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We Win! TIME Magazine Officially Recants (“Eat Butter…Don’t Blame Fat”), And Quotes Me

It’s been 30 years and three months since TIME Magazine’s infamous “Cholesterol…And Now The Bad News” cover featured the bacon-and-eggs frowny face—the arresting image which firmly institutionalized fat and cholesterol-phobia in America:

Cholesterol: And Now The Bad News...

The face that launched a million failed diets.

Meanwhile, my parents recently visited something even rarer than a paleo-friendly doctor—they visited a doctor whose office features current magazines in the waiting room. In it, they spotted the June 23, 2014 issue of TIME magazine, featuring the following cover story:

Click to read the cover story (requires TIME online subscription)

Link to cover story (requires TIME online subscription)

Yes, the cover reads:

Eat Butter.
Scientists labeled fat the enemy. Why they were wrong


and the first page of the article is titled
Don’t Blame Fat

The contents of the article won’t be a surprise to anyone in the Paleo community, the low-carb community, the WAPF, or anyone who has taken the time to evaluate the science and statistics on their own: thirty years of low-fat dogma has produced a nation fatter and sicker than ever, and the “science” supporting the dogma wasn’t science at all. What I find interesting are the implications and consequences of the article, so please permit me to discuss a few of them.

This Is The Tipping Point

The message on the cover could not be more stark: “Eat Butter.”

Given that opening salvo, we can expect to see Drs. Westman, Lustig, Phinney and Volek make an appearance…but the article also quotes Drs. David Ludwig, Rajiv Chowdhury, and Dariush Mozaffarian, all lead authors of recent, high-impact research papers questioning different aspects of low-fat dogma. (Several of which I’ve read and previously cited.)

And, despite the predictable grousing from vegans like Dean Ornish (who, predictably, moves the goalposts away from health issues and blames meat-eaters for environmental destruction), it’s clear that the current crop of public policy heavyweights can see that the anti-fat ship has long since crashed into a massive iceberg of scientific evidence, and are scrambling for the lifeboats

—the most comical example of such being Walter Willett, who claims “he was sitting on a piece of contrary evidence that none of the leading American science journals would publish.” Dude, you’ve been the chairman of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health since 1991, at which time you already had your name on over 140 published papers. If you were sitting on data that exonerated saturated fat, it’s because you prioritized advancing your own career over public health.

Again, nothing in this article will be news to any of my readers! What I find interesting is that the mainstream academic establishment, and with it, the mainstream mass media, is finally abandoning low-fat dogma. This is a clear tipping point in the dietary debate.

Don’t Expect Public Policy To Change

Unfortunately, we can expect the US government to be the last to change, for two reasons: governments have zero accountability, and massive agricultural subsidies produce a massive surplus of grains that need to be disposed of somehow. This means several problems will continue to bedevil us:

  • Obesity research, which is mostly NIH-funded, will therefore continue to be mostly useless.
  • The government-issued low-fat dietary recommendations will continue shambling well into the 21st century, like a glassy-eyed horde of zombies. (“GRAAAAAAAAAAAINS!”)
  • Consequently, school lunches will continue to be crypto-vegetarian, protein-deficient piles of birdseed (also known as “hearthealthywholegrains”) and limp steamed vegetables. As I said years ago, long before the new school lunch regulations, “Expect school lunches to become even more disgusting and empty of nutrition. If you want your child to grow up healthy, expect to help them pack a lunch every day. Expect to be grilled by suspicious administrators who think you’re damaging your child by feeding them real food.”
  • Unhealthy packaged foods, made from heavily subsidized corn, soy, and wheat, will remain artifically cheap—while real food like fruit, vegetables, and grass-finished beef (which remains unsubsidized) will remain expensive by comparison. As a result, the health of Americans will continue to suffer.

Who Gets The Blame For Killing Millions Of People Over Three Decades?

Given the millions of dead and the incalculable suffering caused by what Philip Handler correctly called “a vast nutritional experiment”:

“What right has the federal government to propose that the American people conduct a vast nutritional experiment, with themselves as subjects, on the strength of so very little evidence that it will do them any good?”

-Dr. Philip Handler, then-President of the National Academy of Sciences, in Senate testimony to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs in 1977. (Yes, the one that came up with the original low-fat, low-cholesterol Dietary Goals for the United States. Quote via Gary Taubes.)

One might ask “Will there be any accountability for what amounts to mass murder?

As we’ve seen above, the answer is “No”…and the current solution seems to be “We’ll blame it all on Ancel Keys, because he’s dead.” Yet with few exceptions, the academic and professional establishments fell in line rather than risk their own political standing by confronting dogma they suspected (or, in many cases, knew definitively) to be wrong.

Don’t Expect Any Credit

You’ll notice that no one gets quoted in TIME on public health matters without an MD or PhD and a long, mainstream academic or public policy career (the single exception being Nina Teicholz, whose book “The Big Fat Surprise” was just published by a major New York house.) So don’t hold your breath for people like Drs. Mary Enig, Malcolm Kendrick, Uffe Ravnskov, Michael Eades, or John Briffa (let alone John Yudkin or Wolfgang Lutz) to get any credit, even though they all have MDs and/or PhDs.

The article doesn’t even mention Gary Taubes, who single-handedly brought fat back into the public discourse with his 2001 article “What If It’s All Been A Big Fat Lie?” and his 2007 book “Good Calories, Bad Calories”…so I predict that hell will freeze over before any Paleo source gets any mainstream credit for our work. (I know NPR journalists who tried to get an article on Paleo pubished for years, and failed.) Besides, the press has spent too much time and effort mocking Paleo with “CAVEMAN DIET HURRR DURRRR” to back out now.

This tells you what you should already know: it’s nice to have the support because it makes your eating habits less socially awkward—but the mainstream press is a trailing indicator, not a leading indicator.

J. Stanton Quoted In TIME Magazine! (By Proxy)

I laughed when I saw this quote in the article, and so will many of my readers:

“A bagel is no different than a bag of Skittles to your body,” says Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian.

The analogy is straight out of one of my most popular articles (“Mechanisms of Sugar Addiction: Or, Why You’re Addicted To Bread”), published way back in 2010, and which still gets tens of thousands of page views every month:

At the risk of quoting myself, I'll quote myself.

At the risk of quoting myself, I’ll quote myself.

No, I’m not mad! I’ve cited Dr. Mozaffarian’s work before, I’m proud that he’s among my many readers—and it’s a remarkably sticky analogy that gets an important point across to TIME’s tens of millions of readers worldwide.

Most importantly, I understand the rules of the game: since I have no MD, PhD, or high-level public policy career, my research and information will only reach the mainstream media through an intermediary with such official standing.

PROTIP: Anyone can thank me by slipping me online access to journals via an academic or professional account. Your help will remain confidential.

