Food Fight! The LCHF Movement Analyzed

This is an entertaining analysis of the Swedish LCHF-movement from a sociological perspective:

Science as Culture: Food Fight! The Swedish Low-Carb/High Fat (LCHF) Movement and the Turning of Science Popularisation Against the Scientists

As the authors have no real interest in the scientific debate (just accepting the “consensus” view) they unfortunately miss the larger picture. I.e. the words “paradigm shift” are never mentioned.

30 comments

  1. That little "abstract" of the book made absolutely no sense at all. When I owned some bookstores many years ago, a description like that would would have convinced me to not carry that book.
  2. Alexandra M
    "By dedicating themselves to achieving an overwhelming public presence in the propagation of simplified accounts of dietary science, the LCHF movement has been able to fashion science popularisation into a weapon capable of being turned back upon established dietary expertise in Sweden. In this effort they have proceeded on two fronts; firstly by debunking established dietary advice for failing to live up to idealised standards of ‘sound science’, and secondly, by effectively mobilising the personal testimony and endorsements of dieters themselves in order to publicly confirm the authenticity and trustworthiness of the LCHF regimen."

    They say that like it's a bad thing! :D

    But "simplified accounts of dietary science?" What could be more (over)simplified than the sloth/gluttony conventional wisdom?

  3. Nads
    I so agree JimPurdy. !
  4. Jay Wortman MD
    I am sure they would have said the same thing about Ignaz Semmelweis, too!
  5. Zepp
    Well.. I do remeber that the Swedish managing director of British Petrolium used the same word!

    Simpel peopel, I think he said.. in Sweden this is a ordinary/common/regular person.. to be a simpel person!

    So "simpel advice" is probably a semantic thing.. its a good advice.. easy to understand and follow?

  6. moreporkplease
    " popularisation remains vulnerable to ‘capture’ by skilled and resourceful communicators intent on turning it against the established authority of scientists. "

    This is hilarious! Imagine - how dare ordinary people learn things, think critically about what they have learned, update their ideas based on the new information, and "reject established authority!" I mean, who gave them that right? Uppity little people! What will these peasants want next?

  7. Funderaren
    A problem with many scientists, academic people is that they spend to much time defending their old knowledge instead of looking for new knowledge.

    If the old knowledge doesnt explain how the real world works, new knowledge must be consumed.

  8. Jenn (NZ)
    @moreporkplease - Hilarious! That's exactly how I read it, and it rings true. The 'establishments' (regardless of who they are,) just want us to remain ignorant, obedient consumers - spirits go down as profits (and waistlines,) expand.
  9. FrankG
    Establishment looking down on us ordinary people... makes me think of Monty Python's Holy Grail... "Bloody peasants!" ;-)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJBg74WYa-0

  10. musajen
    LOL!!!! @moreporkplease and FrankG ... so funny. Sums it up very well... and happy to be one of the bloody peasants.
  11. Galina L.
    How many people were helped by the official medical advice to loose weight? The only thing that really works "officially" is a bariatric surgery. You don't need a huge amount of common sense to try not eating carbohydrates first and see what happens. It is not a magic bullet for every case, but definitely worth trying. Mainstream scientist have only themselves to blame - they don't offer anything better.
  12. Maggan A
    Galina L

    The problem is that nobody give obese people info about lowcarb when they search for help the "Mainstream" way. Gastric Bypass Surgery is a growing business here in Sweden and they even do it to children.

    It is unfortunately not the first time in history the scalpella is considered a good problemsolver on perfectly healthy organs and physical funktions. I compare GBP with lobotomy and forced sterilisation of the "not perfect" in the middle 1900.

    Nobody are proud of it today - will we never learn?

  13. John Myers
    "mobilising the personal testimony" - is that like when someone asks me how I lost 50 pounds, I tell them how I did it?
  14. @FrankG: Yes! and as to Monty Python, with the current western diet, the call heralded throughout the land to "bring out your dead" is on the rise.
  15. Depirts
    Recently, I've been experiencing a lot of leg cramps while I'm sleeping. For some unknown reason this sleeping discomfort is never ending. When I go to bed I dress warmly, even wearing socks now and I haven't changed my diet. Obviously, I'm feeling very lethargic and rundown lately. I have discontinued, with my doctor's blessing, all diabetic medications because my sugar counts are maintained through my LCHF lifestyle. Any suggestions how I might remedy my situation?
  16. JAUS
    Since when are scientist dependent on authority? The respect for scientist comes from the quality of their science, rational thinking and reasoning. A title means very little if the person behind it can't argue logically for his/her position in the current matter.

    Just because you're right about one thing it doesn't mean that you are automatically right about another. Even an brilliant man like Einstein was wrong about many things.

  17. Alexandra M
    "experiencing a lot of leg cramps"

    Make sure you're not dehydrated. Drinking broth can help, and so can taking a potassium supplement. My husband has to take magnesium supplements to avoid leg cramps at night, but I don't know if that's true for most people.

    "...it’s very common for people who stop consuming carbs to cramp. The reason is actually potassium depletion, but that’s actually caused by the kidneys excreting excess sodium. So, yes, easiest way to fix problem, if in fact the cramps are caused by this, is to replace sodium (and probably magnesium). Once I got all of this “tuned up” everything got immediately better." - Dr. Peter Attia

    You should read his blog. It contains tons of useful information.

    http://waroninsulin.com/nutrition/the-insulin-response-video

  18. Maggan A
    Depirts

    It is probably a lack of magnesium, not uncommon for beginners of LCHF. Eat more nuts - like Brazil nuts. It helped me when I had the same problem. A handful each day (c:a 60 gram) for a week, then reduce by half if you are sensitive to carbs.

