Low fat IRL


It’s true I’m afraid. The experiment with low fat dietary advice is a spectacular failure, both in modern scientific trials for weight loss (losing 0-11 to LC in trials with statistically significant results) and in reality (massive obesity epidemic).

The problem? If you eat less fat you need to eat more of something else. Usually that means more sugar and starch, which tends to make us hungrier… and gain weight.

The solution? Do the opposite. Avoid sugar and starch, and eat more real food.

More about weight loss

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  1. Jon
    I could further elaborate that unrefined carbs as such have nothing to do with diabetes. This was shown by Canadian I.M Rabinowitch already in 1936. With over 1000-cases he proved that fat was the sole reason which prohibitet the function of sugar metabolism with diabetics. This was much before medicalization took off. Most diabetic have nothing wrong with they pancreas. What they have is a traffic jam.

    The LCHF-crew essentially turn their back to the system, they do nothing to address the very cause that got the system screwed. By being high on fat, a very satiating nutrient, they can be fairly sustain themselves on a very low amount of calories for fairly long time. But who would want to be low on calories? You cannot thrive unless you have plenty of energy. Being on LCHF is essentially turning your back to life itself. No fuel = No life. Little Calories = Little life.

    The most skinniest people in this planet (rural Chinese f.e) typically consume over 30% more calories than even the fattest Americans. The problems start when the ratio of carbs go down. Happens everytime. By eating the right food (low-fat, plant-based diet) you can still loose weight and eat all you want.

  2. Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, MD Team Diet Doctor
    Jon #49,

    Every LCHF-trial requires calories to be restricted to 500-1000 per day.

    Wrong. In fact, most trials follow the Atkins diet which does not restrict calories at all. For example two of the biggest and best trials: Shai et al 2008 and Gardner et al 2007. Both found significantly better weightloss (and health markers) with advice to eat an Atkins diet, without any calorie restriction.

    Perhaps it's time for you to read more and write less? It's a good thing to know what you are talking about.

  3. Kärnfrisk
    You really don't have a clue, have you? For your information, LCHF is a Ad Libitum diet. There is no restriction in calories what so ever. It isn't a det either, it's a lifestyle.

    Must be a bliss to live in ignorance. It does not matter that you produce a plethora of words, you are convincing none with your vegan rubbish.

  4. Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, MD Team Diet Doctor
    Jon #45,
    Do you even read the studies you refer to or do you just copy-paste from vegan sites? I was intrigued by this new seemingly high quality study on vegan diets for type 2 diabetes that you posted the reference to:

    Barnard ND, Cohen J, Jenkins DJ, Turner-McGrievy G, Gloede L, Green A, Ferdowsian H. A low-fat vegan diet and a conventional diabetes diet in the treatment of type 2 diabetes: a randomized, controlled, 74-week clinical trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009;89(suppl):1588S-96S.

    We all hopefully know that conventional low fat diet advice is a disaster. Diabetics trying to follow it usually get a bit sicker every year. So I really would not be surprised if a vegan diet turned out to be less bad. But what does this high quality study, conducted by one of the main vegan proponents show?

    Vegan vs conventional diet for 74 weeks:
    Weight: No significant difference (NSD)
    Waist: NSD
    HbA1c: NSD
    Fasting plasma glucose: NSD
    Cholesterol: NSD
    LDL: NSD
    HDL: NSD
    Triglycerides: NSD
    Blood pressure: NSD

    Let me sum it up for you: The vegan diet failed to significantly beat even the awful conventional low fat diet advice. There was no clear difference. So much for the rhetoric about diabetics usually being quickly cured by vegan diets. Obviously that's far from what happens in a serious scientific trial.

    Did you read the study before you posted the reference?

  5. Jon

    good that you broke down the figures. I didn't browse it through. There are sveral trials on diabetes care with plant-based diets, one good from Colorado, if I remember correctly. I will wire it to you by tomorrow.

    Meanwhile Ornish study with low-fat plant-based diet showed on avarerage 22-pound reduction in in weight (in one year) along with dramatic reductions in cholesterol levels and reversal of existing heart disease. After five the patients were still on the right track. Whether the weight-loss with LCHF-schmes is maintained is somewhat a wild-card. Existing literature doesn not support the notion.

