Leningrad Hypertension Epidemic

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One thing I’ve been keen on since the beginning of my “investigation” is the equal and opposite reaction of the human body to the things you force upon it.

There is no end to the repetitive advice to eat less and exercise more to achieve any number of health benefits. When people with health problems increase their exercise level and decrease their food intake, a number of positives immediately jump into the spotlight…

1) They lose weight! Shazam!

2) Their insulin levels plummet! Ka-Pow!

3) Triglycerides fall off a cliff! Woo-sha! (this exclamation will be familiar to anyone that’s ever been forced to watch the “Verbal Judo” training video)

4) Blood sugar drops (a little bit)! Zowie!

5) And, the subject of today’s jibba-jabba, is that blood pressure drops! Boo-yah!

Of course, things are never quite that simple. If it were, we all could’ve exercised and starved ourselves to good health. But when humans pursue such endeavors, and go to battle with their appetites, the body makes some adjustments to steer you back from whence you came.

There’s no better example of this than Ancel Keys’s marvelous 1385-page opus The Biology of Human Starvation. In a prior post on calorie restriction and weight gain, I revealed some nice graphs showing that body fat decreased, and then increased well above starting levels prior to the 24-week low-calorie period (about 1,600 calories per day).

There’s not much use in lowering your body fat levels by reducing your calorie intake if doing so makes you want to increase your calorie intake while slowing down your metabolism. In fact, the men actually INCREASED their body fat levels by 40% by switching from a low-calorie diet to resuming eating to appetite before slowly losing most of it within the next year. This fat was primarily abdominal fat as well, the type of fat associated with metabolic syndrome.

Overweight people have a similar reaction as well, losing weight with calorie restriction and then, in over 95% of clinically-studied cases, gaining it all back and “bringing some friends along with it.”

Keys discussed blood sugar curves as well, noting that they typically fell during fasting or semi-starvation before spiking to levels higher than they were at the start afterward.

Finally, to add another component to metabolic syndrome’s relation to the aftermath of calorie restriction – Keys discusses this same pattern with blood pressure. When you consume fewer calories, blood pressure falls like there’s no tomorrow. In fact, when I underwent semi-voluntary semi-starvation, my hypotension was so severe that I nearly fainted every time I stood up – a symptom reported amongst all 32 of Keys’s semi-starvation subjects.

But, this blood pressure-lowering effect doesn’t last. In fact, Keys points out some interesting data from the famine in Leningrad when the Nazis blockaded the city and cut off food supplies.

Prior to the famine, hypertension was somewhat common – something like 10% of doctor’s patients. During the famine, that level dropped to just 2%. Oh Jolly Triumphant! Cure hypertension – eat a few bites of stale bread and a slice of the dead guy you went to high school with (you never really liked him much anyway), just keep those calories low!

Fascinatingly, but not surprisingly, Keys reports:

“The substantial improvement of the diet in 1943 was paralleled by an epidemic incidence of hypertension.” 
  
“Before the war patients with hypertension accounted for about 10 per cent of all admissions to the Therapeutic Clinic of the Pavlov First Medical Institute. This proportion dropped during the period of semi-starvation and increased progressively thereafter through 1943. In January 1943 patients with hypertension constituted 20 per cent of the admissions, and by June of that year the figure had risen to 60 per cent.”
  
“Obviously, many factors may have been involved in this epidemic of hypertension in Leningrad, but the outstanding peculiarity of the period was severe semi-starvation for 6 months, followed by refeeding, with the necessity for hard work at all times.”

Those repeating the mantra to eat less and exercise more to cure all that might possibly ail you – hypertension, insulin levels, blood sugar, triglycerides, body fat – yep, ALL the facets of metabolic syndrome, mean well. They do. And data supports that you will in fact improve all of those risk factors for health problems if you do exercise more and eat less.

