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!)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Salvaging the Hypothesis

You can't salvage a CIH with fructose and "refined carbohydrates" that has insulin as a mediator because there is no such theory that makes physiologic sense, and this would be obvious the moment such a theory is articulated         Kurt G. Harris MD, 11/18/11
If 2011 will be remembered in low carb circles for anything, it will be for both the lack of anticipated rise and precipitous fall of what I call here at the Asylum TWICHOO.  With the December 2010 publication of Why We Get Fat, no doubt many low carbers began 2011 with a feeling of supreme optimism.   What with all the "Gary you're my hero" comments on his blog, and lots of exposure of the lay friendly book, even in the mainstream media, surely 2011 would be the year when "they" would finally get it.  The momentum of 2010 would be carried forward and by the end of the year low carbers envisioned an even more energized following with an expanding sphere of influence.  Oprah would finally get thin and stay that way going on Gary Taubes' diet and all would be right with the world.  Insulin had finally been implicated as the evil hormone everyone knew it was all along, and our grandmas would be vindicated for knowing all along that carbs were fattening.   The "late great" Robert Atkins' name would finally be cleared and his diet vindicated.  In Berkley, CA, a carving of the Mt. Fatless monument would begin:  Bauer, Yalow, Atkins & Taubes.

I think most were feeling pretty good early on in the year with Jimmy Moore leading the way putting the best positive spin on the failings that began the year.  If you only relied on interviews and the like, and Jimmy's spin, you might have thought WWGF was a resounding success.  But it turns out, it was rather a flop.   Now it would be unfair to call any book that cracks the NYT Best Seller list a "flop", but based on ranks 1/30/11, WWGF topped off it's appearances with a single week at #10.  This had been preceded by two weeks of "also ran" appearances at #12 & #11, and I believe onep more subsequent week at #11 or so.  Then ...........  Despite all the claims on blogs and podcasts and such, Taubes' whirlwind publicity tour -- including lots of exposure on mainstream radio and TV -- fell flat.  The reports by fans on his blog who supposedly purchased dozens of books for family and friends must have been exaggerated, or perhaps it is the size of the fan base itself that is exaggerated by the hyping of Taubes in LC circles.  Still, low carb enthusiasts seemed rather oblivious to this truth.  I remember hearing podcasts and such and getting the impression at the time that the book was selling well ... the message was finally getting out.  I also remember wondering why any GCBC fan would buy WWGF given that it really contained nothing new under the sun ... perhaps that's why sales ultimately did lag.

As the year progressed there were many popular bloggers who one by one either flat out changed their position on TWICHOO or articulated more ambivalent sentiments like "he may not be entirely correct, but he had some good things to say" or that he was right about cholesterol and saturated fat, so let's not be too eager to throw him overboard entirely.  Andreas Eenfeldt took delusion to new heights by implying that somehow Taubes' hypothesis was really the working hypothesis, and therefore we shouldn't throw it away until we had something in place to replace it.   Of course the events leading up to and culminating in the month following the Ancestral Health Symposium were an unmistakable turn for the worse for the low carb community and all who had hitched their wagons to TWICHOO.  No longer could the writings of yours truly be ignored when "insiders" began to publicly acknowledge their validity and speak out with denunciations of their own.   What to do ... what to do ...

Well, for Taubes, he turned to the Diversionary Tactics chapter of his pre-WWII Debating 101 text.  Frame the debate as TWICHOO v. Food Reward and hope nobody notices as the evidence erodes the remaining underpinnings of his dying hypothesis.  His biggest fan and promoter borrowed that chapter by going paleo and launching an attack on safe starches.  This was somewhat successful as the larger paleo-LC community seemed to take sides pitting the hypotheses as opposing ones, as such, talk of the great demise war somewhat crowded out in the rift.

But if Gary Taubes' coming out of seclusion to publish  five lengthy blog posts addressing FRH alone (not to mention the others) indicated anything, it was that this man would not be going quietly into the night with his TWICHOO.  No, no, no!!! He will not become that demented old man muttering to himself because nobody would listen to him!!  And so, the publicity stunt was launched.

Good thing for Gary Taubes that Tara Parker-Pope wrote her Fat Trap article, because one gets the feeling that this page from his pre-WWII manual entitled How to Get Them to Listen One More Time had been torn out of the book and stuck with a magnet to his meat locker until the opportunity presented itself to put the plan into action.  And what could be better than an overweight health writer lamenting the difficulties of weight loss in none other than the NYT itself, arguably the publication that launched his career as an obesity "expert".  Taubes sprung into action, the plea for assistance was dispatched to the Spartanburg headquarters of "the movement".     Jimmy Moore sounded the call to arms so Gary's virtual fingerprints would be missing from all but writing the petition itself.  There would be plausible deniability of the self-promotion, and unknowing readers of the petition would think the signatures were gathered in true grass-roots fashion -- or at least the modern social media version a la the Joe Namath/Faberge shampoo commercials.  In other words, it would appear that Gary Taubes wasn't a lone voice anymore -- lookie at all these people who agree with me! 

When several alerts of this stunt landed in my Inbox, the first thought that came to mind is "what is he up to?" along with the other question of "why now?"   I discussed some of the unsettling things about this petition in that other blog post, and I won't rehash all of them here, but one thing is worthy of mentioning again.  That is, I imagine that if Gary wanted to get the message out, yet again, he certainly has the connections and professional reputation to pitch a new article to the NYT.  Surely he could put a different enough spin on things to get published.  So I get the feeling that this was done at some point and it was rejected, or perhaps he burnt too many bridges tangling with Gina Kolata so he didn't bother to try.    Either way, a simple letter to the editor signed by himself and perhaps a few others would have sounded like sour grapes whining.  But a petition signed by *doctors* ... now THAT would lend credence to his hypothesis!  

In addition to decimating his hypothesis, the sixteen words heard round the LC world damaged Gary's ego far more, and the dented ego still hurts.  Lots of important people still agree with me, me, meeeee!  But still, why now?  Surely there have been opportunities for such a stunt this past fall while his hypothesis languished.  The resolve of Taubesians was strongest in the immediate aftermath ... so why wait?  And then I checked in at Jimmy's discussion board where member Ted Hutchinson can always be counted on to keep the dwindling readership up to date on Gary's every move, public appearance, lecture, interview, etc.  He didn't disappoint linking to this recent radio interview by Gary.  (This link goes to the MP3 itself so you can FF if you want, the whole thing is only around 16 minutes long).

Note the cover of the book.  I've tried to find a better resolution image to see what quote is attributed to the New York Times at the bottom.  While not appearing to be a new edition, we see the "National Bestseller" emblazoned above the title (I guess one week at #10 doesn't let you claim NYT Bestseller) and this is an obviously updated version with a new FAQ afterword.  Ahhhhhh ... Gary is back out on the interview circuit because .... there's a new push to see if they can't sell a few more of these damned books!  

