Nutritional Guidelines, Fake Science, and My Decreasing Waist

 

In the spring of 2015, my doctor diagnosed me as clinically obese, with a Latin term that roughly translates to “fat in the belly.” As Rodney Dangerfield joked, “and when I asked for a second opinion, he said I’m ugly.” Anyhow, I’ve long struggled with clinical obesity. I’ve also held, since the 1980s, the habit of daily exercise, alternating between weights and cardio, as well as carefully cataloging my dietary intake, most recently adding MyFitnessPal to my daily habits. My obesity isn’t the fruit of sloth, or lack of self-control, as is the favorite diagnosis.

After months of stewing over the sting of my diagnosis, I decided to launch, yet again, diet #2454. This time it would be a high protein, medium carb, and low fat, a la South Beach. Watch my calories in, calories out, I’ve done this before, I’ve got this.

And yet … after an initial weight loss of about 20 pounds, Thanksgiving and Christmas snacking soon laid waste to my waist, reversing my losses. Just like every other stinkin’ time.

At my next yearly checkout, with nothing to show but my ever-present belly, I asked my general doctor for a referral to a well-known doctor in the “low carb, high fat” way of eating (or WoE). That was eight months ago, and, today, I’m at my lowest weight in three decades.

So, yeah, I might be popping the cork of success too soon, but there’s something else that I’m bringing attention to here. My WoE is rich in saturated fats and meat. The American Heart Association tells us that such things are the leading cause of heart disease. The AHA assures me that by dramatically increasing my saturated fat intake, I’ve issued my own death sentence. Notice how when reason fails, authorities turn to scare tactics? Yet,¹ my fellow WoE-ers and I have never had such good blood lab work, i.e., heart-healthy results. Though being hypertensive prior to the diet, my blood pressure has been consistently 75 over 115 since two months into the diet. I’m far from alone in seeing and experiencing this.

My WoE is very similar to the Atkins Diet. Gary Taubes famously wrote a highly-visible and highly-provocative article, “What If It’s All Been a Big Fat Lie?” back in 2002 in the NY Times. It made the then-scandalous assertion that fat was healthy. There continues to be a growing mound of evidence that the advice we regularly receive is flat-out wrong and is contributing to the obesity epidemic. Like the red-handed infidelitous spouse who asks, “are you going to believe me or your lying eyes,” my experience isn’t matching what I’m richly and authoritatively assured.

Why is this so? Why are we being asked to follow the same old misleading and unhealthy guidance?

I speculate that some of this pushback is politically driven. For example, remember Jimmy Carter’s push for “environmental sustainability?” That “Meat is unsustainable.” Sure, if we earth-destroying humans would simply eat rice and grass, we can save the planet. Umm … no thanks. There’s also the “Meat is Murder” crowd who tsk-tsks we carnivores. Yet, our bodies respond better to high-fat, saturated fat, and low carb. It’s healthier. You don’t have to like the incongruity of this with your preferred agenda, but deny this at the risk to your own credibility.²

For the AHA, and others, to acknowledge as much is to run counter to those who pretend their science-based way to saving the planet is the only way. There are financial incentives to keep things the way they are as well. I’m sure there are other factors as well. As I researched for this post, I found this post by @drrich from two-plus years ago making similar observations.

It seems Lysenkoism continues his march. Meanwhile, here’s to my pad of butter on my sirloin so that I may comfortably fit into clothes I haven’t worn in decades.


¹ Not everyone. Suffice it to say that this is empirical, not magical. There are always outliers.

² I’m being pith for many reasons, but, sure, we don’t know beyond reasonable doubt. We currently lack significant studies to know with certainty. The LCHF/Keto community cries out for more studies to better understand what we anecdotally are experiencing.

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  1. Nathanael Ferguson Contributor
    Nathanael Ferguson
    @NathanaelFerguson

    Congrats! Last year I read Taubes’ Why We Get Fat And What We Can Do About It. That book changed my life. Within six months I was at my lowest weight in ten years or more. I cut out carbs and started eating a lot of bacon, sausage, fatty cuts of beef, and drenching my salads in feta cheese, avocado, and olive oil. Totally changed my life. Again, congrats. You are on an incredible path, keep at it.

