Low carb diet: Fat or fiction

 

Last year I put up a couple of posts of Australian TV shows kicking sand in the face of mainstream nutritional and medical practices.

The first debunked the idea that saturated fat and cholesterol are bad for your health and included and interview with yours truly.

The second, which really got the mainstream docs riled, showed a different perspective on statins. It got the statinators so worked up that they mounted a campaign – fueled with drug money, I would guess – that ended up making the network remove the show from its website.

Now, Dr. Maryanne Demasi has done the same kind of investigative reporting about the low-carbohydrate diet. And, unlike most mainstream media reporters, she has actually interviewed proponents of the low-carb diet.

Take a look. And enjoy.

 

 

If you are interested in reading any of the papers mentioned in this show, you can access them from the Catalyst website.

 

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25 thoughts on “Low carb diet: Fat or fiction

  1. I wonder if these turkeys have any concept of how silly they are going to look once real science finally wins.

    “Statinators” — I like that term. The cure for which there is no disease (except maybe the very rare familial hypercholesterolemia, but that wouldn’t be worth nearly $30B). The application of which *causes* disease. Kinda like taping over the oil warning light in your car so you won’t see it come on…

  2. Here’s the takeaways and timeline I wrote down about it for anyone after a Cliff’s Notes to review after watching:

    —-

    0:00 – There’s a diet that seems to be changing people’s lives for the better, even elite athletes are trying it out.

    Is it just a fad?

    0:01 – What is the science behind low carb diets?

    In the 70’s dietary guidelines changed to the Food Pyramid, and advised us to reduce our fat and increase our carbohydrates.

    0:02 – The “eat less fat” message is a fail, people replaced fatty foods with processed carby “foods”. Some doctors are now changing their advice, to reduce carbs and increase fats.

    0:03 – The role of insulin is to build fat, and when you frequently consume carbohydrates it stimulates excess insulin. The insulin stops the food from being used properly, making you eat more and more frequently, a vicious cycle. Fat gives basically no insulin response, protein stimulates it moderately.

    0:04 – This is not a high protein diet, it is high fat. You need enough protein to maintain/stimulate muscle, but mostly you should just dodge the carbs and eat the fat. It’s more satiating, helping you eat less.

    0:05 – Spokesperson for Dietitian’s Association of Australia agrees LCHF is great for weight loss, but it’s not a solution for everyone.

    Carbohydrates are not essential. There are essential fats and proteins, but there’s no minimum amount required for humans.

    0:06 – Some people metabolise carbs better than others. Many people are unaware that they are “carbohydrate intolerant”. There are many maladies beyond diabetes and obesity that you can’t see which are a result of excess carbs.

    Dietitians are worried about cutting out “healthy” foods like whole grains and fruits.

    0:07 – Low carb gurus don’t necessarily advocate complete elimination, but reducing them to personally tolerable levels.

    As for athletes, it’s always been assumed that carbs are necessary for exercise, Tim Noakes apologises for being a spearhead in this message, as it’s completely wrong.

    0:08 – Carb can help in explosive sports, for endurance there’s no benefit – but you must become fat-adapted.

    0:09 – Back in the 80’s Phinney did a study on cyclists on ketogenic diets, and found that if you give people at least 4 weeks to adapt, their performance won’t suffer.

    0:10 – Are there risks to ketosis? In the short term there are issues to adaptation, in the long term we just don’t have solid data.

    0:11 – Like the rest of us, Aussie cricketer Shane Watson was fat-phobic, but has now been converted to low carb/high fat by his coach.

    0:12 – His coach simply went to eating all the old school foods like meat and veg and dairy, and dodging the modern processed stuff, and advised that to Shane.

    0:13 – All of Shane’s biometrics, mood, and performance have improved.

    0:14 – Is this basically Atkins? It mostly is, but Atkins was more about protein and meat, whereas the modern LCHF diets are about increasing fats and veggies – but the principles are the same.

    0:15 – The LCHF diets are about real foods, meats, veggies, butter – not the processed junk foods.

    Chef Pete Evans reckons cooking in fat produces the best results and flavour.

