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January 20, 2011

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Danube of Thought

Saltzmann and Willett seem to be describing the theory behind the South Beach Diet, which I endorse wholeheartedly.

Rob Crawford

an American diet high in beef and meat is not sustainable and achievable for the whole world

Why?

Jack is Back!

DoT,

Ditto on South Beach but not the super charged version. I am currently trying out the recipes in Travis Stork's "Lean Belly Diet". Not bad. More liberal breakfast plus he allows fruit. I like the fact he has you cook a big dinner so you have left- overs for the lunch recipe the next day. Also I like recipes in Cooking Light magazine.

Rob Crawford

And there are many sources on paleolithic diets, where the logic is that we should eat what our forebears got by on for the first 500,000 years of human development and eschew this new-fangled stuff.

MMmmmmm... carrion!

anduril

OK, how about this, then: h/t to me.

Here's a Big Government solution to the problem of high carb diets. We get the USG to take over the Great Plains, kick out the farmers and return them to what they were originally: a vast open range producing high quality low fat protein in the form of bisons and antelopes. We harvest them for food, and stop feeding high carb grains to domestic animals to make high fat meat.

anduril

Uh, I meant, return the Great Plains to what they were originally, not the farmers.

Rob Crawford

Seriously, though, would somebody cut through all the GD noise?

I know what's worked for me in the past -- calorie counting, low-fat.

I know what I've not been able to stick to in the past -- calorie counting, low-fat.

What is out there that will work that I can stick to?

Charlie (Colorado)

And for right-wingers who want more red meat, ....

which is pretty much what the diet results recommend.

anduril

high protein, high fat. the human body loves fat--feed it good fat backed up with high quality protein and low carb veggies and greens.

word count: 25

Charlie (Colorado)

BONUS BLOOD PRESSURE INCREASE: If science can go so awry on a topic such as our national diet, how much confidence do they deserve on a topic such as global warming, hmm? An obvious rejoinder would be "Waddya mean, 'they'? Surely these are different scientists using different tools and facing different issues". Well, yes, and stop calling me 'Shirley'.

Exactly, and the mechanism was pretty much exactly the same. A few scientists, some of whom already had a good idea of what they wanted to recommend, got results. They parleyed those results into tenured positions and began to dominate the publications in the field; it became harder to publish, or even to get grants, for anything contradictory. After a while, the "consensus" becomes codified in government regulations.

NK

TM-- careful with this stuff, follow your own skepticism. I fought the fat wars for years; it was only when I went on a strict low calorie/low carb food plan in 2009 PLUS a lot of aerobic exercise that I dropped the 75 lbs of fat. In 2010 I gained back about 12bs, and have doped about 10 of those, and plan to drop another ten.For Me, LOW carb is vital-- i can eat a lot more protein and fat calories without weight gain. BUT this whole issue is so personal to genetics, lifestyle etc, the only generalization is if you eat too many calories you get fat. The hundreds of details for each individual have to be addressed-- well individually. On you general point, I think you're right, America got fat 1980-2000 by eating "Fat Free" white flour snacks and drinking "diet Coke" AND becoming totally sedentary.

Charlie (Colorado)

I know what I've not been able to stick to in the past -- calorie counting, low-fat.

Exactly. NO ONE, or almost no one, can stick to a diet that puts them in a state of perpetual marginal starvation. What's worse, low-fat diets are almost inevitably high-carb diets (try to eat lots of protein and still stay at 10 calories from fat, go on, I dares ya) which enhances insulin production, and tells your body to store more fat -- making you even more hungry.

(Another) Barbara

South Beach is to nutrition/diet as "independent moderate" is to politics.

I and many others would handily gain weight on South Beach's generous amounts of grains and fruit and my innards would be wrecked by the wheat it permits. That white flour is wicked and whole wheat flour is good is almost assuredly incorrect.

Gary Taubes, Gary Taubes, Gary Taubes!

Chubby

There's a complementary trend in the pet food industry to get cats and dogs off kibble type diets, which is high carbs, and back to their natural meat-based diet.

NK

Rob Crawford-- MEDIFAST food plan; soy based, low carb, very low calorie, 1 meat/salad meal per day -- 1200-1300 total calories per day. Coupled with light aerobic exercise, you'll 4-5lbs per week(for men) 2-3 lbs per week for women. Takes all of the counting and judgment out except for one prepared meal. Difficult, but if you follow the plan IT WORKS!

Anduril's 25 words are good maintenance advice after you've lost the weight.

Chubby

It's quite amusing at the supermarket to see the skinnies' carts full of candy, junk food, pasta, etc,. while the fatties' carts are full of diet coke, lettuce, and Hollywood bread.

Chubby

((MEDIFAST food plan; soy based, low carb, very low calorie, 1 meat/salad meal per day -- 1200-1300 total calories per day.)0

oh sure, and after 3 days, a binge on cake, cookies, chocolate, and the tablecloth.

