This all-animal stuff is a piece of cake. Uh, uh, I mean piece of uh, flesh.
I’m not suffering in any shape, form, or fashion at the moment. For the last two mornings I did have very slight signs of fecal compaction, but I wouldn’t call it constipation, it required no straining (the key), and I even had deuce deuces today, so I think I’m in the clear on that one.
Kinda pressed for time this evening, so the discussion of addiction and up/down regulation will have to wait for tomorrow.
I will say that I had a slight anorectic moment this morning. I had four or five bites of my delicious eggs and suddenly thought I was going to puke. But hey, I powered through it all the way to the last bite and had a really strong day. Even got in a little exercise (heart thumping a little harder than usual, but I had stupid amounts of energy).
For those who’ve had all kinds of lethargy, headaches, dizziness, nausea, and other ill effects upon trying a super low-carb diet ? I can honestly say that those effects were due in part to sugar-withdrawal symptoms paired with insufficient preparation (i.e. ? tapering down carbohydrates gradually so as to ease the body and digestive tract into the transition ? just as crazed dietary lunatics like Gregory Ellis insist).
Let you know how the rest of the journey goes, but the forecast, so far, is looking pretty good ? as am I. I think I could start charging people to pet my hair right now, which felt totally different just 1 week ago. It’s softer than a kitten covered in cotton, wrapped in a fleece blanket, and bouncing through a fabric softener commercial.
Breakfast: 6 eggs scrambled with 1 ounce brie and 2T butter
Lunch: 12 ounces fatty ribeye
Dinner: 1 pound fresh Hawaiian pork belly fried in a little macadamia nut oil (from a pppp-PLANT ? Oh God! Hope the meatkateers don’t crucify me for that). Localvores are givin? it up big time though. My dinner traveled like 5 miles to get to my mouth.
“For those who’ve had all kinds of lethargy, headaches, dizziness, nausea, and other ill effects upon trying a super low-carb diet ? I can honestly say that those effects were due in part to sugar-withdrawal symptoms paired with insufficient preparation…”
I have none of those symptoms from a VLC diet. Just psychological ones: worrying, fretfulness, insomnia, etc. The question is whether you will maintain muscle over the long-term. Charles said that he will lose muscle if he stops exercising. That is a symptom of hormonal imbalances IMO. You said you maintain muscle with hardly any exercise and Aajonus says he does no exercise at all for his buff physique. I have also heard (from Barry Groves) that the Eskimos and their dogs remained very fit even though they hunted sporadically and lived off frozen and preserved meats most of the year. It seems their diet is more complete than a runner who can lose weight if he doesn’t exercise.
“I think I could start charging people to pet my hair right now, which felt totally different just 1 week ago. It’s softer than a kitten covered in cotton, wrapped in a fleece blanket, and bouncing through a fabric softener commercial.”
My hair is the same, but it may be from the macadamia oil. I had similar effects from eating a low-PUFA diet and the mac oil added to these benefits. My feet are very soft and smooth now. I am glad you mentioned some health benefits, unlike a certain person who has never listed any concrete benefits, other than losing a few pounds of “weight” (posssibly bone, organ, or water). However, since you’re eating carbs and plant oils the results are somewhat ambiguous.
Macadamia is a unique oil. It’s very low in PUFAs (2-4%) and higher in MUFAs than olive oil (80% or more). Unlike olive or other oils, the MUFAs as not just oleic, but but palmitoleic acid. It’s found in healthy skin and hair, but it is usually made by the body, because most foods do not have a lot of it. Mac oil is similar to foie gras or bone marrow, very low in PUFAs and high in MUFAs. It will help to build up Mead Acid (20:3 omega-9), which is an alternative to omega-3 and -6 that is made on a low-PUFA diet.
I don’t lose muscle on my zero-carb diet. What I said was that I felt as if I lost a bit of strength when I lost 15 pounds over the summer. I think it stands to reason that when you go from 154 to 144, you may not be as strong as you were.
It’s well known that those who eat plenty of fat and protein and eliminate carbohydrate will retain more muscle mass than those who reduce fat. By the same token if one exercises intensely for a period of time, and then they stop for several months, they would not expect to be at the same level they were when they stopped. Not that they’re now out of shape, but clearly not at peak condition — that’s what I was referring to. I’m still very muscular.
You said if you don’t exercise, you lose weight. Anyone can search your forum and find the messages. Lots of body-builders and fitness models eat carbohydrates, so the implication that carbohydrates cause muscle loss is as ridiculous as the idea that carbohydrates cause obesity. Dozens of thin cultures eat high carb diets. So that is not even worth discussing if you can’t admit that. You and Taubes confuse refined carbohydrates with carbohydrates in general. Your newest article repeats this same logical mistake.
“Refined and easily digestible carbohydrates elevate blood sugar and insulin and presumably induce insulin resistance thus implicating carbohydrate consumption as the cause of heart disease in both diabetics and healthy individuals. By this reasoning, a diet where carbohydrates play a major part is atherogenic.”
This is a logical fallacy and it doesn’t follow from the evidence you give that a diet where carbohydrates play a major role is atherogenic. You lump “refined carbohydrates” with “easily digestible carbohydrates.” Can you give evidence that raw milk or sugar cane or unheated honey cause disease? Of course not. The Kitavans eat 70% carbs, mainly potatoes and tubers. None of their population is obese unless they start eating refined sugars, flours, and vegetable oils.
You can’t ignore the fact that numerous healthy tribes have eaten carbohydrates. Weston Price and Robert McCarrison have written about them. You’re not the most muscular or healthiest person the world has ever known. I can name lots of body builders who are more muscular than you and don’t eat low-carb diets, let alone zero-carb. I believe vegetable oils are also a big factor in modern disease. As they have been introduced and promoted, the epidemics of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and so forth exploded.
Raw carbohydrates are perhaps different than cooked carbs, as are raw dairy and pasteurized, raw meat and cooked meat, raw eggs and cooked eggs, etc. After a prolonged low-carb diet, my weight was 185# at 6 ft. By switching to raw milk, raw meat, raw fish, raw eggs, and then adding raw juices and unheated honey, I lost 15#. I drank 2-4 quarts of raw milk a day and ate probably half a cup of raw honey a day. I ate all I wanted and my weight dropped to a new low. Nobody can explain this, except to say that those foods are less fattening.
