This Is What They’re Up Against

      77 Comments on This Is What They’re Up Against

I’ve written a few posts titled This Is What We’re Up Against (see here, here, here and here) recounting how the so-called experts keep pushing the same old anti-fat hysteria in the media.  I come across new examples all the time, like this one:  The CDC is in a tizzy that not enough kids are drinking low-fat milk.

Drinking milk is important for children’s bone health, but CDC experts advise that although young people need the calcium, vitamin D and other nutrients found in milk, children aged 2 and older should consume low-fat milk and milk products to avoid unnecessary fat and calories.

The research, published in a CDC report titled “Low-fat Milk Consumption Among Children and Adolescents in the United States, 2007-2008,” showed that about 73 percent of children and teens drink milk, but only about 20 percent of them say they usually drink low-fat milk (skim or 1 percent).

You can look high and low, but you won’t find a decent study anywhere showing that kids (or adults) who drink low-fat milk are leaner and healthier.  If anything, the evidence points the other way.  But there’s our taxpayer-funded CDC, declaring that more kids need to switch to lowfat milk – and of course the American Academy of Pediatrics echoes that advice.

Just today, U.S. News published an article about the best and worst diets, as ranked by a bunch of nutritionists  … you know, the people who are trained to push lowfat, high-carb diets.  They of course rated the tasteless, lowfat DASH diet the best overall, and the Ornish diet the best for heart health.

The nutritionists also ranked the Paleo diet 18th out of 20.  You can probably guess why:

Slapping the diet with many 1s and 2s, experts couldn’t accept that entire food groups, like dairy and grains, are excluded, making it hard for dieters to get all the nutrients they need. It’s one of the few diets that experts actually considered “somewhat unsafe” and, on nutrition, only “somewhat complete.”

Yup, you got it:  the diet that sustained humans for hundreds of thousands of years is “somewhat unsafe” … as opposed to the vegan diet, which ranked 16th, and of course the highly-ranked Ornish diet — two diets that exclude entire foods groups.  The Atkins diet -– which produced greater improvements in cardiovascular markers than the Ornish diet in a large clinical trial — was ranked dead last.  Diets that encourage you to live on nothing but processed lowfat foods were ranked higher.

This is what we’re up against, and yes, sometimes it feels like we’re batting a behemoth.  But I’m an optimist, and I believe we’ll win – because here’s what they’re up against:

You.  Me.  Jimmy Moore, Dr. William Davis, Dr. Mike Eades, Mark Sisson, Gary Taubes, Dr. Richard Feinman, Zoe Harcombe, Dr. Robert Su, Robb Wolf,  Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, Richard Nikoley, hundreds of other bloggers, and hundreds of thousands of educated and passionate readers … and a little concept called The Marketplace of Ideas.

Everyone from John Milton to Thomas Jefferson to Supreme Court Justice William Brennan has been credited with enunciating the concept of The Marketplace of Ideas (proving that ideas are often more memorable than the people who enunciate them), but regardless of who coined the term, I believe it makes perfect sense:  given a free exchange of information, the best ideas eventually rise to the top, just as the best products tend to rise to the top in an economic marketplace.

In the terrific book The Wisdom of Crowds, author James Surowiecki contends that ordinary, just-plain-folks who compare information often come up with better solutions than the so-called experts.  But for the Wisdom of Crowds to work, he explains, four conditions are necessary:

  • Diversity of opinion
  • Independent thinking
  • Decentralization of information
  • A means of sharing and comparing results

In other words, a free market of ideas.  So let’s look at our current situation in the battle to overcome the anti-fat hysteria and the constant reminders to eat our healthywholegrains:

Diversity of opinion: Check.  There are blogs these days for raw foodies, vegans, low-carbers, paleo dieters, etc., etc.  There are plenty of disagreements among those groups and – just as importantly – within those groups.

Independent thinking: Check.  Decentralization: Check.  Not long ago, your only sources of information on diet and health were your doctor, your newspaper, a few magazines, and the occasional TV news piece – all of which would pretty much parrot the American Heart Association, the USDA, the American Diabetes Association, and the other central authorities.  Sure, there were a few books disputing the government-issued dietary advice (I’m reading one now, written by a doctor in 1977), but you weren’t likely to hear about them.

