higher spikes.

    Also, that study of yours is not incompatible with mine. In the study I referenced eggs didn’t cause that great an insulin release. Had they compared cheese to oatmeal in all likelihood you would have ignored that study like the million others that don’t support your ideology.

    “Okay, now you just proved you’re even more of an uninformed goof than I thought. Fat doesn’t spike insulin to a significant degree. It barely moves insulin at all. If you can prove otherwise, do so.”

    Okay, now you just proved you’re completely incapable of reading what I actually said. I stated that many low-carb foods – which are also high in fat like meat and predominately so with cheese – cause significant insulin spikes. Given the dogmatic low-carb belief that rises in insulin increase appetite and suppress fat-burning, I questioned why it’s a good idea to eat a load of fat rich foods that also spike insulin. Never once said that fat spikes insulin, sorry.

    [Multiple Goof Remarks]

    Honestly, grow up Tom. Do you have any idea how infantile that makes you seem.

    And once again, you haven’t addressed the issue of low-carb diets reducing thyroid function.

    Yes, dairy products do raise insulin more than meats or eggs. One of the speakers at the symposium showed the results of studies on that. You’re the one who lumped beef and cheese into the same category, not me. As for how repeated blood sugar spikes could lead to insulin resistance, I already explained that: keep raising your glucose levels when your glycogen stores are full, there’s nowhere for the glucose to go. Your body uses insulin to try to shove the glucose into the cells, which can’t take any more glucose, so they down-regulate their insulin receptors. Cutting carbs has also been shown in several clinical studies to improve insulin sensitivity and glucose control. So even if you don’t believe high-carb diets cause insulin resistance, they clearly help to mitigate it.

  25. Roberto

    Perhaps I’m wrong about the thyroid issue, although it will take more than your appeal to authority of a man with obvious financial interests in the low-carb lifestyle. I’m still given great pause by the countless anecdotal reports from people experiencing low body temperature, fatigue and impaired immune function on a low-carb diet.

    I’m given even greater pause by the fact that most of the prominent low-carb evangelists – yourself included – remain quite overweight.

    “You might want to think these things through before spouting off”

    I questioned the belief in the low-carb community that insulin spikes suppress fat burning and increase appetite. You dismissed that by saying protein raises glucagon so there’s nothing to worry about because it “counteracts” insulin. Are you saying that glucagon lowers appetite and increases fat-burning to “counteract” these supposed consequences of insulin release? It may very well, I’m interested to know.

    “Can anyone tell the difference?”

    Haha at least I’m not fat, Tom. And if I were I wouldn’t be giving people diet advice.

    I’m not fat anymore either, moron. And my brother has lost around 40 pounds now.

  26. Roberto

    Well, maybe that wasn’t an appeal to authority…You were merely giving attribution…

    But let me give an appeal to authority.

    From Stephan Guyenet’s blog:

    ‘Because of the fact that Gary and I had a cordial personal relationship, I’ve always put on kid gloves when discussing his ideas. However, now that he has indicated that we no longer have a cordial relationship, it’s time for me to fully explain why obesity and endocrinology researchers (including myself) don’t take his ideas on obesity seriously. I hope that in the process, I can dispel some of the mythology that has crept into certain alternative health circles lately.’

    First post came up today, I hope you and your readers are tuned in.

    It’s not an appeal to authority; it’s relating the clinical experiences of a doctor who has treated thousands of patients. That’s partly the problem in nutrition science these days … researchers draw conclusions from observational studies, animal studies, or small pilot studies but don’t bother checking those conclusions against the experiences of doctors who have treated thousands of real people. I’ve heard from literally hundreds of real people myself, thanking me for presenting information that helped them lose weight without feeling starved for the first time ever. So when people cite their pet theories as to why low-carb diets don’t actually work, blah-blah-blah, I’m not impressed. Worked for me, worked for lots of people I know, worked for hundreds of people who have let me know via emails.

  27. Roberto

    From that post:

    “At least two studies have shown that higher fasting insulin is associated with a higher resting energy expenditure, independent of body fatness, not a lower expenditure (14, 15). This is consistent with the idea that elevated fasting insulin protects against body fat accumulation, not that it contributes to it. How about post-meal insulin spikes due to eating carbohydrate? At least two studies have shown that under isocaloric controlled conditions, substantially different carbohydrate:fat ratios do not influence energy expenditure in any measurable way, even over long periods of time (16, 17).

    Therefore, if insulin doesn’t increase energy intake (if anything, the combination of insulin and amylin that the pancreas releases in response to carbohydrate decreases it), and doesn’t decrease energy expenditure (if anything, it increases it), then how exactly is it supposed to cause energy accumulation in the body as fat? There is no energy fairy. Obese people are obese despite having higher fasting insulin, not because of it. The fact is, insulin spikes after meals temporarily decrease fat release from fat cells, but if you look at total 24 hour energy balance, insulin spikes do not cause fat accumulation. This is exactly how you would expect the system to work if it were designed to constructively handle a wide variety of macronutrient ratios, which it is. Just as cholesterol did not evolve to give us heart attacks, insulin did not evolve to make us fat. Hypothesis falsified (#1). ”

    Food for thought. When low-carb diets work it has nothing to do with insulin.

