Archive | Science & Health
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Is It Dangerous to Eat Meat Before Age 65? 48
A Calorie Is Not a Calorie 73
Are Low-Carb Zealots Close-Minded? 121
Robert Lustig’s New Talk on Sugar! 33
Drink Coca Cola Like Grandpa 40
Panel Discussion on the Fight Against Sugar 55
“Fat Is In, Sugar Is Out” 26
Swedish Expert Committee: A Low-Carb Diet Most Effective for Weight Loss 54
Your iPhone Gives You Cancer – But Protects You From Malaria! 8
A New Toy Measuring Blood Ketones 143
AHS showdown: Gary Taubes vs Stephan Guyenet 112
Is the Solution to the Obesity Epidemic Launching Today? 22
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The Movie the Junk Food Industry Fears

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Here’s the movie that the junk food industry fears.

This new American documentary about obesity – FED UP – could stir up the debate when it premiers in four weeks. It’s produced and narrated by Katie Couric, one of the best known American news anchors.

The movie seems to hit home when it comes to the causes of obesity. This by interviewing people who really know their stuff, including several of my heroes: Dr. Robert Lustig, Gary Taubes, Michael Pollan, Dr. David Ludwig and Dr. Mark Hyman. Bill Clinton is in it as well.

Watch the trailer – it’s excellent. Things are on a roll!

What do you think?

Continue Reading →

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A Calorie Is Not a Calorie – Not Even Close

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A calorie is not a calorie. Some calories may, for example, make you burn 300 more calories per day (corresponding to 30 minutes of running).

The figure above shows that a strict low-carbohydrate diet on average resulted in burning 300 calories more, compared to a diet much higher in carbohydrates. More details about the study here.

Recommended reading, especially for those who still believe Coca Cola’s favorite argument: There’s no bad food, only bad character.

The truth is that an exaggerated intake of sugary drinks may force you to run an extra 30 minutes a day to maintain your weight. If you don’t get hungrier from all the sugar and eat more (which many do), in which case you could need an extra hour of running – per day – to maintain your weight.

Exercise is great, but for maintaining weight it’s easier to avoid sugar and junk food. Continue Reading →

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The Problem Is the Soda. Not the Calories.

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The latest issue of the science journal Diabetes Care has two articles about sugar. Soda consumption in the US has increased fivefold in the last 50 years, to 200 liters (211 quarts) per person and year.

  • In the first article, this gigantic source of sugar gets the blame for a big part of today’s obesity and disease epidemic.
  • In the second article, soda is said to be just empty calories, without any harmful effects of its own.

What’s the difference between the articles?

One difference is that the second article is written by a person who is paid by Coca Cola. The author John L. Sievenpiper ….

…has received several unrestricted travel grants to present research at meetings from The Coca-Cola Company and is a co-investigator on an unrestricted research grant from The Coca-Cola Company.

The focus on calories is the junk food industry’s favorite argument. They desperately want to make you believe that obesity is caused by bad character, not bad food.

With this explanation, those who sell (addictive) sugar drinks are automatically innocent.

Coca Cola and other companies pay billions for advertisements to make you believe the calorie explanation. And they are happy to pay researchers who can spread the same idea in scientific settings, to make their advertisement more credible.

Continue Reading →

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Saturated Fat Completely Safe According to New Big Review of all Science!

Good fat, good fat, good fat.

Good fat, good fat, good fat.

Are butter, and other saturated fats, bad for us? No.

Yet another new major review of all good science shows that saturated fat is as harmless as other natural fats, whether unsaturated or polyunsaturated.

This review goes through all observational studies and randomized intervention studies of high quality that have been done. Which means all the best science available on the subject:

The result? People who eat a lot of butter or other saturated fats don’t get sicker. And people who reduce their butter intake don’t get any better. There simply is no connection between butter and heart disease.

The same result – that butter is completely harmless – has recently been shown in major reviews of all science time after time, again and again and again and again.

When are older so-called experts going to give up their outdated and unscientific warnings about butter? It’s time to embrace science.

Today, fear of butter lacks scientific support. It’s based on old preconceptions and on an inability to update knowledge.

If you want to be taken seriously as a “nutrition expert” you’d better keep updated. It’s not good enough to continue spreading ideas from the 80′s about fat, ideas that have long since been refuted.

There has to be a limit to how long you can bury your head in the sand. Or what do you think?

Continue Reading →

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Happy Ketones

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Here’s low-carb blogger Jimmy Moore at the recent obesity conference. He’s smiling about soon hitting two consecutive years in deep ketosis (and 80 pounds or so lost).

The gadget he’s holding up is a new breath analyzer for acetone (i.e one of the two main ketone bodies). Yellow light means plenty of acetone.

The gadget is $99 and is good for any number of measurements. It seems to work pretty well. Better than urine strips but not quite as good as the gold standard: blood measurements.

You can read more about the Ketonix breath analyzer and order it here.

Continue Reading →

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Is It Dangerous to Eat Meat Before Age 65?

Meat the American way. Not in the picture: the drink.

Meat the American way. Not in the picture: the drink.