NK

Chubby-- that's a problem. I stayed on the program for 20 weeks, lost 70 lbs. Funny thing, once you're in the habit it tends to stick, and I lost my craving for simple carbs. For me simple carbs and sweetened drinks (diet coke) are the enemy. Black coffee, protein and green veggies in copious amounts are friends.

anduril

Someone help me with this. Steve Cohen, (D, TN) compared the GOPers to Nazis. How does that fit in with the "blood libel" broo-ha-ha?

Let's see. If GOPers don't get to compare accusations of fomenting massacres by comparing such baseless accusations to the blood libel charge against Jews...

How do Dems get away with comparing GOPers to Nazis for suggesting that government health care never works?

There's something wrong here, but my head hurts when I try to work it all out.

NK

Ok Anduril-- who are you and what have you done with An-Drool?! you've made 2 sensible (and brief) comments on this thread.

anduril

Olive oil is a great way to get high quality fat, but there are lots of other ways, too. I used to take a salad to work every day: romaine (about as good for you as spinach), tomatoes, red onions and any left over meat--sausage, pot roast, steak, chicken, you name it. We do most of our cooking with olive oil. It makes no diff to me, eggs, whatever. Peanut butter--great protein, great fat, great snack.

anduril

Three. See, you can't keep up. And did you follow my h/t link? We coulda had this conversation weeks ago.

anduril

Cute comment at BOTW:

ObamaCare is now under attack on two fronts. By a vote of 245-189, the House yesterday approved the Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act. A day earlier, as the Associated Press reports, six more states--Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Ohio, Wisconsin and Wyoming--joined the lawsuit in Florida federal court seeking to overturn ObamaCare. This brings the total number of state-government plaintiffs to 26, which is nearly half of the 57 states and a majority of the 50.

Charlie (Colorado)

... the only generalization is if you eat too many calories you get fat.

Problem is that's not supported by the experimental data -- induced-obese rats, for example, can starve to death and still have substantial body fat. But people on low-carb diets lose weight even eating freely.

What is apparently true -- and I'm seeing it right now -- is that insulin resistance can make it harder and harder to get into the metabolic zone where the body uses stored fat to make glucose, which is the state in which you lose weight. I've been really going hardcore for a week or so, taking glucometer readings 3-4 times a day, and have discovered I need to almost completely eliminate carbs: between 5-10 g/day. Last night, experimentally, before dinner my blood glucose was 105 mg/dL. Ate meat, glucose stayed the same. Ate a salad with a whole dozen grape tomatoes, glucose went up to 125 mg/dL. That's around 25 g carbs.

On the other hand, I've lost a clean 15 lbs. I'm also noticing improvements in mood, and I don't find myself needing a midafternoon nap.

Charlie (Colorado)

Someone help me with this. Steve Cohen, (D, TN) compared the GOPers to Nazis. How does that fit in with the "blood libel" broo-ha-ha?

hell, he even brought up blood libels.

anduril

Here's an easy peasy way to get great protein and great fat: kippers. I have 'em for breakfast 3x a week, plus fish for dinner at least once. Just peel the top off the tin and dig in with a cocktail fork. No carbs.

Ignatz

Reading a thread like this makes me count my blessings rather my calories that, like my dad, I can shovel just about any amount of anything into the ol' gob and the furnace just burns it up.

NK

Charlie-- good luck with your weight loss. Sounds like you have personalized your eating habits. 2 more bits of unsolicited advice, stay in touch with your doctor, and long-term, moderation is key.

Chubby

NK

To me the test is, can you do it for life? From my standpoint, it is not realistic to place a permanent moratorium on Black Forest cake or chocolate eclairs.

I grew up with a very diet conscious mother and at an early age developed many phobias about food which I am trying to overcome by a moderate approach to a bit of everything. My brother on the other hand drank copious amounts coke, ate ice cream by bucket, and never feared to pig out on junk food. Guess who has the diet issues?

Chubby

Ignatz, didn't you mention a few posts back that your wife had changed something in the quality of your meals?

lyle

Bizzaro anduril?

NK

Chubby-- Life --hopefully-- is he long haul. Once someone is back to their proper weight, life long eating and exercise plans have to be followed. For me moderation is the key some carbs but not much and copious exercise. Everyone has to find what works for them because we areall at different points of the bell curve.

Cheers

Ignatz

--Ignatz, didn't you mention a few posts back that your wife had changed something in the quality of your meals?--

Yeah, Chubby. Our daughter and I both for years suffered from periodic bacterial sinus infections which often required antibiotics to get rid of, so wifey cut out any refined carbs and, bingo, they went away.
I did lose about twenty pounds when we changed over but have put back on about ten. We didn't change for weight purposes; at 6'3" and my peak of 225 I was still fairly slim. Now I'm a steady 215.

clarice

It's true the upside down food pyramid was a disaster. OTOH as the November Atlantic article confirmed nutritional research is terribly unscientific and unreliable.

