Weekend Random Links and Commentary

Now that Facebook doesn’t have me to kick around anymore, I’ll be doing more link roundup posts of various sorts of things that I formerly put out on my Facebook profile and two pages. I’m thinking I’ll primarily do this on weekends. Perhaps sometimes under a single theme or category, other times just random. Let’s begin with random.

It may sound counterintuitive, but there’s even credible research suggesting that low-fat high-complex-starch diets can help type 2 diabetics achieve better glucose control and reduce insulin needs. It’s really interesting for me to encounter almost identical anecdotes from the low-carbohydrate crowd and the low-fat vegan crowd: I lost 100 pounds, got off my diabetes medications, my blood lipids are much better now, etc. I’m quite convinced that many people do well on the McDougall diet, and more remarkably, that a significant number of people can stick with it and even seem to enjoy it. […]

If someone put a gun to my head and forced me to choose between the McDougall diet and the Atkins diet for the rest of my life, I’d probably choose the McDougall diet. Most of the people I met seem to be aging gracefully on the McDougall diet, and I still feel there are questions to be answered about the long-term health impacts of Atkins-type diets. I still have major reservations about a 100 percent vegan diet, however, particularly for children.

Fortunately, no one is putting a gun to my head, so I’ll stick with my starch-based diet that includes lots of nuts and a moderate amount of olive oil, butter, meat, seafood, eggs, and whole dairy.

  • America The Police State.

  • The funniest meme I saw this week (via JudgyBitch)

It’s a cruel world indeed.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More


  1. Michael44 on September 28, 2014 at 23:26
  2. Bret on September 29, 2014 at 15:22

    Very interesting Stephen Guyenet post. I enjoyed his forthcoming writing style. I know I am beating a dead horse at this point, but in light of accounts like Stephen’s, anyone who says that starch is “bad for you” as broad advice for humans in general is straight up ignoring evidence.

    One especially interesting section was how gracious and welcoming of different views John McDougall was. I have gotten the exact opposite impression from my observation and experience.

    My first exposure to this fellow was on Jimmy Moore’s interview of him. Right away McDougall seemed determined to consume as much of the recording time as possible talking. Whenever Jimmy did mention evidence of a contrary view, McDougall became impatient and annoyed. He also assured Jimmy that ill health was awaiting him. He condescendingly told Jimmy, “I would help you if I could.” On and on like this throughout the entire interview. It was painful to listen to.

    His buddies over at VegSource also made that nasty video about Jimmy’s weight (and others’). When I posted a reply on YouTube saying that there are in fact plenty of low-carb people who are not fat, my comment was swiftly deleted and I was banned from the channel.

    Not sure to what extent McDougall is involved with the artistic creation or web moderation at VegSource, so perhaps that particular piece is not a fair criticism to pin on him. But even if not, he struck me as an arrogant prick.

    I intend to continue learning about how starch affects the body, but McDougall is not a likely source of that education and inspiration for me.

    • Richard Nikoley on September 29, 2014 at 15:56

      I’ve had the exact same impressions over the years, Bret. I do think that online personas can be vastly different from in person. In fact, I get the exact same thing when people who’ve been reading the blog meet me.

      But yea, the overall point is that look at the evidence.

    • Bret on September 30, 2014 at 04:40

      Oops, I called him Stephen instead of Stephan all throughout that comment.

      While I’m at it, some thoughts on the police state:

      It is interesting to see this problem becoming so ridiculous that both Fox News and MSNBC (each other’s antitheses in many ways) are reporting on it. I’m sure when the next Republican president is elected, Fox’s coverage of such stories will largely subside (a huge, tyrannical government is ok as long as the GOP is running it), and MSNBC’s will increase (vice versa).

      I hope the majority of Americans will muster the necessary intelligence to avoid the facile explanation that the fourth amendment and other constitutional philosophies don’t apply anymore because “we live in different times.” I hope we stop regurgitating state propaganda about the war on terror — saying things like “these steps are necessary to protect against those who want to kill us” (rather, how about we stop occupying these people’s countries first, and then we’ll see how many of them still want to kill us) — and shut it down before it grows into another drug war in terms of size, scope, and level of destruction. And of course it arguably already has.

      While I feel that the idea of ending the drug war is finally starting to get the mainstream (ish) attention it deserves, it is still truly amazing to consider how deeply and fundamentally this abortion of constitutional liberty is interwoven into the fabric of our government. So much so that a president who, as a candidate, was open about past use ended up standing by while his DOJ locked up more people for drugs than Bush’s did. When questioned about drug policy at press conferences, he pussyfoots like a master around the obvious and makes it clear that legalization is not on the table. Never a word of rebuke from the media, except for the occasional token “extremist” editorial. Nope, we want to maintain our easy, friendly access to the president, so we can’t point out patent hypocrisy when we see it.

      Lastly, I still have to admire Ron Paul for being so forthcoming and relentless about his views on the drug war, and as a Republican no less. From the sheer irony of it, I think he has done as much to promulgate awareness of our jeopardized constitutional principles, chiefly via the war on drugs, as anyone. We need more like him, but he is undeniably a rarity.

      Lots of reasons to be both optimistic and pessimistic on this front. One thing is certain: we live in interesting times.

  3. gabkad on September 29, 2014 at 19:49

    Really enjoyed the two first videos. Eat real fucking food. Amen.

    The wolf thing is truly fascinating. They are following the wolf packs in the park for years now. Unfortunately the brainiac female wolf head of the pack was shot by hunters. I don’t think hunting of wolves should be permitted in the park. She was an amazing creature.

  4. Michael44 on September 29, 2014 at 21:51


    That reminds me of the old female elephant monarchs that get killed by poachers in Africa. They are the ones that have the know how and experience that the rest of the herd members depend on for making it from waterhole to waterhole etc

    Surely the killing of the she-wolf of the pack can not be the way to go IF wolves have to be controlled in some way.

  5. Michael44 on September 29, 2014 at 21:59

    umm….that should’ve read “elephant matriarchs” !!! 🙂

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