Ancestral Diet Dishonesty -- Hawaiian Edition

Forget the paleo diet for a moment here. Let's face it, nothing in the modern interpretations ever really came close to whatever that was anyway.

Forget hunter gatherers for a moment here.  Let's face it, these cultures are isolated and generally irrelevant in every way to the "modern" agricultural world.

Let's even forget the diets of cultures around the globe from 300 or so years ago on back.  Most corners of the world were "contaminated" by trade and transplantation of foodstuffs, livestock and plant species not indigenous to various regions.   

No ... I'm talking about traditional regional diets that persisted in practice from the relatively recent past -- within a few hundred years -- through to a few generations ago.  

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How about such diets in cultures that occupied regions that we now call the United States of America?  One of the most disgusting (IMO) things about the so-called "ancestral" health advocates is their exploitation of traditional cultures to drive their agenda.  That would be bad enough, but they don't just exploit them, they routinely misrepresent the nature of the diets consumed and then fashion their own dietary recommendations that bear little resemblance to the true diets.  Oh but their diets were inspired by such and such!

So next week there will be an online summit -- Reversing Diabetes World Summit -- co-hosted by none other than Jimmy Moore!  (don't get me started there ...)  There have been a couple of free sneak peeks including this one by an Asylum fave, Dr. Cate Shanahan.

The interviewer goes through her usual bio with the "she studied ethnobotany and her healthiest patients' culinary habits in Hawaii" schtick.   At about the 1m:30s mark here are my quick notes (not official transcript):
  • When she relocated to Hawaii, state with the longest lifespan in US realized she was immersed in culture of healthy people who could teach her the secrets "genetic wealth"
  • Strong joints, fertility, no gray to 50 yrs, strong nails, limbs proportioned according to "golden ratio", long nose, high cheek bones, full lips, strong jaw 
  • Reminds me (interviewer?) of hunter gatherer cultures around the world where people eat traditional diet and maintain health
  • Her patients were employed in resorts, women in their 50's and 60's worked all day long, lifting, bending, scrubbing, reaching who would then go home and keep on working, make dinner for family and chase grandkids
  • These women had beautiful skin, supple joints, few if any grays
  • Each one had been raised in a rural area, raised as their parents and grandparents had been, on home grown fresh foods, prepared using simple traditional recipes
There is a very strange obsession with beauty and ratios of measurements and bone structure and all that with this woman, and she and her husband dedicate quite a bit of ink to that in Deep Nutrition.  Whether or not there is anything to this and some correlation between beauty and health, I think we can all agree that at this point there's nothing short of surgery any of us can do about most of that stuff.   Genetic wealth??   We have whatever jackpot we were going to have at conception.  So I don't really know what this has to do with diet and health in the present, but ....

Dr. Cate was practicing medicine in rural Hawaii?  Treating healthy middle aged women who wouldn't have needed her doctoring anyway .... Ummm ....

Later in the interview she goes into her low carb, moderate protein, high fat diet schtick.  Fat is where it's at for Cate, 50% or more the better!  She sneaks fermented foods and bone broth in there too.   Only athletes should consume more than 25% carb or protein in their diets.  Sugar is sugar, so once it's in you, your body can't tell if it came from a Twinkie or a potato.  Processing does stuff to proteins and enzymes and ... Oh I can't bother.  Her biochemistry and nutrition is so backwards it is beyond words, and yet she is teaming with Mark Sisson to do metabolic counseling!   Maybe they can get a Laker to do promos.  But I digress.  Anyone who reads her book and still considers her a reputable source of information discredits themselves.  Yes ... it is that bad!

So first, let's get some facts straight.  Hawaii does indeed have the longest average life expectancy in the US (oddly enough Latinos residing there have the lowest life expectancy for any state where itemized, Asians have higher life expectancies in all states where reported but not so much in Hawaii).    I can't get the full text for these but, I think the abstracts give enough information to realize that the Native Hawaiians fare relatively poorly in the longevity department where statistics Shanahan is citing are concerned.
Life tables by ethnic group for Hawaii, 1980:  "Results show that: 1) female life expectancy at birth is 81 1/2 years; 2) male life expectancy is 75 years; and 3) life expectancy by ethnic group shows Chinese and Japanese rank the highest, Filipinos next highest, Caucasians and others have the next highest, and Hawaiians and part Hawaiians have the lowest. It is clear that marked mortality differentials remain between ethnic groups and between the sexes in Hawaii."
Life and death in Hawaii: ethnic variations in life expectancy and mortality, 1980 and 1990: "Life expectancy in Hawaii is among the highest in the nation. Past research, however, found significant ethnic differences in longevity. This study presents life expectancy estimations for 1980 and 1990, along with ethnic differences in mortality rates for specific causes of death. The findings suggest that ethnic differences continue, with Chinese and Japanese having the longest life expectancy and Native Hawaiians having the shortest."
No doubt some degree of Westernizing of their diet factors in here, but let's put another oft-misrepresented traditional culture twist on this tale.  Do you suppose the migration of Okinawans to Hawaii might factor in on this slightly?  

Aaaanywaaaay.  Let us presume that native Hawaiians consuming their native diet would be healthy and all else being equal fare well in Hawaii to this day (or at least until Cate returned to the mainland).  What was their diet?  High fat?  Lotsa butter, broth and 'bucha?  Oh of course not silly.  

