Skip to content
The official website of Drs. Michael and Mary Dan Eades, low carb pioneers and authors of Protein Power.

Protein Power, low-carb diets and cholesterol

Late last night I was transferring some medical papers from my old moribund PC onto my Mac when I came across an article that infuriated me when it came out.   Now it simply made me laugh, although I have to admit to at least a tinge of annoyance still.

As I’ve mentioned before, MD and I often feel like the Rodney Dangerfields of the low-carb diet biz or, worse yet, the Victor Flemings (don’t know who Victor Fleming is?   Look him up and see what he did in 1939.   And you don’t know who he is, right?).   At any rate it seems that whenever low-carb diets are mentioned in a positive way, which, fortunately, that are more and more often these day, we and/or Protein Power never make the list.   It’s always Atkins, South Beach and the Zone.   And of those three, only one is a true low-carb diet.   The other is a quasi, pansy low-carb diet, whose author goes around denying that his diet is a low-carb diet.   The other isn’t a low-carb diet, since a diet in which 40 percent of the calories are made up of carbohydrate hardly qualifies for the modifier ‘low.’   But when it comes to attacking low-carb diets, somehow we always seem to make that list.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system (sorry for the whine), I can move on to the paper that attacks low-carb diets and in which we prominently figure. This article, published in the May 2000 issue of the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (free full text here), takes an ‘unbiased’ look at several different diets that were on the market at that time.  The title says it all.

Health Advantages and Disadvantages of Weight-Reducing Diets: A Computer Analysis and Critical Review

Well see just how critical a review this really was soon enough.   The Abstract lays out how the authors went about evaluating the various diets.

Design: Eight popular weight-loss diets were selected (Atkins, Protein Power, Sugar Busters, Zone, ADA Exchange, High-Fiber Fitness, Pritikin and Ornish) to be non-clinically analyzed by means of a computer to predict their relative benefits/potential harm. A summary description, menu plan and recommended snacks were developed for each diet. The nutrient composition of each diet was determined using computer software, and a Food Pyramid Score was calculated to compare diets. The Mensink, Hegsted and other formulae were applied to estimate coronary heart disease risk factors.

So, the authors were going to look at a few hand selected diets, analyze them for nutrient composition, then compare them to the Food Pyramid to rank them in terms of healthfulness. Hmmm. And they were going to use the Mensink, Hegstad and other formulae to estimate coronary heart disease risk factors. Hmmm.

Actually, they ended up using the Mensink and Katan (he of the Katanic verses post) formula to estimate the affect each of these diets would have on the cholesterol levels of anyone following them. To save you the suspense, I can tell you right now that the subtitle of this paper should be: Mensink Katan formula fails miserably at predicting cholesterol levels.

Before we look at what these authors found, let’s look at the lead in to the piece.  Again, the abstract says it all.

Background: Some weight-loss diets are nutritionally sound and consistent with recommendations for healthy eating while others are “fad” diets encouraging irrational and, sometimes, unsafe practices.

Any guesses as to which of their categories Protein Power and Atkins fall into?

At least the description of Protein Power is pretty much on the money, all except the part about closely resembling the Atkins diet in nutrient composition.  Protein Power resembles the Atkins diet more than it resembles the Pritikin diet, but I wouldn’t say Atkins and Protein Power were carbon copies.

Protein Power, written by Michael R. Eades, MD, and Mary Dan Eades, MD, closely resembles the Atkins diet in nutrient composition. They identify insulin as the culprit for obesity. They believe high levels of insulin cause metabolic disturbances in the body leading to elevated blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides, diabetes and obesity. They suggest restricting carbohydrate intake will overcome these metabolic disturbances and alleviate medical problems. Guidelines concentrate on the amount of protein rather than fat consumed. Their book outlines methods to determine the amount of protein to consume and gives instructions for planning meals around grams of protein with restriction of carbohydrates to ≤30 grams/day. They emphasize high-fat food choices but permit limited amounts of fruits and vegetables.

Now, as you might expect, when these authors looked at all these different diets and compared them to the Food Pyramid, Protein Power didn’t fare all that well.  A finding of which I am immensely proud.  If you look at the graphic below, you can see that Protein Power was even ‘worse’ than Atkins in terms of the magnitude of its negative direction.  Atkins just won out by a nose in overall bad (as compared to the Food Pyramid) because it had just a little less ‘good’ than did Protein Power.  As far as I’m concerned, having one’s diet be far from the Food Pyramid is good, not bad.  But the authors of this paper don’t see it that way.

When these authors looked at saturated fat, evil incarnate in the minds of the lipophobes, they found both Atkins and Protein Power to be full of the stuff.  Especially Atkins.  And we all know that saturated fat increases cholesterol, don’t we?  Well, don’t we?  Maybe the readers of this blog don’t know that.  But the authors of this study along with fellow lipophobes Mensink and Katan know it.  The latter know it so well that they’ve created equations predicting how much dietary saturated fat will raise cholesterol.  And if we look at the graph below, we can see just how high the cholesterol levels are predicted to be in the blood of the followers of the various diets.

Apparently cholesterol will be way up in followers of Protein Power and off the charts in those following Atkins.  But, remember, these are just their predictions.  They aren’t reality.

Before we go on, I want you to take a look at these graphs again.  Remember, these authors are looking at popular diets and diet books.  Along with Atkins and Protein Power, they selected Sugar Busters!, The Zone, Pritikin and Ornish.  And they threw in the American Diabetic Association’s Exchange diet…and something listed on the graph as ‘High Fiber.’  What the heck is the ‘High Fiber’ diet?  All the other diets except for the ADA diet are famous and are described in best-selling books that have each sold over a million copies.  So, where did the ‘High Fiber’ diet come from?  And why is it included?

If we look in the study in the Methods section, we find that the diet is Dr. Anderson’s High-Fiber Fitness Plan.  Huh?  Who the heck is Dr. Anderson and what is his/her high-fiber fitness plan?  If we check the reference citation, we find the following:

Anderson JW, Gustafson NJ: “Dr. Anderson’s High-Fiber Fitness Plan.” Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky, 1994.

Anderson JW?  Who could that be?  Anderson JW?  JW Anderson?  Where have I seen that name before?  Well, the author of this very article were discussing is named James W. Anderson, MD.  Hmm.  Could it be?  Let’s check Amazon.com.  Sure enough.  It’s the same guy.  And he’s weaseling his own diet book in with the lineup of diet books that are all mega bestsellers.  Interesting. And using an article in a mainstream, peer-reviewed journal to substantiate it.  Very interesting, indeed.

And what does Dr. Anderson conclude about all these diets to which he has compared his own book?

The Atkins and Protein Power diets are very high in total and saturated fat compared to current dietary guidelines. Long-term use of these diets for weight maintenance are likely to significantly increase serum cholesterol concentrations and risk for CHD. The Sugar Busters and Zone diets would lower serum cholesterol concentrations and likely reduce risk for CHD. Higher carbohydrate, higher fiber, lower fat diets would have the greatest effect in decreasing serum cholesterol concentrations and, thus, the risk for CHD. While high fat diets may promote short-term weight loss, the potential hazards for worsening risk for progression of atherosclerosis or atherosclerotic events override the short-term benefits.