Bruce, you must stop this ranting. It’s unhealthy. I don’t deny that unrefined carbohydrates can be healthy for people who start out that way. My argument concerns those who have already damaged their metabolism. If you or anyone else wants to eat carbohydrates of some sort then have at it. I really don’t care what you eat.
For those who have problems with cravings and hunger (most people) then it’s prudent to severely reduce or even eliminate carbohydrates in many cases, from the diet.
You reduced your consumption of refined carbohydrates and still eat unrefined carbohydrates and you feel you are healthy. Congratulations. If people do it your way and find success, then more power to them. Everyone has to find their way. I found mine and I respect you that you have found yours. I don’t feel the need to criticize those who find answers for themselves in a way different than I would imagine.
One last thing. The reason I recommend against even unrefined carbohydrates for those with damaged metabolism is because of hyperinsulnemia. When insulin is still higher than necessary, even the response generated by “good” carbohydrates can lead to cravings in many people.
The sine que non of any diet is control of hunger and cravings. If a diet does not control these two factors then it cannot be said to be a healthy diet. Weight loss is immaterial. One can drink prune juice for a few months and lose 100 pounds. The question is can such a diet control hunger and cravings, and I argue that it cannot.
Thanks, Matt for allowing me to share these viewpoints on your blog.
Charles, I’m not ranting at all. You say refined carbs cause disease, then say it is too much carbs in general that are to blame. This doesn’t follow from what you have presented. Nobody is convinced from your argument, except people who already believe in zero-carb. You are “preaching to the choir.” You will achieve nothing. My hunger and cravings were more related to eating fiber, like nuts, seeds, whole fruits, vegetables, etc. So, I eat those foods very rarely, if at all. And I have no cravings now. None at all.
“For those who have problems with cravings and hunger (most people) then it’s prudent to severely reduce or even eliminate carbohydrates in many cases, from the diet.”
I agree. But we should also consider the effect of cooked food on health, weight, etc. Eating more raw food like raw milk, raw cheese, raw meat, raw egg yolks, raw fish, raw liver, and so on made me lose weight while eating cooked low-carb made me stall. I’m not saying that any diet’s ideal, but there is a difference between eating cooked and raw food, as well as a difference between refined and unrefined carbs. You ignore that.
“You reduced your consumption of refined carbohydrates and still eat unrefined carbohydrates and you feel you are healthy.”
I didn’t eat less refined carbohydrates, because I wasn’t eating them before. But I did reduce my consumption of fiber, by not eating things like nuts, berries, or vegetables. Only green vegetable juices. My feelings of health are as reliable as your feelings of health. You do not have an infallible sense of health. Maybe you would be healthier if ate brain, tongue, marrow, liver, kidney, heart, and so on. Maybe you’d be healthier if you ate 100% raw. Who knows.
You selectively quote Stefansson to say that Eskimos didn’t eat organ meats, but you know that’s wrong. They ate caribou heads, including brain, tongue, eyes, etc. They also ate fish heads, bones, organs, and tails. They ate meat broths from the whole fish. You’re not eating those things. So, your diet is not the same as Stefansson’s. And your claims that Stefansson ate sirloin for a year at Bellevue are false. They ate brains, liver, boiled ribs, etc. The study also said that the two men preferred boiled meats to fried meat and they ate marrow from the bones raw. You aren’t getting the same nutrients that they got or the same nutrients that the Eskimos got, no matter how you want to spin the facts.
I’m not arguing that you will develop a deficiency, as an adult male, but there is reason to believe that your diet has vastly less nutrients than Stefansson’s or the Eskimo’s. If you get cancer or a heart attck in old age, like Bear, then just think about that. Maybe your “zero carb” diet isn’t optimal.
“The sine que non of any diet is control of hunger and cravings. If a diet does not control these two factors then it cannot be said to be a healthy diet. Weight loss is immaterial.”
It seems to matter a lot to you. I have read many of your posts and I’ve mostly seen you talking about how you lost 3-5 pounds by getting rid of eggs or cheese. But you ate those with meat, so you are ignoring the possibility that it may be the combination of foods that caused an increase in your weight. Maybe if you’d eaten the eggs alone or cheese alone or eggs-and-cheese without meat, you would not have gained weight.
A similar argument can be made regarding carbohydrates. It may be the combination of fat and carbs that makes people fat, whereas it would be impossible to fatten someone on carbs without fat. I’ve seen lots of thin people who drink sodas and eat high-carb garbage. So, there is some empirical evidence for this.
“One can drink prune juice for a few months and lose 100 pounds. The question is can such a diet control hunger and cravings, and I argue that it cannot.”
I agree. And I also agree it wouldn’t be healthy to eat such a diet. But that is not the question. The question’s whether you would be obese if you ate the Kitava diet or a similar diet. 70% carbs, 20% fat, and 10% protein from potatoes, root vegetables, coconuts, fruit, and fish. No grains, refined sugars, or vegetable oils. I bet you would stay thin.
I still don’t get what you’re arguing about. I don’t argue that my diet is like Stefansson. The diet of the Inuit is not even his main argument. He argues primarily about Pemmican, which is beef, fat and water. The diet of the Inuit is irrelevant to me except that they are often inaccurately described by the practices of some of them.
Stefansson provides us insight that there were many different Inuit and all of them did not eat the same things. Some Inuit only ate caribou and never ate fish. There were others who ate fish but never caribou yet none had deficiencies. The exclusive fish eaters did not eat bones or anything like that yet did not develop deficiencies. That’s the only point I wish to make concerning the Inuit.
I don’t need to speculate regarding Stefansson’s arguments because I can quote them directly. In Not by Bread Alone, we have this passage on Page 89:
“The way in which Eskimos divide, for instance, a caribou between men and dogs has been described with some detail; here the fact is emphasized that the organ commonly spoken of as richest in vitamins, the liver, is nearly always given to the dogs?as are the sweetbreads and, indeed, all things from the body cavity except the heart and kidneys. The kidneys are usually given to children, somewhat as if they were candy.
