What If It’s All Been A Big Fat Truth?


Hopefully, Gary Taubes won’t mind my play on his title. In fact, this post isn’t really to address low carb—its pluses or minuses—at all, but rather to further advance the idea that just as Mike Eades recently blogged, fat may indeed play a role in the American obesity epidemic.

Of course, what we’re talking about is not just any fat (a protein is not just a protein, a fat is not just a fat, and a carbohydrate is not just a carbohydrate…a salmon filet is not a pepperoni, lard is not soybean oil, and a potato is not a can of Coca-Cola). We’re talking about one of the principal polyunsaturated omega-6 fats: linoleic acid (LA) .

Would it surprise you to know that since the early 1960s, this particular fat has steadily increased in both the American diet and the American fat tissue? Stephan Guyenet, PhD and his co-investigator, Susan Carlson, PhD, have done the heavy lifting in mapping it all out for us in a paper just published:

Increase in adipose tissue linoleic acid of US adults in the last half century.


Linoleic acid (LA) is a bioactive fatty acid with diverse effects on human physiology and pathophysiology. LA is a major dietary fatty acid, and also one of the most abundant fatty acids in adipose tissue, where its concentration reflects dietary intake. Over the last half century in the United States, dietary LA intake has greatly increased as dietary fat sources have shifted toward polyunsaturated seed oils such as soybean oil. We have conducted a systematic literature review of studies reporting the concentration of LA in subcutaneous adipose tissue of US cohorts. Our results indicate that adipose tissue LA has increased by 136% over the last half century and that this increase is highly correlated with an increase in dietary LA intake over the same period of time.

I don’t have access to the full text but since it’s a research review paper, looks like Stephan was pretty able to cover all the essentials in his blog post.

We identified 37 studies that met our criteria, the first published in 1960 and the last in 2010. The key finding is that there was a substantial and consistent upward trend in the LA content of body fat over this period (R2 = 0.83; p = less than 0.001). You can see it, with trend line added, below:

LA in AT

To determine how these changes relate to our diet, we obtained data on LA intake over time in the US, generously provided by National Institutes of Health researcher Joe Hibbeln (3). As expected, there is a strong correlation between the LA we eat and the LA in our fat tissue (R2 = 0.81; p = less than 0.001). This has been shown in controlled fat modification trials and cross-sectional studies, but to our knowledge it has never been confirmed using population-level data of people eating typical diets that change over decades.

This change in the composition of our fat tissue is primarily due to our greatly increased intake of seed oils, especially soybean oil, but also corn, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, and peanut oil (4). Our total added fat intake has increased over the last half-century, and the types of added fats we use (including in processed food and restaurants) have shifted from animal fats like butter and lard to seed oils. I’ve illustrated that in the graph below*:

Figure 3

And a further association, potentially explaining a part of the European or French or Mediterranean “Paradox.”

This adds up to a much higher total LA intake than the historical norm for the US and most of Western Europe. In fact, the current LA content of fat tissue in Europe is still quite a bit lower than it is in the US—it’s about where the US was in 1970 (5, 6, 7). This may reflect a less processed/industrialized diet.

Nice sleuthing and dot-connecting, and now for the rest of the story. It makes me wonder about a possible “Big Fat Truth” in my own life. For, you see, I was a sunflower seed junky; and I’m talking about being a junkie’s junkie. For years.

My dad loved sunflower seeds. Now, I’m not sure when he picked up the taste for them, but as a kid, I remember when he’d often have one of those little four-ounce packs in his shirt pocket. He’d take a small handful, pop the whole thing in his mouth, lodged between cheek & gum, then hull them one at a time with tooth & tongue, expelling the shell. I thought that was neat and so I quickly learned how to do that expertly myself.

But this was pre-junkie stage. It’s something we’d do from time-to-time, like a hunting or fishing trip, or a drive in the car. But as with many things back in the 60s and even 70s, there always seemed to be a sense of proportion. It was only much later than the bags were big and bigger, 40% more for the same price, and you’d just munch longer and longer.

Then I went to college, then lived abroad for eight years and never ate them as far as I can recall. Not a thing in Japan or France. I never had any particular problem with weight or fat accumulation, even though I ate whatever without thinking about it.

I’d guess it was around 1994 when I resumed the habit, but in a big way. That was the year I got a nice apartment as I was building my first successful entrepreneurial endeavor, and I discovered Costco. Besides the 10-packs of tuna fish, family-packs of beef tenderloin to be individually frozen, they also had these boxes of David’s sunflower seeds, and in each box was at least about 3-dozen individual medium-size bags, 8 or 10 ounces, I guess.

And basically, over the next 12 years or so, I pretty much consumed a bag per night, every night, in front of the TV. I still have my cherished set-of-two woven-wood salad bowls: one to dump the baggie contents into, and the other to discard the shells. It was a ritual.

Update: Forgot to estimate the quantity. If that 8-10 oz bag was equivalent to about 50g of the actual kernel, then looks like I was getting about 10g per day of n-6 from that single source alone.

And interestingly, it very closely correlates over the next dozen years of my weight gain from the 180s to 240s when in 2007, I began the LCish / Paleoish thing and those seeds were one of the things to go. And along with that, because of the Paleoish aspect, my intake of LA from other sources like junk food, fast food, and other sources of seed oils dropped too (no more bottled or homemade blue cheese dressing with soy oil mayo…EVOO and either vinegar, lime, or lemon). And guess what else? It really didn’t take me very long to dump the silly use of nut flours (like almond) for various cooking applications. And my consumption of nuts in general was pretty mild.

Wouldn’t it be just hilarious if LA from an over-consumed whole food like sunflower seeds was the primary driver for me? So I guess the way to consume sunflower seeds is to grow your own, and pick them from the flower one-by-one. But, oh wait, then they wouldn’t be roasted and salted. Nevermind.

Richard Nikoley

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


  1. Lisa truitt on May 5, 2016 at 14:00

    I wonder if this accounts for why it’s so hard for a lot of people to lose weight? Wouldn’t the pufas coming out of fat stores lower metabolic rate? If you’ve read Ray Peat he cites studies that determined that these fats are thyroid suppressing.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 5, 2016 at 14:05

      Well that would correlate as well for me, since I was diagnosed hypo in about 2000, I think. Not severe. But last I checked just around this time last year, TSH was just under the upper limit of normal (the T3s and 4s have always been in normal range).

      Guess I ought to have another look at it sometime soon, as I’ve been avoiding PUFA outside of whole food pretty sternly, lately.

      So, not all the way on board with Peat and all his recos, but some things are beginning to ring pretty valid in my personal experience.