But this advice remains ignorant of the body’s response to such strategies. It’s like stretching a rubber band and then letting go. And since you don’t just break even in your attempt, but usually make all of your indicators worse given sufficient time, that brisk snap of the rubber band is basically an unabated shot to the groin at point blank range. The consequences are identical to the aftermath of my 2-week vegan diet discussed HERE (updated).

If your body is hungry and tired as hell, it is not making a mistake that you should attempt to correct. It is not wrong and in need of your supreme cognitive reason to step in and show it how to keep itself healthy. If you go to war against yourself – a battle of mind vs. body, let me know so I can go all in on “body.”

Eat better, not less – even if, in the short term, it makes your body fat increase, your triglycerides increase, your blood sugar increase, your insulin increase, and your blood pressure increase. In the vast majority of cases, this is just as temporary as the positive results you might’ve seen doing Jenny C.

And you don’t want LOW blood pressure any more than you want to have hypertension. I’d actually like to see my blood pressure (104/62) come up considerably, and expect it to do so when I begin on the milk diet in a week – as this was consistently reported by milk diet authors to take place in anyone with blood pressure below 120/80 (while ALWAYS returning hypertensives back to normal as well).

41 Comments

  1. Don't ya just love the balancing effects of the milk diet? :)

    I know I used to have very low blood pressure when my adrenals were at their worst. I felt light-headed most of the day and would nearly black out when I stood up (this was at my peak of low-calorie dieting and overexercising while getting very little sleep). Not fun. These days I have no such issues and my blood pressure is strikingly normal and of course no trouble with blacking out any more either.

    Reply
  2. Getting excited about milking it. I've always been good at milking it.

    What I love is, sadly, and in a sick kind of way – being back to 180 after vacation. I totally missed you guys.

    I'd love to hear Collden also share his blood pressure changes while overfeeding as well, as it follows the typical progression to a T.

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  3. But Matt, don't you see that if the Nazis would only have kept up the siege, they all would have dieted themselves to perfect health. If only those German doctors would have had the will power to keep up the treatment.

    j/k

    Anyways, this was an interesting article. I had not heard of these studies before.

    Reply
  4. I've always had very low blood pressure, something nurses remark on as a positive. Same thing with my low body temp. I will never show a fever unless I'm feeling like absolute death.

    These are not good things!

    Saturday is May Day and day one of my great milk experiment.

    We're glad you're back too Matt. I was getting a little weird there last week. I actually came down with a cold. I blame the lack of fresh content on this blog.

    Reply
  5. Yep. Withdrawals. I had some too. Mostly insomnia.

    Reply
  6. "I'd love to hear Collden also share his blood pressure changes while overfeeding as well, as it follows the typical progression to a T"

    Yeah, I was pretty shocked to see my blood pressure drop from like 175/95 three months into the HED, to 130/75 six weeks later, even as I was eating as much as ever. That was the first solid evidence that overfeeding was actually setting things straight in my body, and not just causing damage like the conventional wisdom would have you believe.

    Now on the milk diet (day 20 today) I'm re-experiencing many of the things I first went through the first couple of months on the HED. My blood pressure has risen slightly to 140/80. For the past week I've yet again had low grade headaches throughout the day, though they're beginning to taper off now. And, again, my feet have been aching and tightening up when I'm out walking, even though I haven't gained any weight.

    I'm pretty sure this is temporary, as it was last time, but I do wonder what is happening in the body to cause this, and why I'm experiencing it again now on the milk diet after already having passed through a similar phase on the HED.

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  7. Matt,
    Another interesting blog post. I definitely agree that forcing your body to do something extreme will induce an opposite reaction. This is why it takes great expertise to be able to make major permanent changes in body composition. Expertise is really hard to find, there are only a few people out there who have proven themselves by getting lasting results with many people.

    I would like to see you do some posts on experts that have succeeded in finding methods that work. I would also like to see you post some of the results your followers have achieved using your methods. This will go a long way in validating your methodology.

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  8. Agreed JT. Do you have any experts you personally recommend? Would Scott Abel or Ray Peat be on that list?