So far as I know the Eskimos of northern Alaska and northwestern
Canada, and the forest Indians just to the south of them, the only condition under which they ate nearly or quite the whole caribou was in time of famine. Ceasing to give the dogs the parts which normally are theirs was that
stage of a famine which immediately preceded the killing
and eating of the dogs themselves.
So far as present knowledge goes, there is in ordinary red meat, or in ordinary fresh fish, without the eating of anything from the body cavity, enough Vitamin C, or whatever it is that prevents scurvy, to maintain optimum health indefinitely, with a cooking to the degree which we call medium.
Certainly this is true if the meat is cooked in large chunks, as with both Eskimos and northern forest Indians, rather than in thin slices, which latter style of cooking may, for all I know, decrease the potency of the scurvy-preventing factor.
There is no intention to deny, of course, that cooking to medium will somewhat lessen the meat’s antiscorbutic value. What is to be said is only that even with medium cooking there appears to be left over, in fresh red meat or fresh fish, an abundance if not a superabundance of all the vitamins
and of all the other factors necessary for keeping a man in
top form indefinitely. If results contrary to this are obtained
from experiments on guinea pigs, rats or chimpanzees, then it may be advisable to restrict the conclusions in each case to the animal from which these results were drawn.”
This is what my my version of ZC is based on. Your prescription of 70% carbohydrate, 20% fat and 10% protein sounds intensely grotesque to me. I can’t think of any foods in such a variation that sound good to eat without significant seasoning. No wonder you aren’t very athletic. Even your guy Weston Price observed that the meat-eaters were more robust than their neighbors and they tended to dominate them. Yes, there were some veggie eaters who were healthy and had good teeth, but not as healthy or with as good teeth as the exclusive meat eaters.
If you want validation from me of such a monkey-food diet for you and your followers, then you have it! Enjoy such a diet in great health.
I don’t eat monkey food so I really don’t care if it’s healthy or not. If you say it is, I’ll take your word for it. You say it controls your hunger and cravings and if so, you’ve found what you’re after. Why trouble everyone else?
The substance of my argument is found in the passage quoted, plain and simple. What else would you like to argue about?
I haven’t said that I eat monkey food or that anyone should eat that way. Monkeys don’t eat like the people in Kitava. The meat Stefansson ate wasn’t the same as a steak from Wal-Mart. Native pemmican was made with meat from wild animals. If you can’t see the difference, OK. Hopefully, you will avoid cancer and heart attacks, unlike the other man suggesting to eat a similar diet to yours.
Whether or not the Inuit ate caribou or fish, they ate the head, brain, tongue, bone marrow, eyes, and possibly various other organ meats. You don’t. They also ate broths made from the meat and bones. You don’t. So to compare your diet with theirs or Stefansson’s is erroneous. It isn’t the same at all. None of them ate muscle meats exclusively. Brain is very high in cholesterol (about 6 times more than eggs, give or take). You don’t eat brain, marrow, tongue, eyes, etc. Brain is high in many nutrients. I don’t care what you eat, but you’re promoting your own version of the native diet which no native actually ever ate.
You don’t know anything about me. I am very athletic. I only do high-intensity exercise and weight lifting, not wasting my time running marathons, which are a pointless waste of time IMO. You can’t seem to separate what I do from what the people Weston Price studied do or what the Kitavans do. I’m not saying that I eat like the Kitavans, so tha’s just a straw man argument from hou.
You also don’t read very well. In your quest to prove me wrong you’re not getting it. I don’t at all care that they ate meat from wild animals or domestic animals. What difference does it make?
I’m healthy and so were they. Many on my forum are also finding wonderful success eating just as I do or slightly different with other types of meats.
As Stefansson said:
“So far as present knowledge goes, there is in ordinary red meat, or in ordinary fresh fish, without the eating of anything from the body cavity, enough Vitamin C, or whatever it is that prevents scurvy, to maintain optimum health indefinitely, with a cooking to the degree which we call medium “
He’s talking about ordinary meat like ribs, briskets and fats. The parts from the brain and behind the eyes they were interested in was the fat. These are choice fats.
The experience he draws on for some of these statements does not point to the Inuit. The majority of his book draws from evidence of the North American Indians of the Great Plain who used pemmican. The Inuit did NOT use pemmican. I don’t care what your bible site says, you need to read the books for yourself.
They also used the back fats and kidney fats for pemmican. These are all fats. They were not interested in dietetic arguments. They went for taste, plain and simple.
I get all the nutrients I need. If the meat was raw, maybe it would be more nutrient dense, but that doesn’t meat that mine has no nutrients. It obviously has enough and that was the same argument that Stefansson made with regard to ordinary meat. You may not like Wal-Mart and their meat is no doubt inferior to that from the local rancher. However, it’s not correct to say that it does not have enough nutrients to suffice for great health.
If the organ meat was so necessary then I should have already had scurvy and be dead already. It didn’t take those poor sailors very long to come down with it. I’ve been eating this way for long enough that these signs should have begun to show.
That means that what I am eating is by definition a healthy diet. You may not approve, but you can’t offer any evidence as to why it does not work, besides your vitriol and your own preferences. Why all the negative comments about the Bear and his cancer? That’s not at all productive. Insults are not necessary to argue intelligently. Are you mad because I don’t like potatoes and the crap you eat? Would you be happier if we all just stopped and ate like BruceK?
Even Matt here, on a short period of time is feeling better than he has in a long time. Oh, he can speculate on all these reasons he wants, but the fact is the guy is feeling pretty good. I can tell him that it only gets better. That nonsense about the adrenals is yet another low-carb myth. He’ll be much calmer and his adrenals will work much less as his insulin comes more under control.
Maybe you should argue with Matt and perhaps he’ll try your experiment for 30 days. If what you say is true, it should be good for him!
I read fine, Charles. You’re the one who doesn’t bother reading what I say before responding. I *know* that you don’t care what Stefansson or the Eskimos ate. That was my point. Thanks for confirming that you use them as an example of health and then eat a diet contrary to theirs. That shows your level of credibility and does not need any further comment.
“The parts from the brain and behind the eyes they were interested in was the fat. These are choice fats.”
