The 11 Most Destructive Nutrition Lies Ever Told
(12-08-2014, 12:01 PM)J Michael Wrote:
(12-07-2014, 11:49 PM)christulsa123 Wrote:
(12-07-2014, 07:29 PM)J Michael Wrote:
(12-07-2014, 05:12 PM)Oldavid Wrote:
(12-07-2014, 02:15 PM)J Michael Wrote:
(12-07-2014, 08:00 AM)Oldavid Wrote: I'm one of those dreadful Philistines that don't believe any of that guff. The stuff that people have been eating for thousands of years before "preserved" and "fast food" were invented seems quite adequate to get one from cradle to grave.

What, you mean like grains, vegetables, starchy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and maybe a little animal protein here and there? :grin: :grin:
If you try to convince an Eskimo of that I want to be there... it should be a barrel of laughs. :grin:

I'll convince the Eskimo of that if you can convince native Filipinos to eat plain raw caribou and walrus meat, with a side of whale blubber  :grin: :grin:.

My wife is a native Filipino and she loves my low carb lifestyle.  Filipinos have a lot of diabetes they attribute to eating too much rice, and heart disease.  To me the weaknesses in their modern diet are too much rice, mainly white rice vs. brown rice, in combination with too much fat from deep frying (high carb/higher fat)., plus they love Pepsi at every get-together.  And there are a lot of get-togethers!

Low carb/high fat for a Filipino would not be hard:  fish and vegetables, eggs, bacon, sausages, veggie/meat soups, chicken adobo, pork lechon, panceat made with shirataki noodles or mostly veg and meat and a little noodles, a small amount of rice, small servings of root vegetables, tempeh, low glycemic index fruit, the tropical fruits that are highest in fiber, nuts, etc.  And they love cooking with coconut oil which is healthy on low carb. 

And I love pork skin pulled of a freshly roasted pig.  It is like candy.

Yes, it's the "modern" diet that's problematic.  What does a "traditional" Filipino or other South Asian diet mostly consist of?  According to most of what I've read, grains (rice or wheat for the most part), vegetables, and a little animal protein, almost as a condiment.  Is that incorrect?  Remember, we're talkin' 'bout the common folk here, not the oligarchs and autocrats and rich fat-cats.

Pork skin off a freshly roasted pig?!?!?!? :O  Sorry, but even I, as one of the world's biggest meat lovers, am grossed out by that!

So I asked my wife.  She said that Filipinos traditionally eat rice, fish, vegetables, eggs, soups, saute more than stir-fry or deep-fry, with almost no dairy.  Very little meat.  When they have meat, its more chicken or pork, and very little beef.  The "modern" Filipino diet has a lot more sugar, rice, and deep-frying.  There has been a rise in diabetes, heart disease, and strokes. 
(12-09-2014, 04:31 PM)Zedta Wrote:
(12-04-2014, 08:06 PM)J Michael Wrote: Great!  I look forward to it.

I began reading some of your links, but when I saw 'The China Study', well, a bunch of 'Black Spider' alarms went off. This particular study has been all but totally discredited and if it is used as a basis for anything but a comedy skit, I couldn't believe any conclusions based on that data. I am not swerved in my stance and after a visit to my doctor today, I shall remain on my diet as is.

Here is a nice review of the china study and afterwards, a well done review on Veganism and it cites your trio in it as co-heretics (grin):

The China Study
Posted by Harriet Hall on March 10, 2009 (71 Comments)

One of our readers asked that we evaluate a book I had not previously heard of: The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health, by nutrition researcher T. Colin Campbell, PhD, with his non-scientist son Thomas M. Campbell II. The China Study was an epidemiologic survey of diet and health conducted in villages throughout China and is touted as “the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted.” The book’s major thesis is that we could prevent or cure most disease (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, bone, kidney, eye and other diseases) by eating a whole foods plant-based diet, drastically reducing our protein intake, and avoiding meat and dairy products entirely.

Opinions of the book

There’s a lot of praise for this book on the Internet. It was named VegNews Book of the Year. PETA loves it (not surprisingly). Heather Mills McCartney calls it inspirational. It was featured on and endorsed by two of her favorite doctors: Mehmet Oz and Dean Ornish. Its author was even interviewed on Coast to Coast AM.

But I also found this critical review which makes some excellent points and accuses the authors of misrepresenting the findings of the study. And this commenter on an forum also charges Campbell with misrepresenting the data from the study and points out numerous flaws in his reasoning.

Problematic references

I didn’t look at the praise or criticism of others until after I read the book, and the following represents my independent impressions. I approached the book as I do any book with scientific references: I read until I come across a statement of fact that strikes me as questionable and then I check the references given for the statement. This immediately got me off on the wrong foot with this book. In the first chapter I found the statement:

    Heart disease can be prevented and even reversed by a healthy diet.

The end notes listed 2 references in support of this assertion. The first reference was not about diet alone, but about a combination of several lifestyle interventions (Dean Ornish’s intensive program). 28 patients were assigned to an experimental group (low-fat vegetarian diet, stopping smoking, stress management training, and moderate exercise) and 20 to a usual-care control group. The experimental group had less artery narrowing.

The second was a study of 22 patients with severe heart disease in a single physician’s practice. Their disease was arrested or reversed over a 5-year period not by diet alone but with a combination of a very low fat diet and cholesterol-lowering drugs. These studies were published in 1990 and 1995 respectively and as far as I know have not been replicated. And they were small preliminary studies of the kind that should be used only to guide further research, not the kind of definitive studies that can be used to guide clinical decisions.

Neither reference supports the claim that diet (by itself) can reverse heart disease and neither of them has anything to do with preventing heart disease – all the subjects in both studies already had the disease.

Reading further, I found that this was not an isolated oversight, but part of a pattern. For instance, Campbell asserts that diet is an effective treatment for melanoma and supports that claim by citing a Tijuana study of the discredited Gerson protocol, which includes coffee enemas and other non-dietary interventions. Patients allegedly cured of cancer by this method were tracked down by a naturopath who found that 5 years later all but one had died of their cancer and the only one still alive was not cancer free.