The Waianae Diet Program is a community-based intervention strategy designed to be culturally appropriate by using a pre-Western-contact Hawaiian diet to reduce chronic disease risk factors in Native Hawaiians.  This paper describes a trial of the traditional Hawaiian diet fed ad libiturn to Native Hawaiians with multiple risk factors for cardiovascular disease to assess its effect on obesity and cardiovascular risk factors.  Twenty Native Hawaiians were placed on a pre-Western-contact Hawaiian diet for 21 d. The diet was low in fat (7%), high in complex carbohydrates (78%), and moderate in protein (15%).  Participants were encouraged to eat to satiety.  Average energy intake decreased from 10.86 Mi (2594 kcal)/d to 6.57 MJ (1569 kcal)/d.   Average weight loss was 7.8 kg and average serum cholesterol decreased 0.81 mmol/L from 5.76 to 4.95 mmol/L. Blood pressure decreased an average of 11.5 mm Hg systolic and 8.9 mm Hg diastolic.
Someone alert Sally Fallon Morell or Stephanie Seneff.  There has GOT to be a saturated fat deficiency thing going on here!!
The selection of food for the program consisted of foods available in Hawaii before Western contact, such as taro (a starchy root-like potatoes), poi (a mashed form of taro), sweet potato, yams, breadfruit, greens (fern shoots and leaves of taro, sweet potato, and yams), fruit, seaweed, fish, and chicken.  All foods were served either raw or steamed in a manner that approximated ancient styles of cooking.
But surely these poor folks were starving on less than 1600 cal/day!  Nope ...
Unlimited quantities of foods except fish and chicken were made available. To approximate the diet of the ancient Hawaiians, which was estimated to contain less than 10% fat, the amounts of fish and chicken were limited to a total of 142-198 g/d. The participants were required to come to the meal site twice a day.  In the morning breakfast was eaten as a group. Lunch and snacks were distributed at this time. In the evening everyone met for a cultural or health-education session during dinner.  Each day these participants were asked if they were hungry by use of a hunger-satiety scale described by Haber; if they were not satisfied, they were encouraged to eat more and to take enough snacks so that they would be fully satisfied.
As to carbs and diabetes?

Interestingly, in just 3 weeks, these subjects lost 17 lbs and saw improvements in everything ... despite consuming over 300 g carb both before and after the intervention, and although cutting around 20g carb went from roughly 50% to almost 80% of their diet.  Since Shanahan mentions fasting glucose over 90 as an early sign of trouble (Doc heal thy host ;-) ) the average in this study dropped from 8.99 mmol/L (162 mg/dL) to 6.86 mmol/L (123 mg/dL) ... ahem paging Fred Hahn!   I will be blogging on the rather exceptional results of this study in a separate post.  

If the Hawaiian women Shanahan came in contact with while doctoring there were healthy, etc. due to consuming a traditional diet, it was not anything resembling her version of WAPF-paleo-deep-in-the-woo-woods nutrition.   Remember, she was studying the culinary habits of her healthiest patients.  Ethnobotany!

So Shanahan takes her place to the right of Gary Taubes for misrepresenting her  pet culture.  I don't know, haven't seen much new or watched it from Taubes.  Does he still trot out poor "Fat Louisa" and misrepresent the Pima?    While I'm on this topic, I'm not sure exactly where to seat Paul Jaminet and claims he makes about Perfect Health Diet and traditional cultures.   In Chapter 25 the headline quote is:
The Perfect Health Diet closely resembles traditional diets of the Pacific Islands, whose inhabitants were noted for their exceptional health and beauty.
Of the Hawaiian diet he writes:
The traditional diet of the native Hawaiian consisted of taro (often prepared as poi), sweet potatoes, breadfruit, coconut, fish, squid, shellfish, pork, fowl including chicken, taro leaves, seaweed and limu (algae), and a few sweet fruits.
A famous festival hosted by King Kamehameha III in 1847 served “271 hogs, 482 large calabashes of poi, 602 chickens, 3 whole oxen, 2 barrels salt pork, 2 barrels biscuit, 3,125 salt fish, 1,820 fresh fish, 12 barrels lu’au and cabbages, 4 barrels onions, 80 bunches bananas , 55 pineapples, 10 barrels potatoes, 55 ducks, 82 turkeys, 2,245 coconuts, 4,000 heads of taro, 180 squid, oranges, limes, grapes and various fruits.” (8)   Except for the biscuits— hardly a food that would have been available seventy years earlier— these are all foods we can highly recommend. As this menu suggests, most calories came from meat, fish, taro, and coconut.  (Perfect Health Diet - Kindle Locations 4521-4528)
The edicts in PHD are very specific as regards carbohydrates, as well as his carefully laid out (though flawed on both logical and evidenciary bases) rationale for high (60+%) fat content.    While Paul recommends 100g starch per day, he cautions against too much more than that -- a caution for which he unfortunately fails to provide any evidence.  Not only does he misrepresent the Thai diet in the book, but he makes no effort to reference the usual dietary patterns of Hawaii.  A famous festival?  I mean on Christmas Eve we eat 12 dishes, all vegetarian but for two fish selections.  On Thanksgiving I serve potatoes, wild rice, sweet potatoes and stuffing, turkey and either lamb, ham or a beef roast of some sort, and at least two types of pies are served for dessert.  What does that have to do with what we actually eat on a regular basis?    I would add that this comes after a discussion of the Okinawan diet which he selectively references as being described as greasy!  (I have an interesting paper on this to blog on in the future as well.  Their diet is not meat-based low carb.)  After all of this, the section is tied up with:
We did not know when we began writing that we would be recommending the foods traditionally eaten by Pacific Islanders. We are reassured that the Perfect Health Diet, which we arrived at from our study of the scientific literature, is very similar to traditional diets known to produce superb health.
Too bad that study of the literature didn't include more on the usual traditional diets or go past the types of foods to how much of each.  I may well have missed it as well, but one simply cannot make rice based dishes on the PHD and I've yet to see much (not saying there isn't any, but much) in the way of meals involving taro or WHOLE coconut.  Has there been a paleo that eats coconuts by the way?  Or do they just save those for the chickens?  Nowadays you can get fresh coconuts year round at economical prices.   I never see a few chunks on the pages of the cook books in actual dishes!

In Conclusion ....

I just had to rant a little because I am sick of this being repeated over and over to where people parrot it about the internet as truth.  If you are going to point to an ancestral diet for guidance, then point to it accurately and fully.   You don't get to use parts of the diet (like specific foods that might be consumed) and rearrange the proportions or preparations to suit promoting your diet or guidelines.