That’s all changed.  As I discovered when I began researching Fat Head, there are more blogs, articles, opinion pieces, podcasts and studies available online now that you could ever hope to absorb, even if you made a career of it.  Independent thinkers are everywhere, and it no longer matters if they happen to live in Sweden, or the U.K, or South Africa – you can find them with a couple of search terms and a few mouse clicks.

A means of sharing and comparing results: Check.  Just read the comments section on this blog or any other health blog.  People share information and results all the time.  Someone asks a question, and within an hour someone else has already left a comment with an answer and links to the relevant research.  I see the same thing happen in Facebook groups, Yahoo groups, on Twitter, and in email exchanges.  I even read an article recently titled something like Peer Review by Facebook, explaining how lousy studies that are accepted at face value by traditional peer-review committees and the media are being shredded online – often by people with no academic credentials.

In short, ordinary people are now able to bypass the information gatekeepers and learn from each other.  That’s exactly what more and more of us are doing, and as a result, the truth about real food and real health is spreading like a beneficial virus.  When the standard-issue dietary advice is preached in the media these days, I’m delighted to see how often a majority of the commenters rip into that advice.  A reader in the U.K. informed me that his local paper ran an article promoting an anti-fat tax like the one recently adopted in Denmark.  Here are two of the responses:

I don’t think you would’ve seen those responses 10 years ago.

Here’s an even more encouraging sign:  a reader here in the U.S. sent me this email.

First, thank you for your blog and especially the Fat Head movie. We saw it on recommendation from friends when we were doing a “paleo challenge” at our local CrossFit gym. Since watching your movie and also reading several books on the subject, we have been “low carb” ever since and leaner and healthier as a family than we ever were before.

Our kids, age 8 and 12, have evolved from our former family “healthy” breakfasts of Honey Nut Cheereos with 1% milk, wheat toast with “I Can’t Believe its NOT Butter” and glasses of juice to bacon and eggs cooked with REAL butter, some nuts, veggies and cheese and whole milk. Lo and behold they are NO LONGER starved at the school “snack time” and even after school the begging for “snacks” has diminished 90%. Prior snack after school used to include “Wheat Thins” (of which my 8 year old could sit and power down and ENTIRE box – and STILL be hungry) to now maybe a small bowl of cashews and almonds with no cravings afterwards. At school my kids will get their burgers, etc. with “no bun” and pass the crackers, etc. in favor of the vegetable selection.

His email included a scan of some sentences his 8-year-old son wrote for a school assignment.  Check out the second-to-last sentence:


You’ve got to love it!  I just wonder how his teacher reacted.

This is what they’re up against.

And it’s the reason they’re going to lose.

If you enjoy my posts, please consider a small donation to the Fat Head Kids GoFundMe campaign.

77 thoughts on “This Is What They’re Up Against

  1. Princess Dieter

    I find myself less likely to buy the health magazines like I used to, cause i got tired of all the grain-centric advice and recipes. Whole grains this. Whole grains that. Like you say, I can come online and research. I can read studies. I can follow debates (and yes, I love when science posts get debate comments that go on and on and linkies galore).

    Oh, and hubby wore his WHEAT IS MURDER tee to work on Halloween. Wheat is scary!

    Next year he could dress up as wheat.

  2. Marissa

    “That new diet that took inches off your waistline could be harming your health if it locks out or severely restricts entire food groups, like carbs, or relies on supplements with little scientific backing, or clamps down on calories to an extreme.”

    I think it’s cool (read: not cool) that the author makes this comment and then presents a ranking of diets in which “experts” have given a calorie-clamping chemical diet that relies on vitamin supplements a 3.5/5 (Slim-Fast, which they call “mostly nutritious and safe”), and a diet that virtually restricts the entire fat food group a 4.1/5 (Ornish). Even if I were to read this article without any bias towards one diet or another, this inconsistency in logic is glaring.

    I’m no strict Paleo, but the statement bashing the Paleo diet, in which the author says that “the meat-heavy Paleo diet bans grains and dairy, so getting adequate calcium and vitamin D isn’t easy,” is just false. Vitamin D is only present in dairy because it is fortified; it does not occur naturally. In fact, the best natural source of Vitamin D is fatty fish and fish liver oil, which Paleos probably get a lot of ( I’m not even sure how grains play into that statement, as grains provide little of either calcium or vitamin D..unless, of course, they’re fortified!

