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Breaking: The NuSI / Taubes Carbohydrate-Insulin Alternative Hypothesis of Obesity in Serious Trouble

Way back when Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health came out, he proposed an alternative hypothesis for obesity; essentially, that carbs drive insulin and insulin both inhibits the release of fat from storage and drives additional fat storage. He also criticized the obesity research field and Dr. Kevin Hall described it this way in a guest post on Dr. Yoni Freedhoff’s blog last year.

In a 2010 blog post, journalist Gary Taubes berated nutrition scientists for not understanding the seemingly simple concept of controlling diet variables. He chastised the field for altering multiple diet components at once and said that controlling variables is something that even

school children are supposed to understand

The failure of nutrition scientists to understand this basic concept

has led to what may be another of the great misconceptions in modern nutrition research

Mr. Taubes then exposes the horrendous misconception:

carbohydrate-restricted diets are ‘valuable tools’ in the arsenal against overweight and obesity, but they’re just one of the dietary tools.”

Why was such a seemingly reasonable statement proclaimed to be a “great misconception”? Because, in Mr. Taubes’ view, the carbohydrate-insulin theory implies

that the only meaningful way to lose fat … is by reducing the amount of carbohydrates consumed.” [bold mine KH.]

Doubling down on this claim in his most recent book Why We Get Fat, Mr. Taubes states that

any diet that succeeds does so because the dieter restricts fattening carbohydrates…Those who lose fat on a diet do so because of what they are not eating – the fattening carbohydrates.

To his credit, however, Taubes did propose ways of testing his alternative hypothesis and eventually, he teamed up with Dr. Peter Attia to co-found the Nutrition Science Initiative (NuSI), creating a vehicle whereby they could raise the funds and assemble researchers to test this Alternative Hypothesis, described here.

Current research and public health policy on obesity is largely based on the hypothesis that the fundamental cause of the condition is an energy imbalance between calories consumed and expended. By this hypothesis, the interaction between diet and body fat is determined by the caloric content of the foods consumed, while the macronutrient content of the diet (the proportion and type of carbohydrates, fats, and protein) has no meaningful effect. This is often summed up by the assertion that “a calorie-is-a-calorie,” shorthand for the hypothesis that a calorie’s worth of protein has an equivalent effect on the accumulation and storage of fat in the human body (on “adiposity”) as does a calorie of carbohydrate or a calorie of fat. An alternative hypothesis is that the macronutrient composition of the diet influences adiposity through its effect on the hormones that regulate uptake of fat (technically “fatty acids”) by fat cells and their subsequent mobilization and use for fuel (that is, oxidation).

So, well, the study is complete, not published yet, but Dr. Kevin Hall, the principal investigator, was interviewed yesterday by Dr. Yoni Freedhoff on day one of the ongoing International Conference on Obesity.

Some money quotes:

“”The loss of fat mass slowed down on a low-carb, high-fat diet.”

“”…it took the full 28 days of a ketogenic diet to lose the same amount of fat as was lost in the first 15 days of the normal carbohydrate diet.””

Dr. Hall’s conclusion: no metabolic advantage to a ketogenic diet. Carb-Insulin theory of obesity falsified.

So, it looks like we’re back to plain old caloric restriction to lose weight. And in that vein, then what’s most important is the diet you can stick with. So, if you can more easily or enjoyably adhere to a low-carbohydrate diet in the face of forced caloric restriction over, say, a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet, then the LC diet is best for you, even if fat loss is more efficient on the latter diet.

Hopefully when the study is published in the near future it will provide clarity and some degree of consolation on the part of low carbohydrate and ketogenic diet advocates. Gary and many others have been pounding the pulpit for years saying ‘just test it, and do it right!’ Well it appears that’s now been done per Gary / NuSI’s own specifications—including a highly controlled metabolic ward setting—and the data simply do not come even close to suggesting that there’s a thing more worth looking at in terms of the “Alternative Hypothesis.”

I won’t be holding my breath that this is the end of it, however.

Update: Someone was awesome enough to transcribe the whole deal, and well as provide images of the charts.

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

169 Comments

  1. Chad G on May 2, 2016 at 12:31

    The more I see, the more I become convinced of something you hit on even before potatoes, that while resistant starch is a factor, the biggest factor in weight loss is nutrient density. Your body requires many varied nutrients, what those are and in what amounts are decided by YOUR individual hormones. Eat a varied and real diet and avoid crap.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 2, 2016 at 12:53

      Indeed. Fat by itself has little to no nutrients of any kind. Making your diet 80% nutritionally vapid in terms of micronutrients doesn’t seem like a smart thing to do, at least long term. It’s analogous to an 80% refined sugar diet.

      So, while I could say that either an 80% fat or 80% refined sugar diet is fine in short bursts if it works for you, neither would be appropriate as a lifestyle in my opinion and since there’s apparently no met advantage to being keto, it looks more and more like a largely iso-macro diet of refined sugar.



    • Steven on May 2, 2016 at 17:20

      “Fat by itself has little to no nutrients of any kind”
      Seems true, but a little seems to be required for absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.



    • Richard Nikoley on May 2, 2016 at 17:27

      Red herring.



    • thhq on May 2, 2016 at 20:27

      And years of reading Paleo blogs that questioned the necessity of any carbs in the human diet…what were they thinking…the fat nazis…did it occur to anyone that Atkins is a crash diet and not the way humans eat…



    • Merlin on May 6, 2016 at 23:06

      For christ sakes, did anyone actually read the conclusion of the study? Energy Expenditure increases following an isocaloric ketogenic diet. End of story, insulin hypothesis proved. Hall is not even reporting the findings accurately.



    • Nicholas Thomson on May 7, 2016 at 04:26

      Volek & Phinney have indicated that a body fuelled primarily by ketones reduces the need for anti oxidants. So this would mean the nutrient dense food you mention is not as necessary.



    • Richard Nikoley on May 7, 2016 at 15:27

      @Merlin, not necessarily. Remember they were testing the keto hypothesis. It does not say it increased 100 kcal daily over the carb diet. But beyond that, the only thing that counts in the end is which diet lost significantly more fat. We’ll probably have to wait for publication.

      @Nicholas, well, as long as Volek & Phinney “indicated” that. Plants come with BOTH nutrients and antioxidants to deal with the oxidation process inherent in nutrients (the plants themselves need these). So the point is dumb. It’s like saying that if you don’t drive your car, you don’t need an oil change.



    • Nicholas Thomson on May 8, 2016 at 15:37

      @ Richard (aka plant nazi) I’m not arguing against eating plants, I’m purely pointing out that they aren’t as necessary as you make out. I’m quite happy to eat fat AND plants (and sometimes plant fat). Btw it’s the science that has indicated that, Volek & Phinney merely stated the findings.



    • Wolfstriked on May 9, 2016 at 21:02

      LOL I have been saying this for yrs.I even posted a video from BBC where they tested to see if Atkins diet had any metabolic advantage and the conclusion was simple….no advantage but for one….the Atkins dieters just simply ate less food.So yes it does help in the long run to maintain a calorie deficit.

      I will post it again for the people that did not believe it back whenever.Haha



    • Ed on May 20, 2016 at 13:07

      If you mean fatty acids specifically or triglycerides supply no vitamins – that is correct.   Whole food fats however are a different story,  since Vit A, D, and E are most abundantly supplied concomitantly with ‘fat rich’ foods,  e.g. liver, spring butter that’s yellow, red palm oil. This association is important and practical.

      Hinder your reader(s) making this association is surely not your goal.



  2. Gemma on May 2, 2016 at 13:43

    Wait… NuSi must have done something wrong… perhaps the ketogenic diet was not well formulated, or something like that!

    • Tim Steele on May 2, 2016 at 13:57

      Probably too much protein! That’s it! They need to do a study using the power of NUTRITIONAL ketosis.



    • Richard Nikoley on May 2, 2016 at 14:15

      Hoist by their own Petard.



    • Gemma on May 4, 2016 at 04:42

      Tim!

      What an opportunity! Do it like Taubes.

      1. Come with a hypothesis that high carb low fat (=potato diet) eating leads to metabolic reset and weight loss (done)
      2. Write a book about it (done, see The Potato Hack)
      3. Form a nonprofit OldSee and get some $ to fund a study (to do)
      4. this absolutely cool Kevin Hall will put some poor souls into metabolic chamber, feed them potatoes, measure their ketones and such, and publish a paper in Cell (what about this idea, Kevin?)



    • Tim Steele on May 4, 2016 at 12:37

      Oh, Gemma! Brilliant! Maybe we can get funding from The Gut Institute and finally prove that potato starch causes hamster gutzzz and cancer while we’re at it!



  3. David on May 2, 2016 at 14:04

    Not to be snarky, by why does it work for so many people?

    • Richard Nikoley on May 2, 2016 at 14:36

      Most simply because it’s what a lot of people can adhere to longer and more often.

      This may very well end up shaking out as simple dietary preference. Which diet allows you to naturally restrict intake without diving into the fridge and cabinets?

      Occam’s Razor.



    • Richard Nikoley on May 2, 2016 at 14:44

      And by the way David, my primary interest comes from the thousands of people in comments on my blog over the last 8 years for whom it did not work, and for a plethora of reasons.

      My garage hypothesis is that it creates subclinical nutrient deficiencies over time, since fat by itself has no vitamins or minerals. Jacking your intake to 80% is not materially different than a diet of 80% refined sugar calories.



    • LaFrite on May 2, 2016 at 15:38

      David, what do you mean by “work” ? What works in “so many people” ? Loss of weight ? A caloric restriction in a high fat diet works fine. But as Hall shows, maybe not the best when it comes to lean mass sparing … But look at Jimmy Moore, can’t it works when you add whole sticks of butter to every spoonful of food you ingest just to ensure some magic macro proportions.



    • Richard Nikoley on May 2, 2016 at 16:49

      Par ailleurs, La Frite , est-ce juste une frite?

      Je pense et suppose que très peu peut manger un seul



    • LaFrite on May 3, 2016 at 00:48

      Salut Richard,

      “La frite” is oldish slang, as in “avoir la frite”, which means “to be full of energy / stamina” 🙂

      As to french fries, eating only one is some twisted form of torture! pretty fucked up 😀



  4. Geoff on May 2, 2016 at 15:50

    Perhaps a collection of dumb questions, but I’m sure this blog will clarify that.

    If Taubes’ core question was – “What has driven the obesity epidemic in the United States and elsewhere?” then why is the NuSi research focused on studying diets on which people lose weight rather than on diets that cause people to gain weight? What’s the basis for thinking the impact of diet on weight gain is the same for weight loss? Isn’t it possible that while excess carbs do result in greater fact gain, carb restriction does not necessarily drive fat loss to the same degree?

    Of course individual people are probably more interested in losing fat than understanding the cause(s) of obesity, but if Taubes is really questioning “[c]urrent research and public health policy on obesity [that] is based on the belief that it is caused by an imbalance between energy consumed (the calories we eat) and expended (the calories we excrete and burn),” then shouldn’t the focus of NuSi be on testing diets to see what makes people fat and then recommend to public health officials that we not do those fattening things? Just focus on stopping people from getting fat in the first place.

    Do I just need to keto harder to understand this?

    • LaFrite on May 3, 2016 at 05:02

      By the way, an interesting read from Alan Aragon:



    • Alex Leaf on May 2, 2016 at 16:45

      Two studies have compared how overfeeding on carbohydrates or fats influences changes in body composition.

      The first study was conducted by Horton et al. Nine normal-weight and seven obese men were fed a diet providing 150% of energy requirements for 2-weeks. The additional 50% of energy was supplied entirely from carbohydrate or entirely from fat and participants completed both interventions in a crossover design. All food was provided and controlled for.

      Bodyweight, FM, and FFM significantly increased with both overfeeding interventions, but there were no significant differences between groups. However, changes in body composition were very small and near the detection limits of the study, which used underwater weighing to assess body composition. Notably, body fat percentage significantly increased vs baseline in the fat overfeeding condition only.

      Although the study investigated adding additional carbohydrate or fat into the diet above energy requirements, it is unclear how this affected overall diet composition during overfeeding. No macronutrient breakdown was provided by the researchers. A sample menu does show that the carbohydrate overfeeding relied heavily on refined starches and sugars, while the fat overfeeding relied on full-fat dairy products to supply the added calories. These diets may be somewhat applicable to the standard Western diet, but they are by no means representative of what a health-conscious athlete would be consuming.

      The second study was conducted by Lammert et al8. In a parallel-group design, 20 normal-weight males were prescribed one of two overfeeding diets high in carbohydrates (78% carbohydrate, 11% fat) or high in fat (58% fat, 31% carbohydrate) for three weeks. Both diets provided an additional 1200 kcal/d above habitual intake. Participants were instructed to follow individualized recipes supplied by a dietitian.

      Bodyweight and FM significantly increased in both groups, while FFM significantly increased in the high-carbohydrate group only. However, there were no significant differences between groups in body composition changes. This study also used underwater weighing for body composition analysis and showed changes lower in magnitude than that observed by Horton et al, suggesting that methodological limitations could have reduced statistical power.