The Mainstream Authorities Often Aren’t Very Smart

From the TIME article:

“When you replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, you lower LDL cholesterol,” says Dr. Robert Eckel, a past president of the AHA and a co-author of the group’s recent guidelines. “That’s all I need to know.”

Actually, if you’re tasked with recommending dietary guidelines to an entire nation, I’m sure you need to know much more than that—starting with the fact that TG/HDL is a much stronger predictor of heart disease than LDL. For example:

Circulation. 1997 Oct 21;96(8):2520-5.
Fasting triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein, and risk of myocardial infarction.
Gaziano JM, Hennekens CH, O’Donnell CJ, Breslow JL, Buring JE.
(fulltext)

“…The ratio of triglycerides to HDL was a strong predictor of myocardial infarction (RR in the highest compared with the lowest quartile=16.0; 95% CI=7.7 to 33.1; P for trend <.001).      [...] Adjustment for available coronary risk factors did not materially alter the results.      [...] Further adjustment for LDL did not materially alter the results.

No, that isn’t a typo! The highest 25% of TG/HDL ratio carries 16 TIMES GREATER RISK of a heart attack than the lowest 25%. And LDL wasn’t significant.

Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2008 Aug;63(4):427-32.
High ratio of triglycerides to HDL-cholesterol predicts extensive coronary disease.
da Luz PL1, Favarato D, Faria-Neto JR Jr, Lemos P, Chagas AC.
(fulltext)

“The odds ratios for the extent of coronary disease between the fourth and first quartiles were as follows: total cholesterol, 1.08, 95%CI (0.57–2.03), p = 0.87; LDL-c, 1.62, 95%CI (0.86–3.06), p = 0.15; triglycerides, 1.7, 95%CI (0.94–3.08), p = 0.986; HDL-c, 0.25, 95%CI (0.13–0.46), p = 0.0001; and TG/HDL-c, 3.31, 95%CI (1.78–6.14), p = 0.0002 (Figure 1).
     […]
The relationship was not significant between extent of coronary disease and total cholesterol [1.25 (0.82–1.91; p = 0.33)] or LDL-c [1.47 (0.96–2.25; p = 0.0842)].”

So the actual, measured extent of coronary disease is best predicted by TG/HDL—while neither TC or LDL (universally and erroneously known as “bad cholesterol”) is significantly predictive.

Bonus Question: What dietary modification most efficiently reduces triglycerides and increases HDL?

Answer: Replacing dietary carbohydrate with saturated fat. (Extra credit for MCTs.)

The evidence is clear: the paleo community is many years ahead of the “mainstream”, and degrees don’t magically make you smart. Meanwhile, expect to see a great deal of backing-and-filling from the AHA, the ADA, and other alphabet-soup organizations in the future.

It’s also very important to remember that the political skills required to ascend to the level of policy-making don’t usually correlate with the skills required to rationally evaluate existing evidence and determine the best course of action—and even if one is capable of it, that telling the truth is rarely compatible with advancing one’s political standing.

Bonus Section: From the “I’m Right” Files

Mol Metab. 2013 Aug 19;2(4):329-36. doi: 10.1016/j.molmet.2013.08.003.
The hormonal signature of energy deficit: Increasing the value of food reward.
Lockie SH1, Andrews ZB.
(fulltext)

“As outlined in Section 1, using the catch-all term of ‘reward’ to describe all mesolimbic processes has led to confusion in the literature.”

The attentive reader will note that I made this very point, and dissected this very subject at length, way back in 2011 (index to my article series “Why Are We Hungry?” here), and I summarized and extended my work at AHS 2012 (video, text). For example:

“It is also very important to note that what is colloquially called “reward” is a mashing together of hedonic impact and incentive salience. Both vary independently, and both are subjective properties—so the term “food reward”, which implies a singular property of the food itself, is intrinsically misleading…

““Palatability” and “reward” are not properties of food. Our likes and wants are subjective properties we assign to food based on our past experiences, and our current state of satiation and satiety.”

-J. Stanton, AHS 2012

Moving on:

“Energy deficit serves to alter motivational state by increasing the incentive salience of certain reinforcers. […] This ultimately manifests as increased motivation to work for a reinforcer, and serves to alter the incentive salience of food in line with metabolic need. [Emphasis mine]” -Lockie 2013

Stated simply, hunger makes food more “rewarding.” I think I’ve said that before!

(Further reading: Hopkins 2014, Domingos 2013, my AHS2012 bibliography.)

Important note: I’m not accusing anyone of plagiarism or uncredited appropriation! I’m happy to see that my work is beginning to be confirmed by work done within the academic research community.

At the present rate, I predict you’ll start to see people other than myself, Petro at Hyperlipid, Mike T Nelson, and a few exercise physiologists discover the importance of metabolic flexibility somewhere around 2018. Remember: you heard it here first.

Conclusions

  • Paleo and its offshoots (Primal, Perfect Health Diet) are still years ahead of the academic research, and even farther ahead of mainstream dietary advice.
  • The political savvy required to become a Recognized Authority is frequently unaccompanied by the keenest analytical mind or a burning desire to seek truth…and telling the truth is often incompatible with political advancement.
  • The mainstream of academia, politics, and the press will continue to pretend they weren’t simply, devastatingly wrong for decades, causing the deaths of millions and incalculable suffering—and that it was all Ancel Keys’ fault.
  • Don’t count on receiving any credit for having been correct long before it was popular, or even acceptable. Accept that eating like a predator, and living like a predator, is its own reward.

Live in freedom, live in beauty.

JS


Yes, I’ll be writing more articles soon! Meanwhile, there’s much more to read in the index.

Also, I’ve updated and revamped the forum and commenting software. Hopefully comments should still work as they always have: please let me know (through the Contact link above) if you experience problems.

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70 comments

Permalink: We Win! TIME Magazine Officially Recants (“Eat Butter…Don’t Blame Fat”), And Quotes Me
  • […] / Posted on: January 01, 1970GNOLLS.ORG – It’s been 30 years and three months since TIME Magazine’s infamous […]

  • eddie watts

    I am so glad to see a new article!

    looking forward to new stuff soon.
    (sadly I have nothing new to add than this)

  • Ash Simmonds

    On the Ancel Keys note, he cops plenty from “our” crew and rightly so, but really the blame lies with the people in charge of education and policy who were either dumb or corrupt enough to accept and spread assertions without critical thought and verification.

    BTW, he wasn’t always the bad guy:

    –> https://twitter.com/AshSimmonds/status/474763809773469696

    “Keyes had then written me that if pemmican contained no other ingredients than beef, fat and lean, he thought as high as 86 per cent of calories from fat would probably be all right.” ~ Stefansson

  • js290

    If these so-called “scientists” believe in natural selection and evolution, then the “paleo diet” should have been the default null hypothesis.

    Sciencism (science as an ideology) is not much more than modern, secular religion.