Exactly. So why aren’t you eating those “choice fats”? The brain is also higher in cholesterol than any other meat, and you claim cholesterol is important, but your diet doesn’t have as much as those healthy primitives. Beef brains have 20 times more cholesterol than ground beef by weight. How can you know that you’re healthy? A lot of vegans think they are healthy, too. Short-term results do not mean anything. After 10-20 years, you’d begin to have some credibility over the people like Stefansson and the Eskimos. But until then, you’re just another guy spouting a bizarre diet.
Whether they ate back fat or kidney fat, wild animal fat is different than meats from Wal-Mart. They were getting things that you are not getting.or you are not getting nearly as much of. Saying that you get all the nutrients you need does not prove anything. Vegans get all the nutrients they need, if you ask them. Provide historical and scientific proof that your diet is adequate in essential nutrients for robust health over many generations, not just a year and a few months. Then I’ll listen.
I’m not saying that the cooked meat has no nutrients or that you can’t survive on it, but there’s a difference between survival and radiant health. If you can prove that you have radiant health, not just the appearance of health, then why should anyone believe you’re healthy? I have seen lots of body-builders who are more muscular than you and they eat all kinds of carbs, lean meat, etc. Why are they more muscular than you? Also, how long will you live? Will you have heart attack and cancer, like the Bear?
As I said, you don’t know what I eat. I don’t care about starches at all. They taste like nothing. I’d rather eat just butter than the bread or potatoes they come with. So, why don’t you stop being ignorant and try discussing ideas in a rational way? Matt is a sugar addict by his own admission. I’m not. I determine what I eat eat and dont’crave anything.
Getting cancer and a heart attack tells me that the Bear’s diet and/or lifestyle wasn’t ideal. Short-term experience on some diet doesn’t prove anything. Where is the long-term proof that you’re more healthy and will live longer?
Charles,is a dietary racist. Anybody who doesn’t eat zero-carb is eating “monkey food.” LOL. Gee, what an intelligent and smart comment. I think it’s clear you’re unable to debate anyone intelligently. I bring up things like the Kitava studies, and you accuse me of eating the diet I’m describing. Can you be any more obtuse? You need to stop debating, Charles. It’s only making you look worse. You have not yet bothered to respond to anything that I said really. You dismiss Stefansson’s article “Adventures in Diet” and tell me to read his books. Why? He described his diet at Bellevue in the article. and it wasn’t “nothing but sirloin” like you’ve said. Also, if your ead the test of the Bellevue Study, you see that both of the men preferred boiled meat, and they ate raw bone marrow, meat broths, and other things. They got calcium from boiling the ribs and eating the broth. You claim they didn’t have calcium, based on the ignorant comments by the authors of the study. But if you actually had done any critical thinking, you would know they got calcium from boiling the bones, and drinking the broth.
So, to sum up, everything you’ve said is ignorant, false, or half-truth. You’re a horrible debator who can do nothing more than call people “monkeys” if they don’t eat the diet you espouse. It’s pathetic. You’re diet is clearly getting to you as you’re hostile and unable to even read a few paragraphs and absorb what you have read. You know nothing about me or what I eat, and your claims regarding Eskimo eating habits and Stefansson’s Bellevue diet are refuted by Stef’s own words. In short, you’re wrong. You lose.
Regarding the Kitavans and why their high starch and high fruit diet may provide them protection.
Bruce, you’re as ignorant as I thought you were. Just continue your habit of going around and telling everyone how smart you are and how ignorant everyone else is. In the meantime, I’ll continue to live on as I always have. This is pointless. Enjoy whatever it is that you eat and I hope it works for you.
Charles, you’re as ignorant as I thought you were. You haven’t read anything that I’ve written. You just made lots of dumb assumptions about me that made an ass of yourslf. It is pointless to talk to guys like you, because it’s like talking to a brick wall. You’re always right and will never admit when you’re wrong. You waste everyone’s time with nonsense. If you’re really healthy, you would be more honest and admit when you were wrong and listen carefully to what others are saying. But you know it all, so why bother. Everyone not eating zero-carb is a monkey. Thanks for clearing that up for everyone.
Guys that was tremendous. I’m wiping tears of sheer entertaining joy from my face.
Both of you guys are very intelligent and well-researched. I have a feeling you guys could go on like this for all eternity.
My take on things is as follows:
Fructose is unique as a carbohydrate. Studies have shown that only fructose, as a carbohydrate type, can trigger insulin resistance. Glucose (from starch or simple sugars), lactose, or any other sugar cannot pull this off. Why this is so is uncertain, but those who have researched it thoroughly have noted that insulin resistance cannot be triggered without fructose unless they straight inject cortisone.
To study syndrome X-related disorders, researchers feed large quantities of fructose to the rats. Then they study hyperinsulinemia, test hypertension drugs, and so on.
And yes, only processed, refined fructose appears to be able to do this. Honey and fruit are not magically fattening and I know of no society that developed metabolic syndrome en masse from eating too many bananas.
And I know plenty of people with stalled weight loss on Aajonus’s raw diet as well. I too had a deterioration of my health after drinking 2-4 quarts of raw milk myself while having honey-egg smoothies, honey-sweetened raw cheese/egg desserts, etc. I didn’t buy food from even an organic store but ONLY from local farmers directly at that time. I even milked the cows myself! I know Bruce has succeeded on this, as have thousands I’m sure. Not me though. I had to go sweet-free and way low carb to have a better experience. I am not alone.
The theory that carbs raise insulin, and in turn causes insulin resistance appears to be flawed. Carbs may exacerbate insulin resistance, but cannot outright cause the disease. Perhaps the combination of vegetable oils with fructose is required to achieve the poor health we, as a society have. Who knows. Barry Sears in Toxic Fat 2008 looks at the situation more as a “perfect nutritional storm” that combines multiple factors, so that one element cannot be solely blamed.
Plus, only refined sugar can cause cavities. I know of nothing else that can do that.
On Bruce’s half it is true. There is nothing inherently wrong with the carbohydrate. We don’t all need to eat zero carb or even low-carb to be healthy.
