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). Read his response for a – confusing – opposite voice in the debate:

Dr Katz: Diet, Weight, and Health: Confused Only If You Want To Be!

Dr. Katz (long since a proponent of a mostly vegetarian diet, preferably low in fat) has many good points, such as that whole, unprocessed foods would be a good start. But he continues to rest comfortably on uncertain statistics – observational data – and ridicules Taubes’s wish for high quality studies on nutrition (RCTs).

We don’t need any RCT studies to prove that a gunshot wound to your chest is dangerous, Katz claims. Which is true. But which diet is healthful in the long run is a much harder question, for which the answer is not as obvious. Here we’re stuck in preconceptions, that easily lead us the wrong way. Something that Taubes happily admits.

Katz’s defense of previous recommendations of a low-fat diet sounds desperate. Everyone should have known, he says, that the advice to eat less fat meant to replace the fat with vegetables, such as “kale” – not more cookies.

He puts it bluntly: People have themselves to blame if they eat too much!

I think Katz is wrong. When people heard the advice “eat less fat” they heard “eat less fat”. Less fat in food makes it less satisfying. And when you’re hungry, you’re an easy prey to tempting cookies. Kale? Not so much.

What do you think?

Who’s right? Katz, Taubes, both, or none of them?

More

Toxic Sugar: Fantastic Video on the Obesity Epidemic!

“I Was Wrong, You Were Right”

Why We Get Fat – Interview With Gary Taubes

The Margarine Giant Gives Up: Butter Wins

Sugar vs Fat on BBC: Which is Worse?

41 Comments

Top Comments

  1. Logan
    What I think doesn't matter.

    What I know is that I've slowly lost 40 pounds in the past 6 months (about a pound per week) eating a low-carb high-fat diet with very little exercise beyond shoveling and yard work.

    What I know is I no longer struggle with the urge to eat Almond Joys, donuts and carrot cake, etc. The cravings are gone.

    Read more →
  2. FrankG
    Or you could actually read Dr Andreas post where he states I think Katz is wrong. When people heard the advice “eat less fat” they heard “eat less fat”

    ...and I agree with him. Katz is trying to rewrite history, to shift the blame from those like himself who are culpable... too little too late! Ever since that message started, the odds have been stacked in favour of the food manufacturers and their cheap to make but noxious concoctions.

    Read more →

All Comments

  1. Dan
    "But which diet is healthful in the long run is a much harder question, for which the answer is not as obvious."
    It rly isn't - like at all. Just look at Bluezones, Kitivans, Hadza, ect. They kinda got this diet deal down. We know SAD is horrible long-term. We know plant-based works long term.

    The whole deal wasn't to eat low-fat foods (cookies, cakes, yogurts, milk, cheese, pies, ect), it was to eat food naturally low in fat (legumes, tubers, grains, ect). We didn't do that. We never even lowered our fat intake actually.

    There isn't much confusion. We only create it w/ soundbites and dogmatic phrases. We know whats good for us - sunlight,resistance training, foods w/ many nutrients, sleep social engagement, and down time.

  2. charles grashow
    Dr Katz also said

    "What do I mean by that last bit? Well, consider that the advice we got decades ago to cut dietary fat was never intended as advice to eat low-fat, high-starch, high-sugar cookies. When the advice to cut fat was first provided, there was no such thing as highly-processed, low-fat junk food. The food industry exploited the advice and invented low-fat junk food to take advantage of it. This issue of “unintended consequences” in dietary advice is enormously important, and I have addressed it at some length before. Rather than repeat all that history, I refer you to my prior column on the topic.

    For now, let’s note the following. The advice to cut fat was intended to direct us to the naturally low-fat foods that existed at the time, namely vegetables, fruits, beans, lentils, whole grains, and lean meats. Does anyone doubt that if America ran mostly on such foods (rather than, as Madison Avenue seemingly now contends, donuts and coffee) our health would be much better? I do not.