  2. king of the one eyed people on May 5, 2016 at 14:32

    Which begs the question: what the fuck am I to do with the 15lbs of sunflower kernels that I have now that they are a prohibited food type? I think I might go down to the park and feed some birds.

    You still eating liver? I have just started. My hunger seems to evaporate when I eat that stuff. It also seems to make my teeth and skin silky smooth.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 5, 2016 at 14:40

      OK King, pet-peeve and point of order interjection in one.

      What you mean to state is that my post RAISES a question.

      Begging the question is a logical fallacy that means something completely different.

      Learn it, assimilate it. 😉

    • Richard Nikoley on May 5, 2016 at 14:58

      ..That ought of the way. Have a few. Just be sane. I’ll sprinkle a tsp of kernels on a salad, when available but that’s usually at a salad bar, which is pretty rare. I generally make my own.

      But sure, birds are consummately adapted to eating seeds.

    • Hap on May 5, 2016 at 15:31

      Well……you could donate it to MLB. Big market there, and maybe a tax write off to Little League?. In fact, I bet there’s a very good study to be done on ballplayers, most of whom have been eating sunflower seeds for decades… between chewing bubblegum and doing chew. Have you ever looked into the dugout after a big league ball game?

      Why…the bastards should be fat as hell. Some are kind of pudgy. How did Mariano Rivera stay so fit….he barely played 1/2 of an inning every couple days….otherwise, sitting on his ass making a fortune and consuming sunflower seeds. I want that job.

      Satire and sarcasm aside….I have taken to avoiding seed oil (kind of hard to be strict about it) and stick to EVOO. If somebody tells me that’s bad….screw them. How about Chia?

    • Hap on May 5, 2016 at 15:36

      Didn’t Dr Sears in his earliest books and articles wax negative about LA and the propensity to lead to the formation of pro inflammatory prostaglandins and other proinflammatory cytokines…chemokines…and other bad actors.?

    • Richard Nikoley on May 5, 2016 at 15:42

      I fucking knew someone was going to do that. Hap. Frankly, I think Copenhagen is a confounding variable. I was a “dipper” for many years (started in college, got sick as hell first time).. I’ll still bumb a 3-finger pinch when I see a proper denim ring…

      I could have gained a hunerd.

      Don’t know about chia, flax, or any of them. I think levels sprinkled on baking bread is likely more than enough. We’re not birds, probably better adapted to larger, starchier grains.

    • Hap on May 5, 2016 at 17:24

      I did some quick internet searching about ALA and proinflammatory cytokines….these include some real bad actors like TNF alpha , NkB etc. apparently a diet high in ALA has shown to be protective in hypercholesterolemic patients and those with prior MI. Walnuts high in ALA. I don’t know what this means. The above chart on decreasing animal fats and substantially increasing vegetable fat sources over time seems telling. the increased LA in human fat is a story yet to be explained.

      Regarding skepticism… be consistent one has to be skeptical even about skepticism. It ends up being a tautology. A self referential system has to be based on axioms outside the system…..a proven concept from Gödel.

    • king of the one eyed people on May 6, 2016 at 17:47

      I indeed you are 100% correct. It raises, not begs, the question. I am glad you pointed this out.

  3. Sky King on May 5, 2016 at 17:15

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

    “…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.”

    “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.”

    “…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!

    • Richard Nikoley on May 5, 2016 at 17:24

      Sky, OK, no other thing to do but call you a Fucktard who completely lacks any semblance of reading comprehension or skills in any way I can discern.

      Please go back to from wherever you came. I can tell that the overhead of having someone around so fervent as to completely missinderstand the entire point of a whole post is going to be a chore.

      Please go away. Perhaps you can do some good, once the still fervent, but brighter, read your comment and instantly laugh.

    • Hap on May 5, 2016 at 17:33

      I’m not sure I see the wisdom of getting into “study” wars because it never ends. A chore as you say. Tit for tat….gives me shpilkas.

      It does appear that processed industrial diets are heavy on the veggie and seed oils. What if Copenhagen was the cure?

    • Richard Nikoley on May 5, 2016 at 17:54

      Hap, but didn’t you see? He or her skimmed the post, did a 180 with what I was saying about LA, and posted:

      “I’ll be interested to see how this integrates…”

      Which I could have taken neutral, but then closes with:

      “All I can add…” In a pathetically condescending manner. And it’s 10 years now I’ve been off and tested barely normal for thyroid function exactly a year ago, after being clinically but low/no symptomatic TSH elevated from 2000 on.

      I have no fucking use for assholes like that and I will be damned if I will have a place for them to fuck with me or parade around their girly hubris.

  4. Sky King on May 5, 2016 at 18:13

    Well, Dick (aka Richard)… why don’t you stop gyrating that gaping misplaced asshole of a mouth on your face for a fucking minute so we can all see what the fuck a gibbering witless ugly gimp actually looks like?
    Oh, is THAT what you look like (seeing your pic on your Twitter page)..?? My sympathies!

    Unfortunately for you, ignorance can be cured but stupidity is forever. Are your parents still alive? If so, sue them! At least you’re as stupid as you look!

    BTW, just curious… do you still beat up your wife or did she finally have the common sense to dump you?

    • Sky King on May 5, 2016 at 18:29

      Now HERE’s a study that explains perfectly Dick’s psychopathic rants towards anyone who disagrees with him:

      How relevant!

    • Richard Nikoley on May 5, 2016 at 18:34

      Uh, mom just turned 75, active and in good health. After 16 years doing LC and Paleo and Keto as a type 2, with decent control only (200 BG vs 400) 8 weeks into forced calorie restriction at 800 kcal, per my suggestion, she has for the first time in 16 years got FBG below 100 where she never once saw under 170.

      Suck it up you dishonest bitch. And take that to heart: you are DISHONEST, and you are dishonest to your core self, and that’s exactly why you did what you did in that comment and I saw it instantly. Profound, dispicable, childlike dishonesty.

      You thought you were going to get away with that, didn’t you? I detect the most clever of dishonesty too.

      Dad is 78. They just got back from 2 months on the road with the F-350 and enormously ridiculous 5th wheel in tow. Most of it was along some river resort in AZ.

      They’re headed to Hawaii on the 14th. I’m watching Kobe, the shitsu for the 10 days. Then, they’re on the road again.

      Keep fantasizing over my face, you little dishonest piece of shit. Tongue my ‘roids, and I fart in your general direction.

      Nobody gets away with being teenage girl dishonest around here, Skybitch.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 5, 2016 at 19:08

      Oh, and so now, you’ll seriously dishonestly correlate the way I write words with homicide.

      Here’s the problem, Skybitch. Being dishonest, you make it easy for me. I don’t need to correct or dispute you. I merely need to pint out your dishonesty for those who may not see it as clearly and easily as do I.