    Jenny and Collden, please continue keeping track of results on the milk diet.

    I got a half gallon of raw milk the other day, drank a bunch at first, but now not so much. I'm not sure I'm going to do the milk diet… at least not at the moment.

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  9. Interesting about the feet Collden. I have poor circulation in my legs and notice that I get swelling in my feet sometimes. This isn't really related to HED usually it is a function of how much water I'm retaining which is cyclical but can be made worse by too much salt, flying on planes etc. Crappy circulation is just part of the poor metabolism and something I hope to be rid of eventually.

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  10. Yay, a new post! Welcome back! Although I was able to keep myself occupied by reading thru all the ebooks. I actually found the diabetes and digestion ones to be quite interesting and full of new info, even though I wouldn't have said either of those are problems for me.

    My BP has always been 100/60, something I thought I should be proud of. Now you're telling me no? Hmmm, that requires a mental shift.

    After recovering from a week of major expulsion of forced food and involuntary IF (I still think it was caused by overeating), I haven't been able to go back to choking down extra, and am just eating to appetite. My weight's back down too. But my temps (oral) are staying at 98-ish. I was planning on doing milk soon, but my milk lady decided to wait two months to get her new cow, until after her baby was born. Some people are so selfish…

    Reply
  11. Kramer claimed to have seen PigMan, but I haven't, not recently anyway.
    Have missed your well-carved words Matt, welcome back.
    One of the most important factors in food choice, is perhaps, not in your own hands at all, but dependant on the billions of microbes that call the body home. A recent National Georgraphic article indicated that there are more bugs in the human body than cells. The gut alone is supposedly endowed with up to 2kg of the little fella's.
    One can say that the human being has evolved, so too the microbes. A co-evolved organism of symbiotic allegiance.
    Though, sometimes the tennants get unruly.
    The debate about what role modern foods and treatments play in harmony and health of the organism, pertaining to the proliferation of certain microbial communities, is an interesting one.

    Wattlebird.

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  12. Now on the milk diet (day 20 today) I'm re-experiencing many of the things I first went through the first couple of months on the HED. My blood pressure has risen slightly to 140/80. For the past week I've yet again had low grade headaches throughout the day, though they're beginning to taper off now. And, again, my feet have been aching and tightening up when I'm out walking, even though I haven't gained any weight.

    I'm pretty sure this is temporary, as it was last time, but I do wonder what is happening in the body to cause this, and why I'm experiencing it again now on the milk diet after already having passed through a similar phase on the HED.

    The Milk Diet isn't causing anything, it is cleaning things out and clearing things up.

    Never forget the Milk Diet, while extremely nutrient dense, still has fasting like qualities because because it is liquid food. This is why I worry sometimes about people who embark on the Milk Diet who have no experience in fasting, cuz they simply don't know what to expect.

    Many old school Milk Diet teachers were thoroughly schooled in traditional fasting. Engaging in a single non-interventionist protocol once, whether it is the Milk Diet, overfeeding, or something else, does not necessarily bring complete and total healing the first time around. As your body gets stronger, it sometimes will "dig deeper" if you will to bring more complete healing. Such a process can take place over a number of years. But if you are feeding your body right prior to any symptoms, you can look on this "sickness" as a blessing, not a bad thing.

    If you are feeding your body well, as is the case with the Milk Diet, you are not only providing nutrients so that your body can continue what it started on HED, but you are also providing the typical fasting environment where your body does the same thing (heal) by breaking down unwanted elements in your body for their constituent parts.

    That normally leads to the recurrence of symptoms you may have had when you were sick prior to embarking on any health regime, but this is temporary and a good sign.

    On the Milk Diet, this would not necessarily be a good sign if you have a problem with the milk you are drinking per se, but I am assuming that is not the issue.

    Reply
  13. Thanks Collden. Knew I could count on ya. Congrats on making it 20 days on milk and thanks to Michael for the input. Rosenfelt sounds like he could use a little reassurance as well based on his day 7 video which I finally got around to watching today.