Jesus wept.

So his diet is in there with the ‘good diets,’ the high-fiber, lower-fat diets that don’t worsen the risk for progression of atherosclerosis or heart disease.  Amazing!

Let’s switch gears for a minute.  Since this paper was published in 2000 there have been numerous scientific papers showing that not only do low-carb diets bring about faster weight loss than do high-fiber, high-carb, low-fat diets, they also improve lipids better.

In 1997 MD and I licensed the Protein Power name and concept along with our own names and likenesses to a company to develop a set of tapes and workbooks to be sold on television.  At the time all this was going on, we were moving our clinic from Little Rock, Arkansas to Boulder, Colorado.  We had boxes upon boxes of patient files from our clinic in Little Rock that we brought with us and kept in storage (the law requires that doctors keep medical records for a prescribed period of time).  The company that licensed our name, etc. wanted to be able to make weight loss claims and lipid improvement claims, which it couldn’t do without substantiation.  They hired a professor of statistics from one of the colleges in Maine (the company was located in Portland, Maine) to evaluate the data from our thousands of patient files.

We told him that we checked blood on patients at the end of their first six weeks on the program and again at 12 weeks.  We also told him that since most patients had a large weight loss in the first week or two, he probably wanted to evaluate patients who stayed around longer than just a couple of weeks.  He decided that since we checked blood at the end of 12 weeks, he would evaluate charts from patients who had stuck with the program for at least that long.  He went through his statistical mumbo jumbo to determine the number of charts he would have to evaluate to get data that would be representative of our entire population of patients (or at least those who were on the program for at least 12 weeks).  Once he arrived at the number of charts needed, he came up with a way to pull these charts randomly. Once he crunched the data, here is the chart he came up with:

As you can see, a Protein Power diet does not raise cholesterol; it lowers it significantly.  And it drops triglycerides and improves the triglyceride to HDL ratio.  He noticed that some patients had substantial blood sugar lowering and asked about it.  I told him that the patients he had noticed were the ones who came in with elevated blood sugars to begin with.  He calculated how many charts he would need to analyze that data point and selected a number of charts of patients who had elevated blood sugars on their initial labs and who were taking no medications.  He then determined the average blood sugar lowering, which was pretty impressive.

As you can see, this data (along with the data from a number of other peer-reviewed studies) show that a lot of saturated fat (our patients were encouraged to eat saturated fat) doesn’t raise cholesterol when consumed as a part of a low-carb diet.  Which is why I said that the Anderson study discussed above should have been subtitled: Mensink and Katan equations don’t work worth a flip.

So, eat your fat, watch your carbs, and you’ll do fine.  And thanks for letting me vent.

56 Comments

  1. Robin on September 16, 2008 at 9:39 pm

    Wow. That study IS annoying.

    Tyler Cowen describes the mindset well: “the so-called ‘reasonable’ people are selfishly building up their personal reputations at the expense of scientific progress. They are too reasonable to generate new ideas.” http://tinyurl.com/5mfnja

  2. Jeremy on September 16, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    Having someone like your buddy Tim Ferriss doing what he did is great. As in state that your books is his favorite, etc. That is how I heard of you, although, I was following a relatively strict paleo diet before anyhow, but I’ve read all of your books since.

    The mainstream media likes to generalize things big time, and if it looks like your diet is similar to Atkins and Atkins is something everyone knows, they will most likely say it’s Atkins. Really, I think what would have to happen is for you to have celebs state on their site and or say they are on a PP diet and not through the mainstream media that they are on a PP diet, which is then changed to Atkins.

    I’m sure you have some celeb friends that could help you out for some diet advice, etc.

    I understand how it happens, and I also understand there isn’t much I can do about it but whine. Which do every now and then. If celebs follow the PP diet, it gets reported as the Atkins diet. So I’ve just kind of learned to live with it.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  3. Lowcarb convert on September 16, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    Speaking of fat….There is a new cookbook out simply titled FAT. Here is a story on the CBC (Canadian Broadcast Corp) website:
    http://www.cbc.ca/health/story/2008/09/15/f-mclagan-fat.html

    Always interesting to see the comments, many incredulous that fat could possibly be good for you. I personally am so glad I saw the light just under one year ago. I am 30 lbs lighter and eating such delicious, luscious food…I feel sorry for those that can’t open there minds to the possibility that everything they have been told is wrong.

    Sounds like a great book. I’ll order a copy and put MD to work cooking from it. Thanks for the tip.

  4. Methuselah - Pay Now Live Later on September 16, 2008 at 10:28 pm

    It seems like an odd approach in any case to use as the basis for the evaluation of the diets the very principles (i.e. the food pyramid) that some of those diets refute as the basis for their philosophy. Then to use a software-based, predicitive approach to evaluation seems, to a layman, child-like in its simplicity given the complexity of the human body. I’m not surprised this paper got you riled.

    Riled at first; amused later after subsequent papers have discredited this one.

  5. Adrian on September 17, 2008 at 12:03 am

    Dr. Eades,

    could you comment on this paper?
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15048898?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_RVDocSum

    Abstract says that ketogenic diets increases proton conductance through uncoupling proteins in mitochondria. Isn’t this proof of metabolic advantage? By increasing uncoupling, more energy is wasted as heat by the mitochondria and less ATP is generated. If the energy expenditure of the organism stays the same, more energy substrates need to be oxidised in order to generate the same amount of ATP.

    Proton conductance through uncoupling proteins and proton leaks across the inner mitochondrial membrane are responsible for part of the energy dissipation that makes up the metabolic advantage. Also futile cycling helps. The ability of the mitochondria specifically and the body generally to waste energy is proof to me that a metabolic advantage can exist. The overfeeding studies and the studies on low-fat verses low-carb diets with enough kcal to matter proves that it does.

  6. Zbig on September 17, 2008 at 12:28 am

    There seems to be a sort of market segmentation diets fall into. When I think of Atkins’ I see a young guy that is not afraid of eating bacon and lard. South Beach – is for young girls who freak out when they see a fatty piece of meat but will pour olive oil instead. And we have another low-carb “guru” in my country (Mr. Kwasniewski who you once admitted to have heard about) – and his Optimal Diet seems to attract the older generation. I have no idea of what is the “image” of PP as it is not available in my language. Maybe PP needs a clearly defined primary target group?

    How about people who have good sense?

  7. michael on September 17, 2008 at 1:16 am

    No one seems to have bothered looking up Victor Fleming and being a film buff I didn’t have to. The director of Gone With The Wind and The Wizard of Oz has been the answer to many a question in various film quizzes which I like to attend. As with the Eadeses, those in the know, know.

    Also I want to let you guys know about the situation here in Scandinavia, where there is a huge dispute in the official Swedish medical journal, Läkartidningen. As you know, the Swedish authorities have greenlighted the prescription of Low Carb diets for diabetics claiming that the science substantiates its use.