    • #31
  2. Joseph Stanko Coolidge
    Joseph Stanko
    @JosephStanko

    But carbs are so yummy!  Donuts, bagels, pasta, potatoes, and beer… mmmm…

     

    • #32
  3. Mark Wilson Member
    Mark Wilson
    @MarkWilson

    Fred Houstan: Meanwhile, here’s to my pad of butter on my sirloin so that I may comfortably fit into clothes I haven’t worn in decades.

    Congratulations, Fred.  Now the question is, you can fit in them, but do you want to be seen in them?

    • #33
  4. KarenZiminski Coolidge
    KarenZiminski
    @psmith

    I eat like you do, butter, cheese, red meat, etc., no refined sugar. I weigh 95 pounds. I’m 72 & no serious health problems.

    • #34
  5. OkieSailor Member
    OkieSailor
    @OkieSailor

    Phil Turmel (View Comment):

    Fred Houstan (View Comment):

    OkieSailor (View Comment):
    watching football may be impossible without salsa and chips

    @okiesailor just replace the chips with pork rinds. It’s difficult to stop eating chips, I never feel “full” but I find I can eat too many pork rinds, despite the fact I enjoy them. So the food is your friend, not your junkie. For added deliciousness, dip the pork rinds in mayonnaise. Just watch your friend’s reaction for added theatrical enjoyment when you remind them this is your health food.

    OMG! I’m going to have to try this!

    I haven’t tried the mayo but I have eaten pork rinds with guacamole which is basically avocados and mayo (Mrs. OS makes it for me).  It is also very good.

    • #35
  6. Fred Houstan Member
    Fred Houstan
    @FredHoustan

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    But carbs are so yummy! Donuts, bagels, pasta, potatoes, and beer… mmmm…

    I’d be lying to disagree. Yet, I’m sure there’s 0ther things I can consume that will be highly enjoyable, and addictively so. At 55, I’ve had 5 solid decades of knocking that stuff back. What’s radical about this diet is I don’t crave those things, as I do when I do eat them in moderation. For example, in my old calorie-in-calorie-out diet days, I used to dream of a sumptuous banquet table, — I can still picture it — overflowing in those very starchy and sugary delights and I’d be eating with no brakes on whatsoever.

    Now then, having just completed my first half-marathon last fall (thank you very much) I enjoyed a delicious pint of stout as my “recovery liquid.” Good to the last drop, my second pint in 8 months. Wine is another liquid I might enjoy 8 ounces every other month.

    • #36
  7. Fred Houstan Member
    Fred Houstan
    @FredHoustan

    Mark Wilson (View Comment):
    Congratulations, Fred. Now the question is, you can fit in them, but do you want to be seen in them?

    Heh. All my newer-ish clothes are so baggy, they look like zoot suits. One advantage to my career choice (I.T.) is that I remain fashionable, even in decades-old clothing. At least I kid myself as much.

    • #37
  8. Fred Houstan Member
    Fred Houstan
    @FredHoustan

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    Repeat after me: isocaloric ≠ isometabolic.

    I did, and my wife said; “I thought you gave that mantra business up in the 90’s.”

    Anyhow, yeah, this makes sense: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html

    The phrase Lustig uses when he describes this concept is “isocaloric but not isometabolic.” This means we can eat 100 calories of glucose (from a potato or bread or other starch) or 100 calories of sugar (half glucose and half fructose), and they will be metabolized differently and have a different effect on the body. The calories are the same, but the metabolic consequences are quite different.

    • #38
  9. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Fred Houstan (View Comment):

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    But carbs are so yummy! Donuts, bagels, pasta, potatoes, and beer… mmmm…

    I’d be lying to disagree. Yet, I’m sure there’s 0ther things I can consume that will be highly enjoyable, and addictively so. At 55, I’ve had 5 solid decades of knocking that stuff back. What’s radical about this diet is I don’t crave those things, as I do when I do eat them in moderation. For example, in my old calorie-in-calorie-out diet days, I used to dream of a sumptuous banquet table, — I can still picture it — overflowing in those very starchy and sugary delights and I’d be eating with no brakes on whatsoever.