    Wattlebird-

    Thanks for the comment. Interestingly, another book I read on "vacation" (I read several) was George Meinig's Root Canal Cover-up. Very interesting. It's about focal infections in the mouth and tonsils and how these polymorphic bacteria can turn pathogenic and spread all over the body causing degenerative disease. Very excellent read. You might check it out. I hope to do a post on it in May if I get around to it. We'll see.

    JT-

    This year I plan to thoroughly look into Abel as well as Joel Marion and other "refeeders" who are fully aware of the pitfalls of dieting, and have developed methods to sidestep them. I will certainly be focused on ways to help post-HED'ers get lean and get the best of both worlds – as we all want to be both healthy and lean/attractive.

    Reply
  14. Hey Matt good to see you back!

    Long time lurker here. I found something interesting on the Leangains site which I think you are familiar with.

    Look at this amazing transformation

    http://leangains.blogspot.com/2010/04/leangains-inspired-bodyrecomposition.html

    In the post it says that

    "In combination with his substantial daily caloric deficit during the fat loss diet, it's no wonder that his results were lacking. Real results came once he researched strength training, focused on big movements and progressive overloading, and increased his calorie intake. Along with his muscle mass, his strength skyrocketed; for example, his bench went from 135 lbs x 12 to 250 lbs x 8."

    So the guy kept dropping body fat and gained lean mass while he INCRASED his calorie intake. This appears to validate your hypothesis Matt.

    Is it possible that IF is not as bad as it seems for some people? I'm really curious about this since its a diet that comes naturally to me but I'm also afraid that it may be bad for my adrenal health.

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  15. Ya, the milk diet hasn't been the greatest so far. I know I haven't updated a new video in a while but there hasn't been really nothing new. My temperatures have slowly but steadily dropped and my weight has slowly but steadily increased.

    This morning's temperatures were 97.3 under my left armpit and 95.8 under my right armpit. I also now weigh 191.2 which is only 1.2 pounds heavier than what I weighed with HED but a tremendous difference in appearance (more fat and less muscle, probably has some to do with following the rest and relaxation part of the protocol and not working out at all).

    Also, my white thrush is getting exponentially worse, to the point that I have to scrape it every night cause otherwise it psychologically freaks me out lol. So ya, I won't be doing 6 weeks of the Milk diet but I do plan to do at least a month (31 days) and tonight was the end of day 18.

    Reply
  16. Thanks Michael, I was thinking something along that line. I think one of the most important points Schwarzbein ever made was that you can feel great while damaging your body, and likewise feel bad while healing. This is the problem I have with JTs stance that you should always go after how you feel – that can be very misleading, at least in the short term.

    I don't think I have any problems with the milk no, digestion feels fine other than some gas, no bloating or hint of stomach discomfort. About my feet, I haven't noticed any swelling, it feels more like my leg and foot muscles can't keep up all of the sudden and get fatigued very quickly, which could be a case of temporary downregulation I guess.
    My mouth isn't anywhere near as bad now as it was earlier on the milk diet, though maybe it's just that I'm being more careful to rinse with water after every glass of milk now.

    Reply
  17. heeha'heeha'hahehehaehahehaehhheaheaehheheheeheheheahehhaheaehhhaeaehheehhehaeahe'a'ehahehh'aehh'aehahehahehhahea

    troy

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  18. heeha'…. sorry… it is an awesome post matt… i just got blasted tonight!!!! yyyyyyeeeeeeeehaaa!!!

    troy

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  19. bleh… eat lots of potatoes and don't break up with your true love… and play good music!!!!