Is it dangerous to eat meat if you’re between 55 and 65? Will eating lots of meat then suddenly become healthful after you turn 65?

This is the somewhat confusing conclusion that some researchers drew from a new American questionnaire study:

As usual, we have to take sensational headlines with a substantial pinch of salt. This was just a food questionnaire that was sent to some thousand Americans, and the researchers then looked at statistical associations with diseases.

Uncertain Association

As regular readers know, one can’t prove causation by correlating statistics from questionnaire studies. Only ignorant or sensationalism-driven journalists believe so. Unfortunately these two groups seem to constitute the vast majority of all journalists.

On subsequent examination, it turns out that at least 80% of similar findings in uncertain questionnaires are incorrect – see table 4 in the excellent review Why Most Published Research Findings are False.

So a more scientifically correct headline would be “There is a 20 percent chance that meat quadruples the risk of cancer for people under the age of 65 and reduces the risk for older people.” Not as enticing.

The statistical correlation between meat-eating and disease in people under 65 in the U.S. may just as well be due to the fact that meat consumption there is associated with eating junk food, smoking, lack of exercise, less vegetables and in principal any unhealthful lifestyle you can think of.

What, in all of these unhealthful lifestyles, is the cause of disease ? Statistics cannot prove this.

IGF-1 and cancer

Therefore, there are good reasons to ignore the study. But I guess that there’s still some truth behind it. Scientists report that protein (high-quality animal protein in particular) may raise levels of the hormone IGF-1, which stimulates cell division. High levels of IGF-1 may in the long run increase the risk of cancer.

What they don’t mention is that carbohydrates also increase levels of IGF-1, at least as much. Particularly bad carbohydrates in greater quantities radically raise IGF-1 levels. The only thing you can eat that doesn’t significantly increase levels of IGF-1 is fat.

The logical conclusion is that any variation of a low-carbohydrate diet with moderate amounts of protein (and enough fat) is the healthiest in the long run – at least to keep IGF-1 low while still feeling great. How much protein? The amount you need to feel good, feel full and stay strong and healthy. What is this concept called? LCHF.

The really ambitious may add intermittent fasting for maximum effect. Continue Reading →

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“Fat Is In, Sugar Is Out”

Good fat, good fat, sugar

Good fat, good fat, sugar

The paradigm shift continues. More and more experts stop being unnecessarily afraid of fat. More and more people blame the obesity epidemic on junk food, with added sugar and other refined carbohydrates as culprit number one.

Now there are also new rules proposed for nutrition labels in the US. They’ll make it easier to watch out for added sugar:

BBC News: Fat is in, sugar is out: Label creates new food hierarchy

Some people take a detour and blame the obesity epidemic on the fuzzy concept of calories. They are right in theory, but wrong in practice. The quality of the calories determines how many calories one wants to eat.

In the past, before the obesity epidemic, nobody knew what a calorie was. They still kept their weight. Requiring calorie counting to maintain weight falls on its own absurdity. It’s as silly as demanding that you count your breaths.

We have a built-in sense of hunger and satiety that works better than any calorie table. Especially as it’s impossible to know how many calories you consume. Continue Reading →

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Can Giving Up Grains Cause Cancer?

Colin Campbell

Colin Campbell

Could giving up grains cause heart disease and cancer? This is what Colin Campbell claims in his new book The Low-Carb Fraud:

MailOnline: Are low-carb diets BAD for you? Nutrition expert claims giving up grains can lead to heart disease and cancer

Biochemist T Colin Campbell is the author behind the well-known vegan book The China Study and according to him, we should eat a low-fat vegan diet to keep us healthy.

There is a lack of evidence to support Campbell’s ideas. The book The China Study rests on an observational study – uncertain statistics – that doesn’t prove anything. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that the statistical data in the book were cherry-picked to fit the author’s preconceptions. Statistics that pointed strongly in the other direction were not included.

A new review of all relevant similar studies shows that Asians who eat more red meat on the contrary are healthier. They suffer less heart disease and less cancer. Not quite what Campbell managed to cherry pick from his one China study.

There may be good ethical reasons to be a vegan – it’s open for discussion. But those who fear animal foods for health reasons are afraid for no good reason. Continue Reading →

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Why Nutrition Is So Confusing

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Why is nutrition so confusing? Why do some say “eat more bread and less butter”, while others say the exact opposite? Why does a third group say that it doesn’t matter, as long as you eat less of everything?

Here are two good answers. Which one do you believe?

Answer #1

According to science writer Gary Taubes’s new opinion piece in The New York Times there’s a simple explanation. We don’t know because we’ve been too lazy and cheap to do what is needed to find out the truth. We just pretend that we know.

NYT: Why Nutrition Is So Confusing

Go ahead and read the opinion piece, which is unusually short and concise coming from Gary “640 pages” Taubes, but well worth reading as always.

Answer #2

Taubes’s opinion piece sent another profile in the nutrition field ballistic (again).  Continue Reading →

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The Food Revolution is Spreading

The Food Revolution is spreading. The combined number of likes on the DietDoctor Facebook page and the original Swedish version, Kostdoktorn.se, has now passed the 100,000 mark.

Next: A million?

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