  19. I used to get terrible leg cramps at night, but with potassium, magnessium, and calcium they went away. I take the standard dose of potassium and calcium, double mag. That did away with the cramps, and helps other things, like regularity, too.
  20. Mir'yam
    I know it's going to sound strange, but a friend recommended that I place a bar of Dial Gold soap in the bed, under the fitted sheet. When I mentioned it to my Dr, his phys asst said she had heard the same thing, that there is some ingredient in only the dial soap that relieves the cramping. I haven't had any cramps since, it doesn't cost anything to try it! It can't hurt you either, try it and let us know if it helps. Every once in a while I rotate the bar out, use it in my bath and replace it with a new bar when I change my sheets, but not every time I change them. Good luck, hope it helps you!
  21. Nana Morken
    I seem to have gotten rid of leg cramps, as others have said, by drinking more water, increasing my full mineral sea salt intake and by adding magnesium supplements. But more than that, there can be great improvement in "lethargy and rundown" feelings by adding bone broths and fermented foods/beverages to the diet. There is an interesting article here that affirms the importance of our gut microbial health - http://realfoodforager.com/gut-bacteria-found-in-autistic-children-is.... On the spectrum from feeling down all the way to full blown illness (physical and mental), we can help ourselves greatly if only we feed ourselves traditionally and correctly. I've seen this with my own family members where illnesses like irritable bowel syndrome, depression and schizophrenia have significantly improved. I hope I don't sound like a broken record when I keep referring to gut health on this blog, but if you read the information, I believe it becomes clear that its importance can't be overstated. Dr. Eenfeldt - I really believe that you, together with the Weston A. Price Foundation (and specifically Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride), could do so much more if you took on a coordinated approach to getting your precious information about good health out there!!
  22. Alexandra
    @Depirts I suffered from severe day and nightime leg cramping when I switched from low carb to low carb paleo, after experimenting with dietary changes along with more salt and more potassium and finding no relief, I bought a bottle of full spectrum mineral caps at the health food store. The brand I found was from Now Foods. I took two per day (1/2 dose) and the cramps disappeared by the 3rd day. I finished the bottle many months ago and have not bought another and the cramps have not returned.

    Best of luck!

  23. I am also a diabetic and had trouble with leg cramps. Low potassium or magnesium levels can cause this. I take a potassium supplement because of diuretics. I simply increased that dose, with the permission of my physician. Too high or too low potassium levels can not only cause leg cramps but can affect your heart rhythm, so be careful. Start out just eating an extra banana. You won't get in trouble doing that. I take a form of Magnesium called BioCitrate Magnesium. This was easily absorbed with no gastric problems. The combination of Potassium and Magnesium completely resolved my leg cramps.
  24. Olga
    Hi Andreas:

    I've been following a low carb diet for years, but have become concerned about some of the claims made by the Jaminet's (Perfect Health Diet) and others in the paleo camp who suggest that low carb diets lead to depressed T3 levels and hypothyroidism. Do you have any insights into why this would be? It seems odd to me, but many clever people are making these claims. Thanks

  25. Olga,
    I've never seen that happen or read any good science to support it. However, if you have a link to someone detailing why that would happen I'd be happy to check those claims out.
  26. Olga
    Thanks Andreas:

    Here is one such post:

    http://perfecthealthdiet.com/?s=thyroid

  27. moreporkplease
    Olga,

    These claims are highly speculative by anti-low-carb people with books to sell. Notice they have not produced a single high-quality peer-reviewed study to back these claims up. No evidence at all - but lots of financial incentive to sell their book!

    In contrast, we also know many people on the Atkins and other low-carb forums who can offer ancedotes of having their Hashimoto's cured by low-carb. Follow the money. And ask for solid science. :)

  28. Olga
    Could iodine be part of the reason some primitive societies tolerate carbohydrates so well? All the societies mentioned by Stephan Guyenet who eat primarily carbohydrates successfully all live near the ocean. The Kitavan's, the Tokelauan's, the Okinawa. Perhpas they can eat carbohydrates, because they have healthy healthy thyroids over their life times. The average Japanese consume about 12 mg of iodine per day. Far more than the RDI of 150 ug. It has been argued that 150 ug is merely the amount of iodine required to prevent goitre and that our actual needs are far greater for optimal health.

    Is it possible that the reason some people claim to experience a decrease in thyroid function wnen on a low carb diet, is becasue a low carb diet unmasks an iodine deficiency?

  29. Zepp
    No I dont think so.. I do think they was healty becuse they was living in a habitat that give them all the essential macro and micro nutrients.. and they eat only whole and real food!

    A healty person can rely on eighter fats or carbohydrats for energi, if they only get all the other essential stuf!

    Bad thyroid function is typical eighter Hashimoto or iodine defiency, Hashimoto is a auto imune disease, and iodine defiency are almost comon in very poor contrys.

    But there is something else to consider and this is long time dieting, typical calorie restriction.. or starving, its do down regulate our metabolic rate, to save our body.

    If you is insulin resistant, then a large amount of energy you eat is stored and not going to your cells, who is enduser of energy, they starv, and metabolic rate goes down.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNYlIcXynwE

  30. Fatchompa
    I had cramp in my cock ! The Swedish doctor told me to eat 2 kannel bulle a day to cure it!!!

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