ABC’s big meal propaganda

Applebee's Quesadilla Burger

Applebee's Quesadilla Burger

One of my readers sent me a link to a segment on ABC News with Charlie Gibson showing just how disgustingly slanted and inaccurate mainstream media reports can be.

Gibson leads into the segment about two reporters who underwent self experimentation on the adverse effects of unhealthy eating.  The reporters, ABC’s Yuji de Nies and Jon Garcia, set out to see what would happen if they consumed a giant meal containing over 6,000 calories.  Here is the result as they reported it.

Pretty brutal, eh?  But let’s shine the piercing light of good sense on what is going on here.  As you might expect, the reality is vastly different from that portrayed by ABC.

First off, let’s look at the actual nutritional content of the food eaten.  As reported in the piece, the total energy content of the meal was 6,190 calories, which included 187 grams of saturated fat.  These were the only parameters reported.  I took the time to go through the links in the article accompanying the video to find exactly where these foods came from.  Here’s what I found.

The burger is an Applebee’s Quesadilla Burger (served with fries, of course); the snack is The Cheesecake Factory Fried Macaroni And Cheese; and the dessert is Uno Chicago Grill Mega-sized Deep Dish Sundae (listed as cookie below).  How do I know these are the exact ones?  These were the ones referenced in the CSPI’s List of Most Unhealthy High-Calorie, Fat and Salty Restaurant Foods That May Clog Your Arteries.  After seeing the photos and comparing to what I saw on the video, these selections are the ones the reporters ate.

I then tracked down the Nutritional Facts for the foods involved (here, here, here and here) and put them into an Excel spreadsheet.  Take a look.

ABC calorie count1

The first thing you might notice is that the total calorie count is 5,708, which is considerable, but is actually 482 calories fewer than the 6,190 reported.  Second, and this is a biggie, the saturated fat content of this meal is only 88 grams, not the 187 grams reported.

The reporters stretched the truth a little in that they reported as if the Mega-sized Deep Dish Sundae were a single treat to be consumed by one person at a sitting.  I’m sure it could be so eaten, but it’s actually designed for four people to share.  The Nutritional Facts list the calories per serving as 690 and the saturated fat as 17 grams.  I’ve used the amounts in all four servings, i.e., one entire four-person dessert, in my spreadsheet.

As you may have noticed, the total carb content of the meal is 745 grams, which converts during digestion to a little over three cups (3.1 cups to be exact) of sugar.  The ABC report, of course, failed to mention the carb content of the meal and ignored any immediate effect this huge intake of carb might cause.  One of the reporters, Jon, claimed that he was ‘sluggish’ and ‘tired’; the implication being that this sluggishness resulted from his huge saturated fat intake.  No mention, naturally, of the enormous amount of carbohydrate and the large increase in insulin release it might cause.  From what I can see from the video, Jon looks to be sporting a little abdominal obesity, which would imply a degree of insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia.  People with this disorder tend to over secrete insulin in response to carb intake causing an overshoot and reactive hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), which will indeed result in sluggishness.

It’s pretty impressive when the lab tech holds up the tube of blood taken after the meal and compares it to the one taken before the meal.  There is a lot of fat swimming in the serum, that’s for sure.  What the producers of this piece (and, sadly, the doctors commenting although they should know better) want you to take away from all this by the way they set it up is that all that saturated fat went directly into the blood.  And how can you argue with them?  It’s there for all to see.

Problem is, that’s what blood samples look like after almost any meal, especially one that contains carbohydrates.  The fat you see isn’t the fat the two reporters ate; it is the fat the liver has made from the carbohydrate.  It’s the same picture a tube of blood would show after either of the two doctors had eaten a high-carb, low-fat lunch.

The blood samples were taken two hours after the meal.  Dietary carbohydrate is absorbed directly into the blood and makes a pass through the liver where it stimulates the production of triglycerides, the fat you see in the blood.  Fat, especially long-chain saturated fat digests very slowly, and doesn’t reach the blood until much later than the two hour mark.  While carbs go directly into the blood, fats take a different route.  The process that breaks down dietary fat into its component fatty acids is a lengthy process as compared to the breakdown of carbs.  Once the fat has broken down, it has to combine with bile salts to make it into a form that is water soluble and can be taken up by the intestinal cells.  Once taken up, unlike carbs, which are sent directly to the bloodstream, fats go into the lymphatic system, a much smaller and more static transport system than the vasculature.  Once in the lymphatics, fats make their way to the thoracic duct, which empties into a large vein in the upper chest.  The lymphatics are small vessels and take a long time to move their contents along since there is no heartbeat pushing them as there is with blood.  As I say, the fat in the blood you see on the video didn’t come from the saturated fat in the diet, although that was definitely the implication.

But what about the ultrasound showing the blood vessels had changed?  Wasn’t that because of the fat?

I’m afraid not.  The fat from the diet wasn’t in the blood vessels yet, so it couldn’t be the dietary fat causing the change.  So what was it?

How about a little normal physiology.  Let me explain.  The body gets blood where it needs to get it by opening certain blood vessels while closing others.  Let me give you an example.  Have you ever jumped into cold water to go swimming and noticed that not long after jumping in you have to urinate?  What happened?

Your arms and legs have a radiator effect.  Since these appendages have little padding the blood circulating there is exposed to the cold water, and if nothing is done, the cold water cools the blood creating a big problem.  Your body compensates by shutting down the circulation to the skin and areas close to the surface in your arms and legs and shunts that blood to your core.  Your core already has plenty of blood when this happens, so it has to get rid of some.  It does so by sending it through the kidneys where the liquid portion is filtered out and becomes urine.  Suddenly your bladder is full and you have to go.

The body has the ability to direct blood wherever it needs by its manipulation of blood vessel size.  Where do you think blood is needed after an almost 6,000 calorie meal?  That’s right.  The digestive tract.  It takes a lot of work to deal with 6,000 calories, and a lot of work requires a lot of oxygen, which comes from the blood.  So after a heavy meal, the body shunts extra blood to the guts where the works is being done.  It does this by opening or dilating the arteries carrying blood to the intestines and by narrowing the blood vessels in other parts of the body.

Now, think back to the video of the woman whose blood vessel (in her arm) is being examined by ultrasound.  When it’s compared to the previous ultrasound, the one before she ate, notice how much faster the heart is beating.  (The little swishing sounds you hear, each of which represents a heart beat, are spaced much closer together.)  The heart is beating faster because the body is working to digest an enormous amount of food, and this work stresses the heart in the same way that running down the street would stress the heart.  Work is work.

The digestive tract needs extra oxygen to do its work, this extra oxygen can get there only via the blood, so the intestines require more blood than normal.  This extra blood gets shunted there by opening the arteries that feed the gut and narrowing those that go other places where a lot of blood isn’t needed at the moment.  Such places as, say, a relaxed arm.

Anyone with a smattering of knowledge of normal physiology (and apparently an open mind) could predict that the artery in a relaxed arm would narrow after a heavy meal and that that artery would be back to normal six hours later (which it was so reported in this video).

