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Fat And Glycemic Index: The Myth Of "Complex Carbohydrates"
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November 10, 2015
9:59 am

I came to your blog, recently, through a link on tuitnutrition. I posted this comment on one of Amy's blog articles but I think it is very appropriate to add this comment to your article as well.

Fifteen years ago I had a heart attack at 40 years old. I was very physically active but fat at six foot 237 pounds. I immediately went on the Ornish diet and within 6 months I weighed 160 and remained very physically active. About a year after the heart attack and a year on the Ornish diet, my cardiologist had me do a “cardiolite” radioactive stress test. He immediately put me back in the hospital for another angiogram. He said there was nothing major that he could do anything about. He was not happy about that so he kept me on a short leash with appointments every 3 months (while most patients are seen every 6 months) and cardiolite stress tests every couple years. Each time the stress test results came back he would hang his head and say that he should probably do an angiogram but there would probably be nothing he could do anyway.

There is no question that you can get skinny on the Ornish diet. I remained on the diet for 10 years and my weight stayed about 165 that whole time. But my test results were always bad and quite frankly the diet is pretty much torture. My wife and I eventually started eating more fat along with the high carbs and we gained weight—still being careful so not a whole lot but about 20 pounds more than we both wanted to be.

Two years ago, a friend had lost some weight on a low carb, high fat diet. We decided to try it. Talk about a dramatic shift, a literal about face. We had always been so concerned about fat and did not care about carbs. At first we did it just to lose that 20 pounds but then we started to really research what really is in the literature about low carb/high fat compared to the low fat/high carb diet like the Ornish diet. And we realized that we had been so deceived.

Within three months we had lost the weight we wanted and it has not come back and we will never go back.

One year after going lc/hf, my cardiologist wanted another cardiolite stress test and full labs. At the appointment to go over the results, he said that my lab tests were perfect. My total cholesterol was slightly high but only because my HDL was almost the exact same number as my LDL (101 to 103). I was so afraid of the cardiolite results that I almost postponed the appointment, but I went. When he got to those results, he said “the results of the cardiolite are excellent. I’ll see you in six months.” Two things I had never heard in all those years of low fat Ornish torture.

I went home and didn’t give away but threw away all the Ornish books and all the other low fat recipe books and even the low fat recipes I had created. Nobody should be eating that way.

We have been so deceived but thank goodness there are a growing number of lc/hf dietitians bravely spreading the word.

I really enjoy your blogs.

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January 5, 2016
6:31 pm

Whole grain and complex carbohydrates are not a myth. You should have a diet of healthy fats, low glycemic whole grains, vegetables, and fruits (less fruit and no refined sugar). Vegetables and greens should be in the unlimited category. I lost the most weight with an almost vegetarian diet with occasional wild fish, avocados, nuts, avocado oil, real olive oil (not counterfeit is from California not Italy), and nuts for good sources of fat. Atkins is wrong in advocating animal fats. We know large amounts of meat are bad (1-2x per week is ok if grass fed or wild). I also think fasting and meditating (or whatever spiritual practice) are beneficial.

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January 28, 2016
10:05 am

I am late to this article, but I want to mention a few things, and I apologize if already mentioned:

(1) An autopsy on Atkins after he slipped and hit his head, killing himself, showed significant cardiovascular disease. So much for a high fat diet being healthy.

(2) Whole grains are recommended by the government as part of a healthy diet. That is based on an analysis by numerous scientists.

(3)) I happen to be one of those persons who enjoys carbohydrates and I have no desire to have a "high fat" diet. I do not eat any red meat, but only poultry and fish. Everything in moderation. I am old . . above sixty . . . buy am slim with no metabolic issues, and that is after a lifetime diet of plenty of bread, pasta, etc., although I do try to avoid processed foods, inordinate amounts of sugar.

So I would guess there is some truth and some myth in everybody's opinions here.

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January 28, 2016
3:50 pm

andrew said

I am late to this article, but I want to mention a few things, and I apologize if already mentioned:

(1) An autopsy on Atkins after he slipped and hit his head, killing himself, showed significant cardiovascular disease. So much for a high fat diet being healthy.