    I interviewed Dr. Robert Lustig while in Los Angeles, who recounted his experience treating kids with cancer. As a result of the treatments, their insulin levels went up, they craved carbohydrates, and they became obese and lethargic. Being a brilliant guy, Lustig didn’t tell them to eat less and exercise more and eat some potatoes to fire up their thyroids. Nope, he gave them an insulin-suppressing drug. As a result, they lost weight and became spontaneously active again. They also spontaneously reduced their intake of carbohydrates.

    Insulin inhibits lipolysis. Surely you don’t deny that.

  28. Roberto

    Keep in mind, I never said low-carb diets don’t cause weight loss. Although it’s clear from the diets well-known proponents it often doesn’t. And when it does cause weight loss it likely has nothing to do with insulin – the very crux of the low-carb theory.

    I guess Dr. Lustig’s experiences inducing weight loss solely by administering an insulin-lowering drug aren’t real, then. I’ll let him know … he’ll be so ashamed.

  29. Roberto

    Haha, Stephan cited the same insulin index as me…I guess he’s a vegetrollian goof too, Tom.

  30. reduceCrapohydrates

    Newsflash Kenny M/TheGame about two-thirds of men have significant baldness by age 60!!!One of the only proven methods of avoiding baldness is castration so unless you’re planning to get yourself neautered you should be quiet!

  31. Kim Anderson

    Great article, Older Brother! Can’t wait to make this for my husband and two boys…hopefully this weekend 🙂 I’ve been trying to turn my two boys (ages 8 and 11) on to Avacado, this might be the way!

    And can someone explain who is ‘TheGame’ and who is ‘Kenny’?! And what is this list you’re referring to?!

    TheGame and KennyM, who may or may not be the same person, are vegtrollians. That’s a word I made up in a prior post to describe angry, humorless vegan/vegetarian losers who troll low carb blogs to enlighten us poor meat-eaters and convert us to their soy-worshiping religion via their bogus psuedo-science retreads, keen insights, and witty banter. Well, not so much keen and witty, but boy are they persistent. Comments logged under the KennyM nom de plume invariably dwelt on excretory ambiance. Creepy funny sad.

    Tom usually lets them hang around for comedic entertainment for a while until they become too boring and pathetic, then puts them on the spam filter. KennyM got voted off the island last week. I was thinking TheGame was the same ding-dong with a new screen name, but it could be a complete other vegetrollian. It’s hard to tell zombies apart.

    I’m not sure which thread the list is you want me to clarify. If you mean the orphan thread that someone posted here (about the fourth comment) referring to my jerrynaughton.com blog (I hadn’t approved their comment, so they thought it wasn’t going through), the list was the group of financial scams and disasters he quoted in the opening paragraph.

    Cheers!

  32. Roberto

    He makes a pretty good point.

    Neither you nor Tom have had great success with your low-carb diet, so right off the bat it’s hard to understand your fervour for it.

    [I’ve had great success. I’m far leaner and healthier. The Older Brother is down about 40 pounds.]

    Also, there is mountains of evidence suggesting that low-carb dieting is not only far less effective than it’s touted to be, but downright unhealthy.

    http://anthonycolpo.com/?p=1743

    That link provides a wealth of evidence demonstrating thyroid impairment caused by low-carbohydrate dieting. I found that evidence after being perplexed by countless anecdotal reports on the internet from people suffering symptoms of hypothyroidism on a low-carb diet.

    [Doctors who treat actual patients haven’t found that to be the case. See Carlson’s reply.]

    The problem with this site is that it still presents low-carb dieting as the one-size-fits-all solution for obesity. Tom’s logic is that most obese people are insulin resistant, therefore it’s just plain common sense that they should avoid carbohydrate. That is a rather mypopic approach to the issue.

    [You might try reading more posts before making that accusation. I’ve said repeatedly that people need to find out what works for them. When some people were aghast that Don Maetsz went back to a low-fat, high-carb diet, I replied that if that works for Don, he should stick with it, since we’re all different. But yes, most obese people these days are insulin-resistant, and yes, a low-carb diet is the first diet I’d recommend they try.]

    Tom makes it seem insane for a person to eat carbohydrate and then inject insulin to control the blood sugar. And admittedly, at first glance, that does seem crazy. However, if a person has their health suffer with carbohydrate restriction, than it is better for them to just eat the carbs and take insulin. Especially when all of the popular low-carb gurus have either remained fat or abandoned the diet altogether.