      Oh, yea, forgot the last question. Bea can’t wait to get back up to the cabin tomorrow. She’s got three anxious doggies and three planned over the top dinners waiting. Perhaps if you scrolled through the blog you’d even get a sense.

      But only honest people do that. So never mind.

  5. Paleophil on May 5, 2016 at 18:28

    Richard wrote: “some things are beginning to ring pretty valid in my personal experience.”

    Yeah, learning that quite a bit of what he wrote fit with my own experience and independent findings caused me to take a second look beyond the headline-grabbing stuff about Mexicoke and such that the Internet tends to focus on. Some of his stuff still raises my eyebrows, but I’m less apt to dismiss than when I first heard of him years ago via critics and off-putting fanatics.

  6. Sky King on May 5, 2016 at 19:00

    No one here gives a flying fuck about your parents, Dick! But seeing what a narcissistic little cunt that you’ve exposed yourself to be here over the years, can’t say I’m surprised to see you once again go on yet another aimless nonsensical rambling rant pertaining to something about yourself.

    Here’s a clue: NO ONE GIVES a FUCK!

    But since you brought up your parents, tell me… is it true that when you were born the doctor spanked your parents instead of you? And seeing how ugly you are….your mommy was compelled to feed you with a slingshot? And it wasn’t until you were 5 yrs old when you realized there wasn’t any such thing as Alpo Baby food? No wonder you have issues! You have my pity!


    • Richard Nikoley on May 5, 2016 at 19:25

      Like I said, you’re dishonest. And you can’t even manage to make your insults apropos.

      Now, this is my place and I’m asking you to leave. That’s an honest request. Do you have the grace enough to respect it?

  7. Big Swifty on May 6, 2016 at 03:35

    In my own experience as of late, switching from a meat heavy paleo to more plant based diet like your “peasant” approach, I’ve actually been consuming more nuts than I had before. At the same time I’ve been losing more weight than I ever had previously. I’m curious if cutting down on the nuts will accelerate the fat loss to an even greater extent.

    • gab on May 7, 2016 at 09:52

      Big, that would depend on how well you digest them. Nuts have a high caloric content based on laboratory analysis. But this doesn’t necessarily translate to what our bodies do with them. There’s been some blahblah that we don’t digest about 20% of almonds. I cannot digest walnuts at all, for example. So the only way you’ll know is if you remove nuts from your diet and change absolutely nothing else. Experiment time.

    • king of the one eyed people on May 7, 2016 at 16:24

      Gab, I know what you mean about nut digestion. If I have a heap of nuts it just gets excreted as nut butter. I even get an oil slick forming on the top of the water in the bowl. Surely the way to test for the calorific value of foods would adjust for digestibility. They could measure the calorific value of your poop. High calorie poop would likely indicate poor digestibility.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 7, 2016 at 17:01

      I recall a post William Davis did on nut digestibility way back. I still don’t eat them often, but raw mixed are what I go for.

      Unfortunately, they are not quite as appetizing as roasted & salted. Oh well, guess I’ll have a bowl of slit pea soup with a mere smattering of bacon with a grilled onion slice on top (big clue).

  8. John on May 6, 2016 at 07:39

    If you’re interested in Ray Peat’s view of how PUFAs, mainly from vegetable oil, help cause obesity and slow the metabolism, these are probably the best articles to start with-

    On the flip side, here’s his article on Coconut Oil-

  9. Mike on May 6, 2016 at 14:59

    I remember reading a post recently that postulated that saturated fats increase the fatty acid oxidation, whereas PUFAs supress it. If true, would make it one of the significant factors driving obesity etc. I thought it was Peter at Hyperlipid, but can’t seem to find it right now.

  10. Sky King on May 7, 2016 at 06:37

    Well, for all those with an open mind and not suffering from too much cognitive dissonance … here’s Eades view of the Kevin Hall Effect:

    • Thhq on May 7, 2016 at 08:05

      If you have an open mind @sky read this

      Tell my why this is not the most vicious ad hominem attack you have ever read. Even Taubes did not descend to this level at his worst.

      This I give Eades credit for. I now have a much deeper understanding of Ancel Keys. And for that matter Jack Lalanne, who ate a diet more like Keys Med than Eades Protein Power.

      May Eades leave this post up forever. He may never stoop to apologizing to the Keys or Lalanne families. But this will serve as a a textbook example of where ad hominem attacks lead.

    • Thhq on May 7, 2016 at 08:09

      Eades never posted my response to that post. So here it is:

      What will you look like when you’re 100

  11. thhq1 on May 6, 2016 at 18:09

    Never mind co-opting the big fat truth.

    I’m suffering from fried potato belly.

    Whole wheat toast doesn’t do to me what those french fries did over the last week.

    Boy they were good. Nice thick hand cuts with hot sauce. Who knows what they were fried in, but it probably had a buttload of O6.

  12. Tim Steele on May 6, 2016 at 20:37

    Could there also be an element that some of the oils themselves are not so bad, but when heated to high temp and used to cook foods, saturating that food, and eaten be the real problem?

    I used to eat tremendous amounts of deep fried foods. Kept a Fry Daddy filled with oil and could make fries, eggrolls, or chicken wings at a moments notice, rarely changing the oil.

    • thhq on May 7, 2016 at 04:58

      @Tim I think it’s energy overload. Too much energy digested very rapidly. The high blood sugar from the starch forces that frying fat straight into the adipose within an hour. There’s nowhere else for it to go. A boiled potato doesn’t pose this problem. The fries (or Cheetos or Doritos or Tater Tots or Tim’s Cascade Chips, take your pick) are just as satiating as the boiled potato, but they bring the fat along as a high calorie fellow traveler.

      I think that you can stop the storage by metabolism right away if you exercise enough. But if you don’t it will take you a solid week to take it back out of the adipose. Personal experience, repeated over and over for nine years.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 7, 2016 at 15:13

      Yes, Tim, and the type, heat, AND age exposed to the air are all factors. Suppversity has 2 or 3 excellent posts on it, breaking it down by type.

      I’d grab the links but tablets are a PITA for that. Good news is that fresh olive oil, not overly heated, used just for a single pan frying shakes out pretty damn well and I see no huge differences in using lard, tallow, coconut, palm, ghee or butter. I still have all of those on hand, but am now very sparing and the OO is so damn easy. And I know it’s fresh because I get mine locally now, in small bottles so it’s fresh until used (and I keep the bottles in the dark too).

    • Paleophil on May 7, 2016 at 19:59

      Bingo! Tim

    • thhq1 on May 8, 2016 at 15:47

      Using oil sparingly is key but that’s not how potatoes are treated in diners and truck stops. I always gain weight when I travel. Over 8 days I ate french fries and tater tots 5 times, and not in small portions. When I got home I had gained 4 pounds and an inch of waistline. A week has gone by and half of that is gone. While I was on the road I was exercising but not as much as I usually do.