    troy

    Reply
  20. Very interesting. I've always had super low BP, 90/60, was always told that was a good thing.
    Been lurking here for about a month, doing HED for 3 weeks or so.
    I believe my body temp has risen a bit, from 97.7 to 97.8-97.9.
    I've also gained 3 kilos, but don't feel too much fatter, so maybe it's muscle/organ weight?
    I've never been overweight, my weight has always been 128-130 lbs, even as my diet varied wildly–many years vegetarian, lots of soy, lots of white foods, then WAPF, recently a couple months "primal." Oh, and a 2 or 3 yr bout with anorexia/bulimia in my early 20's, when I went down to 112. I also have three kids (6, 4 and 1), still nursing the youngest.
    I do feel like I need some kind of support, which is why I'm posting here. I live in Brazil (until June), so don't have access to a lot of foods that I would like, plus the quality isn't the best.
    I've been eating a lot of cuscus, which is like a steamed cornbread, made with precooked cornmeal (I think it's like what's used for polenta). Is this a refined grain? The brown rice here is also parboiled.
    What about eating goitrogens? Cabbage, sweet potatoes? I've been eating a ton of these.
    Occasionally I question whether this is a weird cult that I'm getting sucked into, but on the other hand, it makes so much sense! And in any case, it's a relief to not be restricting my food intake. I don't think I even realized how much I was doing that before.
    Thanks for reading.
    Ellie

    Reply
  21. "What about eating goitrogens? Cabbage, sweet potatoes? I've been eating a ton of these."

    As long as you eat those cooked, they shouldn't cause much of a problem. At least in my opinion.

    "Occasionally I question whether this is a weird cult that I'm getting sucked into"

    There's no need to even question that. Matt is our prophets and the potatoe our god. And "Duck Fiets" actually is the mantra for one of our many secret rituals. Also, anyone who is telling you he/she is doing the milk diet for the health benefits is flat out lying. All we're after are the opioid-like dairy proteins to achieve a spritual high just to be closer to the great potatoe. Eventually, we'll all move to Ireland.(I've got too much time on my hands, I know.)

    Reply
  22. @ Golden Papaya: As for the cult question I sensed the same thing on first glance but soon realised 180 is probably anti-cult. Things like Primal are a true cult movement sucking in the helpless who think it is the holy grail for a lean and healthy body and M Sisson is the messiah.

    As for your carb sources they look good but I like Taters of all kind and brown rice best…… As for goitergens madMuhhh has it right, don't sweat em…

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  23. On goitrogens (from the WAPF website)…

    "When raw crucifers are chewed, or when microwaved and steamed crucifers are digested by intestinal bacteria, they release substances called goitrogens that increase the need for iodine when consumed in small amounts and can damage the thyroid gland when consumed in large amounts.

    These goitrogens also inhibit the transfer of iodine into mother's milk.

    Steaming crucifers until they are fully cooked reduces the goitrogens to one-third the original value on average. Since release of the goitrogens from steamed crucifers depends on intestinal bacteria, however, the amount released varies from person to person.

    Boiling crucifers for thirty minutes reliably destroys 90 percent of the goitrogens.

    Fermentation does not neutralize the goitrogens in crucifers. When foods like sauerkraut are consumed as condiments, however, the small amount of goitrogens within them is not harmful if one's diet is adequate in iodine.

    An increased dietary intake of iodine compensates for the consumption of moderate amounts of crucifers but cannot reverse the effects of large amounts of crucifers."

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  24. Blogger madMUHHH said…

    "What about eating goitrogens? Cabbage, sweet potatoes? I've been eating a ton of these."

    As long as you eat those cooked, they shouldn't cause much of a problem. At least in my opinion.

    "Occasionally I question whether this is a weird cult that I'm getting sucked into"

    There's no need to even question that. Matt is our prophets and the potatoe our god. And "Duck Fiets" actually is the mantra for one of our many secret rituals. Also, anyone who is telling you he/she is doing the milk diet for the health benefits is flat out lying. All we're after are the opioid-like dairy proteins to achieve a spritual high just to be closer to the great potatoe. Eventually, we'll all move to Ireland.(I've got too much time on my hands, I know.)

    I heart everything about this post Madmuhh. And Troy, dude just remember that every car is real.