    [You suggest people eat a food that raises blood sugar and then take a drug to beat down the blood sugar, but I’m the crazy one, eh? All the popular low-carb diet gurus are fat or have abandoned the diet, really? Neither applies to me or many other bloggers I know.]

    Jimmy Moore is still quite obese.
    [Jimmy Moore is far thinner now than when he started and has excellent health markers. If you define success as becoming thin after starting at nearly 400 pounds, then nearly every diet is a failure.]

    Atkins was overweight and filled with heart disease when he died.
    [If you’re going to cite vegan propaganda, you may as well give up trying to convince anyone around here. Atkins had a viral infection of the heart some years before he died which caused some damage, not atherosclerosis. He was 240+ pounds on the day he died because of a steroid the hospital administered in a failed attempt to save his life. (The steroid caused massive bloating.) It was that figure the vegan nut-jobs released to the press, but conveniently overlooked the fact that the same medical records they’d illegally obtained showed that he weighed 195 pounds on the day he was admitted. So I guess that low-carb diet really caught up to him when he was in a coma, eh? … you @#$%ing idiot.]

    And the moderators of this site are still overweight.

    [Have you been spying on me? I’m not overweight anymore, dumbass.]

    I went on a low-carb diet, lost a bit of weight, and then developed a low-body temperature, fatigue, bad breath, congestion and a host of other problems. Returning to a high-carb diet made those symptoms swiftly disappear.

    [Good, then you should stick to what works for you.]

    I’d rather remain a little chubbier than i prefer than deal with those symptoms. If I were diabetic I’d rather take insulin – and god forbid exercise and monitor calorie intake – than deal with those symptoms.

    The fact is that low-carb dieting damages a lot of people. A lot of uneducated people will reach this sight and become convinced that they are doomed to a life free of carbohydrate to control their insulin – nevermind that studies have shown protein to be just as insulin stimulating as carbohydrates.

    [Cite the studies showing how low-carb diets damage people. Then look up the studies showing improvements in several health markers resulting from low-carb diets.

    I don’t tell people to eat 300 grams of protein per day. I tell them to replace carbohydrate with natural fats.]

    Many of those people will have their health suffer as a result of reading this propoganda. Are you concerned about this?

    [Hmmm … am I concerned about encouraging people to adopt a diet that’s been shown to induce weight loss, lower blood pressure, lower triglycerides, raise HDL, reduce hemoglobin a1c, improve insulin sensitivity, and mitigate many other problems including irritable bowel and GERD? Uh … no, not really.]

    Well, nevermind, I’ll leave you guys in lalaland – where all those Christmas pig outs and Fast-Food binges have nothing to do with obesity, rather it’s the evil government and it’s conspiratorial advice that no one ever did follow.

    [I’d love it if you’d leave us guys in la-la-land, but you’ve already demonstrated that you’re a troll who won’t go away until you manage to convince everyone to get off the low-carb diets.]

    Just drink the low-carb kool-aid and you’ll be fit as fiddle after a few months of sitting on your butt staring at a computer screen.

    [Wow … how did you manage to write all those comments without sitting on your butt staring at a computer screen? Are you dictating while jogging?]

    Everyone to blame but yourself and no work involved. Is it really a surprise so many low-carbers remain overweight?

    [No work? Huh? Did you miss the posts and comments where I described how many miles I walk and the success I’ve had with weight training to improve my strength?]

  33. Roberto

    http://www.ajcn.org/content/66/5/1264.full.pdf+html

    Steak, eggs and cheese spike insulin too. Sorry folks.

    I really like the part where a thousand calories of cheese and a thousand calories of beef both caused a greater insulin spike than a thousand calories of carby oatmeal.

    [Tom] It’s The Older Brother’s post, but I’m taking this one. You’re citing the same old nonsense as other vegan zealots. Yes, protein raises insulin, as it should since insulin is required to push amino acids into cells. But 1) the studies you goofs cite used very low-fat meats to generate those numbers, whereas most of us replace carbohydrates with fat, which doesn’t raise insulin, thus replacing an insulin-provoking food with one that isn’t insulin-provoking, 2) meats and cheese may raise insulin (see first point) but they don’t spike blood sugar and thus don’t lead to insulin-resistance, which is the real problem — not the temporary and expected rise in insulin after meals, and 3) protein also raises glucagon, which counter-acts insulin. If you can find an obese, diabetic population that lives or lived mostly on meat, let us know.

  34. Roberto

    My tone was snarky yes, but insulting no. I don’t appreciate being called a goof.

    [Stupid is as stupid does. This is Tom answering since you addressed your comments to me. ]

    “meats and cheese may raise insulin (see first point) but they don’t spike blood sugar and thus don’t lead to insulin-resistance, which is the real problem”

    Please, Tom, show me the studies convincingly demonstrating that blood sugar spikes cause insulin resistance, last I checked it was the other way around.