    Ornish D, Brown SE, Scherwitz LW, Billings JH, Armstrong WT, Ports TA. Can lifestyle changes reverse coronary heart disease? Lancet 1990;336:129-33.

  6. Jon

    Could you do the same you just the did above study, breaking down the numbers, so that everyone can see it with this randomized trial as well?

    Dansinger ML, Gleason JA, Griffith JL, Selker HP, Schaefer EJ. Comparison of the Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers, and Zone diets for weight loss and heart disease risk reduction: a randomized trial.

    JAMA. 2005 Jan 5;293:43-53.

    I could further eloborate that my postulation of the benefits of LCHF solely being linked to calory restriction was based on these three studies. Anyways, I will go through your links Doc and see on my own eyes how much the patients in the trials ate. Incase it appears I have it incorrect, I have no problems admitting it. However, the big picture do not change a bit. If you want to become as sick as the Inuits, there's no better diet...sorry.. lifestyle than the LCHF.

    Bravata DM, Sanders L, Huang J, et al. Efficacy and safety of low-carbohydrate diets: a systematic review. JAMA 2003;289:1837-1850.

    Kennedy ET, Bowman SA, Spence JT, Freedman M, King J. Popular diets: correlation to health, nutrition, and obesity. J Am Diet Assoc. 2001;101:411-20.

    Brehm BJ, Seeley RJ, Daniels SR, D’Alessio DA. A randomized trial comparing a very low carbohydrate diet and a calorie-restricted low fat diet on body weight and cardiovascular risk factors in healthy women. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2003;88:1617-1623.

  7. Jon
    Now that I go through these digits, I must say that I am positively surprised that the official recommendation did not perform so poorly after all, once people actually adhere to them. "Disaster" would be exaggaration but let say we have better solutions. After all we cannot expect too much from going 40% fat intake to 30% as it is still 3-folded more compared to traditional Japanese life-style, but still still give you nice 9% reduction in breast cancer (The famous Harvard Trial)

    Weight: No significant difference (NSD)

    −4.4 kg in the vegan group and −3.0 kg in the conventional diet group, P = 0.25

    "Both diets were associated with SUSTAINED reductions in weight and plasma lipid concentrations. In an analysis controlling for medication changes, a low-fat vegan diet appeared to improve glycemia and plasma lipids more than did conventional diabetes diet recommendations".

    In a one-year clinical trial (2005) the participants assigned to the Atkins diet lost 2.1 kg's, while Weight Watchers dieters lost 3.0 kilograms, Zone dieters lost 3.2 kilograms, and dieters following the Ornish (low-fat plant-based) program lost 3.3 kilograms.

    Dansinger ML, Gleason JA, Griffith JL, Selker HP, Schaefer EJ. Comparison of the Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers, and Zone diets for weight loss and heart disease risk reduction: a randomized trial.

    Well, anyways I get back tomorrow when I get info from the Colorado-trial on diabetes and low-fat, plant-based diets. Should be interesting.

  8. Peggy Holloway
    One last time, Jon:
    Give me the physiology and biochemistry.
    Not observational "studies."
    The China Study is the worst example you could provide of poor science and cherry-picked results, next to Ancel Keyes's 7 Nation Study which started the march down the path to destroying our health with grain-based diets.
    Campbell is an animal-rights activist, which is admirable in some ways, but his work is very biased.
    Please explain to me the physiological process by which my insulin-resistant cells will start responding to insulin and allow my body to be fueled by glucose by eating a glucose-based diet? Taubes's books and the new one I have been recommending by Phinney and Volek (who are the researchers who conducted many of the trials they report in their book,publishing nearly 300 peer-reviewed papers between the two) explain using biochemistry and physiology why my body cannot be fueled by glucose but why it can be optimally fueled by ketones on my very high-fat, very low-carb diet.
    Did I mention that I am a long-distance cyclist at age 58 and can ride for 50+ miles without "bonking" or needing to eat snacks like the carbo-loaders do?
    Please buy and read this book. It is the best yet because it is written for the medical community and the science is very thorough.
    "The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living." On Amazon.com. A bit pricey but worth the money.
  9. Kärnfrisk
    Here is the thing. You can loose weight on ant type of diet. Butt all requires caloryrestriction. All but one, namely LCHF. And the reason for that is quite simpel. When you eat the way nature intended you to eat, it is virtually impossible to gain weight above normal. A lion does not get fat inspite eating a lot of meat. Even a lazy male lion has its healt and right weight. If you would feed it with grains it would sertanly gain weight and become ill. Just like our housecats and dogs.
  10. Jon

