Did low fat diets cause the obesity epidemic in the US?

click to enlarge
The title of this post is a common theme repeated by the likes of Swedish diet doctor Andreas Eenfeldt - That somehow going low fat (thus high carb) has caused the obesity epidemic.  At best, by percentage only, the USofA has decreased fat consumption from 37% to 33% (or 36% to 33% for women) ... this 3-4% reduction in fat percentage has been accompanied by a 7% increase in carbs (42-to-49% men, 45-to-52% women).  As you can see in the graphs, absolute fat content is basically flatlined -- we didn't cut fat, women (who tended to "comply" on the fat recs moreso than men)  even added a small amount.  Any way you cut it, this relatively insignificant change would be insufficient to cause some sort of carb triggered, insulin-induced fat cell mutiny!  Confronted with such facts the insulin hypothesis, or what I call TWICHOO, is changed ever so slightly to focus on how carbs cause you to eat more -- to the tune of some 300-500 calories/day and gain weight.   (I would note that NuSI discounts any ineffectiveness of various LC diets that are not really LC and use 40% carbs -- If you don't see an effect there, you will do nothing to pin the obesity epidemic on the lowly carbohydrate.)

One of the things that Paul Jaminet mentions about his Perfect Health Diet, especially more recently, is that it is some sort of gourmet paleo diet, and resembles French and Thai cuisine.  So I was looking around for something about the Thai diet in particular and came across this paper:  The nutrition and health transition in Thailand.   This paper is a bit older (2002) and covers the period from 1960-1995, during which Thailand underwent an economic shift from an agricultural society to a more  industrial one.  During that period the diet changed significantly too.  Obesity is on the rise:
Thai staples and side dishes are being replaced by diets containing a higher proportion of fats and animal meat. A shift in the proportion of expenditure on food prepared at home and that expended on purchased, ready-to-eat food, in both rural and urban settings, gives another reflection of the change in food consumption of the Thai population. The prevalence of overweight and obesity among children and adolescents has increased dramatically during the past 20 years and is more pronounced in children from private schools and urban communities than in those from public schools or rural areas
The last sentence there is opposite of what we generally see here in the US, with overweight and obesity being more prevalent in lower socioeconomic classes.  As Thailand has "modernized" we find:
Among adults, results from two national surveys in 1991 and 1996 indicated that the problem of overweight and other risk factors for cardiovascular disease have increased significantly. In considering the overall causes of death among the Thai population, the leading causes are diet-related chronic degenerative diseases.  Diseases of the circulatory system have become the number one cause of death in Thailand and cancer has ranked as the number three cause of death since the late 1980s.
So what changes?  Have the Thai been shunning butter and beef in favor of cereal and canoli?  Nope.  

I suppose you could blame the problem on just about everything -- from fruits and even veggies, to eggs, to meat and poultry, to animal fats.  I suppose one could even fashion an anti-sugar meme from this data.  But do you see the one thing that has gone down?  That would be your starch -- rice, cereals (evil grains) and tubers -- consumption of this decreased progressively for a 31% decrease in 1995 vs. 1960.  The other thing you'll notice is that carbs were then and still are the major component of the diet.
The anti-CICO's will find a small nibble to nosh on here ... caloric intake went down slightly (70 cal/day, I would note that they cite a figure of 2290 cal/day for "the most recent" 1999 source).  But the rest is not looking so good for the TWICHOOB's!  

  • Protein intake is fairly low but increased 18%.  
  • The percentage of protein from animal sources increased from roughly 1/3rd to 1/2, an increase of 68% of 1960 levels.
  • Fat intake more than doubled (2.5X) 
  • Fat intake remains low by Western standards but began in single digit percent of calories (~9%) and has now increased to "low fat" (~22%)
  • Carbs decreased from an uber insidiously fattening and insulin spiking  ~350g/day to a still insidious ~275g/day.  
Increase fat, decrease carbs and metabolic hell is beginning to break loose in Thailand.  It is noted in the paper that the more urban Bangkok carbohydrate intake is only about 50% with fat intake over 30% (sound familiar??!!).