    Keep up the good work, J!

  • Eric

    I think what’s happening now is that instead of realizing that the war on fat was a big lie/scam, the general public is more confused and distrustful than ever and I keep hearing people say you shouldn’t put much stock in any of this conflicting research any more, and that everything is “bad for you” to some extent so just eat whatever as long as it’s in moderation.

  • I have to say, that sounds so wishy-washy …

    How much neat alcohol is moderate? How much heroin? How much sugar?

    Come on …

    Modern food did not exist little more than a couple of generations ago. There were no “healthy fats”, just animal fats. Sugar was scarce, sweet foods were eaten as real treats, no packets of whatever, breakfast was hearty real food (or something like oats, no sugar … salt and whisky).

    I digress …

    The way food has been flipped on its head in the last 60 years is untrue. It is now so imbued in our psyche to accept non-food as food and find real food intolerant. More so, this notion of moderation is insidious.

    No, it is NOT about moderation. It is about real food and timing. It is also about not slobbing around, engaging in meaningful activity and sleeping properly. The last 2.5M years of human history show us the way … the last 60 have been the start of our ruin.

  • Eric

    @Paul Halliday – I agree 100%, that’s what I was trying to say: “this notion of moderation is insidious”, thanks for condensing it into one sentence! I would go so far to say it’s no accident either, I think we’ll see some backlash and talking heads on both sides, the low fat, vegan crowd, vs. those mentioned above, just to confuse people even more.

  • ValerieD

    Hi,

    you probably want to correct this typo:
    “As a resiult, the health of Americans will continue to suffer.”
    (“resiult” should be “result”)

    There is also a problem (theirs, not yours) in the quote from the study titled “High ratio of triglycerides to HDL-cholesterol predicts extensive coronary disease.” The p-value for triglycerides cannot work. I checked the source, and your quotation is correct, but still, the p-value doesn’t work. Maybe it deserves a [sic].

  • Fred Wilkey

    David Kessler, in “The End of Overeating,” discussed the issue of “hyper-palatability.” Big Food has succeeded in separating flavor from nutritional value, creating high-flavor foods that push us past satiety. For most of the world still, and for the developed countries until less than 100 years ago, food was simple, plain, BORING. Treats were occasional – really treats. Big Food has successfully pushed the idea of food as entertainment – every bite must be a thrill. Every diet book devotes its last 3rd to wonderful, tasty recipes. As a psychologist, I despair of reversing this trend.

  • […] Read the original post: We Win! TIME Magazine Officially Recants (“Eat Butter…Don't … […]

  • Margaretrc

    Great article, as usual. Bravo that you were quoted, even if you didn’t get credit for the quote.

  • Fred Wilkey

    Just came across a 2004 article from a Sports Nutrition journal which states “There is no clear requirement for dietary carbohydrates in adult humans.”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2129159/

  • Eric

    @ Fred Wilkey – The whole idea of recipes just over complicates food for most people. We would do better to learn general cooking techniques with a few specifics for dealing with certain common ingredients instead of sending people out to buy a bunch of exotic ingredients with the hope that following the steps in the recipe will somehow magically result in a wonderful gourmet dish, which rarely happens and those left over exotic ingredients just get tossed out after they’ve gone bad. Just the other day an elderly gentleman was asking me what you’re supposed to do with ramps, and like what to do with the green part. Anyone with general cooking skills wouldn’t be confused by an unfamiliar green alum like that and could easily incorporate them into almost any savory dish during cooking and/or as garnish.

  • Ro Solar

    Get back to basics. Wait till you’re really hungry. Squat down with almost nothing on, a robe is perfect. No underwear. Open that tin of wild salmon. Devour. Hunger ends, what’s next? Cooking Zero.

  • Chad Musgrove

    Love your article. As a triathlete that was a carboholic, it took a long time for me to ditch the carbs and eat a high fat diet. I wish I would have done this years ago! My issue though is my incredibly high cholesterol. I started eating low carb high fat because I have come to believe something that you briefly touched of in your write up: high cholesterol / LDL is not a good predictor of heart disease. With a father and grandfather that had their first heart attacks in their 40’s, I’m very concerned and monitoring my cholesterol closely. After 6 months on a high fat diet, my total cholesterol and LDL went up (12% and 11% respectively), but my triglycerides dropped 48%, and my HDL rose 68%! I see this as very positive, and having decreased my risk for developing heart disease. While I believe that the TG to HDL ratio is way more important, and my ratio dropped from a 4.3 to 1’ish – I have not seen anything about whether or not my excellent ratio “over rides” any risk from my still very high cholesterol. Would be interested in your thoughts… http://www.ironmanorbust.com/low-carb-high-fat-6-month-results/

    Thanks

  • Jasmine

    I am in the same boat as Chad above. VLC diet, mainly fatty meat, some vegetation and my Chol and LDL risen to 8.7 and 5.6 respectively, trig dropped to 1.3. My T/Chol/HDL ratio same as previous at 3.5. A1c down to near perfect at 4.8 but am I risking heart disease with these rising lipids or are these results par for the course with this type of eating?

  • eddie:

    Thank you! More articles are coming.

    Ash:

    I’m sure that one of the reasons Ancel Keys got away with so much was because he had done quite a bit of solid work up to that point (e.g. the Minnesota Starvation Experiment).

    js290:

    Exactly. Paleo is the only null hypothesis that makes any sense. Everything else is, as you say, scientism — inertia, politics, and/or religion dressed in a lab coat.

    For instance, the fact that the anthropological community has, for the most part, attacked the Paleo movement is a damning indictment that protecting their intellectual turf is more important to them than advancing the state of human knowledge. Christina “Paleo is stupid but eat Paleo” Warinner is just the most irritating example.

    Eric, Paul:

    “Everything in moderation” is only a good strategy when you have no information.

    Should we consume cyanide in moderation, when we know it’s a poison? Should we moderate our consumption of grass-fed beef because we’re worried about suffering a Twinkie deficiency?

    I understand that people, at some point, throw up their hands and say “The experts don’t know what they’re talking about” — but we all have to eat something! At some level, everyone falls back on a certain set of assumptions about what is healthy and what is unhealthy. Beans and whole-grain bread are healthy, red meat and butter are unhealthy. And so on. I hope this article will help change those unconscious assumptions.

    ValerieD:

    I’m usually foot at catching typos myself, but I missed that one. Good eye.
    Re: the p-value, I assume it’s far too small. Isn’t the one for TG also too small?

    Fred Wilkey:

    That’s a solid article debunking the standard myths about low-carbohydrate diets.

    Moving to “The End Of Overeating”: The problem with the Kessler hypothesis is that it fails trivially in the presence of the data. The prevalence of obesity took a massive and steep upturn starting in 1980. Yet there is no evidence that food suddenly became tasty in 1980, and much evidence to the contrary. “Low-fat” foods do not taste better than the original full-fat versions. French fries in canola oil do not taste better than French fries in tallow. Almost every currently popular junk food was popular before 1970 — in many cases, before WWII. And so on.