What you’re seeing in this video is normal physiology at work interpreted as being abnormal by a couple of lipophobic doctors who should (and probably do) know better.  It makes for dramatic theater, but their interpretation is nothing but prevarication or ignorance or both.

But had they reported the truth, there would have been no story.  Kind of sad, isn’t it.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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105 thoughts on “ABC’s big meal propaganda

  1. Thanks for the update, and all the tweets keeping us
    informed of all the lipophobes. My wife is a new Doc
    in residency and you help keep me armed agianst the medical
    community who still buys into mainstream high carb low fat.
    When I’m able to fall back on stats and papers published in reputable journals
    that you’ve guided us to the physicians end up stumped.
    Most are to proud to concede to someone w/out an MD, but
    a few look into new information and re-education is
    taking place. Slowly.

    You’ve got to work hard to keep her from falling into the hands of the lipophobes. It will be a tough battle.

  2. I saw that when it first aired and was just disgusted at the bold-faced lies ABC was perpetuating. I guess that kind of reporting promotes additional advertising revenue from all of the cholesterol lowering Pharma companies.

    If it weren’t for them, I’m not sure who would buy ads on morning news (On second thought, it would probably be more commercials for “Cholesterol Lowering” Cheerios and yogurt with fiber added to it so housewives can “Be Regular Again”).

    Looking forward to meeting you on the cruise Doc.


  3. The truth wasn’t reported, not because there would be no story, although I agree, that is often the case; the truth wasn’t reported, because they are clueless to it (the truth) — that is where the real sadness lies.

    Psst — a friend ordered that fried macaroni and cheese once. I said, “You are kidding.. right?”… I had just a taste … OMG.

  4. Wait… Nathan… what cruise?

    Oh! And Mike, Thanks for another interesting read. I felt I learned a lot even if I didn’t even watch the video…

    I think he means Jimmy Moore’s cruise, which MD and I had to bail out on when the dates changed because of other obligations.

  5. Your link to the Burger has very different numbers than what you posted.

    Thanks for the heads up. I put up the wrong link. I couldn’t believe the figures in the one I posted. Where are the 70 grams of carbs? And how can a burger have only 1 g saturated fat. The figures in the one linked now are much more accurate.

  6. Thanks for your post. I had seen this segment on TV and went into a total tail-spin of doubt about my low-carb diet. I really do appreciate your setting the record straight.

    Never, ever believe anything you see on television, especially if it is about diet. It will invariable be incorrect.

  7. What’s sad is that they probably think this was a good scientific experiment. The least they could have done is compared their bloodwork after a “healthy” meal as well.

    Ah, but then the story would be less exciting, wouldn’t it…?

  8. I’m sure the mac & cheese has some saturated fat. They didn’t break out the fat content on that website. The ABC article says it has 69 grams of saturated fat (more than the total fat in your spreadsheet), but only 1570 calories (430 less than your spreadsheet). They report the burger and fries as having 1800 calories combined…way more than your spreadsheet. I doubt the reliability of the information from either source. (Not that it changes anything in your argument).

    I also doubt the reporters could have eaten all that food. I know I couldn’t.

  9. I order the Applebee’s burger nearly every time I go there (about 1-2 times a month). I replace the fries with broccoli (they happily do this). I’ve never thought it was a bad choice since I had checked on the Applebee’s web site to get the nutritional stats.

  10. Dr Eades, two questions and one comment here. Please bear with me, I will try to make it short.

    Question#1: If my heart doesnt give the damn what makes it speed contending that work is work is work wouldnt it be prudent to suggest that tachycardia from my anxiety disorder at times would equal tachycardia from me running up the stairs? I dont hink so off course since tachycardia from anxiety produces other effects such as extra cortisol and adrenalin whihc might not be that health for the heart. But my friend made that suggestion to me after reading your commentary. She said that now I have to treat my infrequent anxiety as aerobic exercise! Wouldnt that be something!

    Question#2. I studied physiology and it was my favorite subject as a a matter of fact. Given the fact that portal vein enlarges postprandial draining the blood from the SMV and hepatic vein, would it make a difference where the calories come from?

    Comment: I was bombarded by few people to go on a cruise but was reluctant to do it since it is very inconvenient for me as far as dates. But I finally agreed. What a shame not to see you there!

    I would sort of equal running up the stairs, but with a lot of stress hormones, which isn’t always a good thing.

    Of course it makes a difference where the calories come from.

  11. This is just another example of the catch-22 of nutrition research: There is a theory that’s been set in motion, and it has reached a critical mass of scientists, medical professionals, dietitians, the media, and the general masses of people. Therefore future research is conducted (and funded) with a clear hypothesis in mind — one that fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, etc., is harmful — and everything that seems to contribute to the “proof” of that hypothesis receives wide attention, while the studies that don’t are discarded (whether it’s by the scientists themselves, by publications, or by the media) or considered irrelevant. There’s the confirmation bias at its finest!

    What they need to do is have someone eat 6000 calories of JUST saturated fat, have someone eat 6000 calories of fat but NO saturated fat (polysaturated, unsaturated, monounsaturated…..), and 6000 calories of all carbs and protein before they can pin the after-effects in the serum/heart on saturated fat. Even then it’s a poor study because by eating fat as opposed to sugar, say, you’re manipulating two variables at once: the absence or presence of one macronutrient as well as the absence or presence of a second macronutrient.

    And that’s my rant for the day ;p

    Thank you for the lesson in physiology, though. That was very instructional :]

    Glad you enjoyed it.

  12. I just watched the video and it scared me. That wasnt a lot of food, lol. No wonder I have been obese all my life. Funny thing is that I could easily eat it and more probably. So low carb is not only good for my health but for my wallet. Thats what makes low carb a golden pot for me. There is no way I can eat 6000 calories eating juicy steak with butter and brocoli with sauteed garic, mushrooms in a white wine. But I could easily gobble up 6000 calories on french fries, ice cream and macaroni and cheese. So thats where the reporters are misrepresenting the story. It is not the fat that contrubutes to overeating and subsequntely leading to all those blood changes, but the carbs. Remove the carbs and you remove the calorie amount along with all the changes.

    I graduated from top ultrasound school in the country, Suny Downstate, at least thats the general consensus. And I do part time adult echocardiography. That journalist”s post prandial sound that you hear was not significantly different than pre. Off course the cardiac load and ejection fraction change but in my case pre low carb diet that sound would be so apperent you would know it was my heart beating fast and loud without any explanations!

    • Don’t forget the opioid compounds in casein (cheese & other dairy to a lesser extent) and in wheat which cause an addictive/dependence cycle causing your brain to override satiety signals and overeat.

      Cookies, ice cream, mac&cheese (whoa), it’s all there.

      As for fries, we’ll have to seek an alternate explanation, heh. They are like crack when they’re piping hot. Maybe it’s that super-available starch. (When they cool, some converts to resistant starch.)