Actually there are a couple of more credible references listed on PubMed suggesting that a low-fat diet might be beneficial for melanoma. Why did the author not cite those studies but pick a disreputable one?

Sloppy citations like these do not disprove the author’s thesis, but they throw doubt on his scientific rigor and reasoning abilities.

The China Study

The China Study involved 100 adults in each of 65 counties in China. Only those between the ages of 35 and 64 were studied; for mortality rates they eliminated death certificates of those over the age of 64 as “unreliable.” They pooled blood samples from everyone in a village so they would have large enough samples to measure over 109 nutritional, viral, hormonal and other indicators in blood. They also measured 24 urinary factors, mortality rates for more than 48 diseases, 36 food constituents, 36 nutrient and food intakes, 60 diet and lifestyle factors, and 17 geographic and climatic factors. All in all, they studied 367 variables and made 8000 correlations. I’ll leave it to others to comment on the study design and the statistical analysis.

The Chinese eat far less animal protein than Americans and far less total protein than even American vegetarians. They eat more calories per kilo of body weight than Americans, apparently without weight gain even among the subset of Chinese who were least physically active (Campbell attributes this to thermogenesis from carbohydrate metabolism as compared to protein metabolism, and he claims that vegetarians feel more energetic and naturally exercise more, using up extra calories). They found that Chinese cholesterol levels are far lower than Western levels and decline as the amount of protein in the diet declines. They found a strong dose-effect relationship between the amount of animal protein in the diet and the rates of many diseases like heart disease and cancer.

Conflicting data

I found a number of studies in PubMed that reached very different conclusions. I’ll quote from one typical example and provide links to a couple of others.

    Vegetarians form a non-homogenous group consisting of semivegetarians (plant food, dairy products, eggs and fish), lacto-ovo vegetarians (plant food, dairy products, eggs) and vegans (plant food only). According to pure vegetarian ideologists, people consuming vegetarian diet have better health and live longer than nonvegetarians, because persons consuming milk, dairy products, meat, eggs and fish are at health risk.In fact the most healthy people in Europe are inhabitants of Iceland, Switzerland and Scandinavia, consuming great amounts of food of animal origin. Meta-analysis of several prospective studies showed no significant differences in the mortality caused by colorectal, stomach, lung, prostate or breast cancers and stroke between vegetarians and “health-conscious” nonvegetarians. In vegetarians, a decrease of ischemic heart disease mortality was observed probably due to lower total serum cholesterol levels, lower prevalence of obesity and higher consumption of antioxidants. Very probably, an ample consumption of fruits and vegetables and not the exclusion of meat make vegetarians healthful.

And there’s this one And this one.

Campbell criticizes all Western studies of low-fat and low-protein diets because the Western versions of those diets still have far more fat and protein than the average diet in China. The Nurse’s Health Study found no connection between breast cancer and the amount of fat in the diet, but Campbell points out that it really only compared carnivorous nurses to slightly less carnivorous nurses. The “low-fat” group was still eating a very high-fat diet by Chinese standards. This is a very valid criticism, and it also applies to the relatively ineffective Western efforts to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease with diet.

Observations from other countries tend to contradict the correlations found in China. The African Maasai eat a diet high in animal protein (meat, milk and blood from their cows) – yet they have low blood cholesterol levels and low rates of heart disease. Among the Eskimos (who ate an animal-based, very high protein, high fat diet) heart disease was practically unknown.

Campbell doesn’t attempt to explain a glaring exception to his data: stomach cancer rates are higher in China than elsewhere in the world – he doesn’t even mention that fact.

He cites all kinds of research to support his hypothesis that animal protein is bad. Toxins like aflatoxin and nitrosamine cause rats and mice to develop cancers, but carcinogenesis is prevented by feeding them a low protein diet. Casein (one specific animal protein in milk) has been linked to some human diseases. Links between fat, animal protein, vitamin D and other nutrients confuse the issue. The incidence of many diseases varies with latitude – is it the difference in sun exposure, the blood levels of vitamin D, the fact that people at higher latitudes eat more fat, that they eat more meat?

Diet recommendations

He marshals a lot of evidence, but is it sufficient to support his recommendation that everyone give up animal protein entirely, including dairy products? I don’t think so. There are legitimate concerns that such a diet may not be without risks. Even Campbell recognizes that strict vegetarians are likely to need vitamin B12 supplementation. If cow’s milk is prohibited for growing children and osteoporotic adults, they will likely need a supplemental source of calcium and vitamin D. Without careful nutrition guidance, children deprived of milk might end up malnourished. Breast milk is animal protein – should we avoid breast-feeding too?

He criticizes conventional recommendations for a diet with 45-65% of calories from carbohydrates, 20-35% from fat and 10-35% from protein, showing how the following menu satisfies those requirements:

    1 cup Froot Loops
    1 cup skim milk
    1 package M&M milk chocolate candies
    Fiber and vitamin supplements

    Grilled cheddar cheeseburger

    3 slices pepperoni pizza
    16 oz soda
    1 serving Archway sugar cookies.

But that’s a bit of a straw man argument. In reality, most current nutritional advice makes very much the same recommendations Campbell does except for his strict prohibition of animal protein. For instance, for cancer prevention the American Cancer Society recommends a diet high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes and low in red meat and alcohol, along with regular exercise and weight control.

Except for proponents of the low-carb diet fad for weight loss, almost everything I have read recently in the way of diet advice is consistent with the ACS recommendations. More veggies, less red meat, fewer calories.


It would be wonderful if we could prevent cancer and all those other diseases by avoiding animal protein. It would have the extra added benefit to the environment of increasing the productivity of agricultural land and reducing the greenhouse effects of gassy cows. I look forward to future well-designed studies investigating the effects of very low protein and animal-protein-free diets. Meanwhile, The China Study makes a good case, but the case isn’t quite good enough.