    I’ve spent a great deal of time researching hunger and the reward system: instead of rehashing my conclusions, I’ll point you to my 2012 AHS presentation (video, text and slides), where I explore in detail the topics mentioned above, as well as summarizing the current state of scientific knowledge on hunger, satiation, satiety, and slippery concepts such as “palatability” and “reward”. I hope you’ll find it educational and useful!

    Margaretrc:

    Yes, I did a double-take when I saw Dr. Mozaffarian use the Skittles analogy!

    Eric:

    It is an indictment of our educational system that we don’t graduate high school with any idea of how to feed ourselves. I don’t even mean “nutrition”, I mean “knowing how to physically prepare food”.

    Ro:

    I agree that eating doesn’t have to be complicated. I’ve been known to eat raw hamburger straight out of the package. However, it is a sublime pleasure to eat well-spiced and prepared food. And it is important to remember that pleasure is neither unhealthy nor fattening!

    Chad:

    First, Gr*show spams the same studies and comments everywhere, conveniently omitting those which show results he doesn’t like (e.g. only the group with the highest SFA intake showed a reduction in CIMT).

    Also, cherry-picked anecdotes prove nothing. If you mention Seth Roberts and Dr. Su, you also have to mention Wolfgang Lutz (died at 97), Buckminster Fuller (died at 88 — and yes, he ate almost exclusively meat since his fifties), Art De Vany (76, still alive, and still able to kick your ass), Vilhjalmur Stefansson (died at 83)…

    Furthermore, one might note that Barry Groves died at the average age of death for males in the USA — and, unlike the average American, was a nationally competitive archer until about two years before his death. In contrast, the average American male only makes it to age 64 without suffering either heart disease, cancer, or diabetes, and loses basic mobility six years before dying. (Study linked from this article.)

    Let’s not even discuss potential p-values on a sample size of seven…

    *** NOTE: NOT MEDICAL ADVICE. You are responsible for your own decisions. ***

    Meanwhile, back to your numbers: while at TC of 350ish is certainly cause for concern, the fact that it didn’t change much on an LCHF diet vs. a standard “healthy” diet means you probably can’t do a great deal about it.

    Most importantly, though, a standard “cholesterol test” doesn’t actually measure LDL! It “imputes” it (read: guesses at it) based on a formula known as the Friedewald equation, so your measurements should all read “estimated LDL” instead of LDL:
    LDL = TC – HDL – TG/5
    The observant reader will note that, simply by reducing your triglycerides, your “LDL” (scare quotes intentional) will increase. In your case, your TG went down by 74, which increased your “LDL” by 15…almost half of the total increase! And the resulting 5% difference between the two “LDL” measurements is well within the margin of error of the test.

    Then, a 12% variation in TC is also well within the margin of error of the test:

    “In a recent survey, CAP sent a blood sample with a cholesterol level of 265 to 5,434 labs. Even after excluding about five percent of the results which were far off the target, the remaining results ranged from a low of 229 to a high of 312–as much as 18 percent off the target value, and a total difference of more than 80.” (link)

    “During a recent weekly lipid testing mania, my lab technician performed two (and occasionally three) tests on the same sample. Variations were as much as 10% between the test results, sometimes greater.” (link)

    So your TC and “LDL” are the same within the margin of error of the test…and your TG and HDL show a significant reduction in risk.

    Note that unlike Jimmy Moore, I’m not confident that TC of 350 is harmless…but it’s not clear you can do anything about it, so you may as well concentrate on the TG and HDL you apparently can do something about. I wonder if Gr*show would recommend you go back to your previous “healthy” diet — which would leave TC and “LDL” essentially unchanged but dramatically worsen TG and HDL?

    Basically, given your family history, odds are that you will die prematurely of heart disease. I’m very sorry about that. But from the data you’ve given me, it seems like going low-fat might harm more than help. (A final note: after you’ve been LCHF for a while, you may find you can tolerate carbs better, say 15-20% instead of <10%.) Frankly, the best thing you could do for your health at this point is to stop running tris and marathons, and stick to things that don’t physically beat you up so much (e.g. cycling, swimming, weightlifting, etc.) Chronic long-distance running correlates with heart damage in multiple studies…

    Thanks, everyone, for the support!

    JS

  • ValerieD

    The weird p-value is this one.

    In the da Luz study: “The odds ratios … triglycerides, 1.7, 95%CI (0.94–3.08), p = 0.986;”

    The p-value should be much smaller. The 95% interval barely includes 1, so the p-value must be barely above 0.05.

  • tam

    There’s nothing wrong with fat, and there’s nothing wrong with carbs.

  • […] —the most comical example of such being Walter Willett, who claims “he was sitting on a piece of contrary evidence that none of the leading American science journals would publish.” Dude, you’ve been the chairman of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health since 1991, at which time you already had your name on over 140 published papers. If you were sitting on data that exonerated saturated fat, it’s because you prioritized advancing your own career over public health. […]

  • UPDATE: my original Friedewald calculation were incorrect! I blame Wikipedia, which appears to use an incorrect value for the TG constant. See the original source:

    Clinical Chemistry June 1972 vol. 18 no. 6 499-502
    Estimation of the Concentrationof Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesteroi ln Plasma, Without Use of the Preparative Ultracentrifuge
    William T. Friedewald, Robert I. Levy, and Donald S. Fredrickson
    http://www.clinchem.org/content/18/6/499.full.pdf+html

    The appropriate equations are:
    mmol/L: LDLe = TC – HDL – TG/2.2
    mg/dL: LDLe = TC – HDL – TG/5

    Result: Chad’s “LDL” (calculated LDL) increased more than I originally calculated, which makes the difference even less significant! I’m revising the comment accordingly.

    Jasmine:

    Without a full set of numbers and dates for each reading (TC, HDL, TG, estimated LDL), and some idea of what you ate before and what you mean by “LCHF”, I can’t possibly speculate.

    However, it is important to note that every set of associative data we have show that, for women, mortality decreases as TC increases, apparently without limit! That’s right: higher TC for women is always associated with higher survival rates.

    The curve is different for men, for whom the minimum risk appears to be between 220 and 260, with the risk increasing steeply below 200 and somewhat less steeply over 280. (Though this is all associative data, and it’s not clear that high cholesterol “causes” anything.)

    ValerieD:

    Good catch. It’s important to remember that just because it was published in a Peer-Reviewed Scientific Journal(™), it’s not necessarily unshakable truth!

    JS

  • Boundless

    > … the current solution seems to be
    > “We’ll blame it all on Ancel Keys, because he’s dead.”

    “Science advances one funeral at a time.” – Max Plank

    Norman Borlaug is now dead as well.