    • perry on May 9, 2016 at 12:05

      If they are PUFA, they are a big problem. During a stress induced free fatty acid cascade, they do terrific damage.

      THEY COME APART AS BAD SHIT that does bad stuff! (loud voice)

      People on this site just make stuff up to feel good.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 9, 2016 at 18:07

      “People on this site just make stuff up to feel good.”

      If you dis my readers one more time, I’ll be done with you.

      Your job is to add value. That is the price of commenting. You do not get to come in here and pretend as though this is your place, or you need to fix it, or whatever. Go fuck yourself. This is my very exclusive place and I am dictator.

      I am explicity warning you that you hang by a thread. I don’t care if you don’t care about that. I don’t need you, but am very happy if you add value.

  13. Steven on May 7, 2016 at 09:20

    First, you should know I am a middle easterner.

    Coming from an Arabic background I know how often nuts, seeds and little snacky things are served. Real easy to go through a pound of the stuff sitting and chatting as you go visit a person. With the advent of store bought salted/roasted/oiled up vats of these social snack foods consumption sky rocketed.

    The old days the lady folk made there own at home from watermelon, cantaloupe, pumpkin etc… seeds. They would simply roast what they had from food prep. It was home made and not covered in oils.

    These small batches were self governing as you could not eat more than you had. Plus they were not covered in shit.

    Nowadays Arab men and women, as they age get really heavy. It is a running joke. As a kid we had our share of heavy lasses but nothing near what we have today. All of my buddies always crack>>> those A-Rab girls are hot now but they sure do get fat. And yes they do. And my cousins (of which I have 80) most of whom are heavy because they eat that crap. I stopped years and years ago.

    My $0.02.

  14. Woodchuck Pirate on May 7, 2016 at 12:31

    Hello Richard,

    Thanks for this post. I consider my food selection habits to be indicative of what I’ve heard called “intuitive eating”. Lately my intuition has me reaching for mixed nuts but I’ve questioned why. I eat what I want, when I want, without any rules such as obligatory breakfast, or time of day etc. I seem to sense what my body wants, especially when my hunger isn’t satisfied. When dissatisfied I’ll usually grab cheese or bacon, instead of my daily favorites of green bananas, Herr’s Old Bay Seasoned Potato Chips, crunchy peanut butter sandwiches with honey on whole grain & seed breads, washed down with grapefruit juice. I eat garlic bologna several days a week also. Protein and animal fat seem to be an urgent request when I’ve been long under hard labor and likely in need to rebuild muscle tissue. I doubt this sounds like the average person’s diet, especially complemented by 3 ounces of Hershey’s Special Dark Chocolate every morning. Weirdly enough this diet finds me approaching ideal conditions.

    As chocolate is my main source of concentrated energy, I thought nuts were unnecessary and most of the time I avoid the expense of stocking them. Recently the craving arose and I went through 2 cans over a couple weeks. The weather has been terrible, flaring my chronic pain and I suspect this caused my body to request them. I never refuse myself real food, so I ate them. I don’t really like them all that much. They’re kind of a chore to eat, and I prefer cocktail peanuts over mixed nuts, but the body wants what it wants. I’m undecided if they’re something I should eat regularly, especially now that you’ve heightened my suspicions.

    I love my simple diet which seems to run against what most people choose. I’m inclined to minimize diversity in my diet which seems to be against most advice. Perhaps that’s a personality trait or philosophical predisposition, I don’t know. I only know what works for me. I’m about 6 foot tall, 57 years old and I used to think 177 pounds was my ideal weight. My heaviest weight was 223 in 1984 which I reduced immediately after successfully quitting tobacco. I’ve read that some people in my category considered 165 pounds an ideal weight but I’m addicted to hard labor and figured my muscle tone would press me higher than a stereotypical cubicle-human. This winter brought a complete surprise.

    I watched my weight drop from 182lbs to 168lbs over the winter without any effort. I’ve always gained 10-14lbs during winter as my work load is limited and fatigue accompanies increased pain. As this trend reversed, I figured things must be getting better or something inside me was terribly wrong. Alas I’m in perfect health, and aside from running out of belt tension (can’t keep my pants up) the change is fine. I’ve not found any dietary elements that reduce weather related pain swings, but at least I’m living straight edge (no tobacco, no alcohol, no drugs) enjoying a clear view of what turns me inside out. I’m committed to fixating on best diet choices, and appreciate your opinion as presented in this post. Thank you for everything you do.

    Woodchuck Pirate
    aka Raymond J Raupers Jr USA

  15. Martin on May 9, 2016 at 03:41

    The LA story shows how easy it is to construct a study where the subjects on LCHF diet lose weight slower than on a HCLF, if at all. All it takes is make the F=LA.

    And therefore anyone reporting on such a study should be very specific on what the F was.

    • thhq1 on May 9, 2016 at 06:14

      I agree with what you say. America got fat eating linoleic acid. Why doesn’t Taubes emphasize this? Why all the fructose hype? Why such a poor study plan for using NuSI’s limited resources?

      A study should be run to compare saturated fat, linoleic, and oleic for weight loss. Here’s a start in that direction. It appears that oleic has an advantage over linoleic and linolenic for energy expenditure.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 9, 2016 at 08:19

      NuSI’s limited resources?

      See Colopo’s latest post. Pretty damn shocking and I agree with exactly how Anthony characterizes it at the end in terms of making lots of money.

    • thhq1 on May 9, 2016 at 12:08

      Somewhere in the back of my mind I recall that NuSI at one time had a $40 million bank roll. After egregious expenses, $$$ piddled out to various institutions, and the monster ward study, they could have blown the whole pile by now. Maybe not, but at this point they can’t even keep their website updated.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 9, 2016 at 18:11

      NuSI will go down as the nail in the LC coffin as in terms of the ultimate diet for everyone.

      See my post of today, just published. Money squandered for sure.

    • Mike on May 10, 2016 at 08:38

      THBQ: I think it is more appropriate to say that the world (not just the good ole USA) got fat on LA and Frutose. Pretty clear that the excessive fructose appears to be the main driver of NAFL disease (visceral fat).

    • Thhq on May 11, 2016 at 07:09

      @Mike can you say fat? Can you say glucose? They’re 80% of the excess calories that cause the obesity crisis. The fructose increase is trivial in comparison.