      The work of Lammert et al contrasts that of Horton et al by using diets truly considered high-carbohydrate and high-fat. However, no indication of food quality is provided except that the high-carbohydrate group consumed 15-29% of calories as pure sucrose. This is similar to the refined carbohydrate and sugar diets of Horton et al. Collectively, it therefore appears that short-term overfeeding on diets high in fat lead to similar changes in body composition as diets high in refined carbohydrates and sugars.

      So now what if we focus on high carbohydrate diets that are instead dense with starchy tubers and legumes? That research hasn’t been conducted, but I would bet it would beat the crap out of a high-fat diet.

      Horton TJ, Drougas H, Brachey A, Reed GW, Peters JC, Hill JO. Fat and carbohydrate overfeeding in humans: different effects on energy storage. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 1995;62(1):19-29.

      Lammert O, Grunnet N, Faber P, et al. Effects of isoenergetic overfeeding of either carbohydrate or fat in young men. The British journal of nutrition. 2000;84(2):233-245.



    • Richard Nikoley on May 2, 2016 at 17:02

      Yea, Geoff. Didn’t cover this in the post. I do think carbs are highly implicated in the general weight gain.

      But I think that’s what’s on offer provides no magic solution. Processed cards and fat in an industrial food paradigm are were blame is most honestly laid, in my opinion.

      Facts are now here, going to be better. The very last thing I need to do is gloat, with hubris.

      I’m going to bet on honesty.



    • Richard Nikoley on May 2, 2016 at 17:45

      Thanks Alex.

      It keeps me thinking that an 80% isomacro diet of fat is about like the same in refined sugar.

      You can’t do 80% protein calorically replete. I did Berkhan’s deal of 55% ish for a while and had to drink whey. Doesn’t work with food, which is convenient because it strips a variable.

      So. It’s fat or carbs. In the realm of whole food I am finding carbs to be the beutiful stepsisters while Cinderalla is just not working. Long past midnight.



    • thhq on May 2, 2016 at 20:19

      I think it’s because of GT’s great love and admiration for the Atkins Diet. It’s a weight loss diet, and so it’s not unexpected that NuSI would focus on proving that it’s the best way to lose weight. It’s a narrow focus, like navel gazing.

      No one with any sense would live on a crash diet for the rest of their life. You serve your sentence on whatever diet, lose your gut, and go back to normal life.



    • Geoff on May 3, 2016 at 03:29

      Alex – Thanks. That is quite helpful. From the studies you site it appears that when people overfeed on sugars and refined starches or fats they get fat. Solid validation of something people have “known” anecdotally for ages.

      In the face of these 16 and 20 year old studies, why would Taubes keep pursuing his “metabolic advantage” CHO-Insulin hypothesis? Why even start down that path? Seems to me the more honest approach would be to admit that people get fat from sustained caloric excess of nutritionally weak carbs and/or fat. If he wants to pursue the CHO-insulin hypothesis then call it what it seems to be – a “Plan B” to combat rising obesity in the face of decades of public dogma admonishing us to eat less and focus on healthier foods. It seems that would have been a better sales pitch than just trying the “everything you thought you knew is wrong” approach.



    • LaFrite on May 3, 2016 at 04:58

      @Geoff

      Yes, they get fat, but for slightly different reasons (or in the end, it is the same, but one path to fat gain is direct, the other is indirect):

      – say you eat to maintenance a “balanced diet” of fat, protein, carbs, and most of the foods are real (little to no processing, limited extra refined ingredients for cooking / condiment).

      Scenario 1: add 1000 kCal of sugar / day on top of your maintenance diet. How do you get fat from that ? It is an indirect path. Your body will dispose of most of the extra carb energy and ramp up its oxidation before it gets back to using endogenous fat. Yes, we have a regulated carb storage and excess is more likely burned rather than converted as fat (de novo lipogenesis) because we humans suck at that (unlike say rodents). So your body will first feed the brain, replenish glycogen stores (muscles, liver) and any extra will be burnt in lieu of body fat. What do you think happens to the dietary fat you eat in this scenario ? Of course, you store it for a rainy day. This is how you gain fat on excess carbs on top of a regular diet.

      Scenario 2: Instead of adding 1000 kCal of carbs, you add 1000 kCal of fats (butter, oil, whatever you like provided that it is fat). In this scenario, your body fat gain is direct: dietary fat goes straight to storage, even in the absence of elevated insulin (think chylomicrons and ASP). The difference here is that excess dietary fat does not trigger a ramping up of fat oxidation because we have no regulation mechanism when it comes to excess dietary fat.

      So now, one could do a little experiment: take scenario 1 and remove all fat from the maintenance diet and replace by carb equivalent. Eat to excess of 1000 kCal/day of carbs on top of that. Do you think you will get fat over time ? My guess is yes, you will, because over time, you will have DNL ramped up as well in the absence of dietary fat (the body needs fat for many functions so even though it sucks at making it from other sources, it will have to). But I strongly suspect that the rate at which you will get fat in this diet (must hard to follow by the way) will be much much slower than scenario 1 and 2. But that’s just my guess. I could be dead wrong.



    • thhq1 on May 3, 2016 at 05:21

      And in Aragon’s paper he cites this

      Johnstone CS, et al. Ketogenic low-carbohydrate diets have no metabolic advantage over nonketogenic low-carbohydrate diets. Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 May;83(5):1055-61.

      NuSI could have saved time and money if they had cited this instead of pounding the Atkins “fat won’t make you fat” mantra.

      Stupid science narrative fiction sells books. People still cite them chapter and verse. The tidal wave of bad nutritional advice is embedded in the culture now, ensuring that everyone stays fat. That’s what sells more books. Long live Dr. Atkins.



  5. Dubdub on May 2, 2016 at 16:52

    So, I have a real problem with this study based on the information here, though my thoughts would likely change once I can actually see the actual paper and results.

    It looks like they kept caloric intake the same only switching carbs for fat or something like that.
    The thing about switching to fat as a primary source of calories is that *as long as* you are eating in a way that keeps satiety up, you *should* be able to use your own fat stores in a caloric deficit. There should be none of this keeping calories in the same when the goal is to look at weight loss.

    A diet high in fat and moderate in protein should definitely result in high satiety, for many people at least.

    The study should have *offered* people the opportunity to eat the same amount of calories to the extent they had hunger to eat it, but to decline eating if they so wished based on their satiety. The study should have been appropriately sufficient amounts of protein and fat to lower the satiety.

    Those are my issues with the study.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 2, 2016 at 17:06

      “It looks like they kept caloric intake the same only switching carbs for fat or something like that.”

      Yes. They tested an hypothesis. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. Did you read the fucking post? Control for variables was a big complaint.

      They did that, and now you’re complaining that they didn’t lose control?

      You dishonest people blow my mind.



    • Dubdub on May 2, 2016 at 18:15

      Richard, you can question my competence for not reading everything thoroughly but fuck you for questioning my integrity with the comment of “you dishonest people blow my mind.”

      My criticism of Taubes specification for the study, if indeed he had full influence over it, was that they apparently must have tested one of his pet hypotheses that a caloric deficit was not necessary to lose weight and that you could keep calories equal and still do it. Despite his comments in his own book that satiety would stop people from over eating which really is a key factor here or should have been.

      My personal N=1, I lost 50lbs and 8 inches off the waist in 5 months on a 5-10% carb ketogenic diet and kept it off for 3 years (gained some back as I fell off the wagon not defending myself against those that would feed differently – still on me for that), while greatly expanding my diversity of diet in the process, and maintaining high satiety the entire time (nothing stopped my hunger as quickly as eating a few pieces of fatty smoked brisket). In my early 40s I also became the most physically fit in my entire life topping even when I was 18yrs old doing strength training. So yes I believe in ketogenic diets from a weight loss and health perspective. It worked very well, for me.

      Do I believe it is the real and only path? No. I am currently potato hacking and experimenting in other ways with gut stuff. If it works (for me) I like having that in my toolbox for flexibility.



    • Richard Nikoley on May 2, 2016 at 19:20

      Dub

      Look man, I’m losing patience. That’s all. I’m waiting to see how even if you extend a red carpet and give everything they want, NOPE.

      It will always be nope, because they are dishonest believers. You can’t fight religion. You ridicule religion.

      I too lost weight (60 pounds) on LC. Yawn.



    • Thhq on May 3, 2016 at 07:15

      I needed a muse to lose weight and it was a Type 2 diabetes diagnosis combined with my Dr’s foot exam for diabetic ulcers. I suddenly saw me obese and age 53 in the electric cart. At that point any diet would suffice and I picked ADA carb counting.

      All this study does is verify that both plans work. The reason I detest Taubes is because he said that the CW plan I used to lose 50 lbs (reduced calories and exercise) didn’t work, then produced thousands of pages of in-my-face proof that I was wrong, wrong, and wrong again. At no point did I find support for my having lowered blood glucose, cured the T2 and reduced waistline. I’ve had nine years maintenance of those conditions without a moment of ketosis required.



    • Isocaloric Nonsense on May 3, 2016 at 14:38

      The isocaloric assumption is STUPID. U put a bunch of pinheads together and they decide to spend a sh** ton of money testing a law of thermodynamics. Then they decide to get gold stars because they ran the study for longer. Ummm… seriously? This is sh** any not retarded HS kid understands. CICO holds over the long term. That doesn’t mean a low carb diet or a low fat diet is “better”.

      This is not a real world test of anything. Noone eats isocalorically, even if they try.

      Can’t wait to see what they measured to define “better”.



    • Richard Nikoley on May 3, 2016 at 15:25

      So go complain to Taubes, Attia, and NuSI. They were the ones who insisted upon a test.

      Not really sure what you’re getting at, but I think that the best diet is the one you enjoy, and your only limit ought be whole foods very primarily. I’m pretty confident that sorts out for most people.

      Otherwise, they are testing an hypothesis and to do that, it requires staunch variable control. And the bottom line is that you need to eat less energy over time to lose weight, and there is no advantage to doing it LC. You can still lose weight, but you need calorie restricted LC and if you can better adhere, then that ought be what you choose.



    • Isocaloric Nonsense on May 3, 2016 at 16:23

      Richard, I’m complaining to you. You’re overstating what this means or does not mean.

      Do you really believe an imbalance in carbohydrate in our diets hasn’t created the obesity crisis?

      The fact of the matter is likely that some diets are better for some people than other diets. That some people eat a healthy carb oriented diet, and that some people eat a healthy fat oriented diet. Studying why that happens and what it means is far more interesting than this little dance the LC and LF community want to do on one another.

      Lets try being mature about this. STUPID SCHOOLBOY STUDY Says nothing to me about what I would recommend to a metabolically deranged friend on how to fix him or herself. BTW, I’ve given out both sets of advice. Some people respond better to certain diets. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe its bad advice. This study says nothing about real world practical implications of fixing people’s predominant health issue of the day. WASTE OF F***ING TIME



    • Richard Nikoley on May 3, 2016 at 17:00

      “Do you really believe an imbalance in carbohydrate in our diets hasn’t created the obesity crisis?”

      Yes, categorically it has not. You are still not making critical distinctions.

      A potato is not a can of Coke. I see you coming a mile away and it’s as simple as that for me,



  6. Jim on May 2, 2016 at 16:54

    If Taubes proposed a theory and then raised the funds to test his theory then kudos to him. If it is actually science going on and the data moves the science of obesity and weight loss forward then it is a win even if it disproves his theory. Too often failed experiments aren’t reported because they failed.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 2, 2016 at 17:16

      Exactly, Jim. Hopefully, Gary has the grace to move on.

      Others will not. Their livelihood depends upon the magic of a certain gluttony.

      Jimmy Moore is a glutton. Ocamm’s Razor there too.



    • thhq on May 2, 2016 at 20:06

      What moved? This it only the nth study that demonstrates that HFLC is not advantaged over other weight loss diets. The only striking thing about this one is that it was conducted by a HFLC-friendly institute.



  7. Eric on May 2, 2016 at 17:13

    I don’t think anyone could go a whole day on 80% refined sugar or 80% soybean oil either without feeling a little sick and getting very sick of it. Now if it were 80% sugar from fresh fruit and/or raw honey or fat from animals on a natural diet then I think you’d be ok for many days or weeks either way.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 2, 2016 at 17:31

      You lost your brain their, Eric.

      You can’t do 80% unless you eat nothing but avocados, coconuts, or honey, etc.



    • Eric on May 2, 2016 at 17:53

      You lost your brain when you wrote that, you should probably check with Duck Dodgers before making those kind of statements. You can certainly do 80% fat if you’re eating a lot of rendered fat, the rest protein, as in a very fatty pemmican, if you were expending a lot of physical energy in a cold environment it would do you well for a long time, but come Spring you’d be happy for a little more variety. I guess fruit might only give you 75% sugar and the rest fiber and a little starch but the lack of protein wouldn’t get you too far. Anyway I’m more interested in food for maintaining health and survival while you seem to be very focused on weight loss.