    Food Pyramid advocates have rallied against it, calling for a halt in the name of public health, but their cited studies are routinely showed wanting in responses from the LCHF crowd. A doc named Andreas Eenfeldt is doing most of the heavy lifting here and I recommend his blog, http://www.kostdoktorn.se. It has the Google Translate-system installed, which is not perfect, but it will let you get the gist of it. Find your flag on the right side and click on it.

    In conclusion, the Swedish authorities say that they see no reason to discontinue the option of officially sanctioned low carb diets for the country’s overweight diabetics. The data testifies to their validity.

    Ciao,
    Michael

    Yep, Fleming directed both Gone with the Wind and the Wizard of Oz in 1939 – and no one (but film buffs) knows who he is.

    Thanks for the link to the Swedish site. I spent some time roaming through it. Interesting.

    I’m glad the Swedish authorities seem to have good sense, which is unusual for ‘authorities’ anywhere.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  8. ChrisG on September 17, 2008 at 4:51 am

    Obviously not a peer-reviewed journal. His own diet? This article is not just bad science – it’s an info-mercial.

  9. DR on September 17, 2008 at 5:01 am

    “But when it comes to attacking low-carb diets, somehow we always seem to make that list.”

    CRITICISM is the sincerest form of flattery.

    Keep up the good work

    p.s I reviewed this on StumbleUpon…hopefully more of that good attention starts coming your way

  10. Clair Nielson on September 17, 2008 at 5:38 am

    The unique aspect of your books that kept me on the diet is that for the first time you gave a scientific explanation for why low-carb works. The other diet books seem to take a “trust me, the truth has been revealed” attitude. And your blog continues to give attentive followers the latest scientific findings to help us fine tune the diet. Please keep doing so.

  11. Gretchen on September 17, 2008 at 6:21 am

    1. If you’re feeling neglected, think of the authors of the GO-Diet, which emphasizes mono fat as well as fiber and probiotics. I helped them rewrite their book with focus on diabetes because I felt it was one of the healthiest diet for people with diabetes. We called it the Four Corners Diet, because of the four main principles, and the book bombed. I think it’s now out of print.

    I spent hours and hours with a nutritional program inputting the sample menus because I hoped that the emphasis on mono fat and the nutritional analyses (which we included in the appendix) would convince nutritionists that a LC diet can satisfy all the nutritional requirements, which they did. I never got a single comment about that.

    Most people need a bandwagon to jump on, and bandwagons require huge investments for advertising. South Beach lies in saying it’s not LC, which the initial phase, where you get the rapid weight loss, definitely is, but no one notices that. South Beach says Atkins consists of nothing but rib roasts and heavy cream (or something like that), which isn’t true, but no one notices that. South Beach got a lot of free promotion from the health magazine they’re affiliated with. The diet itself is nothing new, but people jump on the bandwagon.

    Maybe the problem with Protein Power is that people have heard that “high protein” diets aren’t healthy. But I wouldn’t recommend a name change. I think that’s one thing that killed the GO-Diet/Four Corners.

    2. The ADA diet is definitely not high-fiber. When I was Dx’d with diabetes, I followed their pamphlet for about a day and then threw it out, because following it would have required me to eat fewer vegetables and more small dinner rolls. I was constantly hungry on the low-fat diet, but I did lose weight. After about 6 months, I gradually switched to LC. I stopped being hungry, but I also stopped losing weight. However, I’m close to goal, and LC doesn’t work as well at that point.

    3. Anderson is the guy who first showed that high-fiber diets reduced insulin resistance. In fact, they seem to, but in order to get this reduction in IR, you have to accept high postprandial blood sugar levels, which recent research is showing is problematic. I researched this and found some writing by Anderson in the early days in which he said postprandial blood sugar levels didn’t matter. Anderson was a driving force behind the ADA’s switch to high-carb diets for people with diabetes. Unfortunately, in the process they forgot the “high fiber” part and have probably killed a lot of people as a result.

    4. The authors of “Life Without Bread” (another neglected LC diet) say that LC diets reduce cholesterol in young people but not in older people. I wish you’d write about this some time.

    5. Another important issue is the fact that obese people and people with diabetes sometimes metabolize things differently. For example, obese people seem to have more de novo lipogenesis when they eat a lot of carbs, a good reason for them to use LC. Postprandial lipid levels are an area that have been neglected in popular works. I hope you address that in your recent book.

    One of the problems with low-carb diet books is that publishers are now afraid of them because so many have bombed. Why did they bomb? Because people (i.e., readers) think they already know how to do a low-carb diet. Surveys have shown that people really don’t know how to properly follow a low-carb diet, but they think they do. So when they see low-carb in the title, they blow it off.

    I think a big part of the success of the South Beach Diet came about because the author denied that it was a low-carb diet. Those who followed the book got many of the advantages of a low-carb diet without thinking they were on a low-carb diet.

  12. Mike on September 17, 2008 at 6:32 am

    Mmmm. Bacon Mayonnaise. That sounds awesome. Almost as good as bleu cheese butter on a rib-eye. Thanks to whomever posted that link!

  13. steve on September 17, 2008 at 7:26 am

    i would suggest that with the proper media exposure and blitz that your new book may change your luck. The title is catchy and you would think be attractive to the baby boomers who may suffer with the bulge! South Beach had the benefit of being associated with a hip crowd, and Atkins was first in popularizing low carb. Doesn’t exactly leave room for others who may have a better approach, and the dislike for protein probably hurt your getting the message out there. Am waiting for the publication of the common sense diet! Leave out the processed foods, starches, sugars, and just eat meat, fish, poultry, veggies and some fruit. Properly translated that diet is….. low carb.

    Problem with the Common Sense Diet is that few would buy it, so no publisher would be willing to take a chance with it.

  14. Martin Levac on September 17, 2008 at 7:56 am

    Dr. Eades, are you familiar with the term GIGO? It’s a computer term that means garbage in garbage out. It’s a fundamental principle of computers that says that the value of the result depends on the veracity of the input variables. Since there’s little to no veracity to the input variables by way of a flawed hypothesis, all we get as a result is a falsehood. Which reminds me of another computer term: PEBCAK. Problem Exists Between Chair And Keyboard. This literally means that the foundation of all errors in computers comes from the human who programs it.

    In my opinion, this paper shows no hint of scientific method whatsoever. It’s pure fiction. In other words, it’s fine as a basis for a hypothesis but it shows no truth or proof of it. A big fat lie.

  15. nonegiven on September 17, 2008 at 8:44 am

    When someone sees a PP diet and calls it Atkins, it is because the general public ‘knows’ Atkins is bad and the someone is trying to marginalize it to avoid looking at the true results.

  16. Karen on September 17, 2008 at 8:46 am

    In May, I had been on Protein Power less than six months. I went to the doctor and had the usual blood tests. At that time, my total cholesterol was in the 250s. Triglycerides were good, but HDL and LDL could have been much better. Last week, I had new labs done. There have been no changes in my diet since May, but now my total cholesterol is in the 180s, with excellent HDL and excellent triglycerides. I had read that sometimes the first six months of PPLP can show a negative trend in these numbers, but then it all works itself out. Definitely seemed to work for me.