  13. THANK YOU! I was hoping someone who has credibility would jump on this like a duck on a June bug….and you did!

  14. Dr Mike, last comment for this post, promise.

    I just bought a very cool Samsung youttube friendly video camcorder to start videoblogging. I know for me my thoughts are ten thousands faster than my typing skills. Dr Eades, I know I asked you before but wouldnt it be prudent for you to do videoblog once in a while. It would definitely save you time posting and it would make it fun. Unless you type at the same rate I talk, lol. I just think you are such cool dude to be on video and you are so natural. Some people are made for tv, some for radio and some, well…. some for other things. So is there at least a hope to see you rather than read you. And going back to your advice to how save time answering questions: video blog the most intresting questions. It definitely faster to say it than write it and given today’s technology it is easy to recors and even eaiser to upload. After all you are twittering now! Care to comment?

    I just got an HD camcorder, so maybe I’ll start video blogging.

  15. “…Jon looks to be sporting a little abdominal obesity, which would imply a degree of insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia…”

    Dr. Eades, could you elaborate on this a little bit, or point me in the direction of an article that can? I am struggling with a soda addiction, and my energy swings up and down quite drastically. I am also carrying an inordinate amount of body fat in my abdominal area (in large shirts, people cannot tell how much I weigh; the rest of me looks normal).

    Could I be developing insulin resistance? Can a doctor test me for this?

    You can read about abdominal obesity in Protein Power and a host of other books and papers. Our new book, finally coming out in about a month and a half, contains much information of the subject.

  16. I give ABC a pass, sort of, they’re relying on the “doctors” that “know everything”.

    In my day as a journalist, we were supposed to check our facts with two other sources. And we were supposed to go out of our way to find “the other” side of the story. That’s pretty old school in the face of the 24 hour news cycle.

    Ahhh, the good old days…

    You’re right. I meant to put that in the post. The journalists depend on the Drs for accurate information.

  17. Very nicely deconstructed, Mike. And very informative. I don’t watch much of the dinosaur media anymore so I missed this one. Does anyone actually eat a meal that big just routinely? I doubt it.

    Two quick technical questions. What is the recommended daily caloric intake for middle-aged males? I thought it was about 2500.

    Second, as you state, “Dietary carbohydrate is absorbed directly into the blood and makes a pass through the liver where it stimulates the production of triglycerides, the fat you see in the blood.” Is any of the carbohydrate itself actually converted into triglyceride? Just curious.

    Why do they keep doing it? We’re all glad you’re there to keep us correctly informed. Thanks.


    It depends on body size, but 2500 kcal is a good average intake for a middle aged male, but it can be somewhat lower if it’s low carb.

    The carbs are converted to fat.

  18. What is good about your post is you take a “Planet of the Apes media tidbit” and expose the science of the foolishness. It is a learning experience for us unwashed laymen. I learned here the relative speed of digestion of fat v.s carbs in some detail. The drama of the lesson leaves a meaningful impression. If I read it in my nutrition book I would probably not remember it.

    entertaining – educational and easy to remember!


  19. This kind of thorough, yet accessible, analysis is just a plain joy to read.

    Coincidentally, this evening I just finished the book Fat and Cholesterol Are Good For You! by Uffe Ravnskov.

    Just as you do, Ravnskov methodically examines the studies that supposedly support the lipid hypothesis and demonstrates that support no such thing, unless one uses a woefully attenuated notion of “support.”

    Like you, Ravnskov uncovers the outright distortions and manipulations that the researchers stoop to in order to fit the data to their preconceived (and highly remunerated) prejudices.

    Like you, Ravnskov makes clear that the methodology of the lipid hypothesizers owes more to Madison Avenue than to science. Or, to phrase it more carefully, the only science that they are truly the masters of is the subtle, psychological art of manipulative misdirection, a science more appropriate to magicians than physicians.

  20. When I saw that CSPI was involved, I knew it was junk science. How in the world do they get in the news so often with their scare tactics of misinformation?

    • They’re based in Cambridge, MA, and very media-savvy.

      They’re the same clowns that got a bunch of cities to buy CNG-powered buses, supposedly for emissions control… even though the Ultra-Low-Sulfur Diesel has produced the same benefits, WITHOUT exposing millions of urban-dwellers to the risk of a natural gas explosion. (Of course, the only true low emission alternative is electric-powered, steel-on-steel light rail. Anything with rubber tires contributes to the incidence of childhood asthma.)

      These are also the clowns who got coconut oil out of movie popcorn. Of course, it turned out that the replacement oils were either transfats or weirdly carcinogenic when microwaved (?!), so, good one, CSPI.

  21. I saw the segment on the local news here in Vancouver, Canada yesterday and this was uncritically accepted by Dr. Rhonda Low, the “health” commentator (she has high profile in the area because she has a regular spot on the major local evening news dealing with health issues). I’m dismayed that over 100,000 viewers in one of our major Canadian cities will be so misinformed -the episode went too quick for me to digest (pardon the pun) the garbage so I’m glad you posted it – I’m trying to figure a way to send it to the TV station. The lies, the deceit, the ignorance, and the fear of fat in this so called modern society is appalling.

  22. I wish I could bite into some of that meal, minus most of the carby stuff, of course. I am jetting my way to LA, my flight took off two hours late, I just forced down the Worst Pork Chop Ever Served To Anyone Anywhere, and now I find out they’ve run outta Glenlivet…. I dunno about Jesus, but I am damn sure weeping now…

  23. If my blood didn’t change after I consumed a meal, I would have to wonder why the hell I ate in the first place. Isn’t the blood sort of involved in delivering nutrients to the tissues?

  24. That is kind of sad indeed!

    Mainstream media seems to be pretty much irrelevant these days. Guys like Charlie Gibson are dinosaurs. There is almost no critical thinking in mainstream media. John Stossel may be the exception and it would be interesting to hear his take on this.

    Thanks to top bloggers like you the critical thinking gets out there. The same thing happens in the financial news. The top bloggers are way out ahead of the cable financial media.

    So thanks for this post, and I loved the narrative of how the physiology works.

  25. That burger looks damn good! 43g of protein and only 14g of carbs, I want one!

    By the way, everyone should try contacting the reporter, telling her how wrong she was. If done in a non-confrontational manner, she might even get a clue. I don’t know her email, but her Twitter is

    I already suggested she read this blog post, hopefully she gets more feedback from people with a clue.

  26. Carl,
    Those burgers are good. I get one almost every time I stop at Applebees….which is next to never these days as I’m in Korea for 15 months.

  27. Tim,

    I understand what you mean by giving the reporters a pass…but they are supposed to be doing exactly what you mentioned looking at both sides of the story. Yes, they may be duped by the doctors and relying on them to get the facts. But what about asking the doctor some questions other than softball quesions……like how does the fat get from the food to my blood stream in just two hours…..Or isn’t it possible my heart rate would increase and arteries react to the sugar in the dessert too? Seems sort of on the lazy side to me. So they get no pass from me.

  28. Dr. Eades,

    Not long ago I believe you had a post where you mentioned a journalist friend of yours and that he responded to a query of how the media decides what news to print (or broadcast too I guess) with “the media doesn’t report news based on news worthiness…they report what they want us know”. I have been looking for that post to send as a link to it to a friend, but have no luck searching your site. Any chance you remember it?


    I remember writing it, but I can’t remember if it was in a post or an answer to a comment. I’ve tried searching the posts and the comments without success. Sorry.