    • Richard Nikoley on May 2, 2016 at 19:12

      You’re dishonestly conflating rendered fat with whole fruit, Eric.

      Why do you find it so compelling to have to lie like that?



  8. John W Bennett on May 3, 2016 at 09:33

    Results may have something to do with “body set point” and its relationship to calorie restriction and LC dieting vs fasting. See:

  9. Eric on May 2, 2016 at 19:38

    I was responding to your response earlier today and merely explaining that it depends on the kind of fat or sugar. I really don’t think 80% refined sugar would cut it for even a day for anyone. Sorry if the context was not clear. I can only laugh at your lying accusation, lighten up man!

    You wrote: “So, while I could say that either an 80% fat or 80% refined sugar diet is fine in short bursts if it works for you”.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 2, 2016 at 20:21

      “I really don’t think 80% refined sugar would cut it for even a day for anyone.”

      Then you are not yet thinking clearly or honestly, yet.



    • Eric on May 2, 2016 at 20:43

      Well feel free to give it a try an let me know how it works out for you. I wonder what the other 20% would be.



  10. thhq on May 2, 2016 at 19:59

    Is NuSI still functioning? The website hasn’t been updated for months. Attia left.

    It needs a money transfusion IMO. NuSI shot their wad on a ward study that disproved what GT told the backers was a slam dunk. I can’t imagine them opening their checkbooks again. Ever.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 2, 2016 at 20:25

      Peter seems to have moved on. I used to talk with him often, had dinner once. I’m not the kind of guy who holds someone to task over a try and fail, if that’s what’s going on.



    • Alfian on May 2, 2016 at 20:26

      I’m still wondering why Attia actually left. :'( Isn’t a good signal… Plus he’s not that ketogenic now according to his latest blog post (but still somewhat, carb restricting…)



  11. Craig on May 2, 2016 at 20:11

    A week or two ago, I visited Attia’s site. He is no longer associated with NuSi, is now pursuing other interests. Seems unwilling to say much more. As soon as I saw that, I thought something like this might be in the pipeline.

    Also, Brad Schoenfeld put up a Facebook post on this same video. In the comment thread there is mention of a debate that took place between Taubes and Alan Aragorn. Schoenfeld related this story about an exchange at the debate:

    “I’ll note that when Taubes was asked at the debate between he and Alan Aragon if he’d reconsider his position on low-carb should his research show no benefit to keto, he shrugged and said “Probably not.” Words of a true scientist.”

    So there you have it.

  12. Alfian on May 2, 2016 at 20:32

    This study shows one thing. But just wondering, can it be the ultimate study
    to reject the alternative hypothesis? I am on a carb restricted diet (since I’m diabetic)
    and has worked wonders for me in terms of blood sugar control (lost 12-14 kilos in the process
    as well, within ~2.5 months). However, I’m not saying it’s the ultimate diet, as different people
    might react differently.

    But with my own (and many others in my FB group, close to the thousands) experience of restricting
    carbs, I just can’t help but think that carbohydrates restriction might still be the key to sustainable
    fatloss, and that a low carb higher fat diet might still be the best bet (for people like me, perhaps)
    especially in terms of satiety as well as other metabolic advantages.

    I am however, also open to other ways of eating as well… since I have heard of people curing their
    illnesses thru other ways, such as vegan, vegeatarian diets…

    [Hope I understood the study right tho… as I’m not in the field of dietetic + nutrition … from what I gather, the keto diet showed no advantage in terms of weight loss, and that fat oxidation (is that the same as burning fat for energy?) seemed to get slower as time went by] <– but yeah, does this falsify a whole hypothesis? Am sincerely asking here as again, this is not my field 🙂 Thanks!

    • thhq1 on May 3, 2016 at 09:16

      When I started carb counting, my fasting blood glucose dropped from 200 to 100 in two weeks. It wasn’t so much a restriction on carb ratio as it was on carb volume.

      For 3 months after I used a blood glucose meter to check. I used it for “what if’s”, and found out that I could still spike 200’s post prandial, notably by eating a slice of rhubarb pie and by eating a relatively small amount of high glycemic sushi rice. I essentially self-verified the effect of large doses of high glycemic carbs.

      With weight loss the sensitivity to high glycemic carbs went away. I believe that reducing my 42″ waistline to 36″ was the major reason. IMO the “toxicity” and “leaky gut” that people often talk about are probably the symptions of visceral fat interfering with normal function of the critical metabolic regulating organs, such as the liver and pancreas. It’s probably more a result of their physical compression rather than any biochemistry.



  13. George Henderson (@puddleg) on May 3, 2016 at 16:36

    In Hall’s Biggest Loser study, he identified a lasting downturn in basal metabolic rate as the reason why contestants regained weight quickly, indeed had more problems than before, from the intensive CICO approach. In this keto study, he shows that there is no downturn in BMR while losing weight on keto.
    It’s all relative – compared to Biggest Loser-style CICO, there is in fact a metabolic advantage for keto.
    Jason Fung, who is not normally a keto zealot at all, sums it up nicely. (He even links to this blog).

    It’s also the case that weight and insulin went down in both arms of this study (where was insulin at when they were gaining?) The relationship of insulin and fat loss is proportionately different, but its directionality isn’t refuted yet. Insulin has lots of other things to do besides manage lipolysis, and these other things will differ between diets.

    You make a very good point about nutrient density. The John Hopkins keto epilepsy diets make much use of egg yolks for this reason, Andrew Scarborough in his keto cancer n=1 uses liver and insect meal to keep up the micros. The more fatty foods you use, as opposed to fats and oils, the fewer empty calories.

    This stuff modifies the carb-insulin hypothesis. It adds detail, in the same way that Newton refuted Copernicus in detail but not in his heliocentric concept. It would take weightloss associated with an increased insulin and glucose AUC to refute it. I always though Taubes could be contradicted, because I’m pretty sure someone who ate nothing but sugar woulld loose weight quickly however much they ate.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 3, 2016 at 17:23

      George, let me start off by saying I think you must be the George Henderson I have admired for long time. If you’re the GH who comments at Stephan’s place, well, then that’s where I’ve been graced over years.

      “This stuff modifies the carb-insulin hypothesis. It adds detail, in the same way that Newton refuted Copernicus in detail but not in his heliocentric concept. It would take weightloss associated with an increased insulin and glucose AUC to refute it. I always though Taubes could be contradicted, because I’m pretty sure someone who ate nothing but sugar woulld loose weight quickly however much they ate.”

      I just think that eating only sugar and losing weight falsifies the core of the idea., and I have zero doubt an all sugar diet would both bring fat loss and super insulin sensitivity in healthy subjects. What I do think however is that the focus ought be on satiation and appetite elements that LC excels at.

      My hope would be that this shows people that LC is no ticket to fat gluttony. The gluttonous aspects of LC are what bug me the most.



  14. newbie on May 3, 2016 at 04:36

    If this is the study to which you are referring – it is published …..
    http://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/pdf/S1550-4131%2815%2900350-2.pdf
    by Kevin Hall et al – Aug 2015 in Cell Metabolism -Calorie for Calorie, Dietary Fat Restriction Results in More Body Fat Loss than Carbohydrate Restriction in People with Obesity ….. Highlights
    -19 adults with obesity were confined to a metabolic ward for two 2-week periods

    -Cutting carbohydrates increased net fat oxidation, but cutting fat by equal calories had no effect

    -Cutting fat resulted in more body fat loss as measured by metabolic balance

    -Mathematical model simulations predicted small long-term differences in body fat
    Stephen Guyenet commented – http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.ca/2015/08/a-new-human-trial-seriously-undermines.html

    Is there another study as well?? I searched around, couldn’t find unpublished new trial.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 3, 2016 at 09:41

      That was the previous study that showed essentially the same thing, but the complaint was that it wasn’t long enough for people to be “fat adapted,” kinda like when complaints on a vegan diet are met with “you’re detoxing.”



    • Dubdub on May 4, 2016 at 15:22

      Richard I know this is just going to annoy you, but I went ahead and read the previous study. If the new study simply followed the same dietary composition as the previous one and simply went longer, I lost all respect for Taubes for allowing it to happen this way.

      For example, for the high fat / low carb diet, O6 fats were 20% of fats and even increased over the baseline diet. Carbs were not actually low-carb, but rather, 29% of energy and out of 140g of carbs 24g were sugars.

      I think anyone on the general unprocessed foods can agree that a high amount of O6 is a bad idea – it is known inflammatory. The low-fat version had only 3.6g.

      Finally, they admitted they could not increase protein without it becoming confounder.

      Yeah, you can NOPE all you want, and you would be right as long as we have idiots on both sides of the equation (those who want to test idiotic theories such as metabolic advantage on isocaloric basis vs those who can’t design proper diets).

      -Lyin’ dub



    • Richard Nikoley on May 5, 2016 at 13:16

      “For example, for the high fat / low carb diet, O6 fats were 20% of fats and even increased over the baseline diet. Carbs were not actually low-carb, but rather, 29% of energy and out of 140g of carbs 24g were sugars.”

      The design of this one was ketogenic. 80% fat, 15% protein (same as the carb group), and 5% carbs.



  15. Bob on May 3, 2016 at 06:41

    “Lots of TV, lots of Internet.” Exercise indoors, no sunlight? Talk about prime conditions for circadian rhythm disruption…minimal if any full spectrum sunlight and excessive blue light at night. No diet would work.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 3, 2016 at 09:45

      “No diet would work”

      Uh, but both diets did work. There was weight loss in both groups owing to the fact that they were kept in energy balance per their two days weekly in the metabolic chamber within the ward and as it turned out, subjects burned about 500 calories extra daily while outside the chamber, hence weight loss.

      In terms of the circadian rhythm stuff (which I haven’t decided yet whether I think it’s hokum) it’s a red herring because it’s a controlled variable. Everyone was subject to the same conditions.



  16. sassysquatch on May 3, 2016 at 07:48

    Anthony Colpo has already posted a great article on this study.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 3, 2016 at 08:32

      Yea, because I emailed this one to him yesterday. He just thanked me “a million.”

      http://anthonycolpo.com/breaking-news-taubes-own-study-shows-insulin-obesity-theory-is-false/



    • sassysquatch on May 3, 2016 at 08:50

      Colpo has been knocking the LCHF cult for many years…..even when I was a cult member!! 🙂



    • Richard Nikoley on May 3, 2016 at 10:06

      Me too. It was his FLB that finally got me over it.

      The thing is, I don’t understand why there has to be this “metabolic advantage” issue with LC anyway. If a sensible LC is something you enjoy more in a modest caloric deficit, then go for it. There may be other health advantages as well, though many of those claims are dubious as well, since plenty of people and populations do just fine on high-c diets.



  17. wallycat on May 3, 2016 at 08:40

    For those with reactive hypoglycemia, carbs truly make calorie restriction a nightmare. If you’ve ever had an episode (sweating, shaking, ravenous, fuzzy-thinking), you know how NOT fun that is and you NEED to eat…which negates the calorie restrictions. Maybe once the weight loss occurs and the pancreas can work more normally, it is altogether different, but as a lot of people are posting here…these studies were looking at “diets” (which reads short term till a goal is achieved). This is why there’s no such thing as a one-diet-fits-all. It just doesn’t exist. You need to learn how your own body responds to what you eat and how you feel and go from there.

  18. John on May 3, 2016 at 09:44

    I miss posting quickly on Facebook!

    Oh well. I am leanest and strongest when I eat low fat with ample carbs most of the time. That is, I look very lean and very strong.

    When I go low carb, Fat accumulates on my midsection while my arms look like they’re shrinking. Weight stable. Indicates to me something deeper than CICO is operating . . . Something bad.

  19. Martin on May 3, 2016 at 10:48

    “Dr. Hall’s conclusion: no metabolic advantage to a ketogenic diet. Carb-Insulin theory of obesity falsified.’

    As remarked on by others earlier, not exactly falsified. Hall’s results are interesting by all means, but they say little about the causes of obesity.

    Richard, why don’t you invite Gary Taubes to your podcast?

    • Richard Nikoley on May 3, 2016 at 11:03

      “but they say little about the causes of obesity”

      In that vein, it wasn’t even a proper hypothesis to begin with since in no way do carbohydrates, per se, cause obesity, any more than fat or protein. It’s already falsified by numerous populations in the billions and throughout history that ate relatively high levels of carbohydrate and were not obese, and were healthy.

      Occam’s Razor. Eating too much too often for too long is what causes obesity generally. Now, why so many people do that is a vast area of inquiry that could have implications with the gut biome, iron fortification (which also affects the gut), overly processed grains (see: ), processed food generally, PUFA, stress (the Peat connection) and on and on.



  20. Steve Henke on May 3, 2016 at 10:52

    Although I am not a nutritional scientist, I am very interested in this subject. First of all, I believe that any extreme method of dietary adjustment is bound to create abnormalities in our physiology. When driving in a straight line, we usually have to make minor adjustments to our steering. My experience with eating more fat was then to start having problems with kidney stones and gout. However, eating less refined carbohydrate foods was a big plus for me.