    [Last time you checked what exactly? Show me your studies on that one, you goof. Does insulin resistance just sort of happen, and then we get blood sugar spikes having nothing do with our diets?

    http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/2/1/5

    Beck-Nielsen H, Pederson O, Lindskov HO: Impaired cellular insulin binding and insulin sensitivity induced by high-fructose feeding in normal subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 1980, 33:273–278.

    Stanhope KL, Schwarz JM, Keim NL, et al.: Consuming fructose-sweetened, not glucose-sweetened, beverages increases visceral adiposity and lipids and decreases insulin sensitivity in overweight/obese humans. J Clin Invest 2009, 119:1322–34.

    If you’ve been paying attention (which you haven’t) for a long time, you’ll also know that I believe if I’d never discovered Captain Crunch and Coca-Cola as a kid, I could probably eat rice and potatoes today. Unfortunately, once sugar has done the damage, many of us fatten up on starches as well. in his upcoming book, Dr. William Davis also cites evidence that wheat may induce insulin resistance in many people. If you can eat potatoes, bully for you. I can’t, and the same goes for a lot of other people who became insulin resistant earlier in life.
    ]

    I guess there’s two schools of thought on the matter. Some low-carbers think blood sugar spikes are the problem, most believe that excessive insulin production leads to obesity. If I’m not mistaken that’s what Atkins believed and Taubes still believes. So it’s a serious contradiction to that logic when you see that the basic low-carb staples – like meat and cheese, which both Taubes and Atkins recommend – cause insulin spikes greater than a whole-food, carb rich food like oatmeal.

    [I’ve seen charts from clinical studies that tracked blood sugar, insulin and epinephrine after two breakfasts, one of oatmeal the other of scrambled eggs. Same caloric content. The oatmeal breakfast caused dramatically higher spikes in blood sugar and insulin. Blood sugar also dipped below baseline and was only raised to normal by epinephrine. The breakfast of scrambled eggs produce a gentle rise in both blood sugar and insulin.]

    Honestly, Taubes entire logic is that rises in insulin increase appetite and suppress fat-burning – you know this. So tell me, if that is true, how does it make any sense to eat foods that are calorically dense in fat, that also happen to spike insulin to a significant degree. Probably a bad idea to suppress fat-burning and increase appetite along with a fat-rich diet.

    [Okay, now you just proved you’re even more of a goof than I thought. Fat doesn’t spike insulin to a significant degree. It barely moves insulin at all. If you can prove otherwise, do so. As for your “probably bad idea,” I’ll be sure to share that with the many people who email me every week to tell me how much weight they lost on low-carb diets after seeing “Fat Head” — many of them after years of struggling with low-fat diets.]

    Your moving the goal-posts blaming it on blood sugar spikes.

    [Did you mean “you’re” moving the goalposts? If you read previous posts, you’ll see that I’ve said it’s chronically elevated insulin that makes us fat, not the temporary spikes after a meal. Meals high in refined carbohydrates can lead to chronically elevated insulin and insulin resistance, especially excess fructose. Again, if you can name a population that became fat and diabetic on a diet of fatty meat that didn’t include sugar and starch, do so. The most diabetic people in the country are Native Americans, who never heard of the disease while living on buffalo and other fatty meats. They didn’t become obese diabetics until we introduced them to grains and sugars.]

    And you didn’t address the issue of low-carb dieting reducing thyroid function. That’s a serious concern. It happened to me, and as I said I’d rather eat carbs and take insulin if it came to that. Which it won’t, I maintain lean body eating carbs and spiking insulin till kingdom come.

    [You’d rather eat carbs and then take insulin, would you? I suggest you do that, then. As for thyroid, a quote from Dr. James Carlson:

    “That is an absolutely false claim. I have been placing my patients on low carb eating (I do not like the word diet as it suggests something transient) for over ten years. I lost count as to how many people I have done this to, but the number is in the thousands. I routinely check thyroid function studies on my patients on low carbs, and as long as they do not already have a thyroid problem, the TSH, T4 and T3 remain completely normal. If what you read had any modicum of truth, I would find higher T4s and lower T3s. Anyone can make any claim any where, but whether it’s true or not—well, entirely different story.

    If I may, let me give a little endocrinology lecture. The thyroid gland, which is second in command only to the pituitary (for you Star Trek fans the thyroid is like Mr. Spock, while the pituitary would be Captain Kirk) produces two hormones, T4 and T3. T4 undergoes what’s referred to as peripheral conversion to T3. (sounds fancy eh? I could’ve just said is changed to, but I’m trying to impress you 🙂 This peripheral conversion occurs at many sites throughout the body, not just the liver. So, if what you read was true, when I checked the T3 levels on my low carb people, I should see lower T3s, which I don’t.
    This is a great question because in my book I tell my readers that I, too, was against low carb dieting way back when. I used to tell my patients—oh boy, watch out for those low carb diets, you’ll get proteinuria, steatosis, ketosis – No, I had no idea what I was talking about either; but those words would scare, the you know what, out of my patients and they would (unfortunately) come off the low carb diet. It appears that this whole peripheral conversion thing is just another example of the dietary ignorance of whoever made that statement.