    We need to take advantage of these opportunities as they inter.
    _______
    Borlaug created runt mutant goatgrass
    (misleadingly sold as semi-dwarf hybrid wheat).

  • Ash Simmonds

    @Fred

    The idea that carbohydrates aren’t essential is hardly a controversial thing in the medical literature – it’s only when it comes to actual practice that things are arse about.

    Eg. here’s a bunch of biochemistry textbooks that flat out tell us this which we choose to ignore:

    –> Essential Carbohydrates

  • Rachel

    1. For a woman what is the optimum healthy ratio of TG/HDL, please?
    2. Does LDL have any significance for a woman’s health?
    Thank you.

  • Fmgd

    Just wanted to congratulate you on the semi-quote on Times. And as far as anedoctal evidence goes I do think paleo-like ideas on nutrition are gradually getting discussed with a little less of that automatic aversion by the general public. This should help.

  • Joseph Helisek, OD

    Loved your commentary and am subscribing! I also wrote a review of this Time article at http://www.doctorhelisek.com/2014/06/22/dont-blame-fat-time-magazine-june-2014/ and have another helpful link or two for your readers. Let’s keep putting the pressure on our government to submit to evidence regarding 1. stopping subsidies for grains 2. changing school lunch programs 3. subsidizing grass fed livestock

  • tam:

    “There’s nothing wrong with fat, and there’s nothing wrong with carbs.”

    That depends on the type and quantity of fat (Americans consume far too much linoleic acid and, in general, not enough EPA and DHA) — and a person who is metabolically inflexible, insulin resistant, and/or has a family history of type II diabetes will find that there is indeed something wrong with carbs!

    Boundless:

    Max Planck is correct. People don’t change their mind: they die and people with contrary opinions take their place.

    Also, the persistence of world hunger in the face of the Green Revolution conclusively proves that hunger is a socioeconomic problem, not a technological problem. If a more-than-tripling of typical crop yields (at the cost of environmental devastation and dependence on fossil fuels to feed the world) has failed to solve world hunger, how will additional marginal improvements change the situation?

    Rachel:

    1. The association between TG/HDL ratio and heart disease seems to apply for both men and women, so lower is still better. However, I don’t know how low one can go before diminishing returns kick in.
    2. I have no idea what “optimum” LDL levels are for a woman…but since higher TC is associated with lower mortality, and you can’t get high TC without high LDL, I suspect it doesn’t matter much.

    Fmgd:

    In about 10-15 years it will be recognized that we were right all along, but we won’t get any credit — because Walter Willett will be tellling everyone how he had data that supported the Paleo diet since 2004 but the journals wouldn’t let him publish!

    Joseph:

    Agricultural subsidies are indeed the root of many of our problems. If grains weren’t artificially cheap, feedlot beef wouldn’t be cheaper than grass-fed beef, and junk food wouldn’t be cheaper than real food!

    JS

  • Pam

    Wonderful post! The more things change, the more they remain the same….

  • It is a pretty incredible moment and the paleo movement (those elements that have been stirring the skeptic-pot for the past decade or so), have played a huge part in both crushing satfatphobia and generally shaking up the nutritional status quo.

    Greed and a lack of transparency have corrupted medicine, agriculture, government, research, business and general health/nutritional advice. It is incredible that so many people have decided to question the state of health and fitness advice, made their own decisions, reached their own conclusions, such that the authorities and other societal decision makers can ignore us no more and are bending to accommodate our ideas.

    The power of institutions comes from our compliance. By ignoring ‘them’ they HAVE to adapt or die through their irrelevance.

    PS. Welcome back J! Glad to see you posting again.

  • Mitch

    The media (Time mag included) will just publish what is popularly believed, or what they believe is about to be popular belief.

    Time saying anything is not a win, or a loss – that would be giving them too much credit.

    They are just another business.

    Better to ignore most health opinions said in the media, by doctors, by ‘health authorities’ and governments.

  • brenmitch

    JS – great to see you blogging again; your Hunger post still remains one of the best pieces of advice on the net. Sorry to be greedy and I understand you are busy, but does this mean that we will be honoured with more of your insights?

  • … always follow the money, eh, Mitch? Wink

  • pam:
    Thank you!

    Asclepius:

    “The power of institutions comes from our compliance.” Exactly so.

    Mitch:

    I think I made my position clear when I said “The mainstream press is a trailing indicator, not a leading indicator” and “What I find interesting are the implications and consequences of the article.”

    brenmitch:

    Thank you for the vote of confidence! I’ll continue to write articles — although they will be somewhat spotty until after AHS 2014, as my presentation is taking much of my research and writing time.

    Paul:
    Exactly.

    I’m caught up! Thank you all for your continued support.

    JS

  • Exceptionally Brash

    Great post and comments! Thank you. I thought readers here might be interested in another post regarding Dr. Keys.
    http://exceptionallybrash.blogspot.com/2013/05/who-got-ancel-keys-office.html

  • brenmitch

    I’ve experimented with high fat and I don’t find it satiating i.e. I like it and still eat too much of it and it seems to spike my blood sugars. I have found for superior weight loss, hunger control, energy, satiety that the best diet for me is high protein. Even eating too many green veggies with my meals can create constant hunger and BS spikes, cravings. Eating only protein seems to be my sweet

  • brenmitch

    I’ve experimented with high fat and I don’t find it satiating i.e. I like it and still eat too much of it and it seems to spike my blood sugars. I have found for superior weight loss, hunger control, energy, satiety that the best diet for me is high protein. Even eating too many green veggies with my meals can create constant hunger, carb creep, BS spikes, cravings and weight gain. Eating only protein seems to be my sweet spot but I am concerned about the long term effects of just eating meat. Yes my diet is high fat but it’s much higher in protein. Can anyone reassure me I’m not doing too much damage to my body in long-term. Surely if my body responds so well to this it must good for me?

  • Bea

    My only regret is being almost 50 before I realized fat was not the enemy. All of us that grew up in the fat free 80s were brainwashed.
    My wake up call was being told to take red yeast rice by my GP and taking 2 years to recover from the effects of lowering my cholesterol. It dropped from 275 to around 200 and I suffered muscle and small fiber nerve damage. Had to take Neurontin for the burning nerve pain.
    Have no desire to ever test my cholesterol again. If my diet is going to give me a heart attack I’ll take the big one. Hit me with a freight train. I don’t want to wake up with stents and prescriptions. Taking pills that rob your memory.
    I don’t worry about it at all though. Never felt better. I won’t let a number and a doctor govern my life.

  • EB:

    I honestly hope that Ancel Keys died with the weight of millions of deaths on his conscience. He and his cronies have killed far more people than the Third Reich ever did.

    brenmitch:

    In general, protein is the most satiating (and sating) macronutrient, so unless you have a special need to stay ketogenic (which most people don’t), it’s better to concentrate on whole (animal) foods high in protein. If you’re eating whole foods, the fat/carbs usually take care of themselves.