    My interest lies in the addictive nature of refined carbohydrate foods. Once an addictive craving begins there is little most of our population can do with their intellect or self-discipline to stop the advance of the degenerative diseases caused by overeating refined carbohydrate foods. Most of the foods sold to our population are nothing more than addictive drugs. As I see it, amoral capitalism is behind the horrible state of health our nation finds itself. The FDA and USDA are in their pocket and nothing can regulate the values of our agriculture industry. So if Dr. Hall, Gary or Richard can make a buck off of keeping this controversy alive, it’s all in the name of good healthy capitalism. My guess would be that the experiment and the desired results were well thought out and purchased long before it was conducted.

    • Thhq on May 3, 2016 at 18:25

      Please don’t leave out the added vegetable FAT. It’s partnered with the refined carbs. In snack chips it’s half the calories. Popcorn is a satiating food with very low calorie density. Doritos are not.



  21. Mike on May 3, 2016 at 14:22

    Having been anticipating the NUSI research, this is very disappointing, not because of the results, but as others have pointed out, they didn’t even test the hypothesis. What I was hoping to see was testing of Taube’s hypothesis that excess insulin is the main driver behind obesity as opposed to other’s like Stephan Guyenet’s or the standard Gluttony and Sloth.

    While I used to think that there was something particularly magical about HFLC when it comes to weight loss, I have since come across enough evidence to understand that there is more than one way to skin this cat, you just need to pick one that you can live with for the rest of your life.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 3, 2016 at 15:14

      I’m sure you’re sincere, Mike, but it was tested. That is, if elevated insulin drives obesity then conversely, lowered insulin ought be thereputic, and if you paid attention the keto diet did indeed result in lower insulin and it stayed there.

      Hall even remarked that this result demonstrated that they were doing what they were supposed to be doing.

      And it still sucked in terms of fat loss. It was worse than the normal carb group in a ~500 kcal deficit 5 of 7 days. I encourage folks to watch the vid a couple of times. I picked up way more info the 2nd go.

      …I’ve had a post in draft for a couple of weeks regarding how fat combined with carbs is way more insulinogenic than with just carbs alone.



  22. Hap on May 3, 2016 at 15:30

    “So if Dr. Hall, Gary or Richard can make a buck off of keeping this controversy alive, it’s all in the name of good healthy capitalism. My guess would be that the experiment and the desired results were well thought out and purchased long before it was conducted.”

    Sure….sort of like “Climate Change”….so we all need to live in the stone age again. Sound familar?

  23. Gary Katch on May 3, 2016 at 15:32

    I don’t see the study as testing [what I consider to be] Taubes’ main hypothesis at all.

    This study only tested “metabolic advantage”. But Taubes has always proposed that obesity is driven by a dysregulation of fat metabolism. Carbs drive insulin drives fat accumulation yes; but, in normal, regulated metabolism, that energy is released when needed. What holds this in balance?

    The idea is that fat is regulated mostly by insulin and other hormones, which in turn regulate hunger and satiety. If this complex feedback cycle gets out of whack, you may get fat, and the prime suspects are refined carbs driving chronically high insulin levels, and probably some other factors.

    We read a lot of recent testimonials of T2D reversals using fasting or LCHF. I guess these interventions basically pull your metabolism back from the precipice. However, once your metabolism is broken, you’re reduced to manual regulation of your own body, i.e. taking glucose readings and endogenous insulin, or just learning not to spike your BG in the first place.

    Another issue is the study clamped calories below baseline. You can always get weight loss when you do that, no matter what the diet composition. The potato hack proved that, Fathead proved that — hell, the cookie diet had already proved it.

    I believe that the understanding of cell biochemistry is where research should go, and for God’s sake stop telling fat people to exercise and put the fork down, they suffer enough already.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 3, 2016 at 19:22

      Gary, for what it’s worth I think you’re posturing, equivocating and generally lying your way into being full of shit.

      I think I’ll just leave it there, unless tomorrow brings me some imperative to elaborate on why people can not let the magic go.

      Laf. Magic is powerful.



    • LaFrite on May 4, 2016 at 01:03

      Carbs drive insulin drives fat accumulation yes; but, in normal, regulated metabolism, that energy is released when needed. What holds this in balance?

      That’s not a proper phrasing. Elevated blood glucose due to eating carbs will elicit a rise in insulin to help cells take it in. While the cells are busy using glucose, the backup energy is not really needed, insulin has by chance an effect on fat cells : it tells them to momentarily trap circulating free fatty acids and prevents them from releasing free fatty acids into circulation. That’s perfectly normal. The fate of dietary fat: it needs no insulin for being stored (insulin will help for sure if present but it is not needed), healthy adipose tissue will gladly store dietary fat and release it later. Looking at the fuel trafficking only says nothing about the overall energy balance.

      What dictates weight / fat gain or loss is not insulin but overall metabolic rate. The latter is influenced by a lot of things: energy input, daily physical activities, sleep quality, stress, etc.

      Diabetic people have this fucked up condition in which circulating fatty acids and glucose compete at the same time. In a normal healthy person, as soon as alternative fuel comes in (glucose, amino acids, ethanol), it is disposed of while fat is kept in check. When the alternative fuel has been dealt with properly, fat takes over again as the main body fuel (aerobic activities, homeostatic maintenance of organs, body temp, etc).

      The Hall study has a strong corollary : all extreme diet gurus and preachers can now go out of business and hide themselves because of embarrassment.



    • Richard Nikoley on May 4, 2016 at 08:08

      Quick follow up, Gary.

      First, that previous comment was a bit nasty. I do that sometimes. Ignore it. 🙂

      Second, what La Frite wrote.

      Third, what I wrote to Martin referencing Alex Leaf’s post on added fat increasing the insulin requirement in a carby meal.

      Fourth, while you can say oh, they clamped calories so didn’t test a keto diet’s purported ability to sustain fat loss while in energy balance, the problem is that with identical caloric restriction adjusted each week using a metabolic chamber for two days, the keto diet underperformed the normal carb diet in fat loss. That makes claims of the magic advantage of keto highly dubious in my opinion. Had the keto diet done as well or better, then perhaps the next thing to test is if it results in fat loss when in energy balance or even ad libitum.

      I do concede that LC and keto works for many ad libitum, but that because for these individuals, the makeup of their LC diet is such that they spontaneously eat less. Then, of course, most stall, 10-30 pounds from goal weight, and the reason for that is that’s where they have reached energy balance on ad libitum eating and the reduced energy requirements as the weight came off.



    • thhq1 on May 4, 2016 at 08:37

      I don’t think Taubes knew what a hypothesis was, any more than he knew what an abstract was when he wrote Good Calories Bad Calories. He launched carb insulin as a long-winded assertion founded on the truth of Dr. Atkins Diet Revolution.

      The main “scientific” support for Taube’s carb insulin assertion appears to be a NHANES report on a slight downward trend in fat vs carb calories from 1970 to 2000. Taubes came to the stunning insight that this relatively minor shift in dietary carb vs fat ratio explained the rise in obesity. This was first reported in this New York Times piece, summarized in this paragraph:

      “As a result, the major trends in American diets since the late 70’s, according to the U.S.D.A. agricultural economist Judith Putnam, have been a decrease in the percentage of fat calories and a ”greatly increased consumption of carbohydrates.” To be precise, annual grain consumption has increased almost 60 pounds per person, and caloric sweeteners (primarily high-fructose corn syrup) by 30 pounds. At the same time, we suddenly began consuming more total calories: now up to 400 more each day since the government started recommending low-fat diets.”

      http://www.nytimes.com/2002/07/07/magazine/what-if-it-s-all-been-a-big-fat-lie.html?pagewanted=all

      This 2001 article is a good example of what was to follow in Good Calories Bad Calories. Lavish praise for then-living Atkins, the hurling of excrement at then-living Ancel Keys, and a skillful excision of ANY details that were critical of eating more fat. The above paragraph deletes the astonishing increases in US fat consumption, and provides harrowing detail only on the increases in sweeteners and grain consumption.

      Never mind that USDA’s food depletion data showed that total calories increases for refined grains and added fats were increased equally. Never mind that the USDA/CDC NHANES data were self-reported and shown to be inaccurate. Taubs was skillful in putting forth a narrative that supported Atkins diet plan, leaving out anything which would call HFLC into question for any reason.

      As a result Taubes is a complicit partner in perpetuating the obesity crisis. He had a chance to pull the trigger on the added vegetable fats being as bad calories as fructose. Given his narrative writing skill I’m certain he could have done it. But imbued by the spirit of Atkins he wouldn’t. And we are left with his legacy of “fat won’t make you fat”.



    • Gary Katch on May 5, 2016 at 10:38

      1 – Nastiness ignored, thanks RN — I’m not surprised, I’ve been following you for years and I still do because you’re a guy who will change his mind in light of new info.

      2 – LaFrite’s comment: We agree that insulin is the prime regulator for the fatty acid vs glucose fuel. He says, “…alternative fuel … is disposed of while fat is kept in check.” Correct, but kept in check by what? And what would happen if this check (regulation) is disturbed, broken, or bypassed?

      “What dictates weight / fat gain or loss is not insulin but overall metabolic rate.” Okay, maybe, but then what regulates metabolic rate? He says, “…energy input, daily physical activities, … etc.” Now this explanation I don’t buy, because it takes us back to square one by positing that playing with energy balance regulates body fat or weight, and it’s eat-less-move-more all over again.

      3 – You wrote, “But I think that’s what’s on offer provides no magic solution. Processed carbs and fat in an industrial food paradigm are where blame is most honestly laid…”

      Okay, I agree with that. I’m interested to know how these things break our metabolism.

      4 – Again, the Hall study tested for “metabolic advantage.” This was mostly Eades — not Taubes — trying to explain why people lose weight on keto diets. As you know, Eades was well taken to task by Colpo on this, and I agree that metabolic advantage is a non-starter, which Hall shows.

      Weight is regulated. Fat storage is regulated — that’s Taubes… even Guyenet. Find out what processes are involved, and figure out what breaks them. Peter at Hyperlipid looks at this system at the base level, like ion movement across chemical gradients, and proton exchange, and the electron chain transport, and feedback mechanisms across cell membranes (all stuff I read but don’t pretend to understand). On a higher level, the downstream effect of all that is regulation of hunger and satiety.

      One of the courses I took years ago in undergrad engineering was called Feedback and Control Systems. It showed that when a regulated system in forced or unbalanced, it can fail in some unpredictable and spectacular ways. I still believe that our metabolism is such a system, i.e. controlled by complicated biochemical feedback loops.

      A heating system with a thermostat is a simple example of a feedback system. If you find your room is too hot one day, you might wonder what’s gone wrong. If someone suggests that the temperature is higher because more heat went into the room than came out (mainstream diet explanation) you’d laugh and say, “Well, duh…” If another person advises that you should just raise and lower your windows to let some heat out (exercise gurus) — okay, that “works”, but you never had to do that before, so why now? A third may tell you just to cut the power to the furnace as needed (restrict calories) — it also “works” but as above, why now? No, the first thing to troubleshoot is to figure out where the thermostat is and what’s wrong with it.



    • Richard Nikoley on May 5, 2016 at 12:46

      ” I still believe that our metabolism is such a system, i.e. controlled by complicated biochemical feedback loops.”

      Here’s the problem, though. I’m the guy who’ll say some or all of the following may contribute to breaking:

      – overeating
      – franken fats
      – industrial food chemicals
      – excessive refining
      – excess carbs and fat TOGETHER (the idea that carbs per se is a problem falsified by billions of healthy people on traditional high-carb diets that tend to be low in fat)

      Contributors to cure

      – mild and intermittent undereating and/or intermittent fasting
      – dump industrial seed oils
      – eat whole foods primarily
      – limit meat and all fat consumption to moderate levels
      – avoid added fats, eat fats in whole foods. eat coconut meat, not coconut oil
      – mind your microbiome

      But LCers are line NO, it’s carbs, and a potato is no different than a can of Coke.

      I’m certainly willing to bet that reducing calories is only one part of the whole hormonal, metabolic picture, but if your hypothesis, i.e., Taubes, is that “it’s hormonal disregulation—which is almost tautologic in formulation…talking without saying anything, a priori—then you need to consider everything that impacts hormones, in both directions…breaking and curing. And one possible contributor to positive results in restoring function is caloric deficit, either mild and chronic, or acute, such as fasting.

      That would be an interesting test. Take a bunch of people, measure their hormonal markers at baseline, then feed either a mild caloric deficit for 30 days, against those accomplishing the same 30-day caloric deficit, but by by means of intermittent, water only fasting. My guess is the autophagic aspects of the fasting trump the chronic deficit.



    • LaFrite on May 5, 2016 at 13:24

      @Gary

      But Gary, you are talking about feedback loops and that is what happens with excess proteins or carbs: oxidation of glucose or amino acids is ramped up when ingested in excess. Such is not the case with excess fat ingestion!

      Now, about your commenting my comment in “It’s eat-less-move-more all over again.” No it’s not. It is more subtle than that: how much “less” should you eat and what to reduce ? How should you move, how much and when ? And then, you neglected big factors such as sleep quality and stress levels, just to name a few. What about sunshine and connection with nature ?