Second article:

Death as a Foodborne Illness Curable by Veganism
Posted by Harriet Hall on February 12, 2013 (90 Comments)

Most reputable sources of nutrition information recommend a diet high in fruits and vegetables and low in red meat. Vegans go much further. Strict vegans reject all animal products including fish, eggs, and milk. Some vegans come across like religious zealots. Here are some comments recently posted by vegans on Facebook:

    Right now the biggest social issue facing the world is the violence and suffering of animals.
    The dairy industry is the number one feminist issue facing our modern society.
    I expect within a generation that milk will be viewed as the most unhealthy habit after cigarettes. I bet it is responsible for more disease than anything else in the US. Dairy products promote all stages of cancer. [In fact, low fat dairy can be protective against some types of cancer]
    Milk contains blood and puss[sic]
    Humans are not omnivores; they are herbivores. [Most biologists would disagree.]

I was even told that that anyone who really cares about the welfare of others must promote veganism. It seems I am an evil, uncaring person if I waste my time writing about any other subject.

Vegans offer some good arguments based on ethics, environmental protection, cruelty to animals, and sustainability.  I won’t get into those issues here. I’ll only address the scientific evidence behind the health claims. How does this description of a video strike you?:

    Death in America is largely a foodborne illness. Focusing on studies published just over the last year in peer-reviewed scientific medical journals, [Hardly any of the studies he cites were published over the last year.] Michael Greger, M.D., offers practical advice on how best to feed ourselves and our families to prevent, treat, and even reverse many of the top 15 killers in the United States.[emphasis added]

That video was recommended to me by a vegan activist. I dipped into it randomly and noticed statements that I knew were not true, at least not as stated without any qualifications. I prefer to get my information from the medical literature rather than from videos. But I was eventually browbeaten into watching the whole thing when the activist impugned my objectivity and my ethics.

“If Only You Would Watch This Video”

I hear that all the time from people who have been overwhelmed by the information presented in a video that supports their beliefs. They assume that the evidence presented is incontrovertible, and that anyone who agreed to watch it would necessarily be converted to their beliefs. These videos tend to fall into an easily recognizable pattern. They feature a charismatic scientist with an agenda who makes sweeping statements that go beyond the evidence, makes unwarranted assumptions about the meaning of studies, and omits any reference to contradictory evidence. I recognized this pattern by briefly sampling the video, and my initial opinion was only confirmed by watching it in toto.

The Leading Causes of Death

He starts with a table showing the leading causes of death and goes through them one by one, presenting his evidence that a diet devoid of animal-based foods can prevent and cure each of them.

To evaluate the accuracy of his information, let’s ask:

    What exactly is he claiming?
    What references does he supply in support of that claim?
    Do those reference really say what he says they say?
    Have those studies been replicated?
    How good was the methodology of those studies?
    Are there other studies that came to different conclusions?
    Is there any good evidence comparing total avoidance of animal-based foods and a diet that is mainly plant-based but includes small amounts of animal products?

Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)

He cites a reference showing that “a plant-based diet of primarily whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes can completely prevent heart attacks.” This is a quotation from an article in the Food and Drug Law Journal, and the footnotes there only send us to Caldwell Esselstyn’s flawed research.  Esselstyn studied only a small number of patients who already had heart disease, and he treated them with statin drugs in addition to diet, and their diet included skim milk and low-fat yogurt. You can read my criticism of his research here.  It is ludicrous to interpret that research as showing that a plant-based diet can completely prevent heart attacks.  A more accurate interpretation is that patients (only a few patients in one study) who had already had a heart attack did not have a second heart attack while being treated with cholesterol-lowering medications and a diet that was largely plant-based but also included foods derived from animals.


That same article claims that up to 75% of cancers can be prevented, but the supporting reference indicate smoking accounts for 30% of cancers and diet alone might prevent somewhere between 20-42% of all cancers, and as little as 10% of certain individual types of cancer.  It points out that “making quantitative estimates at this time is treacherous, as the available evidence can only be interpreted roughly,” because of confounders like exercise, methodological difficulties, and the need to rely on unreliable memory for recall of intake. They conclude that “one can sensibly recommend an abundant consumption of fruits and vegetables and low intake of red meat.” This supports mainstream nutrition advice, not veganism.


He cites a study showing that a single meal high in animal fat can paralyze our arteries and “cripple” them. This was a small study of 10 volunteers with no control group. It measured flow-dependent vasoactivity. It’s not clear what that means, but surely it’s an exaggeration to say that the arteries were paralyzed or crippled. It would be interesting to compare the results to those of vegans who ate a meal with an equal number of calories. And what we really want to know is whether the observed changes have any practical clinical significance.


COPD “can be prevented and even treated with a plant-based diet.” He relies on a study that measured exhaled NO as a marker for inflammation, showing that it increases after a high fat meal. He describes it as causing internal damage. The study’s conclusion was “This suggests that a high fat diet may contribute to chronic inflammatory disease of the airway and lungs.” But this study showed no association between airway inflammation as measured by exhaled nitric oxide and systemic inflammation as measured either by CRP or fibrinogen. And it said nothing specifically about COPD or about the effect of removing animal foods from the diet.


“We’ve known for 20 years that those who eat meat are 2-3 times as likely to become demented as vegetarians.”  This claim is based on an old Adventist health study that has not been replicated. It studied two groups: matched and unmatched subjects. The data he cites are from the matched group. There was no difference in incidence of dementia between meat eaters and vegetarians in the unmatched study.  Adventists are lacto-ovo-vegetarians who eat milk and eggs. And they are also a rather unique group with other healthy lifestyle practices. So it is disingenuous to claim this study as definitive evidence for veganism.

He neglects to tell us about studies that got different results, like the one showing that fish consumption reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s.

What is his evidence that Alzheimer’s can be treated with a plant-based diet? He offers a phase II study from Iran that compared saffron extract to a low dose of a drug that has only a small clinical benefit. The authors only claim it provides “preliminary evidence of a possible therapeutic effect of saffron.” Not very convincing, and certainly not evidence that a plant-based diet can treat Alzheimer’s. Saffron extract was being studied here as an herbal medicine, not as a food.

Kidney failure

Can kidney failure be prevented and treated with a plant-based diet?  He points to a study showing that diets lower in red meat and animal fat may decrease the risk of microalbuminuria.  It also showed a reduced risk with low fat dairy!

Other claims

He cites a study concluding “Our results suggest that a decrease in meat consumption may improve weight management.” Suggest, may, decrease. Not veganism.

He compares raw meat to hand grenades, because of bacterial contamination. If you don’t handle them safely, it’s like pulling the pin. Are we selling hand grenades in grocery stores? This is a ridiculous comparison, and it ignores the fact that plant-based foods can be a source of contamination too.

Flu: kale stimulates the immune system.

Eating just a few fruits and veg can improve the body’s ability to fight off pneumonia.

Suicide prevention? Restriction of meat fish and poultry improves mood.

I’m bored, and I’m sure you are too. There is more, much more. But I have made my point.

What Do Other Studies Show about the Benefits and Risks of Veganism?

This study showed  mortality from ischemic heart disease was 26% lower in vegans and 34% lower in lacto-ovo-vegetarians (in other words, it’s better not to eliminate milk and eggs).  “There were no significant differences between vegetarians and nonvegetarians in mortality from cerebrovascular disease, stomach cancer, colorectal cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, or all other causes combined.”

Another study showed that the healthiest people in Europe, the inhabitants of Iceland, Switzerland, and Scandinavia, consume large amounts of animal foods.

This study found no significant differences in mortality between vegetarians and nonvegetarians.

There are risks. A vegan diet can lead to deficiencies in various nutrients: vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, iodine, iron and omega-3 fatty acids. Careful planning can help avoid that; but anecdotally, the vegan who recommended the video to me recently found out he was deficient in B12 despite supplementation.


The elephant in the room is weight loss. Vegans weigh less than meat eaters, and many of the benefts claimed could be consequences of weight loss, particularly in diabetes. And they could be a consequence of eating more fruits and vegetables, rather than avoiding meat and milk.

The data he finds most convincing are from the 7th Day Adventist study. One of his tables shows reduction in blood pressure and diabetes that are right in line with decrease in body mass index (BMI). This contradicts other data that supposedly removed BMI as a confounder. Adventists are a select group with other healthy lifestyle behaviors. Until we have confirmatory data from other studies in a general population, I don’t think it is wise to hang our hat on these decades-old Adventist studies.

Can Diabetes Be Cured?

He says it can be cured by a plant-based diet, but the general consensus of medical experts is that diabetes can’t be “cured.”  Diabetes can be treated and controlled with diet, weight loss, medication, obesity surgery, and even islet cell transplants. The symptoms subside, the blood sugar normalizes, and some patients no longer need their medication after they lose weight and make other lifestyle changes. But we don’t consider it “cured.”  If you’re going to say diet “cures” diabetes, it would only be fair to say medication also “cures” it. It’s better to think of it not as cured but as controlled and requiring continuing attention.

Other Diet Beliefs

Surprise, surprise! Not everyone agrees that the vegan diet is best. Gary Taubes has written a book (with far more references than this video) advocating a low-carb diet.  William Davis, the “Wheat Belly” doctor, tells us we must avoid a whole category of plant-based foods. He says meat is OK but wheat is addictive. The pH balance contingent tells us it is the acid in the food that is important, not whether the food comes from a plant or animal. The lacto-ovo-vegetarians don’t eat meat, but have no objection to eggs and milk. The paleo diet accepts meat, as does the Bible diet.  Fruitarians reject animal products and also all vegetables and grains; they can be considered an even more restrictive form of vegans. Some of these diet beliefs are based mainly on ideology, but most of them claim to be based on solid science. There is only one science. If the evidence were really so clear-cut in favor of veganism, we wouldn’t have all these differing approaches.

What About the Eskimos?

Some people eat meat almost exclusively and seem to thrive on it. All the nutrients the human body requires are found in meat, even vitamin C when the meat is eaten raw.

Vegans tell us the Inuit, who lived almost exclusively on food of animal origin, had a short life span. That’s not true. Statistics on the Inuit between 1822 and 1836 showed that their average life expectancy was about the same as that of European peasants of the time who ate a diet overwhelmingly based on bread. 25% of Inuit lived past 60, and some lived into their 80s and 90s.

The Inuit ate meat out of necessity. It was all they could get for most of the year. Their diet was very high in fat. If it had not been, they could not have survived in one of the coldest, most barren, most hostile environments anywhere on Earth. Even today, it would not be wise for people living in the Arctic to try to follow a vegan diet.

Blubber is a staple of the Inuit diet, and it contains large amounts of antioxidants. Atherosclerosis is practically unknown in Greenland.  In Uummannaq, Greenland, a population of 3000 residents had no deaths due to CVD in the 1970s. And the average 70 year old Inuit with a traditional diet of whale and seal has arteries as elastic as that of a 20-year old Danish resident. Why didn’t Dr. Greger mention that research? I think I can guess why.

Veganism Prevents Harm to Animals

That sounds like a slam-dunk, but it’s more complicated. Some people think veganism is not really the lifestyle of least harm to animals.


The video confirmed what I already knew from evaluating the published evidence: it is healthier to eat more plant-based foods and less red meat.  It didn’t convince me that we should categorically eliminate all animal products. The vegan diet can be a healthy one, and I wouldn’t discourage anyone from following it; but the evidence for health benefits is nowhere near as impressive or definitive as the true believers think. Death is not “a foodborne illness” and eliminating all animal products is not a cure-all.

As Ben Goldacre said in Bad Science:

    The most important take-home message with diet and health is that anyone who ever expresses anything with certainty is basically wrong, because the evidence for cause and effect in this area is almost always weak and circumstantial…

Thanks for taking the time to read and post all that!  I do appreciate it.  I don't have time at the moment to really respond, but I'll try to get back to you tomorrow.
(12-09-2014, 05:56 PM)christulsa123 Wrote: So I asked my wife.  She said that Filipinos traditionally eat rice, fish, vegetables, eggs, soups, saute more than stir-fry or deep-fry, with almost no dairy.  Very little meat.  When they have meat, its more chicken or pork, and very little beef.  The "modern" Filipino diet has a lot more sugar, rice, and deep-frying.  There has been a rise in diabetes, heart disease, and strokes.

Yup, just like the Native American Indians who stray from their traditional fare ("Gotta have my fry-bread!") and the everyday 'American' who eats badly too. Eat unhealthily, and in time,  you'll lose health too. Vegans especially, always seem to have a cold...ever notice? Vegitarians to a lesser degree. You need animal amino acids and B12 to make antibodies. If you don't get that, you get sick...plain and simple.

Bad diets are easy to do, just eat one class of foods and you'll loose weight, as I told J. Michael, its a kind of starvation. As Henry David T. said, everything in moderation. Skimp on the stuff that puts you out of balance and you'll do fine. A little bit this and a little bit of that, never too much of anything. Just remember; Fats are for energy, easily converted into fuel to be burned, but stored if more available stuff, like carbs, starchy or not, is in the blood stream being worked on by insulin. Proteins are kinda neutral, but those provided with a sound dose of fat get used quicker than those with carbs and no fats.
(12-09-2014, 11:26 PM)Zedta Wrote:
(12-09-2014, 05:56 PM)christulsa123 Wrote: So I asked my wife.  She said that Filipinos traditionally eat rice, fish, vegetables, eggs, soups, saute more than stir-fry or deep-fry, with almost no dairy.  Very little meat.  When they have meat, its more chicken or pork, and very little beef.  The "modern" Filipino diet has a lot more sugar, rice, and deep-frying.  There has been a rise in diabetes, heart disease, and strokes.

Yup, just like the Native American Indians who stray from their traditional fare ("Gotta have my fry-bread!") and the everyday 'American' who eats badly too. Eat unhealthily, and in time,  you'll lose health too. Vegans especially, always seem to have a cold...ever notice? Vegitarians to a lesser degree. You need animal amino acids and B12 to make antibodies. If you don't get that, you get sick...plain and simple.

Bad diets are easy to do, just eat one class of foods and you'll loose weight, as I told J. Michael, its a kind of starvation. As Henry David T. said, everything in moderation. Skimp on the stuff that puts you out of balance and you'll do fine. A little bit this and a little bit of that, never too much of anything. Just remember; Fats are for energy, easily converted into fuel to be burned, but stored if more available stuff, like carbs, starchy or not, is in the blood stream being worked on by insulin. Proteins are kinda neutral, but those provided with a sound dose of fat get used quicker than those with carbs and no fats.

Gee, you're kind of dampening my initial enthusiasm for my new eating plan  :O :Hmm: :grin:.  But then, I'm the kind of person who sometimes tends to jump in the deep end without always checking the depth of the water  :LOL:.  This was a form of me doing that as I recognized that my wife and I needed to do something drastic.  Over the last few years we have been under some ENORMOUS stresses and had gotten very far away from eating properly.  We knew it, just were not able to act on it in any organized fashion due to the circumstances of our lives.  Now we can.  If the McDougall plan and others like it act as a catalyst to get us back to a healthy diet (and that's how I see it at this point) *even if we don't do it to the letter and as fanatic groupies*, then it will have been well worth the effort.

Now, we could probably argue until the cows come home, each citing studies, and research, and clinical trials, and anecdotal evidence, and gummint reports ad nauseum.  I don't believe there's a be-all and end-all of "diets" or "life-style plans" or whatever that suits every person in every culture.  I do believe that there's a way to eat healthily and that each person needs to find what works for him or her.  I also believe that a diet (in our culture, anyway) consisting of the elements suggested by McDougall, et. al.., though not necessarily in the exact proportions he suggests and not necessarily eliminating all animal products, that is, a whole food diet of mostly grains, legumes, starchy vegetables, other non-starchy vegetables, some lean meat, perhaps some eggs, some animal and vegetable fats is the way to go.  This means eliminating as much processed food as possible, as much junk food as possible, avoiding Burger King, etc., etc., etc.  In other words, the closer we can get to a diet that accurately reflects that of our healthier ancestors, the better.  Now, establishing just what that is might be the crux of the matter.

Just as an aside, not all that comes from "science", from academia, or from the government is correct, valid, or without bias based on $$ and other vested interests.  By the same token, neither is all the "alternative" stuff.  And that, I think, applies across the board in virtually every field you might think of, but most especially when it comes to health.  As an example, conventional medicine has for many, many, many years debunked and criticized homeopathy claiming it is quackery and does not work.  Well, as one who practiced it full time for many years I have seen how wrong they are about it and have seen how, especially with (but not limited to) chronic illness, homeopathy can achieve amazing results where conventional medicine has failed miserably or "succeeded" in making patients dependent upon the pharmaceutical industry in an attempt to alleviate symptoms.  Far too often, though, what happens is that symptoms are masked, the overall health of the patient fails to improve, and, well....need I go on?  AND....I would never for one moment criticize or debunk the usefulness, even the necessity sometimes of modern Western medicine--when and where it works, and that especially applies to the areas of surgery (when really necessary) and emergency/trauma medicine.
(12-03-2014, 12:25 PM)Zedta Wrote: I was going to respond to the high carb diet thread, but I thought this article would put it down better. High Carb diets are fine, if you're thin already, but if you aren't, it could make you sick in the long run. Any diet that isn't a mix of good stuff and of varying types of food will cause weight loss. Its a kind of starvation, so the results are usually weight loss, but it will rain havoc on your over all health.

Here's a great article on the subject of diet:


The 11 Most Destructive Nutrition Lies Ever Told

There is a lot of misinformation circling around in mainstream nutrition.

Here are the top 11 biggest lies, myths and misconceptions of mainstream nutrition.

1. Eggs Are Unhealthy
There’s one thing that nutrition professionals have had remarkable success with… and that is demonizing incredibly healthy foods. The worst example of that is eggs, which happen to contain a large amount of cholesterol and were therefore considered to increase the risk of heart disease.
But recently it has been proven that the cholesterol in the diet doesn’t really raise the cholesterol in blood. In fact, eggs primarily raise the “good” cholesterol and are NOT associated with increased risk of heart disease (1, 2).
What we’re left with is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. They’re high in all sorts of nutrients along with unique antioxidants that protect our eyes (3). To top it all of, despite being a “high fat” food, eating eggs for breakfast is proven to cause significant weight loss compared to bagels for breakfast (4, 5).

    Bottom Line: Eggs do not cause heart disease and are among the most nutritious foods on the planet. Eggs for breakfast can help you lose weight.

2. Saturated Fat is Bad For You
A few decades ago it was decided that the epidemic of heart disease was caused by eating too much fat, in particular saturated fat. This was based on highly flawed studies and political decisions that have now been proven to be completely wrong.
A massive review article published in 2010 looked at 21 prospective epidemiological studies with a total of 347.747 subjects. Their results: absolutely no association between saturated fat and heart disease (6).
The idea that saturated fat raised the risk of heart disease was an unproven theory that somehow became conventional wisdom (7). Eating saturated fat raises the amount of HDL (the “good”) cholesterol in the blood and changes the LDL from small, dense LDL (very bad) to Large LDL, which is benign (8, 9).
Meat, coconut oil, cheese, butter… there is absolutely no reason to fear these foods.

    Bottom Line: Newer studies have proven that saturated fat does not cause heart disease. Natural foods that are high in saturated fat are good for you.

3. Everybody Should be Eating Grains
The idea that humans should be basing their diets on grains has never made sense to me. The agricultural revolution happened fairly recently in human evolutionary history and our genes haven’t changed that much.
Grains are fairly low in nutrients compared to other real foods like vegetables. They are also rich in a substance called phytic acid which binds essential minerals in the intestine and prevents them from being absorbed (10).
The most common grain in the western diet, by far, is wheat… and wheat can cause a host of health problems, both minor and serious. Modern wheat contains a large amount of a protein called gluten, but there is evidence that a significant portion of the population may be sensitive to it (11, 12, 13).
Eating gluten can damage the intestinal lining, cause pain, bloating, stool inconsistency and tiredness (14, 15). Gluten consumption has also been associated with schizophrenia and cerebellar ataxia, both serious disorders of the brain (16, 17).

    Bottom Line: Grains are relatively low in nutrients compared to other real foods like vegetables. The gluten grains in particular may lead to a variety of health problems.

4. Eating a Lot of Protein is Bad For Your Bones and Kidneys
A high protein diet has been claimed to cause both osteoporosis and kidney disease.
It is true that eating protein increases calcium excretion from the bones in the short term, but the long term studies actually show the opposite effect.
In the long term, protein has a strong association with improved bone health and a lower risk of fracture (18, 19). Additionally, studies don't show any association of high protein with kidney disease in otherwise healthy people (20, 21).
In fact, two of the main risk factors for kidney failure are diabetes and high blood pressure. Eating a high protein diet improves both (22, 23). If anything, a high protein diet should be protective against osteoporosis and kidney failure!

    Bottom Line: Eating a high protein diet is associated with improved bone health and a lower risk of fracture. High protein also lowers blood pressure and improves diabetes symptoms, which should lower the risk of kidney failure.

5. Low-Fat Foods Are Good For You
Do you know what regular food tastes like when all the fat has been taken out of it? Well, it tastes like cardboard. No one would want to eat it.
The food manufacturers know this and therefore they add other things to compensate for the lack of fat. Usually these are sweeteners… sugar, high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners like aspartame.
We’ll get to the sugar in a moment, but I’d like to point out that even though artificial sweeteners don’t have calories, the evidence does NOT suggest that they are better for you than sugar.
In fact, many observational studies show a consistent, highly significant association with various diseases like obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, premature delivery and depression (24, 25, 26).
In these low-fat products, healthy natural fats are being replaced with substances that are extremely harmful.

    Bottom Line: Low-fat foods are usually highly processed products loaded with sugar, corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. They are extremely unhealthy.

6. You Should Eat Many Small Meals Throughout The Day
The idea that you should eat many small meals throughout the day in order to “keep metabolism high” is a persistent myth that doesn’t make any sense.
It is true that eating raises your metabolism slightly while you’re digesting the meal, but it’s the total amount of food that determines the energy used, NOT the number of meals.
This has actually been put to the test and refuted multiple times. Controlled studies where one group eats many small meals and the other the same amount of food in fewer meals show that there is literally no difference between the two (27, 28). In fact, one study in obese men revealed that eating 6 meals per day led to less feelings of fullness compared to 3 meals (29).
Not only is eating so often practically useless for most of the people out there, it may even be harmful. It is not natural for the human body to be constantly in the fed state. In nature, we used to fast from time to time and we didn’t eat nearly as often as we do today.
When we don’t eat for a while, a cellular process called autophagy cleans waste products out of our cells (30). Fasting or not eating from time to time is good for you. Several observational studies show a drastically increased risk of colon cancer (4th most common cause of cancer death), numbers going as high as a 90% increase for those who eat 4 meals per day compared to 2 (31, 32, 33).

    Bottom Line: There is no evidence that eating many small meals throughout the day is better than fewer, bigger meals. Not eating from time to time is good for you. Increased meal frequency is associated with colon cancer.

7. Carbs Should Be Your Biggest Source of Calories
The mainstream view is that everyone should eat a low-fat diet, with carbs being around 50-60% of total calories. This sort of diet contains a lot of grains and sugars, with very small amounts of fatty foods like meat and eggs. This type of diet may work well for some people, especially those who are naturally lean.
But for those who are obese, have the metabolic syndrome or diabetes, this amount of carbohydrates is downright dangerous. This has actually been studied extensively. A low-fat, high-carb diet has been compared to a low-carb, high-fat diet in multiple randomized controlled trials.
The results are consistently in favor of low-carb, high-fat diets (34, 35, 36).

    Bottom Line: The low-fat, high-carb diet is a miserable failure and has been proven repeatedly to be vastly inferior to lower-carb, higher-fat diets.

8. High Omega-6 Seed and Vegetable Oils Are Good For You
Polyunsaturated fats are considered healthy because some studies show that they lower your risk of heart disease.
But there are many types of polyunsaturated fats and they are not all the same. Most importantly, we have both Omega-3 fatty acids and Omega-6 fatty acids.
Omega-3s are anti-inflammatory and lower your risk of many diseases related to inflammation (37). Humans actually need to get Omega-6s and Omega-3s in a certain ratio. If the ratio is too high in favor of Omega-6, it can cause problems (38).
By far the biggest sources of Omega-6 in the modern diet are processed seed and vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower oils. Throughout evolution, humans never had access to such an abundance of Omega-6 fats. It is unnatural for the human body.
Research that specifically looks at Omega-6 fatty acids instead of polyunsaturated fats in general shows that they actually increase the risk of heart disease (39, 40). Eat your Omega-3s and consider supplementing with cod fish liver oil, but avoid the industrial seed and vegetable oils.

    Bottom Line: Humans need to get Omega-6 and Omega-3 fats in a certain ratio. Eating excess Omega-6 from seed oils raises your risk of disease.

9. Low Carb Diets Are Dangerous
I personally believe low-carb diets to be a potential cure for many of the most common health problems in western nations.
The low-fat diet peddled all around the world is fairly useless against many of these diseases. It simply does not work.
However, low-carb diets (demonized by nutritionists and the media) have repeatedly been shown to lead to much better outcomes.
Every randomized controlled trial on low-carb diets shows that they:

    Reduce body fat more than calorie-restricted low-fat diets, even though the low-carb dieters are allowed to eat as much as they want (41, 42).
    Lower blood pressure significantly (43, 44).
    Lower blood sugar and improve symptoms of diabetes much more than low-fat diets (45, 46, 47, 48).
    Increase HDL (the good) cholesterol much more (49, 50).
    Lower triglycerides much more than low-fat diets (51, 52, 53).
    Change the pattern of LDL (bad) cholesterol from small, dense (very bad) to Large LDL, which is benign (54, 55).
    Low carb diets are also easier to stick to, probably because they don’t require you to restrict calories and be hungry all the time. More people in the low-carb groups make it to the end of the studies (56, 57).

Many of the health professionals that are supposed to have our best interest in mind have the audacity to claim that these diets are dangerous, then continue to peddle their failed low-fat dogma that is hurting more people than it helps.

    Bottom Line: Low-carb diets are the healthiest, easiest and most effective way to lose weight and reverse metabolic disease. It is a scientific fact.

10. Sugar is Unhealthy Because it Contains “Empty” Calories
It is commonly believed that sugar is bad for you because it contains empty calories. It’s true, sugar has a lot of calories with no essential nutrients. But that is just the tip of the iceberg.
Sugar, primarily because of its high fructose content, affects metabolism in a way that sets us up for rapid fat gain and metabolic disease. Fructose gets metabolized by the liver and turned into fat which is secreted into the blood as VLDL particles. This leads to elevated triglycerides and cholesterol (58, 59).
It also causes resistance to the hormones insulin and leptin, which is a stepping stone towards obesity, metabolic syndrome and diabetes (60, 61).
This is just to name a few. Sugar causes a relentless biochemical drive for humans to eat more and get fat. It is probably the single worst ingredient in the standard western diet.

    Bottom Line: The harmful effects of sugar go way beyond empty calories. Sugar wreaks havoc on our metabolism and sets us up for weight gain and many serious diseases.

11. High Fat Foods Will Make You Fat
It seems kind of intuitive that eating fat would make you get fat. The stuff that is gathering under our skin and making us look soft and puffy is fat. So… eating fat should give our bodies even more of it.
But it isn’t that simple. Despite fat having more calories per gram than carbohydrate or protein, high-fat diets do not make people fat. As with anything, this depends on the context. A diet that is high in fat AND high in carbs will make you fat, but it’s NOT because of the fat.
In fact, diets that are high in fat (and low in carbs) cause much greater fat loss than diets that are low in fat (62, 63, 64).

Something very interesting about your point #3 and gluten:
Quote:Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity May Not Exist

Posted by Ross Pomeroy May 14, 2014

In 2011, Peter Gibson, a professor of gastroenterology at Monash University and director of the GI Unit at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, Australia, published a study that found gluten, a protein found in grains like wheat, rye, and barley, to cause gastrointestinal distress in patients without celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder unequivocally triggered by gluten. Double-blinded, randomized, and placebo-controlled, the experiment was one of the strongest pieces of evidence to date that non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), more commonly known as gluten intolerance, is a genuine condition.

By extension, the study also lent credibility to the meteoric rise of the gluten-free diet. Surveys now show that 30% of Americans would like to eat less gluten, and sales of gluten-free products are estimated to hit $15 billion by 2016 -- that's a 50% jump over 2013's numbers!

But like any meticulous scientist, Gibson wasn't satisfied with his first study. His research turned up no clues to what actually might be causing subjects' adverse reactions to gluten. Moreover, there were many more variables to control! What if some hidden confounder was mucking up the results? He resolved to repeat the trial with a level of rigor lacking in most nutritional research. Subjects would be provided with every single meal for the duration of the trial. Any and all potential dietary triggers for gastrointestinal symptoms would be removed, including lactose (from milk products), certain preservatives like benzoates, propionate, sulfites, and nitrites, and fermentable, poorly absorbed short-chain carbohydrates, also known as FODMAPs. And last, but not least, nine days worth of urine and fecal matter would be collected. With this new study, Gibson wasn't messing around.

37 subjects took part, all confirmed not to have celiac disease but whose gastrointestinal symptoms improved on a gluten-free diet, thus fulfilling the diagnostic criteria for non-celiac gluten sensitivity.** They were first fed a diet low in FODMAPs for two weeks (baseline), then were given one of three diets for a week with either 16 grams per day of added gluten (high-gluten), 2 grams of gluten and 14 grams of whey protein isolate (low-gluten), or 16 grams of whey protein isolate (placebo). Each subject shuffled through every single diet so that they could serve as their own controls, and none ever knew what specific diet he or she was eating. After the main experiment, a second was conducted to ensure that the whey protein placebo was suitable. In this one, 22 of the original subjects shuffled through three different diets -- 16 grams of added gluten, 16 grams of added whey protein isolate, or the baseline diet -- for three days each.

Analyzing the data, Gibson found that each treatment diet, whether it included gluten or not, prompted subjects to report a worsening of gastrointestinal symptoms to similar degrees. Reported pain, bloating, nausea, and gas all increased over the baseline low-FODMAP diet. Even in the second experiment, when the placebo diet was identical to the baseline diet, subjects reported a worsening of symptoms! The data clearly indicated that a nocebo effect, the same reaction that prompts some people to get sick from wind turbines and wireless internet, was at work here. Patients reported gastrointestinal distress without any apparent physical cause. Gluten wasn't the culprit; the cause was likely psychological. Participants expected the diets to make them sick, and so they did. The finding led Gibson to the opposite conclusion of his 2011 research:

“In contrast to our first study… we could find absolutely no specific response to gluten."

Instead, as RCS reported last week, FODMAPS are a far more likely cause of the gastrointestinal problems attributed to gluten intolerance. Jessica Biesiekierski, a gastroenterologist formerly at Monash University and now based out of the Translational Research Center for Gastrointestinal Disorders at the University of Leuven in Belgium,* and lead author of the study alongside Gibson, noted that when participants consumed the baseline low-FODMAP diet, almost all reported that their symptoms improved!

"Reduction of FODMAPs in their diets uniformly reduced gastrointestinal symptoms and fatigue in the run-in period, after which they were minimally symptomatic."

Coincidentally, some of the largest dietary sources of FODMAPs -- specifically bread products -- are removed when adopting a gluten-free diet, which could explain why the millions of people worldwide who swear by gluten-free diets feel better after going gluten-free.

Indeed, the rise in non-celiac gluten sensitivity seems predominantly driven by consumers and commercial interests, not quality scientific research.

"On current evidence the existence of the entity of NCGS remains unsubstantiated," Biesiekierski noted in a review published in December to the journal Current Allergy and Asthma Reports.

Consider this: no underlying cause for gluten intolerance has yet been discovered. Moreover, there are a host of triggers for gastrointestinal distress, many of which were not controlled for in previous studies. Generally, non-celiac gluten sensitivity is assumed to be the culprit when celiac disease is ruled out. But that is a "trap," Biesiekierski says, one which could potentially lead to confirmation bias, thus blinding researchers, doctors, and patients to other possibilities.

Biesiekierski recognizes that gluten may very well be the stomach irritant we've been looking for. "There is definitely something going on," she told RCS, "but true NCGS may only affect a very small number of people and may affect more extraintestinal symptoms than first thought. This will only be confirmed with an understanding of its mechanism."

Currently, Biesiekierski is focused on maintaining an open mind and refining her experimental methods to determine whether or not non-celiac gluten sensitivity truly exists.

"We need to make sure that this research is as well controlled as possible and is reproducible," Biesiekierski told RCS, subsequently adding the quintessential adage of proper science.

"Much, much more research is needed."

Source: Biesiekierski JR, Peters SL, Newnham ED, Rosella O, Muir JG, Gibson PR. "No effects of gluten in patients with self-reported non-celiac gluten sensitivity after dietary reduction of fermentable, poorly absorbed, short-chain carbohydrates." Gastroenterology. 2013 Aug;145(2):320-8.e1-3. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2013.04.051. Epub 2013 May 4.

Source: Biesiekierski JR, Muir JG, Gibson PR. "Is gluten a cause of gastrointestinal symptoms in people without celiac disease?" Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2013 Dec;13(6):631-8. doi: 10.1007/s11882-013-0386-4.

*Section updated 5/15 to reflect Dr. Biesiekierski's new position.

**Section updated 5/16 to clarify that all of the subjects fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for NCGS.
JM, like I said earlier, in another thread, science by popularity isn't science, its fad. This hubbub over Glutin was what fads are made of. A bit of half-done science taken up and run with by a few who tend to get over zealous and boom! It is written!

Even though further science on the subject gets it better and draws questions over the initial findings, yet these facts never get to the zealots, who are making bucks off it all and have no motivation to stop the propigation of 'facts' later found out to be false.
(12-23-2014, 12:20 AM)Zedta Wrote: JM, like I said earlier, in another thread, science by popularity isn't science, its fad. This hubbub over Glutin was what fads are made of. A bit of half-done science taken up and run with by a few who tend to get over zealous and boom! It is written!

Even though further science on the subject gets it better and draws questions over the initial findings, yet these facts never get to the zealots, who are making bucks off it all and have no motivation to stop the propigation of 'facts' later found out to be false.

Couldn't agree with you more.  The only thing I might add is that there's a lot of "half-done science" going on, much of it coming from academia where the ivory tower of intellectual independence and purity has sold out for big bucks in the form of "research" grants to a vast array of vested interests whose only goal is to accumulate more money and more power and influence.  Am I cynical?  Some might say so, but I choose to call it looking at the world without the benefit of rose-tinted glasses.  :)
Out of 11 7 are surely myths. I would like to add one more here.

Skipping meals is a good way to lose weight.

Studies show that people who skip breakfast and eat fewer times during the day tend to be heavier than people who eat a healthy breakfast and eat four or five times a day.
(03-13-2015, 03:38 AM)expectantskunk Wrote: Out of 11 7 are surely myths. I would like to add one more here.

Skipping meals is a good way to lose weight.

Studies show that people who skip breakfast and eat fewer times during the day tend to be heavier than people who eat a healthy breakfast and eat four or five times a day.

Do these studies also show what those people who skip b'fast and eat "fewer" times daily are consuming and what their lifestyles are?  I seem to recall reading somewhere (if I can find the source/citation, I'll provide it) that the notion of eating a healthy breakfast (please define "healthy") and then four or five more times daily does not necessarily equate to less weight. 

Having said that I would agree that just skipping meals per se is not a good way to lose weight.

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