I'm also sick of so-called experts in diabetes furthering the misinformation that carbohydrates cause diabetes and low carb is the one and only way to go with that.  Carbohydrates -- to the tune of 70-80% -- did not cause diabetes in the traditional Pima nor the native Hawaiians.  These two groups just happen to be "poster cultures" for modern diets gone wrong suffering high rates of diabetes and obesity as Western influence has changed their diets.  These cultures simply did NOT get fat and sick by trading a traditional high fat diet off for a high carb one.  

If folks like Shanahan and Cate, and all the rest of those enthralled by "ancestral" populations, believe in evolution and adaptation and turning on and off genes and whatnot, they would not be recommending their LCHF diets for these populations or anyone else.  


Radhakrishna Warrier said…
"Strong joints, fertility, no gray to 50 yrs, strong nails, limbs proportioned according to "golden ratio", long nose, high cheek bones, full lips, strong jaw"

"Long nose" :) So an overwhelming majority of Chinese would be unhealthy as they would not meet this criterion :)

Susanne said…
I suspect that this description is a WAPF dogwhistle. (If you are not familiar with the term "dogwhistle", see

Namesake Weston Price, the dentist who wandered the world in the early 20th century assessing people's health and diet by peering into their mouths (and whose book WAPFers cherrypick and ignore as it suits them) frequently described the people he studied in this manner. He appears to have been part of the then-trendy discipline of anthropometry (human measurement). Today anthropologists and archaeologists tend to find such descriptions and methods deeply creepy because of their associations with eugenics and so-called "scientific racism". See Stephen Jay Gould's "The Mismeasure of Man" for a discussion of anthropometry in historical context.
Glenn Dixon said…
Had to go look up how chickens got to Hawaii - an interesting read on Polynesian migration forensics!
Sanjeev Sharma said…
> If you are not familiar with the term "dogwhistle"

Hey, it's paleo- must be a "dog digderidoo"
Sanjeev Sharma said…
dogwhistle, google's cache
LOL! So much win inside one thread.
Rosie May said…
The Nazis sent anthropologists to Tibet to do anthropometry as part of an expedition based on some pretty weird arian occult beliefs. This idea of the perfect human and perfect human diet rolls on regardless throughout the internet and seems to be a big thing in paleo. What's the point in endlessly trying to optimise yourself anyway?
Lighthouse Keeper said…
Dingo digderidoo has a nice native canine ring to it.
Lighthouse Keeper said…
Ancestral Chemist said…
Down with carbophobia!

Although, to be completely honest, there are Polynesian cultures that eat high-fat diets. Just not Kitavans, Okinawans, or Hawaiians.

In my opinion, the worst kind of misappropriation is when the paleos go out and say "the Plains Indians ate lots of red meat, so we should too." The subtext being: "I don't actually want to engage with real Indians of the sort that are actually around today. I'd rather entertain fantasies about a Paleolithic time when everything was perfect."

This whole Paleo thing is basically nineteenth-century-style noble savage worship except with the racist connotiations more deeply buried.
Susanne said…
Thank you! I think I have fixed it.
Bris Vegas said…
The Great Plains Indians stuff is mostly historical fantasy. Many tribes adopted a nomadic hunter-gather lifestyle AFTER European settlement. Guns and horses made nomadic bison hunting vastly easier Before that many of these "hunter-gatherer" tribes lived in semi-permanent settlements and relied heavily on agriculture for their food.
Bris Vegas said…
In the early 20th century anthropologists frequently considered tribal
to be morally, intellectually and physically superior to Westerners.

The Eugenics movement was primarily concerned with culling "defective"
people of European origin. It was not about eliminating tribal people. [eg KKK leader David Duke has publicly supported the rights of Australian
Aborigines for many years.]

The average urban Westerner 100 years
ago was a pitiful physical specimen, malnourished and disease ridden.
10% of men had syphilis, TB was rampant. Many people were crippled by
polio and rheumatic fever. Dentistry mostly consisted of pulling out the
(many) rotten teeth of sufferers.

During WW1 and WW2 about 1/4 of men failed their medical examinations for military service (despite very entry low standards).
carbsane said…
I suspect it's a strange blend between what you say Susanne and being introduced to Dr. Marquardt in some manner. They write about this plastic surgeon guy quite a bit in Deep Nutrition.

RIght now this is featured on her blog:

And she seems to like to scrutinize celeb siblings to "prove" her second sibling theory vis a vis beauty

Screennamerequired said…
misinterpreitng diets is the name of the game. The Okinawans were known for their pork, They even cited an old magazine article saying that their foods were "greasy". Just dismiss the fact that the okiananwas ate an extremly high starch diet.

Their festivals probably included fatty festival foods. But the reason the island was known for their pork was because that's the animal they butchered during the festival. When you look at the annual consumption of pork compared to the japanese they did surpass them, but only in the tune of 30g a day, mixed in with their starches and whatever other foods they consisted off

Paul Jaminet trying to claim that these festival diets validates his diet is almost comical. I'm assuming the crossed the deadly 30% carbohydrate margin by quite and extent when they were eating their day-to-day diet.
rudyInLA said…
Well said as usual Evelyn! I think and say that so much I need to come up with an acronym for it. Potatoes and Twinkies are the same? Dig it! I'll take the Twinkie! OK not really know. I have a sad prediction that may end up having a silver lining. JM will be on Dr. Oz this year or maybe next. We'll see! If they leave his views on butter in there, it'll be all over for JM. If his blood numbers and weight come up, he's toast as well. I'm gonna' pop if hear about that stupid bone broth again! It's all over the Internet as a cure for everything! I is think we used to call it soup stock but I don't really know what goes into the official bone broth. Finally, just a note from Wikipedia ( yeah I know....Wikipedia....) "The residents of the state of Hawaii consume the most Spam per capita in the United States. Hawaiian Burger King restaurants began serving Spam in 2007 to compete with the local McDonald's chains.[15][16] In Hawaii, Spam is so popular it is sometimes referred to as "The Hawaiian Steak".[17] One popular Spam dish in Hawaii is Spam musubi, where cooked Spam is combined with rice and nori seaweed and classified as onigiri.[18]" and "On average, each person on Guam consumes 16 tins of Spam each year and consumption is similar in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Hawaii, and Saipan, the CNMI's principal island." Off topic but still interesting. McDougall uses Hawaiian references a lot as well and his advice is all carbs all the time. So again, chose your dogma or better yet, ignore all dogma.
David Duke and his ilk have always supported separatism, and a core PR benefit/incidental fallout of that is that these groups usually end up supporting all kinds of foreign cultures and ethnic people in a firm bid to keep them foreign and excluded while coming across as reasonable only to the most gullible. Consider Hitler's relationship with the Islamic element of the Middle East. Ergo, I wouldn't read too much good will into what is clearly political lip-service on the part of David Duke and others of like minded mentality. Many other proponents of Eugenics, including celebrated figures such as Churchill had rather capriciously dismissive stuff to say about the natives of both the Americas and Australia; that it's a shame that they had to suffer in order to be replaced by superior people.

