Ancel Keys, Ph.D.
Once again I’m putting up a post out of sequence. I just found this great video on the life of Ancel Keys that I wanted to make available to all readers of this blog.
Keys video high bandwidth download
Keys video low bandwidth download
The entire thing is pretty interesting, but the part about the starvation study that I posted on several months ago is really fascinating. As I pointed out in my post, the people on this long-term semi-starvation study were on a predominantly carbohydrate diet of almost 1600 kcal/day. This kind of diet is often recommended for weight loss and health by dietitians, nutritionists and even physicians. As this film demonstrates, it indeed works for weight loss.
In my post I discussed the depression, constant sleeping and loss of libido exhibited by the subjects in this study. Here are the words of Henry Scholberg, one such subject, as recorded on this film:

And what I wasn’t expecting was the effect it would have on the mind; the total feeling of, I guess, depression, the total occupation with the idea of food. Somebody would say, “food for thought,” an expression like that, and they mentioned the word “food,” you know what I mean? I remember eing a little bit critical of guys in the early part who would lick their plates. I thought that was really pretty crude, but by the time we were into about the second month of it, I was doing it myself. You just needed every single calorie you could get your hand on. Then the other thing that we weren’t expecting was how weak we became. I remember one time I was dating this girl and we were walking home from the movie, and I said to her, “You know, if we get attacked by a bunch of hoodlums, run like hell because I won’t be able to help you.” We lost our sex drive, and I told you I was dating this girl, and I never kissed her the whole time I was dating her. So sexually we were, you might say, dead.

Remember these words the next time someone tells you that you need to go on a calorically restricted diet to extend your life.  Would life really be worth living?
Among the many comments received on the Tim Ferriss post I did a few days ago were several questioning the psychological impact on people thinking they were going into a starvation study. As this film makes clear, these folks were glad to sign up because they believed they were helping the war effort. Their responses make it pretty obvious how they felt. I don’t believe they had a lot of negative psychology going in.
If you’re just interested in the part about the starvation study, go to about 8:22 in the film and finish at 14:39. I would watch the entire thing, though, because there are other insights into Keys’ psyche that I found intriguing.
For example, when he first presented his ideas on fat and cholesterol in the diet as causes of heart disease, he was publicly humiliated. Given his disposition, it is entirely in character for him to pursue the data showing himself to be correct and the rest of the scientific community wrong – even if it meant fudging the data, which he did his famous (infamous?) Seven Countries Study.
You can watch this short film below by Tom Naughton to see what I mean. In the above film about Keys it looks as though he selected seven countries based on a number of criteria, gathered the data, analyzed the data and found it to show a strong correlation between fat consumption and heart disease. The truth is that there were many more countries involved in the study than seven. Keys simply threw out the data on the countries that didn’t fit his preconceived notion. And everyone took it hook, line and sinker. Tom’s film shows this well.
There you have it. Two films on the long and productive lives of one of the main architects of the obesity epidemic. Enjoy.


  1. Yes, but he did live to 100. (Playing Devil’s Advocate here.) Presumably he followed a CR lifestyle, but perhaps not restricted to the extent that the study subjects were, and therefore he may have escaped the negative effects.
    You need to take a look at this post.

  2. Hi Dr Mike,
    Great vid. Amazing that Lon Chaney was a close relative of Dr K. I know that you talk a lot about vampire myths. Doesn’t that make Keys Krap “Werewolf Myths”?
    Keep spreading the word.
    All the Best,
    Michael Richards
    I guess they could be Werewolf Myths at that. Interestingly, Keys fudged his story about his famous uncle (his mother’s brother) just as he did the Seven Countries Study. Keys and his family moved from Colorado Springs to the San Francisco area in 1906 when Ancel was two. The family got there just in time to witness the big San Francisco earthquake. The devastation from the earthquake drove the Keys family south to Los Angeles, where, as Keys was fond of telling, they stayed with famous brother/uncle Lon Chaney. Problem is Chaney didn’t move to LA until 1910. Obviously Keys was no stranger to the porkie.