    Now then, having just completed my first half-marathon last fall (thank you very much) I enjoyed a delicious pint of stout as my “recovery liquid.” Good to the last drop, my second pint in 8 months. Wine is another liquid I might enjoy 8 ounces every other month.

    Nutritionist and bariatrician Marlene Merritt says that a useful way to think about it is that we all are born with a certain number of carbohydrate “points.” How many points? That depends on many factors. Genetic background, epigenetic influences  not only beginning with the pregnancy that produced us, not only starting with our mother’s birth, but going back at least a generation before that (for example, we know that if your paternal grandfather or maternal grandmother was seriously underfed before puberty, you will be more likely to develop diabetes; if you’re male and your maternal grandmother smoked when pregnant with your mother,  you’re more likely to be overweight) and certainly including what we’ve eaten throughout our lives – all contribute to how many points we start with and when we run out. And when we’re out of points, our resiliency to significant carbohydrate intake is gone.

    On a population basis, consumption of more than 25-40 grams/d of fructose is associated with increased incidence of obesity. That’s 40-64 lb/year of table sugar (50% fructose) and a bit less of high fructose corn syrup. 1-2 cans of soda per day. Or 2-4 medium apples.

     

    • #39
  10. Curt North Inactive
    Curt North
    @CurtNorth

    I re-started a low-carb higher protien diet after the holidays once again kicked my but (and my waist).  When I asked my cardiac nurse at the last check-up about dropping some weight, she replied “Just avoid the carbs” as in to say “Duh, everyone knows this”.  This came from a medical professional, and it’s good to hear that @docjay is OK with this WoE as well (I was going to ask him to chime in if he hadn’t already).  My wife was recently diagnosed as prediabetic and admits she has a full blown sugar addiction, refined sugar has got to be one of the most toxic things you could ever digest, from what I’ve ready your body is simply not set up to deal with it in any beneficial way and simply passes it into your blood = hello diabetes.

    I think the tide is slowly turning, we see more studies debunking the idea of fat being inherently bad for you, same with sodium.  I have a family member who is a marathon runner who recently did a month of the “Paleo Diet” all to drop a few pounds and get her joints feeling better, to me that spoke volumes as well.  If you ever read the original book by Dr. Robert Atkins, you can see the timeline laid out as refined sugar entered our diets almost everywhere 100 years ago, with the rates of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes skyrocketing shortly after.

    • #40
  11. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Fred Houstan (View Comment):

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    Repeat after me: isocaloric ≠ isometabolic.

    I did, and my wife said; “I thought you gave that mantra business up in the 90’s.”

    Anyhow, yeah, this makes sense: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/magazine/mag-17Sugar-t.html

    The phrase Lustig uses when he describes this concept is “isocaloric but not isometabolic.” This means we can eat 100 calories of glucose (from a potato or bread or other starch) or 100 calories of sugar (half glucose and half fructose), and they will be metabolized differently and have a different effect on the body. The calories are the same, but the metabolic consequences are quite different.

    Yep. Or 100 calories of fat, or of protein. Protein is interesting. Thomas Seyfried, who extended the work on ketogenic diet from its historic and very well studied application in childhood epilepsy to a very promising adjunct to cancer treatment has noted that some people are so good at what’s called gluconeogenesis (making sugar from, in this case, protein) that to stay in deep enough ketosis to have it be useful in their therapy they had to limit protein intake. He also mentions lab geek colleagues of his who, once solidly fat- and keto-adapted, tried to see how low they could drive their blood sugar and still function well. Some of them got it down into the 60s. “Normal” blood sugar starts above 80.