Probably nothing so much as the poor advice doctors were handing out to deal with the largely manufactured cholesterol scare succeeded in plumping the country up.There is no study worth relying on that ever correlated high fat diets with high cholesterol and the cholesterol-heart disease link isn't much more definitive, but we are all on statins the long term effect of which is unknown and some of us (like me) took unhealthy and unnecessary hormone replacement meds on the false promise that it prevented heart disease.

Eat what makes you happy and do it in moderation--

As for this an American diet high in beef and meat is not sustainable and achievable for the whole world

And organically farmed food is?
The unending stream of eco-bunkum is so amusing.

anduril

Bizzaro anduril?

Don't be silly. People who think they know me--don't. They have their preferred narratives that make them feel comfortable, that's all.

Anyone who followed my h/t link would have found a link to this thought provoking article: Do Cholesterol Drugs Do Any Good?

Most important, the statin trials of people without existing heart disease showed no reduction in deaths or serious health events, despite the small drop in heart attacks. "We should tell patients that the reduced cardiovascular risk will be replaced by other serious illnesses," says Dr. John Abramson, clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School and author of Overdosed America.

In its written response, Pfizer did not challenge this key assertion: that the drugs do not reduce deaths or serious illness in those without heart disease. Instead, the company repeated that statins reduce the "risk of death from coronary events" and added that Wright's analysis was not published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

...

What would work better? Perhaps urging people to switch to a Mediterranean diet or simply to eat more fish. In several studies, both lifestyle changes brought greater declines in heart attacks than statins, though the trials were too small to be completely persuasive. Being physically fit is also important. "The things that really work are lifestyle, exercise, diet, and weight reduction," says UCLA's Hoffman. "They still have a big NNT, but the cost is much less than drugs and they have benefits for quality of life."

It's a long but very worthwhile read. Bottom line? The bottom line. Big Pharma makes a helluva lot of money off drugs that are of dubious positive value and have significant side effects. And that's one of the things driving health care costs up.

jimmyk

an American diet high in beef and meat is not sustainable and achievable for the whole world.
[RC]
Why?

Good question. This is probably based on the same sort of bogus extrapolation that takes resources and technology as fixed, as though a big increase in meat consumption wouldn't prompt changes in prices and land usage.

I've heard Club of Rome types talking about how it takes thousands of calories worth of grain to produce 500 calories of meat, so if we'd all just become vegetarians, we could end starvation, etc., etc. I always point out to them that you could make similar arguments about cars versus bicycles, never mind whether meat is better or worse for you than grains.

I always keep going back to Julian Simon, who convinced me that physical resources get cheaper as we get wealthier, because we figure out ways to use less of them. That might not apply to meat: It might get more expensive if everyone in the world became as wealthy as Americans, but in that scenario everyone could afford more expensive meat.

anduril

I should add re these studies, the point is that there are lots and lots of people with "high" cholesterol but zero signs of heart disease. Doctors are pushing drugs on these people despite the FACT that no study shows that doing so will reduce the incidence of heart attacks in people who don't have any signs of heart disease. Unless you take it as an article of faith that "high" cholesterol is a sign of heart disease. If you do, you need to read Taubes or any number of other reputable authors.

anduril

an American diet high in beef and meat is not sustainable and achievable for the whole world.

That's the beauty of my BG plan: we can export bison and antelope meat to the world. Well, maybe. I haven't worked out the numbers.

Frau Steingehirn

"And organically farmed food is?
The unending stream of eco-bunkum is so amusing."

You have that right, clarice. Decades ago in Germany, the produce was indeed organic which meant that it was riddled with bugs and blemishes. A head of endive or cauliflower often needed to be soaked in salt water to get rid of the aphids. Fruit was truly seasonal and vegetables, with the exception of kale, didn't improve over the long winter. Cabbage could be yellow and stinky. Potatoes turned to mush in the basement. That was what made the "new" potatoes in spring a festival along with asparagus, with butter über alles.

Frau Steingehirn

Thanks, TM, for summarizing the latest Taubes book which I read last week. You made it even more concise. I followed your Mark's Apple link and note that the next Primal seminar will be in early Feb in El Segundo, CA (I hope not under the LAX flight path). February is usually a good month in SoCa unless the winter rain storm hits.

Charlie (Colorado)

Here's an easy peasy way to get great protein and great fat: kippers. I have 'em for breakfast 3x a week, plus fish for dinner at least once. Just peel the top off the tin and dig in with a cocktail fork. No carbs.

Where can you find good kippers in this country?