  3. Does Keys’ fudging of the Seven Countries data also invalidate the idea that the Mediterranean diet is especially healthful?
    I think the Mediterranean diet as consumed by Mediterranean people (or at least as used to be consumed by them) in contrast to what people ‘believe’ is the Mediterranean diet is a healthful diet. Probably not the most healthful diet around, but certainly beter than a lot of others.

  4. I found this a fascinating biopic of the man, his character and his work. He has enjoyed longevity and now its’ inevitable corollary: frailty. One thing that struck me was the graph showing cardiovascular disease trends which fell strikingly after the 1960’s. I am under the impression, from Gary Taubes and other cholesterol skeptics, that CV deaths may have fallen but the incidence of cardiovascular disease has remained pretty steady. It wasn’t clear in the film whether this graph referred to mortality or total morbidity. Could you comment on this?
    Actually, the incidence of heart disease began to fall before Keys published his work on the diet-heart hypothesis and it has been falling since (except there has been a little up tick in the stats lately). Most experts attribute this decline to the decline in smoking along with more aggressive treatment of high blood pressure, two major indisputable risk factors. The curve downward was at its steepest right about the time Keys was publishing his work; the decline then slowed and has kind of leveled out. All of which is interesting in view of the fact that statins came on the scene about a decade ago and haven’t moved the incidence curve downward.

  5. It took a while, but here it is …
    Nice post … I visit every day!
    Just wanted to point you and your readers to the fact that The Washington Post has finally written a review of Taubes’ Good Calories … The piece is a kind of neither here nor there-thing, though. The journalist, Jane Black, thinks that Taubes’ chief finding is that no stark dietary advice will do the trick … where exactly does he find that?
    She goes out with a dissing remark, but interestingly – below the article – is a link to another WP-story from feb. 29 that a hi-carb diet coupled with obesity is a major risk for cancer of the esophagus!
    Gotta love that!

  6. Sorry, didn’t realize you’d already posted on this. It’ll be a while before I get through your back-catalog.
    Putting aside the genetic aspect for a moment, it’s clear that white sugar and french fries were not part of either of those men’s diets. At least that’s something to hang your hat on.
    It also seems that power and/or fame is correlated with longevity. Successful politicians seem to generally have long lives. I think the novelist Julian Barnes dubbed power the “Royal Jelly”. Since most of the people we hear about reaching their 90s and beyond are famous/honoured/beloved, it does skew the picture a bit.
    Hmmm. I guess that explains my never ending quest for more and more power. 🙂

  7. blockquote>Remember these words the next time someone tells you that you need to go on a calorically restricted diet to extend your life. Would life really be worth living?
    I was on about 1700 calories a day, low carb, for about a year, and never had any problems. From a quality of life standpoint I never got sick, which was nice, and also didn’t seem to lose much muscle mass. In fact, I’d say that overall I felt better on 1700 calories a day than I do now on about 2700/day. I still eat low carb, but I slept better on reduced calories, felt I had more energy, and I think my mood was better overall. And as I said, it was nice not getting sick (As I type this out I have a nasty cold). The only reason I stopped was because to eat that little amount of food actually took a lot of effort — measuring and planning and counting, and then some willpower not to eat, say, twelve ounces of pot roast instead of six, or four ounces of cheese instead of two. But I think, overall, you’re being a little rough on the calorie restrictors. Yes, I know they get a little bit fanatical about it, but not everyone has to. It can be done reasonably, and I doubt you have to make yourself miserable to do it.
    I don’t think it’s all that difficult to go on a low-calorie, low-carb diet. The problem comes when people try to calorically restrict and they do so by reducing fat in the diet and end up on a low-fat, low-protein, high-carb calorically-restricted diet. That is difficult to follow and does result in muscle loss and all the other problems seen in the Keys study.