    • #41
  12. Mim526 Member
    Mim526
    @Mim526

    Randal H (View Comment):
    On a related note, I recently completed the book “The Salt Fix” which argues (through lots of references to research) that the push toward low-salt diets is similar. Low-salt typically results in increased sugars to offset, and the sugars appear to be worse than the salt on health (which has no negative effect at all on the vast majority of the population). One statistic that astounded me is that Scandinavians’ reliance on salt cod as a major food source in past centuries led them to consume upwards of 100 grams of salt a day seemingly without issues (most people consume an average of about 3.5 grams per day and the guidelines are even lower at 2.3 grams and 1.5 for certain other groups). The book argues that salt intake that low is actually dangerous and research indicates little effect on blood pressure even in those with elevated blood pressure (except for a few specific types).

     

    Speaking of salt, I switched to sea salt from iodized a few yrs ago and was amazed at the difference in taste.  Much prefer sea salt.

    • #42
  13. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    Mim526 (View Comment):

    Randal H (View Comment):
    On a related note, I recently completed the book “The Salt Fix” which argues (through lots of references to research) that the push toward low-salt diets is similar. Low-salt typically results in increased sugars to offset, and the sugars appear to be worse than the salt on health (which has no negative effect at all on the vast majority of the population). One statistic that astounded me is that Scandinavians’ reliance on salt cod as a major food source in past centuries led them to consume upwards of 100 grams of salt a day seemingly without issues (most people consume an average of about 3.5 grams per day and the guidelines are even lower at 2.3 grams and 1.5 for certain other groups). The book argues that salt intake that low is actually dangerous and research indicates little effect on blood pressure even in those with elevated blood pressure (except for a few specific types).

    Speaking of salt, I switched to sea salt from iodized a few yrs ago and was amazed at the difference in taste. Much prefer sea salt.

    Me, too – but make sure that you’re getting enough iodine in your food (seafood, seaweed and for some, dairy) and if you’re not, supplement. The iodine content of sea salt can be iffy. Iodine deficiency is returning as people eat out more extensively (restaurant salt tends to be non-iodized) or use sea salt or pink salt, or whatever.

    • #43
  14. The Whether Man Inactive
    The Whether Man
    @TheWhetherMan

    I’m fascinated by the runners who manage to maintain a low carb/paleo/keto diet and still perform well.  I tried low carb (not for weight loss, for other medical factors – so still eating a lot of calories) while running 30-40 miles a week, and I lost way too much weight and found my pace and energy really off.  I’m much more of a balanced diet with whole grains person now, which seems to fuel my running much better.

    Edited to add: and cookies.  I can give up all other desserts, but I need a cookie fix, usually with a cup of coffee around 3:00.  It makes life worth living.

     

    • #44
  15. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    Nutritionist and bariatrician Marlene Merritt says that a useful way to think about it is that we all are born with a certain number of carbohydrate “points.” How many points? That depends on many factors. Genetic background, epigenetic influences not only beginning with the pregnancy that produced us, not only starting with our mother’s birth, but going back at least a generation before that (for example, we know that if your paternal grandfather or maternal grandmother was seriously underfed before puberty, you will be more likely to develop diabetes; if you’re male and your maternal grandmother smoked when pregnant with your mother, you’re more likely to be overweight) and certainly including what we’ve eaten throughout our lives – all contribute to how many points we start with and when we run out. And when we’re out of points, our resiliency to significant carbohydrate intake is gone.

    On a population basis, consumption of more than 25-40 grams/d of fructose is associated with increased incidence of obesity. That’s 40-64 lb/year of table sugar (50% fructose) and a bit less of high fructose corn syrup. 1-2 cans of soda per day. Or 2-4 medium apples

    There are some interesting outliers here.  My brother in law cannot metabolize most fats – they actually poison him, which was why he developed gout in his 20s and has always struggled with obesity.  About the only diet that works for him is one mostly of fruit and vegetables, which is a shame as he loves meat.  He wondered about this for years until my sister, his wife, had genetic testing done on the whole family.  He had some markers for a rare genetic disorder, and she started talking about it to his father.  “Oh yeah!  I wondered why he was such a sickly kid, and why we were always taking him to the ER.”  Rather a shame as he used to love smoking meats.