  29. Do you have an opinion on the book “The Innovator’s Prescription: A Disruptive Solution for Health Care”?

    I haven’t read it.

  30. Regarding the possibility of videoblog: I, for one, hope you will continue with good, old fashioned written word. Video doesn’t work on my dial-up, and I’d really hate to miss all the good information I find here.

    Regarding Jesus and bread: Maybe bread wasn’t so toxic then, without the added dietary insults and injuries of high fructose corn syrup, canola oil, whole chemistry sets of additives, and the like. Plus, in his day, a “fatted calf” was still considered a good thing.

  31. Did you include the Ketchup in the analysis? doesn’t inflate the Saturated fat, but maybe the calories.

    No, I didn’t include the ketchup, and they were really pouring it on. But I doubt it added 400 plus calories.

  32. I very rarely watch TV news so thankfully missed that report but sometimes listen to a relatively small local radio station which lately has been airing an “ad” urging people to adhere to the AHA/ADA approved pyramid – especially for your children! I’m left with a mental picture of children being herded like animals into a pen to be force fed carbs and then handed pharmaceuticals in a vain attempt to correct the damage……

  33. “When I saw that CSPI was involved, I knew it was junk science. How in the world do they get in the news so often with their scare tactics of misinformation?”

    Anne, you answered your own question! “Scare tactics” and misinformation are powerful drama. The truth, in this case, was not.

  34. Thanks for another informative post! I showed it to my 13yo who, was just watching GMA, not only for the nutrition facts but also to show the media bias that applies to everything.

    He thought the burger wouldn’t be that bad for you, and I agreed since the carb load is much lower than anything else. I’m happy he’s already able to see that!

  35. Thanks for the nutritional physiology lesson. I hadn’t realized how long it took to process lipids or how much work it was to digest a meal. It makes me wonder if my high fat lifestyle could affect my blood lipid results the next day.

    On a different note, the MEGA-SIZED DEEP DISH SUNDAE from Pizzeria Uno (aka P1) doesn’t indicate it’s a 4 person dessert on the menu. It does in its nutritional info, which by the way is one of the best I’ve seen from a restaurant chain. In fact most of their entrees are listed as 2 person items. The news story did have a point that these items shouldn’t eaten in one sitting and the remainder doggy bagged unless of course, you’re Michael Phelps or Lance Armstrong. As always thanks for the time and space to comment.

    Hi Mark. Good to hear from you.

  36. the video was pretty convincing & a bit worrying, i was wondering how you were possibly going to break it down & expose anything other than what appreared to be quite clear, but you did, i found that very informative, thanks for putting in the effort to evaluate & explain these issues to lay persons like myself, who although have an interest in dietary matters do not have your medical wisdom. At this stage i have no fear of fat at all, do you think some sought of caution should be exercised with regards to fat? do you think maybe dietary satuarated fat is in some part contributory to heart disease & other health disorders?

    In my opinion, saturated fat is non-contributory.

  37. >[from Dr Eades] I just got an HD camcorder, so maybe I’ll start video blogging.

    the size of a file made in HD would be so large that it would probably be very inconvenient to watch, except for those with the fastest internet connections. I’d suggest that the best approach would be to use a simple webcam and do one videoblog on youtube or elsewhere, just to get your feet wet. If your laptop has a builtin webcam, that’s probably the quickest and easiest way to get video online. The accompanying software might even have a feature to automatically post to youtube.

    Here’s an example of a simple med videoblog:

    Naturally, you’d still need an accompanying page here, for the associated links, graphics, comments, etc. But all told, the entire procedure should ultimately be much less time consuming for you.

    If I do video blog, it will be with video that can be uploaded onto YouTube and embedded. The Cafe Americano video was taped with professional equipment that my son used in film school, and it turned out okay and easy to upload because we put it on YouTube. I hate those video blogs that people do where they look and speak into their laptops. I guess it’s simple, but it sure looks cheesy to me.

  38. Hey Doc,

    Another thing that is disingenuous about ABC’s report:
    You’d have to be a dedicated junk foodie to get an app at the Cheesecake Factory, an entree at Applebees and a closer at Uno. I’m not saying you can’t eat massive portions at the Factory, Uno or Applebees, but most people pick one place (especially after the typical wait at a Cheesecake Factory) and settle in. When people say that no one eats like this, it’s true. No one goes to three restaurants and has massive items at each stop.

    Of course, you could go to Applebees and settle in with some sample plate of fried stuff, the burger (or better yet, sliders… more bun, and more burger… nice) and top it off with a Mile High Ice Cream Pie. Or you could go to The Factory, have your Mac and cheese, fight through a plate of pasta in cream sauce, and finish with a very large piece of the factory’s main raison-de-etre.

    None of this would hit the worsts of the worsts, so it wouldn’t be as “spectacular.” It would be as “fantastic” as CSPI (Crappy Science Provided Intentionally) science usually is.

    If I were Applebees, I would pull my ads from all Disney networks immediately. To my knowledge, Factory and Uno are not large TV advertisers.

    Were I Applebee’s I would, too. But the piece didn’t mention Applebee’s by name, just their product. I had to track down all the entrees myself.

  39. Well, there is a good side to all this. It is very selfish of us, but we benefit. We go to the food store and buy meat, dairy products and eggs at what I consider a bargain price. A sudden conversion of the general public to the low carb approach would I think, cause a drastic rise in the cost of these food items. In my opinion, there would be absolute chaos because the cheap carbs (corn, soybeans, wheat ect.) now being consumed by the average Bear would be fed to livestock to produce meat and dairy for said Bear. There is not enough land to do this without heavy duty dislocation in the economy much like the situation in WWII. The Governments of the World know this, so their interest is served by doing nothing, who wants chaos. But what could happen to cause such a paradigm shift? Well, what if it came to light that Obama has been on the Atkins diet for 10 years. Millions of people “eating Atkins” and having an after dinner KOOL cigarette. Just a fun thought experiment to lighten the day!

  40. Speaking of a sad state of affairs, how about this?

    Canada’s spending on cardiovascular drugs triples in a decade, study shows

    A new study just published shows that Canadians are spending more than $5 billion a year on cardiovascular drugs driven by the increasing use of …..wait for it – statins. The article goes on to say there is no end in sight and such trends threaten the sustainability of public drug insurance programs.

    Dr. Robert Califf of Duke University Medical Centre in North Carolina noted that there is no research directly linking the increased spending on such drugs to improvements in health. How convenient!

    How convenient, indeed. It beggars belief.

  41. Like others, I appreciated the physiological breakdown of what happens in our bodies after consuming the various foods. Maybe we should all print out this post and carry it with us everywhere we go for those times when someone starts ranting at us about the amount of fat we consume or just pontificating in general about the dangers of saturated fat. Even without the video to reference, this post explains way more about the metabolism of food than what just about anybody knows. We can say, “Here, read this before you expose your ignorance any further.” But on second thought, it probably wouldn’t do any good–people hate being confused with facts. Better to just trust that doctors who get on ABC News couldn’t possibly be wrong.