  8. Dr. Eades, a question for you that Gary Taubes’ latest videotaped talk raised for me. He speaks of the biochemical processes in the body that cause the storage of fat, and these processes apparently require fatty acids and glycerol to be available in the bloodstream, with insulin “directing” the process, if you will. So low carb diets (beyond being the most natural diet) avoid the storage of fat because of the low levels of glycerol (mostly derived from carbs in the diet) in the bloodstream. But wouldn’t a nonfat diet also mostly avoid the storage of fat, due to the absence of fatty acids in the blood stream, which are also necessary for this fat “storage” process? If so, this might explain why Dean Ornish has apparently had some success with his dietary principles. (I am not advocating his approach, in any way, just curious what you think.) This also leads me to think that consuming meals high in carbs AND fat, or foods high in both (like french fries, cake, etc.) are the most likely to cause fat storage. Thanks.
    Hey John–
    The idea that fat in the blood correlates with fat in the diet is where your scenario gets off track. Triglyceride levels are a measurement of fat in the blood and are virtually always lower in people on low-carb, higher fat diets than in those on low-fat, high-carb diets. All of Ornish’s studies show that the triglyceride levels in the subjects on his very-low-fat diet are much higher than in the control subjects on higher-fat diets. Carbs drive triglycerides, i.e., fat in the blood, up and restricing carbs brings them down.

  9. Dr. Eades, now a more practical question for you. Inspired by you and others, I have been enjoying a low carb/paleo diet for several months now. I am really appreciating the satiety that eating low carb brings, and I think it has resulted in my food intake matching my activity level quite well. However, after shedding five pounds quite easily, I have plateaued in losing weight (I would like to lose another ten). From your writings, it appears you believe that some sort of calorie deficit is needed to burn fat, which forces the body to access and burn its stored fat energy. Makes sense to me, but how do you suggest doing so? I don’t want to count calories. I have tried intermittent fasting, but I seem to binge the next day. (I guess my homeostatic mechanisms are strong.) Maybe I should try a different method of IF, skipping dinner instead of breakfast? Maybe you have a prior post that addresses this? Thanks.
    Or just go to leaner cuts of meat. Cut back on cheese, nuts and nut butters, the Big Three that stop the weight loss in a lot of low-carb diets. The Big Three contain a lot of calories and not many carbs so one can consume a lot of calories and still stay within the carb limits.
    Hope this helps.

  10. Are there non-esterified fatty acids floating in the blood? If not where do they get esterified, adipose tissue capillaries?
    Most fatty acids get re-esterified inside the fat cells.

  11. The tale of the total loss of sex drive on a high carb semi-starvation diet puts me in mind of celebrated quacks John Harvey Kellogg and Sylvester Graham, who recommended a vegetarian diet based on grains specifically to reduce sex drive, which they just *knew* was evil and bad and unhealthy. Sounds like they were on the right track. About the reducing sex drive thing, I mean, not the evil and bad and unhealthy thing.
    Think I’ll go eat some leftover ribs.

  12. Is there more to your March 1st post – Intermittent fasting: rad or fad?
    When I click on “read more” it sends me back to your Feb 29th post on Ancel Keys’ Starvation study
    I wrote this as a two part guest post on another blog. I haven’t a clue as to how it got where it got on the front page of the ProteinPower website.
    You can read the full post here and here.

  13. Thanks for the videos Mike. Of course Jane Brody had to be in the documentary, huh… the blind leading the blind misinforming the masses.
    I wanted to comment on a post above, “So low carb diets (beyond being the most natural diet) avoid the storage of fat because of the low levels of glycerol (mostly derived from carbs in the diet) in the bloodstream…” Correct me if I’m incorrect, but rather than low levels of glycerol per se, it is insulin as the actual driving force behind fat internalization and fat synthesis as both processes require insulin. So, lower levels of insulin are likely to be behind keeping triglycerides from being synthesized (on the one hand) and brought into the fat cells (on the other hand).