(2) Whole grains are recommended by the government as part of a healthy diet. That is based on an analysis by numerous scientists.

(3)) Everything in moderation.

(1) Prior to the accident Atkins contracted a viral illness resulting in cardiomyopathy, which increases the chances of cardiac arrest. As recently as 3 years prior to his death his cardiologist described his cardiovascular health as "extraordinarily healthy". He did indeed suffer a cardiac arrest a year before the accident, although he had been evaluated and his arteries were found to be free of blockage. His high fat diet didn't protect him from a heart attack but that doesn't mean it caused the event.

(2) A government recommendation is not a point in your favour. A year ago they would have told you to avoid dietary cholesterol. It seems they're in the process of changing that recommendation.

(3) Everything in moderation ... like arsenic and unprotected sex with prostitutes, right?

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February 1, 2016
7:48 am

Well, regardless of what Atkin's cardiologist said. . autopsy showed very bad hardening of the arteries. That is from a lifetime of an unhealthy diet.

Government recommendations derived from a panel of scientists may not be a guarantee of course, but far more reliable imho than some lone wolfs blogging on the internet with their personal opinions.

For me, I feel much healthier with complex carbs and insoluble fiber in my diet . . and the best way to get that is from whole wheat and whole rye bread, with Ground Flax, Chia seeds, etc., mixed in. I feel much unhealthier when I eat meat . . . so I Never eat red meat and go light on chicken . . Salmon my favorite fish.

To each their own. Believe what you will and what you want. I know what works for me.

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February 1, 2016
5:34 pm

Read this for the truth. This blog gets it wrong.

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February 24, 2016
4:14 am

This article comes to a dangerous conclusion about saturated fat . Here is a meta analysis by the Cochrane Foundation looking at studies on humans, not rats, over a 2 year period. . Conclusion : replacing saturated fats with unsaturated or polyunsaturated fats statistically significantly reduces stroke and other cardiac events. I'll give it to the author , the meta analysis also concluded that replacing saturated fats with carbohydrate was less effective than replacing with unsaturated fats. But that's not the same as saying " eat loads of butter to be healthy, bla bla rats bla bla glycemic index. Come on . Any first year medical student with half their eyes shut could tell you this. You KNOW eating lots of cream and butter can't possibly be good for you . I'd also like to point out that good, polyunsaturated vegetable oils , and less saturated oils from oily fish have existed and been eaten for millennia . Case in point : olive oil use goes back to 6000BC.

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April 17, 2016
9:32 pm
Forum Posts: 0
Member Since:
April 17, 2016

J, thank you for your articles :)
Regardless of naysayers, I have my own personal experience with low carb dieting.
Personally, I have been on a ketogenic diet for 1 year now. I started with deep ketosis which is below 25 carbs a day for about 6 months. Then I upped the carbs, & I fall between about 37-47 carbs a day. I found this seems to work best for me.
Not here to necessarily talk about keto, just low carb. I was a thin person my whole life & then suddenly I started slowly gaining weight seemingly for no reason. Over the course of 8 years I gained 115lbs! I was mortified. Then, I found out I was insulin resistant. A nutritionist friend of mine recommended ketosis, & it has been a life saver! I've lost 88lbs this past year. Only 20 more to go to reach my goal!
Keeping my focus on just "low carb", I can personally attest to what carbs were doing to my body.
Significantly reducing carbs in my diet has not only resulted in weight loss but has resulted in:

Lifelong heartburn cured w/in 2-3 weeks
Bloating (body-wide) gone
Arthritis gone
Sugar crashes & hunger rage gone
Gassiness gone
IBS gone
Brain fog improved
Painful hemmoroids gone
Scalp psoriasis 90% gone
Chronic Fatigue gone
Dark patches on skin (insulin resistance related) gone
Sharp pains in right ear gone
Orthostatic Hypotension gone
Sharp pains between shoulder blades after a few minutes of walking, gone
Sleeping, 70% improved