  42. The calorie & other nutritional counts for the quesadilla burger are way off. The vegetarian quesadilla alone is 500+ cals according to some of the Weight-Watcherin’ folks.

    Elsewhere it’s been reported in the 1600-1800 range, which accounts for the ‘missing’ calories in ABC’s tallies.

    Not that they aren’t completely wrong on just about everything else, of course.

  43. Thanks so much for this! My crap detector went off when I saw this on GMA, but greatly appreciate your detailed explanation about how bad it was.

    Question for you: have you seen this? Would love your take on this one!

    CONCLUSIONS: Consuming a low-carbohydrate (approximately <47% energy) diet is associated with greater likelihood of being overweight or obese among healthy, free-living adults. Lowest risk may be obtained by consuming 47% to 64% energy from carbohydrates.

    My take on it is that it is an observational study and not worth a flip in determining causation.

  44. @ Dave W.

    I’ve been low carbing for some time, and a few months ago it dawned on me that my dogs probably have even less need for carbs than I do. I was telling my daughter, a third-year medical student about their new no-kibble, all-meat diet when she interrupted to ask, “But where do they get their carbs from?”

    Jesus wept!

  45. Dr. Eades,
    Thank you for looking. I’m certain it was in a post, not a response to a comment. I even think it may have been with regards to press coverage at some medical event in Orlando (just 90 min from my home).

    Thank you for looking…it was interesting re-reading that particular post, but Dr. Eades was correct, he wrote a lengthier piece on the topic at some time.

    I will keep looking as time allows. One good thing about looking for it, is that I come across many interesting posts that I’ve read in the past and forgotten. So of course my search slows down as I re-read them.

  46. Jesus wept!

    Well, I was simply stunned into gape-jawed silence. The girl regards me as a genetic freak because I haven’t followed the generations-long tradition of my family members developing type II diabetes and morbid obesity; two of my cousins weighed over 150 pounds by age 8. Both obesity and diabetes I and II run strongly on both sides of my childrens’ heritage, and I tremble to think what the poor dears have in store their future. But, you as you may realize, parents know nothing.

    [/rant] I love ’em anyway.

  47. as I understand this meal generates fat into the bloodstream in three ways: first, by de novo lipogenesis as the liver converts CHO into triglycerides. second, fast absorption of medium chain fatty acids into the blood from the small intestine. third, slow release of long chain fatty acids that process through the lymphatic system. I am curious where these three pathways peak and how they overlap in time. so, some general questions on digestion. I understand the answers depend on many things, and will be happy to research it myself if you recommend a good source.

    if 700 g of refined sugar is converted to fat, what is the time period for this? if we were to chart rate of lipogenesis over time, would it be sort of a bell curve with a long right tail? is the peak around an hour, 2 hours or what? does consuming fat, fiber, complex carbohydrates together with the refined CHO slow down this process?

    how much of this 700g goes to glycogen replenishment and blood sugar, and how much goes to lipogenesis? and then, assuming 700g was all converted to fat, how much fat would it be? is it 700 g or is there some adding or subtracting? are the fatty acids long? medium? saturated?

    you write that fats are released slowly into the bloodstream via the lymphatic vessels. is this all fats, or just the LCFAs? if this meal with ~250g of fat from red meat, dairy products and vegetable oil is half LCFA, what is the rate of entry of MCFA into the bloodstream and approximately where does that peak?

    other than the amount of time passed since consumption, is there any easy way to tell the source of fat in the blood? I read a study of stable isotope marking which was interesting.

    I would imagine this is all basic medical school knowledge, but I am afraid to ask.

    These questions are far too complex and would require more time than I have available to answer in a comment. Here is a link to a recent study that will get you started on your quest to learn.

  48. thanks, that paper and its references will keep me busy for awhile. it seems that some of these questions are not fully understood, which is interesting. it’s cool that it’s new science, but disturbing that there’s so little interest in the basic processes of how we turn food into excess bodyweight.

  49. I wondered how long it would take for you to savage this one. I was eating dinner with some folks when this came on the TV. I blurted out “argh you’re full of @#$%” at the TV, which led to a pretty good discussion. (we were having pork hocks and vegetables at the time, probably with about as much saturated fat as that of their “study” though about 2% of the carbs. My arteries felt fine after.

  50. Lori and Jacquie

    That is indeed the one I’ve been searching for. I just found it myself and came back to post my findings, too. Thank you so much for looking too. I’m relieved that it wasn’t a figment of my imagination. I’m too young to be having memory problems.

    I’ve now book marked it, so of course I’ll never have a need to reference it again.


  51. Here’s a bit more on blood levels glucose and arterial distension:

    Tel Aviv U study traces high carb link to heart attacks

    Dr. Michael Shechter: We knew high glycemic foods were bad for the heart. Now we have a mechanism that shows how.

    Globes’ correspondent 25 Jun 09 14:08

    A landmark research study by Dr. Michael Shechter of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler School of Medicine and the Heart Institute of Sheba Medical Center, with collaboration of the Endocrinology Institute, shows exactly how high carbohydrate foods increase the risk for heart problems. The study found that foods with a high glycemic index distended brachial arteries for several hours.

    While elasticity of arteries can point to heart health, when aggravated over time, a sudden expansion of the artery wall can cause a number of negative health effects, including reduced elasticity, which can cause heart disease or sudden death.

    “It’s very hard to predict heart disease,” says Dr. Shechter, a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. “But doctors know that high glycemic foods rapidly increase blood sugar. Those who binge on these foods have a greater chance of sudden death from heart attack. Our research connects the dots, showing the link between diet and what’s happening in real time in the arteries.”

    It is a first in medical history. The results were published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

    Researchers looked at four groups of volunteers. One group ate a cornflake mush mixed with milk, a second a pure sugar mixture, the third bran flakes, and the last group was given a placebo (water). Over four weeks, Dr. Shechter applied his method of “brachial reactive testing” to each group. The test uses a cuff on the arm, like those used to measure blood pressure, which can visualize arterial function in real time.

    The results were dramatic. Before any of the patients ate, arterial function was essentially the same. After eating, except for the placebo group, all had reduced functioning. Enormous peaks indicating arterial stress were found in the high glycemic index groups: the cornflakes and sugar group.

    “We knew high glycemic foods were bad for the heart. Now we have a mechanism that shows how,” says Dr. Shechter. “Foods like cornflakes, white bread, French fries, and sweetened soda all put undue stress on our arteries. We’ve explained for the first time how high glycemic carbs can affect the progression of heart disease.” During the consumption of foods high in sugar, there appears to be a temporary and sudden dysfunction in the endothelial walls of the arteries.

    Endothelial health can be traced back to almost every disorder and disease in the body. It is “the riskiest of the risk factors,” says Dr. Shechter, whose practice often treats “medical tourists” from the US who visit to take the heart test.

    Dr. Shechter recommends sticking to foods like oatmeal, fruits and vegetables, legumes and nuts, which have a low glycemic index. Exercising every day for at least 30 minutes, he adds, is an extra heart-smart action to take.

    Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – – on June 25, 2009

    © Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2009.

    I posted this study on Twitter a while back. It’s pretty impressive, but I doubt it will have much impact on the lipophobes.