    • LaFrite on May 5, 2016 at 13:31

      @Gary

      I forgot to react to your first comment regarding the disposing of alternative fuel. If fat cells were releasing fatty acids to circulation while some alternative fuel is being dealt with, it would mean that fat cells do not respond to insulin. That’d be fucked up, it is called insulin resistance but could also mean that there isn’t enough insulin due to something blocking its secretion at the source (say pancreatic beta-cells being screened by ectopic fat). In this case, it would be a hint that the person is (becoming) diabetic.



  24. Steve Henke on May 3, 2016 at 16:01

    That comment “as long as they make a buck” was supposed to be sarcasm. Sorry you didn’t get it.

    I think that there is something much larger that we need to consider. There is an epidemic of severe life threatening diseases caused by the food we manufacture and produce for our society and it is much worse than any pandemic caused by malaria, yellow fever, typhoid of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It is a plague like the world has never seen before, but because it involves economics we turn a blind eye and keep the issue in controversy and hypothesis, rather than take the attitude of concern for the public health and well-being like it was in those latter centuries. As long as we make a buck out of it, who really cares:)

    • Richard Nikoley on May 3, 2016 at 16:52

      I hear you, Steve. I’ve added, In my posts and comments from time to time that while I’m basically an Austrian or Chicago School in terms of economics, humans are behavioral organisms.

      Making cars and computers is not the same as feeding humans. There seriously needs to be line of economic thought that contemplates health and well being behavior.



  25. George Henderson (@puddleg) on May 3, 2016 at 17:42

    Richard,
    I think you’ll appreciate this John Yudkin paper. In a nutshell it dismisses the metabolic advantage and explains why low carb is just CICO at its most effective. Science has come a long way since 1960, yet a lot of the extra knowledge is just noise.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/u9crs7fxguej27f/yudkin1960.pdf?dl=0

    Personally I ate a lot more fat in my early LCHF days than I needed to; but in my case I didn’t have a weight problem but an appetite problem (couldn’t resist eating the things I couldn’t digest) and the option to eat more fat helped fix that. Now, I’d rather eat less fat, and less often, as long as I can have cream in my coffee. I think beans are a fine food in moderation – I agree with Stephan that paleo got that bit wrong – but I also like it when I can’t be bothered eating carbs, or eating.
    Variety, i.e. metabolic flexibility, is the spice of life.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 4, 2016 at 08:47

      George,

      Thanks for both of those links. Haven’t had time to digest yet, but I did forward Jason Fung’s post over to Mike Eades who had kindly emailed yesterday that there are pieces I’m not fully integrating yet.

      In terms of CICO, my general view is that intermittent fasting is the proper way to do that. Do it all at one time, periodically. Brad Pilon gets great weight loss for his Eat Stop Eat practitioners, 1 or 2 24-hr fasts per week, ad libitum whatever the rest of the time.

      It seems intuitively reasonable to me that chronic CICO, by which I mean willpower induced chronic hunger, combined with the sorts of crushing exercise they do on TBL is a recipe for nefarious tradeoffs in terms of mental and hormonal health, including stress hormones.

      It’s interesting where the Potato Hack fits into this. This is a reduced calorie deal for most, but without hunger and having satiety since most of us can’t eat enough of them to stay in energy balance (plain potatoes, no added fat). So, perhaps the nefarious aspects of chronically undereating don’t apply, or in the same way or extent. But still, Tim Steele, who’s been hacking it on & off for a few years, recommends treating it like a fast, so 2-3 days of hacking every now & then. Seems to be working for a lot of folks.

      My interest has now circled around to nutritionally dense “peasant dieting.” So, lots of soups & stews, high in root and other veggies, and beans, with stocks from chicken or beef, and with maybe 1/2 – 1 pound of whatever meat in the whole pot that lasts a week. And in addition, oysters, liver, eggs and such. I’ve run a lot of nutrition comparisons and I’ll stack it up against any version of LC or Paleo any day.

      Did a little Ray Peat hack last two days, a half gallon of OJ and a gallon of milk, little else. Feels pretty damn good. Calming. And I got really good resolution with the onset of any sort of stress, like having to deal with something unpleasant. Interesting.



  26. Perry on May 3, 2016 at 20:58

    “And the bottom line is that you need to eat less energy over time to lose weight, …”

    Or raise your metabolism!

    “Occam’s Razor. Eating too much too often for too long is what causes obesity generally.”

    Or doing things that drive one metabolism down .

    • Richard Nikoley on May 3, 2016 at 21:19

      LOL.

      Thanks for the “clarity.”



    • Perry on May 4, 2016 at 06:52

      Richard Nikoley May 3, 2016 at 21:19

      LOL.

      Thanks for the “clarity.”

      You are still missing the point. I know you think you are too smart to possible miss a point but you are.

      Let me spell it out for you.

      People need to eat more to lose weight (fat) – not by eating less calories, as you suggested by the first two quotes I highlighted of yours namely,

      “And the bottom line is that you need to eat less energy over time to lose weight, …” and
      “Occam’s Razor. Eating too much too often for too long is what causes obesity generally.”

      Obese people need to raise their metabolism. Now I am of course referring to those people who are obese and stuck in the kind of hell as in ‘do I eat LCHF…LFHC…keto, Paleo, vegan, etc. People stuck in this B.S. have most likely driven their metabolisms into the ground, become hypo, and eating 1200 calories a day and still get fat most days eating.

      Keep going you will get there.



    • Richard Nikoley on May 4, 2016 at 09:13

      Sorry, I don’t buy it, Perry. That said, Stone & I are on good terms. 🙂

      I do however think that ad libitum is the way to go, but with whole foods, and that includes The Whole Fat, not added and refined.

      https://freetheanimal.com/2016/04/the-whole-fat.html

      And by the way, I’m not an ELMM kinda guy. I’m more like just move more, in the right way (walks, hikes, take the stairs, etc.), you might find yourself eating better, even a little less, or a little more, depending, and you gradually become human again.

      Stick to WHOLE FOODS is my main point. Added fat ought to be treated like added sugar…a tsp or two in your coffee or tea.



    • Perry on May 4, 2016 at 09:33

      Thanks for the reply. Matt stone went towards folks with straight up eating disorders, I believe he is helping those people.

      Richard, the Ray Peat world is evolving as people figure what the guy is talking about and use his way of approaching the organism to obtain health. Yes whole foods can help the body heal, no question,
      but there is so much more to establishing or re-establishing a youthful metabolism. That is the key and all else including a lean body in easy homeostasis with appetite and energy output flows from there.

      Best place after reading ray’s website is the raypeatforum.com.



  27. Hap on May 3, 2016 at 21:35

    This is why fasting has merit. It stresses your metabolic system to begin adaptation, which it needs to get stronger , just like any other physiologic or biologic system. During fasting, even if for relatively short periods, substantial calorie deficits build and yes metabolism does change. Any one who does PET scanning like I do, knows that fasting will rapidly cause a turnover in cardiac energy source from glucose to fatty acids.

    What you don’t eat…over time….counts as much as what you eat in many ways.

  28. Martin on May 4, 2016 at 00:21

    It does seem to me that at some higher level, Gary & Richard do agree 🙂 Sure, we get fat when we overeat and lose weight when we limit the calories. The question then is how not to overeat without inducing hunger/fear/stress. For Gary it is all about hormonal regulation (esp. insulin), Richard would call it taming the stupid dog brain. And here it gets pretty individual, some people will naturally limit the food intake when switching to LCHF, for some extra coconut oil or MCT will do the trick, at least initially. And then there is the potato hack…

    • Richard Nikoley on May 4, 2016 at 07:49

      Here’s the thing Martin, even if I was to buy the idea that insulin is the main culprit in fat storage or release (note in the video that they do get insulin way down, but fat loss slows), there is still the notion of carbohydrate being the principle culprit.

      For example, eat a baked potato with no added fat and you get a larger glucose spike than with a heap of butter and sour cream with it, because the fat slows the gastric process (and triples the calories :). But guess what? Once it is all said, done, digested, it has required three times as much total insulin with the fat added.

      See Alex Leaf’s (who commented above) thorough post on this:

      So, it’s difficult to say that this is a carbohydrate problem and not a fat problem, which is essentially, the adding of a processed food to a whole food and one that has almost zero micronutrients.

      Kinda dumb to say dump the nutritious potato and instead eat the empty fat calories on something like cauliflower. The nutrition of the former way exceeds that of the latter, and with a forth of the caloric load. I just don’t see ANY way a high fat diet adds up nutritionally, which would be of no particular concern for short-term intervention IF the intervention did what it purports to do, and it now appears it does not.



  29. stephaneB on May 4, 2016 at 06:36

    Interesting results, for the metabolic advantage part, not for the obesity driver one.
    I recall that in one of his books G Taubes advances the following hypothesis (this is from my memory) :
    What if it was not because we eat too much that we are fat but the reverse i.e
    it’s because we are fat that we eat too much ?
    And then he goes on to comparing a fat person to a child. Does a child grows because he eats too much or does he eat too much because he’s growing (vertically) and that’s what drives the amount of food he needs ?
    In other words, in that hypothesis, past a certain point in a metabolic dysfunction and fat accumulation it would seems that the body has decided to grow (horizontally) and that it needs more food for that matter. And past this point, the more you wait the more it’s difficult to reverse the trend.
    Of course, that doesn’t cover what in the first place triggered the excessive fat accumulation but I wonder if this hypothesis as some value.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 4, 2016 at 09:51

      Stephane:

      Good memory. Here’s how I put it way back in Jan, ’08.

      https://freetheanimal.com/2008/01/180-degree-erro.html

      Now, how does that apply to science? The more common way to describe a 180 degree error in science is a “cause & effect reversal.” Let me give you an example of a cause/effect reversal that almost everyone takes for granted:

      “Clean your plate, so you can grow up to be big and strong.”

      What child hasn’t heard that admonition, and what mother, father, or grandparent hasn’t uttered it? But in the sense it implies that eating more causes children to grow, it’s completely false. In fact, the reverse is true. As children, we don’t eat more so we can cause ourselves to grow bigger than we already are. We grow bigger than we are, and the effect is that we eat more in order to sustain our larger base metabolism. Growth hormone causes growth. Food is just the raw material.

      The reason this error is so easy to make is because it’s self evident that if we don’t eat at all, we’ll starve and die, and in fact, malnutrition can cause stunted growth. But that’s because the minimum necessary raw materials aren’t present. Let’s draw an analogy in the form of building a skyscraper. If you don’t have the minimum amount of concrete and steel, then the building is not going to be built to its full height. But what if you pile up two times the amount of concrete and steel required to build to plan? Is that going to cause it to be built, or built bigger than plan, or faster? No, you need the “growth hormone” to build it: construction workers. They use the raw material, build with it, which creates the demand for additional raw material; but it is the act of building that is the cause for the increased demand for “feeding.”

      My last post on diet prompted some comments to that post that lead me to think that perhaps I wasn’t clear enough in how I described Gary Taubes’ alternate hypothesis: that it’s not simply the fact of excess calories of any sort that makes people fat, but rather, they are turning on a fat-accumulation hormone that tips a balance, such that fat begins to act much like a tumor (that’s my analogy, so I don’t know he’d agree). He did invoke the analogy to growing children in his lecture I linked, so that’s where I got that. How do they turn on that fat accumulation? Bad calories; i.e., too many carbohydrates. While I haven’t read his new book, yet, I wonder if the carbohydrate issue isn’t more of an absolute quantity rather than a percentage. You often see conventional diet books talking of cab intake as a function of total calories, like 40% of calories from carbs while the low-carb diets typically express an absolute limit, like 60 grams per day.

      I think the tumor analogy is an interesting one, at least in the way I understand Taubes at present. What do you often hear expressed about tumors, short of outright removing them? Well, sometimes they’re “small,” such that the risk of surgery isn’t called for. So, you try to keep them small. Why? Well, because when they’re small their effect is minimal. They aren’t cannibalizing good tissue sufficiently to cause a large effect. How about shrinking a tumor? Same thing. And what happens when a tumor gets to be of sufficient size? Does it not then become a self-sustaining cannibalistic parasite, sacrificing healthy bodily tissue for its own sake in a positive-feedback mechanism, such that the bigger it gets, the bigger and more parasitic its influence on the rest of the body until eventually its pathological selfishness kills the very host that feeds it?

      (more at the link)

      …Hopefully, I’m not getting dumber over time. 🙂



    • Thhq on May 4, 2016 at 11:00

      The beauty of narrative writing is creating these fanciful analogies that people remember. I don’t like Taubes reason for doing it, I don’t like the way it has impaired the nation’s progress in reducing obesity, but I’ll give him points for style.



  30. Richard Nikoley on May 4, 2016 at 09:57

    Everyone: absolutely astounding thread of comments. Very well done. Of course, a follow-on post now becomes necessary.

    Thanks for adding value to the post. Sincerely appreciated.