    Read my post 44. What was wrong matter with that? As said already forget the "China Study debunked". Let say it is, we can never prove anything observation studies and still introduces loads of clinical trials all the way from the 1950's. Besides, those are extremely harsh words from person who has not read a single observational study in her life.

    Colin Campbell is not animal-right activist, he has killed tons on rotands in his laboratory experiments throughout the years, putting cancer in them, poisoning them, etc. Don't be ridiculous. I personally woulf find it very odd that a person whose interest in diet is not familiar with the most extensive epimologic research in human nutrition. No matter what would you think about it.

    Did you use to work the Tobacco industry in th 1960's, very similar rhetorics there, "nothing can be ever proved". Scientist have kown for hundred years the menaces of animal protein. Not everyone is into health, that's ok. I am into health and that's why I don't go Inuit. I OBSERVE what works. For 70 years medical literature has linked animal products to disease, that's enough for me. The very first day I get my hands into paper that tells meat and dairy are essential and beneficial for my health, that's the very day I am back in my once favourite restaurant, McDonalds (no joke, ouh yes, I will skip the carby buns).

    The popular version of China-Study book will go through especially the appendix will go through very detailed manner the chemical process. I have a gut and vague understanding how it works, but I cannot put into words. I cannot explained it to you any better. Animal products are a burden to our metabolization. Given a choice, there's no logic eating them.

  11. Jon
    I could continue that it do with animal protein blocking the natural production of vitamin D in people. Other than that I cannot help you. That's complicated stuff.

    Lot of typos and missing words there. That's what you get while typing in a hurry (myself that is).

    "Let say it is, we can never prove anything via observational studies, however the popular-version of China still introduces loads of clinical trials all the way from the 1950's". Worth of checking out.

  12. Kärnfrisk
    Well, the logic is that humans has been hunters/gatherers for at least 1500000 years.

    Another logic, a natural diet does not destroy your teeth. I don't need to brush mine, how about you, Jon?

  13. Ed Terry
    Years ago, eating a low-fat, high-carb diet and exercising 12 hours a week, I was able to get my weight down to 205. At that time, my cholesterol was "normal", but my HDL was 32.

    Now, 12 years later, after eating LCHF for a couple of years, my weight is now 182 and my HDL is in the 65 - 75 range. I only exercise a couple of hours a week, and I'm able to llift weights as heavy as I could 12 years ago. I've also measured the amount of food I've eaten since 2008, and using the USDA Standard Food database, I've quantified all the nutrients going into my body. My daily caloric intake varies between 3,000 and 3,600 calories per day, depending upon the weather. If I drop calories below 3,000, I begin to lose weight.

    Is this proof that LCHF is better? Hard to prove.

    Most dietary studies are based upon food questionnaires, which at best, are unrepresentative of what people actually eat. They also tend to lump together disparate food groups, which basically render the data garbagae if the diet-heart hypothesis is wrong or incomplete. No matter how you tweak the data, if you start with garbage, the end result is also garbage, no matter what the "p" value is.

    Dr. Ornish's study was not based upon changes in diet only. It also had other variables that were changed. To state that the study proved that the diet change was the only factor is not right. It's not even wrong.

    I've also discovered that I can provide documentation and references to substantiate any point-of-view I wish to take to support my arguments. I believe most researchers and doctors are well-intentioned, but lack the motivation or time to examine existing popular hypotheses. There's little payoff for doing so, and the risks are substantial. For fun, try reading a study and assume that the assumptions are wrong. See if the study can still stand on its own. Most just crumble.