  52. Another one from the media…

    “In mouse studies, flu killed about half of the rodents made obese by a high-fat diet, compared with a mortality rate of about 4 percent in lean animals, according to Beck’s research. She is studying whether obese humans might need stronger doses of vaccine or a different method of delivery.”

    From Obesity Swine Flu Story:

    Something tells me that the high fat diet the obese rodents were on was 60% carbs like they usually are. Not one word either about malnutrition in the obese due to inhibited uptake of vitamins and minerals, no word about sugar depressing immune systems; just blame on the symptom… fat.

  53. Doc-how can we pre-order your book? can’t wait to read it. Thanks

    Click on the book icon on the front page of the blog, and you’ll be taken to the page on Amazon where you can pre-order. Thanks.

  54. Perhaps similar, or the flip side of the coin. From the methods backup of the highly publicized “study” showing calorie restricted diets make you (if you are a monkey, I suppose) live longer:

    “Animals and diets. All animals have lived their entire lives at the WNPRC,
    and have known birthdates. Complete clinical and experimental histories are
    maintained for each animal. Prior to the start of this experiment, no animals had
    any clinical or experimental history that would be expected to affect disease
    susceptibility or mortality. Animals in this study are fed a semipurified,
    nutritionally fortified, low fat diet containing 15% protein and 10% fat. As part of
    the study design, animals are treated for presenting conditions. For example,
    diabetics receive insulin sensitizers or insulin and animals with diverticulosis
    receive fiber supplements.”

    I wonder if, in restricting their “calories” they also restricted, by comparison to the “non-restricted” half of the study, their carbohydrate intake? I haven’t seen the whole study, but am astonished that any scientist would focus only on calories and not on the comparative makeup of both diets.


    I saw this stude being mentioned on Russian Tv and scientists that conducted this study now claim that protein derivitve rapamycin can potentially extend life in humans by as much as 10 years. Lol, at least thats what one of the scientist from the study said on TV. He said the study was done on mices. Mices that were given intravenous rapamycin had their lifespans extended by 120 days I believe. So now they conclude that given it to humans will extent it by 10 years. How simple!

    They can’t make that conclusion. They don’t even know if caloric restriction will extend lifespans of humans as it does other animals, but they don’t have any qualms about advocating it.

  56. Doc,

    Once in a while, you would keep giving heads up on a new exciting project that you are working on. When would you share the high level details with us?

    Just eagerly waiting to hear from you…



    As soon as we get a few little kinks worked out we’ll let everyone know what we’ve been working on.

  57. I used to comment and complain whenever the mainstream media pulled this kind of creepy, misleading, self-righteous journalism. But I’ve given up. After reading “Liberty and Tyranny” by Mark R. Levin I have seen the light. Nothing will convince mainstream journalists to change because they are cronies of the state. Eat your corn, take your statins, and shut up.

    Dr. Eades, that was a brilliant description of what happens to the macronutrients as they are digested. Thank you!

    Glad you enjoyed the post. Your right; I doubt that anyone will change the mainstream journalists way of doing things. They imagine themselves independent seekers of the truth while the reality is that they’re parrots of the establishment, as long as the establishment is in the hands of their party. If not, then they do semi sort of do some true investigative journalism.

  58. Brilliant post. Thanks for taking the time to digest it for us.

    Back in the 80’s my dad used to use a phrase “cardiac gravy” (describing traditional high-fat gravy), as in, when someone had a heart attack “it’s because he ate too much of that cardiac gravy”. That phrase became endemic in our household, and representative of an era which, thanks to the internet, is finally dying.

    Now days we can accurately refer to the “cardiac mash potatoes”.

    I predict this blog will be one of your top-read ones.

  59. In watching the video from what I could see of the pulse wave form before and after the meal there was no distinguishable ‘shelf’ or hint of a plateau post peak of the wave form which you would expect to see if the artery walls were flexible. To me this suggests that the subjects already have significant hardening of the arteries.

  60. A comment on using numbers from The Daily Plate (now part of Livestrong):
    TDP has the advantage of having brand name food.
    It has the advantage of being kind of cloud-sourced to the world at large.
    It has the major disadvantage of relying on the public at large to add items that can be shared.

    Consider, applebee’s does not provide nutritional labeling on their web site. Or anywhere else.
    From Eat This, Not That! by David Zinczenko, on page 17
    “* Numbers are approximate. Applebee’s does not provide nutrition information.”
    I read that the ETNT folks worked a lot of estimates and lab break downs on the sit down chains.

    Factory has a nice statement about why they don’t provide nutritional content on the FAQ (question 4):

    Uno does provide info:
    (including a list of under 30g of carb items…

    My point is this:
    You have folks out there, making guesses about ingredients and preparation, making estimates based on those guesses, or taking single items of food to a lab and claiming they are representative. The last is probably the most responsible, but obviously has it’s own flaws. And they report on what they want to report on (in the case of eat this, not that, they only report calories, fat and salt. Like CSPI. These are the ONLY numbers out there for restaurants that compete with Applebees, Fridays and Cheesecake Factory. The ONLY numbers. And people are putting these into TDP as if they are real, when a lot of the same people have trouble copying a label from a consumer product into TDP.

    I would be very wary of using TDP to tell you anything about anything. Search the manufacturer’s site for consumer products (or google image search for the label), and for restaurants, make your own estimate.

    As proof of concept, The Mac and Cheese balls certainly contain some saturated fat. And the numbers reported (65g fats, 300g carbs, 50g protein) do not work out to 2000 calories (9/4/4 method). It’s off by a little bit (about 35 calories low, unless maybe 9g of the carbs are fiber).

    I was a little skeptical of these figures, but couldn’t find anything from the restaurants, so I did the best I could with what I could find. Although the numbers may be a little off, I think they’re close enough for government work.

  61. Off topic but an issue of great concern. My MD just advised that MDs in Canada are no longer able to requisition the 25-OH-D test for vitamin D even if the patient pays the cost. It appears this is part of a joint initiative in the US and Canada. This thing smells big time.

    From the Vitamin D Council web site

    Proposed Restrictions on Vitamin D Testing
    Soon, Medicare’s newly proposed guidelines for restrictions on vitamin D testing will be adopted by every major insurance company in the country.

    The restrictions would forbid screening, the most important use of the test. This means that although vitamin D deficiency treatment is still covered, your doctor will not be able to order the test to find out if you suffer from low vitamin D in the first place!

    We encourage people to send their comments to Medicare by filling out this form on their website. When filling out the form, the proposal’s LCD number is DL30273. The name of the proposal is “Vitamin D Assay Testing.”

    I find this to be almost unbelievable. Then I consider who is doing it, and it all makes perfect sense. Geez.

  62. In season I go to Applebees for their California shrimp salad.
    I don’t care how many calories are in it. To. Die. For.

  63. Stuff like this is the reason I only watch sports on TV these days, although I found it amusing a few days ago when I was watching a baseball game and it was mentioned that Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers is a vegetarian because his wife is. The guy’s 5’11” and 268 pounds, he’s gotten FATTER since he became a veggie last year. If this isn’t the best way to illustrate that vegetarianism isn’t healthy I don’t know what would be.