  31. Richard Nikoley on May 4, 2016 at 10:05
  32. Hap on May 4, 2016 at 11:43

    In our “do something” environment that invites all sorts of government intrusions, it does not take much from the scientific community to convince politicians that they really “care” (to buy votes) by taking up causes “for the children” or other cliches, like protecting us from evil corporations. Politicians know politics, not science, and now we know even science is problematic and corrupt as it is highly politicized…..and totally stupid conclusions like the “science is settled”…”we have consensus”….all others be damned. And for God’s sake we should not pay any attention to received wisdom from 100’s of thousands of years of human culture and ways of working things out and adapting to stressors.

    POliticians and people cherry pick their personal satans and like the Islamists, stratify into greater and lesser Satans, to be annihilated.

    I am not sure why the obesity issue is so complex and leading to confusion….I know why there are scam artists and snake oil salesmen…there always have been. ONe way to cure obesity is to allow those who become obese and do not discourage it in their children should perhaps be exposed to the true consequences, as behavior and lifestyle choices are not insignificant. It’s like a friend of mine who was Chairman of Biochemistry at a large public University, smoked all his life, got cancer and looked me in the eye saying…”well , we never knew”. Only my sympathy for his plight restrained me from choking him.

    anyway, I do not look to the government for solutions and policies that generate more “solutions” and more rules and more policies……that tend to become Promethean burdens….and somehow never apply to the rule makers.

  33. Steve Henke on May 4, 2016 at 12:34

    I have thoroughly enjoyed this discussion. I would like to make a retraction. I wrote from an emotional response, but upon further review, I believe that Dr. Hall and Gary Taubes to both be very reputable men that are doing their very best to help our society. They are not evil or money mongers. So why are the battle lines formed and fortified? Our theories are models to help us visualize scientific concepts that are much more complex than our pea brains. Is it a wave or is it a particle? Let draw up sides and fight over it; or maybe we could combine our models to see perhaps a larger picture.

    I don’t know if anyone remembers the “live diet” of the 1970’s. Eat only live foods and avoid processed foods. The more the food item has been processed in one way or another, the further it has been removed from anything nutritional or good for your highly complex and amazing body. If I can remember, the “live food” diet was just common sense and not too much science involved. Eat live foods, eat a large variety of live foods and exercise moderately. I would add a routine light fast maybe once a week. Not too difficult to follow if you are healthy to begin with. Impossible to follow if you are poisoned and diseased by all the “drug- foods” available to the poor and middle to low socio-economic people in our local convenience and grocery stores.

    The approach and solution to our obesity (and a thousand other physiological disorders caused by “drug-foods that should not be for sale any where as food to begin with) epidemic must be political, not scientific, and that will never happen.

    • thhq on May 4, 2016 at 13:51

      In the case of Taubes I disagree. He milked Atkins work and made money selling the cream. His arrogant assertion that fat will not make you fat is an outright lie which has perpetuated the obesity crisis. His focus on fructose has distracted from the necessity of attacking the refined grains (all sucrose) and added fats, which are 80% of the increase in US calorie consumption. He has belittled exercise, the only simple tool for increasing metabolism. He belittles the genuine achievements of everyone who does not get on his HFLC bus, especially Ancel Keys.

      The only motivater I see here is personal gain. Actually solving the obesity crisis was never his priority. As a result I don’t expect to see any apologies for the nutritional hubris he has created over the last 15 years.



    • thhq on May 4, 2016 at 14:06

      Oops. Refined grains are pure glucose, not sucrose. Wish there was an edit feature.



  34. Hap on May 4, 2016 at 13:23

    You know it’s political when we have to be saved from it…..whatever it is ….by the politicians who know better how to create Utopia. What are they concerned about…..? Climate change….a completely unfalsifiable theory. Complete with non personhood for “deniers”. It’s so far removed from common sense that it’s easy to fall for “scientific consensus”….when in fact, it’s a quasi hysteria built on assumptions with incomputable error and politically correct modelling. It’s a done deal before it even gets out of the lab….the same accusation made by the government sycophants about corporate sponsored research.

    I have to say I am surprised that the stock of McDonalds has gone up so much. I thought they were dead. However, any time I go near a MCD or In and Out Burger…..jammed to the gills. Or to the Starbux or Coffee Bean…with their incredible 1000 cal drinks with whipped cream on top and selection of baked goods. try goring that ox. Try asking a person driving an electric car where electricity comes from…….

    Yes…it is all political but you have to prepare the ground before you plant the seeds.

  35. Hap on May 4, 2016 at 13:59

    Try this one for size…”Critical Thinking”….what the hell is that? Well, I had to look it up since I knew it must have something to do with double speak, Orwellian style. Critical thinking is what they tell you is being taught in institutions of higher learning. sounds good, must be learning how to think straight.

    God no….Critical Thinking is the crackpot theory of cultural Marxists….it literally means everything is on the table ….to be criticized, deconstructed, discarded. Gender, sexual identity, any traditional value, money, food (had to throw that in). And certainly big bad fucking America, the worlds bane along with Israel. Strange the convergence of the radical Left and radical Islam on the identification of the Great and Little Satans. Critical Thinking is Nihilism and in Nihilism nothing matters but power (although in theory that should not matter either). I guess re reading 1984 got to me.

    Eat right….folks.

    • thhq on May 4, 2016 at 14:16

      An Orwell fan! Ever read Homage to Catalonia? For me it explains Orwell’s initial disillusionment with the various forms of Progressivism drifting around 1930’s Europe. Instability breeds totalitarians.



    • Richard Nikoley on May 4, 2016 at 14:22

      Hap, what you are really getting to is skepticism on academic philosophical level. As with Sartre existentialism, nothing matters.



  36. MIKE on May 4, 2016 at 15:38

    Guys –

    I am low-carb. Face facts.

    Richard is 100% right – if you are a LC’er – you should be more skeptical of our gurus than anything. This study was protein matched – every time it’s protein matched there is no LC advantage. Listen to the critics! Not the crazy vegan on YouTube but guys like Lyle McDonald and Anthony Colpo who are reading the research.

    Maybe there is an advantage for Type II’s – but Taubes wanted to say it was LC for all.

    Someone on a FB forum pointed out something ironic – Richard Feinman is researching LC ketones for cancer prevention and is looking at a kickstarter campaign and not able to raise the money.

    Why didn’t NuSI fund that instead? He’s been doing LC research for a long time. Why not fund research on ketones for cancer?

    I’ll tell you why – because Taubes thinks Feinman, Phinney and all the other LC researchers did mediocore work. He’s said clearly that all the work to date is mediocore and half assed.

    I’ve read about people actually wanting to call Kevin Hall and question his credentials – seriously people – we’re as bad as the vegans.

    • George Henderson (@puddleg) on May 5, 2016 at 02:34

      Dead right.
      Hassling Kevin Hall is a dumbass way to object to his interpretation of his study.

      Re: study design, there was no cross over or washout – the keto diet followed the SAD macro diet in all subjects. Weight loss usually slows in any diet trial, so this design favours whatever diet comes first. Nonetheless we should take all evidence at face value after stating our objections, and extract what value we can from it (even epidemiology) IMO.

      Re the high omega 6 content of many LCHF trials, I questioned the necessity for this in my responde to Ramsden et al in the BMJ
      http://www.bmj.com/content/353/bmj.i1246/rr-5



  37. Sky King on May 4, 2016 at 23:44

    The one thing that stood out for me is Hall noting that the ketogenic diet did not produce any slowing of the metabolism.

    In any event…. for me personally, I’d much rather be a fat-burner as opposed to a carb(sugar)-burner. And as we know all carbs are essentially broken down into sugar. Not to mention carbs are a macronutrient that is NOT essential.

    But if people want to eat their carbs and stick to eating cellular (mostly plants) carbs as opposed to acellular (mostly processed) carbs, then I don’t see any problem with that.

    Question for Richard: You mentioned that you lost some 60lbs in the past..?! How did you gain the weight in the first place?

    • Gemma on May 5, 2016 at 07:18

      “And as we know all carbs are essentially broken down into sugar. Not to mention carbs are a macronutrient that is NOT essential. ”

      What a nonsense.



    • Richard Nikoley on May 5, 2016 at 07:54

      “Not to mention carbs are a macronutrient that is NOT essential.”

      People are still parroting this mantra? At any rate, tell that to your gut microbiome.

      In terms of the 60 lbs, it was all about the carbs. Carbs, carbs, and more carbs. I doubt the fatty meats, junk foods, industrial oils, or even the 8oz of high n-6 sunflower seeds I ate every single night for years had anything to do with it. Or anything else but carbs carbs and more carbs.

      [/sarcasm]



    • thhq1 on May 5, 2016 at 08:41

      Yeah yeah yeah. Fat won’t make you fat if it’s grass fed tallow and don’t eat that Omega 6… Carbs drive insulin unless you eat safe starches or spinach…but stay away from that soda and that potato…

      Sounds like you need to buy another book. That will explain it all. Start with the breeder’s guide.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqypaqLEfM8



  38. Sky King on May 5, 2016 at 10:39

    Can anyone here post a couple of links to any studies showing or proving that carbohydrates are considered an essential macronutrient? Thanks in advance!

    And as for feeding our beloved microbiome…. it’s well known that it will adapt to ANY diet we feed it. And if anyone here has convinced themselves that they are in possession of the secret to a healthy biome… I can recommend a good psychotherapist or two.

    • Thhq on May 5, 2016 at 12:26

      We eat food to live and anything works short term. I see this as an exercise in longevity. Test the following model, based on the Boston University centenarian study.

      liveto100.com

      Macro ratios are not the primary driver, but if I sub HFLC parameters for the normal high carb diet I eat my projected lifespan is shortened by 3 years.
      That means that removing carbs from my diet would result in earlier onset chronic illness. For me it’s essential to avoid that as long as I can.

      The gurus proclaiming long life via their macros are the ones that should have been seeing a psychiatrist. Davis, Hohensee, Pritikin, Atkins.

      Not Ancel Keys, who lived to 100. He outlived both his parents by over 25 years. His wife lived to 97. His associate Harry Blackburn is over 90. If you want to find out the benefits of eating 50-60% carbs, pasta and bread, and having wine a cocktails every night follow his example.



    • Richard Nikoley on May 5, 2016 at 12:26

      “Can anyone here post a couple of links to any studies showing or proving that carbohydrates are considered an essential macronutrient? Thanks in advance!”

      Why have a study for something so obvious. Earth contains FOODS. The vast majority of them are dominated by carbohydrate. Even fresh meat and especially fresh organ meats have significant carbohydrate in the form of undepleated or degraded glycogen. That’s right. African big cats and other carnivores get more carbs than you average keto dieter…just as primates eat more animal protein than vegans. Two sides of all the same-like fallacies.

      This “no essential carbohydrate schtick is nothing but weasel, gotcha words from people with a zero carb bias.

      “it’s well known that it will adapt to ANY diet we feed it.”

      Your lips move but you say nothing meaningful or distinctive.

      I can get “adapted” to shooting heroine. Hell, you can even get adapted to ingesting enough arsenic to kill the average person (Google it).

      Finally, you conflate bare survival with good health. Funny that when challenged, the LCers always resort to “but you can survive.”



    • Thhq on May 5, 2016 at 12:30


    • George Henderson (@puddleg) on May 6, 2016 at 02:30

      I did that live to 100 quiz, included my high LDL, that I used to smoke, and eat a serving of starch every 2nd day and read meat 5 days a week.
      Apparently I’ll live to 96.
      Seems a bit excessive, actually.



    • thhq on May 6, 2016 at 04:10

      @george the advantage is that you don’t become burdened with the earlier onset of chronic diseases. You’re free to enjoy your retirement if you have one. It’s still a matter of statistical odds, and you could get hit by a car tomorrow, but at least you’d go out healthy.

      I’ve been interested in both thigh diameter and thigh/waist ratio for the last couple years. Retention of muscle mass is increasingly difficult as you age, and the thighs are the biggest muscles. My dad became increasingly unsteady in his 80’s – his legs got thinner and thinner – and I remember him saying that a person only had so many steps in their life. He probably should have gotten knee and/or hip replacements.



  39. Richard Nikoley on May 5, 2016 at 12:30

    New post, about Guyenet’s linoleic acid study, and my many year addiction to sunflower seeds.

    https://freetheanimal.com/2016/05/what-been-truth.html

    • Sky King on May 5, 2016 at 17:20

      I’ll be interested to see how you reconcile this with your own views:

      http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-04-unearthed-evidence-butter-vegetable-oils.html

      “…the Sydney Diet Heart Study, and there they also found more cases of heart disease and death among patients who received a linoleic acid intervention (safflower oil), compared to controls.”

      http://www.bmj.com/content/353/bmj.i1246

      “MCE findings add to growing evidence that incomplete publication has contributed to overestimation of benefits, and underestimation of potential risks, of replacing saturated fat with vegetable oils rich in linoleic acid.”