    I just have to share this rant. My son had his early childhood development screening today. (Found out he is abnormally energetic and "rambunctious" and got referrals to specialists who are going to calm him down or something.) I had to fill out a set of forms about his dietary habits and there was one section that was "check this box if your child eats one or more items from this food group on a daily basis: (Cakes, cookies, pies, candy, BUTTER, fried foods). Yes that's right these a-holes who thingk my son is about five minutes away from needing medication think butter is an effing junk food. You could see cartoon steam coming out of my ears. My husband bless him, had to mostly deal with this woman because he was afraid if I spoke there would be no end of my rage. I have a problem with "authoratai" anyway and these people really cheesed me.

    Reply
  25. Jenny – there is a book called "The War Against Boys" by Christina Hoff Summers, published 2000. You might find it interesting and insightful in re to your rambunctious but normal boy and the school system. Just in case you weren't cheesed enough yet.

    Reply
  26. Hi Jenny,
    New here and only posted once before, but I just thought I'd let you know, I feel your pain. This is one of the MANY reasons I homeschool. I am fully aware that homeschooling isn't for everyone, but I want my boys to be allowed to be boys….my kids to be kids. To have time to pretend and play outside and to learn in a way that is best for them. Not to mention avoiding being loaded up on junk food day in and day out. I realize they will get junk and eat it happily, which they do, but for that to be the norm isn't ok with me.

    I am going to check out the book Lorelei mentioned once I get done reading the 180 degree books.

    Reply
  27. "Is it possible that IF is not as bad as it seems for some people?"

    Yes. Fat people.

    Reply
  28. Jenny, I see that kind of thing all the time. It drives me crazy.
    Jaime, I have also considered homeschooling my boys at some point for the reasons you've laid out, among others.
    I have another (kind of random) question. I've been getting these headaches lately about an hour after breakfast. It feels like a lot of pressure in my head. I usually eat 3 eggs, cuscus (steamed cornbread) and butter, then I have a cup of herbal tea (mint or apple). I stopped drinking coffee a few weeks ago with little withdrawal. What the heck is this? I feel like it's diet-related, but who knows.

    Reply
  29. Collden: I'll second you that. Feeling "good" doesn't necessarily mean good health. Having gone through some adrenal stuff myself, I now can differenciate between a genuine feeling of well-being and some kind of overstimulated adrenal high. I think it's important to know the difference, because many people feed off stress and feel good for years before crashing and wondering what happened.

    madMUHHH: LMAO I basically joined this cult because I wanted to move to Ireland eventually anyway. This fits right in with my agenda. ;)

    Jenny: I freaked when I read what you said about butter being on that list. WTF??? This is why we no longer go to the doctor unless it's necessary. I don't think that kind of confrontation would be good for my adrenal health.

    Jamie: We homeschool, too (or unschool to be more accurate), and every day I come across something that reminds me why we're doing it (jacked up nutritional advice being one of them).

    Reply
  30. Golden Papaya -

    By any chance have your headaches more or less coincided with you removing your daily cup o' joe – and more important the caffeine contained within?

    That is a generally sympton of caffeine withdrawl.

    Not that his will come as a surprise to anyone, but my 15 year old brother's primary care physician 'prescribed' sugar-free soda for my brother to drink to combat daily headaches he was getting by way of the aforementioned caffeine. I guess she diagnosed caffeine withdrawl – everyone in my family except for me eats very poorly.

    Once again treating the symptoms and not the underlying condition – do his detriment unfortunately.
    How one could possibly recommend to an over-weight child to drink mor soda is mind-blowing.

    But it's sugar free! SMH.

    Reply
  31. Hmmm…This explains that near-fainting-whenever-I-don't-eat problem I have. Haha.

    The only time my MD told me my blood pressure was too low was when I was on a low-calorie diet. His recommendation? Eat more, and beware of diets. Good advice.