  14. I’m so sorry to bother you, Dr Mike, but did you write this?
    It was linked in the forum.lowcarber BB but there’s no date on it and a search of your blog does not bring it up. I don’t understand.
    Thank you,
    It was a screw up somehow in my blogging software. That was the working title of the guest post I did for Tim Ferriss’s blog. I wrote it in a way that I thought wouldn’t be available, but somehow the software for the ProteinPower website (which goes after the most recent thing written) ended up grabbing the first few lines and putting them up as my latest blog post.
    Sorry for the confusion.

  15. FYI, your new intermittent fasting post is very interesting but doesn’t seem to be posted in the normal place — and there is no place to write a comment.
    Actually, I don’t have a clue how that small piece of that post got where it got. I wrote it as a guest blog in two parts for another website.
    Go here and here to see the full post.

  16. Dear Dr. Eades,
    I recently came across your exceptionally nasty comments about my book (Fiber Menace). To those, I can reply allegorically:
    Whenever I recall your advise to marinate steaks in olive oil to displace animal fats, I am falling out from my chair laughing. Are you still doing that, Dr. Eades?
    Unconscious Atkins accumulated 50-60 lb of fluids while on IV and steroids? — This is how you’d treated your own patients? Do you still have your hospital privileges? I feel sorry for your patients.
    You are great at making enemies, Dr. Eades. Welcome to yet another fray. I’ll work hard on deconstructing Protein Power on substantive points, not just on lousy medical editing. What a great way to attract a broader readership to my own blog.
    Good luck to you and your lovely wife,
    Konstantin Monastyrsky, author of Fiber Menace
    I just ran a search on my site and couldn’t find a single post devoted to your book, so I don’t really know what you mean. Did I say something in the comments section? I’ve had thousands of comments, so forgive me if I did comment and can’t remember.
    I went to your site and basically agree with everything you say on the front page – I didn’t go beyond the front page, so I can’t comment on that. I have several posts on my site that are critical of fiber and no posts that are laudatory. type ‘fiber’ into the search window to see what I mean.
    I don’t know what Atkins’ 50-60 lbs of fluids has to do with anything, and I can’t imagine why you’re bringing it up. I had nothing to do with Atkins’ treatment. I haven’t taken care of a severe head injury case since my residency other than treatment in the emergency room until the neurosurgeons took over. When I did take care of head injuries the accepted treatment was large dose steroids and other drugs IV to reduce swelling of the brain, which sounds like the treatment Dr. Atkins received. Fluid gain is a side effect of this therapy, but is a small price to pay for salvaging the brain. But, again, whatever this has to do with whatever dispute you seem to have with me escapes my understanding.
    Be my guest on deconstructing Protein Power. I’ve deconstructed parts of it myself. I hope it gains many readers for your blog.
    I did read your book and I thought it contained some good information. But it also contained some contradictory information. And, as I recall, it badmouthed low-carb diets as I would prescribe them in pretty non-equivocal terms. But my strongest criticism was that the book was poorly edited, which is common to self-published books. As you know, having written a book yourself, writing a book takes a long time. By the time you’re five or six months into it, you’ve forgotten some of the things you’ve written months before and repeat them. Or repeat phrases or concepts many times. The job of an editor is to go through and pick these things out and get rid of them. An good editor is worth his/her weight in gold, and, all too often (as in never), do self-published authors go to the expense of hiring one. So much the pity.
    I’m sorry if you took anything I may have written in response to a comment personally, but, if so, that’s your problem, not mine. And if you want to consider me the enemy, I guess that’s fine, too. Maybe you should contact Anthony Colpo and discuss forming a club.
    I wish you well.