If you FF to about the 6:30 min mark of the interview, we see the point of the petition.  The interviewer characterizes Taubes as a lone voice in the wilderness.  Ahhhh ... but no more!  Taubes makes sure to point out that he's not the lone voice anymore!  He wrote a petition letter to the editor to the NYT that was signed by some 300 doctors and PhD's.   It's a bit premature, but I suppose it won't matter to Gary whether or not the NYT actually publishes that letter.  He's got a bunch of like minds signed on to the cause.  Let's put that in perspective as well.  I could not find the number of doctors in the US, but I did find where we're facing a shortfall in excess of 150,000 in the coming decade ... suddenly 300 or 400 doesn't sound as impressive, eh?   But what better to be able to hype another wave of hypothesis pushing?  Oh the irony that folks are complaining about the NYT's refusal to acknowledge the role of insulin because Taubes wasn't referenced in an article on obesity ... all the while this man uses the name of the very same publication to sell his updated book.

In 2011, having run out of options in the decimal places for the various incarnations of Alternate Hypothesis 1.0, Taubes began the unveiling of Alternate Hypothesis 2.0.  This one would focus on the role of sugar in all of this.  It seems that Gary has settled into his answer for why the Japanese don't get fat eating all that rice.  He tried floating the laughable brown rice/glycemic index theory (I think that was AH v. 1.96) but nobody was buying that the Japanese ate brown rice.  The sugar angle, especially since he's working on a book on the topic, seemed more plausible.  After all, just about everyone eats less sugar than we do in the US, so clever wording would render statements about Japanese sugar consumption technically correct.   Tis true they eat less sugar than we do, but it's a stretch to claim they consume virtually no sugar (still, he qualifies that in comparison to us so one could stretch it a bit to accept that).

But Alternate Hypothesis 1.0 is very clear.  Carbs make us fat because carbs stimulate insulin which promotes fat accumulation.  Period.  He's said much the same thing in varying ways for years, along with all carbs basically being as bad as sugar because they turn to glucose in the body.  Ahhh, but Spartanburg, we have a problem.  You see, sugar itself, is only half as bad according to TWICHOO because each gram of sucrose only contains approximately one gram of glucose.  And as I've pointed out too many times to list, fructose does not elicit an insulin response.  And so now I ask you to listen:
Around 3:10:  Carbohydrates that we eat .... refined carbohydrates, grains .. like flour ...foods my mother's generation thought were fattening and the sugars in particular drive up your insulin levels and insulin just drives fat accumulation and when you do that you get fatter and you can starve yourself all you want the only real cure is not to eat those carbohydrate rich foods not to eat the sugars and refined carbs.
Around 4:50:  The worst is sugar if you never ate sugar at all you could probably eat these other foods ... the rice ... the pasta ... just like the SouthEast Asians  can stay lean eating rice heavy diets  they do it because they eat virtually no sugar compared to what we eat in the US
The first bolded statement is not true.  Sucrose (or HFCS) elicits LESS of an insulin response because the fructose component does not stimulate insulin.  Indeed our good friend Wheat Belly loves to point out that wheat products have higher GI's than many candy bars.  The second statement is something relatively new from Taubes, though I have read it in print interviews before, so it is not a misstatement.  No, it is the way in which Taubes hopes to salvage TWICHOO as Kurt Harris put it in the quote at the outset of this blog post.  Put this way Taubes is actually dismissing his own hypothesis.  If carbs are fattening because of insulin, and insulin is the fattening hormone, then how can the carb that does not elicit an insulin response, fructose, be the most fattening of all?  How can you probably get away with all those starch induced insulin spikes and stay lean so long as you don't eat the non-insulin stimulating carb?  This is an even more untenable position Mr. Taubes.  You would do better to blindly forge forward claiming that insulin, and only insulin, regulates fat mass levels despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary.  At least then your TWICHOO would have a morsel of validity when one takes the myopic view of ignoring all the other hormones involved in fat storage, mobilization and oxidation.  But this version 2.0 will not salvage your hypothesis.  It can only serve to hasten its demise.  

Oh ... and as to that petition.  Has a single PhD working in the field signed on to your petition?  You have their numbers, and that's one of the advantages of being who you are we're repeatedly told.  You could call them up and ask them to sign.  Have you?  How about Alan Sniderman?  Surely he would sign.   Of course they could ALL still be wrong, and Gary is right in his misrepresentation of Bauer's Lipophilia Hypothesis.  (BTW, that was always a hypothesis, and we have only Gary Taubes' word that it was even remotely accepted prior to WWII.  Surely he could have provided us with a litany of citations by other venerable obesity researchers of the time to demonstrate this, right?)

Bottom line, although he used to acknowledge calories to some extent, Taubes has been in public denial that calories have anything to do with it now for some time.  In the interview he repeats the whole don't eat the carbs and eat as much fat and protein as you like because those don't have anything to do with getting fat.  Obesity is a horizontal growth hormonal disorder. HGHD.   

There are other attempts afoot to rescue and put a new spin on this notion of  HGHD.  For example there's a fairly new website launched in recent months by Adam Kosloff (Yale University educated blogger ... so?) .  He recently penned the the following appeal to the LC masses:  Dr. Atkins’ Diet Revolution Is Getting Routed. How Do We Fight Back?  Kosloff is the same guy behind the original GCBC for Dummies website: .   Ironically, Kosloff may be partly responsible for the flagging sales of WWGF, after all, he already put GCBC into the lay-friendly format.  Now he's peddling a new book -- Beyond Caloriegate -- (I've heard of cruisegate, but there's a caloriegate??) .  For $15 (just $9.99 through Jimmy Moore promotional code) you, too, can learn the secret of the "black box" and what you should be counting.  Kosloff hopes to eradicate obesity by 2022.  Where Atkins and his heirs failed for four decades, Kosloff will martial the troops for success in only one more.  The black box.  I have better uses for $9.99, thanks.  This would be merely amusing were it not for the ads on the page.  Right now those include one for $480 No Surgery Gastric Bypass (basically fiber pills that blow up in your stomach) and not one, but two duplicate ads for Jillian Michaels of Biggest Loser fame.   I mean c'mon folks.  If you feel as strongly as Adam supposedly does based on his appeal ... STOP TAKING A SINGLE CENT FROM ADS FOR PRODUCTS/SERVICES YOU NOT ONLY DON'T PROMOTE BUT REPEATEDLY DECRY AS FRAUDULENT.   If true believers like Kosloff, and Carpender and Naughton can't pass up a few cents for the sake of the cause, what does that say? These people are promoting a specific diet while repeatedly telling their readers that CICO doesn't work but accepting ad revenues for products and programs that promote just that.  Sigh.

I began this post with Kurt's comment because, in the end, that's it in a nutshell.  TWICHOO cannot be salvaged on the carbon backbones of lowly fructose molecules.  The physiology isn't there for the HGHD angle. Others, like Kosloff are trying a slightly different tack resurrecting this directionality nonsense and hoping to whip up a new grand chorus of why-ners.   Fructose won't rescue you either.  