  64. Dr. Eades, the lethargy, in my humble opinion, doesn’t come from low blood sugar. Instead, it comes from high insulin which prevents fuel from being accessed. High insulin means fat tissue don’t release their load; it also means that instead of fatty acids, the blood is filled with triglycerides which isn’t readily available as fuel; and insulin resistance means cells don’t uptake glucose.

    I lied a little bit, the blood is also filled with fatty acids but since it’s also filled with glucose, the priority goes to taking in glucose to dispose of it as quickly as possible but since cells are insulin resistant, they can’t take it in either so they starve; lethargy. The cells that can take in glucose, and fatty acids, are fat tissue. That’s how we can grow fat, eat 6k calories, and still be hungry at the end of the day.

    It’s unreasonable to expect to get rid of 750g of sugar in such a short period of time. The blood must still contain a whole lot of it at the time the subject reports lethargy.

    I base my opinion on the fact that even those who suffer from hyperglicemia and hyperinsulinemia are lethargic. If their blood contains so much sugar, why are they lethargic? The reasons I listed above is why.

  65. “A large dose of saturated fat causes a chemical reaction, wherein the arteries narrow and do not dilate properly. This means the heart must work harder to pump blood through the arteries. — ABCNews”

    Really? I thought you made a timely and effective rebuttal — maybe ABC will post an errata 😆

    I noticed a statin sample promo banner ad on that page just a minute ago, it figures.


    i’m sure you’ll have something to say about this.

    It’s early days yet on this one. The data comes from rodent studies and can’t really be extrapolated to humans. I’ve read the papers, and they’re interesting, but it will be a while before it’s known if this applies to humans as well as mice.

  67. Dr. Eades: Thanks for providing analyses like these. Love to see some logic and reasoning behind a conclusion; hate to have conclusions thrown down on me like a ball and chain or a meteor from outer space straight down to the head.

    I teach for a living, and we have too much of the latter in the profession. I see it, and fight it, every day. It’s no wonder to me why we have the intellectual climate we do; I know where it comes from and where it is created.

  68. It’s sad to think how many people get all their medical info from stories like this…and then go on a low fat high carb diet….really sad. Saturated fat will never get mainstream approval…as that would mean all those people who pride themselves on being the “know it alls” (like the doctors in the clip) would essentially have to say “Sorry….I was wrong”. Which will probably never happen to people who’s egos are so big….that and the only big “sponsors” left for news channels with money (aka the drug companies) wouldn’t allow such blasphemy.

    Keep up the great work….Keep helping people to cut through the mainstream crap….and I’ll keep serving everyone steak at the BBQ!

    It’s a deal!

  69. here’s my 2 cents I sent to GMA:
    I recently saw GMA’s test of eating a cheesburger and tons of other foods in one sitting; fries, and cheesecake factory dessert, etc… GMA tested the eaters (fasting) blood, clear and then they tested it after they ate it all, cloudly. The example sample meal was a good example of what not to eat together, but they blamed the cheese burger for all the fat in the blood stream afterwards which is an URBAN MYTH! The test conclusion was just NOT scientifically correct! The cheese burger was not the culprit – it was ALL the carbohydrates that were consumed with the cheese burger that were at fault. The same effect would have been recieved if a chicken breast or fish was eaten, in place of the cheese burger. A cheese burger, eaten alone, won’t have much effect on blood glucose levels which trigger the storage of fat (cholesterol & triglycerides in the blood). ABC’s test was misinformation, they would do the public more service to educate them on limiting food intake and the need for fats, vegetables, fruits, and low GI carbs in the diet, rather than dis’n the cheese burger, which is a great source of essential fats, protein, and calcium.

  70. Someone commented,

    “I very rarely watch TV news so thankfully missed that report but sometimes listen to a relatively small local radio station which lately has been airing an “ad” urging people to adhere to the AHA/ADA approved pyramid – especially for your children! I’m left with a mental picture of children being herded like animals into a pen to be force fed carbs and then handed pharmaceuticals in a vain attempt to correct the damage……”

    I got interested in the whole feeding-grain-to-kids thing way back when I first read Peter D’Adamo, and while there may be many reasons his blood type diet is B.S., I would also be interested in seeing more research done on lectins and how they interact with the blood type antigens in the GI tract, just ’cause I’m a huge geek and love to read about that stuff. Be that as it may, my daughter is type O, being that both her father and I are, and supposedly there are some differences in type Os that mean if you eat wheat, it makes your dopamine production all wonky and you get hyper and so on. Don’t know if it’s true, as I said, just sounds interesting.

    Well, I don’t know if her dopamine production is involved at all, but I don’t feed much grain to my daughter aside from rice, which seems fairly innocent even with its carb content (I have found that I can eat a moderate amount and stay in ketosis even with being 100 pounds overweight!) and doesn’t seem to mess her up too badly. But wheat? Corn? Forget it. If she eats those she goes nuts. It matters not whether it’s whole-grain, refined, canned, fresh, or whatever. Even popcorn sets her off.

    The only form of wheat I find she can tolerate, actually, is Ezekiel bread. But the proteins change in wheat when you sprout it, too, as with any seed.

    Don’t even get me started on sugar. Actually, I think sugar makes her less crazy than wheat and corn do, particularly if she hasn’t had a lot of it.

    I’m not ready to put her on something Atkins-ish, but I have a feeling she’s going to spend most of her childhood at borderline low carb if not actually there. Her dad and I both have major abdominal fat and she’s cursed with bad genes where type 2 diabetes is concerned on my mom’s side. (You sneeze on the women in that family and they go diabetic.)

    And yet it’s hard to shake the notion that she “needs” whole grains because she’s a growing child. I try to mitigate it with the Ezekiel bread and with traditional sourdough where I can, but you know… early conditioning is tough. I wish I’d been more aware of actual human metabolic needs when she was a baby because I’d have never fed her grain at all.

    Paleolithic children grew just fine without any grains at all, and they ended up stronger and with greater bone density than we humans have today.

  71. just wanted to say I stumbled on your blog today and it is so refreshing. I always thought the cholesterol index was a little like a magical word for people to throw around without knowing what it meant. It’s so dumb. I even started saying lipids are your friends. And I’m a waitress. I think so much of food is fake food – and I believe the so called health conscious or ‘ethical’ vegans are buying into fake food fantasy for their moral vanity. I know it’s not nice but I don’t believe in most of the foods out there. Garden burgers aren’t burgers. I don’t think people realize they are being sold an inferior product while pretending to assuage guilt for factory farming or other issues. Not that I want mad cow. But I think you are a voice of sanity. My mother is a juvenile diabetic (I’m adopted) and I always thought sugar was way more dangerous than fat.

    …also, on a side note I appreciated your Vachel Lindsay page and the buffalo poem. I’ve been doing a lot of research on Native Americans so that was an unexpected bonus on this site. And the buffalo were deliberately wiped out to kill the indians as I’m sure you know. I look forward to more insights and sanity from the discovery of your blog. thanks a lot-

    I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog. Welcome aboard.