Eugenics will remain at its fundamentals and cultural eros, a self-indulgent, unscientific pursuit of grandiosity, pathetically dolled up to conceal the blood stains of ignorance and bigotry.
Yeah, McDougall does reference the Japanese influence in Hawaii. Although to be fair, McDougall's dogma is in *much closer* proximity--pretty much there just without the absolute veganism--to the traditional Polynesian diet of the region when it came to the healthier generations than what Shanahan's arguing regarding their traditional habits in support of her strange take on paleo.

At least the baseless caveman speculation can be humoured for a few minutes before dismissal, but outright misrepresenting a rather recent aspect of reality really does take the game to a whole new level. It's Taubes' Pima example all over again.
Hello_I_Love_You said…
During her interview with Jimmy Moore about cholesterol, she pooh-poohed LDL-P and what that represents, claiming that "TG/HDL" is the most important marker. Well, yeah, if you're a lower-carber, I suppose. She was among a half-dozen, fat-friendly family physicians that Jimmy plucked from obscurity for his Cholesterol Clarity book. Listen to some of these people: the deer in the headlight silence that you encounter when Jimmy asks, so what do you think is more harmful, high LDL-P, high ApoB or low particle size? That's when you realize these GPs know even less than Jimmy.

No wonder she'd fall for the folly of Fibonacci. What people don't understand is that doctors, unless they work in specialized fields, can be as clueless about cholesterol as lay people. They're clinicians; biochemistry was back in college. The website shows that she lists her specialty as "Nutritional Support," "Sports Medicine," and "Weight Loss." I don't see "lipidology" nor "hypothyroidism" anywhere, even though she's been rather voluble of late regarding these topics. She accepts 13 insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. That is pretty aggressive, even for a GP, even in the age of conveyor belt medicine.
Hello_I_Love_You said…
She'll forever be known for her stupid utterance, "When I was in Hawaii, many people were from Okinawa ... so I don't believe your statistics. I just don't believe you ... The folks that were there were fishing all the time and rice is very difficult to grow. So they didn't grow much ... they ate green vegetables, some fruits ... I don't see how they would have had so much starch and also in Hawaii, I didn't see that they were so genetically adapted for high starch diets because when they started eating rice for breakfast and lunch, they got diabetes and got overweight just like everyone else."

A mindset like that naturally falls for Fibonacci, bubbles, get rich quick schemes, UFO abductions, lake monsters, and low-carbing for longevity.
MacSmiley said…
Traditional Okinawans ate 17 lbs of pork per annum. A far cry from the 180 Lbs of meat Americans eat on average every year. Not as much fish as one would expect, either: 1/2 serving per day. I think they averaged one egg per month. For the most part, they lived on nearly 2 Lbs/day of sweet potatoes.

The younger generations are eating more white rice like the rest of Japan and more "American" food. Therefore, the life expectancy figures on Okinawa is dropping precipitously as younger people die before their elders do.
This was by far one of the most hilarious denials and appeals to anecdote. "They ate such a high starch diet? omg no wai! no! i no better than u becuz i wuz there." Yeah, so was McDougall, and look what he took away from his observations. Sure, the man had a bias, but when it comes to the paper Kresser cited, McDougall's dogma certainly resonated a heck of lot better with reality than the fantasy this woman had conjured.

One could appreciate the commitment individuals like her show towards low carb, if only it didn't involve revisionist nonsense, which seems to have become a common theme these days. Stick to the science and supporting evidence and stop co-opting other, contrary stuff, into the narrative because that'll just hurt the credibility of the case being made.
Yeah, but Okinawa means land of pork, so... yeah. [/Kruse-ism]
Screennamerequired said…
Yep their annual pork consumtionw as greater than the mainlind Japan but it was still minisclue. It was prized during festivals but so what? Candy cane is prized during festivals over hear but it wasn't a daily staple. The perfect amazing couple of health have also ignored the diets that were actually prominent during their existence and daily life. It's sad how the have to be so dishonest and manipulative to sell their books. But then again, I'm not surprised.
Sanjeev Sharma said…
He does seem to match the vetted, argued scholarly material but I don't recall ever hearing or reading that he's familiar with it, from way back when I read his books & his infomercial to today's youtube
Sanjeev Sharma said…
nice alliteration.

Aren't Dingos neolithic to Australia?
I can't quite put my finger on it right now, but this has been a recurring theme in his newsletters on his website, referring to his earlier days where he dealt with Japanese migrants in Hawaii and becoming interested in their natural dietary habits and exceptional health. In other newsletters he has made references to multiple groups, including the Okinawa reference that was used by Kresser during that comical starch debate.
Sanjeev Sharma said…
>that'll just hurt the credibility of the case being made

I have ZERO psychology background - out of curiosity, is there a personality type that needs to "push output" and is highly resistant to feedback?

In my psych ignorance credibility is a complete non-issue for this profile; it's all about the pushing.

Anecdotally and IMHO the math woo force is strong with these ones.
MacSmiley said…
The math woo force. LOL
Sanjeev Sharma said…
Sally Fallon too, in a China Study critique - hers maybe reached a wider audience.