    I also find it interesting to read the backgrounds of all of the “experts” they chose. One of them, Amy Campbell, considers diabetic nutrition as her specialty and has coauthored a book called “16 Myths of a Diabetic Diet.” Here are some of those “myths”:

    Ouch :/

    On a more positive note..hooray for real food! And fat! Fat is really good. :]

    I pity the diabetics who listen to her.

  3. Ed Terry

    I thought I would share this article that was published October 12, 1962 by the American Medical Association. I love their definition of a “fad” diet.


    A New and Very Important Statement from the American Heart Association
    If all the contradictory information about what you should or should not eat to avoid heart disease has you wondering what you should do to guard your health, a statement released by the American Medical Association October 12, 1962, is very important to you.

    The statement is a result of the deliberations of America’s top nutrition and health authorities who have analyzed carefully all of the information available at this time.

    Before you consider any changes in your diet, read this statement, the full text of which follows:


    Scientific reports linking cholesterol and heart attacks have touched off a new food fad among do-it-yourself Americans. But dieters who believe they can cut down their blood cholesterol without medical supervision are in for a rude awakening. It can’t be done. It could even be dangerous to try.
    There are several reasons why.

    For one, an individual cannot know how much cholesterol his blood contains until this is determined by laboratory tests. By the same token, he cannot know whether any diet changes have raised or lowered his blood cholesterol unless it is scientifically measured.

    In the second place, a person’s entire food intake must be precisely regulated to lower blood cholesterol. Willy-nilly substitution of a few food items without overall control of the diet accomplishes little if anything in reducing cholesterol.

    What is more important, the elimination of certain foods of proven nutritional value could be detrimental to health.

    Success in reducing blood cholesterol by dietary regulation so far has been achieved only in strictly controlled experimental groups, and use of this method remains largely experimental.

    The carefully calculated diet used in medical research to lower cholesterol actually are not yet of practical importance to the general public.
    There have been few investigations on the effect of different types of fat in the normal diet over long periods of time. For this reason, it is not known what type of fat, if any, may be beneficial in preventing heart disease, nor is it known that certain fats are harmful. Moreover, it has not been determined whether a significant change in cholesterol levels can be obtained in the American population by dietary means.

    While much remains to be learned about cholesterol and other aspects of nutrition, scientists do know that the American diet provides all the nutrients essential to health and that a varied diet is the best way of maintaining a high level of health. The virtual absence of dietary deficiency diseases in this country attests to this fact.

    The American diet did not happen by accident. It resulted from much accumulated research and experience. Any changes to the diet of such proven worth must await much more study and experience.
    It is for these reasons that neither the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council nor the AMA Council on Foods and Nutrition has recognized the need for modification of dietary fat for the general public.
    For good nutrition, the AMA council recommends a well-balanced diet chosen from these four basic food groups:

    The Milk Group – milk, cheese and ice cream.

    The Meat Group – beef, veal, lamb, pork, poultry, eggs and fish.

    The Vegetable-Fruit Group – fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins A and C.

    The Bread-Cereal Group – whole grain, enriched or restored.

    Butter, margarine, fats or oils also are needed.

    Even those on weight-reduction regimens need food from all these groups.
    Although some day science may come up with a diet that can prevent heart disease, such a development appears to be well into the future.

    It probably would take a generation to prove whether any diet can reduce deaths due to heart or blood vessel disease.

    To test such a theory adequately requires a large-scale, long-term study, Surgeon Luther L. Terry said recently. Since scientists do not know whether such a mass study of diet modification could be carried out, he said, the essential first step is to find out. The surgeon general announced that five medical centers would begin a joint effort this year to seek the answer. This preliminary study is expected to take two years.

    In the meantime, advancing knowledge may reveal other factors of possibly more importance than cholesterol in heart disease. For example, the effect of various kinds and amounts of carbohydrates, such as sugars and starches, is being investigated, and there is some evidence that they may be a factor in this disease process.