    My personal doctor does not approve of my diet, even when she has evidence that it results in improved biomarkers, even after a second electron beam CT showed a decrease in my coronary artery calcification score. I acknowledge her limitations and accept them because in the end, I make the decisions that affect my life. I'm motivated by the fact that every male in my family history experienced at least one stroke or major heart attack by the age of 50. I was also obese for most of my life, unlike most other men in my family tree, which placed me at even higher risk. I'm the first one to break with tradition. I'm 54 and in better shape now than I was 20 years ago and have never had any clinical symptoms indicative of cerebro- or cardiovascular disease.

    In the end, I have no "proof" that doing what I doing is the best thing. However, if I ignore what the "experts" say and use my functioning brain, the evidence for the benefits of a plant-based, low-fat diet is pitifully weak where the LCHF diet is logically consistent.

    I believe everyone has to do what they think is best for themselve. The minute I think I have all the answers is the point where I stop thinking.

  14. Jon
    "A lion does not get fat inspite eating a lot of meat. Even a lazy male lion has its healt and right weight. If you would feed it with grains it would sertanly gain weight and become ill. Just like our housecats and dogs"

    But you are now referring to carnivores. Look at the physiology, we are like the great-ape. We are one wimpy creature compared lion who catches her (only female lions hunt) prey brutally and salivates afterwards. We are so wimpy that most of us cannot even taste raw-meat, we need to process it, spice it up, etc. That's not natural, compared how the carnivores do it.

  15. Jon
    That's ok ED.

    My grandmother has always eaten essentially LCHF, her generation remained very skeptical towards margarin and "low-fat"-products. She made sure I was fed with butter as a child, etc. She always consumed the fattiest milk available, she has smoked a pack of girattes a day for decades and consumes alcohol quite much. She is over 80 and her only health problem is ischias. All of her friends have been dead long ago.

    There are always those who get through abusive lifestyle.

  16. Ed Terry
    My grandmother lived to 92 eating an abusive diet of bacon, eggs, milk and products from her homegrown garden.

    Our physiology is closer to that of chimpazees than the vegetarian gorillas, and chimps are also omnivores are and expert hunters. Chimps like to eat monkey, and other chimps.

    By the way, years ago the US Army gave away a lot of their night vision equipment to universities when the Army invested in a newer night-vision technologies. Zoologists took the night vision gear to Africa and discovered that lions kiiled far fewer animals than previously thought. Most of the lions catches were stolen from prey that hyenas killed. Makes me wonder what the hyenas were laughing about.

  17. Chris
    As someone who was a strict low-fat for 40 years and a vegetarian for the last 4 of those, I will tell you that I ended up with 100 extra pounds. (yes I did exercise 6 days a week, aerobic and strength).

    The observational studies of millions will not change the observation of this one and I have to abide by that. It did not work for me. This does.

    I would like to bring to your attention a book by Ancel Keyes (I believe the title is "The Great Starvation Experiment") in which he writes of the experiment he did during the War in which he starved volunteers in an effort to ascertain how to help the starved populations of Europe regain health. The symptoms the men experienced will be very familiar to anyone who has done low-fat/low calorie dieting. It was an eye opener.


    I can appreciate the opposing point of view, I was just as fanatic when I was following that path, I am sad that it cannot be done more respectfully.

  18. Ed Terry
    When I read Taubes GCBC, I got angrier and angrier, because I felt like I'd been lied to all these years by doctors and dieticians. The more personal research I performed after that really opened my eyes, not only with respect to nutritional guidance, but to science research in general. I realized I had been really naive and idealistic for many years.

    As a young man, I earned a degree in Pharmacy and blidnly accepted everything in the textbooks I read. Back in the 1970's, the mechanism of action of a lot of drugs were not known, and the textbook authors acknowledged that. I also got very bored counting to 30 all day long. After a while, I earned a degree in Chemical Engineering and the most valuable tool I got from that degree was "Critical Analysis" or "what can you measure and be sure of versus what assumptions are you using." When I started reading drug research, I realized that most drug studies were not designed to provide complete information, but to provide marketing material. For example, most drug studies use only healthy subjects with a history of low incidence of adverse reactions to medication. The studies did not use a representative population who the drug would eventually be used on, which would provide a much better idea of what adverse reactions could be encountered.

    I started to examine nutritional studies and the same technique was in place. I personally don't care about people with a properly-functioning metabolism. I haven't had a normal metabolism in 52 years. I'm interested in the proper way of eating for someone with a broken metabolism like me. Low-fat wasn't the answer, it was the problem. I'm only concerned with what works for me. A high-fat, low-carb eating plan has proven itself time and time again. It may not be necessary for everyone. The best diet is one I can stick to.