The ultimate measure of the problem with TWICHOO is this:  How much censorship is there on low carb blogs and boards?  Answer: A lot.   Freedom of the press is the first right to go when trying to institute and/or sustain a dictatorship or tyranny of a minority.  Indoctrination and propaganda only succeed when alternative messages are effectively stifled.  If the real scientific facts support the hypothesis, what's with all this censorship?  Why the need to marginalize folks like me as lunatics when all you need is for people TO read my writings to see that I'm indeed crazy stupid.  That's how the movement hopes to sway people to their side after all -- by pointing out perceived problems with the science, logic and motives of those promoting so-called conventional wisdom-based positions.   Why not highlight what is wrong with what folks like me are saying , and how the science supports Taubes?  These are rhetorical questions, of course.   Their only hope is to continue with this facade of a burgeoning movement with it's groundbreaking message and hope it somehow takes hold before the whole house of cards it's built on collapses.    Can this strategy work?  


Harry said...

Unfortunately, TWICHOO (and maybe even HGHD) will never completely ride off into the sunset, for two main reasons: (1) There are always going to be desperate overweight people who are either not sufficiently informed to understand its shortcomings or are so desperate as to 'give it a shot' even if they do think it's dubious, and (2) the practical corollary of TWICHOO (i.e. low carb dieting) does meet with considerable success, for limited amounts of people, for limited amounts of time. As such, people will always be swayed by anecdote and testimonials that attest to its 'truth'.

Having said that, the notion that TWICHOO (and associated LC diets) represent "THE ONE GREAT DIETARY TRUTH" will evaporate with time (as the results will continue to show no greater efficacy than other dietary theories and means), and with the continued critique of competent scientists (like yourself).

In the mean time, more time, money, and emotional anguish will be wasted at the altar of another proposed simplistic solution to a wicked and polygenic problem.



Galina L. said...

How do you define "the limited amount of time"? I am one for whom LC works, I am not unique, why not to try it? People should be offered options.

bentleyj74 said...

Uff da

Harry said...

Hi Galina

I mean the studies that show that low carb does no better than any other diet beyond a two-year time horizon (which is to say, it does pretty poorly, like all the others!).


P.S. Low carb works for me and many of my clients, as do other methods that reduce energy intake and promote satiety (e.g. low energy density foods, high fibre foods, high water foods, intermittent fasting, high protein foods etc.).

Galina L. said...

Public opinion swings, never stays in one place for a duration of time. There is no reason for LC diet to disappear for a very simple reason - there is nothing to choose in exchange. Steven continues to post about how IR originates . With all due respect for his effort, he didn't offered a better solution for overweight person than Dr. Eades, for example, or Dr. Atkins. SG is the main opponent for GT in the IR theory, but average dieter is interested in the solution, and the diet advice based on the FR theory looks like it is harder to execute than ditching carbs, especially on a long run. If theory is better, but the advice is worse, who would give a (whatever) about that theory besides other people interested in the theory for the sake of theory or because they are annoyed by G.Taubes. GT doesn't give the perfect advice as well, like SG, they both are not the people who are good in practical solutions. What is to take place of LC? I personally don't see any alternative among other available choices. What else is better?

Right now the absolute majority of LC blogs (except,probably one or two) advises not to limit the amount of food and try to eat more fat deliberately. Looks like a mistake from my perspective. Very little conversation is going on about possible problems - like physiological IR, for example. I don't exercise on fasting days now due to it. I know the PIR is just a temporary adjustment, but wrong number freaks me out. No wonder, people stall on their diets. Besides that, VLC advice was given to everyone, while it is not optional for everyone. So, people without particular health and weight problems moved to the Paleo. Smart move. They moved, but I am not from their type, I stayed. There is nothing else to do for people like me besides cutting carbs of as a first step, but not to consider it all that could be done. It is better not to be self-delusional. It doesn't matter others gorge on LC food and stay slim, or eat "safe starches" and loose weight. What other people do doesn't apply to the rest of population. I think we all here should limit carbs to a different degree according to individual needs. It could be 150 grams for some, 100 for others, and 50 gram or less for some. It doesn't look for me like 50 grams group should feel like they oppose 100 grams group. So,where the opposition begins? In the fat content land?

I don't see the year 2011 as the year of the end of LC diet. It looks like sobering and practical phase, and more sobering is required. No one benefits from false claims or un-justified enthusiasm. I still see the room for improvement, but not the end of the approach.

cwaiand said...

galina l.

i,m glad low carb is working for you.just be aware of why it,s,s just an effective method for you to cut calories. what,s wrong with the current common thinking on lowcarb is the fact that most people practicing it think it,s about insulin and not the calorie restriction it promots.

Galina L. said...

I came across a lot of research that doesn't match my experience. It is the first diet I tried during my adult life that I have no intention to change on another way of eating. It is 4 years in my case.

bentleyj74 said...

"SG is the main opponent for GT in the IR theory"

I'd say reality is the main opponent for GT in IR theory. His IR theory is wrong. Carb consumption is not associated with nor does it cause IR.

I think SGs plan is quite actionable [did I mention ruthlessly practical...let's keep that man away from the nuclear launch codes :)] especially with due consideration for the levels.

"I think we all here should limit carbs to a different degree according to individual needs."

Why? Why should carbs specifically be singled out? In general they are calorie sparse and nutrient dense. If we acknowledge that GT/Atkins theory has a flawed premise why should anyone be interested in their suggestions? If I were purely interested in weight loss results regardless of ridiculous claims and false or out of context assertions I'd join 30 BAD [where the reliably thin people live ;P] and bend over for my daily injection of B12.

"What else is better?"

In my opinion? Letting go of things that are demonstrably false and allowing things that work for me to work for me minus propaganda.

BHI said...

I am unfortunately one of those for whom low carb makes little difference to my weight with the exception of 20lb water but I remain overweight by every objective standard. My mother on the other hand became lean eating low carb but slowly regained over 3 years while still low carb. Low carb works for a limited number of people for limited amounts of time sound spot on to me.

The only thing that works for me without fail is a drastic reduction in calories and I certainly don't need to be eating low carb for that. The only problem is the comfort level with eating so few calories that the satiating powers of protein don't come into play.

bentleyj74 said...


If you are interested I seem to recall people using FR theory asserting that they did not experience hunger despite lower intakes which lines up nicely with the bland liquid through a straw experiment results. I'm weight stable so I'm more or less useless :).

I did do SGs earliest reward suggestions for several weeks out of curiosity and my weight didn't budge although in retrospect that brown rice was a bad idea. If I had it to do all over again I'd opt for the potatos.

I do find it interesting though that carb flu including some acutely uncomfortable physical symptoms [nausea, headache, fatigue, etc] is well accepted maybe even celebrated a bit in LC circles yet merely disinteresting low stimulation food options will be met with emphatic and even quite emotional resistance.

I can't wrap my head around a mindset where nausea is OK but boredom isn't. My instincts tell me that's relevant but I haven't got the backround to flesh it out.

mem said...

Adam Kosloff said...

Hi Evelyn,

I do agree that the gastric bypass and Jillian ads are more than a tad preposterous. Hope to rectify that at some point.

I created the Black Box model in part to try to bring peace to the Insulin Wars -- to decouple lipophila from the CIH, if you will.

I've been kinda curious about what you and James Krieger and others in the Anti-Taubes camp would say about the Black Box. I passed the idea by Stephan Guyenet at the AHS, right after his famous battle with GT. Guyenet said (at least at the time) that he agreed with the model. And, as you know, he's no booster of the CIH.

I believe there's a way to reconcile our factions and come together to really help people. There's tons of stuff we agree on, already. (Frankly, that may be part of the problem!)