    At the same time, researchers are seeking other ways to lower cholesterol. Some experts believe drugs will eventually prove to be the preferred method.
    It should also be remembered than an elevated blood cholesterol is only one of the factors implicated in heart disease. Other important factors are heredity, high blood pressure, stress and smoking.

    The anti-fact, anti-cholesterol fad is not just foolish and futile, however. It also carries some risks.

    When certain foods are dropped from the diet, they must be replaced by foods containing the same nutrients, or the lost nutrients must be made up with additional foods, to achieve adequate nourishment. This requires, among other things, a precise knowledge of the nutritional content of specific quantities of a whole range of food products. And this is where the danger arises. Without this knowledge, the average person is unable to replace the nutrients he loses when he decides to stop rating foods and thus runs the risk of shorting his body of some essential nutrients.
    The current concern about diet reflects a healthy interest on the part of the public. This interest should be directed away from hopeless pursuits to a worthwhile goal that can be attained by most individuals- maintaining normal weight. Overweight can be avoided by not eating more calories than the body needs.

    And then Ancel Keys become a member of their board …

  4. James

    Progress can be made. Yesterday my nephew and his wife brought their two girls over for us to watch while they went to a parent teachers meeting. They are both in their early 30s and very athletic and slim. He is a PA and she stays home with the kids. She is mostly vegetarian. They adhere to the whole grain/low fat meme. They noticed my recent wieght loss and asked me about my diet. I pounced. After almost an hour of my rant, she said, “I may have to rethink my vege diet.” He wanted all the links I could give him, which I did. He said he is trying to get his mother off her recent vegetarian kick and needed some ammunition. I will report back with the results.


  5. Galina L

    You are right about possible positive effect of a negative publicity. Dr . Oz was in that regard the best. He actually put 3 females on a paleo diet with astonishing results – every one normalized her blood pressure, some lb were lost (most of it is should be water weight), everyone improved energy level and the seance of a well-being. After that he tuned 180 degrees and told he had an alternative for a Paleo because normal people can’t stand such difficult eating and it is not sustainable. I am sure, however, that 3 women will remember how they felt, and some screaming individuals from his audience may remember that Paleo works. After I experienced how it feels to be balanced, happy, energetic, there is no way I will exchange it for the pleasure of eating sweets or cookies.

    How difficult does Dr. Oz think it is to stick to tasteless lowfat diet?

  6. Donna C

    I faced a dilemma my whole adult life. I have always loved to cook. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to feed people foods that taste good and that they eat with pleasure. The problem was that all those great meals had bunches of homemade breads, cakes, pies and pastas that, over time, added a lot of padding onto my short body. I did the standard diet drill of low fat, high carbs and although I lost weight every time (operative phrase here, “every time”) I would gain that weight +more back. What was worse, I hated to cook. Cooking low fat sucks. Nothing ever tastes like it should. I gave up cooking and basically ate a lot more processed foods. Last year I decided to get healthier by cutting back on carbs. Slow going at first, I dropped sugary sodas, Snickers bars and jelly doughnuts from my diet. Then I dropped bread — kept crackers for a while. Next pasta and rice got the axe. And so on, over several months, until the only carbs I was eating were Cheerios and oatmeal. But still a lot of processed foods. That’s when I first stumbled upon Paleo (via Angelo Copela’s Latest in Paleo podcast). I have renewed my passion for cooking because I can cook with fat, glorious fat, again! More importantly, we get our produce from our local co-op and have virtually no processed foods in the house. On my poor man’s Paleo+dairy (poor man’s because we can’t afford grain fed beef) I feel terrific, wake in the morning feeling rested, and my blood numbers are to brag about. Even better, after my cheesy scrambled eggs and sausage breakfast I don’t get hungry for six or more hours. Oh, and I’ve lost 100 pounds. But the pounds are not the point. The point is that this is a lifestyle I can live with for the rest of my life. Sorry this went so long, but once I got started it all just kept on coming.

    Btw, I still do bake but use mostly nut flours and agave. When I do bake with grain flour I give it away after having just one piece.

    Once you put real fats back into your food, it’s easier to give up the carbs. Fat is where the flavor is.