In Charles’s defense (thanks for visiting by the way, I find your blog to be extraordinarily well-put together), a low carb and even zero carb diet does have tremendous potential as a dietary treatment for these disorders. I believe in Bruce’s line of thinking, but experientially I too cannot free myself from sugar addiction unless I get carbs down to a certain point and omit all sweet-tasting substances. Then, like magic, sweets, my nemesis for 3 decades, become quite unappealing. The desire is gone, and mental/emotional stability returns to a level that I know is exceptional in today’s world – and a big improvement from my prior self.
Charles, I’ve always been reluctant to endorse or try no-carb. The idea of ketosis sounds sketchy, especially when even Dr. Atkins mentions hypothyroidism, many people I know and have consulted with have really done damage to themselves eating low carb, etc.
But the logic behind a meat-only diet with no processed foods, with or without an abundance of complimentary organ meats is a big step up from Atkins. Splenda-laden bars will keep a person hooked on sugar and miserably sugar-deprived for a lifetime. Hearing Richard Bernstein’s testimonials is all the proof I need on that. They talk about their low carb diet like they’re getting ass-pounded in prison.
The real question is whether or not Charles diet is a viable way to eat for those with severe hyperinsulinemic disorders. Will it result in deficiency long-term or is it, like you Bruce, another vegan-esque testimonial?
I know my 30 days won’t show much, but I want to experience the physiology of the diet first hand to see what I can glean from it.
Anyway, thanks for visiting and opening up. FYI – the best part of the entire dialogue was Charles’s initial reference to “monkey food.” Defensive sure, but funny as hell. It fits in perfectly to the FUMP concept.
Charles, I look forward to your future work. I hope your diet is a success for yourself and others like you. I hope it doesn’t end in disaster for too many, although it does carry with it great risk, and my apprehensions about it haven’t gone anywhere. I do find a diet low in carbohydrates, thus far in all my adventures, to be the most satisfactory for me as well, and I know we’re not alone. Take it easy on that carb though man, it’s innocent. Cutting it back is no doubt therepeautic for many with this ever-common hyperinsulinemic disease.
By the way, I’m not really eating all meat. I’ve been eating pop tarts all day. Just kidding, or am I? Ha ha!
Even though I posted the supposed evidence that the Kitavans may not suffer from a high starch and fruit diet due to a lack of Omega-6 in their diet, I am not sure that the multi-variable fructose and vegetable oils hypothesis is the answer either. If you look back at the ascendency of the diseases of civilization in the 1850’s in western societies I am not aware of the large scale use of vegetable oils in this time period. Far as I know the replacement of animal fat with vegetable fat was a 20th century development. GCBC lays the blame on white flour, white rice, molasses and of course sugar, all refined carbs, for the rise in the diseases of civilization.
"And yes, only processed, refined fructose appears to be able to do this. Honey and fruit are not magically fattening and I know of no society that developed metabolic syndrome en masse from eating too many bananas."
Here is a good study. Substituting Honey for Refined Carbohydrates Protects Rats from Hyper-triglyceridemic and Pro-oxidative Effects of Fructose.
They probably used heated and strained honey, which is less nutritious and the effects might have been even better with unheated and unstrained honey. But even heated honey can lower triglycerides and other markers near the level of starch. I've also seen studies showing that it can lower C-Reactive Protein and LDL at the same time raising HDL. Check PubMed for studies on honey and various things and you will find a lot. Not everybody can tolerate unheated honey or should eat it, but it's a healthy traditional food. I'm not telling anybody to eat a diet of nothing but honey or 50% honey or anything like that. But it is better than any other sweeteners, IMO. If your body is fried, then don't eat it.
"Plus, only refined sugar can cause cavities. I know of nothing else that can do that."
I'm not sure about that. I think a high fruit diet may cause cavities or dental erosion. But when eaten in a reasonable amount, unrefined foods would not cause cavities IMO. I would agree that it's a combination of refined sugar and rancid PUFA oils that accelerate degeneration most of all. Eating french fries, potato chips, doughnuts, cookies, candies, ice cream, pies, and cakes provide a recipe for nutritional degeneration.
Matt, I believe that fiber is dangerous for people with damaged digestion and/or health, i.e. most people alive today in Western countries. Minimizing fiber got rid of my cravings. This means no nuts, seeds, whole grains, beans, raw veg or undercooked veg, juices with pulp, dark chocolate, etc. Anything with fiber has to go. If you do eat fruit, peel it and dont'eat the seeds. Best to cook fruits probably. Or juiced and strain. If I do not eat much fiber, my eyes are steady, my energy is stable, no cravings, etc.
Too much fiber causes blurry / unsteady eyes, food cravings, hunger, etc. These results seem paradoxical to most people, but they make sense when you see things like the Fiber Menace and various other anti-fiber information. A lot of health problems are caused by fiber, esp fruit and grains and nuts, IMO. I've seen far more benefits from macadamia oil than I ever saw from eating raw or dry roasted nuts. A low / no-fiber diet may provide long-lasting benefits, by allowing your body to heal. That is one reason people benefit from zero-carb, plus they're no longer eating franken-foods, PUFA oils, vegetable oil, and low-carb junk foods.
I've never eaten artificial sweeteners, luckily, because they didn't taste good to me as a kid. I'm glad, because baesd on observation they are toxic fattening junk food and nobody should eat them at all. If people didn't poison themselves with this rubbish on the advice of low- carb gurus, I think there'd be thinner and healthier. As bad as refined sugars are, they don't cause obesity like the diet soft drinks and other crap. Weston Price never saw obesity in the people eating refined sugar. They didn't have artificial sweeteners, vegetable oils, and other garbage. All the fat people I know drink Diet Coke and eat foods high in PUFA oils and/or trans fat. to blame obesity on sugar is ridiculous. Sugar's less to blame for obesity than the PUFA oils, artificial sweeteners, etc.
“GCBC lays the blame on white flour, white rice, molasses and of course sugar, all refined carbs, for the rise in the diseases of civilization.”
Taubes has a blindered perspective. Just look at the food availability data. The intake of PUFA vegetable oils increased like 20-fold in the last 100 years, and the intake of animal fats decreased 75%, with people eating lean meat, skim milk, egg whites, etc. Anybody who says there isn’t a connection is blind. It was the combination of eating less animal fats, more PUFA oils, more refined sugar, and more artificial sweeteners. Maybe trans fat, too, although that is debatable as Taubes points out.