  17. Twas March 30th 2007 “Fisking Repovich and Peterson” in the comments section, first reference to the book in the first comment.
    (Sad that i should spend the time looking it up, I know, but its like doing a crossword)

  18. Dear Dr. Eades:
    I had no plans to start this public debate, but couldn’t locate contact information on your site. That said, I appreciate you commenting on my post rather then deleting it. People keep pestering me with your comments about “bad editing,” which you can easily google (30. March 2007, 16:13).
    Here is what you wrote:
    Dr. Eades: “As I mentioned in an earlier comment to a comment, this book is poorly edited, and so, for me, at any rate, a real pain to read.”
    — Fiber Menace was edited by an editor from The New Yorker Magazine, and edited again by an author of English-language textbooks. Since English is my second language, I invested a great deal of money to make sure it is, indeed, well edited.
    Fiber Menace isn’t self-published. It’s published by Ageless Press, a small press owned by my wife, who was a senior executive at one of the largest publishers in the world. That insinuation – that somehow a book which wasn’t published be Penguin or Simon and Shuster is second rate isn’t welcome and offensive to all professionals, invloved in its release.
    Also, consider all those people with IBS, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, diverticulosis, and so on who could have benefited from reading my book following your advice, had you chosen to be more generous. Consider measuring your “pain to read” against their real pain and suffering.
    Regarding Atkins:
    Dr. Eades: “I’m fairly certain (based on experience with other such patients) that at the end he probably had total organ failure (including renal failure) which added to the fluid retention problem.
    – Water retention in excess of 50-60 lb on IV feed in a hospital settings, with nothing by mouth? In top teaching hospital in NYC? Do you mean to imply that their trauma team was so incompetent, that it would pump up a dying patient with fluids to that extent?
    Dr. Eades: “As a result Dr. Atkins gained massive fluid weight in the hospital, which unscrupulous people used to malign him after his death.”
    — Do you mean to imply that the pathologist, who performed Atkins postmortem was “unscrupulous,” and that The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reprinted his lies?
    Dr. Eades: “And, as I recall, it badmouthed low-carb diets as I would prescribe them in pretty non-equivocal terms.”
    Fiber Menace, page 255: “Assuming you won’t be rushing to replace these excluded carbohydrates with refined sugar, fruit juices, and soft drinks, your diet will become not just low in fiber, but decidedly low in carbs as well. Thus, serendipitously, you’ll be accruing the benefits of a low-carb diet, too.”
    Fiber Menace, page 264: “The adoption of a low-fiber diet coincides with a significantly reduced consumption of dietary carbohydrates (low-carb diet). Low-carb diets are an effective preventative for cardiovascular and endocrine disorders, including diabetes and obesity.”
    What else can I add?
    Konstantin Monastyrsky
    The credentials of the person editing the book are immaterial ot the argument at hand. Either the book is poorly edited or it isn’t irrespective of who edited it. And I think it is poorly edited. That’s my opinion. I commend you for hiring an editor – I just don’t believe you got your money’s worth.
    A small press owned by your wife is self published. Anything not published by mainstream publishers is self published. There is nothing wrong with self publishing – my only comment was that almost all self publishers don’t spring for an editor. You said that you did, so I believe you.
    I still don’t understand your focus on Dr. Atkins’ death and whatever I may have written about it. What’s the deal? How does this possibly have any bearing on what I wrote about your book.
    You gave a couple of quotes above from your book that appeared to promote low-carb dieting. But you spent an entire chapter – Chapter Three: Atkins Goes to South Beach – attacking low-carb diets. That’s what I mean about contradictory material.
    Here is a quote from Chapter Three:

    To summarize: in order to consistently lose fat on a low-carb dietm you must keep your body in a perpetual state of lipolysis. [I agree with this to an extent. If you keep in a state of lipolysis much of the time – not necessarily all the time – you will still lose weight.] To accomplish this feat you must consume: (a) ZERO carbs; (b) under 60 grams of protein to prevent muscle wasting, and (c) under 70-80 grams of fat to enjoy some level of satiety, enhance the digestion of proteins, maintain the integrity of intestinal mucosa and prevent the formation of gallstones. (Please adjust these figures to your own weight and levels of activity!)