I fell for this one for a short while as part of a China study revulsion, but I must admit I was predisposed to the message at the time.
dancer80 said…
I so want to add something about dishonesty regarding traditional diets, which was the topic that led me to this blog.

I am sick of the way Asian/ Pacific Islander diets have been distorted then deliberately misrepresented to further push paleo agendas. Okinawan/ Japanese diets in early half of the 20th century which was responsible for healthy longevity, was definitely not animal protein-heavy. My grandparents ate that way most of their lives, so I know what I'm talking about. Yes pork was the preferred animal protein but it was second to fish. Even then, both sources of protein were consumed sparingly and certainly not as main dish, they were used one of multiple ingredients (mainly plant-based) that went into a dish. I lived with my grandparents for about a year when I was six years-old. A typical day's meals would be like this: Breakfast- rice or rice porridge, pickled vegetables, leftover soup or vegetable dish from last night's dinner, seasoned dried anchovies, fermented tofu cubes, maybe occasionally a fried egg from our kept hens if we didn't have leftover dish from dinner or anchovies. Lunch: sautéed green vegetables or goya sutéed with some sort of mushrooms, root vegetables, and tofu, rice or noodles in broth and more veggies, followed by assortment of fruits on a plate, for example orange slices, pear slices, mango wedges, you get the idea. Dinner: fish as the main dish served at the center of the table, if not fish then usually a stewed pork dish which my grandmother cooks a pot of (to be eaten over the next few days) and the serving for each person was not big at all, maybe half of what is considered one serving of meat (3ounces?) here today, a vegetable soup, a sautéed vegetable dish with tofu or yuba, and finally more sliced assortment of fruits after dinner. In between meals I was given snacks of more fruits and sometimes other snacks which my grandparents did not partake in. Though sometimes when the sweet potatoes peddler passed by the house, my grandmother would give me money to buy a couple for all of us to snack on.

They drank tea throughout the day, even ending it with tea when neighbors dropped by in the evening after dinner to watch tv and discuss issues of the day together. My grandmother died at age 92 and my grandfather at age 98. Aside from healthy diet, they both arose early and were physically active, either doing daily calisthenics in the courtyard or tending the vegetable and fruit gardens, sometimes these activities were supplemented by an after dinner walk if the sun was still out.
Steve G said…
And I can guarantee your grandparents did not spend minutes let alone hours a day or days on end contemplating what it was they were eating. My parents, and grandparents all lived into their 90's. I never once heard my mother talk about micro nutrients, vitamins, low carb, high carb, low fat, high fat or worry in the least about what she put on the table.

We ate what was available. I ate calves brains mixed with scrambled eggs, blood sausage, head cheese, beef kidneys, beef heart, pork ribs and cabbage that cooked all day and stunk up the house. Fried chicken every, EVERY Sunday. If we were lucky we had peach or apple cobbler. Bread and gravy was like a desert served at the end of the meal.

I remember there was a 1 gallon can that had crystallized honey in it, once in a while you would just go take a big spoonful, no worries, no thinking about calories, no obsession, no one telling you you couldn't have any.

Looking back I realize now we were eating on the cheap, I mean calves brains mixed with eggs, really?

Isn't it amazing.

dancer80 said…
No, they did not obsess over nutrients and what foods to avoid. But they and other people of similar age were aware of how much better plant-based foods were for general health, and moderated their consumptions of greasy food. For example the cooking methods would reflect this balance. So if we had sautéed vegetables, then the fish would be steamed or braised with no oil or little oil so that the meal wouldn't be too greasy. For instance seaweed soup made without oil would be paired with braised pork dish. Also for the older generation, they made it a daily goal to eat a variety of vegetables, they stressed the importance of vegetables helping with digestion. I do remember mornings spent with my grandmother as she picked vegetables from the garden or shopped for the day's vegetables at the local market, other times the neighbors would drop by and our produce would be shared. The variety of produce we ate was astounding. There would be root vegetables, gourd vegetables, leafy greens, cabbages, sea vegetables, etc.... A favorite way of cooking sweet potatoes was roasting them whole, I especially enjoyed it freshly dug up from the covered pit where they cooked slowly with hot, buried charcoal. Taro was my favorite, it had a creamier and denser texture than potatoes, and it was cooked slowly in a clay pot or they were steamed alone or with other ingredients, or they were mashed in order to be used in sweets. Contrary to being low carb, the older generation had sweet tooth, they would say things like "a person needs to eat sugar or something sweet sometimes". Sweets were made with brown sugar or sweetened adzuki bean paste. They didn't eat sweets every day or every few days but they had them regularly. Another important thing was portion size, the bowls we used for rice, I would say they held about a third of the round mound of rice we'd get today in restaurants. My grandfather used to teach us kids to only eat until we were not hungry instead of stuffing ourselves.
MacSmiley said…
Hmmm. The video is now private. I wonder why. ;-)
Sanjeev Sharma said…
> The paleo community continue to deny or gloss over this neat little danger

it's way worse than simple denial.

the militant low carb branch of the paleo movement is leveraging various tools of persuasion to convince people if the diet gets them in trouble they need to GO HARDER.
eulerandothers said…
I agree with the spam love in Hawaii. An episode of 'Top Chef' in Hawaii underscored the love for spam there. I have probably 16 tins of turkey spam in my pantry (buying from Amazon grocery does that) but that does fit in with my almost-vegetarian diet. I do eat meat once a week these days.