Charlie (Colorado)

Charlie-- good luck with your weight loss. Sounds like you have personalized your eating habits. 2 more bits of unsolicited advice, stay in touch with your doctor, and long-term, moderation is key.

Oh yeah -- happily, since I did my PhD in a medical school, I can talk to him like an adult. And I firmly believe in moderation, even in moderation.

Frau Steingehirn

Ah, now you want *good* kippers. There's no pleasing you, ChaCo, Laura Calder being an exception.

anduril

I get King Oscar kippers at the supermarket, but you can buy them by the case from Amazon: King Oscar Kipper Snacks, 3.25 Ounce Tins (Pack of 18). There are also other brands.

I can't stand sardines, but I love kippers. I like herring other ways, too, as well as many other types of fish (esp. salmon). The nice thing is they're more or less at the bottom of the food chain, so you can eat them in just about any quantity you like.

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vjnjagvet

I was a victim of the hi-carb lo-fat diet. I had bypass surgery in 1980 and was told to go on a lo-fat diet. Carbs were ok and naturally where most of my calories came from. By 1991, I was diabetic and had to have a redo of the bypasses. Three years later, I had a Berkely Labs test of my blood makeup and discovered that I had a genetic predisposition to diabetes and heart disease. For me, the diet advice in 1980 was precisely the worst diet I could have been on.

After switching diets, although I still had diabetes, all of my markers (HDL and LDL cholesterol, fats, etc.) became normal for the fist time in 30 years.

The diets that turned me around were Sugar Busters, modified Atkins and South Beach all of which are similar.

From my experience, Taubes is right on. But just because it works for me doesn't mean it works for everyone.

NK

Charlie -- we are on the same page, but remember...

"moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." Barry Goldwater

NK

Charlie-- we are on the same page, but remember....

"moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." Barry Goldwater

ARC: Brian

I've tried the low-carb diets, Atkins, etc. And I get mean! After 2 days, my body absolutely CRAVED sugar. I was like a 3 pack a day smoker who quit cold turkey.

I lost weight, but my sanity couldn't keep it up.

It's probably a sign that that's what I should be doing, but I absolutely hated it.

clarice

ARC--Try things like Carbquik to make pancakes and biscuits and such--very low carb and you will not taste the difference.
Try Dreamfields pasta..excellent and only 5 digestible carbs per serving.
Substitute berries for pineapple and cherries. You won't know the difference.

And when you go out to eat, try sharing dessert--a forkful or two is usually enough so you won't feel so deprived.
If you like rice, try brown rice or black rice, the latter is very high protein and delicious--I make the two together.

Even if you don't stay on Atkins you can gradually and permanently reduce your carb content in a way that is less odious.

Bill in AZ sez it's time for Zero to resign
And for right-wingers who want more red meat, one can cast a bit of blame on hair-shirt environmentalists who noted (probably correctly) that an American diet high in beef and meat is not sustainable and achievable for the whole world.

Interestingly, speaking of Globull Warming, WattsUpWithThat carried several guest posts recently by Willis Eschenbach regarding this topic. Here is one of them, and you can find the others by searching for taubes and wattsupwiththat because taubes gets mentioned in the comments sections.

He puts some thoughtful back-of-the-envelope numbers together to push against the "unsustainable" conventional wisdom that drives some of this.

Bill in AZ sez it's time for Zero to resign

ARC - another thing to try: I think it was somewhere around chapter 22 of Taubes Good Calories, Bad Calories where he kind of puts it all together all of the associations between sugar, insulin, and fat. Sugar will cause nightmares after that and you will be cured. It did for me, anyway.

Jack is Back!

The one thing Agaston is correct about - cut out alchohol to start a low carb/high protien diet. He says first 2 weeks but i say for duration. Well, Okay, DoT, you can still have your two martinis but not three!

jimmyk

I suspect it's not necessary to go cold turkey on sugar and carbs (as in Atkins phase I) to get benefits. But I've had the opposite experience: I have to eliminate sweets almost entirely, because one bite of chocolate and it's all over, I can't stop myself from having more.

anduril

Wow! I was so impressed with this beautiful photo, Vermilion Cliffs, that I looked the town up on Wikipedia: Colorado City, Arizona. What a read!

anduril

jimmyk, cold turkey is for when you need to lose lots of weight--not just ten or twenty pounds. you can often lose moderate amounts by doing simple things like cutting out sweet rolls, deserts, bread, potatoes and bananas. you simply won't find enough things to make up for those that you'll want to eat in sufficient quantities to maintain your weight--and so you lose. but what you've done, of course, is cut both carbs and total calories. win-win.