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23386268

      “…substituting dietary linoleic acid in place of saturated fats increased the rates of death from all causes, coronary heart disease, and cardiovascular disease. An updated meta-analysis of linoleic acid intervention trials showed no evidence of cardiovascular benefit. These findings could have important implications for worldwide dietary advice to substitute omega 6 linoleic acid, or polyunsaturated fats in general, for saturated fats.”

      All I can add is that I hope your Health and Life Insurance payments are up to date!



    • thhq on May 5, 2016 at 18:41

      @skyking Ancel Keys was living in Naples at the time of the Minnesota study, using olive oil as his primary dietary fat. He and Margaret were revising their 1959 book Eat Well and Stay Well, which used O6-rich seed oils, into Eat Well and Stay Well the Mediterranean Way. The two of them lived on MUFA for the rest of their very long lives.

      Keys was opposed to saturated fats and hydrogenated fats, though not to safflower, soy, etc. It was possibly only luck that put him onto oleic as best of fats for longevity and health. But when he selected Italy as the best of the Seven Nations to live out his N=1 he took the whole package. Maybe olive oil was the key…or maybe it was the sun, daily farming, bread, pasta, mollusks and wine…

      Maybe the Minnesota Study needs a redo on olive oil. Compared to the current US diet it was a low fat diet (20-25%) and was not free living.



    • Sky King on May 7, 2016 at 07:14

      Guyenet: “In our paper, we deliberately remain neutral on whether this trend is harmful or beneficial.”

      ROTFFLMFAO…!!!

      Too Funny! 😀



  40. Sky King on May 5, 2016 at 19:24

    @thhq…
    FYI, were you aware that Mr. Cholesterol (Keys) recommended calf livers (high in saturated fats and cholesterol) as well as Canadian bacon. These recommendations obviously contradicted his research. I guess both Keys & his wife must have really liked liver and Canadian bacon, and yes, he could definitely be described as a “foodie”. He also had a cholesterol level of 209, in spite of the fact that he knew that other populations with low heart disease had much lower levels. This high of a cholesterol level would suggest that his diet was not as perfect as what he was recommending.

    In Nina’s book, she wrote that dinner guests at the Keys home noticed that the Keys liked to eat their steaks, and not “mush” as Keys would describe it! Guess that had something to do with him living to 100, not to mention his high cholesterol count.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 5, 2016 at 19:34

      Note the dishonesty from “Nina” she’s glad to parrot.

      “Dinner guests.”

      What pathetic dishonesty. As though we should all be held to the daily dietary standards of what we serve our dinner party guests.

      So, watch and learn how a profoundly dishonest person operates, picks things here and there, goes for non-sequitur associations, etc.

      And, Sky, I asked you to leave over your outlandish dishonesty in the other comment thread, literally correlating my writing style with a propensity to homicide given enough linoleic acid.

      This is the last comment you ought to post. I have asked, and I have a right to do so. This is my place.



    • thhq on May 5, 2016 at 20:09

      @skyking I’m not surprised at all. It sounds normal for the 1940’s in Minneapolis. I have heard that the not-so-healthy ingredients for the original K rations came from a local grocery store. Keys also smoked but gave it up fairly young.

      By the late 1950’s the pattern for the last half of his life was forming, and fatty steaks were receding out of the Keys family diet. But here’s what he said about liver in 1959:

      “Liver is the most popular of the variety meats and is a rich source of vitamins and high quality protein. Moreover, liver is usually not very fat….A quarter of a pound makes an abundant serving, and two ounces will suffice for many men who will feel cheated if they were given only twice that amount of steak.”

      He then goes on to discuss the relative merits of ox liver over calf liver. I’d recommend reading it yourself, rather than have someone like me or Nina filter it for you. I like his wine recommendations. I found my copy of Eat Healthy and Stay Healthy on Abebooks. The revised Med version is easier to find than the 1959 original.

      Most of the American diet ended when he and Margaret moved to Naples. Here’s a description of what Keys was eating in Italy in the 1990’s. For me this defines the Mediterranean diet. He and Margaret were trying to copy what ordinary (non-wealthy) Italians ate every day.

      http://bobbarnetthealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/AncelKeys.TONICS.pdf

      Like any good scientist, Keys learned from his mistakes. IMO it’s unfortunate that politicians (and diet gurus) don’t.



    • Richard Nikoley on May 5, 2016 at 20:47

      Pretty interesting, thhq.

      It’s really fun to read something where so much of it goes against your biases, while so much goes towards them.

      I’m not really interested enough to delve into Keys THE MAN, which would be my principle interest. All I’ve seen is of him is as a glory hounding opportunist (and I don’t know if he had inherited wealth, or if his works earned him enough to live rest of life in the Med…a very critical factor, which can go both ways). But his choice of how he chose to live, and with a wife, for literally the rest of his life suggest to me that perhaps his passion was misunderstood.

      This is very interesting but beyond my specific interest but I hope someone really does delve into Keys the man at some point.



  41. thhq on May 5, 2016 at 20:12

    sorry – eat well and stay well – I always garble titles…

  42. Dave on May 6, 2016 at 13:38

    Just a few passing thoughts…

    I’m new to practicing Keto and have been actively digesting both pro and con information everywhere I can (unfortunately, there’s a lot of personalization and “colorful” language on both sides) I’m glad to see a lot of intelligent discussion here (generally)

    – The fat loss chart where the calories were “clamped” showed weight loss which seemed to be consistent with a diet that was probably lower in kcal than their original diets. Thus, I’d want to know the composition of that menu as well as the actual ketogenic menu for the experiment itself.
    (- Semi-related, just as I think most responsible vegans wouldn’t suggest nutrient poor carbs, most responsible LC advice I hear doesn’t promote nutrient poor fat either)

    – I think its fair to discuss the significance of *degree* for the weight loss on the ketogenic diet — but the fact it shows a sustained weight loss at the end of the trial period (though short) is shown. I think rather than saying the theory is “falsified”, a better assumption is “much less effective than its advocates claim”

    – I myself experienced a slight energy uptake on the diet, but nothing truly dramatic. Moreover, I’ve been in and out of ketosis and haven’t had too noticable an effect. That said, I’ve dropped a lot of weight and am actually 15lb lower than I’d like to be. The weight loss factor is certainly something I’ve experienced first hand.

    – Finally — and I think this is pretty key — the lower insulin chart really stood out as this is often a core argument of the LC crowd. If indeed hyperinsulinemia is a root cause of many metobolic derangements, someone seeing the sustained insulin drop may be seeking this over weight loss to begin with.

    Enjoying the comments, guys. 🙂

    • Richard Nikoley on May 7, 2016 at 10:48

      “most responsible LC advice I hear doesn’t promote nutrient poor fat either”

      All fat by itself is nutrient poor (vitamins, minerals). Literally like sugar, has almost nothing. Butter has a slight edge, but that’s not altogether by itself. Ghee has nothing, just like coconut oil.

      But, if you eat whole foods, then except for a few weird things like avocados and coconuts, you’d probably not get to 50% of fat calories (beef averages about 50% calories from fat). So, to be truly ketogenic and get to 80%, you have to add (nutrient poor) isolated fat, otherwise you can’t get the ratios to work out. So, it’s rather like someone who’s 50% carb diet is half (25% of calories) as sugar.

      “Finally — and I think this is pretty key — the lower insulin chart really stood out as this is often a core argument of the LC crowd. If indeed hyperinsulinemia is a root cause of many metobolic derangements, someone seeing the sustained insulin drop may be seeking this over weight loss to begin with.”

      Problem there too, because this means one HAS to stay Keto if low baseline insulin is your standard. If you eat a potato and put a heap of grassfed butter and sour cream on it, while you get less of an BG and insulin spike, it takes 3-4 times as much total insulin over time time to clear it than had you eaten the potato as a whole food.

      See:

      Frankly, I’d rather eat whole foods, including whole carbohydrate foods.



  43. stephaneB on May 7, 2016 at 05:22
    • thhq1 on May 7, 2016 at 05:41

      Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometime.

      “Or maybe it’s me. Maybe my confirmation bias is blinding me to the truth. ”

      But this moment of insight didn’t get in the way of Dr. Eades INSINUATING that Hall had an unhealthy evil low fat bias and sank NuSI’s capital ship with skullduggery.

      It’s like Trump saying Crooked Hillary or Lyin’ Ted.

      I foresee a day coming when Dr. Eades gets past his endless blogging, antes up the profits from his books, and funds his own ward study with a vetted researcher who has a proper confirmation bia towards carb insulin.

      Someone wake me up when that happens.



    • Richard Nikoley on May 7, 2016 at 09:04

      I get a feeling there might be a surprise in store, perhaps Mike suspects it too. Incidentally, Eades and I have been very cordial with one-another in email, in the face of disagreement. I’m going to keep it that way in my posts and comments.

      Now, in one respect his post gets me into arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. You can talk about energy expenditure differences all you like, changes in hormone levels, whatnot. It should come as no surprise that fat mass is regulated by hormones, even if the hormonal change cause is behavioral in nature and even positive feedback in nature. Why couldn’t peristent, irrational, chronic over eating cause hormonal disruption just as it’s claimed “excessive” carbohydrate does?”

      In other words, the best diet in terms of macro composition is the one that works that you can stay on.

      Anyway, I find it odd that both, as Mike points out, there is no fat loss data for the first two weeks, BUT, Hall says that it took them the full 28 days on keto to lose the same amount of fat as lost in 15 days on the carb diet (or did he say weight?) At any rate, is that a roundabout way of saying they lost more weight or fat on the carb diet? Guess we’ll have to wait and see. But to me, if they lost the same, or those on carb lost more, then what’s the point of an “alternative” hypothesis because in strict dietary terms in the context of obesity, it’s the weight or fat loss that matters…and to the extent we’re talking about individuals on their own, we’re back to the best one is the one that works and that you can more consistently adhere to.

      A final point is that we likely had subject eating SAD, since they’re all mildly obese. So, when they go into a controlled diet and the first one up, it’s also fairly high carb diet and probably not to far off the amount (perhaps not quality) of what they were eating before, then really, the caloric deficit over 5 of 7 days washes out everything else. But when they shift to keto, it should be no surprise to see a bunch of stuff in the first week. It’s a radical change, so hormonal shifts happen and there are results. But do they last? Doesn’t look like it. Looks like it starts to resemble the weight loss slope of the carb diet over its last two weeks. So, unless you can then switch them back to a high carb diet and observe whether similar abrupt changes take place (and perhaps settle out after a short time) then I’m not sure what one can infer on that part of it.



  44. Sky King on May 7, 2016 at 14:15

    @thhf

    You seem to think living to Keys ripe old age of 100 proves something. Well, I don’t think it does. He doesn’t exactly look like someone I’d like to be looking like at that age:

    http://www.billycraig.co.uk/uploads/6/6/5/7/6657223/143441.jpg?214

    “…why did he pick Naples Italy? Why didn’t he pick Sardinia or Japan or Crete?”

    Good question. Why did he? It’s not like you can’t find the foods they eat in Naples, Italy in the good ole US of A..!! Or places near an ocean where it’s nice and sunny for most of the year! Perhaps he moved away to get away from his critics. ;-D

    • Thhq on May 7, 2016 at 15:55

      Naples is on an ocean, but so are the other three. He could have gone back to California, but anywhere in the USA was ruled out because it was near the bottom in the nations study. In the 60’s you couldn’t just trot down to A&P for olive oil, fresh octopus and a bottle of Barolo. I don’t think Keys knew whether any of that was important, or that it would extend his life, only that the people who lived there had remarkably low CVD rates.

      You must be pretty young. Do you have the remotest idea why the nations study was done? Have you seen what a stroke or a heart attack does to a person? Have you thought about what would happen to the people that depend on you if the situation is reversed and you’re the dependant? What will Eades look like when he’s 100? Will he be an old drooler like he called Keys? Will people laugh at him and mock him after he’s had a stroke? Or will he already be lying forgotten under a stone in a graveyard?



  45. Sky King on May 7, 2016 at 07:01

    Or perhaps, thhq, it’s YOU! Your confirmation bias is blinding you to the truth!

    • Thhq on May 7, 2016 at 08:30

      Of course I’m biased, towards carb/calorie counting and exercise. What Ancel Keys called Scientific Reducing. I have the same bias as Taubes has towards Atkins.

      But unlike Eades and Taubes I’m not dependent on my way being the only way. BOTH METHODS WORK. As a result I don’t have to stoop to behavior like this to sell my books to make a living.

      https://web.archive.org/web/20190211143315/https://proteinpower.com/drmike/2007/11/04/jack-lalanne-vs-ancel-keys/

      Eades and Atkins and Taubes. Lodge members in the big fat brotherhood. You too @sky. Do you know the secret handshake?



  46. stephaneB on May 7, 2016 at 09:38
  47. Sky King on May 7, 2016 at 10:04

    @thhq

    “Do you know the secret handshake?” As a matter of fact, I do!

    And what about you and the others here who belong to the “We Want Our Cake (Carbs) and to Eat It Too”? Do you all have a secret handshake? (What is that sound? Sounds like a zipper!)

    • Thhq on May 7, 2016 at 10:21

      No handshake but the password is “The science is already settled”.