    Now, it must be stated that patients can develop thyroid disease while on low carbs; but these people were going to have thyroid issues anyway. Hope that helps :-)”]

    And by the way, I’m not a vegan zealot. Just had a steak for dinner actually. I had the potato too, because without carbs I’m a useless, foggy-headed, bad breathed, fatigued shell of my former self.

    [Can anyone tell the difference?]

  35. Roberto

    And glucagon counteracts insulin by raising blood sugar.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glucagon

    How is that advantageous for a program seeking to lower blood sugar?

    You might want to think these things through before spouting off. First you warn us that beef will raise insulin, then when I point out that protein also raises glucagon, you cite an article that states specifically that glucagon works to counter-regulate insulin as if that proves something. (Well, it proves what I said, but I don’t see why you’re citing it.)

    Glucagon raises blood sugar when it’s low by prompting the liver to convert glycogen to glucose. That’s why (along with gluconeogensis) I don’t get low blood sugar even if I eat a low-carb meal. Emptying your glycogen stores is good. When your glycogen stores are full and you put more glucose in your body, your body produces insulin in an attempt to shove glucose into your cells and keep your blood sugar from going too high. But if the cells can’t use more glucose and the glycogen stores are full, there’s nowhere for it to go. So your cells resist the insulin because they can’t take any more glucose (perhaps leading to insulin resistance over time) and the liver ends up converting the excess glucose to triglycerides.

    If your glycogen stores are empty, your body up-regulates insulin sensitivity to make it easier to store whatever excess glucose may exist by converting it to glycogen. In theory, that’s why hard exercise helps prevent diabetes — by emptying the glycogen stores and making the body more sensitive to insulin as a result.

  36. Roberto

    And I shouldn’t even phrase it as “counteracting insulin”. It’s a push-pull relationship to ensure glucose levels remain stable. They aren’t at war with each other.

    Yes, exactly … the body’s imperative is to keep blood sugar in a very narrow range. Flood the system with glucose, and you force the body to deal with an emergency situation.

    I’m still waiting for you to cite your evidence that fats raises insulin.

  37. Roberto

    “Last time you checked what? Show me your studies on that one, you goof. Does insulin resistance just sort of happen, and then we get blood sugar spikes having nothing do with our diets?”

    Nobody knows definitively what causes insulin resistance. It could be industrial toxins, a disgusting lack of exercise, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, epigenetics. Many believe that leptin resistance precedes insulin resistance by allowing excessive fat storage which itself creates insulin resistance. If you’ve got absolute proof that blood sugar spikes progressively – starting in a healthy individual – lead to insulin resistance, well there’s a lot of actual researchers who’d love to hear from you. But wait, every researcher out there is stupid, it’s the comedians we should be listening to.

    “I’ve seen charts from clinical studies that tracked blood sugar, insulin and epinephrine after two breakfasts, one of oatmeal the other of scrambled eggs. Same caloric content. The oatmeal breakfast caused dramatically higher spikes in blood sugar and insulin. Blood sugar in fact dipped below baseline and was only raised to normal by epinephrine.”

    To paraphrase your schoolyard words:
    “Show me your studies on that one, you goof”

    Rather be stupid than a hypocrite.

    Still, are you saying that means the very well-conducted, seminal study I cited is wrong. They clearly saw significant insulin spikes from cheese, meat and fish. And tell me, how does low-carb dieting reduce basal insulin levels (if it does) if not by reducing post-prandial insulin spikes.

    And ‘dramatically higher spikes’ doesn’t mean dangerously higher spikes.

    Also, that study of yours is not incompatible with mine. In the study I referenced eggs didn’t cause that great an insulin release. Had they compared cheese to oatmeal in all likelihood you would have ignored that study like the million others that don’t support your ideology.

    “Okay, now you just proved you’re even more of an uninformed goof than I thought. Fat doesn’t spike insulin to a significant degree. It barely moves insulin at all. If you can prove otherwise, do so.”

    Okay, now you just proved you’re completely incapable of reading what I actually said. I stated that many low-carb foods – which are also high in fat like meat and predominately so with cheese – cause significant insulin spikes. Given the dogmatic low-carb belief that rises in insulin increase appetite and suppress fat-burning, I questioned why it’s a good idea to eat a load of fat rich foods that also spike insulin. Never once said that fat spikes insulin, sorry.

    [Multiple Goof Remarks]

    Honestly, grow up Tom. Do you have any idea how infantile that makes you seem.

    And once again, you haven’t addressed the issue of low-carb diets reducing thyroid function.