    Let’s consider this statement. If I am a normal 70 kg person, I need to keep my carbs at 0, my protein at 60 g or under and my fat at 80 g or under. Assuming I keep my protein at the max of 60 g and my fat at the max of 80 g, I would get only (60 x 4 + 80 X 9) 960 kcal per day. I can assure you that I would lose weight on this, but would I be able to stick to it? And s this the only way to lose weight on a low-carb diet? I think not. I’ve had many years of practice taking care of thousands of patients on low-carb diets, and I can assure you that one doesn’t have to be anywhere near this extreme to be in lipolysis and lose weight consistently.
    If any readers of this blog want to buy this book and take a look, go for it. I would be interested in hearing what you think of it.

  19. Mike,
    Here is a list of posts in which your comments on Fiber Menace appeared in the comments section. Mainly, you were critical of the poor editing, but also spoke of contradictory and inaccurate information.
    FYI, here is a google trick. Type the following into google and you can search the site including comments:
    “fiber menace”
    I didn’t think you were “exceptionally nasty”, just typically blunt, which is one of the things I enjoy about this blog.
    Thanks for the search tip. I didn’t realize I had commented on the book once let alone four times.

  20. for what it’s worth, I bought a copy of Fiber Menace, but couldn’t get thru it. I agree with your review completely, in fact, I think you’re being too kind. I found his book full of dubious claims and assertions, without any real substantiation. But I agree with the main premise, that fiber is completely overrated as a necessity to human diet. A final word, Gary Taube-ish in depth exploration of this idea, to my meager and limted knowledge anyway, has yet to be written.

  21. MrFreddy,
    For what it’s worth, have a decency to name those “dubious claims and assertions without any real substations” instead of making innuendoes based on, as you said, your “meager and limited knowledge.”
    Go figure — you agree with my book “main premise” but the book itself is “dubious…”
    It sounds like old Soviet Union: “I don’t know who that darn Sakharov (a famous dissident), but I hate everything he stands for…”
    Great argument — “This guy is right about everything, but he is a jerk…” Lovely!
    Smarts like you compromise Dr. Eades reputation, not my book.
    Konstantin Monastyrsky

  22. Dear Dr. Eades,
    Well, a good third of Fiber Menace’s content is available on the Internet, so readers can make up their own mind about its editing.
    In regard to major publishers: You know as well I do that I can’t get published by a major publisher because they don’t work with non-fiction authors who lack celebrity or notoriety. It has nothing to do with content, and everything with money-making. That’s their business model, and I am not the one to go nuts altering it.
    So, “self-publishing” was the only possible venue for Fiber Menace. That said, I am working hard in attaining name recognition, and, at this point, it’s only a matter of time – I switched over to English-language marketing only recently, just six months ago, and released my web site only four weeks ago. That’s how (by going over report logs) I came across your comments about my book.
    In regard to weight loss: I stand by my calculation and methodology. They are derived from physiology textbooks, my Russian-language titles about weight loss, and my own practical experience with thousands of clients over the last eight years.
    In my experience, only few people – mainly tall and healthy man, and tall and healthy women under 40 attain consistent weight on Atkins-style diet. The rest – don’t, unless they exercise daily, and keep VLC diet.
    The Atkins diet was a profound failure, and the subject of my yet unpublished book Fixing Up The Atkins Diet. Dr. Atkins death killed its publication back in 2003, and, at this time, “major publishers” have zero interest in releasing this title. The third chapter of Fiber Menace provides a detailed math for phantom weight loss experience by people, who follow Atkins regimen, and it’s available on my site (i.e.
    I appreciate you recommending my book. I’ve been recommending Protein Power to my Russian-language readers, listeners, and viewers for years.
    Thank you again for your detailed response,
    Konstantin Monastyrsky, author of Fiber Menace
    I don’t agree that people with no notoriety or celebrity can’t get published by the mainstream publishers. When I wrote my first book I was a totally unknown doctor practicing in Arkansas before Bill Clinton put Arkansas on the map. I had absolutely no celebrity whatsoever. So it can be done.
    We’ll have to agree to disagree on whether or not low-carb diets as I prescribe them work or simply provide phantom weight loss. You have your ideas based on your experience – I have mine based on my experience and my reading of the medical literature.
    I hope you do well with your book. I think it has value in refocusing people away from fiber.