What of these carbs?  Surely these are those "special" carbs we are used to hearing about like the sweet potatoes, those more fibrous legumes, or the unrecognizable as corn maize?  Nope.  Rice is described as the traditional major source of calories and protein.  From here:
Rice is so important to many Asian countries. In Thai, to have meal we say 'gin kow' which literally means 'eat rice'. In Thailand, rice is not a side dish, it is the central dish and all other things that you eat, support it. In a Thai meal, you generally eat more rice than anything else and it [rice] serves as the foundation for the food pyramid.

This recipe is for the fluffy white rice that you see with 90% of Thai dishes.
From Kindle PHD, location 1384
Now, aside from putting the kibosh on this nonsense of the low fat diet being fattening (if you're intellectually honest that is, there is no other way to view such information), this raises some serious questions as to the Perfect Health Diet.  Throughout the book, and in podcasts/presentations discussing his diet, Paul (and Shou Ching, but she doesn't do the public appearances other than the occcasional book signing)  routinely misrepresents both scientific literature and the diets of traditional cultures.   The PHD seems moderate coming from a VLC viewpoint, but when one looks closer the book is based on viewing all foods as toxic and envisioning some sort of perfect balance in that "U" or "J" curve (Paul uses an inverted U).

I submit that while seemingly more generous, Paul's 100-125g/day starch or roughly 20% calories ... this is unfounded.  This intake, he says, puts you on the top of that curve up there and as intake increases from there, you have declining health.  Clearly that is not the case for the Thai.  Their diet went from almost 80% carbohydrate to less than two-thirds of the diet.  As starch goes, the health or toxicity curve clearly doesn't resemble Paul's.  Meanwhile, the fat intake doesn't even begin to approach the ~60% most would eat on PHD.

For those not so inclined to read the linked article, I'll leave you with this description of traditional Thailand:
A new diet–health paradigm may be evolving that places more emphasis on the positive aspects of diet.  The paradigm goes beyond the role of food constituents as essential nutrients required for sustaining life and growth, to one of preventing or delaying the onset of chronic diseases later in life.  The food patterns, reported to confer longevity by promoting good health and prevent the premature onset of chronic disease later in life, are diets rich in cereals, legumes, vegetables and fruits, low in animal foods, and moderate in low-fat meats such as fish.  These are consistent with the traditional Thai eating pattern.  The origin of the Thai diet begins with the waterborne community. From information in King Ramkhamhaeng’s famous stone inscription in the early 13th century, it is clear that rice and fish were the major ingredients of Thai cuisine.  Aquatic animals, plants and herbs are still used a great deal in preparing meals; large pieces of meat are rarely used in any dish.  The common cooking methods still widely practised are stewing, grilling and baking; frying is an influence of Chinese cuisine.  Fresh spices and herbs are common, basic ingredients in most Thai dishes.  In a proper Thai meal, dishes are not served in courses; instead, they are served at the same time allowing the various dishes to complement and enhance each other.  All dishes are eaten with rice, which is a main staple for the Thai population.
A far cry from any version of paleo I've seen, even PHD itself.


Nigel Kinbrum said…
The anti-CICO's shout "CI went down, but people got fatter. ∴ CICO is wrong!"
Uh, hellooooooooooo? What about CO?

I'm having yet another argument about CICO.
FrankG claims that CICO ≠ Energy Balance, as " + change in bodily stores" is present in the Energy Balance Equation, but missing from CICO.
I claim that CICO ≡ Energy Balance, as CICO is an abbreviation (acronym, even!) which would look stupid with the implied " + change in bodily stores" stuck on the end.
CIECOPCIBS (Calories In Equals Calories Out Plus Change In Bodily Stores) is unpronounceable! :-D
Bill reckons that CICO means counting calories. I disagree (surprise, surprise!). I say "calories count ≠ counting calories."
Sanjeev Sharma said…
> In Thailand, rice is not a side dish, it is the central dish and all other things that you eat,

Can't wait for the troll who will not be named to show up claiming the opposite.