    My sister has the opposite metabolism – very very sensitive to carbs but thrives on a high fat diet.

    • #45
  16. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    Nutritionist and bariatrician Marlene Merritt says that a useful way to think about it is that we all are born with a certain number of carbohydrate “points.” How many points? That depends on many factors. Genetic background, epigenetic influences not only beginning with the pregnancy that produced us, not only starting with our mother’s birth, but going back at least a generation before that (for example, we know that if your paternal grandfather or maternal grandmother was seriously underfed before puberty, you will be more likely to develop diabetes; if you’re male and your maternal grandmother smoked when pregnant with your mother, you’re more likely to be overweight) and certainly including what we’ve eaten throughout our lives – all contribute to how many points we start with and when we run out. And when we’re out of points, our resiliency to significant carbohydrate intake is gone.

    On a population basis, consumption of more than 25-40 grams/d of fructose is associated with increased incidence of obesity. That’s 40-64 lb/year of table sugar (50% fructose) and a bit less of high fructose corn syrup. 1-2 cans of soda per day. Or 2-4 medium apples

    There are some interesting outliers here. My brother in law cannot metabolize most fats – they actually poison him, which was why he developed gout in his 20s and has always struggled with obesity. About the only diet that works for him is one mostly of fruit and vegetables, which is a shame as he loves meat. He wondered about this for years until my sister, his wife, had genetic testing done on the whole family. He had some markers for a rare genetic disorder, and she started talking about it to his father. “Oh yeah! I wondered why he was such a sickly kid, and why we were always taking him to the ER.” Rather a shame as he used to love smoking meats.

    My sister has the opposite metabolism – very very sensitive to carbs but thrives on a high fat diet.

    He and your sister must be tired of hearing “Jack Sprat could eat no fat…” But seriously, there are a lot of individual variations. If he’s on that tight a fat budget make sure he’s getting his omega 3s and fat soluble vitamins from somewhere.

    BTW, for some people fructose can raise uric acid.

    • #46
  17. SkipSul Inactive
    SkipSul
    @skipsul

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    BTW, for some people fructose can raise uric acid.

    In his case, thankfully not.  Being on a high fruit diet, he has been doing better than ever.  And fish doesn’t bother him, thankfully, but olive oil is one he cannot digest properly.

    • #47
  18. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    SkipSul (View Comment):

    Ontheleftcoast (View Comment):
    BTW, for some people fructose can raise uric acid.

    In his case, thankfully not. Being on a high fruit diet, he has been doing better than ever. And fish doesn’t bother him, thankfully, but olive oil is one he cannot digest properly.

    Interesting. I hope it continues to work for him. There is a uric acid/insulin resistance connection (Richard Johnson’s The Fat Switch is a good read that covers thisplus a lot of interesting history) so it might be worthwhile for him to include fasting insulin in his annual health screen. It sounds like he’s got a good doctor somewhere in the mix, so he should probably run it by him/her.

    • #48
  19. The Mononymous J.I.M. Member
    The Mononymous J.I.M.
    @bagodonuts

    Your experience matches mine with respect to fat and carbohydrates. Over the years, I’ve noticed that my own physical response to starch and sugar is somewhat more nuanced (not all carbohydrates seem to be created equal), but in rough outline, bacon is my friend and pancakes are my enemy.

    What’s more, I physically feel better eating this way. I used to get periodically (maybe once every two or three weeks) a day where I was plagued with headaches and a low grade nausea. That vanished once I went low-carb.

    • #49
  20. Fred Houstan Member
    Fred Houstan
    @FredHoustan

    SkipSul (View Comment):
    There are some interesting outliers here. My brother in law cannot metabolize most fats – they actually poison him, which was why he developed gout in his 20s and has always struggled with obesity.