      You do realize that the cake is 50% fat don’t you? I prefer my carbs with lots of fat. And thanks for reminding me to zip my fly. It’s so quiet I forget sometimes.

      Tell me, why did Taubes airbrush out the increase in US fat consumption? Why did he airbrush out the starch increase (refined carbs)? He did great going after fructose. But sweeteners are only 6% of the problem. A Pareto chart would tell you to go after the chips first, cake second and Big Gulps last.

      Fiction narrative writers don’t need no stinkin Pareto charts.



  48. Martin on May 7, 2016 at 10:38

    If Mike Eades is even remotely right, Hall made a full of himself, totally misrepresenting the study he and his colleagues did, before the study was even published?

    If this is really the title of the paper to be published:

    “Energy Expenditure Increases Following An Isocaloric Ketogenic Diet in Overweight And Obese Men”

    then Taube’s alternative hypothesis is no trouble at all, at least it doesn’t seem so now before the paper is actually out.

    I totally don’t get it, Hall is not a teenager, why would he take the chance that someone wanted to interview him to blow his reputation in such a way? Who would want to co-author any paper with him right now? Or maybe there is another study and another paper that Hall was talking about?

    • Richard Nikoley on May 7, 2016 at 15:54

      I have to wonder if Hall has something up his sleeve.

      At any rate, ALL that should matter is that since both months were the same conditions, both calorie restricted 5 of seven days, both at 15% protein, which lost more FAT?

      Unless the keto period lost more fat in a significant way, then all the quibbling is pointless. It doesn’t matter. What matters is which is more effective and easiest to stick with for you.



  49. Sky King on May 7, 2016 at 11:01

    How bout if I answer your question with a question..?! Seeing here how often you mention your idol and hero, Mr. Cholesterol…. in that Seven Countries Study, why did he cherry-pick only 7 countries out of the 21 that he used to make his point?

    And why did he purposely omit the fact that when he did his survey of the peoples of Crete, he did so while the study participants were fasting during the 40 days of Lent, and strictly followed all fasting periods of the church according to the Greek Orthodox Church dietary doctrines. These mainly prescribe the periodic abstention from meat, fish, dairy products, eggs and cheese, as well as abstention from olive oil consumption on certain Wednesdays and Fridays.

    This was NEVER noted in the study, and no attempt was made to differentiate between fasters and non-fasters. In my opinion… this was quite a remarkable and troublesome omission, and would be thrown out by any scientist worth his salt, today! As a matter of fact… Keys was pretty much ridiculed for the weakness of his fat/heart disease theory by other scientists at the WHO meeting discussing his findings!

    One could deduce that it was the FASTING that contributed to their “good health”….!!! But then again, any smart person knows that one can’t believe correlation (reasonably, at least) to imply causation!

    • Sky King on May 7, 2016 at 11:08

      I’m interested on what’s your take on Naughton’s little blog on Keys:

      http://www.fathead-movie.com/index.php/2014/07/22/ancel-keys-had-a-tiny-one/



    • Sky King on May 7, 2016 at 11:10

      And as for those Fasting Cretes, perhaps it was their good health was due to fasting, afterall:

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC156653/



    • Thhq on May 7, 2016 at 11:33

      As Minger said it’s a mystery why the other countries were dropped.

      And remember it was Eades who piqued my interest in Keys in the first place.

      Unlike the big fat brotherhood there’s no magic in how I eat cake every day and not gain weight or relapse into diabetes. First thing is not eating very much, whether it’s cake or chips. 150-300 calories worth does the job. Second thing is to metabolize it fairly rapidly after I eat it. I’ve settled on walking and biking because they are low or sub aerobic activities which preferentially burn bloodstream fatty acids over glucose. (Google Romijn for the explanation). This takes hours, especially when I’m eating 1000 calories over my BMR. When I was working it meant that I was walking early AM, at breaks, at lunch, whenever. Every day.

      But now I’m retired. I’m 5 miles out on a bike ride drinking coffee and taking a break. Perfect day.



    • Thhq on May 7, 2016 at 12:15

      Regarding the Fathead tiny study so what. Hindsight costs nothing.

      Ward studies are expensive however. NuSI probably blew through $5 million on theirs. Think they’ll be putting on another show anytime soon?

      When Keys cherry-picked the best place to live out the last half of his long life why did he pick Naples Italy? Why didn’t he pick Sardinia or Japan or Crete?

      I guess we’ll never know that either. Maybe it was because he came from California, travelled all over the world, and was fed up with living in Minneapolis. At the very least he saved himself from a heart attack out shoveling snow at age 75, which was a pretty common thing when I lived in Chicago.



  50. Sky King on May 7, 2016 at 14:44

    richard says, “Incidentally, Eades and I have been very cordial with one-another in email, in the face of disagreement. I’m going to keep it that way in my posts and comments.”

    Can’t say I”m surprised seeing how he continually slapped you silly and kicked your dumb ass with those one-on-one debates between the two of you! Everyone felt mighty embarrassed for you!

    Well, he’s commented on the Kevin Hall study! Are you going to challenge him on it, or are you going to stay on the porch where you belong like the cowardly little bitch you are?

    • TimothyD on May 7, 2016 at 16:11

      Richard,
      Please usher this Sky King guy out the back door soon. He adds nothing of value. Thanks.



    • Richard Nikoley on May 7, 2016 at 16:18

      Alright cunt. Now you’re out of here. I asked you to leave the other night, you did and then cam back but we’re on reasonable behavior. Figured it wouldn’t last.

      My personal relationship with Eades is none of anyone’s business, and that includes an overnight stay in his home and bad hair internet surfing over Americanos next morning. I actually have a pick of the two of us with bad morning hair in his backyard. He took it. He would in fact tell you you’re wrong. We have disagreements still, but they are not as stark.

      But now I’m casting pearls before swine. What I’m going to do is put you in the mod queue. If you can control your cuntiness, then the post goes through. You are now under my thumb if you post here.

      Every post of yours from now on that shows up here has been approved by me first, so that I know you’re my bitch.



    • Richard Nikoley on May 7, 2016 at 16:25

      TimothyD:

      I don’t mind if she puts forth stuff contrary, and she’s done that and that’s fine. Even argument is fine.

      But she can’t get past her essential cuntiness, which flows from her very profound dishonesty that I highlighted the other night. She stayed away a day, came back with what I consider fine banter, but then the cunt came through, as it always does.

      She’s locked down, now. Only value or argument-add posts (because I know she can) get through. She’s my bitch from here out. Or she goes away. I could care less.



  51. Sanjeev Sharma on May 8, 2016 at 08:40

    there’s just too much muddy hairball in Eades’s piece to disentangle but the 2 biggest things that ocurred to me: he goes on & on about the

    1. 1st week excess on low carb as if it’s permanent & not decreasing

    2. “100 calories will cure the obesity epidemic” thing (that Hall himself[1] sets people straight on- Hall corrected a study by economists[0] that used this very “fact”)

    [0] https://www.researchgate.net/publication/224903395_Income-segmented_effects_of_a_sugar-sweetened_beverage_tax_on_calorie_intake_and_obesity_prevalence

    [1] Hall has done the MOST of any person alive to debunk the 3500 calorie “rule” by providing a well supported alternative

    https://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=4&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiexqWE58rMAhXKXh4KHWyeDaAQtwIIMDAD&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DhPi1LQHBWBk&usg=AFQjCNEyK-VbMzUdeD4K-I_2EQ_P-HSx-g&sig2=aK7LxAPf804x8X4cQDOJiQ&bvm=bv.121421273,d.dmo

  52. Gemma on May 8, 2016 at 01:21

    Okay, let’s have a look at some facts.

    This study was funded by NuSI, right? What are NuSI representatives saying now? Attia left NuSI and refuses to comment, Taubes refers to Eades’ “deconstruction”, see https://twitter.com/garytaubes/status/728737292676800512. Is that all? Quite telling…

    So, an obese person eating SAD/high refined carb diet has certain gut flora composition. When the food source is switched to high fat, these bugs are starved and die, and are themselves eaten and recycled, temporarily creating thermal energy for the host (and a message: here you are, now go and get us some food!). Imagine a compost pile creating warmth. But, whatever these bugs have been supplying to the host, is now extracted from this dying mass and/or from the host. Doesn’t the study suggest that lean mass was used first?

    Maybe if NuSI has some money left, they might repeat the experiment and sample the gut flora too. But then it would just get too complex, and sooo difficult to “sell” to all those dieters waiting for the “commands”.

    Compare to what Paul Jaminet comments on ketogenic diet:
    https://chriskresser.com/episode-15-dr-paul-jaminet-on-chronic-infections-depression-more/

    “But a lot of these pathogens respond very differently to different diets. So one of the key differences is in how they respond to a ketogenic diet for instance. So pathogens that have mitochondria like fungi and protozoa can metabolize ketones for energy. Bacteria and viruses can’t, and so if you go on a ketogenic diet you’ll starve bacteria and viruses but you’ll feed fungi and protozoa. And so a simple thing to do is go on a ketogenic diet for a while, do your symptoms get worse or better. And that can tell you which class of pathogen you have, one with mitochondria or one that doesn’t have mitochondria. And those kinds of tests can be a big help, and I think part of the reason medicine doesn’t succeed against all these diseases is that nobody varies their diet, they’re always eating the same diet.”

    • Richard Nikoley on May 8, 2016 at 01:35

      Stop that, Gemma.

      This is all about controlling for variables and those are not even variables we contemplate.

      So just shut up.



  53. Sanjeev Sharma on May 8, 2016 at 08:30

    Richard Nikoley May 7, 2016 at 09:04
    > I get a feeling there might be a surprise in store, perhaps Mike suspects it too.

    care to share your suspicions?

    • Richard Nikoley on May 8, 2016 at 08:50

      It’s this paragraph.

      “Anyway, I find it odd that both, as Mike points out, there is no fat loss data for the first two weeks, BUT, Hall says that it took them the full 28 days on keto to lose the same amount of fat as lost in 15 days on the carb diet (or did he say weight?) At any rate, is that a roundabout way of saying they lost more weight or fat on the carb diet? Guess we’ll have to wait and see. But to me, if they lost the same, or those on carb lost more, then what’s the point of an “alternative” hypothesis because in strict dietary terms in the context of obesity, it’s the weight or fat loss that matters…and to the extent we’re talking about individuals on their own, we’re back to the best one is the one that works and that you can more consistently adhere to.”

      In other words, there seems to be zero point to me to even argue this unless one or the other lost more fat, since variables were well controlled for. I also find it ironic that they seem to complain about this oops calorie deficit over 5 of 7 days. Well, it was the same for both periods, so controlled. What, you mean to say that the advantage to keto goes away when in energy deficit? Intuitively, if it’s so great that it renders more fat loss in energy balance or even, “calories don’t matter,” then it should really out-perform in a remarkable way at a 2,500 caloric deficit per week.



  54. Sanjeev Sharma on May 8, 2016 at 09:05

    I’m wondering if anyone else noticed what I have: remember the response to Kurt & Stephan coming out & Hall’s first NUSI study?

    compare to the response to this study

    1. much lower volume

    2. the sameness of messaging (adaptation time, not enough fat, the wrong fats, metabolic damage, “badly designed” and anecdote, anecdote, anecdote)

  55. George Henderson (@puddleg) on May 8, 2016 at 14:37

    Here’s a good nuts-and-bolts study that (at the weight gain end) explains why hyperinsulinaemia increases adipose, but also, why keto doesn’t prevent fat storage.
    After all, Inuit don’t waste away – after a good low-fat meal they still get to keep some fat for later; and that seems be, because fasting glucose concentrations are enough to support TG lipogenesis using dietary fatty acids, whereas, elevated insulin is required for DNL TG lipogenesis.
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/2rrkdlz9rw9iplz/DGAT_meegalla2002.pdf?dl=0

    • George Henderson (@puddleg) on May 8, 2016 at 16:03

      Damn, that should have said low carb Inuit meal – but you’ll get my drift.

      My original (?) contribution to this whole sorry debate is to point out that, whereas there is insulin for dealing with energy disposal after eating carbs, there also seems to be a distinct non-insulin system for dealing with dietary fat in the absence of carbohydrate, which might as well be located at the bottom of the Marianas Trench for all that research has taken note of it so far. Somatostatin 28 for anti-lipolysis and inhibition of of proteolysis and GNG, and now DAGT1 for lipogenesis. To no doubt grossly over-simplify, so do tell me about leptin, and so on.

      https://profgrant.com/2016/01/29/understanding-glucagon-and-somatostatin-28/



  56. […] The Study finally came out. It was suggested to me that when it was published there would be revelations not […]

  57. Dr. David Ludwig: Some Fine Dot Connecting on March 11, 2017 at 15:48

    […] controversy over Kevin Hall’s NuSi funded study that showed no particular advantage to high-fat-low-carb diets, within the study design. BUT, the […]

  58. […] Breaking: The NuSI / Taubes Carbohydrate-Insulin Alternative Hypothesis of Obesity in Serious Troubl… […]

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