Buford Gooch

I went on the Adkins Diet years ago, along with my wife, to prove to her it couldn't work. The first thing I did was buy ten pounds of bacon. I chopped up and then fried the entire ten pounds (it just fills a one gallon Ziplock). I ate steaks, eggs, bacon, etc in copious amounts. I was determined to show her that calories were what mattered. I lost 30 pounds, and my lipid count dropped like a stone. I was shocked. We stayed on that diet or a few years. I never felt better. Finally got terribly bored with it, and quit. I gained back about half of the weight, but I know that I can lose it again if I choose to.

As to the getting irritable, I did. It was like when I quit smoking. Same withdrawal symptoms. They went away after a couple of weeks, though.

Danube of Thought

Sad to say, the third Martini is gone from my life, undoubtedly forever. Too much to get on board in my dotage.

matt

One reason the world will never eat the same way as we do is that @ 1/6 of them are Hindus and don't eat beef.

The yellow star referred to in the upper left corner of Princess Shopping Cart's dress referred to 2-3 threads back represented the Chinese flag. After reading all of the hoopla about said dress, I am convinced that if she wore an outfit made of leftover polyester plaid remainders, the media would still flip. The Empress' new clothes.

I will have you know that there are far fewer carbohydrates and sugars in Bombay Sapphire than in most other alcoholic beverages.

(Another) Barbara

Everyone who switches to a very low carb way of eating goes through something like you experienced ARC. How long did you continue before giving up? For most of my family and other low-carbers I know, the bad temper, fatigue, cravings for sugar and grains persisted for from only about one to three weeks -- a month at the longest. Once you tough that out, though, you'll be so over it and will feel 20 years younger, incredibly vigorous, and the cravings will disappear. Now, when I see bread on a table, it looks no more like food to me than does the floral centerpiece.

ImLovinIt

Your ideal weight is not what you ask your doctor because hes just going to say your fat and thats why your sick.Can metsequioa be eaten?

Army of Davids

irony.

The 2009 Nobel Peace prize winner hosting for dinner the guy who is holding the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner in jail.

Wonder if Anderson Cooper caught this?

clarice

You could just smear your bodies with Albolene and wrap yourselves in saran wrap for bit.


BTW I do hope Caro will be covering the Sundance Festival for us. I forgot it takes place in her town.

Danube of Thought

My heart guy says a man should weigh what he weighed at age 21. Very discouraging.

MarkO

These things I know. If you run 6 miles a day, you can eat about anything you wish and attain and keep a desired weight.

I have never seen a picture of a fat soldier who was part of the Bataan Death March. Likely they were followed by fat rats who had likewise been starved.

Whatever happened to the "grapefruit" diet? These pile up like discarded deities.

Jack is Back!

MarkO,

What about the Twinkie diet or the Sauerkraut diet? I would probably keep barfing until I lost 20lbs.

Thomas Collins

I've never studied carefully nutrition literature, but the way I feel three or four hours after eating is consistent with the studies mentioned in this thread. When I eat tabooleh, muhamarra, sweet potatoes, meat, whole grain pasta and whole grain crackers, eggs, bluefish with mustard, lemon sauce and spices, bacon, and drink water and unsweetened cranberry juice, I feel great three or four hours later. If I eat regular potatoes, non-whole grain bread, pastries, and fruit juice other than unsweetened cranberry juice, I don't feel as well. I have no idea what it means, but when I eat a few pieces of candy that tastes sugary I feel a lot better than when I eat a dinner including mashed potatoes and non-whole grain bread.

I make an exception on my no drinking fruit juice other than non-sweetened cranberry juice policy for red wine. That always makes me feel just fine.

MarkO

The Twinkie diet is a complete defense to murder.

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vjnjagvet

Ditto on the unsweet cranberry juice, TC. A splash of that in a pint of soda water tastes better to me than any soft drink. Trader Joe's stocks it at $3.45. Knudsen at Kroger is $7.00. It pays to shop.

Thomas Collins

Yes, Jim, I too buy it at Trader Joe's. And I love it with soda water. I am so used to drinking it that regular fruit juice, even if unsweetened, seems too sweet.

Frau Steingehirn

Why do Asians get away with little meat and great quantities of white rice? Not all of them are sumo wrestlers.

Frau Steingehirn

AoD - you have an excellent question for Mr. Fibbs.

Frau Steingehirn

The New White House Pie Diet: you have to give up most of your pie to others.

Danube of Thought

When I was 40 I was running 30-35 miles a week and I ate and drank everything I wanted, with pecan pie a la mode my nightly staple for dessert. Lean as a whippet.

Janet

The New White House Pie Diet: you have to give up most of your pie to others.

LOL!

stace

Tom, I've been following Mark's Daily Apple since Aug 2009.

I lost 50 lbs, got out of Metabolic Syndrome, and ditched my BP meds, all fairly painlessly. I really think Paleo is the way to go, and Mark makes it easy to do. Oddly enough, I stumbled on his site through a random commenter at Ace's, and I'm so glad I did.

stace

I read Taubes' first book cover to cover, and throughout the whole thing I kept thinking: this is what the climate scientists are doing.