    We never followed the advice we got. Instead, the advice was distorted and- if I may be brutally honest- perverted. We started eating Snackwell cookies and, oh, by the way- NEVER EVEN REDUCED OUR FAT INTAKE! The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey data at the time revealed this: percent of total calories from fat in the typical American diet went down NOT because we reduced our fat intake, but because we increased our total calorie intake, adding all of the newly tempting low-fat junk foods we allowed ourselves to believe we could eat limitlessly, and with impunity.

    So, Mr. Taubes can act as if we asked, and answered a question about dietary fat intake and wound up confused. But is it confusing, surprising, or anything less than self-evident that continuing to eat about the same amount of fat while adding lots of refined starch, added sugar and calories would not advance our careers as icons of vitality or underwear models?

    I would argue we are not, and were not confused - we are, and were conflicted. We were, and are, active participants in a massive collusion at the level of our culture. We wanted to have our low-fat cake and eat it, too. In other words: we probably really knew all along that “low fat” advice really meant eat more mixed greens, but we WANTED it to mean: keep eating pastrami, and dilute the calories with low-fat cookies. And so we did. And here we are."

    Your thoughts

  3. FrankG
    Dr Andreas wrote "What do you think?

    Who’s right? Katz, Taubes, both, or none of them?"

    Charles responded with a lengthy block quote written by someone else (as ever... yawn...) followed by a "Your thoughts"

    But then you also recently chided a fellow commenter with "Answering a question with a question is not a good response."

    To which I will repeat an earlier comment to you... "double-standards much?" :-P
    ---

    Charles...

    What do you think?

    Who’s right? Katz, Taubes, both, or none of them?

  4. FrankG
    Or you could actually read Dr Andreas post where he states I think Katz is wrong. When people heard the advice “eat less fat” they heard “eat less fat”

    ...and I agree with him. Katz is trying to rewrite history, to shift the blame from those like himself who are culpable... too little too late! Ever since that message started, the odds have been stacked in favour of the food manufacturers and their cheap to make but noxious concoctions.

  5. rs711
    [my comment from FTA.om]

    Excerpts from Katz’s rant (yes, angry rant).

    “we probably really knew all along that “low fat” advice really meant eat more mixed greens” – that has to be one of the weakest arguments I’ve seen in a while…

    “As a formally trained clinical researcher myself who has run a lab for nearly 20 years and published roughly 200 scientific papers” – why appeal to authority/credentials if your argument/reasoning is solid & verifiable? LAME

    “NEVER EVEN REDUCED OUR FAT INTAKE!” – happy to ignore the types of fat that replaced the ‘naturally’ occurring ones our grandparents ate? I thought so…

    “we increased our total calorie intake” – question is WHY? Katz is going around in circles —> ‘we’re fat because we eat more, we eat more because we’re fat, we’re fat because we eat more…..’ you get the idea. Again, GREAT contributions Katz! [sarcasm for those with an intact blood-brain barrier]

    “I would argue we are not, and were not confused – we are, and were conflicted” —> I am [confused]. I’m still trying to understand the Inuit & the Kitavans. I can try to guess at the subtleties between his intended distinction between ‘confusion’ & being ‘conflicted’…but this detracts from the argument, making me more……..confused, or conflicted? Damn.

    “Mr. Taubes is one of many New-Age nutrition Messiahs who have spawned a thriving cottage industry in iconoclastic messages” —> well that is simply an ad-hominem attack which calls for an equally measured response = bullshit.

    “We knew that “cut fat” meant eat more kale; we just pretended it didn’t” —> anyone know what kind of crazy home-grown he’s on? I’d love to pass one of those around…

    “Mr. Taubes and others like him- the iconoclasts out to save us from our confusion […] They can go on indefinitely under a veil of pseudo-erudition generating seemingly impressive answers to fatuous questions —-> Katz’s own book is called…? “DISEASE PROOF” Wow, just…wow

    Thanks for pointing to the article out RN, but my head hurts now and my faith in the “established nutrition/obesity researchers” has dropped lower still.