    One of the things I like about this WoE is that we are ALL essentially outliers. CICO fails to account for all the variances between us all. Suffice it to say I’m green with envy on those of you who may indulge in starches like Archie’s Jughead. I suspect I did myself no favors by devouring an entire cereal box of Lucky Charms way back in high school as my daily regimen. I’m really glad, as a father, I’m not letting my kids eat sugar like that.

    Remember the catch phrase on how “Milk, juice, toast and Trix” was part of a healthy breakfast. Not.

    • #50
  21. Fred Houstan Member
    Fred Houstan
    @FredHoustan

    The Whether Man (View Comment):
    I’m fascinated by the runners who manage to maintain a low carb/paleo/keto diet and still perform well.

    There’s an entire discipline for “fat adapted” runners. For my first half-marathon, all I had before the run was a cup of saline for added sodium. Yeah, I hate drinking that stuff, but it helps. No carbs, and my last three miles were my fastest. I felt surprisingly strong after the run. No need to “carbo-load” as we’ve been told for decades.

    • #51
  22. Nick H Coolidge
    Nick H
    @NickH

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):
    But carbs are so yummy! Donuts, bagels, pasta, potatoes, and beer… mmmm…

    This is why I’d have problems on a low-carb diet. So far I’ve done fine with just eating medium-high carb, high fat.

    Another book to suggest: The Big Fat Surprise

    • #52
  23. CitizenOfTheRepublic Inactive
    CitizenOfTheRepublic
    @CitizenOfTheRepublic

    Mim526 (View Comment):

    Randal H (View Comment):
    On a related note, I recently completed the book “The Salt Fix” which argues (through lots of references to research) that the push toward low-salt diets is similar. Low-salt typically results in increased sugars to offset, and the sugars appear to be worse than the salt on health (which has no negative effect at all on the vast majority of the population). One statistic that astounded me is that Scandinavians’ reliance on salt cod as a major food source in past centuries led them to consume upwards of 100 grams of salt a day seemingly without issues (most people consume an average of about 3.5 grams per day and the guidelines are even lower at 2.3 grams and 1.5 for certain other groups). The book argues that salt intake that low is actually dangerous and research indicates little effect on blood pressure even in those with elevated blood pressure (except for a few specific types).

    Speaking of salt, I switched to sea salt from iodized a few yrs ago and was amazed at the difference in taste. Much prefer sea salt.

    Only needs a vanishingly small amount of iodine, but I learned – to my surprise – that sea salt actually contains essentially zero iodine.  I’d thought that it would have a cross-section of seawater minerals, but almost pure NaCl precipitates out without other salts according to “Salt: A World History.”  A little seaweed here or there, some Lugol’s applied topically…meat…lots of other sources to keep one from having a lovely goiter.  [wow…what a Google image search!].

    All that said, I agree iodized salt is no good for cooking!

    • #53
  24. The Whether Man Inactive
    The Whether Man
    @TheWhetherMan

    Fred Houstan (View Comment):

    The Whether Man (View Comment):
    I’m fascinated by the runners who manage to maintain a low carb/paleo/keto diet and still perform well.

    There’s an entire discipline for “fat adapted” runners. For my first half-marathon, all I had before the run was a cup of saline for added sodium. Yeah, I hate drinking that stuff, but it helps. No carbs, and my last three miles were my fastest. I felt surprisingly strong after the run. No need to “carbo-load” as we’ve been told for decades.

    Well, carb loading is not really a thing among runners of any dietary preference anymore – I think that’s been pretty well debunked by now.

    I’ve read about the “fat adapted” runners before, and it just amazes me.  And it just does not work for me at all. Nine months into a dietician-supervised low carb, high fat diet, I could slog through a half marathon averaging ten minute miles.  Back on oatmeal for breakfast every day, I averaged 8:30 min/miles.  And I felt human again.  It’s amazing how much these dietary trends are unique to individuals and how their own body chemistry works.

    • #54
  25. CarolJoy Coolidge
    CarolJoy
    @CarolJoy

    Fred Houstan (View Comment):

    Z in MT (View Comment):
    Different diets and exercise regimes work for different people to keep off weight.