Charlie (Colorado)

I've tried the low-carb diets, Atkins, etc. And I get mean! After 2 days, my body absolutely CRAVED sugar. I was like a 3 pack a day smoker who quit cold turkey.

Brian, my experience in previous iterations suggests that means your blood sugar is getting too low. The solution is eat more, and more often.

This time, when my blood sugar is being intractable, I really am not having lots of cravings.

HeatherRadish

Why do Asians get away with little meat and great quantities of white rice?

Thin people don't like to hear this because it takes away from their smug, but there's a genetic component to weight, like there is for height ("You're just short because you lack willpower!")

Joe Y

The chocolate deprivation is brutal. I've found that Ghirardelli's Intense Dark Midnight Reverie (86% cacao) is the crucial survival tool. For a 250 calorie serving, fairly low carbs: 15grams overall, but only 5 grams from sugar (not corn syrup, etc.), 25g fat and 3g protein, but the flavor is so intense, I usually only have 1/2 - 3/4 of a serving, with no sugar rush or insatiable craving afterward. As a bonus, the dark chocolate is a beneficial flavanoid.

Orson

The problem with the Paleo-craze among certain Right-wingers (just google Objectivist and Hsieh) is that instead of actual empirical evidence, untested deductions about evolution are used to rationalize high protein-low carb diets.

Actual empirical evidence, using contemporary groups, instead favors the Mediterranean diet - diverse proteins, carbs, fresh fruit and vegetables, olive oils and wine ad high Omega-3 fatty acids - for a healthy brain and longevity. And since frequent and dominating ice ages pushed early mankind to tropical zones, this also makes more consistent evolutionary sense, too

In short, our paleo-ancestors died early from a lack of good sources of diverse calories, which contemporary comparative evidence supports - not high meats and fats, unless one's ancestors lived in high and cold latitudes like the Eskimo.

harrjf

JIB said: "I like recipes in Cooking Light magazine"

Me too. But I always want to gunk'em back up. Fat = Taste.

Charlie (Colorado)

I have never seen a picture of a fat soldier who was part of the Bataan Death March. Likely they were followed by fat rats who had likewise been starved.

Mark, the thing is, those guys didn't keep the weight off either.

Honest, the new book is perfectly readable. The older book has all the sources, but in general the point is not that you can lose weight on a semistarvation diet (1200 kcal/day or less) or on those mono-food (thjere's a better word but I can't think of it) diets like grapefruit and sauerkraut and cabbage soup. But almost no one can keep it off.

The traditional diet model is fine except for three things: it doesn't explain why people are getting fatter, it doesn't predict well what happens when people do a low calorie (much less high carb low-fat) diet, and it doesn't offer any particular hope of providing a long-term solution.

Jim Rhoads a/k/a vjnjagvet

Surely it can't be that Orson argues that it is only "right wingers" that find Taubes' theories interesting and worthy of consideration. Nah.

Charlie (Colorado)

Why do Asians get away with little meat and great quantities of white rice? Not all of them are sumo wrestlers.

That's actually in the book too, gnädige Frau. What we think of as the "Asian diet" has very much less refined sweet stuff than ours does, and essentially no refined fructose. But as more have become available, the Chinese and Japanese are increasingly having the same issues we are.

Charlie (Colorado)

The problem with the Paleo-craze among certain Right-wingers (just google Objectivist and Hsieh) is that instead of actual empirical evidence, untested deductions about evolution are used to rationalize high protein-low carb diets.

Orson, Paul's a friend of mine and an MD. He's quite qualified to examine a paleo diet on its own, and no, Objectivism has nothing to do with it.

And you might look at Taubes' book for information about Med diets: short form is that the Med diet doesn't actually include vast quantities of refined carbs. Eating lots of meat isn't the key -- not eating lots of easily available carbs is.

Danube of Thought

Well. Michael Fumento has much to say about Mr. Taubes and his book, and it ain't pretty.

http://www.fumento.com/fat/reason.html

Donna V.

I'm in my 50's and have lost 32 pounds since last February. And I didn't count calories or deprive myself of entire food groups. I try to eat balanced meals, with SMALL portions of meat and butter and fats, lots of vegetables, a piece or two of fruit, and a bowl of cereal or a couple of slices of bread every day. I have 1 -2 of glasses of wine with dinner and eat a small piece of dark chocolate for dessert every evening. I drink lots and lots of water all day long and walk for 40 minutes to an hour daily (I started out walking 20 minutes per day and working my way up.)