    • Mike on May 12, 2016 at 08:59

      Thanks for pointing that out Cpt Obvious. But did is this increase the cause or consequence?. Why are we eating more? Numerous studies show that normally our metabolism adjusts to both overfeeding and underfeeding. Overfeed and metabolism will rise and appetite falls. Eat too little and the opposite happens. If you burn a lot of calories exercising (e.g running) your metabolism slows down. All of this is well known and is why the eat less, move more mantra has been such a dismal failure for most people. So yes, fat and carbs are where the majority of the excess energy has come from, but it does not answer any meaningful questions.

  16. RMcSack on May 9, 2016 at 10:03

    I wonder if it’s not appropriate to associate the “added fat” seed oils to whole food seed consumption. Mark Sisson had an interesting article up a couple of years ago where he retracted his Omega 3/6 balance when it came to whole nuts:

    Kind of a recurring theme, but maybe isolating the component (oil in this case) from it’s source removes the other components (magnesium, vitamin E, polyphenols, etc) that maintain a balance of nutrients and prevent inflammation?

  17. Thhq on May 12, 2016 at 09:27

    To be more specific @mike glucose and polyunsaturated fat.

    If this was so obvious why didn’t Taubes see it? He must be stupid. Why did he send us out wool-gathering on fructose? Assuming that he wasn’t stupid he was malicious, directing our attention to something useless.

    10 years wasting our time and health over ketosis. If GCBC had been written to excite fear over eating excess glucose and PUFA we just might be less obese. Instead we were made to feel guilty about eating an apple a day.

    Regarding exercise, traveling a mile is still burning the same calories after 10 years of weight loss maintenance. Metabolic rate is proportional to weight, and falls if you weigh less. The efficiency of transportation affects metabolism too. Biking is about half the caloric effect of walking over the same distance. But that’s it. E = mvsquared has not been trumped by magical adaptations.

    • Mike on May 12, 2016 at 10:21

      @ Thhq
      Having read some of your other posts, I believe that you are writing all this in good faith, but either you didn’t read GCBC or didn’t understand it. Taube’s basically publicized an alternative hypothesis of obesity that existed prior to the 1960’s that obesity was a disease of adipose tissue driven by excess insulin. He mainly cites research and experiments that were done by European scientists as the basis for this argument. Fructose was barely mentioned at all because it doesn’t have any significant impact on insulin. He focused on what he called the modern foods of convenience that contained a lot of refined carbs and sugar. Primarily the insulinogenic affect of excess glucose in the diet that cause fat cells become unregulated and store excessive amounts of energy. This causes an “internal starvation” where too much energy is stored and there is not enough to support basic bodily functions. This drives hunger, drives more consumption, etc. a vicious cycle. So the theory behind GCBC is that we are eating more because we are getting fat, rather than we are getting fat because we are eating more.
      As for exercise, I try and do a brisk 30 minutes everyday. I am probably burning a few less calories because of lower weight and more efficient metabolism, but not much. However, if I went out and started running 20-30 km a week especially eating less food, it would have a significant impact on my BMR. Metabolism is extremely tightly controlled. There was a recent study that compared the calories expenditures of a group of hunter gathers in Africa vs office workers. The expectation was that the hunter gathers would have much higher expenditures and it was wrong. Both groups had generally the same energy expenditures.
      So all of this goes back to the initial question, yes we are eating more, but why? If you overfeed healthy individuals, their metabolism will transiently rise and appetite will fall as the body attempts to maintain a type of homeostasis. So why is it so broken now? Why has this mechanism failed?

    • Thhq on May 12, 2016 at 11:24

      @mike by the time I had heard of Taubes I had already lost 50 lbs by calorie and carb counting (both food and exercise) and had reversed my T2 diabetes. I was personally offended by someone who declared that what I had done did not work, and had no desire to enrich that person.

      The ability of the body to adjust metabolic rate is possibly more pertinent for aerobic activity, but declines with level of exertion. Our highest efficiency for fatty acid vs glucose metabolism is during sleep, and I’m not aware that the ratio can be changed by sleep optimization. Same thing with low aerobic walking and biking.

      I’ll quote Ancel Keys from 1959 on the two major reasons why I became obese:

      “People often overeat from boredom and in a subconscious substitution of eating pleasure for other satisfactions.”

      “Much overeating is an automatic result of the fact that entertaining and being entertained too often centers on eating because people can’t think of other things to do.”

      I like Guyenet’s food reward theory, which expands these positions. I have not found that my overeating is magically triggered by a single sugar such as fructose, but by a combination of the above psychological factors. These factors have been accentuated by increased sedentarism (such as blogging and in my case a lot of business travel).

    • thhq1 on May 12, 2016 at 16:49

      @mike here’s a specific example of what made me NOT want to buy GCBC or any other book by Taubes, Eades, etc.

      For a while, I used walking as my main tool to generate calorie deficit. If you’re trying to get from obesity to normal weight in a reasonable amount of time you can either exercise or starve yourself. By walking 10 miles a day I was able to maintain a loss rate of 1.5-2 lbs a week for 3 months and lose 25 lbs, without reducing my eating to starvation levels.

      Maybe Taubes has never been obese and diabetic like I was. Otherwise why would he mock, ridicule and belittle a technique that I knew from personal experience to be highly effective therapy. Now what is this doing to the obese diabetic guy riding on the subway reading the article? “Wow that guy Taubes sure knows his shit! He says I can play World of Warcraft all night, eat all I want and not any gain weight! My doctor is a big fat liar with his conventional wisdom!”

      When I talk about Taubes being an enabler for the obesity crisis this is one of the many things I’m referring to.

  18. Bill_Iza_Pussy on May 13, 2016 at 03:42
    • Thhq on May 13, 2016 at 08:26

      @bill I’m grounded in Keys’ Eat Well and Stay Well and Thompson and Manore’s Nutrition for Life. If you have some other nutrition texts you like let me know.

  19. Bill_Iza_Pussy on May 13, 2016 at 03:54


    I suspect that since you were very determined to lose weight, you not only started to exercise by walking 10 miles/day but you made some key changes in your diet. You became more health-minded.

    And I believe based on scientific evidence that’s been coming out over the years is that what you put in the ole pie hole is at least 90% responsible for any weight loss, and only 5-10% due to exercise.

    • Thhq on May 13, 2016 at 08:15

      @bill it is only in the last year that I’ve come to realize that Ancel Keys called what I did Scientific Reducing. It’s the same principle as his Starvation Study from the 40’s.

      Ancel puts the effects of walking into a table which gives hourly calorie burn rate for increasing walking speed, body weight and % grade. He deducts BMR so that you see just the exercise effect. Finally, he adds factors to convert to biking (+33%) and swimming (+100%). I’d recommend reading Keys as a primer as well as a good nutrition text before believing the blogs and dietary romances.

