“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 almost impossible to know how many calories you consume.


The Real Association Between Butter and Heart Disease in Sweden

A Calorie Is Not a Calorie

What Happens If You Eat 5,800 Calories Daily on an LCHF Diet?

The Real Cause of Heart Disease

Why Calorie Counters Are Confused

Heart Doctor: Time to Bust the Myth About Saturated Fat and Heart Disease


  1. Boundless
    A shift is definitely under way. Two unsolicited "healthy lifestyle" publications I get; one from work, one from a retail chain, have both lately included advice on consuming EPA and DHA, and where to find them.

    One even included, in a footnote it must be noted, the shocking phrase
    "unhealthy vegetable oils".

    The rest of the publications were loaded with the usual whole-grain calorie-counting low-fat nonsense, including exercise-your-buns-off advice complete with unambiguous prominent numbers showing just how ineffective exercise is as a primary weight loss technique.

    Reply: #3
  2. Danny
    Will you be telling your friend Dr Briffa that counting breaths is silly next time you see him? ;)
  3. François
    Boudless, do you have a hyperlink to this "unhealthy vegetable oils" footnote? I'd love to see it. It is a great " in your face" of the American Heart Association that still presents in their cartoon on fats the evil brohers Trans and Sat and the "noce sisters" Poly and Mono...
    Reply: #4
  4. Boundless
    > ... do you have a hyperlink to this "unhealthy vegetable oils" footnote?

    Just looked, and no. It's the December 2013 edition of the Spark16 healthletter published by Welcoa, and paywalled if available on line at all. Last sentence on (unnumbered) page 6 if you know anyone who gets it.

  5. Humberto
    "No added sugar" as a health claim can be misleading too, as many products are also sweetened with apple and pear juice to get around this, and creating products which are still high in sugar content.
  6. justmeint
    tiz excellent news..... however there was some small indication that in the USA if the ? Congress gets it's murky fingers into things, a change such as this could take years to see implemented. The Big Agricultural complex will not be happy and they are the ones with the $$$ - used to buy off Senators.
    As with most things change will come into effect from the bottom up... WE the people will do our reading and research and WE the people will turn to sites like this one where we know we are taught good stuff and are supported in our endeavours to become healthy once more :-)
  7. Joey B
    I was reading an article about how a low carb diet is slowly killing Sweden.
    Reply: #10
  8. Frances
    I give a "thumbs up" to Michelle Obama's initiative. A smart woman who is on the right track.

    I disagree with Nestle's assumption that "No one is worried about the amount of sugar in fruit or milk". The carb content of every food that I intend to ingest concerns me. Those of us who count grams of carbs daily add them up for every portion of food to be eaten, including milk lactose and fruit fructose... so often that the numbers quickly become memorized as our learning of "new and improved" ways of doing things become habitual.

    With regards to calories, I view the 9kcal/g of energy contained in beneficial fats in terms of providing a 2.25 x denser form of power to fuel my physical activity, in preference to the 4kcal/g of energy contained in carbs. Eating carbs as my main source of energy gave me a "puffy" body that needed to eat a greater quantity more often to stay fueled up throughout the day. Eating in this manner was also a time waster I could not afford. Switching to fats as my main source of energy gave me a "dense" body that sustained itself between main meals, with less quantity, no secondary snacking necessary, less time involved in food preparation and eating.

    I liken how I sustain my bodily needs to how I would treat a sports motorbike or car... which runs perfectly and consistently on 98 octane petrol (as it should)... but replace this with 91 octane petrol, it runs sluggishly or not at all, causes damage. Same comparision for fats and carbs in my body.

    Reply: #13
  9. PatrickP
    Anyone who looks to the federal government (or Michelle Obama) for nutritional advice is a fool.
  10. François
    Andreas commented on a similar article (or something similar). It would be true if only butter could time travel. it does many wonderful things in your body but cannot time travel.
  11. Sakari Peltola
    Hi Andreas!

    I'm strongly under the impression, that it's not at all the amount of calories that counts, but the source of calories and their signaling to the body what to do with them through hormone action.