Increased exercise and PORTION CONTROL is what really did the trick, not declaring sugar, or fat, or carbs the evil enemy. Have your piece of cake at the birthday party - but not a piece the size of a brick. Enjoy one or even 2 small slices of pizza, not 3 or 4. I had one of my very infrequent Big Mac Attacks about a month ago, but instead of getting a Big Mac, I got a cheeseburger - and that satisfied my burger craving. I weigh my portions and read the nutritional information on the bags/boxes. If it says a serving of tortilla chips is 12 chips, I count out 12 chips, instead of just dumping a bunch into a bowl. If I do overindulge, I walk a little bit longer the next day. I take the stairs now or park further away from the entrance at stores than I once did. I managed to lose 2 pounds in December, a month when I usually gain, and it's not because I refused to eat Christmas cookies. I just didn't eat a whole plate of them. Making a conscious effort to eat very slowly and savor what you're eating helps also.

I don't think the inverted food pyramid is what has made Americans so fat. There are plenty of reasons, but one big one is that we've lost sight of what a reasonable portion of food is. Hey, we're Americans! We don't want a dainty little filet mignon, we want a half a cow on a plate, with a mountain of fries and a soda big enough to bathe in! And of course, the chain restaurants are happy to oblige.

I started losing weight when I stopped thinking in terms of diets, good or bad foods, no-carbs, no-fats, no sugar, etc. and started thinking in terms of simply eating more healthily without getting too nutsy and obsessive about it and permitting myself to eat "bad" foods every now and then. Moderation, the golden mean, is the hardest concept in the world for Americans (including me!) to grasp, but that's what seems to be working well for me, at any rate.


PTL

So people have been eating the wrong foods.
How come the same people are living longer?
Because they enjoy the foods they eat. Ever
see a happy vegetarian or a smiling runner?

Tom of the Missouri

There is a lot of bad information in the above comments stated as facts. I suggest strongly to the people that have not read both of Taubes' nutrition books to do so before you make any more claims of how to lose weight. I also suggest following up with the blogs and books of Lorain Cordaine the paleo guy and Dr. Michael Eades, the protein guy, who are both great at reinforcing in great detail what Tabues is basically saying

Some obvious fallacies from above:

Supposed fact: Exercise make you lose weight, makes you healthier and makes you live longer.

Truth: According to Taubes's years of study of the scientific literature there is no scientific evidence of any of the above. Exercise does though make you stronger which is useful for some people (lumber jacks or football lineman for example), makes you hungrier which offsets any wieight loss. Also, with out getting into detail, did you ever hear of those athletes and long distance runners who drop dead from heart attacks?

Supposed fact: Peanut butter and just about any fat is great for you.

Truth: Eades and Cordain are great on this topic. I suggest you read up on the various types of fats. Omega-3, Omega-6, Saturatuated Fat, Trans Fat. Not all fats are created equal. Some are essential. Some are downright dangerous. Some are are dangerous in the wrong ratios and quantities. Have you heard all the advice about fish oil. They are right, it is Omega-3. Peanut butter, is a legume which contains toxins and allergens which most react badly to even if you don't know it. Peanunt butter also contains mostly Omega-6 fats, which are bad if not offeset by enojght Omega-3, etc. Paleo man ate a high percentage of Omega 3's and practially no legumes.

Supposed fact: Fruit and fruit juice is good for you.

Truth: Both are mostly sugar. Fruit juice is like taking sugar with an IV. All creat insulin problem unless in small or moderate quanties.

Supposed fact: Fiber is good for you.

Truth: Again, no scientific evidence. Fiber is just the stuff on plants that is not digestible. If you cut your carbs (i.e., sugar) with fiber it is like cutting your coke with harmless powder, you will get less sugar or less high. This makes it less bad you, not good you. As for the so called aid to digestion, again no evidence. In fact there is evidence that rough fiber can rip apart the linings of your intestines and cause intestinal leakage leading to auto-immune diseases. As a low carber I can testify that no fiber aids disgestion. The effect is unbelievable.

At 55, I also weight 180, close to my 21 year old ideal, and 45 lbs less than when I ate like a normal American. I have no sweet cravings and don't miss the carbs. Also, what I thought was my creeping old age joint pain and various allergies - all gone.

I am just sayin.

A final few points

1. I agree with the posters that say it would not be possible today for the worlds almost 4 billion people to eat low carb. I also agree with the Julian Simon fan and the Nebraska conversion guy, who thinks it could be possible. I think science could easily take us there with genetic engineering if they only knew where we should be going. There are really no insurmountable hurdles to engineering plants to provide us with our essential nutritional needs for they all the ingredients exist in existing plants but insufficient quantities or in the wrong forms.

Donna V.

Danube of Thought: Michael Fumento's book "The Fat of the Land" is excellent. Fumento's target in that book was largely the "no-fat" craze of the '90's that led people to think they could scarf down a whole box of no-fat cookies without harm. But he didn't think very highly of the Atkins diet either, if I remember correctly.