(Just an aside: Clinton may be vegan but he eats salmon once a week. Still, a vegan except for that one meal.)
rudyInLA said…
In my opinion, any intolerant or exclusive diet can be a dogmatic position. There are Ll types of people all over the world in many climates that over the millennia have done well or at least survived for long periods on all kinds of diets. I think I read the Chinese are repulsed by cheese in some reasons. I wouldn't eat a fried grasshopper or a goat's eye. The difference is I don't get all bent out of shape that others do eat those things. Some groups have a reputation, whether deserved or not, for being downright militant about their diets. No sugar coating it......IMO they're nuts. Now, in some the condition appears temporary through choice or default (illness forces changes) or a return to sanity when their gurus jump the shark. An example is if my Fearless Leader ate a stick of butter and pretended to like it or say it's like a Snickers bar is almost a litmus test for insanity or near criminal deception. Just my opinion again and I think it's as valid as any genius living on bananas or butter or kale.
rudyInLA said…
JM. Saving lives one stick of butter at a time! Bet his room has a locked fridge with "secret foods" in it. Just speculating.
Lighthouse Keeper said…
Being a dog lover I had to look into this, It's not very clear cut but it seems that DNA research places their appearance in Australia from between five thousand to ten and a half thousand years ago. They have however appeared in many cave paintings and you can't get much more paleo than that. Let's leave the final decision to the AHS 14 veterinary panel.
dancer80 said…
Exactly. I get angry when I see those advice offered to people who place trust in self-styled experts with either economic motives and/ or dogmatic beliefs unhampered by good science. Telling people with health concerns or real, health issues to up their fat intake, especially saturated fat intake, to above 60-70% of diet, is so repulsively irresponsible. Making people feel guilty for eating fruits that are not low-carb approved, by equating eating fruits to having sugary drinks, encouraging the eating of huge portions of animal protein at each and every meal, and saying such mantras like there is no danger in overeating animal protein but plants on the other hand... They use scare tactics to make people be afraid of so-called antinutrients in plants, with soybean foods as their favorite whipping boy. Food made from whole soybeans such as tofu, which has been part of Japanese and Chinese diets since ancient times, got lumped together with soy junk food made from isolated soy protein. Once I dared to saying something pro-whole food soy, and was derided in an almost ethnically/ racially insensitive way. But when it was brought to attention that peanut butter was from ahem, legumes, and contained possible aflatoxin and bad omega 6 ratio.....well the same paleo folks who derided me for eating tofu (which I said I had grown up eating) were then posting comments like "I cannot give up PB because it's a comfort food I'd grew up with" or "I love PB so I'm willing to take the small risk". Talk about ethnocentric.

Paleo community have been taken over by dogmatic people who cling onto paleo dictates in a way not unlike religious fervor. Case in point, getting mad at someone like me who admitted to eating tofu. Me, even though I don't eat meat, I have no problem with others who eat meat, because I'm a reasonable person who doesn't use restrictive, dietary lifestyle to preach to and deride others for not joining in their superior religion.
Karen Norris said…
Dancer! That's a lot of tofu. Is this something else I have to unlearn?
Hello_I_Love_You said…
It's not just a love fest with fats. Paleo is basically a low-carb Blood Sugar Cult. It's a cult started by the likes of Feynman, De Vany, Cordain, Bernstein, Rosedale, and Wolf, whose knowledge is limited to BG Control = Health. That's all they know. Once you chip away at that, Paleo has no legs. That's the reason why the Blood Sugar Cult keeps shifting the optimal A1c range lower and lower. 4.6-5.2 is optimal; the Blood Sugar Cults says, heck no, it's 4.0-4.3. 4.0? That's like a mean BG of 66. You can't be 4.0 and healthy; you have to be seriously hypoglycemic.

Then, when they start VLCing for a long time, they end up with dysregulated cortisol like Jimmy Moore, which tends to raise BG. No one told them that VLCing wrecked their hormones and diabetes could result from untreated cortisol dysregulation. This is taken as a sign that they must increase the fat, lower protein, courtesy of Nora Gedgaudaus. I've seen a few actually that ended up with Cushing's and subsequently became diabetic. If only these people knew just how badly they've wrecked their hormones and immune system.
Bris Vegas said…
"so what do you think is more harmful, high LDL-P, high ApoB or low
particle size? That's when you realize these GPs know even less than

You may be surprised to know that in most countries these tests are considered to be worthless and not even offered by pathology laboratories. Leading cardiologists (except in the US) are far more interested in your blood pressure and weight than any lipid subfractions.
Bris Vegas said…
The traditional Okinawan diet was 80-90% carbohydrate and practically devoid of fat.
Bris Vegas said…
Dingos are more or less identical to the street dogs of South East Asia and the Indian pariah dogs. Many Australians are suprised to see 'dingoes' when they visit Thailand on holiday.
carbsane said…
Yes ;-) Tofu is very common and the demonization of soy is another thing that hammers away at the "ancestral" cred of the paleos.
carbsane said…
Welcome! I'm so happy to provide a platform where your comments here can reach a wider audience as well. For all the paleo "big tenting" going on, there remains little room for the real dietary practices of the cultures they rip off :(
rudyInLA said…
This story is in my mind close to mine. After being diagnosed type 2 diabetic years ago, I stumbled upon Atkins after deciding I wasn't going to take 2 pols a day forever or worse. So it "worked." My blood sugars went to normal with no mess and pretty quickly too. Anyway, I overdid it and just the thought of a carb scared me. So years later, I was VERY tired, had lost a lot of muscle mass, and literally used to have the thought "I feel like my fire is going out." I literally thought that. One day my brother saw me without my usual bulky sweatshirt that I always wore 99% of the year. I was always cold.....always. He had a look of horror on his face. He was POSITIVE I had cancer or some other horrible disease. I went home, looked in the mirror and at recent pics of myself. I was "cured." I went to a nutritionist, who literally told me I was starving, and working with her, I went back to a normal diet that first day. She was surprised because she thought I had an eating disorder and wouldn't be able to overcome it. She was wrong. I was simply ignorant. Anyway, 4 years later, I'm fine. No more dogma, no more gurus, no more being horrified at any food group or food, and no more tolerating any genius advice from nitwits on the web or in books. I have to bite my tongue whenn I even talk about these guys. They're actually horrible people, even if they mean well. They don't know anything, and most of them are terrifying looking on their "secret lifestyles." The ones that seem to look healthy, well, I don't believe they live as they tell us to live. Evelyn, you should delete this post or mention as you see fit, but the latest Podcast of asuagr Radio, which you turned me on to, is excellent in discussing this. Anyway, sorry I used so much. electronic ink here, but this is a real sore spot with me. I don't like agendas designed to optimize bank balances of gurus. I wish supplements were regulated and half these jokers would disappear.
Tsimblist said…
I prefer tempeh. It is a fermented whole food. Even though tofu is a traditional food, there seems to be a lot of processing.
carbsane said…
It's been bugging me .... I couldn't remember where she said those things ... thank you!!

Here's the other thing that I just put my finger on -- Mr. Greasy Okinawans, Paul Jaminet is no advocate of the pig!

rudyInLA said…
I wish there was a way to listen to JM podcasts without him getting credit for clicked listeners. There is one up there now on LLVLC ( I blame you guys for "making" me listen to this!) where they talk about a potato as being a supplement and fiber and resistant starch being a "therapy." The name of the websites these idiots run is hilarious. it's worth listening to the first 5 minutes just to hear the names of these websites. 2 nobody nitwits, saying almost nothing and what little they do say being comically stupid and idiotic. Just too much.
dancer80 said…
Yes indeed soy foods were eaten every day, soy milk and various forms of tofu. These are all made from whole soy, not the isolated soy protein/ soy protein isolate infamous in studies which purports to show how bad eating soy can be. Even those studies, which paleo folks fail to acknowledge, were studies in which mice were fed incredibly large amounts of isolated soy protein equivalent to human ingestion of tens of pounds+ per day. The ones that didn't use ISP had their results twisted or cherry-picked out of context to show deleterious effects of soy, the one supposedly about men growing moobs and having other feminizing effects come to mind. I remember paleo community having a field day with that one.

On paper what I described looks like a lot of soy. But I should explain more in detail. The fermented tofu, one serving of that is like maybe 1/2 to 1 inch square because it's rather salty, that's why it's considered a condiment. The tofu is usually the firm variety, so it lends itself well to cooking methods like sautéing and braising. So tofu is not served like it is here as a big chunk of grilled something or as ersatz meat substitute. Rather, tofu is cubed, sliced, mashed, be used as one of the ingredients in a dish. Though sometimes it is not rare to sit down to enjoy a small block serving of fresh tofu Japanese style, that is cold and seasoned with citrus sauce and sliced ginger or green onions. The yuba, or tofu skin, again is sliced into strips for sautées. People didn't eat ginormous amounts of it just as they didn't eat ginormous amounts of meat. I would guess the older folks ate about one serving of soy everyday, many ate two servings a day from what I gather then and now, especially the oldest of the old folks, but I think personally it's just due to the really old folks losing their teeth so meat becomes harder to chew.

Okinawans, Japanese, and Chinese have been eating tofu, yuba, fermented soy foods since ancient times. When my relatives came here to visit, in the 90s when Boca burger and other ISP ersatz meat foods were all the rage here among vegetarians, they were all grossed out by that stuff. I never cared for that junk either. Believe me, when you have tasted traditional, freshly made tofu, soy milk, or yuba, you will not eat those junk soy products.

From my experiences in Japan, people there eat a lot more soy foods (but still whole soy foods not ISP) than the Okinawans. Fruit is very expensive in Japan so people eat more veggies than fruit there. In Okinawa the fruit prices are not as high as they are in mainland Japan so Okinawans enjoy more fruits than their mainland counterparts. So within greater Japan there are differences which account for longevity.
carbsane said…
And amazingly they are able to reproduce. Stefani Ruper, paleo female endocrinology expert, would say otherwise :p

It's interesting that soy was historically used in LC products for decades ... likely ISP in many/most ... and yet people lost weight and hailed the glories of low carb nonetheless. IOW, things blamed on soy these days by the paleo low carbers or is that the low carbers gone paleo simply lack credibility.

I am curious ... what is your experience with the shirataki or konjac noodles? I used to get them when I was LC and found limited uses for them. I find it odd how something that requires Ca(OH)2 to even exist. Further these have zero nutritional value (perfect for low anything dieters) . Our Asian markets carry huge varieties of these noodles but I have NEVER seen anyone actually perusing the case let alone buying the stuff. Are they really eaten in Japan?
Karen Norris said…
I hadn't thot of how they ran the tests. My daughter is def not LC and won't eat it because of all she has read bad about it.
Is the tofu one buys at a grocery store near as good as the "real" stuff? I found when I've tried it that it sits like a lump in my stomach. I'm wondering like Ev about the noodles
Thank you so much
MacSmiley said…
Rosedale denies the high carb nature of the traditional Okinawan fare as well in this panel discussion, claiming they eat mostly fish and green vegetables. Where do they come up with these ideas?
The funny thing is that all these very reductive, compartmentalised blog posts and assurances completely disintegrate into dust matter the moment one tries to reconcile them with reality. In fact, they get destroyed just the same when one attempts to reconcile them with other notions by the same authors.

When it comes to PHD, I think the authors do argue that the diet is a fusion of the positive aspects of various diets and that its blueprint cannot be centred around any one culture, hence the 'perfect' in the title. Meaning that the Okinawan concept (Revisionist Edition), only supports his idea to an extent, but then he gets the rest of it right where those poor saps were so woefully wrong. This then raises the question: Aside from being a more moderate form of a low-carb diet, what is so special and certain about this dietary mantra?

One can't just pick and chose sections of various successful cultures without properly explaining away other aspects that have been excluded. For example (and this is just my example): taking selective sections of the Okinawan diet and then fusing it with a very high fat intake on grounds that another culture, such as the Scandinavians, ate a lot of fat and did okay, is some serious reaching. The often infatuated Swede example of fat intake also raises its own questions since the country's overall economic standing, opulence--even through the second world war--and quality of life play a serious confounding role in the equation. They're definitely doing okay for a variety of other reasons that even some of the developed countries would consider a luxury and I would be curious to see how well this pans out long term since they have had a rising lipid rate and BMI in recent times.