    I'm not sure if there is almost any action in the body that happens with out this signaling?

    I mean if you could eat a diet that would not budge your insulin and other growth factors then there wouldn't be any growth in any tissue no matter how many calories you'd shove down your piehole?


    Reply: #12
  12. François
    Not quite, but part of your point is exact. The TYPE of macronutrients is more important than the total amount of CALORIES (which are essentially a measure of the energy provided if you were only burining the things as a furnace. But you are not. The various interactions of the macronutrients with the body and its hormonal system are not accounted for in this "calories in-calories out" idea. Some people can put on weight on as little as 1000 calories of mainly carbs while some others may remain thin on a 5000 calories of mainly fat.

    This being said, your insulin will never be zero. You will still have other hormones also: IGF-1 and IGFBP-3 will remain, but at normal levels, IGF-1 gently stimulating all cells to grow and IGFBP-3 telling cancer cells to commit apoptosis (suicide) - should such cells be around. And these are only three of the incredibly complex array of hormones in your body.

    As long as you eat till full but no more on a HFLC diet, your body will naturally set itself in the healthiest state possible and you will see your fat stores progresively disappear. But a child on LCHF will still grow. And quite well in fact. Without deficits.

  13. Tammi
    I work at a school and I can tell you that Michelle Obama has single handedly ruined school lunches. They are nothing but whole grain, low fat, hardly any protein and very low calories, not to mention NO flavor. The kids don't like them and some throw away more than they eat. When they do try to eat it, they don't get filled up and are not allowed seconds because they will go over their allotted calories. Michelle and her initiative need to mind their own business!
  14. Paul the rat
    Michelle Obama (shame on you M. Obama) is just a mouthpiece for well planned and systematically executed strategy to "produce" endless supply of people with ever increasing health problems - for which new drugs are waiting in pipelines.
    Please read the conclusions of the attached abstract

    PLoS One. 2014 Feb 7;9(2):e88278. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0088278. eCollection 2014.

    Nutrition and Health - The Association between Eating Behavior and Various Health Parameters: A Matched Sample Study.

    Burkert NT, Muckenhuber J, Großschädl F, Rásky E, Freidl W.
    Author information

    Population-based studies have consistently shown that our diet has an influence on health. Therefore, the aim of our study was to analyze differences between different dietary habit groups in terms of health-related variables. The sample used for this cross-sectional study was taken from the Austrian Health Interview Survey AT-HIS 2006/07. In a first step, subjects were matched according to their age, sex, and socioeconomic status (SES). After matching, the total number of subjects included in the analysis was 1320 (N = 330 for each form of diet - vegetarian, carnivorous diet rich in fruits and vegetables, carnivorous diet less rich in meat, and carnivorous diet rich in meat). Analyses of variance were conducted controlling for lifestyle factors in the following domains: health (self-assessed health, impairment, number of chronic conditions, vascular risk), health care (medical treatment, vaccinations, preventive check-ups), and quality of life. In addition, differences concerning the presence of 18 chronic conditions were analyzed by means of Chi-square tests. Overall, 76.4% of all subjects were female. 40.0% of the individuals were younger than 30 years, 35.4% between 30 and 49 years, and 24.0% older than 50 years. 30.3% of the subjects had a low SES, 48.8% a middle one, and 20.9% had a high SES. Our results revealed that a vegetarian diet is related to a lower BMI and less frequent alcohol consumption.

    Moreover, our results showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with poorer health (higher incidences of cancer, allergies, and mental health disorders), a higher need for health care, and poorer quality of life. Therefore, public health programs are needed in order to reduce the health risk due to nutritional factors.