    I’ve seen this phenomenon myself in more than a few patients. Some people hypothesize that as the excess weight is lost, the cells release cholesterol into the blood, which, of course, shows up as elevated serum cholesterol. But with continued dieting this cholesterol is ultimately disposed and blood values normalize.

  17. Jeremy on September 17, 2008 at 9:08 am

    “I understand how it happens, and I also understand there isn’t much I can do about it but whine. Which do every now and then. If celebs follow the PP diet, it gets reported as the Atkins diet. So I’ve just kind of learned to live with it.”

    Whining may not help, but I’m not so sure that there aren’t ways around the problem. If you and your PR go about it in the same manner expecting different results then.. well.. you know the saying. But, the internet is a big distribution channel, as we all know for information, and there are ways to get people’s attention. Celebs often have their own websites and blogs now in which they write on, and there would be no misreporting there.

    Anyhow, I think rather than to learn to live with it, spend some time doing some of your world-class research on solutions to the problem and then try something else.

    Cheers

    Jeremy

    I don’t have a PR person, and haven’t really done anything PR-wise in a while. Despite my whining, I don’t really worry about it a lot. It’s just annoying that the words ‘Atkins, South Beach and the Zone’ are always grouped by journalists writing about low-carb in much the same way the words ‘artery-clogging saturated fat’ are used when writing about fat. Complaining about it is much like King Canute trying to hold back the tide.

  18. Stephanie Bleeker on September 17, 2008 at 9:15 am

    I recently found your blog and I am really enjoying it. I read Gary Taubes’ book when it came out and it completely changed the way I think about food, health, and nutrition. Now I just can’t get enough information. The only sad thing is that other than my husband, if I try to share my newfound knowledge with anyone they think I’m not only a little loony but dangerously misinformed.

    Anyway, I’m wondering if you have any information on insulin, low-fat diets, and learning disabilities? My 8 year old has been diagnosed with Dyslexia (well, it’s just called a Language Based Learning Difference these days), and my husband has it as well. I’m pretty sure one or both of his parents had it. Everybody in my dh’s family eats a ton of sugar – his mom recently put sugar cubes in my nephew’s Coke! She sucks on sugar cubes and gives them to all her grandkids. My dh eats jujubes and marshmallows and such every evening (and drinks at least one large fruit smoothie every day – his only meal is dinner which I try to make protein and salad but he hates all vegetables except potatoes), and my son has developed the same love of candy, soft drinks, etc. I’ve always eaten very low fat (until now) thanks to the official dogma – so didn’t worry too much about sugar until recently.

    My MIL developed Type II diabetes about 5 years ago. 3 out of 5 of her aunts and uncles/parents all developed Alzheimers. My FIL father died of cancer in 1981 at age 55. My dh is a marathon runner who is quite slim but has love handles he can’t get rid of (now I know why!!). My son is also thin but has recently developed a little paunch – barely noticeable except to me and him.

    My point is this: do you have research about the rise of learning disabilites – dyslexia, ADD and Autism – and insulin/blood glucose or sugar, or even just a lack of fat in the diet (I know about Omega 3’s and have seen improvement in my son on them) ?

    I’ve also come across this article about Alzheimer’s being called Type III Diabetes:

    http://www.physorg.com/preview110029762.html

    This Alzheimers/insulin link, as well as the Omega 3 research, makes me think that maybe LD’s can be somehow involved with insulin or low-fat as well.

    Thanks you for any suggestions/help, etc. I think trying to change my family’s eating habits is going to extremely difficult, but worth it.

    -Stephanie

    P.S. I’d love to suggest that Gary Taubes write a book about LDs, the increase in them, and why so many schools and teachers don’t seem to care or even deny that they exist (except for Autism). I will personally hand deliver a copy to every teacher/administrator/board member at my son’s old school (we switched him to a school specifically for kids with LDs).

    Sounds like your husband’s family has a real sugar addiction. Putting sugar cubes in Coke…that’s a new one for me.

    I’m sure that excess carbs are involved in a host of brain disorders, but I’m not up on all the research in that field. You might want to read the book The Brain Trust by my partner, Larry McCleary, who is a pediatric neurosurgeon and has a major interest in this field. He also has an informative blog and answers questions. Drop him a line.

    Best–

    MRE

  19. Esther on September 17, 2008 at 9:32 am

    Bacon Mayonnaise?!! I so need to get that book! Lest there should be anyone who doesn’t know how I feel about bacon, I have this picture on my fridge:

    http://icanhascheezburger.com/2008/07/18/funny-pictures-omg-bacon/

    Great photo. Thanks for linking.

  20. kateryna on September 17, 2008 at 10:24 am

    At age 53, and after being on a really low-fat diet for over a year, overweight, sick, depressed, arthritic and in pain, I vowed to purchase every diet book in the bookstore one at a time until I found one that would work for me. The gods were smiling down on me that day as I shuffled into the bookstore, because the first diet book that caught my fancy was Protein Power. It has not been easy and I’m far from achieving all my health and weight goals, but purchasing your book literally saved my life.

    I know that you’ve heard it all before and it’s just anecdotal evidence, but continue what you’re doing because you and MDE are right. Having the truth behind you gives you the fortitude to put up with all the criticism. I just wish it would sell more books for you 🙂 and that we all live long enough to see a shift in mainstream thinking and correct dietary advice.

    Thanks for the great anecdotal evidence. I’m glad you’ve done so well. I’m not all that worried about book sales. Protein Power has done fine with 4 million plus books sold and still selling. I’m just annoyed that it (or we) never seem to get mentioned when low-carb diets are discussed in the media. Since Atkins and Protein Power are the only two legitimately low-carb diets out there that have sold in the millions of copies, it seems like when journalists want to either praise or criticize low-carb diets, they would write: low-carb diets such as Atkins and PP (or Atkins and Eades) do such and such instead of writing Atkins, South Beach and the Zone, since South Beach is kind of low-carb lite and the Zone isn’t low-carb at all. That’s my whine; not that we’re not selling enough books.

    The other thing that annoys me – and you wouldn’t believe how many times it happens – is when MD and I are dining out, and we tell the waiter not to bring bread and to substitute something low-carb for the potato or other starch, and said waiter says, ‘Oh, are you on the Atkins diet?’ Or the South Beach diet. Or, worst of all, the Zone.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  21. ethyl d on September 17, 2008 at 11:36 am

    If you start from the wrong premise (the Food Pyramid is good) you will arrive at the wrong conclusion (diets drastically different from the Food Pyramid must therefore be bad). I remember looking at the South Beach Diet book when it was the new big thing and knowing I could never adhere to its menus without being hungry all day, but as I recall it jives better with the conventional thinking on saturated fat (I’m a heart doctor so I’ve devised a heart-healthy diet) and so-called “good” carbs, which is probably why it has been more of a media darling. Perhaps it is lower enough in carbs that people have some success with it, but recommends enough carbs and “good” fats to make it more acceptable to all the “experts.” Prevention Magazine endorsed it, and they’re nothing but a mouthpiece for politically correct nutrition, and it is an improvement over the SAD. I don’t currently follow an eating plan from a book, but I’ve learned enough from your and Dr. Atkins’ books that I know what foods are low-carb and what aren’t. And the scientific explanations in PPLP really closed the sale for me. I came to three realizations about the importance of adhering to low-carb eating: 1. It is about eating for lifelong good health, not just weight loss for a year or so; 2. It is about eating real food, not food industry products; 3. It means preparing almost all my food myself and eating from a narrower range of choices when dining out. Once I embraced these three concepts, committing to this way of eating became the obvious thing I had to do.