In any event, I'm looking forward to continuing this dialogue with you and James and Stephan and others.



Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

You seem to be under the mistaken notion that I'm talking the end of a dietary approach, or that I even want to see the dietary approach go away (I don't).

I'm talking about the end of the bullshit hypotheses. If it works for you I am happy for you and I hope you'll continue to share your experiences with others. And if like most people you don't really care as much why/how it works than that it works, that's great.

Listen to the interview Galina -- Taubes again say just cut the carbs and it's easy to lose the weight while you eat as much fat and protein as you like. It's a CURE. He pits that against how easy it is to lose 100 lbs or so by starving oneself but that can't be sustained. Y'know I always regained in the past b/c of going off LC. But now I learn that it's an even more cruel hoax for many ... The story of BHI's mom regaining while remaining LC used to sound impossible to me, then it sounded like something that happens to very few, and now it seems to happen with a fair degree of regularity.

So then folks are told, sorry -- ha ha! -- you can't really eat all you want. First you'll need to cut out those 5g carb from half a grapefruit. Oh that didn't work? No more nuts for you! Still nothing? Well, still drink the heavy whipping cream, but no strawberries for you! Nothing? Well, try replacing all your insulinogenic butter with coconut oil. Have CO in your coffee! Oily coffee ... yum! Oh and stop those power walks they must be upping your cortisol. Try IF. What? You have damaged mitochondria -- here's a list of supplements for you. I hear going down to Bally's and laughing at all those dopes on elipticals lowers cortisol and insulin. Weight still stubborn? Get over your fat self ... it's the best you can do. Just be happy you're not hungry. Oh ... and see you on next year's cruise!

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

I'd say that even Taubes' own science is the main opponent of his theories about IR, as I've discussed in the GCBC Ref Checks and such. This notion that carbs CAUSE IR is nonsense with the exception of excessive (and I do mean excessive) fructose consumption. Still there's no evidence that fructose inducing hepatic IR is a cause of obesity.

The LIRKO mouse pretty much drops rodent poo on this salvage attempt.

Tonus said...

I'm not sure I understand why you keep reminding us that LC works. No one here disputes that LC is effective for short-term weight loss for most people, and that it can help a relative few people maintain their weight for the long-term. No one here, as far as I am aware, is anti-low-carb or disputes that it is a viable option for many people.

But the truth is that for most people, LC is like any other fad diet: a good short-term weight loss program that does not work in the long-term. They did try it, and they did not reach their target goals, or they regressed and re-gained some or all of the lost weight. They are looking for other options, and that is what this site tries to do.

I think that if you went to any of the prominent LC sites or communities and told them that people should be offered options, the reaction will probably range from being politely dismissed to being rudely shown the door, because LC is the One True Path and they simply won't stand a heretic in their midst.

I don't think that this site is the one that is intolerant of other options.

Beth@WeightMaven said...

Adam, I wonder how much you were able to discuss with Stephan. Certainly the idea that the black box (i.e., the fundamental problem) is the cause of what you call the "calorie surplus" rather than the result is one thing, but I find it unlikely he agreed with the details of the model.

For example, on p. 16 of your Caloriegate marketing brochure for your e-book you say "The fundamental problem is: your fat tissue is sick!" and on p. 22 it's "What Failed Calorie Counters fundamentally want -- desperately crave -- isn't weight loss or even fat loss; it's HEALTHY FAT TISSUE." Finally, on p. 23 you say "I also urge you to pick up a copy of Gary Taubes’ Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It –
and give one to your doctor, as well."

And then there's your website, where you state "The rules of the Diet Wars are stacked against low carb/paleo, permanently. Our problem isn’t our science. It’s our marketing!"

I'm not exactly sure which part of this that Stephan agreed with, but it sure doesn't seem like it's the part where it's our "sick" fat tissue that's the problem, nor the part where the solution is WWGF, nor the part where the problem isn't the science, it's the marketing.

As all your details are behind your e-book paywall, I suppose we'll have to take your word that this isn't just CIH regurgitated. But if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck?

Why not give Evelyn or James Krieger a review copy? If it's the bridge you say, then that would be a great step forward.

Lerner said...

Why did Taubes come out with his "petition" now? It seems obvious that he saw the success of the online petitions against the fees by BOA and Verizon. He's just capitalizing on whatever is popular.

I'd think that is parallel to how he got famous in the first place: he saw that Atkins had the biggest selling diet books in history so he jumped on that bandwagon. He believes in CHO because that has the biggest customer base, not because it's true.

In fact, I doubt that he's ever been asked if he got fat on SAD and lost on TWICHOO. Why doesn't Taubes proudly display his own before and after photos? It's likely he doesn't have any because he never got fat on SAD (and sugar).

Lerner said...

Quoting Evelyn: "The first bolded statement [the sugars in particular drive up your insulin levels] is not true. Sucrose (or HFCS) elicits LESS of an insulin response because the fructose component does not stimulate insulin. Indeed our good friend Wheat Belly loves to point out that wheat products have higher GI's than many candy bars."

Ironically, for once something that Taubes says actually is somewhat true.

Insulin secretion is not necessarily closely correlated to GI. Sugar typically raises insulin more than would be predicted from its GI.
"An insulin index of foods"

E.g., with jellybeans being just about pure sugar: "Overall, among the 38 test foods, jellybeans produced the highest mean [Insulin Score]..." at 160 while white bread = 100. The discussion in that paper further delves into sugar.

Meanwhile, Taubes is patently wrong when he has stated in the past that the "processed" foods will spike blood glucose more than whole grains. I laid that out here:

(but wordpress is blacked out today to protest the proposed censorship in the SOPA legislation)

If Taubes has now switched to claiming that the processed foods will necessarily spike insulin more, he's also wrong again. From the above "Insulin Index" paper: "Overall, the fiber content did not predict the magnitude of the insulin response. Similar ISs were observed for white and brown pasta, white and brown rice, and white and whole meal bread".

yet OTOH, "Similarly, the highly refined bakery products and snack foods induced substantially more insulin secretion per kilojoule or per gram of food than did the other test foods."

Still, we'd have to ask Gary why he's not also focusing on potato eating societies (Poland and Ireland, e.g.). Potatoes have a very high IS at 121.

bentleyj74 said...

"Still, we'd have to ask Gary why he's not also focusing on potato eating societies (Poland and Ireland, e.g.). Potatoes have a very high IS at 121."

Do we really have to ask? They are a huge glaring problem for his theory and he missed the bus to capitalize on it.

Lerner said...

Using Amazon's "Look Inside" feature, I searched for "insulin index of foods" but it doesn't seem to be in GCBC. Did history's most brilliant researcher actually not refer to that paper, not even once in your endless pages written about insulin?

Back when I was still reading Eades blog, there was an 'ask Gary a question' event. Probably the most asked question was about why the Japanese didn't get fat. That might have been the first time that Taubes came up with the sugar angle. But the more salient question would have been: "Gary, why didn't you as history's most brilliant researcher ever address such an obvious question in GCBC, not even once?"

Lerner said...