Natives of various countries can (and have in the past) post photos of typical meals and he'll claim he knows that's false.

they don't eat much rice in southern India (who do NOT eat rice because they eat Idli) and troll knows it "just because" (I've forgotten how he specifically dismissed India)

They don't eat much rice in Japan (according to troll because troll claimed his brother who spent time in Japan told him so)

Let's see if he shows up here and makes up new excuses for Thailand, and how "REAL SCIENTISTS HAVE PROVED" his stance.
Sanjeev Sharma said…
arguing against the most simplistic formulation ...

It's the standard straw man; as if reading one page out of a field's "for dummies" book gives one all the knowledge, subtlety and nuance that a PhD in the field has.
Nigel Kinbrum said…
Craig_in_CT said…
Some time ago, I came to the conclusion that the combination of fat with carbs, particularly carbs in the form of sugar and/or refined grains, is what really triggers weight gain in a lot of people. Severely restrict the fat, and put limits on sugar and refined grain, as in the maximum weight loss McDougall diet or the Ornish diet, and you have some people who do spectacularly well at losing weight. Take away all or most of the carbs (Atkins and company) and you have some people who seem to do spectacularly well at taking off weight. If it is the combination of these two things - fat and carbs, why isolate and demonize one or the other?

You might also want to look at Attia's latest post, in which he explains that being in ketosis doesn't guarantee weight loss, and that you can gain weight by eating too much, even when in nutritional ketosis.

In his explanation, he also acknowledges that DNL isn't typically a big component of the fat balance.

Finally, he acknowledges that some fraction of the populace seems to do better following a very low fat, high carb diet! He just doesn't understand why.
Sanjeev Sharma said…
off topic: anyone know what study she could possibly be talking about here?

"attack the nearest molecule to them in a nanosecond."



Chris Kresser: Wow.

Jo Robinson: These free radicals are going to attack the
nearest molecule to them in a nanosecond. Boom! But garlic is faster.
Garlic is going to destroy those free radicals before they can get to
an important part of our body, like our DNA.

Chris Kresser: Mm-hmm
Chris Kresser: Wow.


Chris Kresser, "the healthy skeptic" ... acupuncturist, Chinese Medicine ... "the healthy skeptic" - simply claiming it doesn't make it so Chris.

you may be healthy and may think you're a skeptic, but being good at applying that skepticism ... I'm skeptical.

What do you call the guy who passed, scoring in last place in his med school class?
Nigel Kinbrum said…
RE Paul Jaminet's carbohydrate recommendations: For a population of sedentary Joes & Josephines, ~125g/day of carbs is a reasonable amount.

RE Thailand: "The economic structure has also moved from agricultural to industrial." This alone would reduce CO. Increased affluence would result in increased bicycle/automobile/labour-saving device use and further reduced CO. Traditional diets go with traditional activities. Both have changed in Thailand since 1960.
carbsane said…
I think this notion of carbohydrate as a luxury/optional macro and fat as essential/prefered macro is misguided. It doesn't make sense metabolically and it is has been presented as established fact with no underlying basis. While 125g/day is not overly restrictive, but Paul's bias is that above that glucose becomes toxic. One clearly need not be overly active to consume 200-300 even 400g/day if one is eating in energy balance. For example, 2500 cal/day is not unheard of for a sedentary man 900 cals for protein and fat? More than enough.

Populations like the traditional Thai (and Pima and others) clearly show that this "need" for fat is highly over-rated. Something around 10% veggie and marine fat seems to be more than sufficient.
lucyricardanon said…
IMO demonizing any macronutrient or even any combination of macros is sort of silly. I think the combination of fat and refined carbs tends to trigger weight gain because the foods that combine them tend to be super delicious and easy to overeat, resulting in excess caloric intake. OTOH the combination of fat and carbs can be really helpful in some cases. I have glucose intolerance ("pre-diabetes") and although eating very low-carb keeps my bg in a healthy range, it also makes me feel like utter garbage. Eating carbs alone or even combined with protein and/or a small amount of fat gives me a nasty spike. However, carbs combined with a bit of protein and plenty of fat (e.g. an omelet and a sweet potato, an apple with nut butter) will keep my bg in a good range and get some glycogen into my muscles so my workouts don't suck so much.
carbsane said…
Kresser with his foray into supplement sales and having gone "beyond paleo" but now back is one of the biggest disappointments (to me) in this community. He still presents some good stuff, but it's getting harder to ferret that out. Ah well ....