    Your three realizations are spot on.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  22. David on September 17, 2008 at 11:47 am

    A friend of mine at work suggested reading a book that challenges high water and fiber intake. I think it is called fiber menace. I also read few other articles by the same author and he claims even though Dr Atkins foundation premise was correct, the rest of his advise were wrong and at times bogus. He claims that even though low carb approach is healthy, unlimited consumption of meats and fats would eventually lead to weight gain and all the diseases that accompany it. His take on a healthy life is moderate amount of animal protein and fat, limited amount of fiber and 4 glasses of water a day with heavy supplementation. Basically sounds like calorie restrictive low carb approach with limited fiber intake. What do you think about limited fiber and water intake with two meals daily approach?

    I’ve had a dialogue with the author of Fiber Menace in the comments section of this blog.

    I don’t have a problem with a limited fiber intake diet, but I also advocate a fair amount of meat and overall carb restriction.

    A commenter on the previous post provided a link to a video by the author that you may be interested in watching. The author and I are in agreement about a number of issues, but in disagreement about others.

  23. Megan Bagwell on September 17, 2008 at 12:12 pm

    Hi! Great post, as always.

    Remember that Sacred Heart Soup Diet I wrote about a couple weeks ago? It was so horrible. I was on it almost 2 days before THE DIET failed ME miserably. I was starving and ended up eating 2 pieces of pizza. When I do low-carbing I don’t feel like a starving animal at the sight of pizza or other off limit foods. I was a wreck those 2 days with headaches, fatigue and food obsession! AWFUL! The only reason I tried it was curiousity, and I’m glad that I did it because it made me realize how good life is in LC world.

    I promptly went back to low carbing this morning and I’m feeling wonderful! I am convinced this is the only way to diet, and to live. Thank you for showing people what really works, and not just that, but showing us how it works.

    I was laughing out loud when you wrote South beach is like “low carb lite” HAHA, it’s not RIGHT that he gets credit in LCing when on the back of the book, it says it’s not a low carb diet. And it’s really not, skim milk in coffee isn’t low carb to me! Fat, please 🙂 BTW, just bought your Lifeplan book and lovin’ it.

    Glad you’re liking the PPLP. Too bad the Sacred Heart Soup Diet didn’t do the trick.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  24. steve on September 17, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    having not read it, could you explain briefly, why South Beach is lo carb lite? Due to kind of meats it allows, grains, or what. Thanks.

    Oh, i wrote the comment about common sense diet, and thought i was being sarcastic; i recognize no one would publish and no one would read it. Sorry i was unclear.

    Any readers out there want to give him an exegesis of the South Beach Diet. I read it long ago, and can’t really remember the specifics.

  25. simon fellows on September 17, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    You Sir or anyone of the buggers reading this might like to watch this starting next week.

    It looks like a blinding prog from a man who’s about as knowledgeable about the brain as is humanly possible;he also happens to be about a kind a pal as one could have too.

    http://www.nationalgeographic.com/nglive/washingtondc/f2008/films/stress.html

    And if anyone fancies offering me a place to pitch my tent (outhouse or greenhouse) from LA upto SF in Nov please advise supachramp at yahoo.com as will be spending the month flaneuring and reading from LA up.

    We buggers are on notice.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  26. David on September 17, 2008 at 2:50 pm

    How do I find a dialogue that you referred to with the author of low fiber approach?

    I just discovered that readers of this blog can’t search the comments, which needs to be changed. I did the search, and my commentary is in a number of places, but the dialogue with the author is in this post. Enjoy.

  27. Annie on September 17, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    I’ve been living ala PPLP for almost a year now and I’m very content. Following your blog helps a lot.

    HOWEVER, I object to your use of the term ‘pansy’. I am disappointed.

    Just so I don’t make the error again, what is wrong with the term ‘pansy’? At least as I used it?

    Cheers–

    MRE

  28. Mary Titus, Orange California on September 17, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    I too have been dining on wonderful low carb fatty food and it has been a glorious ride. As I type this I am taking a whiff of a pork roast in the oven. Soon there will be cheesy cauliflower and green beans in the mix. I am sorry that so many people mistakenly believe that this is an unhealthy meal 😉 Regardless, I am happy to say that my cholesterol is a total of 149 with healthy ratios although I don’t recall what the ratios are. My triglycerides are 49. My glucose is 93. At 51 I have a healthy bone mass, healthy kidneys and a healthy liver. My brain is functioning quite well. But what diet am I on? I was speculating that topic today. I’ve learned the most about low carb through the Eades. However, when I began it was Atkins. All in all this low carb diet is my own with guidance and inspiration from Dr. Mike and Dr. Mary Dan. I am not into doing phases anymore. As a matter of fact, I count nothing. Yet, I would wager that my diet is even lower in carbs than both Atkins and Protein Power. I just eat healthy low carb foods. So I guess you can say, I am not on any diet 🙂

    Good for you. I’m glad you are doing so well. Keep it up.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  29. Mary Titus, Orange California on September 17, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    I just want to add that the book The Brain Trust Program, by your colleague Dr. Larry McCleary is eye opening indeed. My son with ADHD is reading it…my son reads nothing!!! But he is reading the BTP. I am sure it will take 8-10 years for him to complete the book 🙂 but it as caught his attention.

    The person who had the comment regarding Alzheimers…In the book there is significant evidence of insulin embalance being connected to Alzheimers. You can read about this in the first full paragraph on page 50

  30. Annie on September 17, 2008 at 3:45 pm

    The term ‘pansy’, used to describe anything as weak or useless, is very definitely homophobic.

    But that’s a perfect description of the low-carb approach as presented by the South Beach Diet (except the homophobic part). I always try hard to pick the correct word. 🙂

    I looked it up in my Oxford Dictionary of the English Language and found the following:

    One definition is the flower, of course. The other is as follows:

    Effeminate; homosexual; affected.

    So, I guess I need to extirpate ‘pansy’ from my writing-for-the-public vocabulary.

    But all is not lost. As I was thumbing through the giant dictionary my eye fell on the following word: pucelage. Which, needless to say, was foreign to my spell checker. Pucelage is from the old French and is defined as ‘The state or condition of being a girl; maidenhood; virginity.

    I’ve made good use of the word in just the few moments that I’ve known it existed. I’ve tormented MD by asking her numerous questions about her own pucelage, all of which were met with blank stares. I love learning new words, then lording it over people who don’t know them. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to shine.

  31. Mary Titus, Orange California on September 17, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Dr. Mike, You are hilarious. :-0 You need to be on Bill O’Reilly’s show just for the sake of vocabulary wars. It would be a scream to hear you tell Bill that his pucelage is bloviating. Oh gawd, I can just picture it now. I can also see the Bill O’Reilly smirk.