    Yes, dairy products do raise insulin more than meats or eggs. One of the speakers at the symposium showed the results of studies on that. You’re the one who lumped beef and cheese into the same category, not me. As for how repeated blood sugar spikes could lead to insulin resistance, I already explained that: keep raising your glucose levels when your glycogen stores are full, there’s nowhere for the glucose to go. Your body uses insulin to try to shove the glucose into the cells, which can’t take any more glucose, so they down-regulate their insulin receptors. Cutting carbs has also been shown in several clinical studies to improve insulin sensitivity and glucose control. So even if you don’t believe high-carb diets cause insulin resistance, they clearly help to mitigate it.

  38. Roberto

    Perhaps I’m wrong about the thyroid issue, although it will take more than your appeal to authority of a man with obvious financial interests in the low-carb lifestyle. I’m still given great pause by the countless anecdotal reports from people experiencing low body temperature, fatigue and impaired immune function on a low-carb diet.

    I’m given even greater pause by the fact that most of the prominent low-carb evangelists – yourself included – remain quite overweight.

    “You might want to think these things through before spouting off”

    I questioned the belief in the low-carb community that insulin spikes suppress fat burning and increase appetite. You dismissed that by saying protein raises glucagon so there’s nothing to worry about because it “counteracts” insulin. Are you saying that glucagon lowers appetite and increases fat-burning to “counteract” these supposed consequences of insulin release? It may very well, I’m interested to know.

    “Can anyone tell the difference?”

    Haha at least I’m not fat, Tom. And if I were I wouldn’t be giving people diet advice.

    I’m not fat anymore either, moron. And my brother has lost around 40 pounds now.

  39. Roberto

    Well, maybe that wasn’t an appeal to authority…You were merely giving attribution…

    But let me give an appeal to authority.

    From Stephan Guyenet’s blog:

    ‘Because of the fact that Gary and I had a cordial personal relationship, I’ve always put on kid gloves when discussing his ideas. However, now that he has indicated that we no longer have a cordial relationship, it’s time for me to fully explain why obesity and endocrinology researchers (including myself) don’t take his ideas on obesity seriously. I hope that in the process, I can dispel some of the mythology that has crept into certain alternative health circles lately.’

    First post came up today, I hope you and your readers are tuned in.

    It’s not an appeal to authority; it’s relating the clinical experiences of a doctor who has treated thousands of patients. That’s partly the problem in nutrition science these days … researchers draw conclusions from observational studies, animal studies, or small pilot studies but don’t bother checking those conclusions against the experiences of doctors who have treated thousands of real people. I’ve heard from literally hundreds of real people myself, thanking me for presenting information that helped them lose weight without feeling starved for the first time ever. So when people cite their pet theories as to why low-carb diets don’t actually work, blah-blah-blah, I’m not impressed. Worked for me, worked for lots of people I know, worked for hundreds of people who have let me know via emails.

  40. Roberto

    From that post:

    “At least two studies have shown that higher fasting insulin is associated with a higher resting energy expenditure, independent of body fatness, not a lower expenditure (14, 15). This is consistent with the idea that elevated fasting insulin protects against body fat accumulation, not that it contributes to it. How about post-meal insulin spikes due to eating carbohydrate? At least two studies have shown that under isocaloric controlled conditions, substantially different carbohydrate:fat ratios do not influence energy expenditure in any measurable way, even over long periods of time (16, 17).

    Therefore, if insulin doesn’t increase energy intake (if anything, the combination of insulin and amylin that the pancreas releases in response to carbohydrate decreases it), and doesn’t decrease energy expenditure (if anything, it increases it), then how exactly is it supposed to cause energy accumulation in the body as fat? There is no energy fairy. Obese people are obese despite having higher fasting insulin, not because of it. The fact is, insulin spikes after meals temporarily decrease fat release from fat cells, but if you look at total 24 hour energy balance, insulin spikes do not cause fat accumulation. This is exactly how you would expect the system to work if it were designed to constructively handle a wide variety of macronutrient ratios, which it is. Just as cholesterol did not evolve to give us heart attacks, insulin did not evolve to make us fat. Hypothesis falsified (#1). ”

    Food for thought. When low-carb diets work it has nothing to do with insulin.

    I interviewed Dr. Robert Lustig while in Los Angeles, who recounted his experience treating kids with cancer. As a result of the treatments, their insulin levels went up, they craved carbohydrates, and they became obese and lethargic. Being a brilliant guy, Lustig didn’t tell them to eat less and exercise more and eat some potatoes to fire up their thyroids. Nope, he gave them an insulin-suppressing drug. As a result, they lost weight and became spontaneously active again. They also spontaneously reduced their intake of carbohydrates.

    Insulin inhibits lipolysis. Surely you don’t deny that.