  6. Tim Noonan, MD
    I agree with Gary Taubes and with you Andreas. The problem is that there has been too much bad, lazy science with misinterpreted results, and that is why people are confused. The other problem is the whole diet-heart hypothesis which just needs to die as that is keeping people skittish about fat. However, I agree with Gary that good, high-quality, rigorously controlled trials would be nice to put the issue to rest and end the dogma wars. The "just eat real food" movement is a good start for a lot of people and can produce great results, but in our modern society there is a large segment of people for whom "JERF" just isn't going to be enough. How many 9-5 office workers working in a cubicle can replicate the daily activity of a Kitavan? Sure, if you are eating a lot of whole grains, starches, veggies and fruits you might do okay if you are extremely active, but in our modern society and modern busy lives with neverending access to these foods it is a very slippery slope. I think it is very important to match carbs to activity level. Yes, it is going to be individualized, but starting with carb restriction and an emphasis on fat as the foundation and working from there is what seems to work best with my patients. Ultimately, the most convincing evidence to me is my personal clinical experience with LCHF. Regards from Iowa!
    Reply: #28
  7. murray
    Reading between the lines, Taubes has inside information that the RCT trial being done by the NUSI is looking very good for LCHF.

    Katz's bullet analogy is stupid. Traditional cultures took hundreds if not thousands of years to fine tune their diets, learning to ferment to neutralize toxins in plants, when to have soon-to-be-wed couples eat certain foods before marrying (and getting pregnant their first child), well before nutritional science had any inkling of the effect of diet on epigentics. Even today, Coca Cola is bombarding the media with ads implying a calorie is a calorie. Katz begs the question in saying everyone knew low-fat meant kale, because Katz already leaned to vegetarian or near so. It was "obvious" to him because that was his belief already. Not everyone shares the near-vegetarian belief. Inuit and Maasai don't, based on their experience. The newer science is showing dietary fat (other than trans and vegetable oil) are not a problem for heart disease. Nothing is so obvious in nutrition as a bullet to the chest, or food companies would not get away with advertising and be able to manipulate the interpretation of scientific inquiry. So at best Katz sets up a straw man argument.

  8. fredt
    But, but, kale needs fat aka butter or salad dressing to make it good. Realty is we need a bit of carbs, a bit of protein, and a bit of some fats. The remainder can come from anywhere, but fat has less downside that carbohydrates or proteins, so it is all just opinion, opinion, opinion, after we get our minimums. Vegetables are just a vector for butter and other fats. But you all know that. Keep the LCHF ing.
  9. Wade Henderson
    Perhaps there is one diet for some folks and another diet for other types.

    " According to ongoing studies by Dr. Christopher Gardner at the Stanford Prevention Research Center in California, the dismal track records of most dieters who try to follow popular diets such as Atkins, Ornish, and Zone are a consequence of mismatches between these diet strategies and the individual dieter’s genomic and metabolic profile."

    http://health.yahoo.net/experts/eatbetterlivebetter/permanent-weight-...

    However for proponents of one type of diet or the other, they mostly can't allow for any questioning of their position. Its all one way or the other.

    Leaving options open doesn't sell books or attract the true believers.

  10. Adolfo Neto
    I agree with you.
    Katz just confirmed Taubes. Nutrition is confused.
  11. Lorne Morrow
    I disagree with Katz that people who are confused have chosen that. I own a fitness centre in Canada and have watched people struggle with bodyweight for nearly 20 years. Not everyone has the intellectual capacity to wade through information as might a doctor or academic. When 90% of the population hears "low fat" they then eat basically anything that sports a "low fat" label.

    Katz says science is not a substitute for sense. I agree. But if he is the most sensible person in the room and he has noted that people have chosen to be confused, then what has he done about it? In the 20 years of his lab work, the obesity/diabetes situation has worsened. Is his lab work changing the common sense?