      I logged food and exercise daily. The weight loss was a result mostly of food reduction between 215 lbs and 190 lbs, but more like 75F/25E split. Between 190 and 165 lbs the exercise ramped up. I was also hungrier and ate more, so the ratio changed to 25F/75E. For the whole 6 months I was trying to stay on a 1000 kcal/day deficit, which in theory produces 2 lbs per week weight loss. Theory closely matched reality.

      The downside was upper body muscle loss. The upside was 6″ smaller waistline. I attribute the remission of the diabetes to the loss of all that visceral fat.

  20. gab on May 13, 2016 at 15:14

    Thhq, you used a very scientific method and it worked. Congrats. That’s the ‘thing’: it’s how much we consume that counts. Exercise your buns off and mehh. When you get past a certain amount of time exercising heavily, appetite also increases as you’ve noticed. There’s got to be a sweet spot determined by exercising and reducing food intake for opitmal weight loss.

    Swimming is probably the best way to lose weight except it can get damnably boring. I got into the groove with the swimming years ago and it worked great. Upper body strength was maintained well. But when I tried doing it again last year, the ennui got to me. Last time I was reading and re-reading James Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’. That seemed to be the ‘magic’. Observing my thoughts while swimming was very interesting. Maybe one day I’ll start reading it again.

    Also losing weight too fast past a ‘certain age’ results in mega aging. So s-l-o-w is the way to go. Change up the diet to a ‘new normal’ and keep it there forever. Make sure the changes are ones we are prepared to maintain indefinitely.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 13, 2016 at 15:42


      Everyone really needs to find what they like and the message here it it worked for him or her (sorry, if anonymous, you’re gender inspecific — I loath anonymity even though I have to go ahead with it sometimes)..

      Funny you mentioned reading. I have a longtime acquaintance who is unbelievably lean. All his life and now he’s nearly 60.

      His excuse? “I was in bookstores instead of supermarkets.”

      Whatever works.

    • Thhq on May 13, 2016 at 17:14

      @richard I’m a guy. It is a peculiar thing I’ve noted on blogs and being in Wing’s NWCR. It’s mostly women that have the focus to do this. What focused me was that diabetes diagnosis.

      Before that I didn’t give a rip. My pants sizes gradually increased over the years, as I happily gobbled up those fried potatoes. I still have a soft spot for Waffle House hash browns smothered, scattered, covered, and whatever else. I keep walking just so I can keep stuff like that in my diet. I need a sign that says “Will Walk For Food.”

  21. gab on May 13, 2016 at 16:05

    That is excellent. Except these days bookstores are becoming more and more hard to find (thank you Amazon). Fastfood joints and supermarkets are increasingly more common.

    Right now I’m rereading Viktor Frankl’s ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’. His experiences in the concentration camps makes me more conscious of what a human being can do to survive. Side effect is a major reduction in appetite to realize how little these people were fed and yet it was mind over matter to survive.

    • Wilbur on May 13, 2016 at 16:43

      Frankl’s book is on my short list of things to read. Do you recommend it? If so, I might get it. The story sounds amazing.

  22. gab on May 13, 2016 at 16:58

    Second read so I’d say it’s one of those books that needs to be re-read at least once in a lifetime.

    I need ‘bus books’. I re-read Transitions by William Bridges recently. That was worth re-reading too. Then gave it away to a friend. That’s flown the coop now.

    Dusting my bookshelves pays off. I re-find stuff.

    • Thhq on May 13, 2016 at 17:43

      Yeah they collect dust…I get on jags and reread Hemingway or Sinclair Lewis…right now Guthrie’s The Way West…probably drift back from there towards Kesey and Stegner.

      That’s another thing about Taubes. He’s such a hack writer. Should have stuck to writing about famous scientists. If I want to read bad fiction I’ll reread Valley of the Dolls before GCBC.

    • Thhq on May 13, 2016 at 17:51

      For a while I was reading Hemingway and watching the movie. The only one that came close to the book was For Whom the Bell Tolls. Great book which said it all and didn’t need the long boring movie. The furthest apart was To Have and Have Not. Terrible book about smugglers killing each other. Great movie though.

  23. gab on May 13, 2016 at 17:52

    Thhq: LOL! ‘Will walk for food’.

    I used to walk a lot. 7 km every evening and over 20 km per day on week-end days. 2 pints of beer at the pub = all the calories I used up walking on Saturdays and Sundays. Mucking out a barn worked better. I was losing weight without wanting to do so at an alarming rate. I ended up looking gaunt which was alarming. One day per week of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. of heavy duty physical labour had a huge impact.

    The human body is so darn efficient at walking. The only thing that really works is cutting down on calories. I guess it all depends on what someone is willing to do. If you are willing to walk 10 miles for hashbrowns at your favourite greasy spoon joint…. The price of pleasure, eh?

    I find a big bowl of lowish fat veg soup with clams and cod is better at ‘ahhh’ than most other options.

    • Tim Steele on May 13, 2016 at 18:01

      “The human body is so darn efficient…”

      That’s the real problem with Calories in-Calories Out; the “out” portion is not a constant.

      Little birds fly non-stop for weeks to get to Alaska, they don’t eat at all on the trip, yet still have plenty of energy and muscles. My firewood guy throws thousands of pounds of firewood chunks around every day, a workout that rivals the best kettlebell program, yet, he’s 100 pounds overweight and has diabetes (the cab of his truck rattles from the empty Mountain Dew cans).

      We have to face it…some people will have trouble maintaining weight no matter how they eat and exercise. We should focus more on our health than reaching an unattainable level of leanness and musculature.

    • Thhq on May 13, 2016 at 18:02

      Good movies…pub crawls…seen The World’s End?

      When I moulinex Ancel Keys, Paleo and Salish together in the kitchen I get pasta with chopped clams in white wine sauce. Lots of chewing and dental floss for those tough old quahogs over the last week. But oh that clam flavor.

  24. gab on May 13, 2016 at 17:58

    Thhq: maybe we need to make a book therapy list for sticking to weight loss diets and it ain’t diet books. Some material for ‘keeping things in perspective’, ‘compare and contrast’…. stuff like that.

    The potatoes on the train in Doctor Zhivago looked delicious. Exile to Siberia, get a few spuds along the way….

    • Tim Steele on May 13, 2016 at 18:03

      “The potatoes on the train in Doctor Zhivago looked delicious. Exile to Siberia, get a few spuds along the way….”

      Have I got a book for you!!!!

    • Thhq on May 13, 2016 at 18:05

      That’s the first thing I thought of when the potato hacking started. Then vodka. I need to dig up the Proust and Joyce again. And Spoon River Anthology.

  25. gab on May 13, 2016 at 18:17

    Thompson in his diaries stated that the migrating birds have lots of grain in their crops on which they draw during the long flights. So it’s not exactly true the birds have zero food in them.