  7. apdubya

    As a librarian for a major university system, I’m always interested in decentralization of information & the privatization of info access; great article on why the internet is already NOT a free system (and perhaps never was):

    We’re truly up against a behemoth; I would also venture to say that tightening copyright laws & the decline of the public domain will further erode creativity, freedom of expression and clear-eyed scientific inquiry. If you think it’s bad now with how scientists can’t discuss nutrition, just wait until copyright lasts in perpetuity & includes factual information. Then we’re all in trouble: you’ll never get permission to share and compare anything to test whether or not it’s true if it contradicts the copyright owner’s conclusions.

    Don’t mean to sound alarmist, but right now we’re experiencing terrible erosion of public goods/commons at the expense of a few private interests.

  8. Peggy Cihocki

    I’m trying to decide if this is progress or not: It does say eating low fat is a mistake (the progress part). But it also still (grr) places saturated fat in the “bad fat” category and polyunsaturated fats in the “good fats” category. And says we don’t need to eat saturated fat because our body can make all the saturated fat it needs!!!!! I’m thinking all those cultures that eat a lot of coconut and palm oil would be surprised to learn they are eating “bad fat!” But because it’s put out by Harvard, a lot of people swallow it hook, line and sinker. We do still have ways to go, but I am thankful for this growing on line community that gives me hope that we will win in the end.

    They still have a blind spot when it comes to saturated fats. Notice their reason to avoid them is that we can make saturated fat — true — but they didn’t explain at all why eating saturated fat is harmful. By that twisted logic, we should still be avoiding cholesterol because our bodies can make cholesterol. And yet they pointed out that eating cholesterol isn’t bad for us.

  9. Caitlin

    Cheryl P., I think a Moonpie/Pepsi combination is actually considered a quasi-religious ritual here in Tennessee! 🙂 I think there’s an annual festival somewhere here commerating that holy duality, but I can’t think of where it is held, and I’m sure Mountain Dew is an acceptable substitute for Pepsi.

    Seriously, I’ve often wondered if we shouldn’t just start blitzing the word about LC/Paleo whenever possible. There are many, many opportunities to get people thinking. One example I can think of is WebMD – there are discussion groups, for instance, for cholesterol, and I and others have already posted info about the cholesterol myth there. Another example – a medical school in Nashville has an internal newsletter that allows comments – that’s another opportunity to counter the conventional wisdom. My point is that there are many places on the web to disseminate information; we’re not limited to specific anti-LC articles.

  10. Peggy Cihocki

    @Donna C, Congratulations on your progress! This is, indeed, a lifestyle one can live with. Just a word of caution about agave–it’s extremely high in fructose. Might I recommend you consider trying Erythritol and Stevia? Or perhaps substitute some Stevia for some of the agave. Just a thought. But only a thought. You’re doing great.

  11. Amber

    Jan, of course you are right about cats being obligate carnivores, but it’s not like this cat food was some anomaly. Even in the fancy specialty stores the vast majority of cat foods have (mostly) grains. They even tout the fact that they have vegetable matter in them, and are obviously marketing it to health-conscious people. There may be half an aisle devoted to grain-free, and half of that will have potato meal and/or other vegetables. It’s a sad situation.

  12. Joyfulbaby

    At my two-year-old’s latest doctor’s visit, the doctor asked if I had switched to low-fat milk yet. Sigh. In better news, the food guy in our local paper gave “Wheat Belly” a glowing (and I mean GLOWING!) review last week. I wonder how many evil emails he’s gotten since then.

    Excellent. Doesn’t matter how many hate mails he gets, as long as people are inspired to read the book.

  13. Galina L.

    I think I cam understand how CatsDaddy’s cat may feel like. I started LC because at the middle age migraines started seriously interfere with my work. It was found out that during migraines the electrical activity in my brain was typical for epileptic electrical activity. So I started to take small doses of anti- epileptic medication, then learned about ketogenic diet,went on the diet, drop medication. It was amazing to see how others health conditions disappeared – allergies, infections, pre-menopausal symptoms, mysterious joint pains. Well, during first year I lost 20 lb then stooped for two years, but it was not the reason to discontinue the diet because the weight loss was not the main reason to be on that diet. Lack of a hunger was a big plus as well. By now it is more that 30 lb, and I am on another plateau.
    There is something going wrong with our bodies and minds on the grain and sugar diet, at the middle age it just gets very noticeable.