    The lack of variety attributed to low-carb diets is a matter of persepctive. True, I no longer wish to eat the multitude of carbohydrate-laden foods I formerly loved. In fat, I find anything sweeter than a berry distasteful. What foods I do eat I love. I also find it's cheaper to eat a high-fat. moderate protein, low-carb diet. My grocery bill is a fraction of what it used to be.

    The late Michael Crichton described perfectly the matter of scientific consensus

    Michael Crichton on Scientific Consensus
    I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what
    has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely
    pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically,
    the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to
    avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear
    the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet,
    because you're being had.

    Let's be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus.
    Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one
    investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that
    are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant.
    What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are
    great precisely because they broke with the consensus.

    There is no such thing as consensus science. If it's consensus, it isn't science. If
    it's science, it isn't consensus. Period. (end of his statement)

    I'm also getting better at not shoving my opinions down people's throats, although I do shove them in their face from time-to-time, primarily to placate the a**hole within )-:

    I'm very grateful to people like Gary Taubes, Denise Minger, Petro Dobromylskyj (Peter), and many others for providing useful information that I can verify on my own. I'm also grateful I've learned enough to take responsibility for what I think, and to consider other points of view when realiable data exists. I'm also quick to discount those who try to sway by brute force. I also developed an appropriate response to the latter type, "That's interesting, I've never though about it that way?"

    Leaves 'em wondering while I walk away.

  19. Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, MD Team Diet Doctor
    Thanks for that Michael Crichton quote.

    "If it's consensus, it isn't science."

    So true.

  20. Stephanie O.

    "Most people cannot pull this kind of lifestyle. It takes lot of rehearsing to able to eat such a ridiculously high amount of fruits to maintain adequate calory intake. Most people would fail and at worst it would lead to death. I can do it, most people can't. "

    Most people cant do it because it is not our natural diet. You made our point for us.

  21. Margaretrc
    @ Jon, You cut off part of my sentence in this quote: "and those Egyptian mummies who had heart disease? Yes, they ate a diet rich in animal products. They also ate a lot of starches and sweets, including honey, which was basically only available to the privileged few. Any 6th grader--at least one who had me for a science teacher--could tell you that" That is not what I said. I'll repeat what I actually said for you: "Any 6th grader--at least one who had me for a science teacher--can tell you that, if there is more than one variable leading to a result, to pick one of the variables and say it caused the result is bad science." Which is why we CANNOT tell whether it was the meat and fat or the honey and starches or any other combination of these 4 variables that led to the Egyptian mummy's heart disease.

    You say. "Any six-grader can tell you that diabetes is unknown to population who comsumed fully starch-based diets (with a little bit of veggies), starches making typically over 80% of their calory intake. So, starches cannot be the reason for diabetes. Therefore we most focus on the fat-protein side of the equation." Perhaps a 6th grader who doesn't know any better might say that, but your statement, "that diabetes is unknown to population who comsumed fully starch-based diets (with a little bit of veggies), starches making typically over 80% of their calory intake." is flat out wrong. I grew up in south India. My brother still lives there. Their diet, for religious reasons, is vegetarian--one of the few such diets worldwide. I don't have actual figures, but, since they don't eat meat, their diet is easily 80% or more starches, vegetables, and fruits, with some sugar thrown in. Both diabetes and heart disease are rampant there and rates are rising steadily. My brother told me many of his friends are on insulin shots or other diabetes medication. Also, I would like to know what population(s) anywhere in the world, besides India, does not include at least some meat and/or animal protein in their (traditional) diets. (I'm not counting vegans in this country. I know they exist, and it remains to be seen how healthy they remain.) Even vegetarian Indians eat some eggs and yogurt, so their diet is not totally free of animal protein and fat, though there isn't much in it. I suppose you will say that the 80%+ carbohydrates in their diet has nothing to do with their disease rates--that it is the wee bit of animal protein they include in their diet that causes it. But that would be faulty logic and faulty science.
    You say: "Medical research confirms that up to 50% of people with Type 2 diabetes can eliminate diabetes risk and discontinue medication within three weeks by adopting a low-fat, plant food diet and regular daily exercise". I seriously doubt that, but even if it were true, how can you be sure it is the diet and not the exercise that is bringing about the miraculous cure? Exercise is known to increase insulin sensitivity. Unless and until clinical trials have been/are done comparing a low fat, plant based diet all by itself to a control population or to people who follow some other regimen such as LCHF, no conclusions can be drawn as to the efficacy of that approach.