Now with the garlic? I don't know the compound she's talking about but perhaps it does contain a molecule that has a higher potential to accept the electrons from free radicals. Do these compounds get into your cells to do that? This is the question. VitE is an antioxidant that is found along with easily oxidized fats -- to protect them. It appears to work with whole foods ... but taking the antioxidant? Well, seems pretty much a bust.
carbsane said…
I'll have to check out Peter's blog. He and I had a nice exchange on his post on Sugar Toxicity.
Nigel Kinbrum said…
I can see where Paul's coming from. Excessive sedentariness leads to muscular IR, which adversely affects excess blood glucose disposal. Eating more than 125g/day of carbs* increases the amount of fluctuation in blood glucose level, leading to increased appetite disturbance & subsequent over-eating. Also, increased energy slumps due to compensatory hyperinsulinaemia. Been there, done that!

125g/day of carbs is a "Goldilocks" amount. It's not too little (leading to an entirely different set of problems ;-) ) and it's not too much.

*The amount of blood glucose disturbance depends on the net meal Glycaemic Load, which is a function of net meal Glycaemic Index & grams of carbs. Refrigerated & re-heated rice can probably be eaten in relatively large amounts without significantly disturbing blood glucose level, due to the increased RS content.
carbsane said…
I think the C+F -> overeating may also be low protein which I believe we have some sort of "proteostat" that we eat to. Many foods like Doritos and ice cream are high C+F relatively low protein.
Sanjeev Sharma said…
yeah, just a couple of sentences above they talked about allicin, and polyphenols/phytonutrients (in the generic) are mentioned throughout the interview.

My skeptical mercury had been rising and at this point It just completely cracked the thermometer.
lucyricardanon said…
That may be the case. If it is, then eating Doritos with some protein, perhaps a Greek yogurt based dip, will make them magically non-fattening, right? ;)
carbsane said…
possibly :D

I just think such foods are best eaten in controlled portions. It really is possible to just take a handful out of a big bag and eat them and stop.
lucyricardanon said…
Agreed. I think it's a matter of habit more than anything else. A lot of people are in the habit of sitting down in front of the TV with the whole bag of chips, and we all know what happens when you do that. If you get in the habit of taking a reasonable portion out of the bag and then putting the bag back in the pantry, you're more likely to stop there.
Craig_in_CT said…
Normally, I keep some almonds around for snacking. Generally, I get the plain, unsalted ones, to keep them pretty bland. But a couple months ago, I saw a large bag of almonds with a cinnamon sugar topping. In a moment of weekness, I bought a bag. Couldn't believe how good the taste was. It was a 16 oz bag, and didn't survive the second day. Talk about a well engineered snack!
Charles Peden said…
Hi, I'm anti-CICO.

I've been eating a pretty much vegan diet since the beginning of the year. My weight has been remarkably consistent even though I have not been counting calories. But several weeks ago I got an upper respiratory infection/cold and I decided to take a break and just eat whatever. In a couple days my weight went up by 7 pounds and stayed there for over a week. I eventually fasted for a little over 24 hours and this broke the strangely persistent weight level and I went back down to my previous stable weight where I continue to be.

Now it could be that I somehow consumed an additional 24,500 calories over two days and this raised me by seven pounds through CICO. Or it could be that there is another mechanism at play that is not understood (by me at least).

I also noticed that I am able to raise my stable weight by drinking Aldi root beer. If I drink almost a whole 12 pack, I think I can raise my "set point" and I will stabilize at the higher weight. I don't need to drink it every day, just over the course of a day. Then I just eat normally and my weight stabilizes at the higher weight. If I don't wait too many days, I can fast for a day and this brings my weight back to the previous level and it stays there. This is something that needs further experimenting to test, though. Any takers?
I think that the kind of protein-fat-carbohydrate combination--especially in the food form--that you're talking about isn't necessarily the kind that we find in the general array of manufactured items.
So can we hook them up to electric machines now? ; ) Unabashed, classic, ethic-free behaviourism = the cure to all our problems. Lol.
What are your thoughts on the high protein, mTOR and cancer subject? (Rosedale aside, of course.)
Sanjeev Sharma said…
of course; you forgot these?