    I am not an academic, but the best results that I have personally witnessed are in clients that have reduced their carbs and allowed themselves to consume more natural fats in place of those carbs.

    The other thing that I have witnessed is the fear on peoples' faces when I first suggest that they experiment with LCHF for a few weeks. It is because of personalities like Katz who have made people feel unintelligent without providing simple alternatives. I don't mind eating kale because I fry it in lard or butter with onions. Try explaining to a junk food junkie that they should eat more kale. That would be the end of the conversation with them. Doctors & scientists have frightened them about fats to the degree that they are not even confident enough to experiment for themselves. That is a shame.

    Let them eat fat!

    Reply: #32
  12. Mike
    Here's my take. We've gotten confused because we aren't looking at the microbiome.

    Riddle me this. Why do raw foodist, vegans, and paleo people all give examples of feeling the best they ever had? How can you have the Durian Rider (who is annoyingly inflammatory) eat pounds of bananas but be svelte and ride bike races while Peter Attia stays in Ketosis with high fat diet and does well in endurance events as well?

    And then there are the diets in between and lastly the shocking "Twinkie Diet" experiment by Mark Haub.

    There is an interaction that we are just now starting to understand and study further in the microbiome that will likely change how we look at calories and diets in the near future. They have transferred the gut bacteria from skinny mice and put it in fat mice which then led to the fat mice losing weight.

    While I was on the HFLC bandwagon, I've faltered because I think we are looking at the wrong thing much like when killed the cats thinking they were passing the plague when it was the rats.

    10 to 20 years it will be about eating clean and feeding your gut bacteria.

  13. Lori Miller
    Dr. Katz needs to get out more. As an early adopter of a more-or-less wheat free diet in the late 90s, I looked to vegetables to provide some variety in my diet since gluten-free fare back then was made of rice flour and tasted like cardboard. The grocery store cashiers had to ask me what most of the vegetables in my cart were, even though they rang up groceries every day. So when people heard "less fat," I don't think they thought about kale, bok choy, fennel, jicama, and other plants they'd never heard of. They probably thought low-fat dressing on their iceburg lettuce salad.
  14. Mark.
    I read Katz's article and a few others by him. I can't see any evidence that he thinks excess omega-6 fats might be bad. He's big on eating nuts, and most types are a prime source. I didn't see any caveats from him about seed oils -- though admittedly three or four articles might not give me a full picture of his views.
  15. tw
    The problem with Katz's response, aside from its condescension, is that he fails to account for the food pyramid. Yes that pyramid that is used as the basis for government feeding programs.

    I think Jamie Oliver astutely pointed out the flaws in this program during his program in the us.

    Katz fails to account for the politics, wealth, and science aspects of the food and diet business. One read of Salt, Sugar, Fat by Michael Moss demonstrates the immense sophistication of large food conglomerates that have expertise in numerous areas including marketing, chemistry, and scientific research.

    I'm with Taubes, diet is unnecessarily confusing. I think it can be attributed to the vested interests on many sides.

  16. bill
    It is not confusing.

    There are only 3 things you can eat:

    1. Carbohydrates

    2. Protein

    3. Fat

    If you eat less of one, you're gonna eat more of another.

    If you increase protein and/or carbohydrates when you
    decrease fat, you're going to be hungry. So, you will
    either be mad all the time or you're going to eat more.

    Pretty simple.

  17. charles grashow
    @bill

    SO - explain why vegetarians aren't mad all of the time.

    Replies: #21, #25
  18. Alan
    A quote from Katz's paper--"COMPETING DIETARY CLAIMS FOR WEIGHT LOSS: Finding the Forest Through Truculent Trees". (2004) Annual Review of Public Health Vol. 26: 61-88--which is a long and poorly argued attack on low-carb:

    "The native human diet appears to have provided roughly 25% of calories
    from fat, 20%–25% of calories from protein, and the remainder from complex
    carbohydrate (41); this pattern is remarkably confluent with that demonstrating
    compelling health benefits in clinical trials (85, 131)."