  22. Margaretrc
    #24 "I do not need to watch the video since..." Ah, the arrogance of it.

    Doesn't matter what the reasons are. That says it all. Mind closed. Shut tight. He knows it all, so he doesn't need to watch a video that is about science and how it works and not at all about LCHF! Luckily, we don't have the same attitude or we could say the same about the movie "Forks over Knives." Don't need to see it because it's based, at least in part, on The China Study, which is junk science--perhaps we should call it "vegan antics"? However, unlike Jon, my mind is open and I will probably watch it when it is on Netflix. But I'll watch it with my critical thinking cap in place.

  23. Ed Terry
    Enter the phrase "LCHF is the shit" on YouTube. It's a hoot.
  24. Jon
    I already posted this, but since I mention about the controlled trials I was going to post today, here's you have them.


    Here’s the controlled trials, I talked you about yesterday. Just the way you like ‘em…

    James Andersson MD, specialized in diabetes care put patienst to low-fat, plant-based experiment. The patients were non-obese diabetics. Out of 25 diabetics 24 were able to discontinue their medication in a matter of weeks. After three weeks his Diabetic 1 patients could reduce their medication 40% on average on the same diet.

    Pritikin Center did similar controlled trial with low-fat (around 10%), plant-based diets. Of the forty person with diabetes 2 (all on medication) 36 were able to discontinue their medication after only 26-days.

    Dr. James Anderson writes “Ideally, diets providing 70% of calories as carbohydrate and up to 70gm fiber daily offer the greatest health benefits for individual with diabetes”.

    Anderson JW. “Dietary fiber in nutrition management of diabetes” In: G. Vahouny, V. and D. Kritschevsky (eds.), Dietary Fiber: basic and clinical aspect, pp. 343-360. New York Plenum Press, 1986

    Barnard RJ et al. “Response of non-insulin-dependent to an intensive program of diet and excersise”. Diabetes Care 5 (1982): 370-374

    Anderson JW, et al. “Dietary fiber and diabetes: a comprehensive review and practical application”. J Am. Diet. assoc. 87 (1987)

    You may also want to check this study which found that increased fat intake was associated with increased ration of diabetes among 1300 people in Colorado. They write

    “The findings support the hypothesis that high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets are associated with the onset of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus in humans”.

    Marshall J et al. “High-fat, low-carbohydrate diet and the etiology of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus: the San Lois Valley Study”. Am J. Epidemiol. 134 (1991)