  32. David on September 17, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    Lol, I am very computer not savvy to say the least. But thanks as always!!!!!!!!!

  33. David on September 17, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Dear Dr Eades! Thank you for the link to the dialogue with the author of the fiber menace. I am a very open minded guy and usually non-judgmental but Mr Monastyrsky totally turned me off with his rude, in your face, and close minded attack in the beginning. I love and respect your work as well as your lovely wife. His reaction to your criticism however constructive or not it might sound to him was to attack you personally and professionally? And he claims to be on a crusade to save lives, that’s why he is so desperate to have you advertise on his behalf. I dont get it, he published 3 chapters on line for free, but why not the rest of the book? If he is so eager to save peoples lives and beliefs his work is so revolutionary and lifesaving, why not publish it free. i am sure he would have a much larger audience. totally turned me off. But thanks for your responses.

  34. Emily on September 17, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    Hi Dr. Mike,

    I’m a huge fan of your books and blog. It kills me that no one else bothers to use science to figure out what people should eat, and it was a huge thrill to read Protein Power. That said, I do want to offer a small defense of South Beach, since it’s how I came to give up carbs. I was raised to eat ‘natural’ foods (hippie parents), like whole wheat bread and granola. I was chronically on a fat-free diet as a teenager. I became a vegan in college, and also a biochemistry major. I always thought it was funny that what I was learning about energy metabolism and cellular physiology was clearly inconsistent with the accepted ‘healthy’ diet. But oh well, I continued to be a vegetarian well into graduate school. I couldn’t concentrate, I was lethargic and 30 pounds overweight, and my cholesterol was 200 at the age of 22. So when the South Beach diet got trendy I tried it. I didn’t eat any meat, but after two weeks of eating eggs, fat-free cheese (gross), and soybeans (scary), I lost 10 pounds and felt fantastic. Really fantastic. It was a huge turning point. I suddenly understood that everything I thought I knew was probably wrong, read Protein Power and a bunch of the primary literature to confirm it, and started eating steak again (my cholesterol is now 140 by the way) . So my defense of South Beach is this: from my granola vegan attitude, I would never have dreamed of trying a REAL low-carb diet. It was a transition, and it worked, and for that I’m grateful. After a few years of hard-core carnivorous low-carbing, South Beach does look like a real candy-ass approach of course, but think about where a lot of people are coming from.

    Good point. Thanks for providing another perspective that I hadn’t thought of.

    Best–

    MRE

  35. Susan Hall on September 17, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Readers can use Google to search the comments here! Go to Google advanced search, and put http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/ in the site box at the bottom of the search dialogue. That’s how I found your exchange (in the comments of the starvation video post) with the fiber guy (Monastyrsky).

    Wow. Thanks for the lesson. I really appreciate it. I had never used the advanced search function on Google. It’s opened up a whole new world for me.

    Cheers and thanks again–

    MRE

  36. Jennifer on September 18, 2008 at 7:09 am

    I understand your frustration and it is not fair what you describe. Thank you for being so brave and for standing up for what is right and standing up for the truth for the many people who benefit from low-carbing, your books and your knowledge that you so generously share on your blog. You and a few others have made a huge difference in how low-carb diets are viewed today. Your work has not gone unnoticed.

    Thanks very much.

  37. John on September 18, 2008 at 7:37 am

    I’m just annoyed that it (or we) never seem to get mentioned when low-carb diets are discussed in the media.

    If it really bothers you, you could hire a publicist, and also submit yourself as an expert available for comment whenever a journalist needs a quote. Your buddy Tim Ferriss talks at length about this in his book, and I’m sure he would have excellent advice for you.

    Actually, he’s smarter than 99% of publicists…maybe just ask him for a few tips.

    I’m going to see Tim in a couple of days, so maybe I will talk to him about it.

  38. nonegiven on September 18, 2008 at 9:36 am

    If you use the word “pucelage” to describe something in a derogatory manner, that would probably be considered a sexist use of the word. Low carb-lite may be size-ist, I’m not sure, maybe it would only be size-ist if you said low carb-light.

    Ya just can’t win in a PC world.

    You’re probably right, but I keep trying.

  39. Dusty on September 18, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    Bacon mayo? Nice addition to a BBLT lettuce wrap methinks, but also goes nicely with my favorite apertif – Bacon Vodka!

    http://www.browniepointsblog.com/2008/01/20/homemade-bacon-vodka/

    Enjoy!

    This might be carrying the love for bacon a little far even for me.

  40. Low-Carber on September 18, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    Hello Dr. Eades: Thanks a lot for your articles and posts !! I have a question: I just quit eating apples as part of my diet. I used to eat about 1 lb. and 12 ounces of apples a day (about 3.5 big apples every day) which were about 250 calories. and i replaced those 250 calories of apples with protein. I have decreased my carbohydrate intake from about 100 grams a day to about 50 to 60 grams a day, and i feel already skinnier. I would like to know if high protein, low carb diets have enough fiber, and do they control hunger? because as u know when you eat less fruits your fiber intake goes down. I would like to know if i should replace those 250 calories of fruits with protein or should i replace those 250 calories with both proteins and fats?

    As surprising as this might seem, there is no sound scientific evidence that we need any fiber at all. There is some evidence, however, that fiber could be harmful. I’ve posted several times on studies demonstrating that fiber is pretty much worthless. You can find these posts by entering ‘fiber’ in the search window. Here is one post showing the downside of fiber. Assuming you’re getting plenty of good quality protein, I would replace the 250 calories with protein and fat.

  41. Low-Carber on September 18, 2008 at 8:23 pm

    Hello Dr. Eades again: Thanx a lot for your accurate comments and reply to my post. I will do like you said, i will eat green vegetables, however i will replace the 250 to 300 calories i used to eat of apples with protein and some fats. Perhaps a good protein shake with 3% milk. Take care

  42. Lowcarb convert on September 18, 2008 at 11:07 pm

    Glad some folks liked the link to the cookbook with the recipe for Bacon Mayo. Ah, bacon….definitely a food group in itself!

    So just when I think, like our genial host, that the tide is slowly turning on this stupid low-fat nonsense, my other half pointed out this article about a fat camp for kids where the folks who run it firmly believe that fat is the problem and that it is ok for kids to eat white bread, lots of bananas for lunch and as much artificial sweeteners as they want:
    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080913.COVER13//TPStory/Focus

    Is this where we usually say Jesus Wept??

    This is certainly a good place to say it. The depth of their dumbth is almost unimaginable.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  43. michael on September 19, 2008 at 1:05 am

    One quote from the fat camp chef says everything about their dietary wisdom:

    School chef Erin Gaughan, who teaches students to flavour food without fat, says they “are almost like smokers. … Their tongues have dried out from all the fat they’ve eaten.”

    That one truly does take the cake.

  44. deirdra on September 19, 2008 at 7:10 am

    PP is the only diet I’ve been successful on in my 39 years of dieting, and I’ve now been maintaining a “normal” weight for 20 months quite effortlessly (no other diet was maintainable or effortless!).

    However, I did not buy PP until 2000 because of the title, which suggests it is a high protein diet, which it is not. Luckily I read the library copy and decided it was exactly what I needed and have bought all your books since then (and copies for friends & family too).