Nice one. Reminds me of some good times. I had a friend who used one of those and then another friend and I tweaked one of the resistors on the machine to the point where. . . well. . . we used to haze one another. . . a lot.
Sanjeev Sharma said…
I always wondered how weak those were; any decent strength would bankrupt a company with burn lawsuits. Especially with the harrier people whose hair might interfere with good contact despite gel
I think it's largely very weak stuff in terms of what you get out of the box. They should be sued for the tear-jerking monotony of just having individuals standing/sitting there while some electric box barely tickles their abdomen with no real end result (I could be wrong).
lucyricardanon said…
Right, I think in general "whole foods" have different effects on satiety than "processed foods," but my example was only intended to point out that the problem isn't really the combination of fat + carbs or any particular macros. The problem is with foods that are high in palatability and low in satiation, which could apply to a lot of foods with various macro combinations.
lucyricardanon said…
I'm not really sure how to read your comment, or how you read mine, but what other people eat isn't one of my problems. However, when people complain to me that they don't know how to stop overeating, they make it my problem, and I'll give them what information and advice I can about how they might be able to stop, and that includes getting rid of habits that are not conducive to their goals and replacing them with ones that are.
No big deal.

The entire response of mine was a joke of sorts. I understood what you meant.
True. Not to mention, it can also come down to the sheer subjectivity of individual taste as some people can have some of the quirkiest triggers when it comes to food, triggers that sometimes have nothing to do with the actual macro composition.
Sanjeev Sharma said…
OFF, OFF, OFF topic

one of the researchers whose research we commonly sling around hereabouts did a study in an interesting field

Screennamerequired said…
""But do you see the one thing that has gone down? That would be your starch -- rice, cereals (evil grains) and tubers""

Bris Vegas said…
What a load of bullshit. Traditional Thai food uses highly saturated palm and coconut oils. it also has extremely high levels of sodium

Thais have high levels of obesity, heart disease and strokes.


Eat Weight Disord. 2011 Dec;16(4):e242-9.

Prevalence of overweight and obesity in Thai population: results of the National Thai Food Consumption Survey.


Nutrients 2010, 2(1), 60-74; doi:10.3390/nu2010060

Risk Factors for Overweight and Obesity among Thai Adults: Results of the National Thai Food Consumption Survey
Adam said…
Although I have no explanation for what you are writing I have noticed that water retention fluctuates violently with rapid changes to diet. I've had a few days where I've eaten something I do not normally eat (One time I ate Mexican while visiting someone's house. My weight shot up 8 pounds and remained there for about a week before reverting to my prior weight) and my weight has gone up noticeably for quite some time from eating out of the norm.

I do believe that cortisol increases water retention and that your digestive system is fairly dynamic in what it can digest (For example if you stop eating meat for a few years your digestive tract will down-regulate the ability to digest meat such that rapid re-introduction will cause distress). A possible mechanism is down-regulated digestion for a specific food -- > stress response --> mobilization of stress hormones -- > water retention and other associated characteristics.

Of course this is all speculation.. I eventually need to dig more into this as I believe CICO is essentially correct (I do not discount the possibility of health context associated variance in caloric intake but I am also unsure if it will provide a big enough difference to warrant calling CICO incorrect).
Adam said…
That's pretty interesting. However, how would you define excessive sedentariness? Despite increases in exercise overall I still think quite a lot of people remain sedentary throughout the day and even those who are active merely interrupt their sedentariness with bouts of exercise. So as you said we may be getting a lot of undeseriable effects just through increased Muscular IR.
Nigel Kinbrum said…
I replied prematurely (Disqus allows me to view posts that are still in moderation) and it disappeared into cyberspace! Reply #2:-

You've made the (invalid) assumption that weight changes are 100% due to bodyfat changes. This ain't so! See http://www.bodyrecomposition.com/fat-loss/the-energy-balance-equation.html and http://nigeepoo.blogspot.co.uk/2009/01/why-counting-calories-and-weighing.html
carbsane said…
Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh .... Jimmy TRIED to find common ground with McDougall but he would have none of it.
carbsane said…
Hi Charles, Long time no see, good to see you about!