    Sure enough. I have done the Calorie in, calorie out plan (i.e., eat less) I lose weight, but I don’t sustain the loss. Genetics, hereditary factors, and other things I can’t pretend to understand influence weight loss. I’m concerned, here, why we’ve been blown smoke on one effective approach which may actually be the inverse of what we’re told, i.e., eating fat is healthy for you.

    I personally notice that since my spouse is diabetic, I bake the same goodies during the holidays as before. Only I omit about 15 to 20% percent of the amount of sugar that is called for.

    My pies have the same amount of butter for the crust, but far less sugar. And I can eat more, but my “holiday gain” is less than it used to be. I think the notion that fat is “bad” needs to be re-examined. It may well be that fat is bad only because so often it is accompanied by tremendous amounts of starch or sugars.

    Our taste buds have adjusted to this. When we have company, we mention to skinny friends with a sweet tooth that maybe they would enjoy some sweetened whipped creme on the pies. So they get their sweetness quota. (We mention the same thing to chubbier friends, but they usually decline the whipped creme and extra sugar.)

    • #55
  26. CarolJoy Coolidge
    CarolJoy
    @CarolJoy

    As far as the research showing “red meat is bad” is concerned, some who examine such studies find they were done back when many other unhealthy variables were in the mix. So someone who ate a lot of red meat was also likely to smoke. They also might not have been into exercise, as exercise was not as heavily promoted. But the eventual heart attack was blamed ALL on the red meat side of the equation.

    Today’s meat eaters might never have touched a cigarette.

    • #56
  27. Ontheleftcoast Inactive
    Ontheleftcoast
    @Ontheleftcoast

    CitizenOfTheRepublic (View Comment):
    Only needs a vanishingly small amount of iodine, but I learned – to my surprise – that sea salt actually contains essentially zero iodine. I’d thought that it would have a cross-section of seawater minerals, but almost pure NaCl precipitates out without other salts according to “Salt: A World History.” A little seaweed here or there, some Lugol’s applied topically…meat…lots of other sources to keep one from having

    The ocean contains iodine, but if it makes it into sea salt, it’s volatile and goes away.

    One needs a vanishingly small amount to prevent iodine deficiency hypothyroidism. Under at least some circumstances, more can be helpful, particularly for solid tumors particularly of glandular tissues (benign, of course, treating cancer by any means other than surgery, radiation or prescription drugs is illegal.)

    The problem is that if one has, or has the predisposition for, autoimmune hypothyroidism (Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) excessive iodine supplementation can trigger or exacerbate the disease. It may be due – at least partially – to having inadequate selenium levels before the iodine supplementation, but I’m not sure I’d bet my thyroid on it. Severe iodine restriction has been known to reverse Hashi’s.

     

    • #57
  28. Weeping Inactive
    Weeping
    @Weeping

    CarolJoy (View Comment):
    As far as the research showing “red meat is bad” is concerned, some who examine such studies find they were done back when many other unhealthy variables were in the mix. So someone who ate a lot of red meat was also likely to smoke. They also might not have been into exercise, as exercise was not as heavily promoted. But the eventual heart attack was blamed ALL on the red meat side of the equation.

    Today’s meat eaters might never have touched a cigarette.

    This is important to remember with all studies.

    • #58
  29. Scott R Member
    Scott R
    @ScottR

    A high fat high protein diet is all that’s ever worked for me, Fred (and I’m due, really due — up 20 lbs since summer. Every damn year, this cycle!!).

    When I ran this diet by a farmer friend of mine many years ago, he said farmers have known this forever: If you wanna fatten a hog you feed him corn; if you wanna get him lean you feed him greasy slop.

    Greasy Slop Diet starts tomorrow.

    • #59
  30. Fred Houstan Member
    Fred Houstan
    @FredHoustan

    Scott R (View Comment):
    When I ran this diet by a farmer friend of mine many years ago, he said farmers have known this forever: If you wanna fatten a hog you feed him corn; if you wanna get him lean you feed him greasy slop.

    • #60
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