    We know that many reviewers do not read the books they write about, so they may not even be aware that PP and PPLP are the perfect LC diet/WOL books.

    I’m happy to hear that you’ve done so well. Don’t forget to give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back. No diet is easy, not even PP and/or PPLP. Some are easier than others, but none is a walk in the park. The fact that you’ve hung in there and done so well speaks volumes about your own resolve. Keep it up.

    Best–

    MRE

  45. Low-Carber on September 19, 2008 at 9:23 am

    Hello Dr. Eades again: How are you? I would like to ask you if all calories are the same? Or if low-carbohydrate diets permit you you to eat more calories a day, than low-fat diets? Because I think you wrote in another article of yours, that not all calories are the same. So is it possible to eat more calories than a low-fat diet and *still* be able to lose weight provided that our total carbohydrate intake is within the low-carb range (between 30 to 60 total grams of carbohydrates a day).

    I ask you and comment about this because i’ve noticed that since i began my low-carb diet, i am able to eat more calories than when i used to eat more fruits and carbs.

    On a final note: it’s almost amazing how 2 little apples which do not really *KILL* and satisfy our hunger have a whoppling of 50 grams of carbohydrates. That’s right, in order to satisfy hunger with fruits for example a person has to eat like 4 apples (320 calories, 92 grams of carbohydrates). Pineapples are another fruit which have a lot of sugars too

    And some nights i used to eat 4 apples, no wonder i used to wake up bloated.

    Thankx again and take care

    There is a fair amount of evidence that one can indeed consume more calories on a low-carb diet than on a low-fat diet. Not everyone believes in this idea, the so-called metabolic advantage, but I think the data and the laws of thermodynamics pretty much indicate that it does exist. What you’ve experience personally has been demonstrated in numerous studies.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  46. Low-Carber on September 19, 2008 at 9:27 am

    I have another question about exercise, specially about aerobic-exercises like walking, bikeriding or jogging.

    Do we really need to do aerobic-exercises most days of the week? I ask you this because i have a walking routine. I walk 60 to 70 minutes about 5 days a week. But the problem is that I find walking too exhausting. I also lift weights 2 days a week (Whole body weight training workout)

    I don’t think we really need to aerobics at all. I much prefer resistance training.

  47. Low-Carber on September 19, 2008 at 9:34 am

    I have another comment about High protein, low-carb diets, that i would like to stress. Well you wrote in your Protein Power book that when we follow a low-carb diet (Between 30 grams to 50 grams of carbohydrates a day), our glucagon-hormone levels get elevated while our insulin-hormone levels decrease; which create the perfect conditions to turn our bodies into a fat-burning machine. Well i think you are right, because since i started this low-carb way of eating, i feel less bloated. Even my face looks and appears less bloated, it’s like if Ihad a plastic surgery.

    I think celebrities, hollywood stars and wealthy elites who have science and knowledge highjacked from the oppressed masses also follow the low-carb, high-protein diets. Their personal trainers know that this is the only way to get beautiful.

    But of course science and knowledge is highjacked at the top of society. That’s why the masses don’t know about low-carb way of eating, because the corporate media doesn’t spread knowledge to the masses, because if they did corporations like Jenny Graig, Nutrisystem, etc, would go down in profits.

  48. steve on September 19, 2008 at 9:41 am

    Speaking of books: how will your new book 6week cure for the middle age middle be different from your prior two publications? Great title! Should catch the eye of the boomers!

    Also, if one has lots of dense small LDL particles, how long after being on a low carb(no grain,sugars,etc) diet until these can change to large fluffy particles, or is it genetic and they will not change at all depending upon your genotype?
    Thanks,

    Many differences between the new book and the old ones, but our publisher won’t let us describe it yet. Soon, though. It takes a different approach in that it focuses on the fat accumulation around the waist that plagues many middle-aged people.

    We usually found that most patients on rigid low-carb diets had changed their LDL particle size by six weeks. It probably happened sooner than that, but we didn’t recheck blood until the six-week visit.

  49. David MacPhail on September 19, 2008 at 11:16 am

    As I usually do every morning I went to this blog to read the latest posts in order to start the day with confirmation that there actually is intelligent life on earth. As I read NBC’s Morning Show was blaring away in the background. As I was about half way down the posts it was announced that in the next segment their dietitian was going to tell the viewers how to make fast food ‘healthy’. I could barely stand the suspense even though I was pretty certain what was about to come down.

    I wasn’t disappointed. The dietitian described saturated fat as a ‘heart attack on a plate’ stressing the importance of keeping sat fat as low as possible. She then described how to fool your kids by substituting ground chicken for a good part of beef in hamburgers and how get them to eat more fruit by dipping fruits in chocolate. Arrrgh. New day same nonsense. If no one believed this sort of misinformation such episodes as NBC featured would be hilarious because they are so patently absurd, at least to most on this blog. But most viewers of such shows do believe what is said and herein lies the tragedy.

    I got a graphic example of this a few weeks ago when some friends I was visiting offered me coffee. They apologized because they had accidentally purchased whipping cream (yum, thank god!) and so had nothing else to offer. They wanted to warn before I indulged because another guest had gotten furious because they had failed to warn him that the whitener was ‘Whip Cream’. This fat phob had apparently lashed out at them decrying that all it takes is a splash of whip cream (sat fat) to bring on a heart attack. Jesus didn’t just weep, he sobbed uncontrollably.

    I also find it extremely annoying when critics of the Eades or critics of anyone who dares stray from the mainstream makes statements such as “They (Eades) believe high levels of insulin cause metabolic disturbances in the body leading to elevated blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides, diabetes and obesity.” I believe it too as does any objective scientist because it is an irrefutable fact. In my opinion this statement was intentionally worded in the manner it was to create the impression that it reflects an unsubstantiated opinion of the Eades’s, one that is not generally accepted. Such deception is nothing short of criminal.

    Yeah, I love it when people put the correct words in our mouths and make them sound evil and/or stupid somehow.

    Cheers–

    MRE

  50. MAC on September 20, 2008 at 4:57 am

    I know you have quoted Cordain in PPLP. I get his Paleo Diet Updates. I assume he has heard of ketones and keto adaptation so I find the following from his latest Paleo Diet Update rather misleading. Have to quote what is in the newsletter as there is no independent link.

    “People who go on a low-carb diet will sometimes report feeling weak or light headed during the first few days on their new eating pattern.

    Whether this happens depends on two main factors: 1) the total carbohydrate restriction and, 2) the total caloric restriction.

    Popular low carb diets typically restrict carb calories to 50 grams (~200 kcal) or 100 grams (~400 kcal). If the diet is low in calories and carbs are restricted to less than 100 grams, many people will feel weakness because their muscle and liver glycogen stores will become depleted and they must rely upon beta oxidation (the metabolism of triglyceride) as their primary substrate source.

    Additionally, the brain can only use glucose as an energy source, hence hepatic gluconeogenesis (the synthesis of glucose from either protein or fat in the liver) represents the primary glucose source. However, gluconeogenesis is inefficient and can only supply small quantities of glucose.