Any attempt to blame just one factor is absurd, because data clearly shows that consumption of PUFA oils increased by a greater percentage than the consumption of refined sugar. In fact, consumption of sugar is lower, because most food is sweetened with HFCS (in the USA), which is arguably worse than sugar. Plus, the people are eating artificial sweeteners, which are more fattening than sugar and probably more destabilizing. Any eating regimen that uses artificial sweeteners should be viewed as defective.
Thanks, Matt. I don’t agree with you on the carb, but that’s okay. Vegetable oils haven’t been around long enough to be so damaging. It’s quite clear from the nutrition transition experience of many nations, what is the culprit.
Instead of arguing all these points, the best thing is exactly what you’re doing. You are able to see for yourself in spite of your own mental objections. After a month or two, visit your doctor and get yourself checked out. I’m pretty sure you’ll see your triglycerides plummet and your HDL will rise.
Long term health is one thing but if you look into deficiency diseases, history shows that they don’t take very long to manifest themselves. Those poor sailors didn’t last very long before scurvy took hold.
As I’ve said many times, try it for yourself and see. If it doesn’t work, then go on with your life and be happy. Just don’t obsess! Keep up the great work you’re doing here!
If you go back and read the GCBC chapter on the diseases of civilization, the diseases of civilation were on the ascendency in the 1850’s. Diabetes, cancer, etc. especially in transition societies. PUFA oils may make things worse but these were not that prevalent in the 1850’s to the best of my knowledge. Hence, why I chose this period of time to illuminate possible root causes and not the 20th century.
“Vegetable oils haven’t been around long enough to be so damaging. It’s quite clear from the nutrition transition experience of many nations, what is the culprit.”
So, why don’t you eat PUFA oils if they are so safe? Nobody said that PUFA oils are the root cause of disease, but many see them as a catalyst for the diseases of civilization. If you took away carbs, esp refined ones, people would still be less healthy on a high-PUFA diet than a low-PUFA diet. The fact that you mostly eat beef supports the PUFA idea of Peat and others. Let’s see you eat zero-carb with just chicken necks and backs, pork belly, and farmed fish. I predict you’d degenerate on that diet. Eating beef is not proving your case, it’s proving Ray Peat’s the theory that PUFAs are toxic, since beef is lower in PUFAs than other meats. There is lots of fat in chicken necks and backs, pork belly, etc. So if you’re confident in zero-carb and think PUFAs are safe, let’s see youe at those foods exclusively and give up beef.
JD, you and Charles are creating a straw man argument. I didn’t say that PUFA oil caused the diseases in the 1850s. I said it caused the epidemic of disease in the United States in the last 100 years. And before that time, people were not eating much refined sugar either. I would argue that that if restaurants were cooking in coconut oil and beef tallow, there would be less disease than there is today. You and Gary and Charles can go right ahead and eat restaurant food, but I would not touch it with a ten-food pole if I could avoid it. Any restaurant food’s probably fried in PUFAs or trans fat. If you want to mess up your digestion and stall your weight like most low-carbers, you can go ahead and eat the PUFA oilsl. There is a lot of evidence that they cause disease, and are at least a catalyst for disease.
No one ever said you said PUFA oil caused the diseases of the 1850s. The 1850s were the start of the ascendency of the diseases of civilization. 70 pounds per capita per year of sugar is the threshold level for the diseases of civilization. “By World War I, the English were already eating more than ninety pounds of sugar per capita per year – a 500 percent increase in a single century”. That is not a straw man argument. That is meant to try and separate the wheat from the chaf. Science is a whole lot easier when one can eliminate a few variables. That was my point in using the 1850’s as I seem to remember a large increase in PUFA consumption was the latter part of the 20th century. And you make the same assumptions about what I eat as you accused Charles of doing regarding yourself. You have no clue what I eat or where I eat it.
Charles does not eat PUFA oils, AFAIK. I wasn’t assuming that you ate them, I was talking in general. If you are saying it is perfectly healthy to eat PUFA oils or trans fats, and you don’t eat them, then the question is why. If you believe PUFA oils are innocent of causing many modern diseases, why not eat them? Do you think they’re totally benign in the absence of carbs? Herman Taller told people to cook everything in safflower oil and eat like 10 tablespoons of safflower oil and corn margarine a day. People lost weight with his diet, which was also very low carbs.
So, is that a healthy way to lose weight or will it cause disase and inflammation in the long term? To say that PUFAs have not been eaten long enough to cause such disease is erroneous. The whole point is that we never ate high-PUFA diets in the past. It would be impossible to eat much PUFAs from natural food. If you ate beef and pork and chicken and some occasional fish, your PUFA intake would be like 5%, maybe. Americans eat 10% of calories in the form of soybean oil alone. Those are empty calories like refined sugar, PUFAs cause massive free radical damage to the body. Let’s see Charles give up the beef and start eating chicken necks and backs and pork belly and farmed fish. I bet he will degenerate on that diet. Since he’s eating mostly beef, his PUFA intake is a mere 2% of calories roughly. Chicken fat has 10 times more PUFAs than beef fat.
“The whole point is that we never ate high-PUFA diets in the past.”
Exactly my point. BUT there were diseases of civilization from sugar, molasses, white flour, and white rice in the past. There was diabetes, cancer, gout, etc. Especially in the transition societies where it was easy to demarcate those of the same culture who ate the white man’s food and those who ate their traditional diet. I really don’t care what Charles eats or doesn’t eat. I am trying to make the case that refined carbohydrates historically caused the diseases of civilization. Simplify the science so to speak by using historical citations. PUFA’s may accelerate it. Not my point of contention in this discussion.
There is no argument that refined carbs, most of all sugars, cause disease. But a high vegetable oil diet (PUFAs and trans fats) would accelerate the disease. They definitely don’t make things any better. So why eat either of them? Avoid refined sugar and PUFA oils and the problems are solved. Eat tropical oils, or olive oil, which are vastly more appropriate to our warm bodies than high-PUFA oils. Why are you equating molasses with sugar? Do you have any proof that people got “diseases of civilization” by eating mollasses but not refined sugar? Molasses contains the vitamins and minerals removed from white sugar. It must be a lesser evil to sugar or slightly better at least.