@Bentley: the only time I'd gone to Taubes' blog was after his refusal to take the lipid panel on Oz' show. His explanation that 'if/when the numbers came back good, Oz would never reveal them' seemed so evasive and dishonest to me.

That's when a whole other question occurred to me: would you buy a used car from Taubes?

Diana said...


"The only thing that works for me without fail is a drastic reduction in calories and I certainly don't need to be eating low carb for that. The only problem is the comfort level with eating so few calories that the satiating powers of protein don't come into play."

You and me both, re the drastic reduction of calorie thing. Have you ever tried 1-day fasting? Moderation the other 6 days. That equates to a short burst of fat-burning followed by 6 days of maintaining. The net effect over a month is a 5 pound or so weight loss. It worked for me.

Regarding the satiating powers of protein - my experience has again been exactly like yours. I am not satiated by protein alone. Which leads me to believe that the satiating powers of protein are oversold. For me, that magic threshold of satiation comes in a handy dandy package: protein, fat and carbohydrate. The trick is to create a package that is satiating but not stimulating.

I'm still trying to solve that trick.

bentleyj74 said...

There are used cars? ;P

I'm overinvested in al of this. I've looked at the course schedual more than once. Sigh.

Galina L. said...

Somehow the "Replay" option doesn't work for me, so I apologize I can't replay in individual comments addressed to me.
@ Evelyn,
I disagree with GT that all you have to do to loose weight is cutting carbs. He is not good in giving dieting advise even within his insulin theory of obesity, and I am sorry for him to be caught in some sort of a trap (I know, you are not sorry at all, he-he). He did his good job writing GCBC and the article "What If It’s All Been A Big Fat Lie?". People have their high points in life and carrier, often it doesn't last forever. Attempts of explaining biochemistry to a general population led unavoidably to huge simplifications. I think it is what you want to go (together with GT and "Lets eat more" blogs), not the LC diet for a weight loss, but the soft science of explaining it together with the flowed advice. I am afraid, every campaign to spread out any advice (like fitness for example) is flowed with careless claims, according to what I observe. I always agree with you when you criticize LC version on SAD and the people who glorify it. You know, I am not for unrealistic expectations. I want people to have the real information. Probably, it is not realistic for everybody to learn every path of metabolism. Let alone to micromanage body functions. Most people function just using common sense, not science. I see it as a little bit ironic that Steven's theory of the FR is more appealing to the mass common sense, but more difficult to apply, while carbohydrate theory with several gaps in the eyes of common sense (like Chinese eating rice, Kitovans), is more practical in execution. I see the situation as another example how life makes fan of people all the time.

@cwaiand. What difference does it make why LC diet works? It is the problem with the insulin theory. People are finding wholes in it and are using it in order to prove that LC diets are no more different than counting calories.

@ bentley,
I said everybody should limit carbs to a different degree because it is the easiest ingredient to minimize for our overeating population. There are essential proteins and fats. Most of us are not living the life of Irish peasants in 18 century who sustained themselves on several lb of potato and some milk while doing heavy labor. On similar diet we will get too many calories with necessary nutrition because ingredients are quite high in carbs. I understand it looks like a good idea for you to eat 30 bananas a day together with B12 shots, from my perspective cutting carbs is less extreme. In modern society people mostly overeat with the carbs mixed with fat, while fat gets all the blame. By limiting carbs we immediately minimize the amount of a junk food in the diet. Probably, even the amount of fat. So, even if carbs do not cause IR and make us over-eat, limiting it could be just a strategy to be less prone to an obesity in modern society. We all agree we should eat less as a group of people, regardless of the correctness of the insulin theory, and we should cut on something.
I am not concentrated on a weight-loss when I choose what to eat. I am so appreciative of LC diet because it resolved my health issues, besides migraines, which is a specific issue not interesting for the majority. Am I unique in the situation that LC made me much more resistant to infections and cured my asthma? There are more people like me around, I wish they know it.

You said the best choice is "Letting go of things that are demonstrably false and allowing things that work for me to work for me minus propaganda." It is what I did, eating less of LC foods, ignoring propaganda to gorge on LC, and also ignoring the advice to eat bulky foods in order to reach satiety by stretching my intestines. You are the only person who could allow things work for you. No one is forcing you to react on any propaganda, especially now when the most available advice is "everything in moderation". BTW, your offer of the best choice is not informative enough.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Welcome Adam!

I would be happy to review your Beyond Caloriegate book. I'm glad Beth responded here because I was thinking much the same things as she articulates in response to your post here. Separating CIH (we call it TWICHOO here - grin!) from lipophilia does not seem possible or consistent with the evolution of your dietary philosophy/approach.

I recognize that you would have to trust me not to divulge what this "black box" is. Which is part of the problem I suppose, because any review would necessarily require discussing some of the concepts involved. My kneejerk reaction was that you are selling some new way of saying the same old same old. I'd love to be proven wrong. If you've been interested in my thoughts on things, why did it take you so long? My email is public in my profile, and we've discussed many many related topics here. I don't bite ;)

A warning: I do not subscribe to (simple epidemic) obesity as a horizontal growth hormone disorder. That is untenable even considering epigenetics, as it would require en masse genetic shift. There is no more one hormonal cause of obesity than there is one dietary component responsible. Many become obese without being insulin resistant. Some become IR without being obese. That sometime circa mid-80's there was some dietary agent introduced that caused our horizontal growth hormones to go whacked seems far-fetched.

Lastly, your plea mentioned Atkins. If not his insulin theories, how can your black box revive the Atkins diet? After all, his original hypothesis was based ultimately on the fact that huge numbers of calories were peed out as ketones -- a claim easily dismissed at its inception.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

WOW Lerner! I had forgotten about that paper. This is very interesting because it's pretty well established that fructose does not elicit an insulin response. But "pure sugar" such as jelly beans was off the charts. Could they be akin to drinking those sugar sweetened beverages causing temporary hepatic IR causing an inappropriate insulin response a la the hyperinsulinemic LIRKO mouse? Might also explain the hypoglycemia some experience from pure sugary foods -- excessive insulin vs. glucose?

That was a 1997 paper, so that explains why it didn't make it into GCBC. Holt are modern day scientific idiots.

But I've got to say it, Taubes was right about something! Sugary foods are the most insulinogenic according to that study. Lots of sugar in my Asian market though -- and relatively fresh sugary pastries as well so the argument can't be made that they are just hanging around for a long time. They MUST be selling to someone to stock so many!

So folks just don't eat sugar and you'll be OK. Starch is not fattening without sugar. I know because Gary tells me so. ;)

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

If Taubes is caught in any sort of trap, it is a trap of his own making. The endless excuses people make for this man's utter lack of intellectual honesty are amazing. He has concocted too many half-baked theories for which the scientific evidence against already existed to be given the benefit of the doubt anymore. I realize you do not subscribe to his theories and basically LC (with portion control of some sort through IF) works for you. What I don't understand is your repeated defense of the idiocy spewed by these LC advocates like Taubes. It is what is undermining LC being seen as legitimate for weight loss and diabetes management, not helping. Which was the larger message of my post. You CANNOT go about changing minds with gimmicks and fraud.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Yep, and it's given him something to talk about in interviews with the release of the "Tradebook paperback" updated version of GCBC. He seems to have hit on his formula for marrying his upcoming 2013 (I think) book on how sugar is killing us, that which is currently paying his bills, with his carbs make us fat theory. But that starch won't make you fat without sugar is not sustainable. No doubt he will count on the LC crowd for evasive action on that key point. In any case if it's the IR angle he's going for as well, he has a HUGE fat problem there! LOL

Lerner said...