    Again, unless someone has very specific needs, trying to hit specific macros generally leads to the consumption of isolated oils, sugars, or other non-foods — thereby usually leaving one worse off than simply eating food!

    Unless you’re downing lots of protein powder I wouldn’t worry about “too much protein” — meat becomes extremely unappetizing once your body has decided you can’t process any more of it. And there are a lot of undiagnosed gut issues that tend to go away once it’s not continually being irritated by whatever grain or plant product was causing the problems. So long as you’re doing well, I say keep going, with the following caveats:
    1. Sauces, rubs, and marinades can have beneficial health effects (e.g. vinegar) as well as making meat taste a lot better. Tip: chimichurri is delicious!
    2. Don’t go crazy, but do make sure to drink plenty of water — and get plenty of salt/minerals/etc.
    3. As time passes and your body and gut heal, you’ll probably find that you can start tolerating certain vegetables or starches. Try one at a time every once in a while and see how you do: intolerances are often strongly individual, and sometimes it’s only one or two foods out of dozens that are causing problems.

    Bea:

    I am very fortunate in that my mother grew up in the country and never really bought into the whole anti-fat mania…though I certainly ate my share of cereal and waffles, I ate steak for dinner and drank whole milk growing up, and our house was never full of low-fat diet junk. I did spend about 15 years eating Kashi and “soy nuts” after I left home, but I’m sure that not growing up on it helped greatly.

    Any doctor that prescribes cholesterol-lowering medications to women should lose their license to practice — every single piece of data we have shows mortality for women over 50 decreasing with higher cholesterol. And what would you do differently anyway? As Doug McGuff once said, “If the number is bad, eat healthy. If the number is good, eat healthy.”

    I’ve been saying it since 2010: the low-fat, low-cholesterol brigade has killed millions of people and caused untold suffering for millions more.

    JS

  • […] Stanton, author of The Gnoll Credo and paleo diet enthusiast, points out that “the contents of the article won’t be a surprise to anyone in…the WAPF [community] or […]

  • […] We Win! TIME Magazine Officially Recants (“Eat Butter…Don’t Blame Fat”), And Quotes MeWe Win! TIME Magazine Officially Recants (“Eat Butter…Don’t Blame Fat”), And […]

  • pam

    i’m so glad you’re back to writing!

    re. Chad’s TC

    you can try Iranian formula, which is more accurate for LDL

    Chris Masterjohn also said the number can vary as much as 30 (your body fluctuates + measurement uncertainty)

    also for people who loose a lot of weight in a short time, it can go up momentarily. he advises to wait for 3 months after the weight stabilizes to recheck it.

    i also agree that very high TC (maybe > 300) is a cause of concern (but not “cause of diseases”) since it is a sign that something is out of balance.

    was your TC high to begin with? do you have familiar cholesterol? then the only thing that seems to help is statin. although i think most of MDs prescribe way too high dosage.

    or you may have low thyroid?

    during one winter, my TC was high (280) likely due to low thyroid, + severe anemia — hemoglobin & iron + a slew of others too low
    (probably due to work stress + lack of sleep + workout)

    maybe you can try more sea weed (iodine)?

    for me, sea weed + less exercise + higher starch (“safe starch”) esp. before & after working out, help bring TC down to high 200’s.

    i also added liver or beef heart almost everyday (raw) i just marinade it a little; too lazy to cook; + it freaked out most of male colleagues. my Korean colleague was the only one that liked raw meat.

    also artichoke is supposed to help.

    regards,

  • pam

    ps. sorry forgot to mention: i think Paul Jaminett also has some write up about high TC

    he thinks it’s a deficiency of some mineral (K2? or Cu? i forgot which)

    regards

  • pam

    sorry me again

    by before & after working out
    i dont’ “feed” or refuel before or during after working out.

    i still eat @ my normal hours, but i have higher carb (safe starch & fruits) on the day of heavy workout

    cheers

  • pam:

    The problem with the “safe starches” hypothesis is that Chad appears to have had high TC on a higher-carb diet…so while there are some people who decrease TC on higher carb, perhaps due to the mechanisms Paul mentioned in his articles, Chad doesn’t appear to be one of them.

    Also, as a woman, lowering TC does you no benefit, and may well do you harm. See the general formulation of Goodhart’s Law: “When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to become a good measure.”

    However, you are correct that vitamin or mineral deficiencies could well be in play. Unfortunately I have no idea where to start without knowing a great deal more information — unlike many Internet personalities, who seem to feel free to conclusively diagnose others’ medical issues based on a few sentences and the thinnest of suppositions!

    JS

  • pam

    Hi, JS

    my TC only jumped really high one winter that it jumped high (due to sub-clinical low thyroid, perhaps also anemia)

    so i do believe the number is a concern even as a women, not because it would cause diseases. but because of the pattern jump.

    i agree that not everyone responds well to safe starch. but just in case since Chad’s activities level is very high

    regards,

  • Steve

    brenmitch we appear to be in similar boats.

    I’ve done a lot of experimentation with various diet and exercise approaches, and by far I am most-successful thus far on a high protein, low carb, low fat diet of whole foods. I did less-bad on LCHF than on HCLF or intermittent fasting, but LCLF is best for me at the moment.

    Excerpting from my cross-post on the met-flex thread:

    “For the past few months, I’ve been almost-exclusively eating skinless chicken breast and spinach with a bit of salsa and sea salt for flavor and egg shell for calcium.

    Depending on the reference, this is about:
    65% protein
    15% carb
    20% fat

    I also eat a slice of calf liver once or twice per week, and add protein powder or nonfat plain greek yogurt as “snacks” between meals. These would skew the actual protein % even higher.

    I’ve been mostly focusing on weight lifting, and that’s helped me get stronger and leaner. “Aerobic” exercises didn’t actually seem to have much of an effect for me besides increasing appetite. HIIT primarily seemed to adversely impact my strength and recovery from weight lifting, so I stopped doing that.”

    I should note that I don’t go crazy with protein powder or yogurt. 200-400kCal/day max when I don’t get enough chicken breast, or substitute some other lean meat like fish…

  • It gets better. New Scientist are also picking up on the research (bit.ly/NSsatfat),

    “After decades of health warnings, the idea that steak, cheese and lard are bad for your heart is melting away. The truth is more complex – and delicious

    THERE’S a famous scene in Woody Allen’s film Sleeper in which two scientists in the year 2173 are discussing the dietary advice of the late 20th century.

    “You mean there was no deep fat, no steak or cream pies or hot fudge?” asks one, incredulous. “Those were thought to be unhealthy,” replies the other. “Precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.”