And I disagree with your claim that the people weren’t eating vegetable oils. I think they were. Weston Price says that his sick patients came from homes where the diets consisted of “highly sweetened strong coffee and white bread, vegetable fat, pancakes made of white flour and eaten with syrup, and doughnuts fried in vegetable fat.”
I think Taubes simply ignores evidence that people ate lots of “vegetable fat” along with the refined sugar and white flour. And if that’s true, then there’s no way to dismiss PUFAs as a necessary catalyst for the process. Blaming these diseases on the refined carbs ignores the fact that the people ate virtually nothing besides those carbs. Maybe if they had eaten some meat and eggs and liver and so forth, they wouldn’t have developed those diseases. So you can’t say that adding refined carbs causes a problem, unless you also simultaneously remove other protective foods.
Corn oil was not commercially processed until 1898.
Proctor and Gamble did not introduce Crisco until 1911.
Your references to Price are late 1920s to 1930s best I can tell. The diseases of civilization predate the 1900s so I am not sure PUFAs come into play if we are talking prior to 1900 or so.
Taubes mentions molasses. See Labrador Eskimo references with respect to their health eating a white man’s diet. This is the hard part of nutrition culpability. Too many variables that need to be isolated. Why there are so many opinions.
JD is absolutely correct about this. Historic evidence points the finger mostly at refined carbs, which I believe can be reduced even further to refined sugar. Since 1980 the consumption of crystalline fructose has increased by 100 times, and HFCS is higher in fructose than regular sugar, which is wildly significant if you follow the case against refined fructose consumption and the physiological changes it can produce, especially in rats, who are force fed large amounts so that researchers can study metabolic syndrome.
Consider too, when trying to distinguish the difference between refined grain and refined sugar, that only sugar can trigger metabolic syndrome. Glucose or grain has been unable to produce that in a lab in any quantity.
Also, consider that McCarrison noted that a group of malnourished Indians in one region of the country were suffering from full-blown deficiency disease during famine. Their diet consisted of 90% white rice, yet they had no cavities. Those eating white flour and white sugar, he states, “a European diet” did. They probably had PUFA’s too Bruce, I’ll let you have that one.
I think, actually, the wisdom of the O.G. Fat Bastard sums it up the best. I agree with him wholeheartedly, and I have no doubt that artificial sweeteners, crystalline fructose, and HFCS are all worse than plain white sugar:
?I was experimenting to ascertain my own greatest dietetic enemy; and I have proved very satisfactorily that it is and was sugar??
-William Banting, 1864 (pre PUFA)
Once again, fabulous commentary homeslices. Screw Pufa’s, they do make things worse, there is nothing natural about their consumption, but history and data point away from PUFA’s as being the “greatest dietetic enemy.”
“Corn oil was not commercially processed until 1898.”
“Proctor and Gamble did not introduce Crisco until 1911.”
Margarine was introduced during Emperor Napoleon’s time. Before that, there were no doubt other cheap vegetable oils used by the poor, vastly inferior to the more saturated fats like butter or beef suet. Corn oil and Crisco were not the first vegetable oils introduced to the human diet. The question is when people first started to consume high-PUFA oils, that are inappropriate to our warm bodies.
“Taubes mentions molasses. See Labrador Eskimo references with respect to their health eating a white man’s diet.”
I’ve read Taubes’s book. They ate other food than molasses. I’m still not sure that molasses qualifies as “white man’s food.” Granted, any diet based on such concentrated sugars is unhealthy, just like a diet of just fruits and veggies would be unhealthy. The question is did the molasses cause the problems or the displacement of other foods?
“This is the hard part of nutrition culpability. Too many variables that need to be isolated. Why there are so many opinions.”
Exactly. There is also the potential for interaction of variables. Like Matt said we can’t evaluate any diet just based on what it includes. We have to look at the foods that are excluded or displaced. To replace animal fats with PUFA oils is an extremely detrimental change. To replace unrefined carbs with sugar and flour is equally detrimental. To go from eating a carnivorous diet to eating mostly carbs and nothing else is a disaster.
But Gary and Charles go beyond that and blame all “diseases of civilization” on “refined or easily digestible carbohydrates and starches.” I disagree with that phrase, because it lumps the natural foods in with unnatural ones. A baked potato doesn’t cause the diseases of civilization. Comb honey won’t cause those diseases, either. Boiled carrots won’t cause those diseases, nor would raw carrot juice, IMO. So it’s not the “easily digestible” part that is the problem. That is pure BS that Gary and Charles are promoting.
“I agree with him wholeheartedly, and I have no doubt that artificial sweeteners, crystalline fructose, and HFCS are all worse than plain white sugar:”
I have never eaten artificial sweeteners and I’m glad. I couldn’t stand the taste of diet soft drinks and other crap made with them as a child. I’m convinced they cause obesity, by messing up the body’s ability to count calories in food. Most obese people eat large amounts of them.
And you’re right that high fructose corn syrup is much worse than table sugar. It has 22% more fructose than glucose. Mike Eades dismisses this and says it’s not a big deal, because the relative amount of fructose is only 5% more (55% fructose). But in absolute terms, this is 10% more, and in terms of the ratio it’s 22% more. That is not a small difference.
Don’t be fooled into thinking artificial sweeteners are healthy. They mess up the body’s ability to feel satiety, and keep track of calories in foods. Eating those franken-foods with “zero net carbs” is a good way to sabotage your weight/health. Ditch those artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, high-PUFA oils, protein powder shakes, and other franken-foods. Fatkins was a shameless huckster and millions of people bought the garbage he sold to the detriment of their health.
“Although it has been around for over a century, margarine was not always the preferred tablespread in the U.S. In 1930, per capita consumption of margarine was only 2.6 pounds (vs. 17.6 pounds of butter).”
“Their diet consisted of 90% white rice, yet they had no cavities. Those eating white flour and white sugar, he states, “a European diet” did.”
But many people argue that wheat is much worse than sugar. (See the HyperLipid or high-fat blog.) I also think that a diet combining refined sugar and flour is far worse than a diet with one or the other. Mixing them together, esp along with the PUFAs (as in doughnuts and fast food) is the worst diet possible. HFCS is vastly worse than sugar. Honey is vastly better than refined sugars, esp unheated honey (most “raw” honey is heated and strained to stop crystallization and remove such “impurities” as vitamins and minerals).