...and it gets even more complicated, because I know there is some paper that I'd read a few years ago which showed that the timing of the fructose and/or sucrose could greatly affect the insulin response. (Maybe it was a followup by the same authors.) E.g., IIRC having sucrose 1/2 hour after a meal gave different results than if it was consumed during the meal.

It struck me that maybe that was related to why people generally want/crave/demand a sugary dessert... maybe it's because the sugar will help to clear glucose out of the blood and/or replenish glycogen stores better, whichever is the body's goal.

Also another strangeness:
"Fructose Metabolism More Complicated Than Was Thought"
ScienceDaily (Dec. 9, 2008)

"To our surprise, a key regulatory [liver] enzyme involved in the breakdown of glucose was about two times higher in the fructose-fed group than in the glucose-fed group".


quote Evelyn: "That was a 1997 paper, so that explains why it didn't make it into GCBC"

I don't follow that. But looking at GCBC page 197-199 via Amazon, I see Taubes discussing the possibility that sugar is a major culprit; but I don't see that Taubes knows then about sugar causing a particularly high insulin release. I assume he was as clueless about that as he is about insulinogenic proteins.

However, all is trumped by his ludicrous claim that "just like the SouthEast Asians can stay lean eating rice heavy diets they do it because they eat virtually no sugar compared to what we eat in the US", as if they had replaced 150 cal of rice with a can of soda they would have gotten fat. What a boob.

Btw, since short grain rice is typically higher amylopectin and higher GI, the Japanese probably were getting more insulin that way than if they used long grain rice. However, once I had looked into that and the limitless varieties of rice there are a really big deal, and so I didn't make any headway in the research.

Lerner said...

Bentley, I got the idea somehow that you are from England. If so, I should add that "Would you buy a used car from this man" was a line used against Richard Nixon in one of his U.S. presidential runs (1960?)

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

So everyone's insulin levels got outta whack causing us to become gluttonous sloths. Wonder how that happened. It sure didn't happen to my generation as kids and we ate a lot of carbs and sugar. Hostess wasn't going bankrupt back then ;)

Adam Kosloff said...

Hi Evelyn and Beth,

Thanks for your responses. I'm looking forward to having a (sane!) conversation about these issues, which clearly fascinate people like us more than they do the average bear. I'd be happy to forward BCG to you for review. I'm actually in the process of revising it (trying to tone down some of the language -- e.g. the gratitutous use of words like "fatty"), so if you would bear with me for a week or two, I'd appreciate it. But I do think you and James and other TWICHOO (ha!) critics might at least find it novel (and hopefully somewhat amusing).

My Caloriegate report -- the one Beth read -- is free for download on my site. Feel free to "divulge" what the Black Box is, btw. My goal is to try to start a productive discussion about it :]

Beth, in response to your question: Stephan and I only chatted briefly. He agreed with the idea that the Black Box controls Calories, not the other way around. But no more than that.

In response to your point to the effect of "let's not oversimplify this" I heartily agree. I wrote two short posts to that effect that you may find interesting:

At the end of the day, I'm not convinced it's "all carbs." For instance, we've collectively been consuming a massive boatload of anti-depressants and other meds that seem to be damn obesogenic. Could that be an important key? I'd bet on it.

Basically, my current stance is: beyond the "reverse causality" business (that the BB "counts"), I'm flexible. We can (and need to) effectively litigate the CIH. But that's another ball of wax.

In any event, looking forward to chatting about this further, and it's good to finally connect. Okay, back to work for me...!


BHI said...

If he had refered to the paper, he would have had to delve into the whole insulinogenic protein angle. Beef and fish being higher in score than oatmeal if memory serves?

BHI said...

Ha, and I thought it was just me and my 'broken metabolism'! Steak without the potato means hunger again in an couple of hours for me. Thanks for the suggestion, I have actually been looking into IFing one day per week combined with what bentleyj74 suggested aka FR bland food. That combined with a recently tightened lap band should do the trick.

All this talk of potatoes puts me in mind of something my mother said recently. She doesn't like to eat potatoes because they make her too full. This from a long term low carber, priceless.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

A less flippant response (sorry ... the sound on that is very low on this computer and Lustig just irritates me). Also, mem, I'm not sure if you've commented here before though I recall chatting with you elsewhere. So Welcome! and if that's a repeat greeting, I apologize. When you listen to Lustig, you realize that his basis for his version of the insulin theory is his experience with hypothalamic obesity. This is a rare phenomenon of insulin hypersecretion in children who've undergone brain cancer treatments that damaged the hypothalamus. For these kids, hyperinsulinemia is really causing a degree of "starving cells". But in the obese with hyperinsulinemia, we almost always (if not always always) see elevated free fatty acid levels -- an inefficient trapping of the fatty acids by the fat cells -- to where there is excess fatty acid delivery to other cells and ectopic fat deposition. See Myth of the Starving Cells

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

The 1997 date quip is because if you look at the refs of GCBC they almost all predate 1990. Most are from the 60's with a smattering through the early 80's (one glaring exception being the 2003 Reshef/Hanson paper on glyceroneogenesis). In my interview with Jimmy I mentioned this, and Jimmy reiterated something I've heard said elsewhere: that not looking at modern science was by design. In a recent interview GT did state he hadn't looked into anything new since GCBC but he's not heard of being wrong (???) so either there is nothing new or whatever came out more recently proved him right.

Yes, any book seeking to blame pp insulin for fattening that doesn't reference this paper is suspect. There are tons more. I'll have a look at that 2008 article.

bentleyj74 said...


Nope, not from England. I got the joke...just your friendly neighborhood hedonist making one of her own [crickets]


"I said everybody should limit carbs to a different degree because it is the easiest ingredient to minimize for our overeating population."

How so? I could double or even tripple the cal count of a potato with a careless swath across the butter dish. I'd have to eat three dry potatos in sequence to mimic the ease of bumping cals with fats.

"There are essential proteins and fats."


"On similar diet we will get too many calories with necessary nutrition because ingredients are quite high in carbs."

How are carbs automatically equating with excess calories?

"I understand it looks like a good idea for you to eat 30 bananas a day together with B12 shots"

My point is that 30BAD is also a ridiculous sham that takes "facts" out of context to support wrong theories re nutrition. However, they are al least generally thin. If we took a cross section from video of a LC cruise and a 30BAD gathering we'd see which huckster has a better track record.

"In modern society people mostly overeat with the carbs mixed with fat, while fat gets all the blame."


"By limiting carbs we immediately minimize the amount of a junk food in the diet."

You're joking right? There are at least as many low carb cheesecake recipes as low fat ones and the LC boards were on FIRE when the double down came out. Two deep fried chicken breasts with a center of bacon, cheese, and extra mayo does a body good as long as you forgo that bun.

"So, even if carbs do not cause IR and make us over-eat, limiting it could be just a strategy to be less prone to an obesity in modern society."