A commenter on a conservative site always takes a risk by mentioning the French approvingly (and normally, I don't), but I found the book "French Women Don't Get Fat" to have lots of good, common-sense advice. (Yes, I realize that French women outside of Paris do get fat and yes, the author's habit of dropping French words in every other sentence irritated, rather than charmed me, but still, let's not toss the bebe with the bathwater.) It was difficult to argue with the author's observation that Americans want to take a heroic and extreme approach to fitness and weight loss than the path of mundane common sense. "Yes, I will sweat away for 2 hours every night on a treadmill and I'll never eat bread or pasta again!" So says the same person who won't walk up 2 flights of stairs to get to the office or park the car at MickeyD's rather than waiting 15 minutes at the drive-thru...And, of course, the 2 hours on the treadmill comes to an end, because it's hell, and so does the sacrifice of bread or pasta, because who the heck wants to live without bread or pasta? And then the next diet book comes out, naming a new dietary villain...

Believe me, I've been there.

qrstuv


I know what's worked for me in the past -- calorie counting, low-fat.

I know what I've not been able to stick to in the past -- calorie counting, low-fat...

Posted by: Rob Crawford | January 20, 2011 at 02:52 PM

the book makes the case that those approaches cannot work long-term due to their effect on your metabolism. Don't blame yourself for not sticking to them; they're inherently bad for you.

Eat protein & fat, ignore calories, and don't go too hungry.

Manuel Transmission

frau, I mentioned on an earlier thread re Taubes that the Chinese I am working with are nearly epidemic on Type 2 diabetes. Even with all the good veggies they eat, there is an ever increasing amount of preferential munching on dumplings, rice, and noodles along with fruit drinks, etc.

As Charlie infers, they surcame (heh) to the rich man's disease.

M. Simon

You guys still falling for the "drugs cause addiction" lie?

Frau Steingehirn

Thanks, Chaco and ManTran. I read my copy of Taubes on my kindle quickly and didn't go back often enough to check on what seemed foggy. TM's intro to the thread today was good and yes, I now remember that Chinese, Eskimos and others are suffering from the white man's bread's evil.

qrstuv

DOT, Fumento is a smart guy, but his critique is NOT a reponse to Taubes's book. It's dated 2003 and is a reponse to the first article that Taubes wrote on the subject.

Good Calories, Bad Calories was the reponse to such criticisms, and it is a detailed, careful review of the scholarly literature.  Taubes noticed that the evidence goes in a different direction from the conventional wisdom, so many researchers would concede the entire argument but still insist on the conventional wisdom. He notes many researches to whom he spoke who disagreed with his conclusions, and others who do agree. Opinion, though, is quite irrelevant.

One thing that stuck in my head is this: eating carbohydrates of any kind raises your blood sugar, causing lots of insulin to be produced. Nobody disputes this, as far as I know. For fat cells, insulin essentially forces them to TAKE IN fuel, rather than releasing it. This is also entirely uncontroversial. 

Elevated blood sugar means that you CANNOT access your fat stores.

skeeter

You know, I remember reading the first ZONE book, and essentially, South Beach, new Atkins, and now this Taubes book is a rehash of Dr. Sears' original zone diet. Calories are not unlimited, but carbs must be high glycemic (i.e. veggies)

Dr. Sears was the first to take on the USDA pyramid, and was summarily trashed for his trouble. However, his studies on performance athletics, specifically UCLA and UTX swim teams, puts some empirical teeth into his assertions. He also did large scale long term studies in Hispanic populations and was able to reverse rampant type II diabetes in San Antonio. (IIRC)

Dr. Sears' later books get more commercial and seem to lose their way a bit - but that first book The ZONE - is now being ripped off without so much as a hat tip.

Sam Jay

"When you eat a glazed doughnut or a serving of mashed potatoes, it turns into blood sugar very quickly. To manage the blood sugar, the pancreas produces insulin, which moves sugar into cells, where it's stored as fuel in the form of glycogen."

The problem with McGuire's description (above) of what happens,ignores the fact that the body stores glycogen in the muscles, which have a very limited storage capacity, expecially if you don't have many muscles. What cannot be stored as glycogen in the muscles is turned into fat and stored as fat. Most of the carbs eaten end up as fat.

cooking tips

The most important thing to remember is not to feel defeated, you need to continue exercising even if you are not able to accomplish as much as you hoped right away. You will eventually get there; you’ll start to feel healthier, and have a sense of pride in your commitment to your health.

AL

The difference between white and whole grain bread, and white and brown rice is minuscule higher amount of fiber ( white flour and even white rice are routinely fortified by minerals and vitamins found in grain epithelia).

Only clinical Harvard-educated retard could say that white bread and white rice are somehow different source of carbs than whole-grain or brown rice.

Jack is Back!

Wow. This thread seems to have stirred the food & diet pot and surfaced a load of new posters and visitors.

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