Water weight is a big factor in all of this. You cannot gain X lbs of fat w/o eating X lbs of "dry food mass".
Charles Peden said…
You have what I am suggesting all backwards. I am thinking that bodyfat changes are due to weight changes. Obviously bodyfat would take time to fill in the new girth. But I am suggesting that the increased mass comes first.
Nigel Kinbrum said…
You mentioned 7 pounds & 24,500 calories, i.e. 1 pound ≡ 3,500 calories. This is the oft-quoted figure for bodyfat caloric density, hence my reply about bodyfat gain.
Nigel Kinbrum said…
Food "out" usually contains flour, sugar & salt, which causes water retention (by glycogen replenishment) & more water retention (by increasing the Na:K ratio).
Nigel Kinbrum said…
Excessive sedentariness varies from person to person (as we're all
different!), and is defined (by me) as the level of sedentariness that
causes excessive muscular IR (Insulin Resistance, for newbies).
Nigel Kinbrum said…
Why are you too lazy to post links? See http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22526130

"Among adults, using the the Regional Office for the Western Pacific (WPRO) standard, 17.1% of adults were classified as overweight [body mass index (BMI) 23.0-24.9 kg/m²], 19.0% as class I obesity (BMI 25.0-29.9 kg/m²), and 4.8% as class II obesity (BMI ≥ 30.0 kg/m²). Using the World Health Organization (WHO) definition, 19.0% were overweight (BMI 25-29.9 kg/m²), 4.0% class I obesity (BMI 30.0-34.9 kg/m²), 0.8% class II obesity (BMI 35.0-39.9 kg/m²), and 0.1% class III obesity (BMI ≥ 40.0 kg/m²). There was a vast difference in obesity prevalence between the WHO and the WPRO criteria. Obesity prevalence when using the WPRO definition (23.8%) was almost five times greater than when defined with the WHO standard (4.9%). The present study found a high prevalence of overweight and obesity in nationally representative sample of the Thai population. Higher rates of overweight and obesity prevalence were computed using the WPRO standard when compared to the WHO standard."
You can get any result you want, depending on how you "cook" the data.
WHO standard = low rate of obesity (4.9%).
WPRO standard = high rate of obesity (23.8%).
What a load of shit, indeed.

I've lived there near the end of the relevant period early to mid 90s.

The main staple at *every local restaurant* (including those make-shift street kiosks serving local and exotic cuisine, comprised of plain sticky rice with steamed maize, vegetables and very spicy Thai soup made from prawns and other shell fish with no added oil.

Try harder.

Besides, what's your point, exactly? That they were fat and they consumed a high fat diet? Lol!
Sanjeev Sharma said…
> Nutrients 2010, 2(1), 60-74; doi:10.3390/nu2010060.
(get a description or download the PDF here: http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/2/1/60)

from the study:
> sample of 6,445 Thais adults (18–70 years) was surveyed during 2004–2005

In the post you "replied" to a one time snapshot with next to NO historical comparisons was obviously CENTRAL, heck, it was the WHOLE POINT.

and surprise surprise I saw neither "saturated" nor "sodium" in the paper

> What a load of bullshit. Traditional Thai food uses highly saturated
palm and coconut oils. it also has extremely high levels of sodium

yeah, saturated fat was CENTRAL to the post's text and its message - in fact saturated fat was the post's WHOLE POINT

> What a load of bullshit. Traditional Thai food uses highly saturated
palm and coconut oils. it also has extremely high levels of sodium

yeah, sodium was CENTRAL to the post's text and its message - in fact sodium was the post's WHOLE POINT

>> What a load of bullshit.

holy lobotomy batman [0]

Keep these comments coming, puhLEASE: you bring to your analysis your own unique brand of incomparably specific, on-target, almost surgically-precise incisiveness. I can feel my brain expanding in its case while reading your ... stuff.