Even if? They don't. Period. I think it's important to get real about that if the goal is actionable strategy.

"You said the best choice is "Letting go of things that are demonstrably false and allowing things that work for me to work for me minus propaganda." It is what I did"

And you are pleased with your results. What exactly is the objection?

"ignoring propaganda to gorge on LC, and also ignoring the advice to eat bulky foods in order to reach satiety by stretching my intestines."

Let's not comingle propaganda with the solid evidence that there is a relationship between fibrous foods and satiety.

Con't for html compliance

bentleyj74 said...


"BTW, your offer of the best choice is not informative enough."

I know, it was deliberate. I think that theories can inform our decisions but not make them for us or even make them obvious. I do not think that a bullet point list of rules on page XXX of my best seller will be very helpfull to very many people all things considered.

Take FR theory for example. SG lists some typically "high reward" foods by category and suggests people avoid them if they are overweight. What's going to be wrong with that? Nothing on the face of it all. It's a no brainer to avoid foods you binge on. Oh, there's that pesky "but" though. What if the broad categorical villification is too draconian to be enjoyed and unnecessary to boot?

What if Chips Ahoy cookies turn me on and Oreos don't? Level one of FR theory is the least intrusive but doesn't account for that. I might overeat potatos or apples more easily than Oreos which I am indifferent to. No such thing as an independent variable outside of a lab, right?

What about the impact of OTHER environmental cues? What if I'm bored, or stressed and removing food as an opiate leaves a vacuum? What if I only have enough money in my pocket at the coffee shop to buy 1 donut so I'm one and done whether I look longingly at the others or not?

These things are very personal and very subjective but the common denominators are self awareness, honesty, resources, and reliable information. Twitchoo is a hinderance to that process because it gives people wrong infomation with which to make decisions and judgements and corrupts their perceptions even if it may accidentally manipulate them into [sometimes] having some usefull limits.

Tonus said...

One of the things I think about when I hear about the satiety of different foods, is the cable show Man vs. Food. Each episode features the host (Adam Richman) taking on an eating challenge at a restaurant in the city he is visiting. Some do not feature large portions, as the challenge is based on how hot/spicy the foods are, but most of them have to do with eating ridiculously large meals, sometimes upwards of 5-7 pounds of food.

Anyway, which are the challenges that concern him the most? Are they the ones that feature lots of meat and fat (which fill us up so quickly) or are they the ones that feature lots of starch and/or sugar? Yep... it's the latter. Richman can work his way through many of the meat-heavy meals, but his main concern in any challenge is when there is a lot of bread or potatoes, and the occasional ice cream or milkshake have stopped him cold (har har) in the past. If I'm not mistaken, the very first episode of the show featured him polishing off a 4.5 pound steak in under 30 minutes.

It's an extreme example and I don't consider it applicable to the debate, but it's interesting nonetheless.

Sanjeev said...

> when there is a lot of bread or potatoes, and the occasional ice cream or milkshake have stopped him cold (har har)
what specific symptoms stop him - just excessive fullness with the potato?

Tonus said...

"what specific symptoms stop him - just excessive fullness with the potato?"

His claim is that carbs are very filling. When he is dealing with a meal with a fair helping of carbs (potatoes, pasta, bread, etc) he usually will express his concern that the carbs will slow him down. He never makes that claim regarding meals with a lot of meat and/or fat in them.

Due to the sheer volume of food involved, it's hard to say for certain if he's right or not. He has managed to down some meals that had a heck of a lot of carbs, including a seven-course pasta meal that weighed in at a good 5 pounds or so. So it may simply be confirmation bias; whenever he fails to complete a challenge, he might blame the carbs in the meal, though the fact that he tried to eat five pounds of food at one sitting might be the real culprit.

Diana said...

(Hm, the reply feature doesn't work for me either...maybe it's something to do with Google chrome - which would be ironic given that blogspot and Google are the same company.)


Yeah, I had convinced myself I had a broken metabolism before I lost 20 pounds via IFing/exercise. It's a crock. (Note: I wasn't aware that you'd had lap band surgery before I wrote, so your issues may well be different from mine.) But for most, it's a crock.

Steak w/o the potato means hunger for me, too, as does potato w/o the steak. But I've learned it doesn't have to be 8 oz. of steak, a huge 300 calorie potato w/butter, etc. Cut all items in half and see how you feel. That's a moderate day. I agree that bland food combinations of macronutrients on the IF day (one meal; a 24 hour period of not eating) is the way to go.

I won't lie to you: it does get hard, by the 20th hour. Use whatever crutch you need to: tea, coffee, diet soda, water with a spritz of lemon.

But that, plus cutting portion size in half, can become weirdly satisfying after a while. Sounds impossible, but it's true!!

Galina L. said...

@Eveline, It costed me a great effort to figure out how to loose weight ,I spent two years on a weight-loss plateau. I didn't use anybody's theory as a whole piece, my plan of action consisted of small pieces , like a puzzle. Majority of pieces came from LC advocates. That is why I defend them. Not for their sake, btw, for the sake of people who are trying to figure out what to do. I disagree with something of what they offer, but use other ideas for my purpose. I am more interested to find out what to do next that in finding the guru who is 100% right. Who to turn for a weight-loss advice besides Dr.Eades, who is the better guy? I couldn't succeed on my own, also I wouldn't succeed if I followed G. Taubes advice to a letter. Because I practiced a cherry-picking approach, I managed to miss most of bogus advice. You think I am doing just a portion control, and you are right, because it is, but I will not be able to do IF without going LC first. For me LC is not a goal to express myself, but a tool to eat less and practice IF. It is sort of lonely for me in a blogo-sphere, because it is difficult to find a place where I agree with the content 100%. It is either counting calories or gorging on the food if the food is LC. So, I continue to forage for ideas in the different places without holding my breath.
Often it doesn't matter how convincing the idea sounds, it may not work for me (and most probable, for somebody else). Here is the example. The most popular thing across diet blogs - eating bulky food, because eating extra fiber is proven to be beneficial for a satiety.(actually it is wide-spread among dieters of any kind to try to figure out how to pig-out somehow without feeling guilty). On another hand, that remark from Dr. R. Bernstein about "the Chinese effect" his patients experienced after eating too much of legitimate food gave me a pause. To make it short, after trying different things, I came to the conclusion that I will take Dr. Bernstein's advice. It seems for me anything works for my advantage if it lets me eat less. From that logically follows eating small portions of calorie-dense food.

Galina L. said...

@ bentley, I agree people have personal reactions on different foods, I try to avoid the food I can't stop eating. So far limiting carbs seems to be the foundation for other right strategies I practice.

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Looking forward to learning what's in the box. I do think you'll have a tough sell separating lipophilia from TWICHOO given that your other website remains intact. It may be too much to correct all that Taubes himself has corrected, for example a search on that site for glycerol phosphate got quite a few hits:
In a way, the lipophilia part of TWICHOO is all that remains and it is based on taking the role of insulin in fat tissue regulation out of context. Insulin doesn't regulate fat tissue mass. It's ultimate role is to regulate circulating substrate levels: glucose, fatty acids and amino acids (some more than others). See:

Still, I look forward to your take on things.