  72. thx for the welcome. In a way, I’m on the front lines – watching people eat in my profession and following the capricious trends. I cast a critical eye on this socio-cultural experience, it’s just fun when my own misgivings are echoed in some fact. (I need to start my own blog). Where the gravy glows-

    Go for it. Great title!

  73. Except in rare cases (such as, yourself), my faith in typical medical doctors has just plummeted to zero. It was already as low as can be, but after seeing this…count me out.

    Will admit I laughed a bit though when they mentioned saturated fat going straight to the arteries. It reminds me of those old cartoons we used to watch in school about government. Can just imagine one of them now

    “see, you eat saturated fat, and then it magically goes to your heart, and kills you. Eat more grain =D”

    Great blog btw, been seeing it a lot lately, will continue reading


    Thanks. Glad you’re enjoying it.

  74. Dr. Mike,

    I wonder if you could weigh in on a dispute on Jimmy Moore’s forum going on about your assertions about fat from a meal being slow to get into the bloodstream. I cited your ABC post in response to Diane Kress (author, The Metabolism Miracle) saying in interview that sat fat should be restricted on a weight loss program because it goes straight into the blood and therefore the body has to burn it before it can burn stored body fat. In response to that, someone wrote:

    “I wonder what Eades would say about this study:

    …and pointed out that “at the 2 hour mark the trigs are elevated around 50% above baseline levels. See Fig 1.” (The subjects in this study ate heavy whipping cream and then had their blood checked over an 11-hour period.)

    The poster also wrote:
    “Eades put his foot in his mouth here. It is he, not the doctors on the show, that should know better. He unequivocally states that the fats have not made it to the bloodstream in 2 hours which is demonstrably false. The study I posted demonstrates otherwise both by the rise in trig levels from JUST fat (e.g. the liver didn’t hurriedly convert carbs injested with the fat because there weren’t any) and the appearance of the radiolabel which confirms the source is from the dietary intake. The fat in the cloudy blood came from the fat in the meal. Indeed this effect is only seen after fat intake except where fat absorption is impaired, and it is not seen after meals that do not contain fat:…q=&f=false ”

    Here’s the thread:

    I really would like to hear your take on this. Thanks.


  76. Fat absoprtion…in this post you said saturated fat traveled through the lymph system and wouldn’t hit the blood stream until several hours after the 2 hour mark. Yet Dr. Davis, over on the Heart Scan Blog recently posted this statement: “In other words, eat fat, whether it’s saturated, hydrogenated, polyunsaturated, or monounsaturated, and blood levels of triglycerides will go up over the next 6 hours. This remains true if there are carbohydrates in the meal, or if there are NO carbohydrates in the meal. It also remains true if you chronically consume fats.

    While fats are the primary determinant of postprandial (after-eating) triglycerides, carbohydrates are the primary determinant of fasting triglycerides.” (and here)

    He credits FAT with postprandial triglyceride increases. This seems a pretty fundamental point to be in dispute. What’s your supporting evidence for the lymph path?

    My supporting evidence is every medical physiology text in print. Eating fat will increase the triglycerides in the blood after the meal over several hours, but a high intake of carbohydrates keep the fasting triglycerides up. There is nothing I wrote that is in conflict with what Dr. Davis wrote.

  77. Dr. Eades, you wrote: “Problem is, that’s what blood samples look like after almost any meal, especially one that contains carbohydrates. The fat you see isn’t the fat the two reporters ate; it is the fat the liver has made from the carbohydrate. It’s the same picture a tube of blood would show after either of the two doctors had eaten a high-carb, low-fat lunch.

    The blood samples were taken two hours after the meal. Dietary carbohydrate is absorbed directly into the blood and makes a pass through the liver where it stimulates the production of triglycerides, the fat you see in the blood.”

    Dr. Davis wrote here Blood glucose makes a striking peak at 200 mg/dl after the low-fat breakfast of pasta and rice, in contrast to the low-carb breakfast. Triglycerides behaved very differently from the low-carb experiment: While there was no initial postprandial surge, there was a late surge developing 6-24 hours later.”

    Perhaps it is a molehill but the picture I had, e.g. the high carb levels in this meal ABC reported on were what drove the “fat swimming in the test tube” is suddenly not so clear. Now it seems that it was in fact both the fat and the carbs that muddied the test tube, and perhaps the fat even had a more significant effect (though had they done a fasting test next morning, a high TG number there would have been blamed on the carbs).

  78. I think author of the article is not advocating low-cab/high-fat diet, but it seems some comments suggest that. I’m diagnosed with insulin resistance and I’m switching to a low-fat/high-carb diet after encountering subjoined websites.
    Himsworth, a British scientist in 1936 distinguish two types of diabetes. He uses two concepts:
    – insulin sensitive (today – type 1 diabetes)
    – insulin resistant (today – type 2 diabetes).
    He conducted studies wether two groups respond differently to high carbohydrate diet. The evidence indicated that insulin resistant type gets better on high carbohydrate/low fat diet and requires less insulin or is completely cured while insulin sensitive type ( type 1 diabetes)response is negative.
    Food that diabetics really need to restrict is fat. When fat enters the bloodstream after a fatty meal, it interferes with insulin’s action, preventing it from lowering blood sugar. So blood sugar begins to rise – and then the trouble starts. On the other hand carbohydrates, especially complex ones, help insulin function normally. J. Shirley Sweeny demonstrated this back in 1927.
    Dr Sweney gave healthy volunteers a high-fat diet for two days, then tested their blood-sugar response. In all cases temporary diabetes developed. When Dr Sweeney put these same volunteers on a high-carbohydrate diet, their blood-sugar levels decreased.
    Dr. Sweeny said that, “If you want a quick case of diabetes, just eliminate the carbohydrates from your diet for a couple of days and then take the test. It will demonstrate diabetes.”

  79. Could I ask your opinion on a cardiologist diagnosis of narrowing of the artery to the heart — suddenly requiring lipitor, aspirin, pulse reducer metaprolol, nitroglycerin — for a menopausal, hypothyroid, type II carbcontrolled, with high cholesterol, chronic fatigue-fibromyalgia, esophagal spasms, digestive spasms, migraines caused by any hormones, sensitive to all drugs/supplements/foods. I think adding any drug will make my health worse. I’m trying bioidential hormones (estradiol, DHEA, progesterone, desiccated).

  80. Dr. Eades-
    I just found your website and hope you are still involved with it. I very desperately request your input. After 69 years of excellent health, I was suddenly diagnosed with a mucinous pancreatic cyst last fall. It took 2 MONTHS before the final pathology was documented: no evidence of pre-cancer cells anywhere! MRCP every six months to keep track of it. MRCP two weeks ago showed no change. HOWEVER, I had a S/P cholecystectomy 2 months ago – aymptomatic, but the GB was loaded with old stones. Pain/nausea followed and ERCP showed 3 stones in the common bile duct which were removed, but I have had constant bile diarrhea ever since (bile salt disorder). Nothing has helped (meds and diet). My GI doctor said nothing more can be done. As a medical researcher, I can not/will not accept/live with this constant diarrhea and nausea. Is there any solution? I can’t believe that medicine has failed me. Thank Yolu!