  25. Peggy Holloway
    Still waiting for the physiology of how this can work, in light of the role that insulin plays in glucose metabolism. Please explain how, physiologically, someone with insulin-resistance will be able to utilize glucose for fuel.
    Have they compared these plant-based diets to ketogenic diets? Most "High-fat" diets utilized in these "studies" are not ketogenic, which means they still contain too much carbohydrate to be helpful to people with insulin-resistance.
    I wish Jon could spend a day in my body and try eating a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. Maybe the gnawing pains in his stomach, rapid heart beat, "shakes," feelings of panic and a sense that his skin is "crawling," headache, heartburn, followed by brain fog and a near comatose sleepiness would convince him.
    That's the way I felt when I followed a grain-based, low-fat, low-calorie diet. It got progressively worse until I became almost desperate. The conventional docs had no idea what was wrong with me, despite a family history of "diabetes," because I was not obese, I guess. (My brother had the same symptoms as an organic vegan. He says that he "wanted to die every afternoon" and was considering seeing a shrink because he thought he was crazy; the last stint of vegetarianism my daughter attempted resulted in a recurrence of her eating disorders (bulimea) and such terrible depression that I was afraid she was going to throw herself in front of a subway train) Would you like to feel that way for even one day? I guarantee that if you could trade places with any of us for even 24 hours and experience what we go through on low-fat diets, you would change your tune.
    And, by the way, I have spent my adult life reading studies. That's why I have learned to discount any study based on observational or self-reported data.
    Here is an example of the sort of thing I'd like Jon to post about about low-fat diets and diabetes: (This is a short explanation from the Phinney/Volek book explaining the metabolism of fructose)
    "Most of the fructose we eat. whether as sucrose (table sugar), high fructose corn sweetener, or in natural fruits and fruit juice gets made into fat by our liver. This is because our body can't convert fructose to glucose, and the first step in cellular fructose metabolism (the MyerhoffEmbden pathway). Thus these two 6-carbon sugars, fructose and glucose, follow separate metabolic pahts. In the case of fructose, it is cleaved into two 3-carbon fragments, both of which primarily contribute to fat production (lipogenesis) in the liver."
    Phinney and Volek provide these sorts of explanations for why a high-carb diet causes type II diabetes and heart disease, but those are too long to cite here. I am using the fructose citation because it is short, to the point, and clearly explains why fructose is particularly unhealthy to consume (" fat production in the liver").
  26. Peggy Holloway
    I just noticed how old the studies are that are cited above.
  27. Jon
    General rudeness, deleted. /Doc
  28. Jon
    Le's try again, this time more politely.


    stay away from the fairytales. Isolated fructose may likely cause a fatty liver, however, we are talking about a fruit: a complex, synergistically functioning orchestra, a whole food.

    "There is also evidence that vitamin C (ascorbate) can counter the effects of fructose to cause metabolic syndrome. Vitamin C blocks the actions of uric acid on various cell types (251), vitamin C levels correlate with lower uric acid levels (252), and vitamin C supplementation also can lower uric acid levels by increasing urate excretion (253). Interestingly, low plasma ascorbate levels may also increase the risk for gestational diabetes (254), low intake of vitamin C was found to increase the risk for type 2 diabetes in one study (255), and vitamin C supplementation can improve features of metabolic syndrome in subjects with type 2 diabetes (256)..."


    ..."Thus, the vitamin C content in natural fruits (as well as other antioxidants and flavonoids) may provide a safeguard against the untoward consequences related to excessive fructose ingestion".


    Every fruit muncher knows how it goes. Fruit is not the cause for high tryglicerides nor fatty liver. Focus on the fat-protein side of the equation.

    Judged by your patient description, I suggest you pick up Joel Fuhrman's "Fasting and eating for health, conquering the disease".

  29. Al
    Here's my personal experience. Just over a year ago I weighed 251 lbs on 6'1" height. I wasn't particularlty active but I was angry and confused because compared to my youth I was eating "healthy" by all mainstream definitions of healthy diet: I had cut down on fats and meat to bare minimums, ate whole boiled oats for breakfast, whole grain pasta for dinner, whole grain sandwiches for lunch, ate a fair amount of vegatables with every meal, cooked only with olive oil, ate reasonable quantities of fruit (yes, we buy all our food from Whole Foods, mostly organic). When my annual physical revealed HDL of 39 (despite being significantly higher in previous years when I was still a smoker!) and NASH (fatty liver) I started to do something about it.

    Between April and DecemberI dropped 10 pounds, cutting down on sweets and exercising three times a week, otherwise no change in diet. I even signed up to run a marathon the following April in the hopes that I'd lose more than 10 pounds over the next few months. In December, just as I was beginning to get into marathon training, I had blood work done. Weight 241, HDL 37, even lower than before. I saw a nutritional consultant the same day and she advised me to "increase fiber" to reduce HDL in addition to the exercise and weight loss I was already attempting. When I pointed out that I already ate whole grain everything and lots of salads an vegetables she was adamant that the key was fruit "more fruit, at least 5 fruits a day!" So I listened to her. Over the next 3 months I ran an average of 30 miles a week and carried bags of fruit (apples, oranges, bananas mostly but whatever I could buy that week in Whole Foods) to work every day. I ate even fewer eggs and meat than before and even less oil, I was practically vegan!

