The nutrition world is awash in fish oil worship. Typically, when the entire scientific community, food industry, and more are all singing the praises of an isolated substance or substances (EPA and DHA in the case of fish oil), you can be pretty sure there are some blind spots. And indeed there are.
Omega 3 and Omega 6 are the two predominant types of polyunsaturated fatty acids. These fats play a role in the production of a wide array of important chemical messengers in our body that control everything from inflammation to bronchodilation. Generally-speaking, although there are a couple exceptions that we know of, omega 6 fats lead to the production of more inflammatory molecules, whereas omega 3 tends to lead to the production of more anti-inflammatory molecules.
Omega 3 and omega 6 fats compete in the body more or less, so when there is an excess of omega 6, there is usually?a corresponding increase in tendency’towards?inflammation, bronchoconstriction, vasoconstriction, and so on. Omega 3, with opposite effects, has been shown to help reverse the imbalance, leading to predictable improvements in many conditions.
In reality, neither omega 3 nor omega 6 fatty acids are healthy in and of themselves. They are highly unsaturated fats, which mean they oxidize more easily in our kitchens, in our frying pans, and most importantly–in our tissues and organs. The peroxidation of these polyunsaturated fatty acids leads to the production of nasty chemical compounds in the aldehyde family.
So it’s probably ideal to limit polyunsaturated fat intake (both omega 3 and omega 6)?as much as reasonably possible. The lower your intake of these fats, the more your body begins to produce its own form of polyunsaturated fat, ETA (or Mead Acid as it is also called). While ETA is still a highly unsaturated fat, it does not oxidize as easily, it lowers inflammation, and by all means seems to be a superior choice to the common types of polyunsaturated fats ingested in a typical western diet: EPA, DHA, and especially AA and LA.
I say “probably ideal” because the scientific community is scarcely aware of ETA’s existence, and very little research has been done to confirm its theoretical superiority.
So, if you are eating almost all of your food at home, made from scratch, and you are going to great effort to avoid vegetable oil, pork fat, poultry fat, nuts, and seeds–the richest source of omega 6–there is absolutely no reason to supplement with omega 3.
However, if you’ve been eating a high omega 6 diet for decades, or you’ve even confirmed through blood tests that you have a big omega 6 to omega 3 imbalance, you very well might want to consume a few grams of omega 3 with your low omega 6 diet for 6-12 months until your omega 6:3 ratio has come back closer to 1:1 (most of us are at more than 10:1).
Now, if you’re eating and living as a “normal” citizen, it is truly impossible to eat a relaxed diet, go to restaurants frequently, etc. and keep your intake of omega 6 low. Our food supply is completely saturated with omega 6, as’three of the richest sources of linoleic acid (an omega 6 fat) just happen to be the three most commonly-used oils in our food supply: corn oil, soy oil, and cottonseed oil.
Thus, if you are going to eat a normal diet, YOU SHOULD DEFINITELY TAKE FISH OIL. Definitely! It is a great defense against the overconsumption of these oils, and a good defense against the other rich sources of omega 6 such as chicken, pork, and peanut butter.
It’s probably also a good idea to consume a decent amount of raw nuts and seeds if you are not being cautious about avoiding omega 6 in your diet. Nuts and seeds, although they are very high in polyunsaturated fat, ?contain a lot of nutrients such as vitamin E and several minerals that help to counteract the negative effects of omega 6, which is probably why they improve health statistics so dramatically compared to?most other?foods. Of all the nuts and seeds, flax and chia have the best ratio of omega 6 to omega 3. They actually have more omega 3 than omega 6, and they still contain plenty of vitamin E and minerals like other nuts and seeds.
In short, if you are going to eat a typical American-esque diet, supplement with fish oil, and add some fresh flax or chia seeds to your diet (flax seeds must be ground up to be absorbed). If the seeds are too much trouble, maybe have some walnuts and macadamia nuts instead.
If you’re cool with eating almost exclusively at home from food you prepare, or feel you need to in order to keep from feeling crappy, no need to supplement with any of that stuff if you keep your total PUFA intake very low.
And lastly, if you didn’t like this post, I recommend snacking on deez nuts. They are the lowest-PUFA nuts you can find.
About the Author
Matt Stone is an independent health researcher, author of more than 15 books, and founder of 180DegreeHealth. He is best known for his research on metabolic rate and its central role in many health conditions as well as his criticisms of extreme dieting. Learn more by signing up for his free Raising Metabolism eCourse HERE,?which also includes?THIS FREE BOOK.
Good, actionable advice here, giving us the information but not dictating an exact dietary regimen. Thanks Matt, and great to see you back!
I suppose this is why people eating Paleo-esque diets often advocate mega dosing on fish oil. If they are getting lots of Omega 6 from pork, poultry and avocados, then the fish oil and nuts will be helping to balance it out.
Incidentally, would cod liver oil be acceptable, or does it have to be fish (flesh) oil?
I don’t see much difference between cod liver oil and fish oil, other than the higher A and D content in cod liver oil. On paper, I think cod liver oil looks better.
Oh, and good commentary on Paleo (same applies to the WAPF crowd). In hindsight, I think a lot of the problems I faced on a long-term meat and fat-heavy diet can be attributed to very high PUFA intakes. You know, as soon as you hear Sally Fallon talking about how healthy chicken and duck skin are, you can hardly get enough in ya, lol.
That and I seem to have a very negative reaction to pork, which I ate a ton of.
Have you ever looked into histamine intolerance? Thanks to your affair with the RBTI I found out that I react badly to pork and seafood. It took me years to realize those are due to me being histamine intolerant though.
A little bit yes. How do you know for sure that your sensitivity to pork and shellfish are caused by histamine intolerance?
The only way to find out is to go on a low-histamine diet for a while in order to get histamine levels down, then see if you feel improvements and most importantly do food challenges with the biggest culprits, like red wine, seafood, aged meat, aged cheese, tomato paste etc. Reactions can be delayed by as much as 48 hours. The tricky part is that people react to different foods (though all react to the big ones I listed, at least when consumed in quantity) and in various degrees. For examples citrus foods are OK to some, not to others.
For me it’s really clear because I react to all the typical culprits, and the reaction is easy to spot. Dry eyes, runny nose, feeling tired but wired, unable to sleep at night,… That used to be my normal state.
Okay. I’m on a pretty low-histamine diet right now. I may play around with it some. Thanks Hans.
Hey dick stain,
Check this out:
I’m crushed! haha
I am so glad that you are writing this blog again! You provide a voice of sanity in this world of black & white with regard to food choices!
You’re correct- we can eat well at home and make clear choices about the ingredients in our food we cook from scratch, but if you go out to a restaurant- no matter how expensive the food, we don’t know what fats they are using.
And what the hell- enjoy your meal, and add the fish oil.
Sally Fallon — hahahahaha. The picture of health.
By the way, it’s good to “see” you again.
Nice to see you back, Matty!
Thanks for your metabolism course. On fish and flax oil, I understood Dr Ray Peat as saying we should not eat either one. I thought you were a follower of his. I hope you are right about fish oil and nuts, but I’ve been so excited about his amazing knowledge and have been trying to implement his teaching as much as possible the last couple of months. I would love to know I could safely include nuts and fish oil. I am female, 5’7″, 135 lbs. and 81 years old. At my age, I lose weight easily, so more food options would be helpful. But… What about Dr Peat and oils? Thanks for your articles.
To be clear, I’m saying that fish oil and flax and such are only needed if you’re otherwise not really watching what you eat. Sounds like you are, and you’ll probably have the best results keeping all PUFA intake low.
And if you find yourself losing weight with negative signs to go along with it, it might be wise to track your calories for a bit to make sure you are eating enough. Sometimes when your diet is limited it causes you to spontaneously reduce your food intake, which is usually a bad thing for metabolic rate.
Interesting read. My husband’s cardiologist just recently told him that taking Omega 3 is a waste of money.
On the other hand I also saw recently articles touting Omega 7 for weight loss.
Yes, Omega 7 is being pushed as the holy grail. Matt, would love to see you comment on it.
What about the fermented fish oils? They taste ghastly, but the WAPFers think it’s the be all end all.
Not anymore they don’t. They changed their tune on fermented cod liver oil and don’t advise it anymore.
As a long time WAPF er I bought into the fermented cod liver oil until I read Kaayla Daniels report “hook line and stinker) about the fermented CLO. I threw it away immediately! I have some serious health issues, if you saw me you would think I was deathly ill due to severe alopecia and I just discovered the problem with Histamines. The rancid oil (as reported by Daniel) would increase histamine a. This may have been the source of my hair loss though it will take time to find out. She was a Godsend to me, but the organization rewarded her by kicking her off her VP position on the board. Incidentally, only one company makes fermented CLO. Go figure!
Do you have Mast Cell Activation Syndrome? I do and I can’t take fish oil or most probiotics because of the histamine issue with them (that’s in addition to a bunch of other foods I can’t eat). It’s not the fish oil or probiotics fault it’s my body’s fault. I know plenty of people that take FCLO and they swear by it because it helps them and it actually does.
Some people with histamine intolerance write that they can take fish oils. The non-fermented cod liver oil, or the extra-virgin cod liver oil (which is supposed to have the natural vitamins in full strength and is not rancid/rotten/disgusting) might be fine for some.
I stopped adding coconut oil and fish oil (the only two oils I used) to my diet. While anecdotal, I can say that I dropped 10 pounds after dropping the oils.
Of course, this is not entirely surprising, given the several thousand extra calories I was consuming. I would cook eggs in coconut oil, burgers, sweet potatoes, and vegetables. Hell, I would eat it right from the jar.
But, eventually, that didn’t make any sense.
Speaking of fish oil…
Great to have you back, Matt, if only for a brief visit.
Yes, I was very surprised at her dismissal. I really appreciate the WAPF, but it seems they tolerate no differences of opinion.