    We’re not quite in Woody Allen territory yet, but steak and cream pies are starting to look a lot less unhealthy than they once did. After 35 years as dietary gospel, the idea that saturated fat is bad for your heart appears to be melting away like a lump of butter in …”

  • pam:

    Yes, a major change in TC signals some sort of metabolic change (often weight loss). In your case, though, it’s the thyroid/anemia that was the problem, and the TC was merely symptomatic. Mainly I think Chad needs to stop running marathons (don’t stop running altogether, just cease with the high mileage) and start lifting weights!

    Steve:

    HP/LF/LC also means “low-calorie”, which means you’re losing weight…and you’ll pretty much be insulin-sensitive by default if you’re losing weight. In general, high-protein works very well for weight loss, since it’s the only macro we have an obligate daily requirement for. I’m glad you’re seeing success — and I’ll have a lot more to say on this subject after AHS!

    Asclepius:

    I suspect we’ll see an acceleration of the trend now, as more and more people and institutions feel the fear of behind left behind — and, therefore, very likely forced to share the blame for the millions of dead and unimaginable suffering caused by low-fat, low-cholesterol dogma.

    JS

  • Snackowitz

    Entirely non-serious comment here…

    Under the “Don’t expect public policy to change”, in the second point, you refer to glassy eyed zombies.

    Wouldn’t it be more appropriate to refer to them as “grassy eyed zombies”? ;)

  • RM Fleming, MD, JD

    Politics, religion and food. These three areas of our lives continue to be run by emotion and not science. After serving on multiple AHA committees and presenting testimony in D.C., nothing has changed. The pendulum has swung back and forth between the extremes of diets high in fat to high in refined carbohydrates to high in fat. People will continue to eat the foods they want. They will continue to lack the necessary exercise required to burn off the excess calories they eat and blame someone else for their obesity and other health related problems. No one has published a study showing high fat or high carbohydrate diets coupled with too many calories will improve your health. The truth is that our chronic health problems are the result of excess! Too many calories, too much salt, too much inactivity, too much … The result is “Inflammation.” After presenting our work on this, everyone and their uncle or aunt (although frankly I cannot blame the women for this) set out to show they had the magic answer for this. The truth is “Inflammation” and our “Immune System” is what keeps us alive. Our bodies respond to insults by attacking the insult (viz. inflammation). We are supposed to be smart enough to get away from what’s hurting our body and let it heal. Children pull their hands back from the stove after burning their hands. We quarantine those with Ebola, et cetera. When we don’t remove ourselves from the offending cause of harm, the harm continues and our “immune system” continues to react, trying to wall off the harm from the rest of the body. Like a teeter totter with too much weight on both ends, it will eventually break. Too much of these excesses are producing the chronic diseases that are reacking havoc with industrialized nations. While people continue to argue over whether too much fat or too many refined carbohydrates is the problem, inflammation will continue to be the final common denominator; just as we established FIRST decades ago and presented on 20/20 in 2004. Too many calories produces this inflammation. Too much saturated fat produces this inflammation. Too many refined carbohydrates produces this inflammation. Too many calories produces this inflammation. Too little exercise promotes this inflammation. Smoking promotes this inflammation. This inflammation produces heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, cancer….. Despite this mental masturbation, nothing changes and no one is learning. Smile, point your fingers at those on the other side of the argument. We wonder why the politicians in Washington can’t work together. Look in the mirror!

  • The Pooch

    Dr. Fleming,
    You may want to check out the article series here on hunger and satiety. Yes, many of us eat too many calories, but the question is why? What is it about those extra calories that doesn’t make us feel full? In his other articles, Stanton describes some of the science behind hunger and satiety. Different types and qualities of foods have very different effects on satiety, independent of caloric content, and this knowledge alone moves us past a simple “calories in, calories out” model.

    Also, if you have a reference where dietary saturated fat is demonstrated to cause inflammation, I think the readership would be very curious to see that reference.

  • RM Fleming, MD, JD

    Thank you for your thoughtful reply “Pooch.”

    Here are references for your readers. The field is plagued with limited information including dietary journals, drop out issues, failure to have “quantitative” methods to actually measure disease instead of simply looking at surrogate blood markers of disease. Finally, comparing rest-stress images is the incorrect way for determining ischemic heart disease as we and other have now validated. Rest imaging equals tissue damage while stress images reveal blood flow. To determine blood flow images, one must compare two or more stress images, not a viability and blood flow image. When rest-stress is used, there is a 35% error rate-hardly a method applicable for studying the effects of diets on heart disease or for that matter, the presence of heart disease itself.

    Fleming RM. The Clinical Importance of Risk Factor Modification: Looking at Both Myocardial Viability (MV) and Myocardial Perfusion Imaging (MPI) Intern J Angiol 2000;9:55-69.

    Fleming, RM. The Effect of High Protein Diets on Coronary Blood Flow. Angiology 2000;51(10):817-826.

    Fleming RM. The Effect of High, Moderate and Low Fat Diets On Weight Loss and Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors. Preventive Cardiology 2002;V(III):110-118. [http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/438769]

    Fleming RM. Caloric intake, not carbohydrate or fat consumption, determines weight loss. Am J Med 2003;114:78.

    Fleming RM. The effect of ephedra and high fat dieting – a cause for concern! A case report. Angiology 2007; 58:102-5.

    Nielson C, Fleming RM. Blood glucose and cerebrovascular disease in non-diabetic patients. Angiology 2007;58(5):625-9.

    Fleming RM. Chapter 64. The Pathogenesis of Vascular Disease. Textbook of Angiology. John C. Chang Editor, Springer-Verlag New York, NY. 1999, pp. 787-798.

    As well as studies showing the methods for determining outcomes of diet are flawed by looking either at serum markers of disease which do not always correlate with disease and improved methodology to actually detecting heart disease-which has been verified by physician-researchers in S. Korea and England.

    Fleming RM, Harrington GM, Baqir R, Jay S, Sridevi Challapalli, Avery K, Green J. The Evolution of Nuclear Cardiology takes Us Back to the Beginning to Develop Today’s “New Standard of Care” for Cardiac Imaging: How Quantifying Regional Radioactive Counts at 5 and 60 Minutes Post-Stress Unmasks Hidden Ischemia. Methodist DeBakey Cardiovascular Journal (MDCVJ) 2009;5(3):42-48.

    Fleming RM, Harrington GM, Baqir R, Jay S, Challapalli S, Avery K, Green J. Renewed Application of an Old Method Improves Detection of Coronary Ischemia. A Higher Standard of Care. Federal Practitioner 2010;27:22-31.

    Fleming RM, Harrington GM. Quantitative measurement of sestamibi distribution to detect hidden ischemia made possible by application of Blumgart’s method. J Nucl Med 2011;52(suppl I):1162.

    Fleming RM, Harrington GM, Kearney DS, Tomsho M, Sheils J. Myoview and Sestamibi redistribution, stress once – image twice protocol improves detection of ischemia in addition to improving patient throughput and reducing patient radiation to 3.75 mSv. J Nucl Med 2012 (SNM Annual Meeting Program Book): 115.