... yeah ...

entire post I'm replying to

Bris Vegas
What a load of bullshit.
Traditional Thai food uses highly saturated palm and coconut oils. it
also has extremely high levels of sodium

Thais have high levels of obesity, heart disease and strokes.


Eat Weight Disord. 2011 Dec;16(4):e242-9.

Prevalence of overweight and obesity in Thai population: results of the National Thai Food Consumption Survey.


Nutrients 2010, 2(1), 60-74; doi:10.3390/nu2010060

Risk Factors for Overweight and Obesity among Thai Adults: Results of the National Thai Food Consumption Survey

___________ END whole comment I'm replying to
[0] that's a reference to this idiom:


Burt Ward as Dick Grayson / Robin:
Batman's faithful partner and "boy wonder", noted for his recurring interjections in the form of "Holy ________, Batman!" (As with Batman, the series avoided referencing Robin's origins as one of Bruce Wayne's fellow "crime orphans," as whose legal guardian the courts appoint Bruce).
Sanjeev Sharma said…
> what's your point, exactly? That they were fat and they consumed a high fat diet? Lol!

his foaming, sputtering reflex pro Taubes, anti Asian diet reaction is so unthinking he can't even tell when he eviscerates Taubes

colour me SHOCKED
Nigel Kinbrum said…
Pssst! You've got a spurious ) on the end of your link. You have to leave a space between the end of the link and the ).
Sanjeev Sharma said…
thanks, fixed
Screennamerequired said…
High fat dieters try to claim traditional low fat cultures as high fat butter lovers. Even 50 years ago when out parent's and grandparents consumed lard and butter, it certainly wasn't even close to the amounts they claim. They weren't pouring butter in the coffees and tea.

Here's a funny one from some nutjob trying to claim the traditional Okinwanan diet was "High saturated fat" Despite the fact that a diet survey from the 50's had them consuming a crazy amount of carbs and very little fat, close to 80/10/10.


It's strange that these "Ancestral" organizations and websites appear to be anti low-fat, when most all known civilizations were primarily starch based
Sanjeev Sharma said…
You remind me of something I fell for too, for a time: Weston A Price foundation used to claim (I don't know of they still do) that Okinawa was called "the land of pork" or some such because their diet had huge amounts of pork, and I repeated that tale for a while.

Having read some of Stephan's & others' citations I now think Okinawans ate more pork THAN THEIR NEIGHBORS, and may have exported pork products but "relatively high" doesn't mean their pork consumption was high in any absolute sense.
Sanjeev Sharma said…
Okinawa's "the land of pork" but most of their fat is saturated ...


Saturated fats 38–43%:

Unsaturated fats 56–62%
Sanjeev Sharma said…
> try to claim traditional low fat cultures as high fat butter lovers

One other way they tack against the wind[0] is to claim the digestive system (I used to know the details of this claim but have forgotten them ... to make the numbers come out I think they include liver as part of the digestive tract) delivers mostly fat to the rest of the body.

Evelyn may remember how Paul Jaminet phrases his version of this claim - I can't find it now, the google search terms are just not coming to me.

[0] the wind called reality
Screennamerequired said…
Yeah they ate twice as much pork as mainland Japan. What isn't mentioned was they ate what average out as about a measlie 20grams of pork per day compared to 10grams per day in mainland japan if I remember correctly. They mainly ate pork during festivals, yet bloggers have tried to make out they spent their life eating pork chops for dinner and drenched their food in lard. Heres a survey from what they ate in 1950

Screennamerequired said…
Yeah, I think barry groves was fond of those desperate attempts at rationalizing high fat diets.
Screennamerequired said…
I really feel stupid for being duped by the large paleo bloggespher. Or that I trusted these sources had come to their conclusions with no bias, manipulation or outright lies. Even ones like Colpo, masterjohn, Kurt harris, Kresser are total confusionists tied to the cause personally financially or just for there love of butter and fat.