    Don’t obsess on the plateau. This is about health. Weight loss is a side benefit.

  14. Nowhereman

    Sadly despite good news on some fronts, we have more misinformation and or attempts at damage control for grain-based carbohydrates.

    Who here reading that article would call BS on this writer?

    That writer (Joy Bauer) is one of those naturally-skinny types who assumes that because she can eat all those carbs and stay thin, so can everyone else. I much prefer to take advice from people who’ve actually gone through the process of losing weight.

  15. NM

    Dr Ben Goldacre writes in his latest and last Guardian column some things he’s learned over the years. He concludes with this, which I thought you’d like, and which meshes uncannily with your posting:

    “Last, nerds are more powerful than we know. Changing mainstream media will be hard, but you can help create parallel options. More academics should blog, post videos, post audio, post lectures, offer articles and more. You’ll enjoy it: I’ve had threats and blackmail, abuse, smears and formal complaints with forged documentation.

    But it’s worth it, for one simple reason: pulling bad science apart is the best teaching gimmick I know for explaining how good science works. I’m not a policeman, and I’ve never set out to produce a long list of what’s right and what’s wrong. For me, things have to be interestingly wrong, and the methods are all that matter.”

    I agree completely. Examining bad science taught me a lot about science.

  16. John

    Tom, this was one of the greatest blog posts I’ve read in a long time. It’s certainly good to look at the positive, and you gave some great reasons to be positive.

    We humans have an amazing ability to defend something totally irrational in the face of overwhelming evidence. The low fat diet defense is a good example of this. Another is the defense of the BCS system in college football. In the face of overwhelming fan support for a playoff, conservative estimates of an additional $700 million dollars of revenue in a tough economy with a switch to a playoff, potential anti-trust legislation against the BCS, and the fact that every other amateur and professional sport uses a playoff, what does college football do? Dismiss the idea of a playoff as stupid and more vehemently defend the BCS as brilliant, of course.

    I think it’s also important to acknowledge that by following a low carb or paleo diet, we’ve already won. I’ve lost 40 pounds so far, 6 inches of my waist, blood pressure is down from 140/89 to 122/80, and several other issues have cleared up. I’m not yet where I want to be, but these are HUGE WINS.

    We are stronger (cause we get enough protein and fat).

    We are smarter (cause we don’t have any wheat exorphins messing with our brains).

    We have the scientific evidence (even the studies designed to show that low carb diets are dangerous show the exact opposite).

    We have the anecdotal evidence (think about your own improvements).

    Yep, we will win, one person at a time.

    Exactly right. And as each of us wins, we stand a good chance of reaching others who ask how we did it.

  17. Iva

    I work in the school system. This year, I saw the not-so-slow switch from 2% and 1% milk to FAT FREE. The teacher I work with and I tried the chocolate milk – gag!

    I’m reading Wheat Belly now (early Christmas present to me!) and my husband and I are seriously considering low carb (well, he is – I’ve been reading more and more about gluten, etc and I’m starting to become VERY convinced…). The only “sensitivity” I’ve noticed when I eat carbs lethargy about 20 minutes after consuming them. Funny thing is, I always knew what did it, but I never made the connection between that and my insatiable appetite. As it stands, I’m about 60 lbs over weight and otherwise healthy – oh, if you don’t count constant leg cramps, sluggishness and over all “ickiness”. My husband could stand to lose a good 100 lbs. He is having gastrointestinal issues. As a concerned wife, it hurts that he is in constant pain day in and day out. I am willing to give most anything a try – not to mention my daughter has a wheat belly (that alone, kills me). My son grew out of his, but is still considered over weight.

    The say I see it – it’s time to go back to basics. Food how God intended it. But why has it taken us so long to get a stinkin’ clue?

    I personally know a handful of people whose digestive issues went away for good when they gave up grains. I hope that works for your husband. Nothing to lose by giving it a try.

  18. richie

    You know what really sets me off is that Campbell’s Chunky Soup commercial where they show guys who are slumping off to sleep supposedly after eating too much fat. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I eat too much carbs/starch/or sugar I crash right after. I just ate a breakfast of eggs and corned beef and am completely aware. Just venting.

