It was over a week ago that I reported to you that Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of best-selling The China Study was participating in a low-carb discussion forum. While he has been away for a while, he suddenly popped back in this weekend.
Mind numbing, to say the least. I just can’t see how a person can reach such stature and still be so ignorant about so many things. While he expresses interest in the many good results that have been reported by those who’ve implemented low-carb and paleo eating practices, he just can’t seem to bring himself to the obvious conclusion that when one eats mostly real food — including animal meat and fat, or not — that good things are likely to happen in comparison to a modern diet of industrially processed crap.
So, while many including myself are more than willing to acknowledge that his “plant-based diet of all natural foods” is better than a standard crap diet and will provide comparative benefit for many, he is simply stuck in the belief that his results are primarily from eliminating animals and their fat, not in spite of it, and that those who obtain similar or better results on paleo are simply obtaining temporary benefits. “They’ll pay later” is implied in virtually all of his acknowledgements.
So, here’s some examples of what I’m dealing with.
Who says we evolved on a high fat, high meat diet, as you imply?
Well Dr. Campbell, when you become willing to set aside the religion of plant-based dieting and accept the reality of our evolution, there’s no other possibility. In addition to reams of archeological evidence supporting the fact that we were early stone tool makers and scavengers of carcasses, particularly high-fat bone marrow and brain, there’s also the numbers.
Do the math. With our hugely energy-demanding brains, combined with our small guts, there is no possibility other than that we were not only meat & fat eaters, we were ENORMOUS meat & fat eaters.
According to Kleiber’s law, an australopithecine weighing 80 pounds would have the same metabolic rate as a human weighing 80 pounds despite the disparity in brain size between the two. The much larger brain of the human would have 4-5 times the metabolic rate of the brain of the australopithecine, yet would have the same overall metabolic rate. What gives? […]
Aiello and Wheeler examined the data on the metabolic rates and sizes of the various expensive tissues and learned that for a 65 kg primate, the heart, the kidneys, and the liver were approximately the same size as those of a 65 kg (143 lb) human. The greater metabolic rate of the large human brain was compensated for by a GI tract significantly decreased in size. It turns out that the GI tract of a 65 kg human is just a little over half the size of the GI tract of a similar sized primate. […]
A considerable problem for the early hominids would have been to provide themselves, as large-bodied species, with sufficient quantities of high-quality food to permit the necessary reduction of the gut. The obvious solution would have been to include increasingly large amounts of animal-derived food in the diet.
Increasing the amount of easily-digested food of animal origin allowed us to shrink our guts while expanding our brains [Keep in mind: this was over millions of years. -ED] . Had we remained on a diet high in vegetation, we would no doubt not have been able to expand our brains irrespective of how much more thinking those brains would have needed to do. It just wouldn’t have been possible to do so without violating Kleiber’s law.
Take the gorilla, for example, almost pure vegetarians that spend their entire ‘working’ day foraging and eating, which they have to do to get enough calories to maintain their enormous bulk. They have large guts and pay for it by having small brains. Even smaller than that of our most primitive ancestors, the australophthecines.
Gorilla has one of the lowest levels of encephalization of any haplorhine primate, and the much higher level of encephalization of all the australopithecines suggests a diet of significantly higher quality than that of this genus.
Which makes sense when you consider that carbon 13 isotope analysis has shown that Australopithecus africanus (the species that came right after Lucy) consumed meat. As you go up the lineage from Australopithecus and through Homo, you find that more and more meat was consumed the higher up the tree you go.
You need to start facing reality, Dr. Campbell.
I might have added that Dr. Campbell doesn’t seem to realize that he enjoys the luxury of a modern economy that can make sure he has spinach, even if it has to be shipped to him frozen, from…China! Put that in your “study,” Doktor. The fact is that if he and his adherents had to subsist as hunter gatherers, they would quickly learn to hunt, or starve.
Another “jewel” is his response to someone else who asked why he “thought” fat brought bad consequences.
I don’t “think” that there are adverse consequences from high-fat. The scientific literature overflows with such evidence.
Ah, I see; so when it’s a typical western diet of lots of processed foods, sugar, “franken-oils,” grains and such, then it’s always most certainly the animal fat, not the neolithic garbage people consume.
You’re inconsistent, Dr., bordering on dishonest. You are very careful to stipulate that your plant-based diet is one derived from natural and not processed foods. I actually agree that’s probably a more important factor (variable) than whether or not such natural diet includes meat and animal fat.
You, to your discredit, I believe, fail continually to acknowledge the same distinction with the paleo dietary approach.
You should know that high fat, like addictive drugs, also is addictive — it gives a dopamine kick. Like nicotine, caffeine, and other addictive chemicals, it can be very hard for some to kick the habit.
Hysterical. Food, real food, the stuff we evolved to eat over millennia is now an “addictive drug.”
The ‘addiction to a dopamine high’ caused by high fat consumption is supported the fact that when people switch to a low fat diet (no ADDED fat, not no fat), they gradually lose their strong preference for high fat and find it to be greasy and very unpleasant. This may take months in some cases.
The Occam’s Razor evolutionary, correct, makes-perfect-sense, assume-the-least explanation is that dopamine exists for an evolutionary reason. If natural, saturated animal fat is so compelling, then it must be critically important for optimal health. We’re talking about foods we evolved eating, not drugs.
You need to begin looking at this stuff in the light of evolution.
My, oh my.
Later: “it gives a dopamine kick.” Not a shove, nudge push,or slight influence? No? It’s a”kick.” Oh wow!