    Matt – I've been an addict of your blog since January. Thank you for helping me reach the highest weight I've ever been in my life. It's way more comfortable. Sometime, once I'm sure the benefits of RRARF aren't a fluke, I might get around to sending you a testimonial.

    madMUHHH – Hahahahahaha. Thanks for the laugh. The great potato is a WAY better deity than, well, paleo porridge. *Thanks the potato for sending prophet Matt to convince me oatmeal isn't poison.*

    Michael – "That normally leads to the recurrence of symptoms you may have had when you were sick prior to embarking on any health regime, but this is temporary and a good sign."

    This scares me. Used to be a suicidal mental case. Had wondered if the Milk Diet would help me achieve greater sanity, but I don't want to go nuts again first. Fasting has always been a disaster for me.

    Jennythenipper – Steam also comes outta my ears when butter is vilified. I watched some nutrition show on BBC recently. This women was eating loads of junk food every day (after failed diet attempts), and was overweight. But what does the voice-over repeatedly draw attention to? The two tablespoons of butter she has on her white bread every day. How HORRIBLE. No WONDER she's so overweight, all that nasty saturated FAT. Yeah…This is why I don't have tv.

    Jamie & Elizabeth – I was homeschooled. Overall, it rocked. :)

    Reply
  32. Anyone here who read the latest primal wisdom post?

    Honestly, especially when considering the information in this post regarding blood pressure and so on, the study seems more like evidence against low-carb and not for it. But maybe, I'm the only one thinking that.

    Reply
  33. I found out I was hypertensive at 21 when on a low-fat, low calorie tons of exercise "health kick". BP does run in the family, but this was the first time it has raised its ugly head for me. 15 years later, still suffering with hypertension, a few extra stones heavier and trying to avoid taking my meds am really hoping that the HED could turn everything around for me and hopefully reduce BP…. (If I could just kick the sugar/fructose habit!!)

    Reply
  34. Thanks for all the encouraging words. I really hope we don't have to homeschool. There is a Waldorf school really close to our house. We are looking into that. Waldorf is cult-like, so already, I'm there.

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  35. I heard you learn to "dance" your name there. ^^ Of course this probably doesn't apply to the US, but the kids coming from the regional Waldorf school definitely are much more f*cked up than us regular students.^^

    Reply
  36. I know some people here who send their kids to the Waldorf school and the kids seem to thrive. It's all a bit woo woo for me, but if the choice becomes Riddlin v. Waldorf v. Homeschool, I can tell you who will win.

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  37. Matt, have you ever come across the Barker theory or the “thrifty phenotype” hypothesis, relating poor nutrition (specifically low caloric intake and low macro and micronutrient intakes) to low birth weight and fetal metabolic programming that sets in place negative metabolic alterations and organ damage that alters disease susceptibility later in life. I think it ties in so well with your method. It is possibly a bit deterministic – and might make alterations in metabolism appear difficult for some based on individual fetal development, or even impossible, if you believe its argument, but it certainly makes for an interesting angle on things. Especially since it seems to me more and more like aspects of pregnancy metabolism are almost analagous to what is trying you are trying to achieve in normal, non-pregnant people – a high BMR, ease of nutrient uptake, ease of digestibility, a tendency to choose energy dense foods that are of desire, an acceptance that some fat mass in the short term at least is somewhat helpful and necessary and so on. But, of course, without the baby at the end. Of course, also, much of it is determined by hormonal changes – but then so might metabolic shifts towards a more stellar metabolism be causing hormonal shifts that boost the path towards an overall better body health. Hmmm.

    Reply
  38. Good to read a new post from you Matt. Most people are going to continue to go contrary to common sense though and continue on starving themselves.

    Reply
  39. What’s wrong with low blood pressure? Mine is 90/60. I eat tons of salt but it never budges. Well, during pregnancy it sometimes reaches 110/70, but that’s as high as I’ve ever seen it.

    Reply
    • It’s a strong sign of a low metabolic rate.

      Reply
      • Ack!!! No wonder I’m so fat :/

        Reply

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