I' sure there are some things I'm forgetting but, this has proved to me that I had body-wide inflammation that was killing me slowly.
I also must remind that low-carb usually brings you pretty close to gluten-free, & I'm quite sure this also had something to do with my list of symptoms.
Not saying I've never "carbed up" a few times out of weakness but, this "diet" has to be the easiest to stick to BY FAR. From the satiation, to the massively improved health, I could not recommend this way of life more!
What people don't really realize is something you've already mentioned. You're literally dealing with an addiction to 'sugar'. It's very similar to quitting drugs. It's not always easy & you may have a few fails along the way. This is why some people 'fall off the wagon'. DON'T GIVE UP!
Low-carb is a change of lifestyle that is SO worth it!
Again, I thank you for championing the cause & taking so much of your time to try & help people with what you've learned!
Hopefully some day "fat-logic" will be gone, as well as watching vegans waste away right in front of our eyes.
Seeing vegans makes me sad for them, and seeing obese people always makes me want to run up to them & tell them how to fix things lol
There's so much more I could say but, I'll just end with....
Hooray for beef!

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April 22, 2016
3:17 am
Forum Posts: 2105
Member Since:
February 22, 2010


That's a touching story. I'm glad that I've been able to contribute, in some small way, to you and your family's health and happiness. One factor left out in most of the diet literature is that a high-fat diet is delicious and easy to follow, whereas a low-fat diet is pretty much (as you note) continual torture.


That's a lot of bold statements unbuttressed by facts. I can't really open a dialogue about that.


1. My grandfather smoked two packs of cigarettes a day from age 15 on, dying well into his 80s of a non-smoking-related illness. Therefore, by your logic, cigarettes are healthy.
2. Your link is to a propaganda site from the well-known vegan mouthpiece, Dr. Michael Greger.
3. Your confident statement about Atkins is unsourced and unverified, and even if it were true, for every such anecdote I can give you several veg*ans who died far younger. Steve Jobs, Adam Yauch, Robin Gibb...

Most importantly, Paleo isn't Atkins, and has never been.


I quote the Cochrane review: "The review found that cutting down on saturated fat led to a 17% reduction in the risk of cardiovascular disease (including heart disease and strokes), but no effects on the risk of dying."

Also, when researchers have gone back to the unpublished raw data from these studies, they've found that they usually support the opposite conclusion - that saturated fat is *more* healthy, and lower serum cholesterol increases risk of death. (You can guess this would be the case, since TG/HDL is the most predictive number on a standard blood test - far more so than LDL - and saturated fat raises HDL.) For instance:

Ramsden CE Re-evaluation of the traditional diet-heart hypothesis: analysis of recovered data from Minnesota Coronary Experiment (1968-73). BMJ. 2016 Apr 12;353:i1246. doi: 10.1136/bmj.i1246.
"Kaplan Meier graphs showed no mortality benefit for the intervention group in the full randomized cohort or for any prespecified subgroup. There was a 22% higher risk of death for each 30 mg/dL (0.78 mmol/L) reduction in serum cholesterol in covariate adjusted Cox regression models (hazard ratio 1.22, 95% confidence interval 1.14 to 1.32; P<0.001). There was no evidence of benefit in the intervention group for coronary atherosclerosis or myocardial infarcts. Systematic review identified five randomized controlled trials for inclusion (n=10 808). In meta-analyses, these cholesterol lowering interventions showed no evidence of benefit on mortality from coronary heart disease (1.13, 0.83 to 1.54) or all cause mortality (1.07, 0.90 to 1.27)."


Wow. Some days I wonder why I put in the time to do all this research and write all these articles and presentations, when I don't have any nutrition or health product to sell or any real way to gain from what I've done. But hearing stories like yours - of people regaining their health and happiness - makes it all worth it.

Low-fat, anti-animal, pro-grain propaganda has, quite literally, killed millions of people over the last four decades. The worst thing is that they all think they're doing the right thing by being continually miserable. I was one of them for a long time: as I said in another article, "I wish I could retroactively vomit up all the soy 'nuts' and Kashi I ate."