    What nonsense.

    See Stohle and Hahn-- "Diets of modern hunter-gatherers vary substantially in their carbohydrate content depending on ecoenvironments: results from an ethnographic analysis." (2011) Nutr Res. 31:429-35:

    "we calculated the carbohydrate intake (percentage of the total energy) in 229 hunter-gatherer diets throughout the world and determined how differences in ecological environments altered carbohydrate intake. We found a wide range of carbohydrate intake (≈3%-50% of the total energy intake; median and mode, 16%-22% of the total energy). Hunter-gatherer diets were characterized by an identical carbohydrate intake (30%-35% of the total energy) over a wide range of latitude intervals (11°-40° north or south of the equator). However, with increasing latitude intervals from 41° to greater than 60°, carbohydrate intake decreased markedly from approximately equal to 20% to 9% or less of the total energy. Hunter-gatherers living in desert and tropical grasslands consumed the most carbohydrates (≈29%-34% of the total energy). Diets of hunter-gatherers living in northern areas (tundra and northern coniferous forest) contained a very low carbohydrate content (≤15% of the total energy). In conclusion, diets of hunter-gatherers showed substantial variation in their carbohydrate content. Independent of the local environment, however, the range of energy intake from carbohydrates in the diets of most hunter-gatherer societies was markedly different (lower) from the amounts currently recommended for healthy humans."

  19. Alan
    Katz recommended:
    Approximately 55%–60% of total calories from predominately complex Carbohydrate.

    Stohle and Hahn found:
    Interestingly, most hunter-gatherer diets (approximately 85%) were characterized by a relatively low carbohydrate intake (<35% of the total energy), which reflected the high reliance on animal based foods of most hunter-gatherers.

  20. Logan
    What I think doesn't matter.

    What I know is that I've slowly lost 40 pounds in the past 6 months (about a pound per week) eating a low-carb high-fat diet with very little exercise beyond shoveling and yard work.

    What I know is I no longer struggle with the urge to eat Almond Joys, donuts and carrot cake, etc. The cravings are gone.

  21. Murray
    "The better part of valour is discretion, in the which better part I have saved my life."

    I resist.

  22. sophie
    I don't think both propositions are mutually exclusive. The LCHF community advocates for a highest proportion of fat to be consumed, not necessarily greater amounts, and I don't believe we are suggesting to eat buckets of butter for health.

    If you eat less food in general, and you eat a higher proportion of fat, you're not necessarily going to eat a lot of fat... just a higher proportion.

    The presence of meat in your (proportionally) high fat diet is not mandatory.

    Also, it is possible that by eating less altogether, you could both have a LCHF diet by having a higher proportion of fat in your diet, and low fat by measure of the quantity of fat.

    I've decreased significantly my food intake, but I still eat cold butter a few times a day. All in all because my food consumption is so low, I still believe I eat low fat, even though fat is proportionally high compared to the protein and carbs that I consume.

  23. Pam
    I am certainly on Gary Taubes side since losing weight on LCHF and keeping the weight off for three years. But Katz does have some sensible things to say. In the end, if we all eat whole foods we will be better off. I found it extremely unfortunate that Katz found it necessary to use lots of ridicule and ad hominem attacks on Gary Taubes and others in the LCHF camp. Ad hominem attacks are what people always resort to when they have lost the argument or have nothing substantive to say.

    If Katz had simply stated his case for healthy eating in a professional way he would have been a lot more compelling. I am LCHF but I have encouraged my 7 children to just cut out the processed food and eat whole foods. They probably don't need to be quite as radical as I am after a life of the SAD.