    Reply: #17
  15. Paul the rat
  16. Paul the rat
    What fasting does? - increases ketone bodies
    What LCHF does? - increases ketone bodies

    Forsch Komplementmed. 2013;20(6):444-53. doi: 10.1159/000357765. Epub 2013 Dec 16.
    Fasting therapy for treating and preventing disease - current state of evidence.
    Michalsen A1, Li C.
    Author information

    Periods of deliberate fasting with restriction of solid food intake are practiced worldwide, mostly based on traditional, cultural or religious reasons. There is large empirical and observational evidence that medically supervised modified fasting (fasting cure, 200-500 kcal nutritional intake per day) with periods of 7-21 days is efficacious in the treatment of rheumatic diseases, chronic pain syndromes, hypertension, and metabolic syndrome. The beneficial effects of fasting followed by vegetarian diet in rheumatoid arthritis are confirmed by randomized controlled trials. Further beneficial effects of fasting are supported by observational data and abundant evidence from experimental research which found caloric restriction and intermittent fasting being associated with deceleration or prevention of most chronic degenerative and chronic inflammatory diseases. Intermittent fasting may also be useful as an accompanying treatment during chemotherapy of cancer. A further beneficial effect of fasting relates to improvements in sustainable lifestyle modification and adoption of a healthy diet, possibly mediated by fasting-induced mood enhancement. Various identified mechanisms of fasting point to its potential health-promoting effects, e.g., fasting-induced neuroendocrine activation and hormetic stress response, increased production of neurotrophic factors, reduced mitochondrial oxidative stress, general decrease of signals associated with aging, and promotion of autophagy. Fasting therapy might contribute to the prevention and treatment of chronic diseases and should be further evaluated in controlled clinical trials and observational studies.

  17. François
    As usual, Paul, right on target. isn't it curious that our vegan friends seem to overlook this type of article? This is not the first time I see a correlation between veganism and mental disease - many confounding factors, of course, usually female, more isolated, perceived ad weird (somewhat rejected)...

    The argument that "vegans live longer" has to do with the euivalent of the healthy worker effect. When researchers compared people who shopped at a health food markets, there was no difference between meat-eaters and vegans. But vegans who did not supplement had deficits of B12, vitamin D and iron among other things.

    Sure, they were "thinner" than meat eaters. My own personal observation suggests they are emaciated, not "healthy thin".

    As for Michele Obama, I think she is well intentioned but does not have a clue. She really was concerned when her daughter's MD told her that her daughter's BMI was "creeping up". I wonder how to bypass her advisors on "health" to get her the right picture so she can see how much damage her initiative is doing. But I guess I'm dreaming.

    When a clueless Deepak Chopra is happy to support the weightless project, we really have a long way to go. The message of the site (https://weightlessproject.org/) and its video is that obese people are responsible for hunger in the world: if only they stopped eating all the time and being so lazy, it would be possible to feed the poor. And this is official thinking.

    Please do continue to provide excellent articles to counterbalance this official disinformation.

    Reply: #18
  18. Paul the rat
    "...I wonder how to bypass her advisors on "health" to get her the right picture so she can see how much damage her initiative is doing. But I guess I'm dreaming…."

    You are dreaming Francois, I was a dreamer too, it can be very depressing. Now I just talk to those who want to listen - often these are people who 'tried it all and nothing worked' and listen to what my friends and I have to offer as a "I have nothing to lose attitude". Many of them, after few months on designed LCHF say that they did not feel that good since teenage years.

    M. Obama has Ivy League trained family health professionals who know it all. Period. They know for example that to lose weight one has to eat less and move more. Period. They also know that saturated animal fat (most of them think that there is only one animal fat) causes obesity, which causes heart diseases, bowel cancer, diabetes. Period.

  19. Paul the rat
    This article is in foreign language, I posted the abstract because it raises very important point regarding consumption of animal proteins, namely they are rich in sulphur amino acids. These amino acids are crucial for our strong immune system and brain function. Several months ago we had a topic about meat consumption - brain evolution link. I am one of those who argue that we have a brain we do today only because our ancestors began to eat predominately meat.

