Coming to one or more of your favorite blogs' comments section soon, if the messianic crusade on Peter's Hyperlipid blog is any indication. The comment thread in question begins here. He has also hit Dr. Eades on this post (there's no comment links, but the comments in question begin at 25 April 2009, 23:24). Now, Stephan's blog.
In a nutshell, from one of his comments:
HED = high-carbs + high-fat + high-calories
HED = SAD – sugar – HFCS – PUFAs – TFAs
I'm not going to recount all the specifics, as those are contained in the comments — over and over — if you're interested.
I've said before that I don't think carbohydrate is the primary problem (for those without type 2 or borderline, or obsese), and the Kitavans and other H-G groups seem to prove that. In that regard, this HED does seem to eliminate at least some of what migh destroy a high-carb munching Kitavan's health, i.e., refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, processed vegetable oils (HEDers seem also not too fond of omega-3 PUFA — the Ray Peat influence) and trans fatty-acids.
He has also posted that lots of the low-carbers ignore the Kitavans, which is true. I don't think that's the case for all the paleo-like eaters, and certainly not true for me, as I've often written that healthful diets exist from equator to arctic circle, from high carb intake (Kitavans, Kuna and others — mostly from starch) to virtually zero carb (Inuit).
What I think is of far more importance is to find the diet or life way that works for you. First, begin with a principle: Real Food and nothing but Real Food. Next, attempt to determine where your genetic ancestry evolved in the last 50,000 years since coming out of Africa. Did your ancestors evolve in tropical regions with plenty of starches and fruits available year round, in regions with limited starches and fruits only seasonally, or with pretty much nothing but meat and animal fat most of the time?
Start there and go with how you feel as your first and primary authority. It's a process. There is great variability, so you may be more adaptable to one macronutrient mix than another, or, it may not make much of a difference. Some are going to feel better on high carb, and some on zero carb, and some in-between.
But never forget the Real Food principle. That's a safe haven and you just can't go wrong.
The HED people are saying, in essence, that if you don't eat grains in abundance (e.g., replacing the cals with more meat, fat, veggies, fruits, nuts), that you're "stupid" and that you're damaging your health. That's nonsense. It violates a sound and proven principle (Real Food), it's — so far — based on short term anecdotes and nothing more, and it proposes a one-size-fits-all diet.
Perhaps most annoying of all is that — at least in the case of the comment crusader — they seem to take great stock in each and every anecdote of great health achieved (over the last weeks and couple of months) on this HED, yet discount the thousands of low-carb and paleo anecdotes recounted over decades. Everyone here knows my story, including that I've lost 50ish pounds so far, dropped my BP from 160/100 to normal ranges, have HDLs in the 130s, Trigs in the 40s, cured and reversed gum disease, and have rid myself of a number of prescription medications that I have been on for years, and in one case, decades.
But I'm not munching on unlimited bread, pasta, bagels, pizza and pancakes, so I've actually damaged my health, you see. I am unclean; unwashed; unsaved. I'm ruined. I need salvation: HED, I repent; please save me.
A final note about that last paragraph. He — over and over — stipulates that those things are only a problem in a low fat environment and that eating them with plenty of animal fat solves the problem. Well, I was never a low fat dieter, and have probably been over 40% fat most of my entire life, mostly from animal sources. I was never much of a candy or junk food muncher, but I certainly did eat lots and lots and lots of bread (with huge mounds of meat, cheese, and veggies between), pizzas (all meat, usually), always used lots of butter and drank plenty of milk and other dairy sources of fat.
Grains ruined my health, and getting away from them while eating unlimited meat, fowl, fish, animal fat, coconut milk & oil, veggies and reasonable fruits and nuts restored my health.
This post is intended as a public service announcement, aimed primarily at those who, for lack of a good explanation, seem to be influenced by religious crusades. So just remember: Animals don't need gurus. Be your own Master and Control your own life.