    I haven’t seen that one. Bacon and eggs sure don’t put me to sleep.

  19. Erica

    @Jon: “The only thing that frustrates her is she still hasn’t lost much weight. She weighs around 137 at 5’6 and was hoping that this diet would take some pounds off.”

    Jon, tell her that I’m 5’6″ and would kill to be 137 again! In fact, I’d be pretty thrilled to weigh 150. I’m currently at 192 (different scale from home which said 182). And yes, she is healing her body. Tell her to keep on with the diet, and her clothes will tell her more than the scale does. Even though I haven’t lost any more weight since July (I went grain-free in May), my clothes are still growing, and I need to go shopping.

    Also tell her she’s in this for the long haul. After six months on the diet, she’ll not crave any bad stuff (mostly) and will be able to withstand it because she knows how much better she feels without that junk.

    I’m helping my best friend and her husband go wheat-free (and eventually low carb) to keep them from becoming diabetic. It’s been 2 weeks, and they’re complaining that the high sugar stuff tastes bad now. Huzzah!

  20. kimberly

    Why is it that the blandest, most tasteless diet always “wins” in these things. Is this nutrition and science, or tortured asceticism in action?


    I think there’s a conditioned belief that anything that tastes good must be bad for us.

  21. hausfrau

    Erica: I’ve been noticing how much more sensitive I am too the taste of sugar now that I’ve restricte them so much. I broke down today while killing some time (hubby was at a doctor’s appointment) and went to a pastry shop. I confess the chocolate cupcakes and orange-ginger-cream-filled sandwhich cookies were frickin’ awesome…..and then the after taste..not so great. Normally I would have kept eating them. i lived on cookies during my last pregnancy (sorry baby Mina). I also notice how thirsty they made me.

  22. Walter B

    “I think there’s a conditioned belief that anything that tastes good must be bad for us.”

    So why the absolute abandonment to the delights of sugar? I have a growing sense that some group or other is trying to kill us off. No fat, no sun, lots of sugar and wheat, not to mention statins and low salt diets. They haven’t gotten the age down to before reproductive age, but by giving statins to 3 years olds they may yet prevail. How long before they start putting statins in baby formulas; I mean they already put soy in them.

    Occupy Department of Agriculture and the FDA!

    Sugar in the form we consume today wasn’t around when our tastes developed. But animal fat was.

  23. Iva


    I took the day off from work yesterday to spend the day with my husband – and his doctors. The prognosis does not look good. I will spare you the details.

    However, you will be happy to know that the PA told us flat out – “Get rid of wheat, pasta, grains from your diet. They are contributing the inflammation and pain.”

    So, here we go…

    I’m sorry to hear about your husband’s condition.

  24. Brittni

    I’m a 2nd grade teacher and our school usually offers only 1% milk (thankful only white and none of that sugar-laden flavored milk), but a few times a week will offer 2%. I’ve already had instances of bullying with my 7-year-old students telling each other that if they take the pink milk (the 2%), they’re fat. I’ve tried to talk the them about the benefits of drinking the “pink milk” and always make sure they see me taking the 2% when it’s available, but that still doesn’t stop them from taunting each other with what they learn from their middle school siblings that anyone who takes the 2% milk over the 1% is fat.

    In addition, I’ve been reading the book “My Side of the Mountain” to them and just yesterday this (to my pleasure) sparked a discussion on whether it’s right to kill animals for food, which allowed me to talk a little about how it’s important for humans to eat all types of food and how many nutrients we get from eating animals. I then had one little girl raise her hand and say “my mom can’t eat some kinds of foods like animals because she has to lower her cholesterol”. I almost cried for both her mother being so worried about her cholesterol and this 7-year-old girl for learning that women need to avoid meat to keep their cholesterol low at such a young age. Of course, as a teacher (especially a young, new teacher), I have to walk a fine line between telling the kids what I think is right and backing up their parents and the system, so I attempted a little bit of double-talk to make sure the girl understood that eating meat is good for you and she should continue to eat it without making it seem like her mother is wrong.

    It’s very sad, but I feel most of the time that my hands are tied. Just Monday the school nurse passed out copies of the food pyramid for us to hang in our classrooms. Mine’s sitting in my bag where I stuck it and will stay there as long as I can get away with it.