    Pol Merkur Lekarski. 2013 Dec;35(210):397-401.
    [Controversies around diet proteins].
    [Article in Polish]
    Cichosz G1, Czeczot H2.
    Author information

    Critical theories regarding proteins of anima origin are still and still popularized, though they are ungrounded from scientific point of view. Predominance of soya proteins over the animal ones in relation to their influence on calcium metabolism, bone break risk or risk of osteoporosis morbidity has not been confirmed in any honest, reliable research experiment. Statement, that sulphur amino acids influence disadvantageously on calcium metabolism of human organism and bone status, is completely groundless,

    the more so as presence of sulphur amino acids in diet (animal proteins are their best source) is the condition of endogenic synthesis of glutathione, the key antioxidant of the organism, and taurine stimulating brain functioning.

    Deficiency of proteins in the diet produce weakness of intellectual effectiveness and immune response. There is no doubt that limitation of consumption of animal proteins of standard value is not good for health.

    Reply: #21
  20. Murray
    I strongly I believe the low-fat lunch program touted by Michele Obama is counterproductive and unhealthy, but it would be difficult to promote any program that stepped outside orthodoxy. She obviously has no education or special insight into the issue.

    In Dr. Lustig's book, Fat Chance, he reports by hearsay that the Obamas took notice of Gary Taubes's piece in the New York Times, Is Sugar Toxic? (Actually, I think Lustig had the name of the author wrong, but it was Taubes's article.) Nothing was done, Lustig griped, as Obama lacked the political capital to make an issue of it. But perhaps this new initiative on sugar indicates some White House action on the issue, which would be a good thing. I will applaud them for that if credit is due. Carter could have made similar changes but went too far and the whole effort died. So better to make incremental changes that have some effect, than go for everything and get nowhere.

  21. François
    I fully agree with this theory.. I would further add that wild animal protein is also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, essential to optimal brain development.

    Finally, though many were afraid that sulfur-containing amino-acids would increase the body's acid load and create potentially osteoporosis, no study has demonstrated this for animal protein but the link between grain, acid load and osteoporosis is quite clearly demonstrated.

  22. Jennie
    Anyone read 'Grain Brain' by Dr David Perlmutter?
    (The Surprising Truth About Wheat,Carbs And Sugar - Your Brains Silent Killers)
    It makes fascinating reading!!
  23. Chris
    I have been a low carb deciple for some time. At 68, I'm leaner and healthier than I was at 18! In Australia the message is spreading fast with a number of TV doccos giving support. Unfortunately the contra argument largely backed by big sugar/big food is mounting a strong reaction. Not sure if this is viewable over there but the link points to a great example of this; it made the nightly news.
    Replies: #24, #25, #26
  24. Paul the rat
    @ Chris,

    cutting long story short, mice are physiologically tuned-up for tens of millions of years to eat seeds, grains and grass and maybe occasional dead insect. Any one who feeds mice different ratio of protein/carbs/fats and translates it to humans simply does not know what he/she is doing, does not understand physiology of rodents OR, and I would put my bet on it, has a $$$ agenda.

    Please go to Outback and ask a grain farmer what mice eat, if she/he says: " Oooo little buggers mostly chew on my neighbor's sheep legs" - than I am wrong.

  25. Paul the rat

    Prof. Le Couteur says himself in this interview that "we can not extrapolate the data from mice to humans" - so what the hell did he do this studies for wasting tens (maybe hundreds) of thousands of dollars ??!!

    The answer is that, although he says that "we can not extrapolate the data from mice to humans", he (and his pay masters) knows all to well that general public will not remember (or will not record) this sentence. What people will remember is " high protein diet means short life span"; "High carbohydrate diet - longer life".

    Yet another example of pharma manipulated experiment and presentation of results. Shame on you Le Couteur

  26. Paul the rat
    at 2:45 he says that branched-chain amino acids (main culprits in his story) "activate many pathways associated with reduction of lifespan for example INSULIN"

    Well Mr. LeCouteur do you know, off hand, which macronutrient influences insulin response and insulin signaling pathway the most ?

    He also says that many studies involving humans show that high protein intake is associated with short lifespan - show me one of those many studies, please.

    (as we all know here LCHF is not high protein - but this detail is always lost on people like LeCouteur)

    Shame on you LeCouteur

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