  26. gab on May 13, 2016 at 18:18

    And don’t forget about those birds that people rescue because they are falling down drunk from eating fermenting berries (Arctic). They spend days in the ‘drunk tank’ until all the fermented berries make it through the digestive tract and are then liberated to go on their way.

  27. gab on May 13, 2016 at 18:35

    Proust, now there’s something I need to read. Just the damn Madeleines.
    No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory – this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me. … Whence did it come? What did it mean? How could I seize and apprehend it? … And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (because on those mornings I did not go out before mass), when I went to say good morning to her in her bedroom, my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane. The sight of the little madeleine had recalled nothing to my mind before I tasted it. And all from my cup of tea.

    — Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time

    Is it not bad enough I fry kidneys for breakfast in honour of Leopold Bloom? Will I succumb to the earthly pleasures of madeleines? Will I then have to joint Thhq on 10 mile rambles to make it all worth while? NOOOO! NOO! I cannot! I will not!

    Okay Tim, shoot it over: which book do I need to read?

    • Thhq on May 13, 2016 at 18:46

      I lived in France for a while. Reading books all the time, walking everywhere (that’s where I learned that I could eat anything and lose 15 lbs without trying), great seafood, watching rugby on TV.

      Typical moment. Wales has just beaten France in the 5 Nations. In Paris. The announcers were not intelligible, but their faces said just shoot me. On a good day this team could beat the All Blacks.

  28. Bill_Iza_Pussy on May 13, 2016 at 19:31
    • thhq1 on May 13, 2016 at 22:10

      Thanks. People that live a long time interest me. Bacon and eggs was the headline. She also was also short and only weighed 90 lbs, didn’t party, stayed physically active well over age 100, didn’t drink or smoke, and wasn’t avoiding fructose chewing all that Dentyne and making cakes. She wasn’t Med, or Paleo, or Atkins, or vegan. Maybe not being on one of the major diet plans kept her cortisol down.

    • thhq1 on May 14, 2016 at 08:52

      I’ve been thinking about the factors in her long life this morning. I think the principle one was that she never bore any children but performed all the functions of being a mother. Hard work and a sense of interdependancy. People needed her as much as she needed them. All those pictures on the wall, all those scrapbooks.

      Diet is important too, but not as important. At her size and age she couldn’t have been eating more than 1000 kcal a day, and probably less. She was not overeating – I’d consider her to be in a state of constant autophagy. A diet of bacon and eggs, Dentyne, fruit and probably some sweets from what can tell. The bacon and eggs are the most important part because of the daily protein. It’s very difficult for elderly people to preserve muscle mass, and that depends on protein especially as you become less mobile. Keys talked about an ounce of protein per day as a bare minimum, and that’s about what you’d get from a couple of strips of bacon and an egg. People could argue that tofu or cottage cheese would have been better sources…but in doing so they shorten their own lives and don’t explain hers….

      People have some misconceptions about Keys dietary recommendations. He liked eggs, didn’t see any reason to avoid their cholesterol, and recommended no more than 4 per week mainly because of the fat. He had no objection to people who worked hard eating one or two a day. Regarding the bacon, he was down on red meats because of the saturated fats but never recommended restricting animal protein to a minimum. He probably would have recommended fish, poultry or liver instead of the bacon. And he wasn’t prone to issue food fatwas the way run-of-the-mill fad diet people do. His recommendations read more like “please don’t but if you do you might consider having this wine with your meal”.

  29. Bill_Iza_Pussy on May 13, 2016 at 19:39


    I’m glad and happy to hear you found out what worked for you! I guess it may all just boil down to different strokes for different folks.

    Or it may ultimately be the gut bugs!? Even exercising appears to affect the types of bugs inhabiting our gut, besides what we eat.

  30. gab on May 13, 2016 at 19:44

    Thhq: never heard of Spoon River Anthology before. Jeeze.

    • thhq1 on May 13, 2016 at 22:19

      “And I never started to plow in my life
      That some one did not stop in the road
      And take me away to a dance or picnic.
      I ended up with forty acres;
      I ended up with a broken fiddle—
      And a broken laugh, and a thousand memories,
      And not a single regret.”

  31. gab on May 14, 2016 at 12:21

    thhq1, most of the Spoon River stuff is kind of, well, not particularly cheerful. Not that Viktor Frankl is cheerful either. But it is inspiring. James Joyce, Ulysses: I didn’t realize initially, but I was laughing out loud all the way through just from delight. I was reading William Bridges’ take on The Odyssey in his book, Transitions. But while reading Joyce, I just read the book without attempting to superimpose The Odyssey and am glad. For me it’s a book that a person needs to accept as is and not bring any expectations. Then it is a delight. (Except must admit I had the dictionary beside me.) Joyce was a master of observing the mind and how it does its thing.

    • thhq1 on May 14, 2016 at 12:50

      I like literary realism, and Spoon River is a stark free-verse version of that. In reading realists like Masters, Hemingway and Steinbeck I try to complete the association by visiting the places they describe. I visited the cemetary in Lewisberg where Masters found his names (hot muggy day, long drive off the Interstate), ate squid for breakfast at Sang’s in Salinas, and have spent a lot of time around Sun Valley tramping over the hills Hemingway loved. Stream of consciousness is a whole other story, with generally no major place association, but I have walked the streets of Dublin enough to know where Bloom was wandering around that day. For me the realists are an easier bus or plane or train read.

      If you think Spoon River is hauntingly sad, try Bove’s Mes Amis or Mauriac’s Le Desert de l’Amour. I discovered that these books by Hemingway’s French contemporaries, whose writing style greatly influenced him, were completely forgotten even in France. Duhamel, Colette, Morand, and many others writing post WWI. I liked digging them out of the old bookshops but have gotten most of them on Abebooks.

  32. gab on May 14, 2016 at 14:16

    Mauriac’s ‘The Knot of Vipers’. Great revenge story.

    • thhq on May 14, 2016 at 14:47

      Another one I need to reread….can’t remember the plot…

      I got interested in Mauriac living in Bordeaux. The route of the tram in The Desert of Love was very close to my route walking to work every day. Mauriac created claustrophobic worlds played out in the character’s minds. Kind of like Proust, but taking place in recognizable places. For me: crossing the train line that goes to Spain, going to the bullfights, passing the church in Talence (a feature in the book, and in real life where Mauriac was married) – all that was the same in 2001 as it was in 1925. It was as if I had entered Mauriac’s world.