  23. Dear Dr. Eades,
    Thank again you for your comments and good wishes. It’s unfortunate that this debate spilled into public realm, but I am happy to learn that you are sincere, open-minded, and brutally honest. That’s all that really counts.
    Over the next several months I’ll be developing a video course about weight loss related-issues, and am looking forward to hearing your feedback. This course will address technical aspects of low-carb dieting (i.e. constipation, appetite reduction, hypoglycemia, fatigue, indigestion, anemia, halitosis, dehydration, etc..) more than the dieting itself, because this subject is already well covered by you and other authors.
    There are several reasons I am switching to video format rather than book format: First, because I can. Second — younger audience prefers seeing and hearing to reading. Third, a lot of people with weight issues are also affected by ADD/HD, and video format simply works better for them. Finally, it’s much faster to produce, can be released in increments and more fun.
    If you believe I can contribute my videos/articles to you blog, I’ll be honored to do so, and am hoping we’ll become good friends and close collaborators, not adversaries.
    I am sorry again for approaching your comments with prejudices, and sincerely apologies for some things I’ve said for dramatic effect. A little earlier I contacted Dr. Bernstein seeking guidance on fiber-diabetes connection, and he treated me with incredible rudeness and contempt. That, I guess, made me oversensitive to your remarks about my book, hence I overreacted.
    Thank you again,
    Konstantin Monastyrsky
    No problem. No offense taken. Sorry you had a bad experience with Dr. Bernstein – he’s usually a pretty nice guy.
    I hope your video and book efforts do well.

  24. Thank you again. I would very much appreciate if you can point me to those editing issues that you’d mentioned early. A number of English-language professionals read my book with whom I am not connected in any way, and I’ve heard nothing but praise for clarity, style, language, and editing… I would really love to address (fix) those problems that you noticed.
    Thank you again,
    Konstantin Monastyrsky
    There are basically three things that editors do. They correct faulty grammar and ensure that English usage is proper; they look for inconsistencies and contradictions in the text; and they try to eliminate or at least tone down overwriting. (They do other things as well such as recommending different opening paragraphs, changes in wording, etc. but for our purposes, let’s just look at these three.)
    The grammar in your book is fine – I didn’t have a problem with that. It is the other two that are troublesome.
    In my opinion your book is what is called overwritten. In other words, you make an argument, then you remake the same argument, then you remake it again and again ad infinitum. And you explain things in ways that can be done in more simple fashion. You’ve got to assume that anyone buying your book has a modicum of intelligence and doesn’t have to have things explained to him/her in excruciating detail. That is over writing.
    The other problem – again, in my opinion – is that there are inconsistencies and contradictions. In Chapter Three you basically describe what you believe is the only low-carb diet structure that really works. Then later throughout the book you make the case that simply restricting carbs a little works and that a switch to a moderately lower carb diet is a positive switch (these are the quotes you sent in an earlier comment). These are inconsistent with what you write in Chapter Three.