    0:16 – When you restrict carbs you naturally increase your fat intake, but also often drastically your saturated fat intake – which we all know is implicated in clogging arteries and cholesterol and heart disease etc.

    0:17 – The problem is that’s simply not true. It’s all just a great myth. Saturated fat is not bad for you.

    In the last decade there has been a lot of medical literature and popular media demonstrating there’s no problem with saturated fat.

    0:18 – The Heart Foundation’s heart health “Tick Program” has been a giant scam to promote junk foods.

    These diets are too restrictive and are set to fail, people need their bread and pasta and rice and comfort foods, it’s too difficult to eat healthy long term and so people will just try another fad diet.

    0:19 – People are worried that a grain-free meal might be deficient in nutrients, however meat and veg and organs etc are far superior nutritionally.

    There may be no one-size-fits-all diet, but it’s clear that a large portion of the population – especially the obese and diabetic – would benefit from restricting carbohydrates.

    0:20 – When someone’s lactose intolerant we don’t tell them to drink milk, but why do we tell diabetics and the insulin resistant – who can’t tolerate carbs – to eat carbohydrates all day?

    0:21 – Chronic diabetic was ordered by her doctor to ditch the carbs, eat fatty meat, eat veggies and cover them in butter and oil. Soon enough her problems normalised, lost a bunch of weight, liver size dropped by ~40%, and she discovered a lack of hunger that never thought possible.

    0:24 – Diabetics in hospital are given meals that equate to around 14 teaspoons of sugar.

    0:25 – What’s the deal with low GI carbs? The problem is that it’s still the same amount, they’re just delivered on a longer timeline, it’s still smashing the pancreas.

    0:26 – Recent scientific reviews demonstrate the default diet for treating diabetes should be carbohydrate restriction.

    0:27 – Diabetes Australia tells patients to dodge fats and instead eat tons of high fibre and high carb food like bread and cereal, the foods that got them into this mess to start with.

    Their response to all this was that diabetes should not be about “diets”, and there’s no general diet that can sort this out.

    Some overseas diabetes groups are now advocating the reduction of carbs, and Australia should follow suit.

    0:28 – So is it a fad? Nope, there’s plenty of science behind it, and you should just try it to see what it does for you.

    In the end it doesn’t matter what side of the carb debate you stand, the one thing we can agree on is that we should be eating “whole” foods, and avoiding processed stuff.

  3. After my spinal surgery I gain 20 pounds, with a restricted weight limitation. I know during WWII and the NASA astronauts program pilot were fed high protein high fat diet. This article hits the nail on the head.

  4. Type 2 diabetes at 40 years old. I initially ate a high carb vegan diet and saw blood sugars rise to the 200 and 300’s. Switching to a high fat, low carb diet my blood sugars are now hovering around 100. Vegan – A1c of 8.7. Low carb – A1c of 6.7 and dropping after 3 weeks of low carb eating.
    It’s all about the science of small numbers and low carb is the only way that works for me.
    Great video and hopefully it will save some lives!

  5. One thing I admire most about Prof. Noakes is that he actually admitted, publicly and on film that he was wrong — and apologised for it! — when he used to prescribe carb-loading for athletes.
    That’s rare.
    That’s a real man.

  6. I find it interesting that in the part about hospital breakfasts they seemed happy with reducing the sugar intake of a meal to ‘only’ 7 teaspoons for a diabetic? What would have been wrong with TWO eggs and NO toast?

  7. Geez! Does that dietician actually NEVER read the literature? It’s so frustrating to see someone who is apparently intelligent and, alas, in a position of guiding sick people who desperately need excellent advice, telling them to do BAD things! Things that led to the diabetes in the first place!

    I just want to shake her and and yell: To STOP the effects of poison, STOP POISONING PEOPLE!!!

  8. Dr. Mike:

    It would seem that Richard Nikoley has thoroughly debunked all of your claims (as well as those of your followers). So why do you continue to stonewall in the face of his rather formidable science? The whole thing is somewhat like Bill Cosby refusing to comment on other sensational allegations. LCHF is fast becoming the playground of the Jimmy Moores of the world – not an altogether pleasant state of affairs, I think you would agree?