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May 23, 2016
7:50 am
Forum Posts: 1
Member Since:
May 23, 2016

Your articles are great!

My background:
I spent over a year being a vegetarian because I used to believe that meat was unhealthy. At first I felt great but then everything went downhill: my hair fell out in clumps, I was always hungry(=snacking), my iron levels were low, my muscles hurt a week after intense exercise, I had migraines almost every other day and my nails were covered with white spots. Additionally I needed to eat at least 3 eggs per day to get my protein intake otherwise I would get muscle weakness despite lots of dairy products. I also had a problem with intense sugar cravings. I had all these symptoms even though I was taking lots of supplements and has a so called conventionally "healthy" diet.

Now I have reintroduced meat into my diet and have recently cut out grains. Now my hair stopped falling out (my mum doesn't find hair everywhere anymore), I'm hungry 4-5 hours after a meal no sooner, I have strong iron levels, I can exercise loads without muscle pain, and I have nearly completely lost the desire to eat sugar(1 to 2 servings of low sugar fruit is enough for me) and the cravings for chocolates, cakes and biscuits have stopped.
The white spots on nails and migraines have continued until I cut out grains(I haven't had a migraine for about 2 months now and my nails have no discoloration). I tried to get rid of grains because I was "experimenting" with my diet by rid of one thing at a time and seeing what happens. At first I stopped eating fat then dairy(then reintroduced it), then became vegetarian, then I quit refined sugar but still ate whole grains and now I have cut out grains and refined sugar and limit high sugar fruits. When I was on the no refined sugar diet I still had my migraines(and sugar cravings) and they even got worse and I remember one day I had a migraine and decided to eat semolina pudding with milk for tea. That headache doubled at the very least and I thought back to a time when I was little and ate bread when I had a headache and the same thing happened. As I already tried getting rid of dairy with no effects I though about getting rid of grains. As soon as a stopped eating bread for breakfast, my mid afternoon migraines went away, I stopped craving sugar(wheat is additive and causes sugar cravings) and my nails are free of spots.
I'm now on 60-70g of carbs per day, animal protein, and lots of good quality fats(There are literally no vegetable "petrol" oils in my house).
I eat some nuts but they are not a basis of my diet anymore and no grains.

I also think that complex carbs are a myth- I have never felt truly full after a bowl of complex carbs with "heart healthy" fiber. I only felt full because the portion of food was big but my appetite was not satisfied. In other words fiber in complex carbs expand and "glue" the stomach like a flour and water paste but are never satisfying.
I have also found that they never provide long lasting energy- I was always hungry 15 minutes after 2 slices of wholegrain bread and tired.

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August 30, 2016
2:52 pm

Every culture in the history of mankind has figured out "how to tame the carbs"

The French are thin in spite of the of the baguette, the Japanese in spite of the rice, the Italians (the thinnest people in Europe) in spite of pasta.

They remain still because they live by traditional, cultural ways that keep people thin:

1. Eating is a social event.
2. There are rules to eating. Sitting down. No snacking. Everyone eats the same thing.
3. Protein, carbs and fats are always combined...because it's delicious and satisfying.
4. Only 'outcasts' eat differently: vegans, vegetarians are not celebrated in traditional cultures.

Who would want to eat a baked potato on its own? It tastes horrible. A baked potato is meant to be eating with protein, like a steak, some sour cream & butter and steamed broccoli...with butter.

What do you get? A delicious meal that is low GI....healthy & delicious.

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September 14, 2016
11:20 pm
drake manson

My business partners were wanting ZA SAPS 271 last month and were made aware of a business that has a huge forms library . If you are interested in ZA SAPS 271 too , here's


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November 28, 2016
11:07 pm

Hello. Have you checked out Dr. Greger's website? Here's his page of videos regarding Paleo and high protein diets ::
He promotes a plant based diet, very convincingly to me, although I confess I'm not well read on the literature.He includes a link for references with each video.

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February 5, 2017
9:39 am
Glyn Wainwright
Guest Image of postprandial plasma glucose graph. Grilled bacon sandwich versus deep fried fish in batter. About the same in carbs. Which spike is worst?

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