    Fleming RM, Harrington GM, Baqir R. Heart Disease in Men. Chapter 3. Using Multiple Images Post-Stress to Enhance diagnostic Accuracy of Myocardial Perfusion Imaging: The Clinical Importance of Determining Washin and Washout Indicates a Parabolic Function between Coronary Perfusion (Blood Flow) and Cellular (“Uptake/Release”) Function. Alice B. Todd and Margo H. Mosley Editors, Nova Publishers, 2009, pp. 75-100. (https://www.novapublishers.com/catalog/product_info.php?products _id=8409)

    Fleming RM, Harrington GM. Chapter 13. Fleming Harrington Redistribution Wash-in Washout (FHRWW): The Platinum Standard for Nuclear Cardiology. Establishing Better Standards of Care in Doppler Echocardiography, Computed Tomography and Nuclear Cardiology. Richard M. Fleming, Editor, Intech Publishing July 2011. ISBN: 978-953-307-366-8.

  • Snackowitz:

    Either way, they’re still after our GRAAAAAAINS.

    Dr. Fleming:

    You’re getting close to the source of problem, but inflammation is still a downstream consequence of the metabolic dysfunction of obesity — as evidenced by the fact that corticosteroids do not make people slim (they make them fat), and neither do other anti-inflammatory drugs.

    Also, certain very specific excesses are much more likely to start the cascade than others.

    My time is currently very short due to my upcoming AHS 2014 presentation: I’ll give your posts more of the time they deserve next week, when the conference is over.

    JS

  • Jean J. Labelle MD

    Our body is composed of trillions of cells. There are however 250 species of these cells and each have specific dedicated functions in the upkeep of our complex body organism. Muscle, brain,[the brain is 80% fat]immunity {homeland security system] endocrine [hormones] synovial [elbow grease] bone,[supporting the body] cartilage [joint padding] liver, [chemical manufacturing and detoxifying ]pancreas[digesting] epidermal [protecting the body against bacteria, virus, and against drying up]sensory [all six senses] and so many other cells each producing different products and building blocks to sustain this fabulous organism.
    Who do we think we are in our great intelligence to decide what foods each of this plethora of cells need? We went from low fat diets and anti cholesterol drugs and caused the great epidemic of diabetes by replacing fat by carbohydrates. The cells cannot go to the supermarket and get food for their specific need. They can only look into the blood and try to find their specific building blocks.So why not eat a balanced moderate diet of foods without preservative and insecticides [“organic”[ etc. Those who do so live well and longer. The Symphony of Aging 2006.

  • Dr. Labelle:

    “We went from low fat diets and anti cholesterol drugs and caused the great epidemic of diabetes by replacing fat by carbohydrates.”

    It’s truly bizarre that standard treatment for a disease of impaired glucose metabolism is to eat more glucose! It’s like telling someone with lung cancer to smoke more cigarettes.

    JS

  • […] the days of low fat diet recommendations are fading away.  Researchers have done the right studies and are no longer ignoring biochemistry- a high fat […]

  • […] Time Magazine says ‘Eat Butter’ – Gnolls article […]

  • Fmgd

    Have you by any chance watched the last episode of South Park? It deals with this and ends with one of the kids saving the day by putting the age-old food pyramid upside-down.

  • Fmgd:

    No, I haven’t — but upside-down, while not optimal, is indeed far better than right-side up!

    JS

  • Paul K

    Fmgd:
    Thanks for mentioning the South Park episode. I just watched it again about an hour ago and almost rolled on the floor. Cartman saved the day and turning the pyramid upside down (the outline turned upside down with the words left in the same rows) probably comes really close to the truth (except for the inclusion of seed oils in the top row of what you should eat most of).

    J.
    Thanks for all your logical writings, they have helped greatly in my understanding and comprehension of nutritional topics. I have been reading your blog for several years now and keep coming back hoping to find something new.

  • Glen Nagy

    I haven’t been able to find your AHS14 talk online. Do you know when your talk is going to be posted? Your talk is the one I really want to see!

  • Glen:

    It’s coming very soon. There were some A/V problems (yes, again) that greatly affected the audio track. I’ve spent quite a bit of time cleaning it up: once I’m done with that, the A/V crew will splice the audio back in and make it available.

    I’ll let everyone know as soon as it’s up!

    JS

  • James

    “It’s truly bizarre that standard treatment for a disease of impaired glucose metabolism is to eat more glucose! It’s like telling someone with lung cancer to smoke more cigarettes.

    JS”

    Denise minger in her latest presentation believes that high carb diets are superiour when it comes to T2 diabetes reversal. She said that low carb diets only mask the problem through restriction of glucose and weight loss whilst high carb diets can actually heal the disease without weight loss.

  • James

    Also. I just read one of Mark Sisson’s posts’s about butter. He seems to be backtracking a bit and advising people that butter is not as innocent and health promoting as he once promoted.

    I don’t think this TIME magazine article is of great public benefit as it seems to be giving a green light to people who like to hear good news about their preferred dietary habits.

  • James

    I love Denise, but I’m reasonably sure she’s a bit behind the curve on this one.

    I’ve been researching this very subject for quite a while. The important and determining factor in all the “high-carb” diabetic interventions I’ve seen (e.g. the Cuban macrobiotic study) is not their carbohydrate content! They have another common factor which is causing them to work…and given equal amounts of this factor, the lower-carb interventions work even better.

    All the puzzle pieces are in my 2013 AHS presentation about metabolic flexibility and the data section of the papers: you’re reminding me that I should finish the article and actually publish it!

    As far as butter, I’ve said this, or something like it, many times before:

    “…This isn’t a high-fat diet! This is a “don’t throw away the fat that naturally occurs in food” diet. Note that I don’t recommend drinking milk (or any other liquid calories), nor do I recommend dumping butter or coconut oil on things in order to meet some magical macronutrient ratio.”

    -from my comments to “Eat Like A Predator”

    My advice hasn’t changed meaningfully in years precisely because I haven’t focused on any putative magical properties of a particular “macronutrient” ratio…I’ve focused on food. Once you start focusing too much on macros you can easily end up with either a pathological fear of butter, or pathological consumption of butter — when the healthy approach is generally “If it genuinely tastes better with a pat of butter on it, go ahead and add some.” Frankly, butter is much like bacon: after the first couple months of “OMG BACON AND BUTTER ON EVERYTHING WOOHOO!!1!!”, the desire generally subsides to the level of “condiment”.

    JS

  • Someone

    Hey J,

    Care to mention what this “common factor” is (explaining the success of both high carb and low carb interventions) ? Is it related to oxidative stress or something related ?

  • Someone:

    I’ll be exploring that subject in detail in 2015!

    JS

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