    That’s what happens when a little group of “experts” in Washington dictates policy for every public school in the country. It never should have been the case.

  25. april

    I’ve become a sortof missionary for this lifestyle. People always ask me “HOW THE HECK DID You DROP the weight?”

    When I tell them I do low carb and paleo and see me eating high fat avocados(sometimes two at a time!) they can’t believe their eyes. (I love avocados by the way. LOVE them but used to limit myself to a little portion of it every so often due to my old fear of fats. So happy I can eat them now and body looks great!)

    You wouldn’t believe all the vegetarians that ask how I’ve done it. (I work at a college campus and this campus is crawling with them). A friend of mine who ran a marathon on a vegetarian diet, lost weight (running a marathon of course) but then gained it back as soon as she stopped ,running wanted to know why I have been able to keep it off…without RUNNING.

    “I eat dead things and lift heavy stuff.”

    No ifs or buts about it. I do.

    So many people have asked and I’ve recommended the movie Fat Head and the book Wheat Belly. SO hopefully having people see others who had been successful will trump the crazy crap being fed to us by “experts.”

    My boyfriend is an ivyleague educated scientist….and lucky for me he explains why certain things that hit the paper regarding science could be biased, so since dating him I now look at studies reports of drinking more 1% milk with a grain of salt!

    Btw, I AVOID any kind of milk like the plague. I stopped drinking it at the ripe old age of 3. against my mother’s wishes. Why? I have no idea but I think even then I had horrible discomfort but just couldn’t voice it properly.

    I remember being in school and being forced to drink the milk(thanks dairy industry, no milk for me even though I will EAT the whole cow. Fair trade for me!) by my teacher and called wasteful if I didn’t.

    I would suffer from cramps, gas(so bad I had a horrible nickname in school) diarrhea, bloating.

    when I was old enough where I could make my own decisions all that disappeared(except for the bloat which giving up grains finally banished for me!)

    I recently volunteered at my son’s school and sat with my son who drinks regular milk just fine!Two pieces of cheese cheese pizza, capri sun and “healthy” whole grain 100 calorie snack packs. ( I wanted to cry.)

    My son did not partake in the school lunch but he was chugging his milk like no tomorrow.(AM SO Glad that he does not take after me in that regard!). He loves regular milk and in fact, I sometimes feel I have to force him to sit at the dinner table and at least try to eat because the boy is never hungry after drinking regular milk.

    He’s also VERY skinny.

    I try to do paleo.still new to it, and I think some paleos limit their consumption of dairy) and I don’t do milk but as I said above, I will eat the heck out of a cow. I just end up in the bathroom 30 min after drinking straight milk.

    although I can eat full fat cottage cheese and FULL fat yogurt(why are those so hard to find????) with less effects. Still a little gassy but no diarrhea with those products than just drinking milk(too much info, I know) but in situations where my cravings lead to it, I go for those dairy produts.

    I also do not limit my son to his fav beverage. Especially when he has no desire for sodas, juices or the wheat stuff….at all. He can have his full fat milk and I am fine with that.

    What kind of kid turns up his nose at pizza???? My son does. Although if he wants to eat the sausage off the pizza that is fine. He’s definately not a crust person like his mother used to be and that makes me happy! He’s also not tricked by those 100 calorie snack packs this his classmates where chomping down on and is not a fan of fruit juices.

    Lucky me!

    ok, going to down full fat COCONUT milk now! Yum!

    You should hear the remarks when I tell people I drink coconut milk…and the comments I get are from VERY educated people from the almost Ivie league university where I work. “Doesn’t that have alot of fat?? How in the world did you lose weight on that.”

    They ask me that while eating a “healthy” whole grain bagel with a “healthy” 16 oz juice on the side as their beverage of choice.”

    Uh….hmm….could it be the fat helping me? People want to deny even when given PROOF in the shape of an actual person who has done it.

    I will continue to be an ambassador for this lifestyle. In fact I hope to enter a bikini competition soon and definitely will be talking about how great this way of eating is…not just for health measures, but for my own vanity!

    If vanity drives you to adopt a healthy lifestyle, it’s still a healthy lifestyle.

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