  41. Roberto

    Keep in mind, I never said low-carb diets don’t cause weight loss. Although it’s clear from the diets well-known proponents it often doesn’t. And when it does cause weight loss it likely has nothing to do with insulin – the very crux of the low-carb theory.

    I guess Dr. Lustig’s experiences inducing weight loss solely by administering an insulin-lowering drug aren’t real, then. I’ll let him know … he’ll be so ashamed.

  42. Roberto

    “As a result of the treatments, their insulin levels went up, they craved carbohydrates, and they became obese and lethargic. Being a brilliant guy, Lustig didn’t tell them to eat less and exercise more and eat some potatoes to fire up their thyroids. Nope, he gave them an insulin-suppressing drug. As a result, they lost weight and became spontaneously active again. They also spontaneously reduced their intake of carbohydrates.”

    Firstly, I’d want to know how far their insulin was raised as a result of that treatment. By the sounds of it, they were suffering from hypoglycemia. As Stephan mentions in his latest post, true hypoglycemia is extremely rare except in diabetics. If that is the case with these children, we can hardly extrapolate from their experience that rises in insulin – postprandial or basal – are the cause of obesity in non diabetic, non hypoglycemic people.

    Secondly, if the treatment were that simple do you not think they’d be using it on a wider scale? Or is there – as I suggested – something about these children that separates them from the rest of the obese population?

    You can go find Lustig’s study if you’re curious. He concluded it was insulin that was the problem and suppressing insulin did the trick. He doesn’t support prescribing the same drug for everyone because of side effects, but did use it in clinical trials to produce weight loss in adults.

  43. TheGame

    Wow,

    Roberto is schooling Tom and his loser older brother at the same time. Any study that shows contradicting evidence to the low carb religion is instantly dismissed by the 3rd rate comedian as ‘only an observational study’ or some type of government screw up. If only the researchers and scientists out there were as smart as you and your older brother…..*sigh.

    [I dismiss studies as observational studies only if they’re observational studies. Do you have a problem with calling a study exactly what it is. I’ve also dismissed studies that were favorable to low-carb as observational, warning people not to jump to conclusions based on them.]

    And I think it’s a valid point worth mentioning. I rarely see low carbers that actually look good or healthy.

    [Apparently you’re not looking very far. The crowed at the Ancetral Health Symposium was the fittest crowd I’ve seen in a long time, and many of them are low-carbers. Picking on older people who got fat on high-carb diets most of their lives and then finally managed to lose perhaps half the extra weight on a low-carb diet is intellectually dishonest.]

    The older brother has yet to post any type of picture of himself (except that stupid looking face on his own blog banner), so I don’t take his work that he’s ‘thin’.

    [The Older Brother doesn’t claim to be thin. He claims to be 40 pounds lighter since going low-carb, and he is. The change is dramatic. He also reports feeling better than he has in years. If the only point of a diet is to lose weight in your opinion, I’d call that short-sighted.]

    Tom admits within the first 15 minutes of his documentary that he ‘knows he is overweight’ and ‘doesn’t look good in a bathing suit’. Sure Atkins weight was 245 when he died due to his medication, but he was 200lbs at 6 ft tall before going to the hospital. Not obese, but certainly not what I’d call thin. And yea, Jimmy Moore lost weight on a low carb diet. He was 410 lbs, ANY diet (he could have went on an all twinkie diet like that one guy did) that reduced his insane caloric intake would have made him lose weight drastically.

    [You’re judging the success of my low-carb diet by quoting my description of how I looked BEFORE I went on a low-carb diet? That’s rich. Atkins was 195, which is pretty good for a guy who battled his weight throughout his early adult life. Yes, any diet will work if you stick with it. Jimmy once stuck with a low-fat diet and lost weight … but he was famished and miserable the whole time and couldn’t stick with it — same experience many people have with high-carb, low-calorie diets.]

    It’s just kind of funny to have these people telling us what to eat, that the government information on health/food is wrong, and that being a vegetarian is unhealthy.

    [Being a vegetarian (or especially a vegan) can indeed be unhealthy. I’ve known several vegetarians over the years with major health problems — not that any of them will admit the diet may be to blame.]

    I’m sorry that you stuffed your face full of captain crunch when you were a kid Tom, to the point where you can’t enjoy a potato today (I guess your mom should have limited your captain crunch intake as much as she did your McDonald’s visits). I’ll enjoy my potato loaded with low fat sour cream, a little butter, cheese, and chives. Fills me up way more than a burger (if you’re telling me that your appetite spikes after eating a full, whole large potato, then you have serious issues) and is cheaper and healthier 🙂

    [My mom was under the impression cereals were a good breakfast, just like we were told. Enjoy your potato. Glad that’s working for you. But as many people who visit this blog will attest, carb-rich meals make them feel hungry again soon after. So what I’m wondering is why you seem so determined to convince them go back to a diet that didn’t work for them. If your diet works for you, I say go for it. If that diet doesn’t work for many of us, you should stop preaching the wonders of potatoes to us and let us live in lalaland, as you promised in an earlier comment.]