    All of these metabolic adaptations – beta oxidation, hepatic gluconeogenesis and ketosis (a by product of carbohydrate restriction and beta oxidation) – upset homeostatic mechanisms shaped by a lifetime of high carb intakes for the average Westerner.

    With the Paleo Diet, we advise people to get all of their carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables and to restrict grains, sugars, legumes and processed foods. Carbohydrates are not restricted on the Paleo Diet, but because fruits and vegetables contain so much fiber and water, it is difficult to consume more than about 30 percent of the daily energy from these foods.

    Most people don’t experience weakness or lethargy upon adoption of the Paleo Diet, but rather the opposite. Their energy levels remain stable over the course of the day.”

    We who are ketone adapted know better, don’t we?

  51. Methuselah - Pay Now Live Later on October 27, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Hi Dr Eades,

    I am about 1/3 way through The Protein Power Life Plan. It is proving to be the bible I expected and I have just ordered a copy for my folks.

    I was devastated (but pleased now that I know) to find out that scrambled egg produces cholesterol peroxides, it being my chief convenience breakfast for taking to work. My alternative technique, trialled this evening, involves frying the eggs in a wok in coconut oil, lid on, for about 15 minutes at medium heat so that they cook all over, then throwing the resulting slab of fried eggs into the blender to produce, effectively, scrambled.

    My question: if I blend the cooked eggs when they are still hot from cooking, do I still produce a load of cholesterol peroxides? If so, I assume allowing them to cool entirely before blending should make this a suitable Purist approach….?

    Thanks!
    M.

    I think we’ve kind of created a monster with the scrambled eggs bit. If you scramble them lightly you won’t produce that much oxidized cholesterol. I would just go ahead and scramble them (as long as they’re not like rubber when you get through) rather than doing the whole thing with the blender.

    When I wrote about this in the PPLP, I was still a little on board with the lipid hypothesis of heart disease. Now that I’ve gotten past that, I’m not so worried about a little oxidized cholesterol. Ideally it would be better to eat eggs soft boiled, but that’s not always practical, so I say go for a light scramble and don’t stress about it. Even as a purist.

  52. Scott Miller on November 7, 2008 at 8:40 pm

    Have never heard of the Protein Power diet before coming across this blog very recently, and I’ve been reading through the entries. Quickly, I totally agree with your diet, just based on what I’ve read in the blog so far. It’s basically the exact diet I’ve been using for several years. At 47, I’m in superb health, 10% bodyfat, and I eat as much as want daily, but almost no processed carbs, practically no grains (except oatmeal in the morning), and probably 50% cals per day from oil/fats, including a lot of MCT oil. I also eat a lot of high quality protein.

    Anyway, I think the one mistake you made, speaking as a marketing expert, is picking a horribly generic name for your program. Imagine if Amazon.com had been called Bookstore.com or OnlineShop.com, or what if we had Search.com vs Google.com, or Auctions.com vs Ebay.com, on and on. The fact is that generic names are not memorable, and lack a quality called stickiness. Protein Power is a non-stick name. Atkins, Zone, and South Beach are just the opposite — they are like Google and Amazon in that they have non-generic names, and therefore they’ve become very powerful, memorable brands. There are numerous techniques for creating sticky, cool, memorable brand names. I’ve got a history of success in this area, with killer brand names in the video game industry, like Duke Nukem and Max Payne. Next time you need a name, let me know. I’ll help no charge. 😉

    Keep up the great blogs!

    BTW, have you followed Dr. Davis’ blog? http://heartscanblog.blogspot.com/

    I appreciate the offer. When we wrote our first book it had no title. In the publishing business, the publishers get to pick the titles (for non-fiction books, at least), and our publisher picked Protein Power. We hated the name and fought hard against it, but to no avail. The book went on to sell 4+ million copies and stay on the New York Times bestseller list for 63 weeks, all of which kind of vindicated the publisher’s choice of names (at least in the mind of the folks at the publishing house). The next book we sold to a different publisher, but that publisher wanted to capitalize on the success of the book Protein Power, so named the next, more comprehensive book, The Protein Power LifePlan. We had nothing to do with either name and hated both of them. However, since that’s what we’re known as (the author’s of Protein Power), we figured we would use it as a website.

    I do follow Dr. Davis’ blog.

    Cheers–

    MRE

    P.S. If you want to come up with a snappier name than Protein Power, I’m all ears.

  53. Scott Miller on November 8, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    The fact that your book sold so well speaks to the quality of your content, more so that the catchiness of “Protein Power.” But, it sounds like you weren’t a fan of the name either, and at this point it’s probably better to stick with it.

    The problem is that “Protein Power” isn’t a catchy label, and when people talk about low-carb diets, it’s much easier for them to talk about Atkin’s and South Beach (even though, as you say, South Beach is more about balance, than reducing carbs). Perception trumps reality. Also, when I first came across your site, Protein Power had me thinking, “What about good fats?” Turns out, you are *for* good fats, but the label “Protein Power”–at first impression–leads one to think that your program is mostly protein, at the expense of both carbs AND fats. A name like Atkin’s doesn’t have an inherent flaw like this.

    If I were to recommend a better name for your program, I’d pick one that at first doesn’t sound like it has anything to do with anything (for example, why name a computer company “Apple”?), such as your last name (Atkin’s and Ornish style), except that Eades is not an easily pronounced name, so that’s a big strike against it catching on. The reality is that your diet is an insulin busting diet, and insulin comes from the Latin word for island, so this gives you an excuse to go with a name like The Island Diet. Anyway, it can take weeks/months to come up with the perfect name–but at least you get a glimpse at how I would approach it.

    I agree with you right down the line, including the fact that Eades is not an easily pronounced name. I often call it the most mispronounced five letter word in the English language. If you come up with any suggestions, as I said before, I’m all ears. Thanks for brainstorming on it a little.

    Cheers–

    MRE

    P.S. For those who don’t know, Eades is pronounced like beads without the ‘b.’

  54. David on March 21, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    Hi Dr. Mike! I know this is an older post, but I’m still fairly new to your blog and I’ve been spending some time reading back posts. I have a question relevant to this post, I believe. My question is, can you sum up the basic differences between your diet and Dr. Atkins’? My first experience with low carb years ago was Atkins, but I really have come to love your blog here, and I’m curious about how you differ from him. Thanks!

    This difference would probably be better explained in a post for all to read rather than in a comment that few may read. I’ll add it to my growing list of post ideas. You can go to the Protein Power forum, however, where a lot of people will be happy to explain the difference.

  55. yvonne on June 10, 2009 at 11:29 am

    Hi great site. i have very high cholesterol. I try to exercise and have a good diet. THIS SITE IS GREAT!!!!!!

  56. Barkeater on August 24, 2009 at 10:57 am

    The Friedewald calculation of LDL is wildly inaccurate when triglycerides are low. Wildly high. So, low-carb diet effects based on LDL-C is inherently bad science, unless based on directly measured LDL or LDL particle count. This is a flaw that runs through much of the so-called science. It has tended to make low fat high carb diets look better than they are in connection with LDL and low carb diets look worse.

Leave a Comment