The worst diet possible is the European or Western Diet, meaning lots of refined sugar, white flour, PUFA oils, and fast food fried in Crisco. The high-fat blog also argues that a big reason people get “lactose intolerance” is from eating the wheat, which thrashes the gut villi and prevents digestion of lactose.
It’s worth noting that McCarrison, who noted that the European Diet was cavity-causing unlike the deficient 90% white rice diet of some of his subjects, held wheat in the absolute highest regard. It was the staple of the healthiest, most hearty, and physically elite humans he ever came across.
He also showed that all deficiencies led to destruction of digestive organs. Further, I think refined sugars, because of the common malabsorption of fructose, damage the intestinal wall with acidic byproducts of fermentation, making cortisol rise and matters worse — lowering the immune system even further.
At this point, wheat becomes a big problem. When wheat is not digested properly the gluten is one of the most dangerous substances on earth to be eating.
Many people need to avoid wheat. Many people should not eat wheat. Wheat of any kind, other glutenous grains, fiber, and more are harmful to anyone with impaired digestion – which is most people that have ever had significant health problems. Consider simply that 50% of those with fructose malabsorption are totally asymptomatic.
McCarrison has a great quote on wheat. I don’t have it with me but I’ll post it later.
Wheat does not cause harm. A flawed body that cannot properly digest wheat is greatly harmed by wheat. But it’s a problem with the person, not the wheat itself, which afforded tremendous health to Hunzas, Sikhs, and several other indigenous grain-based societies known for a legendary attainment of health.
I feel the problem is multi-factorial. A high-PUFA diet causes more inflammation. more gut damage, more cortisol, etc. The wheat most people eat is rancid and full of preservatives and additives. So, that certainly isn’t a healthy food. And food grown on deficient soil may cause health problems regardless of someone’s initial health. The wheat the Sikhs were eating might have been a different variety than modern hybrid wheat. It might have been more nutrient-rich. It was probably much fresher, based on your descriptions of how they ground the flour and instantly made it into food. This was a big point Weston Price made, that whole grains are perishable, esp flours. They turn rancid rapidly, within days. Most people aren’t eating fresh made bread made with fresh ground flour. Most are eating bleached + enriched flour, preservatives, sugar or HFCS, soybean oil, canola oil, etc. The health health problems can be associated with all of these factors.
My main point was that you can’t compare modern wheat and rice, by mentioning the group that ate 90% white rice and had no cavities. Rice is simpler to digest than wheat. Rice allergy is quite rare. Wheat intolerance is common – along with corn, soy, A1 milk, chicken eggs, nuts, etc. I think Americans have perfect the world’s worst diet, based on subsidized corn and soy, high-PUFA oils, wheat, etc.
There is no doubt Americans have perfected the world’s worst diet. Most people should avoid wheat. Fresh wheat, like that of the Hunzas and Sikhs probably should be considered a totally different food altogether.
McCarrison was even feeding this wheat to his animal subjects, including monkeys, guinea pigs, pigeons, etc. They all had excellent health on it. In fact, he couldn’t even get his nourished subjects to die of infection by introducing virulent strains of bacteria that killed every single one of his deficient subjects. Amazing considering that the animals were just hanging out in a cage in ass-to-ass confinement.
Okay, here’s some McCarrison quotes:
“A diet deficient in vitamins and disproportinally rich in starch leads to depressin of digestive and gastrointestinal function.”
“Any ill effect whit [whole grains] may exercise is due to the failure suitably to combine them with other food materials which compensate for their defects [notably vitamin D-rich foods]. They are not to be condemned nor to be displaced from their prominent place in the dietaries of mankind for this reason. As well might we condemn the perfectly good fuel, petrol, for the overheating of the engines of our cars when we fail to supply them with sufficient oil, as condemn the excellent wheat and oats when we fail to consume them with sufficient quantities of milk or other vitamin-rich foods, which are required by the human machine for its smooth and efficient running.”
“When pigeons fed on [a nutrient-deficient diet] were congregated together, the organism (bacillus suipestifer) spread to every one of them, causing polynueritis and death… The control birdes, on the other hand, similarly confined in one large cage and equally exposed to infection, almost completely escaped its effects — only one out of 24 dying in consequence of it. While, therefore, the deficient food greatly favoured the spread of the organism, good food hindered its spread as effectually as did segregation or immunization.”
Joel Fuhrman has some good points, like avoiding sugars, flours, and oils. Even olive and coconut oil are forbidden. He isn’t against fat, like Dean Ornish. He just favors getting it from fresh whole foods rather, than heated and processed foods. I don’t agree with him entirely, because I think coconut oil has special benefits for many people, but his ideas are definitely better than Dean Ornish. Fuhrman discourages grains, esp flours, pastas, breads, etc. The only breads he allows are sprouted breads or ones made with fresh-ground flour. It’s difficult to find such bread in most stores, even health stores.
I like the Berlin Sourdough Spelt bread. It’s made with fresh ground flour, They grind it fresh and ferment it for about 24 hours with sourdough culture, It has no yeast, no PUFA oils, no sugars, and no preservatives. Flour, water, and sea salt are the only ingredients. It is so fresh and flavorful, I can enjoy it all by itself. I keep it frozen, as I don’t eat it every day, but I feel it’s in a class by itself from most of the rancid and toxic breads being sold.
“Splenda-laden bars will keep a person hooked on sugar and miserably sugar-deprived for a lifetime. Hearing Richard Bernstein’s testimonials is all the proof I need on that. They talk about their low carb diet like they’re getting ass-pounded in prison.”
Bernstein’s a joke. Any diet that allows artificial sweeteners at all is a flawed diet, IMO. The body isn’t stupid. Eating no-calorie sweeteners will make the body stop associating those sweet tastes with calories and it will demand the calories that should have been there, so you will be hungry and miserable. Everything I’ve read about artificial sweeteners says it is better to eat refined sucrose than to eat artificial sweetener, sugar alcohol, and other “no net carbs” junk food. High fructose corn syrup is far more damaging to the body than sucrose. Honey is a lot better than refined carbs, and “unheated honey” is probably even better.