If you read the Rosita website, and it’s a lot of reading, you will come across a bit of info that is found only rarely on other sites that explain the cod liver fermentation process. These livers are fermented not because it was the best method but because it was the easiest and least labor intensive method for extracting the oil from a large quantity of cod livers. The rancidity is generally not from the oil itself (as long as it’s done correctly), but from the burst hepatic cells (liver cells). Please see this page for Rosita’s info: http://www.rositarealfoods.com/cod-liver-oil/2-artisan-extra-virgin-cod-liver-oil
Take a look at this excerpt from http://blog.ppnf.org/cod-liver-oil-a-historical-perspective/
?As early as 1841, questions were being asked about the differences between various types. That year, John Hughes Bennett produced a treatise on cod liver oil, in which he described four types of oil (white, yellow, red, and brown) and their traditional preparation methods. (Bennett JH.) Pale (light-colored) oils’those most commonly marketed for internal use?were obtained by cooking fresh livers with water at low temperatures, after which the oil was strained and filtered. The Scots macerated the livers in cold water, then heated them just until the pale oil separated out. In Ireland, the livers were heated in iron pots, then the pale oil was expressed. The process was repeated with the remains, resulting in a secondary brown oil. Bennett’s inclusion of testimonies on the benefits of cod liver oil from European doctors has been credited with furthering its acceptance among the population at large.
?Dunglison described several methods of extraction, one of which involved slicing fresh livers and simply exposing them to the natural warmth of the sun, thus causing the first oil to run out. This is what we would call ?extra virgin oil? today and, like olive oil, it was of varying shades of yellow and varying degrees of transparency. The clearest type of oil, wrote Dunglison, was ?more used [as a remedial agent] than the darker variety, although several physicians affirm, that they have found the latter more efficacious. (Dunglison R.) He added, ?If the livers are running gradually to putrefaction, the oil becomes of a chestnut brown colour?; and, again, after the oil has been obtained by the above methods, some can still be procured by boiling the livers. (Dunglison R., pages 339-340.)
Dunglison explained that the properties of the oil were said to differ among the varieties and stated, ?According to Messrs. Gouzee and Gmelin the brightest oil ought to be employed internally; but MM. Trousseau and Pidoux think that the limpid [clear] oil has no medical virtue. They prefer either the second [the secondary pressing, or brown variety], or that which is obtained by ebullition [boiling], and has a disagreeable acrid taste. (Dunglison R., Page 455.)?
My take? It’s all good as long as it’s real cod liver oil, not refined to death and all the vitamin A removed and then added back as synthetic palmitate. I cannot stand the fermented stuff, but I do believe that it’s good FCLO because I used it for a year with no inflammation issues such as I get from the rancid wrong oils. I use Rosita, which is expensive but smells and tastes mild.
I agree with Matt, not everyone needs fish or cod liver oil. Not all people eat the same or react to foods in the same way, and everyone has their own unique health issues. Find the oil you need, if you need it, and do what works for you.
Very helpful, clear and concise article/post, thank you!
Hi think her article was panned though, wasn’t it? At least Green Pastures provided tons of evidence that she was wrong about that.
Hello Laurel, yes they did, and others provide evidence to the contrary. Not everything Kaayla said is right, and not everything Green Pastures CEO says is correct either. Ask a few Norwegian manufacturers who know what they’re doing, then dig back into history.
It all comes down to what you choose to believe after you think it through. Then you need to experiment on your own body just a bit to find out if any sort of cod liver oil is right for you – or not.
Thanks Matt, great share! A couple years ago I cut omega 3’s from my diet, even though I was told I was very low based on blood testing. I didn’t trust the scale and was stupidly into “The Peatarian” approach (I nearly died- still recovering 1 yr later). Anyway, I decided to try black cumin oil despite its PUFA content and there was a drastic improvement in my energy levels within 48hrs! Nothing holistic has offered me that response. So, lesson here, it’s all about balance for your chemistry. Apparently, despite my “healthy” diet- following the rules doesn’t help if the rule doesn’t apply to me. I agree with your take on it all!
That’s cool Nikki. Would love to hear more details about your Peatarian experience if you’re willing to share.
You almost died?! As Matt said, would love to hear more on that.
If that black cumin oil is Nigella sativa oil, then it could be because that oil has anti-histamine properties.
Could you share what was your experience on a “peararian diet”?
Hey, I need some advice. I am at college currently and most of the cafeteria choices are obviously cooked in some combination of soybean, corn, canola and olive oils. They cook many dishes in a combination of 50/50 canola and olive oil. I do not shy away from eating the food, I think it tastes quite good for cafeteria food but when possible I try to eat from a certain one of the buffet stations which is supposedly only cooked with olive oil. The food from the cafeteria, which we lovingly call “the Rot” gives a lot of people “digestive upset” while they eat on campus, me included. I suspect the oil is a major factor. It’s kinda the feeling you get when when you eat too much food at a Chinese restaurant. I would like to recommend that they cook with some other alternatives to those oils, but I assume that they choose to do so because of the cheapness of cooking with the oils for large groups of students. They are somewhat open to reasonable recommendations though. I was trying to think of some cost-effective healthy cooking oil for large scale cooking operations but I cannot think of anything. Any thoughts on what I could recommend to the cooks or do while I eat here?
I think eating a lot of extra fruit could be one good way to displace calories from the typical Rot buffet. That and cereal. I practically lived off of cereal in college. As for cost-effective cooking oils, large drums of refined coconut oil are pretty competitively priced.
Thanks Matt, I try to get in as much carbs as I can comfortably eat, mostly from rice. Fruit is a good idea too. I will recommend the coconut oil to them, thanks again.
Choose as many fat-free food items that you can, and then supplement with your own good fats.
Matt, not sure why you would still adhere to the PUFA-scaremongering when you’ve written food freedom on your flag. Is there any evidence that consumption of nuts and seeds is unhealthy? I think it’s clear that foods are more than the sum of their (known) components. While isolated caffeine causes insulin resistance, coffee actually improves insulin sensitivity, to name just one example.
Also, if you want to achieve anything like the recommended levels of vitamin E, you won’t get there with flax or chia seeds. Unless you want to consume wheat germ oil or sunflower oil, the next best way I could find was 100g of sunflower seeds a day. They are also rich in other nutrients, and if one wishes, they could be balancing their omegas by eating fatty fish, chia, or flax, or a good flax oil.
In my personal experience, consuming nuts and seeds works wonders for my skin, while going very low in PUFA does the opposite. (Temporarily going very low in fat overall did help me get rid of any noticeable problems with carbohydrate metabolism though.)
Other interesting thing I’ve found playing with cron-o-meter is that eating a lot of whole starchy foods, as well as nuts and seeds, gives you many times the RDA of magnesium, something that many people recommend supplementing nowadays.
Great to hear from you Matt!
Due to the formation of toxic compounds when oils rich in linoleic acid are used in frying applications, through selective breeding, the edible oils industry has developed high oleic acid versions of peanut, corn, canola, soybean, sunflower, and safflower oils. http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/the-big-fat-surprise-toxic-heated-oils/
Some high oleic oils have a fatty acid profile similar to olive oil. For example: http://provenancetrading.com/high-oleic-peanuts/
Yeah, I think these high oleic varieties are going to become more and more widespread, and they can’t come soon enough. I know some of them have extremely low LA content.
Hi Matt, nice to see an article from you again! After doing RRARF and eating to appetite, I stopped feeling the need to take all supplements (hard to explain, just an intuitive feeling that they were unnecessary except for “making expensive urine” as Sheldon Cooper puts it :D ). I have recently started taking cod liver oil again though because after pregnancy I noticed that I seem to have really aching and stiff joints for the first time in my life, interestingly I remember Andrew Weil saying somewhere that he thinks women are more at risk of inflammatory conditions because pregnancy/breastfeeding causes imbalances of omega 6/3s. Anyway, I kind of feel that taking the CLO is just a temporary band aid and I’m hoping to get back to how good I felt before pregnancy with just eating well :)
Yeah, that first year after pregnancy can be a tough one Rosie. You’re a trooper.
i still don’t think that you need to take fish oil, because it’s extremely difficult to find good quality, non oxidized product out there. It’s a waste product and i don’t trust supplements companies claims about their super duper quality then it comes to fish oils. So instead of helping yourself, you could be doing even more harm,by increasing, not decreasing inflammation . I think a lot safer and more useful would be to include fish in your diet. As fresh as possible. And finish it with a cup of green tea to help remove mercury from your system. Tea should be organic, because nowadays black, green or white tea is filled with heavy metals also. And i’m glad you are back, Matt, because your role of Devil’s advocate has helped me a lot in the past to look at things from different angles. And i’m sorry for my English, it’s not my native lingo.
Your English is perfect Jazzy Jeff (great name).
I don’t and probably wouldn’t take fish oil either. Canned pink salmon for the win. It’s wild, lower in mercury than most fish, and with bones and skin it’s probably the most nutritious food in the entire supermarket. And only $2.99 a can. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/finfish-and-shellfish-products/4110/2
I just bought a can today! Will give it a try.
Incidentally, do you have a recipe for mayonnaise (I like it with my canned fish!) that doesn’t have PUFA? I’ve made a simple recipe and subbed coconut oil for the grape see oil it called for, but of course it was too solid since it’s stored in the fridge. I was thinking like high oleic sunflower oil instead?
MCT oil has a completely neutral taste, but be very careful with it if you’re not already used to taking it.
Just use sour cream with some green onions, spiced, a pinch of lemon. Works just fine, and accomplishes the whole creamy goodness thing.
That’s a great idea. I’ve done something similar with yogurt, but the sour cream seems like it would be even better. Thanks for the tip!
My mayo recipe comes from Julia Child. I use raw pasture egg yolks from a local farm and olive oil. You can add some coconut oil or palm oil or sesame seed oil… whatever you like. I’ve been making this for years, it’s on the internet (that’s where I got my recipe) and I make it just as written only I use fresh squeezed organic lemon juice instead of vinegar. They both work fine, I just like lemons!
To use this recipe, you really have to like olive oil because it is a bit strong. My sister can’t stand it, I can’t get enough.
If you mix it with organic low sugar ketchup (Portland Ketchup Co. is good) it’s great, like thousand Island dressing without the islands! :o)
There is nothing at all low-Histamine about canned salmon. Referencing your remark earlier in this thread about how you’re currently eating a low-Histamine diet.
Please don’t ascribe fish oil worship to “the entire scientific community.” Lots of scientists are still taking a wait-and-see attitude towards fish oil’s benefits, and are concerned about the environmental impact of fish harvesting for the oil.
Sorry Karla. I try my best not to commit the sin of generalization, but I’ve gone and done it haven’t I?
I’m taking algal DHA as I am breastfeeding now. I have gone to great lengths for the past 3 years to limit my PUFA intake and I am concerned that my reserves are low, I figured this was the best way to do it. I’m hoping the low PUFA diet will positively effect my baby’s development, but really it’s hard to parse the impact of diet from the superior metabolic rate I was able to maintain during pregnancy at this point. I can say that she was born unusually alert and strong, which made my life very difficult for a while. Of course, the downside of minimizing PUFAs while breastfeeding, is that the baby is adhering to a growth curve that is not in line with modern growth charts. To keep the growth within normal bounds I have had to add back in small quantities of PUFAs. I know it’s not popular to say it here, but the fish oil industry is having a devastating impact on Northern fisheries, I don’t think you can separate the use of this product from the environmental impact.
The growth charts are all messed up. You want slow growth, slow development, high energy, high brain to body weight. And that sounds like exactly what you’ve got. Don’t sweat the growth charts. Kids shouldn’t hit puberty until like 16, not 10-12 like they are in the modern world.
Thanks Matt, my little one is very active and is hitting all milestones (except weight) early so far. Her development at birth was really unexpected: she could stand with support and roll from side to side about 24 hours after delivery. Don’t want to jinx it so I’ll send you a update after we get through our first year.
Sounds like they need to create a separate chart for your kid Nira. With the “normal” chart they could do an “ideal” chart based her :)
Good to hear from you again Matt. The nutrition community is a mess. Most sources I read now are like “I don’t know, eat whole foods i guess?”, and the rest have regressed to worshiping at the Church of Our Lady Protein, yapping on and on about it’s magical satiety powers and whatever. P.S. would love some “what I eat in a day” kind of posts. I know you hate that kinda stuff but as a single guy trying to eat more at home I have no friggin clue what/how to make.
Thanks Skeptic. This spring I crashed from overwork and undersleep (the coffee drinking really fucked me too, despite feeling good at first), and I’ve been trying to figure out my own eating regimen as I recover. Making progress, but not at a point where I really feel confident that what I’m doing is getting the job done. So don’t want to steer anyone else down the wrong path by talking about what I’m doing at the moment.
As far as simple things to make at home as a single guy, my favorite thing to make lately has been hashbrowns. Just get a russet or Yukon gold potato, peel that sucker, and grate it up on a cheese grater. Then season with lots of salt and cayenne if you like spicy, and throw it in a frying pan with coconut oil. Let it get brown and crispy then flip it and finish for a few minutes on the other side. You wouldn’t believe how good it is, and it’s good with everything. My girlfriend has even been putting hashbrowns on her cheeseburgers. Best thing ever.
That and get a rice cooker. I got one on Amazon a couple months ago for like $29 that is amazing. You can even set it to cook and be done right as you walk in the door if you know what time you’re coming back. It’s pretty badass.
Since I couldn’t hit the reply button again on the other comment, I’m answering this one. Just wanted to add that coffee is something that a lot of people with histamine intolerance react to, though not everybody. (Dave Asprey claims he has histamine intolerance, but he obviously seems to be fine with it. https://www.bulletproofexec.com/why-yogurt-and-probiotics-make-you-fat-and-foggy/) Personally, I do react to it, but not nearly as much as to the things I mentioned earlier.
This is a good summary:
If you think you actually have an issue with histamine, I recommend lowhistaminechef.com, that is maybe the best place to get an overview and to put the conflicting info that is out there into context.
Yeah been down that same road many times with coffee. I’ve quit before but I can never resist it’s siren call for long lol. Hope you get better and thanks for the tips! I will definitely try it.
Finally! I was waiting for you to have the coffee repercussions after the Iron: friend or foe post.
If i can keep it to 4 oz with food i’m good. But even that seems almost impossible to maintain as the caffeine takes me into a downward spiral of energy spikes and drops.
Hope you recover.
Yeah, I’m sure I’ll be fine. As long as I get good sleep I feel pretty good, but I definitely have an energy deficit to make up for. The caffeine probably shouldn’t get much of the blame. I was staying up working until 3am for a whole month before I got hit. Started having problems with postprandial hypotension, particularly after breakfast following a poor night’s sleep.
Matt, if you don’t mind me adding this, but hashbrowns cooked in Ghee is simply Divine also ;)
I can accept that JonO. I can accept that. :)
God, Matt, I feel yaI fucked myself on coffee too. It’s such a pleasant ride at first. You feel brilliant and can write for hours. I even tried the “bulletproof” (plus sugar, lol) which made it less edgy, but eventually the caffeine just ends up killing me.
Hashbrowns sound great. There’s a dinner down the street that makes this dish called “Your Own Private Idaho” which is a bunch of has browns drenched in melted cheddar cheese with two eggs on top!
Fish oil makes a big difference in my dry eyes, keeps them moister.
Matt, I can’t find if you have ever written about magnesium diffecentcey. Ray Peat mentioned it with thyroid, but not alone, yet I read about it all over the internet. I feel a ton better with lots of it, but I always love your take on things, it makes me think!!!
I haven’t written much about magnesium specifically. I try to keep the focus on bigger-picture things most of the time. Got nothing against it, and I eat a diet with lots of magnesium from all the fruit I eat. Bananas, orange juice, papaya, mango, pineapple, cherries, blueberries, melons, etc.
Nice to see a new article. Any updates on your take on eating fish?
I have nothing against eating fish and seafood. Shellfish in particular have always been my favorite food since I was a toddler. Shrimp, scallops, crab, and lobster are about the most divine foods on earth. How I make lobster and shrimp kicks ass. I heavily salt water and add butter and saffron. Then I heat the water up just until the flesh is firm and the water is steaming but not boiling. People that cook lobster at boiling temperature should be shot. That’s like cooking a steak until it’s 212 degrees in the center. By then it’s like leather, or rubber in lobster’s case.
This just came in time with my latest blood test results.
As expected Omega 3/6 ratio totally messed up. My functional medicine practitioner recommended evening primrose/borage oil for very low DGLA level. Isn’t that a high oxidation Omega 6 supplement? What is your take on this?
I am trying to get this balance back after 4 years of breastfeeding;)
Yes it is, but DGLA is usually taken in very minute amounts, and it has very unique properties.
And what’s going on? High omega 6:3 I presume? If that’s the case you should be able to go low-6, eat fish a few times a week, and radically change it in less than a year.
Hi all, just thought id share my experience. I started taking cod liver oil at 12 years old as recommended by the doctor for knee pain. Over the course of that year I had heavy nose bleeds regular and developed allergy symptons. Not making the connection it was put down to constant blowing of the nose from hayfever. After going through secondary school with heavy bleeding, worsening of hay fever, drier skin, feeling anxious, flighty and easily flushed did I eventually stop the 1000mg a day cod liver oil. On and off over the next few years I got sucked into the hipe about fish, cod, krill, and flax oil, and everytime I tired I would become edgy, nervous, flushed and bleed. The worse was when I was eating a dr j budwig diet with flax seed and oil, plus the odd krill oil I started to bleed again, not just the nose but noticing blood in the semen also. Aarrrrhhhh. This is when I made all the connections right back to school. So no more pufa oils for me. Even now I have to be careful with sardines. All the best health, gary uk
Ketchup in your mayonnaise? That’s bad news Gary!
Thanks for the input. There’s no doubt that an imbalance in 6:3 in either direction can be a real issue.
>> Ketchup in your mayonnaise <<
HAHHAHAHAHAHAHA — God, I love your sense of humor.
Ha ha ha great line,,,,, :) tasty….
Hey Matt, I didn’t think I’d be reading anymore blogs from you. As a sort of former wapf I was taking the fclo, but stopped because I am working with Dr Garret Smith and he said to stop it. I was getting sick of the taste & expense anyway. He also told me to stop eating seafood unless I can get it from a good source. So I haven’t eaten any seafood in a year. I don’t know if anything I am taking is really working, but I just try to do what he tells me.
Fish oil ??
Are you the tin man ?
Matt (and anyone else),
On a related note, what are your thoughts on supplementation in general?
Like most things in the “health” arena, supplementation is a polarized topic — even excluding the sensationalistic bullshit we hear in the “news.”
Some well-credentialed/-educated people say we should avoid supplements and get our vitamins and minerals from food. This certainly makes sense. But, if lab tests are even somewhat reliable, I have low stomach acid (pH Gastrogram study) and low vitamins, minerals, and some amino acids (Blood plasma, hair mineral analysis).
Other, equally-pedigreed people say that supplements are not only advisable, but that mega-dosing on them is advisable. (e.g. Linus Pauling and Vitamin C, Abram Hoffer and Niacin, and others)
Interesting to me is that Dr. Joel Fuhrman long cautioned against vitamin supplements…but, now, he has his own line of supplements. His contention, as I understand it, is there are certain vitamins about which one has to be careful. Folic Acid vs. Folate, as one example.
Finally, in my own experience, the more “healthy” I try to eat and live, the more I feel like shit. I feel like I’m continually being scared into decisions to be miserable now, so I can be miserable for a longer time, versus feeling better now and doing so for less time.
Does anyone else feel this way? Or, is it just me?
For Example: Eat lower fat; lower protein; no beef, pork, fish, shellfish, poultry, eggs, or dairy; a shit-ton of whole grains (fiber); 16 cups of water a day; eat when you wake; eat every two hours; etc.
That diet may not make me live forever, but it’ll sure as hell SEEM like forever. So, I got that going for me…which is nice.
Hey Carl, not much to say about that horrible-sounding diet other than, why? If it made you feel awesome that would be one thing, but if you feel shitty doing that I’d let that go.
As far as supplements, I’m not a huge fan in general, but I like how Garrett applies supplementation guided by hair mineral analysis tests. At least you’re not shooting in the dark that way.
I certainly don’t do all (or, even most) of that hypothetical diet. But, it’s the direction the “Plant-Based Diet Doctor Squad” (to quote Denise Minger) seems to be pushing people.
It was after crashing-and-burning with Low-Carb Faleo that I started looking for alternative diets to help me recover. Years later, I still haven’t recovered.
I was already aware of “The China Study,” but largely ignored it, because the Paleo/Primal/LC/LCHF/WAPF/ETC/EIEIO factions also ignored it.
Then, I started listening to Dr. McDougall and then it was the domino effect:
Etc., etc. x Infinity
Being thin and appearing quite energetic and healthy, I started listening to more of what they had to say. After all, we know what a lot of the thought leaders in the Paleo/Primal/LC/LCHF/WAPF camps look like. But, in hindsight, one mistake I made was looking solely at appearances. I can tell you, I’d rather be a little heavy and feel great than to have six-pack abs and feel like shit.
Anyway, through all the obsessive reading blogs, listening to podcasts, watching YouTube lectures, and the like, I painted myself in a corner and didn’t (still don’t) know which way to turn.
Chris Kresser says eggs are fine. Caldwell Esselstyn says to avoid them. Personally, I’ve eaten eggs most of my life, so it hasn’t killed me. But, on the other hand, I’m at an age where most Americans start having problems from years of poor diet. Esselstyn seems to offer some good reasons to follow a strict plant-based diet (his colleague, for example, who reversed Coronary Artery Disease), but Rip Esselstyn, Caldwell’s own son, occasionally eats fish. WTF?!
And, so it goes: Eggs, Meat, Butter, Coconut Oil, Gluten-Free, Lectins, Phytates, Goitrogens, Nightshades, IGF-1, “Heart-Healthy” Whole Grains, “ArteryCloggingSaturatedFat,” Leaky Gut, Safe Starches, ad infinitum.
How the hell you spent 10+ years immersed in this stuff without losing your marbles is a mystery to me.
Maybe Dr. Klaper had it right that we become “addicts” to the foods we’ve eaten since our youth, thanks to our gut bacteria. That is, our gut bacteria “learn” to prefer certain foods. Personally, mine prefer waffles and French toast.
I feel you Carl. But even Greger had to own up to the fact that, despite the evidence that vegetarianism and especially veganism is the shizzy mcnizzy, the real data from real people implementing such diets results in the same statistical outcomes for all major diseases. Why do vegetarians and vegans fare so poorly? He thinks it’s because of omega 6:3 ratio, lol.
Yet in other lectures he continues to pretend that vegans have vastly superior health and risk profiles. Go figure.
As far a predominantly plant-based diet, I think you’ll find a high fruit diet to be superior to one built around grains. For best results, throw some meat in there with your fruit haha.
I do think a diet with lower levels of animal protein and total fat in general, at the end of the day, is superior from a general standpoint. If you look at other great apes, most human civilizations (agricultural and non-agricultural), you’ll usually see a lot more carbs and a lot less meat and fat than a typical Western diet. I think animal products get too much of that blame, but they are partly responsible.
Regarding a comparison of humans to apes, diet-wise, I’m reading Burn by Herman Pontzer. Pontzer studies energy expenditure in humans. He blames the human tendency to store fat on our large hungry brains. We store fat to keep those brains working. He says that apes have no fat. They lie around in trees, foraging for maybe a couple of hours, and never gain weight. In zoos they are larger because their bodies use the extra food to build muscle. This is one tiny factoid in what I think is a very important book. It made me understand the obvious, everything that happens in our bodies is fueled by the food we eat. An example, the largest expenditure of energy is the 9-month gestation of a human baby, larger than the Tour de France, for example.
“How the hell you spent 10+ years immersed in this stuff without losing your marbles is a mystery to me.”
The information contained in this book might shed light on the why:
Many thanks for the book recommendation. In reading the description, I could clearly see myself in the following comment:
“…many of us have become stuck in ‘narrow-focus attention’: a tense, constricted, survival mode of attention that holds us in a state of chronic stress?and which lies at the root of common ailments including anxiety, depression, ADD, stress-related migraines, and more.”
As you correctly surmised, this is EXACTLY what I’ve been dealing with.
Again, I appreciate your kindness.
You’re welcome :) I replied because I know your feeling all too well… Digging your head deeply into something and more deeply and you get desperate because there seems to be no solution to the issue!!
When I listened to the first open focus exercise for the first time, even though I was cutting grass at the same time… boom… I knew the feeling because I had experienced it before, but I had not known that it had to do with synchronous alpha brain waves and that it could actually be practiced in such an easy and efficient way. The point of the book is to practice open focus regularly and make it permanent.
Yes! Again, that sounds like me…digging deep into a hole…and trying to escape by digging even deeper!
I don’t think reading the book will be possible for me (attention/focus issues, ironically enough), but I do well with audio material.
Have you practiced the exercises long enough to determine if they are helping?
Well it comes with a CD. All the information you need to get started is on the CD. You might not have to read the book at all, but there is of course helpful information in it. There is actually an exercise on how to read in open focus inside the book, unfortunately not on the CD.
I’m relatively new to it, but I can say it does work. For example, I could water fast for two days (eating nothing) without getting that crazy “hypoglycemia” that is not really “hypoglycemia,” which Matt so aptly described in his book of the same name. In general it helps me avoid that state.
It really helps me with anxiety when talking to people and not spacing out while driving long distances. Another point is that I don’t get upset at things when in open focus.
Mmm…strawberry and grass-fed liver puree for my whole-grain waffles!
I like your recommendations about more carbs and less fat. I naturally gravitated toward less meat, not at every meal, and not every day. But, sometimes, I tend to under-eat calories. I wonder if all the Intermittent Fasting from my Faleo experience had something to do with it. It’s like my hunger signal is busted.
Anyway, I’m liking this “Plant Paleo” approach:
As always, I appreciate your insights and humor.
Last question, Matthew:
What’s your thoughts on nuts and legumes? You know, in the context of lectins and phytates.
My last post disappeared, so I encourage you Google “The Plant Paleo Diet Humans Are Not Broken” and check-out Angelo’s work. It seems to align with you last comment.
I’m not that concerned with lectins and phytates, but I’m sure they are a legitimate short-term concern for a lot of hypersensitive people.
As far as a “plant paleo” type approach, that sounds pretty decent. Again, I wouldn’t encourage someone to go down a perfect diet rabbit hole if they don’t need to. But there are a lot of sick bastards out there, and sometimes people can’t just “eat normal” without feeling horrible. For them, conversations about stuff like this is worthwhile.
Not that it means anything, but I do think about pandas a lot. Sad I know, haha.
They are bears and share the same physiology as bears in that they are designed to be highly-carnivorous omnivores. Yet, because of past events, their “Paleo” era diet is one consisting of 99% bamboo. Yet, compared to other bears, they have a crappy metabolism, difficulty reproducing (no sex drive), young pandas often die from chronic bowel problems if their stomachs aren’t manually stimulated, etc. etc. http://www.newsledge.com/giant-panda-body-temperature-cool-17080
Essentially, their diet is not aligned with their physiology, and they appear to suffer greatly for it. Looking at humans, we appear to be like chimps and bonobos, who eat over 90% plants on a high-carb, low-fat, low to moderate protein diet (compared to other animals). But we seem to be even more herbivorous than they are physiologically, and designed to take in less roughage/cellulose from leaves and shoots. Calorie-dense fruits and/or starches with a little bit of animal products for the win.
I started to eat to raise my metabolism some years ago, avoiding pufas, I first found 180degreehealth and then also Ray Peat. The problem is that I only get worse and worse. I have “autoimmune” conditions, pituitary problem etc. My temps are not higher, they are lower. I have more inflammation. I have become allergic to almost all food. My digestion is a hell. My skin looks like a hell. Before I had eczema, now I also have psoriasis.
Before I started avoiding pufas I ate a pretty balanced diet (with pufas from nuts and fish, but no veg oils, but also lots of saturated fats). I had digestion problems, but it was a dream situation if I compare to now. I can’t digest anything now, and I flush and swell in my face when I eat. I can’t digest starch, and I can’t digest fructose, and I can’t digest fat or protein. Yesterday I realized that I have developed some kind of coconut allergy too, can’t eat the oil.
I am thinking about going back to how I ate before, but the problem is that I can’t eat that food anymore without allergic reactions.
I grew up eating a pretty balanced diet, traditional swedish food and saturated fat from meat and dairy, but also a lot of other food, pufa and fatty fish, sweets. Never coconut products, maybe on a thai restaurant sometimes. My problems started when I became a vegan. Maybe my body became used to the food I grew up with and the addition of tropical foods etc became the problem? My worst allergies/intolerances are to foods that grow on the other side of earth, like bananas and coconut.
I guess I’ll try eating some more pufa again (just eat from eggs right now)..
Why don’t you try a revolving elimination plan? Eliminate one suspect food at a time for 1-2 weeks. Keep notes about your symptoms and if/how they are changing over the time you eliminate a particular food.
That way you’ll be able to identify what foods you are reacting to, rather that scrapping the entire plan entirely – which is basically healthy. It takes effort, but I think you’ll be equipped with information you need.
The only problem with elimination diets is that they are often self-fulfilling. Not saying that’s not a good idea, or that they aren’t useful, but they can also backfire.
My diet right is mostly rice and apples without skin, sugar, butter, eggs, really fresh meat and fish and zucchini, and some other things. Everything else makes me swell in the face.. So it’s already a restricted diet.
My mother developed food allergies to nearly every food on the face of the planet. She developed allergies not only to foods, but to chemicals – including her own brain chemicals and hormones, and had to live in what was essentially a bubble for many years. I’ll spare the details of what else she went through in this… but what it turned out to be was mercury poisoning from very bad dental work she’d had when she was 12 years old. Meaning that she was mercury poisoned when she was pregnant with me and also my siblings. Incidentally, I was born with mercury poisoning and also got more mercury poisoning from bad dental work when I was a teenager.
There was no improvement for my mother until she got the mercury out of her teeth, gums, and bones. With the help of Dr. William Rea in Dallas Texas, she also had to have a full hysterectomy to stop her from going into seizures every month from the release of her various hormones like FSH and LH, which she was also severely allergic to. Once that happened, she was able to employ alternative healers, particularly homeopaths, who helped her to get her foods back. Today she can eat anything she wants.
I’ve subsequently had similar problems to those that my mother had, and I’ve spent the last 15 years doing intensive research and using myself as my own “guinea pig” to test out the findings, in addition to becoming an alternative healer. If you are toxic – meaning, you can’t handle certain foods and/or chemicals – it would be a good idea to see if you can find a doctor who won’t look at you like you have 2 heads when you ask him/her to test you for a MTHFR defect. (I personally have yet to find a doctor who doesn’t give me that bewildered, eyes-glazed-over stare, when I ask for this test.) It turns out that roughly 1 in every 2 people have the MTHFR defect – meaning that their liver detox pathways aren’t working correctly, and methylation in the liver’s detox pathway 2 isn’t working, due to a genetic defect. There can be other problems elsewhere in the detox pathways too, not just with methylation. But what happens when methylation doesn’t work right is that the liver function is abnormal, leading to toxicity, which is a very big part of what happens to cause sensitivities and allergies, because the toxins can’t pass through the body and are instead recirculated into the body. This also plays a big part in compromised metabolism.
There are certain supplements that one can take to help, such as inositol, glycine or TMG (trimethylglycine), calcium d-glucarate (which helps to keep estrogen from being recirculated by inhibiting the action of beta glucuronidase in the gut), DIM (which helps the liver to metabolize estrogen), grape seed extract (which helps to prevent the action of aromatase in the fat cells from making more estrogen), SAMe, folate (NOT FOLIC ACID!), methylcobalamin, MSM, curcumin, and a few others – all of which greatly help with the liver detoxification processes. Adding fish oil may help with the inflammation, but this is a band-aid which doesn’t address the root cause of the problem. I’m not certain that there is anything better than a band-aid for those of us with the MTHFR defect, so in cases where there is inflammation, and fish oil can help, I suggest using it – unless fish oil is something that you have become sensitized to because of the defect, in which case, you really need to add at least some of the supplements I’ve listed above (particularly the methyl donors like SAMe, TMG, MSM, and the B vitamins) to your daily routine to give your liver all the help you can for the methylation process.
I encourage you to look further into this, notice whether or not you may have had any dental work done prior to developing symptoms, or exposure to strong chemicals… not everything is entirely about what we eat. 1 in 2 people have compromised liver function. That’s a 50/50 chance that this is what’s the culprit for you. For more on all this, check out Dr. Ben Lynch at http://mthfr.net.
A side note, Matt Stone: you have been a HUGE inspiration and life saver for me. Thank you, and I really look forward to more from you.
Yes, if go too extreme with diet, then there might be a problem.
I lost a lot weight during my extreme diets and I developed intolerance to gluten never had a problem before and digestion problems, restricted diet and undereating didn’t help my skin either.
I lost an apetite and have to force myself to eat, which is not easy for me to eat enough calories.
Sounds a lot like Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. I had the same symptoms for over a year before I was diagnosed. Just Google it, you’ll find a lot of information. Antihistamines plus some other meds helped me and now I can eat almost anything. I started having problems around the age of 36 (before that – nothing), so it is possible to have MCAS with no symptoms for years. Hope you get better!
How can you eat almost anything? I have MCAS (along with IC and a few other things mast cell related) and I can’t do that and I don’t know anyone else with MCAS that can. My MCAS is under control with Neuroprotek, Querecetin, and a histamine/oxalate/salicylate/sulfite balanced diet but still it’s not like I’m back to “normal” which is how people usually take hearing that you “can eat almost anything” now. Is it like you can eat almost anything without nearly dying? Like if you eat a trigger food is it just joint pain, rashes, GI issues etc… But no Anaphalaxis? No sense in minimizing MCAS. Also no you don’t have it for years with no symptoms. Notice the “Activation” part of it. Our mast cells became “Activated”. They weren’t activated before when we had no symptoms. That’s good that you even mentioned MCAS though because a lot of people don’t go to an immunologist instead they go to like a Naturopath and they get sicker because they’re grasping at straws. I was on the GAPS diet before getting MCAS (shocking…j/k its pretty common) and I was eating a ton of ferments and getting sicker and sicker until my system got overloaded and I went into Anaphalaxis.
Hi Natalia. I’m wondering how you’re going another year and a bit later. I too have MCAS and IC and am struggling to create a histamine/oxalate/salicylate/sulfite balanced diet.
Oh, and yes, I’ve just started on fish oil but wasn’t sure about it.
Hey Matt! Great to see you reinhabiting the ol’ 180 degree blog! It certainly has the most intelligent discussions in the comment strings, and I have missed blogging and participating. I’m also glad to see some distancing from the Ray Peat orthodoxy. As Niki mentioned earlier in this string, complete avoidance of pufas leads to trouble, because they are essential nutrients, I am convinced.
The trouble with our understanding of such nutrients has a lot to do with language leading us astray. In particular, we use the dietary terms “essential” and “nonessential” for substances that the body cannot and can make, respectively. So when we use the term “essential”, we thing it is a substance that is particularly important; and something “nonessential” as something unimportant.
But think of it from the point of view of the body’s design: “Nonessential” substances are actually SO important, that the body is able to make them from scratch; whereas “essential” substances can be gotten from a wholesome diet. So nonessential nutrients are often overlooked (Like glycine, glucosamine, and Vitamin D), whereas essential nutrients are often overemphasized–like methionine and PUFAs!
Fact is, since essential nutrients are necessary for survival, the body typically has many redundant systems for conserving and recycling them, so the essential nutrient daily intake requirements are actually very, very low.
So for me, I eat a few nuts (especially the well balanced omega 3/6 ratio’d walnuts), and some salmon maybe once a week, but take no “essential” nutrient supplements. On the other hand, I find I need to supplement daily on key “nonessential” nutrients (glycine, glucosamine and Vitamin D in the winter), and that works out well (especially with glycine eliminating all inappropriate inflammation).
They may very well be essential (they also may not be), fortunately not much conversation needs to be had around a deficiency though, as it’s virtually impossible to not get enough of them to avoid a “deficiency.” Not to mention one of the most popular health/nutrition YouTubers, with over 100 million video views, advocates a 5% fat diet. Haven’t heard anyone complaining about an EFA deficiency specifically from that camp, so I doubt anyone’s truly at risk. Although I’m all ears for more reports from people of adding nuts, seeds, and fatty fish to their diet and discovering that they had health problems relieved from that addition.
don’t listen to this joel brind guy, matt. he’s the same guy that claims someone in his family got better health from eating brazil nuts. his face looks too big and fat. i like to see how many people he has helped (i bet you none).does he deal with serious conditions like cancer?? how’d he heal a cancer patient, just give em some nuts?
In addition to Matt, it’s good to see you again, too! We got a two-for!
Is there a chance you could comment on any the following brief clips about Vitamin D supplementation?
Her contention, as you will note, is that Vitamin D supplementation is not likely warranted…and, perhaps even dangerous.
Haven’t watched the clips yet but I agree, I’ve been Vit/hormone D toxic and I’m not a fan of the blanket use of hormone (Vit) D supplementation for all. Morley Robbins (Mag/copper man) has collected lots of research on this topic as well.
Thanks for that comment, Niki. I hope you’re getting/doing better.
I haven’t heard ol’ Morley’s name in a few years…since I last listened to Sean Croxton’s “Underground Wellness” podcast. I’ll have to go look into that a bit more.
Take care of yourself!
Thanks for your kind regards Lance! I’m coming along. Morley has great sources of info but I also have to be careful about blanket ideas in that arena as well. Context context. I certainly appreciate all he brings to the table and so nobly. Learning what my body needs versus trends is very tricky. Everyone often becomes so focused on one topic, swinging to far left or right, it’s hard to see the big picture/context of how it relates to the rest of your system. Eventually I’ll crack my code but I certainly set up a tough challenge. Sharing information like this
(shout out to Matt too) and knowing how to approach it is a game changer for me. All the best to you!
Did you go on any good hikes this summer? If so, where did you go?
Nah. I ended up cancelling that trip unfortunately.
Thanks for the kind words, Lance, and for the links to the Dr. Popper videos, which I watched. Some of what she says is accurate, but she is a bit of an anti vitamin D extremist, I think (because it all does depend on context!). Yes, it is true that Vitamin D is not actually a vitamin, but a hormone that is made in response to sunlight. But it is not true that it is inappropriate to take in vitamin D from the diet as a nutrient.
To be more specific, the vitamin D we eat (or take as a supplement) is not quite a hormone; but a prohormone that is converted into the active hormone by the kidneys. In the human body, it is made from a cholesterol precursor by a reaction requiring ultraviolet radiation (It can be called it the one bit of photosynthesis that we animals do.) Classically, the most important function of vitamin D (or hormone D, if you prefer) is to absorb calcium into the bones. The classic vitamin D deficiency disease is rickets, characterized mainly by malformation of bones.
However, Vitamin D is also important for other functions, including growth and maintenance of skin and hair, and muscle health and strength.
So what is the functional biological connection between Vitamin D and sunlight? During the summer, days are longer and there is more sunlight (and it’s also warmer, so more of our skin is exposed to sunlight). So it makes perfect sense to me that a key function of vitamin D is to prepare the body for a time of high activity. In the winter, shorter days and colder temperatures mean less need for muscular activity and the skin and bones that support it.
Now consider that we are really all biologically cave men and cave women. The Industrial Revolution has not made us evolve biologically. But we routinely engage in the same level of activity year round, and stay up longer than the sun. So it makes sense that will naturally become deficient in vitamin D during the winter, and we can get what we need from a tanning salon or from cod liver oil or supplement capsules. But we do need more than the body makes with the normal level of sun exposure we get during the winter. In the summer, we get thousands of units of vitamin D from even brief–less than an hour–time outside on a sunny day.
But that also depends on geographical and ethnic context. What I wrote above is true for people with white skin living in a temperate lattitude (like Dr. Popper). But dark skin blocks uv radiation, so those with dark skin are more vulnerable. (Of course, the same is true for white-skinned people who so slather on the sunscreen that no uv rays can get through!). Of course, the reason for skin pigmentation is mainly for protection from excess uv radiation. That is why, in my view, human populations have so been pigmentationally selected over the roughly 100,000 years since our species originated in the horn of Africa (no doubt with varying shades of brown skin). So black-skinned people did not end up in northern Europe, because they would succumb to vitamin D deficiency, while white-skinned people did not end up in equatorial regions, because they would succumb to severe sunburn from the excess uv radiation. Hence, the 5 genes for skin color were so selected such that black-skinned people populated sub-Saharan Africa and southern India, and white-skinned people populated northern Europe, for example. As for the extremes of lattitude–above the Arctic Circle–they were sparsely inhabited with people who get their vitamin D from a diet rich in Vitamin D from seafood (e.g., cod liver oil), or else they would not have made it, regardless of skin pigmentation.
But that’s all different now, with everyone living everywhere on the planet. So I think it’s reasonable that vitamin D deficiency is widespread–at least during the winter–in the more temperate lattitudes, such as the US and Europe. In the US, child laborers, working in sweatshops with little sunlight, commonly got rickets a century ago. This was cured by adding some vitamin D to the milk supply. In the UK, they don’t put vitamin D in the milk supply. That’s why, just a few years ago, there was an outbreak of rickets in the UK among South Indian (black-skinned) immigrants.
So vitamin D makes sense in context, although–subject to fads as we human beings tend to be–it is probably overemphasized these days. Dr. Popper cites interventional studies (i.e., clinical trials) which show that low vitamin D is more often a consequence than a cause of chronic illness rooted in inflammation (heart disease, cancer, et al.).
So for me, I just eliminate inappropriate inflammation with my 8-gram daily glycine supplement (sweetamine), and add 3,000 units per day of vitamin D in the wintertime. Works for me!
Thank you VERY much for that epic post! I greatly appreciate your taking the time to review the videos and provide such a thoughtful response. Really, Thank You.
Yet another example of why I love this blog and the intelligent, caring folks that show up and participate.
I’m going to commission a sculptor to create a statue of Matt for my front lawn — 12 feet tall (i.e. life size) with lights that will be open daily for tours.
Good idea, Lance,
Maybe that will convince him not to buck flogging after all:-)
And I thought PhDs didn’t have a sense of humor. I was wrong!
Humor? What’s so funny about deciding not to resist flagellation?
This girl I knew seemed super depressed, especially in winter. I suggested she try some of my Vitamin D and intermittently snack on some salty nuts, and she seems to be doing a lot better.
Hey, Matt, have you ever been in a Turkish prison?
No, but I have seen many grown men naked.
I don’t know how to contact you personally but would like to know why you support Scott Abel’s diet? It’s pretty much extremely high protein. He adds in a few grams of carbs and that’s his High Carb version of the diet or a few tablespoons of oil and calls it high fat. 300grams of lean chicken 300grams of lean beef 8 egg whites and a few carbs in between. Have you jumped on the high protein bandwagon?
Your ideas are good but you don’t have a diet book and I fail to understand why you can not make a diet book based on these ideas. It would not be to different from his except based on carbs.
Have slightly less carbs during the week than required to simulate weight loss and one day a week have 10,000 calories to keep your metabolism high.
Anyways would love some feedback from down under.
I have no doubt that Scott’s approach is effective. But it’s not one that I would ever pursue, or could ever pursue. I imagine that’s true for most people.
I wouldn’t say I endorse his ideas either. They aren’t appropriate for most people. He’s in the business of training fitness professionals and bodybuilders. I’m more concerned with people functioning well and not having a bunch of ailments, doing the minimal amount of “work” to maintain that good health.
My “diet book” would be really short…
“Raise your metabolism to lose fat slowly over many years without restricting food intake or creating an intentional calorie deficit through exercise. If that doesn’t work, either give up, or, if you’re desperate, try some diets and/or exercise routines and make sure that whatever you’re doing isn’t lowering your resting body temperature–keeping in mind you’ll likely never find something that allows you to lose weight without your body temp falling, and you’ll probably end up gaining weight from trying long-term. The end.”
Not sure if you’re referring to this but in his book “The Cycle Diet,” afaik Scott doesn’t recommend any macro-nutrient ratios, unless I haven’t missed anything. He just gives examples which are very high in protein. Maybe this is necessary for bodybuilders? I have zero interest in bodybuilding. But if his rationalizations are correct, I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work with a diet lower or low in protein.
Personally I found the book very interesting, because I have experienced short periods of time when I could indeed eat kinds and quantities of food with impunity which would otherwise make me feel bad. I think I may have been in that state that he calls “supercomp” mode.
I think I’m going to try his diet while eating my version of a part-time omnivorous mostly plant-based 80-10-10 diet.
Anyone here ever read any blog entries over at gutcritters.com? Of course I don’t agree with everything the man has written, but he “seeeems” to be pretty darn smart. He has a post called “PUFAS, LEAKY GUT, ENDOTOXEMIA, AND THE LIVER”, and he talks about how it “might” be that the reason omega 3 fats produce an anti-inflammatory effect is because it causes certain types of immune cells to commit suicide. He gets really scientific and it’s way over my head, but fascinating stuff. READ IT MATTHEW! I should eat flax seeds now because I love Chinese food? What the fuck man…
It’s nice to see you post again, Matt. I have been going over some of the old blog posts from 2012 and 2013 (when I first got on board), as I am trying to right my metabolic boat after slipping into some shoddy eating habits (like not enough food). Just doing too much caffeine, skipping meals, and being too busy and stressed, and then – whoops – realizing too late that I was underrating even below the Minnesota Starvation Study people, and then insomnia, weight loss, temperature drops, looking shitty, the usual suspects. Nice. So?it’s back eating the food again…
Damned spell check got me — under-eating ?not underrating, lol…
Yes Sean. I keep coming back to the same conclusion….
Attempt to do something besides eat 3 square meals a day and get plenty of sleep at your own risk.
Seems any departure from that primary template ends in disaster for most–even if it feels great at first. ESPECIALLY if it feels great at first.
I can’t imagine anyone that wouldn’t love to follow this idea:
“Raise your metabolism to lose fat slowly over many years without restricting food intake or creating an intentional calorie deficit through exercise.”
But, what about food quality? This is where my brain locks-up and reboots.
If I were to eat what I crave, it would start with a stack of waffles, French toast, and pancakes…dripping with butter…and swimming in maple syrup. That would only be the first course!
But, isn’t unrestricted food intake what leads folks into being overweight in the first place?
More important than “weight,” though, what about “health”?
I think junk is appealing at first if you’ve been avoiding it. But even junk becomes drudgery after a while. It also doesn’t feel very good after a while. With a high metabolism, I’ve gravitated towards watery foods like fruit and smoothies. But I certainly preferred cookies and burgers over smoothies when I first came off of a strict “health food” diet. So I think it’s part of the whole, comprehensive recovery process–recovering both metabolism and achieving neutrality with even the most crack-like of modern foods. But each person’s relationship with food is unique. I also noticed that I kept eating junk long after I got sick of it purely out of laziness/convenience, which is another factor entirely. Ideally, a mostly whole-foods homemade diet without harsh macronutrient restriction is best for most people most of the time.
Thanks, Matt. That’s a great summary. I think it shows how distorted my thinking has become, given I would (seemingly) prefer a “Good” list and a “Bad” list of foods. I was much healthier, from an overall standpoint, before I knew anything about “health.”
Yea, I’d agree that junk food definitely gets tiring. However, I found that after a while on a high sugar diet, frequent sugar feedings became compulsory rather than optional.
Along with the constant sugar cravings came metabolic syndrome and extreme weight gain. I never liked sugar when I was younger, but after drinking soda and eating a ton of carbs it was like I HAD to have sugar. This reaction to long term high sugar/carb diets probably varies a LOT from person to person, and has to do with how genetically susceptible you are to type 2 diabetes/metabolic syndrome.
As an aside, I remember when I was younger, I occasionally would eat a hershey bar. After a few hours, I would notice that I needed to eat another hershey bar immediately, especially if I took a nap at some point after eating the first one (naps are known to fuck with blood sugar). So I’ve had that kind of reaction to sugar my whole life probably.
Me too, what did you introduce to your diet?
Great thoughts,Matt. What I find likely is that something like eating whale blubber ,with all its vast amounts of nutrients and vitamins , including omega 3’s , is very healthful and probably responsible for low rates of CAD among Inuits back in the 1970’s. They synergistically work together. But most of us have to settle for fish oil. (Laughs)
What I PERSONALLY find to beat everything for anti-inflammatory properties are leafy greens-far and away. I eat lots of romaine lettuce every day. ALA is vastly underrated !I think.
Nutrition is a very involved subject. You are not dogmatic,Matt.That is great. You have a healthy attitude. I hope you are doing great.
Jazzy, I strongly admire your ability to write perfectly in another language. : ) That is not a talent of mine at all.
I’ve been hoping to see you on here again. I hope you’re doing well.
Would you be willing to share some information on your type of eating plan? I’m curious about any guiding principles you may follow.
For example: vegan/vegetarian/paleo, low-fat/high-fat, low-carb/high-carb, do you avoid certain foods/food groups, etc.
I’m always interested in knowing what well-informed people eat!
I just saw your message. Thank you! It’s very nice to see you here as well on Matt’s fine little think tank. I hope you are doing great too! : )
A lot of my dietary views were influenced by my friend Urgelt. My main dietary principle is variety-massive variety. I like to cover all nutritional bases never,consuming too much of one thing. I also try to eat tropical when I can. Tropical fruits, veggies ,fats.
I use Olive oil (1 Tablespoon a day) a tiny bit fish oil 500 mg EPA DHA and a small amount of chia seeds if at a good price. Urgelt reasoned we humans are originally tropical critters, so it is likely we are fairly suited to it.
My last principle is uncertainty. Always allow that there is much more to learn and that we always take at least some risk in our choices. I am pretty sure Paleolithic Man succummbed to eating healthful vegetables that had deer poop on them for instance. Or some poisonous item.
Razz. : )
Late last week, I bought the audio version of “Solving the Paleo Equation: Stress, Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep.” I finished listening to it yesterday and wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed it.
It’s a really great book for anyone that has been, is currently, or might become involved in “Paleo” — a term that no longer has a singular meaning, if it ever did.
Anyway, you and Doc G. did a great job. I was thinking how I wish the book had been released a few years earlier, before hosing myself with Paleo-mania. But, had it even been available, I’m not sure if I would have read it.
I plan to listen to it a few more times, as I know I missed some excellent information.
For any others that may be in a similar boat, I recommend this book/audiobook. It was partially due to a review on Amazon that I purchased it. I’m glad I did.
Thanks Buck. Glad you enjoyed it.
Matt, I haven’t read the comments, so sorry if this has already been addressed. Fisrtly, love your writing, cheers keep it up.
ok, With delta 6 desaturase being such an average enzyme, wouldn’t it be right to assume that most of the omega 6 from plant food doesn’t get to grow up to become a prostaglandin? My theory is that the majority of AA is derived from eating grain fed animals who have a harder working delta 6, including farmed fish. I see how the seed oils cause proinflammatory trauma via oxidation, but the omega ratio doesn’t make sense to me unless you’re talking about it in non human animals. I think it makes sense to say that, yes inflammation is exeding the antiinflammatory prostagladin capacity, but this is just a ratio between oxidation and antiinflammtory capacity, not 6 v3. If we need to use a omega 6 to 3 ratio then I feel like it’s only really meat products that make the significant contribution to the true EFAs (AA, EPA, DHA). If we eat healthier meat, then that ratio fixes itself.
Ray Peat also mentioned that the extra B6 ramped up delta 6. In the way we look at the ratio now, that would not result in a cure to EFA deficiency symptoms like it did. It seems fair to assume that the extra delta 6 activity, managed to meat the prostaglandin needs to fight oxidative trauma, not just balancing a ratio of 6 to 3. I think we can give the body more credit for control than that, especially when we look at the food that nature gave us, it seems it would naturally be out of balance in most cultures.
What you eat now?
Why forum is not active?:(
Matt Stone has become to nutrition and health what Paul Krugman is to economics: a person who just spits out outlandish ideas and theories, doesn’t care anymore, is financially well covered. Mr Stone mentioned in an earlier post that he has several businesses besides 180degreehealth.com and makes at least several thousand $/month. He doesn’t care folks. He’s not dedicated to nutrition or health, like other writers are. At this point, he’s just throwing random stuff out there, to create a bit of controversy and get some traffic to his dead blog. Eat fish oil if you are on a bad diet? That’s like Paul Krugman’s Paul Krugman’s crazy solution to solving the debt-ceiling crisis: Minting a $1 trillion coin. Goodbye Matt Stone. You were more focused a few years ago. Now it’s just entertainment, like watching TMZ. Nothing valuable to be found here.
Yeah, balancing out your omega 6 and omega 3 is just a wild, outlandish idea I’m throwing out there to be like the TMZ of nutrition.
It’s not lack of focus, it’s just my work here is done. I’ve made my contribution, and I’ve moved on.
Me love you long time, Matt.
You obviously haven’t been following Matt Stone. He writes these blogs based on his unbiased investigations because it’s his passion. I am thrilled he is doing so well, and can continue to share the information that is pertinent to his audience- not for the money (which was never the case), but because he genuinely cares about the subject and his followers. Sorry you can’t understand that.
I agree with Duurky 100%. I could sense from very early on that Matt Stone (and his constantly changing ideas, without explaining why they’ve changed) is simply trying to gain a reputation without doing the actual hard work that we require of other researches and authors.
Whatever happened to RBTI Matt? You were pushing it strongly at one point, even published a recorded video lecture in front of a classroom, and then suddenly no more mention of it? “My work here is done”?
Quick money, quick publicity. Your books and website and blog have little to do with any genuine interest in health.
The only “rebuttals” I’ve seen from Matt towards his critics are sarcastic remarks and poor sophomoric humor.
And then, there’s the following that I found on Anne Marie Michaels’ website CheeseSlave[.]com:
Have you been and your family been taking fermented cod liver oil (FCLO)? You will want to watch this video. Dr. Kaayla Daniel, former Vice President of the Weston A. Price Foundation published a ?whistleblower? report on August 23, 2015 that raised questions about a natural vitamin supplement that many people in the real foods community have been taking religiously in the belief that it was a healthy, traditional, and safe food.
According to Dr. Daniel, fermented cod liver oil (FCLO) may have contributed to serious health problems, including heart failure, arrhythmias, digestive distress, skin disorders, and pulmonary embolisms.
Click here to download Dr. Daniel’s free report: Hook, Line & Stinker: Hook, Line and Stinker!: The Truth About Fermented Cod Liver Oil
Download Link: bit[.]ly/1NOxtVi
The page with the above information can be found at bit[.]ly/1kKCRR2. But, if you go to the main page for CheeseSlave[.]com, you will find more articles.
I too discovered the detrimental information on FCLO on the cheeseslave website prior to reading this article. I happen to discover WAPF and Sally Fallon’s Nourishing Traditions book when they were first published and I tried to follow their advice to take cod liver oil at that time. They originally recommended Carlson’s lemon flavor which wasn’t so nasty, but they later pulled their endorsement of that brand I believe because the fat soluble vitamins were synthetically added and not natural contained in the CLO. So I switched to fermented brands they recommended, one being Blue Ice. My husband and I were also eating sardines and herring to increase omega 3s. My husband started having episodes of gout and I am not sure if he had an episode prior to taking cod liver oil and eating oily fish, but I do know that sardines once triggered his gout and also that since we stopped taking CLO supplements and stopped eating oily fish that he has never had another episode. I believed what I read, that omega 3s were anti-inflammatory, but I began to learn and now believe all fish oil is rancid no matter the form and are not worth the risk. I believe the rancid omega 3 oils may have triggered my husband’s gout. I removed PUFA oils from our diet before his episodes of gout but I have read in Ray Peat’s articles that it can take up to 4 years to remove omega 6 from tissues, so perhaps during the ensuing years when they were released from his tissues, that could have been triggering the gout but taking the fish oil certainly wasn’t helping. We haven’t taken any fish oils for a few years now, and we no longer eat oily fish either. I find it interesting that my Mom never served us oily fish when I was growing up, only cod which is very low in fat and on Ray Peat’s recommended list. I agree it could be a good idea to increase omega 3s if you continue to consume PUFA fats or if you are depleting your tissues of them, but I would certainly get them from a safer source rather than from fish oils. Another good reason to dump the fish oil is the industry is further depleting the oceans. Bottom line, we never noticed any health benefit from taking CLO or from eating oily fish however I would recommend a safe source of vitamin D during the winter months in the north when adequate sunshine is not available.
Salmon sashimi and wild salmon seem to make my brain work better. Pass on the fish oil.
I’ve been down a lot of diet rabbit holes, and the one I am current exploring is high fat low carb. Gained an insane amount of weight on high carb [soda/sugar] and high everything else diet, and developed metabolic syndrome.
I’m rapidly losing weight on high fat low carb. I tried to lose weight on high carb low fat, and even at about 1,500 cals a day or less weight loss was slow or non-existent. On high carb low fat it is the opposite, at higher calories. I can’t stop losing weight. And I feel about 10x better.
I think high fat low carb is definitely the best thing I’ve come across. I think some people can eat whatever they want and maintain homeostasis, but others can’t handle the metabolic impact of a diet rich in sugar and carbs.
Vegetable oil makes me feel like shit, butter makes me feel normal. Sugar and carbs make me feel good for a little while and then like shit an hours or so later.
Whether you burn your own fat through calorie restriction, or burn dietary fat, getting the majority of your calories from saturated fat seems like a good idea. If you have allergic reactions to things like milk, I’d suggest finding sources of saturated fat lower in protein.
When you have some time, you might find the following two videos interesting.
“Survival of the Smartest (part 1) – Dr Diana Schwarzbein”
“Survival of the Smartest (part 2) – Dr Diana Schwarzbein”
Just search those titles on YouTube.
I mention them, because she talks about the problems with Paleo/Low-Carb Diets. I think she has some points worth considering. If you decide to watch them, feel free to share your thoughts.
Of course, Matt and Dr. Garrett Smith also wrote the great book “Solving the Paleo Equation: Stress, Nutrition, Exercise, Sleep” that deflates many common fads.
Cool man, thanks for the links, I’ll check them out when I can. From what I’ve heard of The Schwarzbein Principle, she seems to be pro high fat diets. Did she change her stance?
It was only recently that I heard about her. From what I heard in the videos, though, she didn’t *appear* to be pro high-fat.
Really, you could skip Part 1 and go to Part 2. That’s the video with the most information, but it still left me wanting more information. She had too much to cover in too little time.
Basically, she’s all about taming the Sympathetic Nervous System and boosting the Parasympathetic Nervous System. So, the usual stuff that will be no surprise to you.
I found this on her website. See Item #1, regarding her dietary approach:
1. Healthy Nutrition
– Never skip a meal again
– Eat real, unprocessed foods
– Eat balanced meals
– Choose a protein as the main nutrient in your meal
– Add some healthy fats
– Add real carbohydrates
– Add nonstarchy vegetables
– Eat snacks
– Eat solid food
– Drink enough water
2. Stress Management
– Make downtime a daily practice
– Put your life in perspective
– Keep track of stress signals
– Get enough sleep
3. Tapering-Off or Avoiding Toxic Chemicals
– Refined sugar
– Artificial sweeteners
– Illicit drugs and narcotics
– MSG, preservatives and additives
– Fake fats and fat blockers
– Certain prescription drugs
4. Getting Proper Exercise
– Exercise to improve flexibility and calm system.
– Adaptive resistance training to improve musculature.
– Cardiovascular and stimulating exercise.
5. Hormone Replacement Therapy
– Don’t take a hormone that’s not low/missing.
– Take only bioidentical hormones.
– Mimic normal physiology as much as possible.
– Track the hormone levels and their effects.
What I found the most interesting was her discussion of Insulin. I just wish there had been a little more, as far as tangible takeaways.
Nice. I still haven’t watched the videos but most of that advice seems relatively generic. I’ve gone down the same road before, where I think “what are all the possible variables that comprise health”, but generally I find that the Pareto principle applies to my efforts. 20% of the changes I’ve made [or less] have accounted for 80% of the benefits I’ve experienced [or more].
For me, the most cost effective change I’ve made has been to dramatically cut carbs and sugars and get the majority of my calories from saturated fat, and a few from protein. I’ve tried pretty much everything else and felt like shit compared to how I feel when I get most of my calories from SFA, and realize that most of my life I have felt like shit comparatively speaking. I also feel like my T levels skyrocket on high SFA.
Have you tried high starch? I can’t imagine doing HCLF with sugar (though I did it and it worked fine with frequent feedings of pure glucose in the context of an elemental diet,) but I most my calories come from starch and that works just fine. Not saying that starch is ideal for you, too, but it could be an alternative if you run into problems with the high-fat thing.
I think HCLF is probably second best relative to HFLC, weird as that seems. I find HFLC is better for weight loss, mood stability, and much easier to adhere to. Regardless of dietary macro composition though, if you are under your maintenance calories you will always be burning fat from your own stores at some point during the day.
“I’m rapidly losing weight on high fat low carb. I tried to lose weight on high carb low fat, and even at about 1,500 cals a day or less weight loss was slow or non-existent. On high carb low fat it is the opposite, at higher calories. I can’t stop losing weight. And I feel about 10x better.”
I meant to say on high fat low carb it is the opposite.
Also, I meant to say this before, but I really appreciate this blog and have really enjoyed seeing ideas thrown around here over the last few years. Whether you choose to keep posting or move on to other ventures, it was fun having a group of people to talk about this stuff with. Ignore the haters, they just want another guru to follow.
I read the Schwarzbein Principle many years ago and the follow up book, The Transition. Many people were confused about her recommendations because for one, WAPF endorsed her book because it recommended consuming “good fat”, but her book didn’t recommended not consuming carbohydrates in lieu of fats. She did however initially treat her diabetic patients with reduced carbohydrate diets, however what she found was they did great for the first 2 years, but after that they went downhill. Here is the danger she explains in her youtube videos “Survival of the Smartest” of low carbohydrate diets. In 2007 they were actually able to see the effect of insulin INSIDE the cell. This was a revelation because what they found was that insulin was required to produce nitric oxide in the cells and without carbs that cause a release of insulin that shuttles glucose into the cell, the pathway inside the cell that makes nitric oxide is damaged. I hope I explained that properly but in a nutshell, she found that restricting carbohydrates from diabetics eventually causes heart disease and a worsening of blood sugar levels and other diabetic symptoms, but this also happens in non-diabetics because on a carb restricted diet you will eventually damage the same nitric oxide pathway in the cells and you will end up a diabetic as a result. Low nitric oxide levels lead to stroke and heart disease which are common in diabetics. She explains why you initially see good results on low carb diets but that you are damaging your cells and will eventually see the repercussions. I know, because it happened to me. I ate too low carb for many years and I am a fairly heavy exerciser and now I realize I was headed for diabetes. A great distinction in source must be made when eating carbs. You can’t get enough from just vegetables which was mainly what I was eating for carbs. You must include higher carb sources from fruit or starch but not refined, processed sugars and grains. Her information on eating balanced in order to balance your hormones is extremely valuable and works in my opinion. I made the mistake of ASSUMING I was diabetic when I read her first book and I restricted carbs for many years, but I also did so because I was successful losing weight back in my 40s on the Atkins diet in which I virtually ate no carbs for a year. I eventually rebounded with my weight going even higher and I did that several times over the past 15 years further damaging my metabolism but I viewed carbs as the culprit for many years and always tried to avoid them. I highly recommend you watch her videos and read her books so you avoid carb restriction and the damage it does because it could cost you your life down the road as a diabetic or from a stroke or heart disease. We don’t need high anything, we need balanced moderate everything and mainly we need to eat unadulterated food from whole plant food sources. That is what the latest scientific study found..the best diet is primarily from whole plant foods!
Whenever I supplement with high doses of fish oil , my gums begin to swell and I often will get sick with a nasty cold. Everything I read said to take it but I am convinced fish oil somehow lowers my immune system. I read somewhere that zinc may beneficial for over-active immune response , so I tried fish oil with zinc last time and I did not get the swollen gums effect. I am confused now and not sure what to do…
Matt, Do you have any advice for someone who is young (25 years) and is suffering from dementia? My son has this neurodegenerative condition, which the doctors cannot explain nor do they know what to do. I know it’s far-fetched asking this question on a blog comment, but maybe you have a few ideas… We have tried thyroid (t3/t4/dessicated) and progesterone and vitamins, none of which helped.. Obvious things like infections have been ruled out, he has had many lab tests, and none of them show anything abnormal
Not sure how serious your son’s condition is, if it is genetic or if he has pre-existing issues [overweight, etc], but I was in a similar situation not too long ago, and I am 27.
I work a desk job, and I would literally sit at my desk and be incapable of comprehending what was on my screen, and I retained none of the information people tried to tell me. I have frequently described it as dementia-like. The thing that fixed it for me was going from a very high sugar, very high carb diet, to a no sugar, very low carb diet.
Different people are more susceptible to carb issues, and stress, poor sleep, etc. usually play a role in the problem as well. If you have issues with carbs, eating them can cause constant blood sugar fluctuations/insulin spikes that interfere with pretty much every aspect of your physiology, often to a suprisingly extreme extent, especially if you have broken your metabolism in some way. I would recommend:
Read these two blogs, and specifically the articles I linked to. Adhering to a low carb, high fat, moderate protein diet could solve your son’s problems. Definitely solved mine.
Just want to clarify that I’m not trying to demonize carbs. It all depends on the individual. Some people can eat whatever they want and be fine, others can’t even tolerate a tiny amount of carbs. Every individual is different, and there are always more variables at play than just diet. All I know is that cutting way back on the carbs and eating way more saturated fat basically gave me my health back. Worth a shot.
Not sure if other comment got blocked intentionally or unintentionally, but this one doesn’t really make sense without it.
Maybe this comment will make it through. My basic advice is to try getting way more of his calories from saturated fat, and way less from carbs and sugar. I was having mental issues until I cut out most sugar and carbs in my diet. Ketogenic diets are known for helping with certain conditions like seizures, dementia, etc., so I’d recommend a high fat low carb diet, with occasional carbs for dinner [sweet potatoes fried in butter]. Look up the blog hyperlipid, and edwardjedmonds.
This article was really helpful to me. I’m at a point of transition and have recently just entered single-mother-dom of toddlers and the mere idea of making everything from scratch might cause me an aneurism. Since reading about how bad Omega-3 and omega-6 oils were, I have only been feeling guilty about what I eat and feed my kids. It’s nice to know I can supplement to balance it out. My 3-year-old son has high iron levels though (15), is there anything that would help lower them?
Rose is that you on that picture? You look really beautiful
Bread & Butter – David Mitchell’s Soapbox
Matt: your recommendations are good for healthy people with minor issues. What about really sick people with cancer, dementia, heart failure, being close to death? Any advices on how to reverse those illnesses?
For omega-3 I recommend people consider using fresh salmon or fish eggs (“roe”). You can clearly taste the oil quality and avoid it when it becomes stale. To contrast, industrial oils are bleached and deodorized and it becomes difficult to detect harmful rancid oils.
Biochemists like Ray Peat are so extremely negative on PUFA that they say even butter and coconut oil contain too much PUFA at 2% to 3% of the total fast composition. What kinds of saturated fats would avoid all PUFA??
You better to snack on six nuts modo.six r bigger bitch
Recently I happened to read a blog on 13 Omega-3 Fish Oil benefits.
We should ensure that our diet provides these very important essential fats. Fish oil contains two very important omega-3 PUFAs.
Check this article, informative read https://draxe.com/fish-oil-benefits-health/
Krill oil is going to be a way better choice. They are in fresher water and at the bottom of the food chain so low murcery.
Fish oil benefits? You bet! Fish oil health benefits are important and wide-ranging. Proven by numerous clinical studies, fish oil benefits range from brain health to heart health to pregnancy health.
I came across this study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30051170?dopt=Abstract that showed that vegan women’s breast milk had the highest amount of Omega 3.