  44. Roberto

    “As a result of the treatments, their insulin levels went up, they craved carbohydrates, and they became obese and lethargic. Being a brilliant guy, Lustig didn’t tell them to eat less and exercise more and eat some potatoes to fire up their thyroids. Nope, he gave them an insulin-suppressing drug. As a result, they lost weight and became spontaneously active again. They also spontaneously reduced their intake of carbohydrates.”

    Firstly, I’d want to know how far their insulin was raised as a result of that treatment. By the sounds of it, they were suffering from hypoglycemia. As Stephan mentions in his latest post, true hypoglycemia is extremely rare except in diabetics. If that is the case with these children, we can hardly extrapolate from their experience that rises in insulin – postprandial or basal – are the cause of obesity in non diabetic, non hypoglycemic people.

    Secondly, if the treatment were that simple do you not think they’d be using it on a wider scale? Or is there – as I suggested – something about these children that separates them from the rest of the obese population?

    You can go find Lustig’s study if you’re curious. He concluded it was insulin that was the problem and suppressing insulin did the trick. He doesn’t support prescribing the same drug for everyone because of side effects, but did use it in clinical trials to produce weight loss in adults.

  45. TheGame

    Wow,

    Roberto is schooling Tom and his loser older brother at the same time. Any study that shows contradicting evidence to the low carb religion is instantly dismissed by the 3rd rate comedian as ‘only an observational study’ or some type of government screw up. If only the researchers and scientists out there were as smart as you and your older brother…..*sigh.

    [I dismiss studies as observational studies only if they’re observational studies. Do you have a problem with calling a study exactly what it is. I’ve also dismissed studies that were favorable to low-carb as observational, warning people not to jump to conclusions based on them.]

    And I think it’s a valid point worth mentioning. I rarely see low carbers that actually look good or healthy.

    [Apparently you’re not looking very far. The crowed at the Ancetral Health Symposium was the fittest crowd I’ve seen in a long time, and many of them are low-carbers. Picking on older people who got fat on high-carb diets most of their lives and then finally managed to lose perhaps half the extra weight on a low-carb diet is intellectually dishonest.]

    The older brother has yet to post any type of picture of himself (except that stupid looking face on his own blog banner), so I don’t take his work that he’s ‘thin’.

    [The Older Brother doesn’t claim to be thin. He claims to be 40 pounds lighter since going low-carb, and he is. The change is dramatic. He also reports feeling better than he has in years. If the only point of a diet is to lose weight in your opinion, I’d call that short-sighted.]

    Tom admits within the first 15 minutes of his documentary that he ‘knows he is overweight’ and ‘doesn’t look good in a bathing suit’. Sure Atkins weight was 245 when he died due to his medication, but he was 200lbs at 6 ft tall before going to the hospital. Not obese, but certainly not what I’d call thin. And yea, Jimmy Moore lost weight on a low carb diet. He was 410 lbs, ANY diet (he could have went on an all twinkie diet like that one guy did) that reduced his insane caloric intake would have made him lose weight drastically.

    [You’re judging the success of my low-carb diet by quoting my description of how I looked BEFORE I went on a low-carb diet? That’s rich. Atkins was 195, which is pretty good for a guy who battled his weight throughout his early adult life. Yes, any diet will work if you stick with it. Jimmy once stuck with a low-fat diet and lost weight … but he was famished and miserable the whole time and couldn’t stick with it — same experience many people have with high-carb, low-calorie diets.]

    It’s just kind of funny to have these people telling us what to eat, that the government information on health/food is wrong, and that being a vegetarian is unhealthy.

    [Being a vegetarian (or especially a vegan) can indeed be unhealthy. I’ve known several vegetarians over the years with major health problems — not that any of them will admit the diet may be to blame.]

    I’m sorry that you stuffed your face full of captain crunch when you were a kid Tom, to the point where you can’t enjoy a potato today (I guess your mom should have limited your captain crunch intake as much as she did your McDonald’s visits). I’ll enjoy my potato loaded with low fat sour cream, a little butter, cheese, and chives. Fills me up way more than a burger (if you’re telling me that your appetite spikes after eating a full, whole large potato, then you have serious issues) and is cheaper and healthier 🙂

    [My mom was under the impression cereals were a good breakfast, just like we were told. Enjoy your potato. Glad that’s working for you. But as many people who visit this blog will attest, carb-rich meals make them feel hungry again soon after. So what I’m wondering is why you seem so determined to convince them go back to a diet that didn’t work for them. If your diet works for you, I say go for it. If that diet doesn’t work for many of us, you should stop preaching the wonders of potatoes to us and let us live in lalaland, as you promised in an earlier comment.]

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