  25. Dear Dr. Eades,
    Thank you very much for your comments, and I appreciate you taking time to answer my question. In my defense I can say this:
    1. Fiber Menace is about digestive disorders, not dieting per se, and my recommendation aren’t addressed to people with weight loss issue or metabolic syndrome, or seeking general diet advise, but for people with severe gastroenterocolitis, IBS, IBD, UC, Crohn’s, celiac disease, and so on. Tis is clearly stated on the cover: Fiber Menace: The Truth About the Leading Role of Fiber in Diet Failure, Constipation, Hemorrhoids, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease, and Colon Cancer.
    Please, put yourself in my shoes, and ask yourself: Would I, Dr. Eades, advise a patient with any of the above conditions to assume the kind of diet I am enjoying, i.e. eggs and bacon in the morning, red wine for dinner, some desserts, etc… Of course, not.
    True, from the Protein Power’s paradigm, Fiber Menace may come accross as inconsistent. That’s why when people ask me for low-carb diet advise, I recommend them to read your book, not Fiber Menace.
    2. In regard to Fiber Menace being overwritten: You are a highly experienced physician with in-depth understanding of subject matter and stratospheric I.Q.. For you (and for me too) — Fiber Menace is ideed overwritten because it wasn’t written for doctors or nutritionists, but for general public, people who still believe that fiber is manna from heaven. On top, I am still getting e-mails daily with questions like this: “Dr. Monastyrsky, but what are carbohydrates?”… So I try to be as explicit as possible to make it stick…
    Unfortunately, your comments about “bad editing,” no matter how well meant or intended, turned a lot of people away from Fiber Menace because they trust your opinion, and rightfully so they equate “bad editing” with “bad information”… So I was hoping a person of your stature would endorse it’s on substance, rather than would criticize its form, consider all those kids and adults who are suffering so badly from all of the conditions covered by Fiber Menace.
    I am still hoping you’ll reconsider your initial reaction, and will use your unique position, authority, and credibility to let as many people, particularly in the media, to know about Fiber Menace. All things considered, reading an overwritten book beats losing life or colon to ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, or colon cancer. I pray for those people every day, and I wrote this book for them.
    After all that, just Imagine how I feel reading about myself: “Intelligent people can be so stupid” just because I advise people with acute gastroenterocolitis to stay off proteins until remission (a standard protocol, BTW), and restrict proteins to just one meal a day to remain in remission.
    Please use your influence to let others, particulary people in the media, about Fiber Menace. If between two of us we can save just one child from getting affected by autism, or one adults from succumbing to Crohn’s, it will be worth our respective effort many times over.
    Thank you again,
    Konstantin Monastyrsky

  26. Dear Dr. Eades,
    Just one more brief comments to my previous e-mail:
    We had published Fiber Menace the way we did not because of “greed and avarice,” but because I couldn’t find any takers for this controversial subject among the top tier publishers. If you believe Fiber Menace is meritorious and deserves a larger audience, please put me in touch with your publisher. It (the publishing company) would be much more receptive to your recommendation than to my cold solicitation. Obviously, they can then edit up/down Fiber Menace as much as they like – I am easy to work with in that regard.
    Thank you again,
    Konstantin Monastyrsky

  27. Dear Dr. Eades,
    Just got this e-mail today. It’s quite representative of the kinds of problems I deal with, i.e. severe gastroenterocolitis related to enzymatic deficiency, inadequate acidity, etc.
    === Message begins:
    Dear Konstantin,
    I started six monts ago a low-carb lifestyle, not to loose weight (i was 65 kg. for 173 cm. before starting the diet, so I haven’t so much wwight to loose), but just to get rid of my stomach pain, gastritis and heartburn.
    I’d already read Norm Robillard’s book (“Heartburn cured”) so I decided to try a low-carb diet. It worked, at the beginning, and for months: my stomach was very well and my heartburn, after years, suddenly disappeared.
    These months I’ve become free of pasta, pizza, bread and so on, and I’ve lost 7-8 kg. Now I am 57 kg. Since 2-3 weeks, unfortunately, I’ve started to experience abdominal pain, pain pressing my belly (everywhere), the pain is spread also in my lower back (right and left) and is sometimes like a pinprick.
    For these reasons I think my bowel is involved.
    I eat a very low fiber diet, but I’m thinking to give up my low-carb diet, that could be the culprit.
    Obviously I’m not looking for a diagnosis via e-mail, but, since I’ve read about many low-carbers suffering conditions like IBS or colitis, I’m just curiously wondering whether (and why) a low-carb diet could imply these consequences.
    Any ideas?
    ==== message ends…
    Hope this will give you a better context to my non-dogmatic dietary advice…
    This meant as a private message to you. Please don’t post it for general viewing. Unfortunately, I don’t know your e-mail to communicate it privately.
    Thank you for taking time to reviewing my messages.
    Konstantin Monastyrsky

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *