las

Welcome all seeking refuge from low carb dogma!

“To kill an error is as good a service as, and sometimes even better than, the establishing of a new truth or fact”
~ Charles Darwin (it's evolutionary baybeee!)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Please pardon the appearance

I was looking at something, accidentally applied another template, and lost a bunch of stuff.  I was planning on switching things up a bit at some point but not now!  Ahh well ... this will have to do unless there are major readability issues.  Thanks for your patience!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Fat Burning 101 -- The Biochemistry

Laugh if you get it!

In comments on my last Thermodenyics post, I made the following statement:
The β-oxidation + Krebs part is the "metabolism" of fatty acids resulting in production of some heat, some ATP, and a large number of so-called "reducing equivalents" that will produce much more ATP (cellular energy currency) in the Electron Transport Chain. You don't see mass escaping your body, but the carbons that were originally contained in the larger fatty acid molecules are exhaled as carbon dioxide. Atkins' original claim was that enough molecules escaped the Krebs cycle and were excreted before being fully metabolized for their caloric content. The vast majority of β-oxidation to burn fat for energy occurs in organs like the heart and skeletal muscle. Once a fatty acid is committed to the β-oxidation pathway they are oxidized completely down to carbon dioxide.
In comments, Kindke quoted that last bolded line and inquired:
I'm interested in this comment, can it be explained in more detail, ......where does it come from? ..... and from what references does it gain support?
I began responding in regards to just that statement, but it requires context and thus I thought it better to make a blog post out of the expanded topic instead.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Protein Power Plan: Keto? Paleo Inspired?

A little detour into the Protein Power book by Drs. Mike and Mary Dan Eades, 1996.  Was looking at a few things sparked by the thermodynamics posts he's made, and was surprised by a few things in the PP book that I had never even skimmed until now.  This post didn't fit the thermo topic, so I thought I'd mention this separately (and there may be another post or two coming as time permits).

I had never heard of the Eades or their books until I found the low carb community in 2009.  While Atkins remains the primary low carb diet, the PP book/plan is high up on the list for second place, and Eades' blog was still uber popular at that time.

Circa 2009 the low carb mantras of the day were largely focused on:

  • Up the fat intake
  • Fat can't make you fat
  • You can't get fat or gain fat weight without eating carbs, so even if you don't lose more weight, at least you won't gain.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Examine Research Digest!

Before I discuss the latest product from the Examine.com folks, just a quick update.  For the past several months I have been dealing with the life struggles that come along with aging parents (around eighties).  It's been rough.  It's not a subject matter for this blog.   But newer readers may not be aware of my "falling off" as I'm still somewhat prolific by blogging standards these days.  Longer time readers may be wondering why I haven't been around nearly as much.  In addition to these personal things, I'm reviewing a manuscript for a book and still trying to get some of my own projects out of the door (or back out there in the case of Restriction Addiction).  I do still read all of the comments here, but responding on my phone which is how I check most times, is next to impossible (I just don't do teensy touch keypads and thumbs well).  I want to thank you all for remaining respectful overall even when contentious topics come up.  There have been so many interesting discussions/debates going on, and I think lots of helpful insights and such have been shared here of late.  Thank you for contributing!  Hopefully I can get back to responding more in the near future.

OK ... so the main reason for my post today is to alert you to a brand new product from the folks at Examine.com called the


a monthly publication looking at recent studies and hot topics.   First of all, when my friend Sol Orwell sent me a preview I was blown away with how beautiful it is!  So well done, I know you'll be impressed.  This is geared towards those with an interest in nutrition from the lay person on up through health and fitness professionals.  Think Life Magazine for your nutrition life!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Thermodenyics in the Incestral Health Community: It Began with Atkins

For the past couple of months, I've been somewhat obsessing about thermodynamics having written the AARR piece and a few blog posts, not to mention revisiting several dating back to near the beginnings of this blog.  I began this a while ago as a single lengthy post, but it's gotten out of hand and finding time to tidy up such a post vs. publishing shorter chunks in parts became impossible.  Not sure how many parts this will have.  This series will put several members of the IHC "on the record" so to speak.  While I've done so in the past, the hope is to have it all in one place.

Robert Atkins the Calorie Guy!   


Surely Atkins is an honorary member of the IHC, even though he passed away over a decade ago before this community reached the level that it has.  Most of the "greats" have learned something (perhaps essentially everything) they know about low carb diets and tangentially about thermodynamics/calorie theory from the "late great one" himself.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Ancestral Diet Dishonesty ~ AHS14 Edition ~ Derectumfying Paleoism ~ Part II

In Part I, I discussed the first three of four talks at the recent Ancestral Health Symposium that were actually devoted to -- or supposed to be in some fashion -- "ancestral diets".  The IHC has a long history of co-opting select aspects of such dietary practices to fit the current interpretation of the hunter-gatherer-inspired way.  If the deluge of cookbooks from all corners are any indication, there will be no letting up soon of the trend to cauliflowpaleoize all "inferior" but nonetheless delicious and often cultural staple foods.   But now, in a most bizarre twist, we've reached the point where imposing "paleofied" versions of ancestral diets on these very peoples went off without a hitch, or seemingly any notice of the supreme irony of it all.

This assault on ancient humanity was culminated in a presentation by Gideon Mailer, PhD.  I took a screenshot of his title slide for visual impact here.  So that you won't need to clienlarge, the credo below the AHS peartichocock (I think it looks like a cross between an artichoke and a peacock) reads:  "the human ecological niche and modern health" .

When the AHS Program was first announced and I read the abstract for this talk, I knew folks were in for a load of garbage.  
How can a professor in the humanities - and not the sciences - raise awareness about ancestral health principles within a large public research institution? How can young college students - many from wheat/soy-growing economies - learn about ancestral health principles through the early-US history survey course? And why is Minnesota an ideal testing ground? The University of Minnesota system benefits from public-private partnerships between its scientific research and agricultural grain interests. Yet two prominent groups in the state - Scandinavian descendants and Native Americans - are particularly amenable to ancestral health principles. By studying early-American history (c.1400-1900) many of these and other groups might "Decolonize the Diet", moving away from grains, legumes, and a low-fat paradigm - a new and exciting project uniting the historical study of early America and contemporary health initiatives in the Great Lakes region.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Ancestral Diet Dishonesty ~ AHS14 Edition ~ Derectumfying Paleoism ~ Part I

This post has been a long time in coming.  Bits and pieces have been in the draft since long before the Ancestral Health Symposium this past August even took place.  The abstracts and bios had been online for quite some time prior, so I had a pretty good idea of what was to transpire.  Indeed, I had intended to blog on this before AHS14 just to "compare notes" after all was said and done and had done quite a bit of research.

For an organization and event containing the words "ancestral health", the program in general seemed lacking in relevant material.  Paleo was a less often heard term this year, yet it was sadly not replaced by discussions of more recent and/or definable ancestral diets.  You know ... those that promoted health up until, in many cases, the 20th century and beyond?  

The nods to discussion of the lifestyles of ancestral cultures were clustered together on Day Two of the symposium, all of the shorter 20 minute variety, there along the right side of my screen shot at right. This was announced around the time I had been reviewing The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz, wherein she misrepresented the traditional diets of just about everyone she discussed in her book.  But most prominently, were the diets of those indigenous to North America whom she described as subsisting practically entirely on buffalo meat from sea to shining sea.  I was also deep into researching the truth about Ancel Keys, prompted by the hatchet job done on him at the hands of Teicholz.  Thus, the second two presentations caught my eye.  They will be the focus of this post, but I'll include all four in summary, for reasons that should become clear.  (Each heading to follow links directly to the YouTube video, the abstracts and bios are from the preceding AHS14 program link.)

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Perfect Health Diet Evolving??

Note:  Some of the graphics I'm going to use in this post aren't great, but I don't think I need make much comment as to the changing picture of the so-called Perfect Health Diet.  

Paul Jaminet has called his diet the most scientifically sound version of the paleo diet (small caps).  In his tribute to Seth Roberts, Paul wrote:
The weaknesses of Seth’s approach to science show up best, I think, in how he ate. Although he considered ours the “sanest” diet book, he didn’t eat our diet. He prized his own experimental results above all else. If an experiment persuaded him that eating something would improve his health, he ate it.
To my mind, this led him on a somewhat fanciful peregrination through dietary parameter space. His approach risked two pitfalls:
  • ...
  • ...  most modern health problems take 60 years to develop. So there was no way for Seth to directly appraise whether his diet would generate good health or poor health; ...
It is because of these two problems that our book, Perfect Health Diet, rejected experimental approaches to dietary science, and relied upon novel approaches grounded in evolutionary biology, and molecular and cellular biology.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Second Law of Thermodynamics in Humans: For Heat's Sake!

On the urgings of a few commenters here on the blog, and even more recently, by Don't-Call-Him-John (Kiefer), I've found myself reading Biological Thermodynamics by Donald Haynie (2nd edition).  [It's #1 on this Amazon Search page, just for context that there are others out there.]

After reading large chunks of the book -- had a lot of time on my hands without internet access these past couple of weeks -- it has become even more clear as to where some of the biggest misconceptions about thermodynamics in this community come from.  It is not that Haynie is incorrect, however.  There are many statements in the book that read as "off", but on second or third pass through are technically accurate provided one is using his definitions in proper context*.  It is more that his book is so filled with examples that lack relevance to biological contexts as to cloud the picture.  What results is that although somewhere in the text all the relevant "prerequisites" are stated, the final statements almost beg to be taken out of context!!  

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Smash the Fat Calorie Debate!

Edited and Updated post recording ;-)


Well, we didn't get to chat as much about calories per se as I'd thought, but it was a nice discussion nonetheless, I believe.  

Sam is a good sport even though he knows I've been critical of his calorie experiments and even encouraged folks to come check out these posts:  That 5000 Calorie Jokesperiment and Low Carb Circus Acts, for example.    In some ways I'm frustrated a bit because Sam's schtick is objectively of the calories don't count variety.  Further, his first experiment was specifically about not gaining weight overeating a low carb diet, so there's a bit of evasive maneuvering going on IMO.  However he is not alone in this -- Exhibit A being Jonathan Bailor -- in dialing it back when discussing it with a critic.  So of course calories count, and I'm not sure how well I articulated it (note to self:  don't schedule morning interviews just in case you are on crap sleep!!) but I do think I made some inroads on the idea of the biochem being the same in all people.  

Some things I mentioned in the interview (I may add more and pin the comment to the top of the list rather than edit in as that seems to revert links to opening in the same window unless I manually change it.)