    Two things became apparent by the time my next blood work was scheduled towards the middle of March: I wasn't losing much weight, my waistline was static or expanding despite running more than ever before (sometimes 20 miles in a day!), and I was constantly angry and hyper-aggressive. So, March physical: weight 231, HDL 33! What on earth was going on? I went back to the nutritionist and she said "even more fruit!" At this point I knew she was full of it and if I carried on listening to her it would probably kill me.

    With less than a month to go till the marathon I ditched the oats and started eating eggs again. I ditched the fruit and started loading up on meat. Within 2 weeks I'd dropped 10 pounds. I picked up books by Taubes, Eades, just about the entire bibiography on Tom Naughton's site. What I read convinced me to go low-carb officially. I ran the marathon on a breakfast of eggs and bacon ! Fruits and veg limited to one measuring cup of each per day, no grains, no sugar or juice of any kind, generic multi-vitamin. After the marathon I stopped running and did no exercise for a full month. Since then I lift weights once a week and do two 20 minute sessions of interval training on my concept2 rowing machine.

    Had my follow-up physical this week. Weight 211 lbs, HDL in the 40s but the real shock was this: my total cholesterol droped from 172 to 142 despite the fact that I regularly (like, almost daily!) eat butter-fried 4-egg heavy cream omelets with bacon and cheese and am eating copious amounts of beef, chicken and pork on a daily basis. (in the beginning I was scarfing down half a roast chicken for dinner, that's how much I had missed meat! - so much for calorie restricted diet). Oh, and wonder of wonders, as soon as I started increasing meat I calmed way down and all the hyper-aggression went away. Go figure, but makes me wonder if the stereotype of "aggressive carnivore" isn't another myth.

    Anyhow, its been nearly 3 months of LCHF and I think its here to stay until my bloodwork says otherwise (and I will continue to get detailed bloodwork at least twice a year to be sure). I do think that there is probably something to the notion that sugar and fat just don't mix... either you eat a lot of fat and almost no sugars or you eat a lot of sugars (by which I mean low-glycemic natural unprocessed carbs) and almost no fat . For me personally, I can do without sugars but I can't do without meat. But I don't buy processed meats ever, only whole cuts that I prepare myself (except for preservative-free liver pate). As for fruit.. I'll have 6 cherries or 4 strawberries or a peach or an apple every other day, it's the only candy I allow myself.

  30. Al
    And I forgot to add, I went from a size 42 to a size 34 pants size
  31. Peggy Holloway
    "There is evidence that vitamin C CAN" not "DOES."
    Sounds like a hypothesis, not proven fact.
    And the very sentence goes on to say that fructose causes metabolic syndrome. Thanks for confirming what I have been saying.
    The conclusion: ""Thus, the vitamin C content in natural fruits (as well as other antioxidants and flavonoids) may provide a safeguard against the untoward consequences related to excessive fructose ingestion" also acknowledges that vitamin C only MAY" provide a safeguard and acknowledges the health consequences of fructose ingestion. Thanks again for proving my point.
    Not all plant-based foods (even not all fruits) contain vitamin C. Vitamin C can be obtained from animal-derived foods. (Have you read the Steffanson experiments?)
  32. Kärnfrisk
    "Oh, and wonder of wonders, as soon as I started increasing meat I calmed way down and all the hyper-aggression went away. Go figure, but makes me wonder if the stereotype of "aggressive carnivore" isn't another myth."

    Hehe...of course it's a myth. The truth is that vegans get aggressive on their diet, not low carbers. Jon is a good example for that. ;-)

  33. PJ
    Oh, my! I just came across this post by following a later link and I am absolutely amazed by what I read. First impression was that Jon, the veggie guy was the only one going off the deep end, using abusive language, and insulting everyone else's character. The LCHF commentors appeared to be calmer, more rational and tolerant of Jon, The Vegetarian Troll.

    Jon, if sites like this and the information offered here upset you so much, why do you choose to participate? You obviously cannot handle the stress this causes you and you may be better off lowering your stress levels. All I saw posted by you was regurgitation of every vegetarian/vegan myth ever printed. I'm sorry for you, dear. I hope you are a very young person as this will afford you the time to recover from a misguided youth. If you honestly believe that this is the best course for you, by all means, do what you feel is best. BUT, this does not entitle you to be rude and agressive while waiting for experience and intelligence to take hold. Best to you, always.

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