Lerner said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lerner said...

Evelyn says: "The 1997 date quip is because if you look at the refs of GCBC they almost all predate 1990."

oh boy, the Alice in Wonderland saga gets even curiouser. So apparently Taubes was plodding along ultra-slowly in too much detail (while completely missing the big picture), so the publisher said to wrap it up NOW and submit the product -- and so the whole train of thought just ends abruptly at 1990 :) Weird stuff.

Adam Kosloff said...

Thanks Evelyn. It's been over a year since I've even attempted to edit why-low-carb-diets-work. The glycerol phosphate stuff is just the tip of the iceberg that I'd like to change, starting with the name of the website itself. (Try spelling it out loud to someone, with all the dashes.)

I appreciate your openness and hold out hope that our factions can find some detente. Seems to me like we both have a pretty passionate drive to help people tease out fact from fiction. I'd be surprised if we couldn't find a lot of stuff to agree on.

My fam and I are going on a trip next week, but when we get back, I'll send you an email and forward you the Caloriegate stuff (if you're interested). I had the thought that it might be interesting to examine your biggest criticisms of TWICHOO through the prism of this Black Box thing. Might make for an compelling blog post series.


p.s. don't tell the carborati, but I ate a bowl of white rice with lunch just now!

Lerner said...

Galina said, "So, I continue to forage for ideas in the different places without holding my breath."

How about something like this:

Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 Sep;59(9):983-8.
Vinegar supplementation lowers glucose and insulin responses and increases satiety after a bread meal in healthy subjects.

"There was an inverse dose-response relation between the level of acetic acid and glucose and insulin responses and a linear dose-response relation between acetic acid and satiety rating. The results indicate an interesting potential of fermented and pickled products containing acetic acid."

Galina L. said...

@ Lerner,
Somehow I eat fermented foods(like sauerkraut, pickles, salsa) almost every day for taste with my meat because I am used to eat it since being a child. Actually, I feel it is pleasant sensation to have a sauerkraut with my food, like drinking water after some salty or hot food. Thank you for giving me an extra reason. I probably need it, because sometimes I get lazy and don't make the next batch in time. Like now, the cabbage is bought, but sits in my garage untouched, cucumbers and tomatoes are out of season now.
I don't know how according to study vinegar is satiating, according to many people personal experience, me included, vinegar stimulates appetite.

Lerner said...

Galina, I myself remember the owner of a Chinese restaurant once telling me that hot & sour soup was eaten before meals to 'stimulate the appetite".

However, as far as feelings of satiety after a meal, I do know that acid reduces the GI of a meal, and "Of 20 studies published between 1977 and 1999, 16 demonstrated that low-glycemic index foods promoted postmeal satiety and/or reduced subsequent hunger".
Vinegar: Medicinal Uses and Antiglycemic Effect 2006

That review might also be interesting to anyone interested in postprandial glycemia and insulin sensitivity. E.g., 'before the production and marketing of hypoglycemic agents, vinegar “teas” were commonly consumed by diabetics to help manage their chronic aliment'.

Also e.g. "In the insulin-resistant subjects, vinegar ingestion reduced postprandial glycemia 64% as compared with placebo values (P = .014) and improved postprandial insulin sensitivity by 34%".

Sometimes when I feel the craving for vinegar and I think that my system somehow needs it, I just drink some with water. (Btw, when I was a kid, I'd read a book about the "Swamp Fox" Revolutionary War general who carried vinegar and water in his canteen.)

Galina L. said...

Thank you for the link, indeed, vinegar is interesting substance. I personally witnessed it cured nail fungus on somebody; before time when sophisticated household chemicals became available in Russia, I used it myself as a hair rinse(egg yolk was a conditioner), washed with vinegar woolly sweaters and cloths colored with running pigments.
It would be interesting to conduct some personal experimentation.

qw said...

Can you use fat for fuel equally effective if you're eating a low fat diet as if you're eating a low carbohydrate diet?

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

Welcome qw! I don't see why not. The human RQ = the respiratory quotient that reflects carb vs. fat oxidation for energy, tends to be relatively consistent despite dietary manipulations. I think this whole "fat burning" metabolism is the biggest bunch of whooey to come down the pike in a long time. Your fat mass is not dependent upon what percentage of your energy you obtain from fat as fuel or carb as fuel, it is dependent on your total energy balance. If you burn more fat on a high fat diet or more carb on a high carb diet, it's all the same in the end -- excess intake is largely stored as fat, and insufficient intake is largely supplemented by releasing stored fat.

If "fat burning" were desired from a performance or functional viewpoint, why aren't all elite athletes eating that way? Especially the endurance athletes? If there is a more researched field and area in which people's health is sacrificed for the greater "good" (do you think the trainers cared what would become of the East German women's swim teams circa late 70?...) it is sports. And you can be darned sure if a diet of steak and coconut oil were the ticket, that's what they'd be eating.

Inefficient carbohydrate metabolism is not caused by carbohydrates (fructose in bolus excess excepted).

qw said...

Evelyn: I don't know why all elite athletes aren't eating low carbohydrate diets.

If you can use fat for fuel equally effective if you're eating a low fat diet as if you're eating a low carbohydrate diet, why do some people become tired in the beginning when they start eating a low carbohydrate diet?

qw said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
qw said...

Quoting @Evelyn: "If "fat burning" were desired from a performance or functional viewpoint, why aren't all elite athletes eating that way? Especially the endurance athletes?"

One reason maybe is that they can get sport drinks along the way if their glycogen stores are insufficient.

Sanjeev said...

It's complicated - Lyle's take (quite thorough)

as usual:

Sanjeev said...

oh noooooes ... is that what some of my posts look like to 3rd parties?

Ugh ... I should stop doing that for emphasis.

Galina L. said...

I am just curious why Razwell comments here again. I have nothing against anybody commenting, of course(using normal non- caped letters would be nice, though), it just I thought he was blocked from commenting, and it is intriguing to find out did Evelyn unblocked him and comments appeared immediately after, or he just stayed away by choice and decided to come back only now?

Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

@Galina & all: Please disregard the troll. Unfortunately Blogger's spam control isn't working today :(

Galina L. said...

I don't remember when before I laughed so much. Persistence is often rewarded, indeed. Just imagine Razweel living multiple comments here day after day until spam control malfunctioned! Little Engine that could.

Harry said...

Raz calling Anthony Colpo a 'dago' ?!

Wow, I'd like to see the results of him doing that to AC's face!

Another case of "internet courage"!


Evelyn aka CarbSane said...

LOL, Reply function for Blogger (Google!) now works in Google Chrome browser!!

Razzy mostly self censors -- I don't have a spam folder full of his diatribes -- but this is the second outburst in about as many weeks. I can't wait for the disgusting emails from a flurry of pseudonyms. He's funny to a point, but as Harry points out below, use of derogatory terms for people is way over the line. If he actually criticized just me and my postings here, I'd let it stand, but I'm not going to be his outlet to vent rage against others. He has his own blog for doing his thing anyway. I hear he's got a book coming out too. Mostly he makes it difficult for those interested in discussing things anyway by cluttering comments.

Nigel Kinbrum said...

Firefox now displays the page correctly. Whew!

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