    The people deserve intellectual honesty – nothing less.

    • You wrote:

      It would seem that Richard Nikoley has thoroughly debunked all of your claims (as well as those of your followers).

      It would seem so to the ignorant, I suppose. There is no formidable science. Only those who don’t understand a) how to critically read a paper taking into account time and place and/or b) the underlying physiology would possibly think so.

      I plan to comment on it at length as soon as I have the time. Right now I have much more important duties before me.

      No one is holding a gun to your head forcing you to follow the LCHF regimen, so why do you even care? Just go about your own diet and forget about it. Why is it so important to you that I deal with this idiocy? You’ve already revealed which side you are coming down on. I doubt that whatever I might say would carry any weight with you. Apparently you are prewired to receive Nikoley’s rantings as final word.

      I recently saw a Nikoley comment (I can’t remember where, now, or I would go link to it) about potato starch. Remember how a year or so ago, potato starch was the be-all and end-all in terms of his latest nutritional strategy? Every post was on the wonders of potato starch. Someone in this recent comment string made mention of potato starch, and Nikoley’s dismissive response was “PS is so April 2013.”

      I wouldn’t be surprised if that were his response in a year or so about the anti-ketogenic diet.

      I would much rather play in a playground filled with Jimmy Moores, Steve Phinneys, Jeff Voleks, Pete Attias, Tim Noakess, Robert Lustigs, Ron Rosedales, Eric Westmans, Donald Laymans, Ivor Cummingss, Gene Fines, and Richard Feinmans than I would with the likes of Richard Nikoley and Duck Dodgers, who, for whatever reason, refuses to even identify himself.

    • read ‘the world turned upside down’ by Feinman. you will learn about how to read your own research, why so much research is flawed, and how a low carb diet is beneficial for diabetes and the overweight. There is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’. there is only what works for you and makes you energetic and healthy. For some it is low carb, others can eat tonnes of grains for example and feel great. Some like me, who went ‘paleo’ just to ‘see’ what would happen (never dieted before) suddenly found a new lease of life. Perhaps I was celiac, perhaps my high grain diet was robbing me of nutrients, but all I know is that a paleo diet which is essentially low carb (not NO CARB) has corrected my digestive problems, anemia (longstanding of thirty years) and strangely, I have better skin and hair than any time in my life and an absence of the arthralgia’s that were plaguing me. So that’s the bottom line. There is no truth. but remember this. if you don’t die of heart disease (there is more chance you won’t than will anyhow), there is cancer and then alzeimers to get through. we don’t get out of here alive! I think to avoid diabetes and being plagued by aches and pains and looking good and feeling good is ‘health’ don’t you? Just eat whatever makes you feel good, and keep an open mind. Once you step into dogma and religion in food, you get unhealthy. Feinman BTW is not dogmatic, but just says, whatever works for you is fine, but low carb is good for all metabolic improvements.He talks about the biology and is qualified to do so. Statistics can be made to say anything. You need to know biostatistics to understand what you are being told and critique yourself. Also apply logic. we are animals, we are designed to eat foods around us. But read feinman. It’s a good read.

  9. Been on the Cure for 52 days. I am 6’2″, thin frame. 56 years old.
    Weight was 212.
    52 days later, 182 pounds…7 more to go.
    Stick with it. This plan will work.

  10. Good hard to vary Explanations are THE key to human progress. All of
    the current attackers of Dr. Eades were once low carbers rhemselves, but over the years it became less cool,or something. And knowing they could not compete with him, they did a 180. That is exactly what happened. Dr. Feinman is an excellent scientist. It is a shame Dr. Eades and Dr. Feinman are the targets of crackpot Internet communities. Michio Kaku is too,but he will just laugh at them or ignore them.

    The good hard to vary explanations DEFEAT both empiricism AND induction. Reading abstracts or full texts means nothing if a study offers no explanations. Axial tilt theory of seasons offers a good explanation.That is fabulous science.