  33. gab on May 14, 2016 at 15:03

    That’s the one where the lawyer is dying and he can hear his wife and daughter and son in law talking from the garden downstairs. His wife had been in love with another man who ended up in a sanatorium in Switzerland and married him as a default. He was in love with her but after she told him the truth, that she was in love with the guy who was gone forever, he went off and had sex or an affair with a woman in another town. There was a son from this whom he had to find but his son in law followed him like a private investigator to see what he was up to. He wanted to make a deal with this out of wedlock son to let him inherit his fortune but the son in law managed to, I think, pays the guy off.

    The family could hardly wait until the old dude died, so they could their hands on the money, but in the end the safe was empty with only a letter in it.

    • thhq on May 14, 2016 at 15:20

      Sounds like Mauriac. Bitter crumbs for everyone. Seems like Therese Desqueyroux moves in those same channels.

      Bordeaux has that old crumbly texture. I remember sitting upstairs in a restaurant we liked. The floor was so creaky it felt like you were going to fall through if you sat down too hard. As an American I thought it was fascinating and quaint with its old churches and decrepit buildings. Other Europeans had little interest, probably because their cities were very similar. During summer holidays it emptied out like a ghost town.

  34. Tim Steele on May 15, 2016 at 17:49

    If anyone is still interested in what Gary Taubes has to say, apparently he is an insoder at the LA Times, writing this Op-Ed piece last week: Why do we get fat?

    Priceless quotes:

    “Obesity is a hormonal and metabolic disorder triggered by the carbohydrate content of our diets.”
    “What we eat induces a hormonal disregulation that works to trap calories in our fat tissue.”
    “Obesity is not intractable; fixing it requires us to change what we eat, rather than how much.”
    “The diet with the least carbohydrates will result in the least weight gain, the least hunger, the least metabolic compensation.”

    “When authorities argue about how to think about getting fat, the discussions take on the tenor of religious debates. What the experts don’t do is propose definitive studies to resolve the issue. The National Institutes of Health — an active disseminator of the conventional energy imbalance model — doesn’t fund such studies.”

    • Richard Nikoley on May 15, 2016 at 17:56

      So pretty much all fat lies.

    • Richard Nikoley on May 15, 2016 at 18:09

      People need to get to the point with Taubes of outright dismissal:


      You never had an alternative hypothesis, dude. Already falsified by billions.

      …He’s squirming now. Dust bin.

  35. thhq1 on May 15, 2016 at 19:16

    Lights. Camera. Action.

    Once more the same old big fat lies. Written in the same old pompous hack way.

    This is my favorite part. Notice how he avoids the word “fat”.

    “But perhaps we could ratchet up the stakes a bit for the Boston study if we asked America’s obesity experts to publicly predict what will happen. We could establish a website and a betting line in Las Vegas. Which obesity hypothesis will win? Carbohydrates, hormones and metabolism? Or energy balance and a calorie is a calorie? Real money should be wagered. The amount the experts are willing to bet will inform us of the strength of their convictions. And the proceeds might help pay for the “Biggest Loser” experiment as well.”

    Where’s my hypothesis that it’s the Cheetos and potato chips?

  36. thhq1 on May 16, 2016 at 13:22

    Some free-thinking on high fat diets, while reading Ancel Keys.

    Keys was quite familiar with the conditions when high fat diets were called for: emaciation (tubercular or otherwise), ulcers, and epilepsy. As one jaded paleo blogger once said, high fat diets are for sick people. People who are emaciated need all the calories they can get, and fat delivers them. In the case of ulcers, the Sippy Diet was developed as a way to coat the stomach lining, using hourly feeding of cream, milk and soft boiled eggs.

    Finally ketosis dieting was developed to control severe epilepsy. According to Keys an 80% fat diet forces incomplete metabolism of the fat (generating significant acetone, acetoacetic acid, and beta-hydroxybutyric acid, in addition to carbon dioxide from normal fat metabolism). Keys calls the byproducts “smoke”, and considers this diet a last resort for uncontrollable epilepsy. IMO this is probably the main reason ketosis dieters can gorge on fat. All those unmetabolized fat fragments leave through the kidneys.

    • gab on May 16, 2016 at 14:05

      thhq1: that is very interesting about the epilepsy ketotic diet going back as far as Keys (or maybe further?). The kids lose weight and don’t grow on this diet, that much I know. It’s ‘boring’ and most kids end up getting off the diet. They also suffer constipation. Maybe raw potato starch would help? i’ve seen the menus and it’s basically zero fibre as well.

      Okay, so I know that after the liberation of concentration camp victims, initially they were misfed and many died. I can’t remember what was done wrong? Too much protein? What did they end up feeding these people so they could recover? High fat and high carb? Maybe you know.

    • gab on May 16, 2016 at 14:16

      BTW, you’ve ‘inspired me’. I was out wandering on the week-end and picked up a copy of ‘100 Million Years of Food’ by Joseph Le. As I wrote to Tim, it’s a maniacal compendium of STUFF disguised as a travelogue. Not everyone’s cup of tea, of course. It certainly is not a blue print for eating like Jaminet’s PHD claims to be. And I’ve ordered ‘Food, Genes, and Culture’ by Gary Paul Nabham and also his other book ‘Cumin, Camels, and Caravans: A Spice Odyssey.’ What the heck. I’m really not into heavy duty food guru lordifications, but history mixed with ‘stuff’ and travel is a great combo when written well. I like to learn but also be entertained at the same time. I’ve been having some major chuckles with Joseph Le’s book. Also ordered a medical anthropology textbook because, hey, there was no such thing back when I went to university. Medical anthropology? WHAT THE HECK IS THAT? I feel like Rip van Winkle must have.

    • Thhq on May 16, 2016 at 14:28

      @gab read this for a primer on WWII starvation.

      The European starvation diet was cabbage, bread and potatoes. Very little fat or protein. I don’t know what the best starvation recovery diet is. Post-experiment the men were gorging themselves without satisfying their appetites though.

    • Thhq on May 16, 2016 at 14:30

      I enjoyed reading The Leopards Tale about life at Catalhoyuk (early neolithic).

  37. gab on May 16, 2016 at 15:58

    Thhq, I’ve read the starvation experiment.

    But it doesn’t tell me what the refeeding mistake that was made on concentration camp victims who were probably in worse shape than these American guys. I’ll have to find it somewhere but I think it was excess protein killed them.

    Life in Catalhoyuk was really weird. People living above their animals and accessing their own living quarters from the roof! But isn’t that one of the places where TB was first spread to humans?

    • Thhq on May 17, 2016 at 06:59

      Catalhoyuk houses were essentially chimneys, with a hearth fire at the bottom and a hole at the top. The ribs of the dwellers show soot residue. This combined with living with animals are great conditions to incubate TB.

  38. gab on May 16, 2016 at 16:58

    Thhq: it’s ‘refeeding syndrome’. All manner of things go wrong when a starving person is fed ‘ad lib’.

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