Kresser did post series about LDL-p and didn't even seem to acknowledge that so many paleo dieters have high Lld-p because the saturated fats in their diet cause their ldl and ldl-p to rise. Then you have people getting advanteced testing which is basically useless to a person with a LDL of 250, because no matter the particle size their particle count is going to be high with a LDL that high
carbsane said…
I don't recall that one. I have PHD in ebook form will try to search in it/them later.
Sanjeev Sharma said…
Paul wrote it in a blog post or a comment of some kind (maybe even a guest article somewhere), I doubt it was in the book
Screennamerequired said…
I kind of cringe when I hear these people "trying to find common" ground. I mean, it sounds all very nice and civil but lets be real. One side argues that carbs, starches and fruits are the foundations of all health populations and that fat/meat/dairy is making us sicker and the other is arguing that carbs and starches are making us sick and that the foundation of the diet should be fat/meat and dairy. Jimmy kept bringing up refined carbs and sugars (which happen to be laced with just as many fat calories, btw) as part of the problem which is true, but that's not at all what Dr Mcdougall recommends.

I think the both had a pretty poor showing in that interview but Mcdougall did shut him down pretty well when Jimmy tried to imply the inuit had robust health. He also had a point that he had treated hundreds of patients just like jimmy with "deranged metabolisms" worse than his and helped them towards health. I'm sure a well constructed mcdougall style diet would do wonders for jimmy if he was willing to break his fatty food addiction. He should do one as one of his n=1, but i'm sure it would be horribly bias and he'd call it a failure if his HDL dropped 5 points.
Screennamerequired said…
I don't know why people track their weight so closely. There's simpler options like belt sizes and flexing your stomach and feeling the amount of flab in that area. Weight tracking can be useful if you're very overweight and it's tracked on a personal graph, but minor fluctuations are mostly due to other things. I used to only consume a few glasses of black coffee during the day but pee out about 2 litres. Then I would of rehydrated and had a meal and been up 3 pounds. It's all irrelevent when your aim is fat loss.
Screennamerequired said…
That's the thing with CICO. People just don't understand it or try to categorize it as a diet. When it's basically a simplified process that needs to be manipulated for weight loss/gain, however you choose to go about it.
carbsane said…
This "common ground" thing also ends up giving folks this wishy-washy we-are-all-paleo movement where everyone hawks everyone else's books and gives them 5S reviews on Amazon and don't challenge anything. And like you say, when the basics are so different, there's really no common ground to be found.

My problem with any of these diets is the non-science based arguments for avoiding X. There was a post came across paleobuzz yesterday because apparently in a newsletter WAPF said they aren't paleo and this paleo disagrees. Last I checked grains = carbage = empty calories + toxins = evil and sprouted grains are no better. That's the paleo stance. That is not WAPF.

If you spend half your time demonizing every other food as toxic, you can't say "it's OK if YOU eat that" without muttering under your breath "if you want to die" because that's how you feel.
Sanjeev Sharma said…
When some folks play devil's advocate it really behooves the devil to tell them

thanks but ... jeez, JUST STOP.
Nigel Kinbrum said…
To be fair to Dr B G, she's referring to a study of the Okinawan diet in the 1970's, not the 1950's. If you read the comments, she also states that lard is ~50% mono fats, so she knows that "high sat fat" is relative, rather than absolute. But yeah, some of the text is wrong (e.g. low-carb).
Yup, wrong by quite a massive margin.

What's more interesting is the fighting between the high-carb and low-carb camps over the '70s diet. Because many of the high-carb advocates argue that what was seen in the '70s was actually a change in diet--contrasted by the '50s--that resulted in a decline in health and longevity statistics.

Centenarians are an interesting bunch. Sure, we could learn quite a bit about them by observing that they're doing at the time, but I think I'd put more stock, if I had to, in the strategy that got them there in the first place.
Colin P. Müller said…
Over-consumption of processed foods and sedentary behavior is what has led to the obesity epidemic.
Correlation is not causation. During that time Atkins sold 60 million books. The fattest part of the country eats the most fat.

Why Southerners Are So Fat Click Here

Gluttony is a good thing in many ways. Sure the South is backwards and racist and homophobic but boy can those good old boys and girls eat. Their gluttony and morbid obesity fuels the economy.
Why Southerners Are So Fat Click Here

Southerners eat a lot of fat and they are ENORMOUS!
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