  24. Justin B
    Why would any sane intelligent human being not want a high quality RCT study to be performed regarding this? If he's certain that he is right, what's the harm in "confirming" it with a top-quality study, being overseen by a group of people with all sorts of differing beliefs about nutrition, so as not to confound variables? I never understood who these people are who believe these "experts" when they say that observational data is all we need, and we need to either disregard RCTs or feeding trials, and focus on food questionnaires. McDougal said the same thing in his debate a year or 2 ago. What!?
  25. bill
    Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

    Oh, you're killin' me!

    Stop!

  26. Rick6459
    Katz comes over as rather arrogant like a bad scientists who suggests he know the truth but clearly doesn't have the scientific evidence to back it up and is frustrated when others question what he believes to be true, rejecting the idea of further clinical trials as unnecessary. Taubes is quite right to seek the proof.
    As an earlier poster said, the result of the reduce fat proposal was the food pyramid, and this put grains and starchy food at the base of the pyramid, not kale. I think Katz has overlooked this, and this is one of the reasons people have increased carb consumption and become fatter.
  27. Paul the rat
    Not only HIV, but many other viruses. This is why those of us who are on LCHF seldom get colds and flus.

    J Leukoc Biol. 2013 Oct;94(4):769-77. doi: 10.1189/jlb.0313142. Epub 2013 Aug 2.

    High glucose enhances HIV entry into T cells through upregulation of CXCR4.

    Lan X, Cheng K, Chandel N, Lederman R, Jhaveri A, Husain M, Malhotra A, Singhal PC.
    Author information

    Abstract
    It is well known that patients with HIV are prone to diabetes mellitus because of the side effects of HARRT. However, whether high glucose affects the HIV infection of T cells is not clear. Recent studies have shown that upregulation of GLUT-1 renders T cells susceptible to HIV infection. We hypothesized that hyperglycemia has the potential to increase HIV infection by enhancing its entry into immune cells. The effect of high glucose on HIV entry into T cells (Jurkat cells and PBMCs) and the mechanisms involved were investigated.

    High glucose significantly enhanced HIV entry, which was associated with increased T-cell expression of CXCR4.

    However, T cells with silenced HIF-1α displayed attenuated expression of CXCR4, whereas T cells with silenced CXCR4 showed decreased HIV entry in a high-glucose milieu. On the one hand, high glucose stimulated T-cell ROS generation, and H(2)O(2) at low concentrations enhanced the entry of HIV into T cells. On the other hand, inhibition of ROS not only attenuated high-glucose-mediated T-cell expression of CXCR4 and HIF-1α but also mitigated T-cell HIV entry in a high-glucose milieu.

    In our study, high glucose enhanced HIV entry into T cells by increasing expression of CXCR4 and HIF-1α.

  28. Francois
    I wholly agree with you, Tim. It has been my experience also with my patients and even with colleagues. When you present clinical data in a meaningful way, explaining the difference between statistical significance and clinical significance and when you can demonstrate that type 2 diabetes can be reversed with a LCHF diet, without medication, you do get people's attention.
    I'm working right now in Hawaii where the population, because of its ethnic origin (Asians and native Hawaiians) is much more at risk of diabetes at much lower BMI's than in people of Caucasian origin. I get the A1C checked in every patient I see and am astounded at the number of pre-diabetics I see. I spend a lot of time explaining the difference between conventional therapy that makes people worse and diet therapy, that reverses diabetes. I strongly suggest LCHF to every pre-diabetic or cardiac patient and I refer them to two web sites and a youtube video: the first site I refer them to is dietdoctor.com, the second is authoritynutrrition.com (he has tons of recipes) and the youtube video is by a Canadian colleague of ours, Jason Fung, who has, as far as I know, the only intensive diabetes treatment program that reverses diabetes through diet. If Andreas is wondering why he is getting more hits from Hawaii, this may be part of the answer. I have gotten enough attention to be asked to give conferences on LCHF, BMI, fat and diabetes treatment to physicians and wellness promotion people. We get results with this approach. Let's get vocal about it. Maybe it is possible to change people's outlook, despite all the Katz's of the world. Arrogance will only carry you so far. Results will drive more attention and give credibility in the end.
  29. Paul the rat
    I wonder if David Katz reads papers

    Redox Rep. 2014 Mar;19(2):87-91. doi: 10.1179/1351000213Y.0000000080. Epub 2014 Jan 13.

    Oxidative stress and triglycerides as predictors of subclinical atherosclerosis in prediabetes.

    Al-Aubaidy HA, Jelinek HF.
    Abstract
    Background The role of triglycerides in early preclinical atherosclerosis is controversial. Antioxidant markers may be associated with triglyceride levels in early preclinical atherosclerosis especially when fasting plasma glucose is raised. Methods This cross-sectional study included 127 participants attending the Diabetes Screening Clinic, Charles Sturt University, Australia. Results Serum 8-hydroxy-2-deoxy-guanosine (8-OHdG) was significantly greater in the impaired fasting glucose (IFG) group compared with the control group (536.7 pg/ml ± 249.8 versus 171.4 pg/ml ± 96.9, respectively). The increase in 8-OHdG was associated with a mildly non-significant elevation in low-density lipoprotein level (3.2 ± 1.1 mmol/l) and a poor level of high-density lipoprotein (1.31 ± 0.3 mmol/l) in the IFG group. However, a significant increase in triglycerides (1.6 ± 0.97 mmol/l; P < 0.05) in the IFG group was observed. Erythrocyte reduced glutathione (GSH) levels in the IFG group, although increased, were also not significantly different to control. Conclusion A significant increase in 8-OHdG is associated with increased levels of triglycerides in the absence of significant changes in reduced GSH and normal levels of cholesterol in the IFG cohort, suggesting that oxidative stress may be present and indicative of subclinical atherosclerosis.

    Reply: #33
  30. FrankG
    It's like trying to herd katz :-P
  31. Wendy
    Some people might be confused because of TV doctors such as Dr. Oz. Well, I wouldn't really call him a doctor anymore but, on his shows I've noticed one day he says to do this and then 4 days later what he told you to do, not to do it anymore and try this. It's like a giant infomercial trying to sell you crap information. Of course I never do anything he says to do and I'm healthy because of it! Haha.
  32. Francois
    Further to your comments, Lorne, I'd add that most physicians cannot read a medical article. They may attempt the medical summary, but most of the time will go for the conclusions. They do not have the biostat or epi knowledge to critically read anything. And this is sad.

    BTW, I love the way you eat kale. I eat kale chips because they are smothered in a mix of nut butter and all sorts of tasty fats before I dehydrate them.
    LTEF (let them eat fat)

  33. Murray
    Paul, what do you think is the causality there? Is it because continual elevated blood sugar both causes triglycerides to rise and causes the oxidative stress (creating a correlation), or do you think there is a direct causal link between the triglycerides themselves and the oxidative stress?
    Replies: #34, #35
  34. Paul the rat
    Murray,
    my understanding is: chronic high glucose (or even let us call it normal glucose as in +-60% carbohydrates as energy in healthy humans) leads to chronic ROS (much higher than when fatty acids are burned for energy) which leads to oxidative stress. Triglycerides are bystanders, however I do not know, at this stage, if triglycerides are totally bystanders.
  35. Paul the rat
    Murray,
    this is a good review, sorry again for not be able to post whole paper, I am sure you can manage.

    Biochim Biophys Acta. 2013 Oct 26. pii: S0304-4165(13)00474-1. doi: 10.1016/j.bbagen.2013.10.034. [Epub ahead of print]
    Role of AMPK-mediated Adaptive Responses in Human Cells with Mitochondrial Dysfunction to Oxidative Stress.
    Wu SB1, Wu YT1, Wu TP1, Wei YH2.
    Author information

    Abstract
    BACKGROUND:
    Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations are an important cause of mitochondrial diseases, for which there is no effective treatment due to complex pathophysiology. It has been suggested that mitochondrial dysfunction-elicited reactive oxygen species (ROS) plays a vital role in the pathogenesis of mitochondrial diseases, and the expression levels of several clusters of genes are altered in response to the elevated oxidative stress. Recently, we reported that glycolysis in affected cells with mitochondrial dysfunction is upregulated by AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), and such an adaptive response of metabolic reprogramming plays an important role in the pathophysiology of mitochondrial diseases. Scope of Review We summarize recent findings regarding the role of AMPK-mediated signaling pathways that are involved in: (1) metabolic reprogramming, (2) alteration of cellular redox status and antioxidant enzymes expression, (3) mitochondrial biogenesis, and (4) autophagy, a master regulator of mitochondrial quality control in skin fibroblasts from patients with mitochondrial diseases. Major Conclusion Induction of adaptive responses via AMPK-PFK2, AMPK-FOXO3a, AMPK-PGC-1, and AMPK-mTOR signaling pathways, respectively are modulated for the survival of human cells under oxidative stress induced by mitochondrial dysfunction. We suggest that AMPK may be a potential target for the development of therapeutic agents for the treatment of mitochondrial diseases. General Significance Elucidation of the adaptive mechanism involved in AMPK activation cascades would lead us to gain a deeper insight into the crosstalk between mitochondria and the nucleus in affected tissue cells from patients with mitochondrial diseases. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled Frontiers of Mitochondrial Research.

  36. Galina L.
    Since I tried both approaches, and never lived on a junk food or was interested in eating donuts, I can testify without any hesitation - Gary Taubes gives much better advice than Dr.Katz.
    LC diet is more satisfying, allows to follow more healthy pattern of eating - small infrequent meals, allows to enjoy more stable energy levels, provides such unique health benefits as better mental health. Not everybody has a mental illness, but many females have mood problems, associated with changing levels of hormones within menstrual cycle or due to a menopausal change. I guess guys have their own challenges.
    Many also report better immunity on a LC/high-fat diets.
    Also, from the money-spending perspective , buying kale is just not a very good investment, and living on mostly raw organic vegetables is a waste of money. You supposed to spent money to buy food which provides you with energy, not leaves you with an illusion of eating after you chewed something , but it just passed through your body afterwards.
  37. Galina L.
    The main point of Dr.Katz article is that the public misunderstood good government advice to eat less fat and and everybody digged into low-fat junk instead of eating more produce which is naturally low in fat. I found out from my own experience that it would make no difference. I used to limit fat for years due to chronic gall-bladder inflammation since age 10, then due to gallbladder stones, then due to the removal of my gallbladder. If somebody doesn't know, eating fat after such surgery causes diarrhea. I have been abnormally hungry all my life due to fat limitations, it stopped after I started to eat more fat. It took time to adjust, but I consider myself a proof that eating buckets of vegetables without much fat is a prescription for an excellent appetite, not for a weight loss.I never lived on junk a food, always cooked all what I and my family eats.
  38. Marijke
    I think Katz's article showed that Gary Taubes is right. There are many conflicting hypotheses but no scientific proof in food science.

    I decided to do my own scientific experiment on myself. This proves that for me at this point in my life LCHF is the best choice yet. QED

  39. Jeffry Gerber, MD
    Taubes admits that we are all guilty (himself included) when it comes to disseminating dietary advice, often based on weak scientific evidence. His point is simply that we need more well designed food trial experiments. What's the problem with that? Jeffry Gerber, MD
  40. Ron
    Dr. Katz States We don’t need any RCT studies to prove that a gunshot wound to your chest is dangerous. But we would need a study to figure out which was worse a pistol, shotgun or rifle. All diets may have some benefits but which is best!
  41. Bo
    I think this is bullshit all of it. Nobody her discusses real nutrition. Vitamins, Minerals and Antioxidants and their role for Health. If you exclude meat where to get Fe etc from instead. If you exclude dairy ´where to get Ca etc from, No fish how to get omega 3,Zn, Se etc from.

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