At this point, one is just rationalising away the gaping holes in their own thesis and this eventually transforms solid, firm notions into vague and often meaningless metaphors that lack any substance or distinctive features that merit their unique place in the market of ideas.
dancer80 said…
I think it's best not to trust the scaremongering of quacks such as Dr. Mercola, Weston Price Foundation, and their vehement bloggers who act as anti-soy mouthpieces. Scaremongering tactics grab people's attention and fill them with doubt which sets into fear and then avoidance of such foods. Most people also do not dig further and read or follow up on questionable studies cited or studies which were intentionally twisted by paleo community in order to show how bad certain group of food are. Soy happens to fit into their animal protein is best-theory because soy is one of the most studied foods, thus there are studies to be extrapolated for use by both paleo folks and vegans. I too have friends who became scared of eating soy since reading online blogs and stories saying how eating soy will kill them.

I always tell my friends when they ask me, to follow the actual research studies, if they don't have a background in science, I link them the abstracts of studies or tell them to look up abstracts of cited studies. Get comfortable in discerning between hype, flawed/ misleading studies and what is considered good science/ solid research. One really does not need to have a science background to do just that, one only needs some further self-education in basic research protocol, it comes in handy when bombarded with headline hypes or scaremongering be it from bloggers or news sources.

Back to soy, let's step back and appreciate the fact that soy has been part of the staple diet in Asia especially China and Japan since ancient times. In Japan especially so, since meat-eating was considered taboo until fairly recent history. Thus in Japan they have a history of soy food culture where nothing is wasted in making soy products. For example in making tofu, you get byproduct soy milk then from soy milk you get yuba skin. Afterwards the ground soybean mush can be eaten and in fact it is used in many appetizer dishes. Then there are fermented soy foods which are interesting as well. In Japan, often tofu is one of the first foods a baby learns to eat. We drank soy milk on regular basis too. Now that is not to say soy milk should be substituted for babies, not at all. The problem I see is when a healthy food is "steroidized" as I like to call it, into the end all and be all. Individual nutrients are isolated from it or proteins isolated from it, to the point that it is no longer whole, healthy food. It doesn't help matters when headline-grabbing study about dangers of soy causing cancer grabs our attention.

For instance there was a study saying just that, according to paleo people. But then when you read the research, you realize that it was genistein, an isolated component of soy, which was extracted and given in huge amounts to laboratory mice. Well duh, of course they grew tumors! What if I isolated carnitine from meat, fed to mice in large amounts over a period of time, would I expect them to grow tumors? I would hypothesize yes to that. So you see, that is just one example of overreaching and deceptive science. If eating soy was so awful on health, we would see Japan as the most unhealthy nation in the world, with babies and children developing mental/ cognitive dysfunctions, men walking around with moobs, and cancer rates skyrocketing, to name just a few things attributed to soy dangers.

A lot of the time we in the West tend to view things in terms of more is better. Eating 1-2 servings of soy a day is fine, but eating 5-6 or more a day or in isolated forms of soy protein I think is unwise not to mention uninteresting for one's diet. I also think that a lot of the anti-soy sentiment is a pushback against those disgusting ISP products being promoted as healthy food which it certainly is not. In that regard the debate has been good, but it's sad that the truth got lost and the real issues got twisted and exploited by paleo propaganda.
dancer80 said…
Sorry I forgot to answer your question about tofu. Yes freshly made traditional tofu and soy milk is unlike what we find in our supermarkets here. But I would suggest buying the organic tofu if you can. I find that they are often better made and taste more like the fresh stuff.

If you have trouble with tofu "sitting in stomach" then maybe try firmer Nigiri type tofu? I cut firm tofu into small cubes and use it in curry, it is delicious because not only does it holds its shape but also absorbs the curry sauce. On the flip side I know someone who cannot digest firm tofu as well as softer (more water/ unpressed) variety. Another way I use firm Nigiri tofu is I slice one serving (a small thin square block) of it, sautée with celery, green leafy veggie, garlic, and carrots, so good with rice or just on its own.

I find this to be quite funny, this is on soy research.
dancer80 said…
Ah yes the feminization of men was of huge concern to paleo He-men community, it sort of fit into the macho undertone of the community. I did not see them link to anything which contradicts or corrects that "men growing moobs on soy" study.

About shirataki noodles or konnyaku blocks that I see both in Asian grocery stores and in regular supermarkets here, that's a very interesting question. There are some shirataki noodles here that are made from tofu and konjac, but I'm assuming you mean the original kind of shirataki noodles made from konjac plant? In Japan there are many more varieties of konnyaku, many of them regional takes on the same theme, like different flavorings added or different textures. Yes people do eat konnyaku in Japan but more often they buy the block form and slice them to be used in dishes. Konnyaku is best that way in my opinion, in stews where it can soak up the flavoring of the stew. Stir frying it is another popular option, though you almost have to
dancer80 said…
Sorry I clicked post before finishing.

I was going to say stir frying you almost have to over-season a bit because konnyaku unlike tofu, does not soak up flavors as quickly. Also in Japan many foods are not eaten simply for taste but for the texture. Konnyaku is one of those foods. To Westerners it is bouncy, jelly-like yet firm. It kind of goes with the Japanese taste for bouncy (best I can describe it) mouthfeel, and why they love to use agar-agar in desserts and sweets.
rudyInLA said…
I have bought the no tofu version of the Konjac noodles. I like them! People complain about the smell but I didn't find it offensive at all and your supposed to rinse the hell out of them anyway. They are great stirred into vegetable dishes. The don't taste like pasta and I didn't expect them to. They have a texture but their taste seems to be totally derived from what the added foods are. I use a lot of Asian spices! Now you've motivated me to buy some this weekend!
ZM said…

Keep in mind though that this was authored by a vegetarian with obvious conflicts:

"M.M. regularly consults for companies that manufacture and/or sell soyfoods and/or isoflavone supplements, and he is the executive director of the Soy Nutrition Institute, a science-based organization that is funded in part by the soy industry and the United Soybean Board."

Others are more cautious -
Hello_I_Love_You said…
It's really unfortunate that diabetics think their only choice is VLCing. What they're not understanding is that carb restriction could eventually wreck their hormones; you might avoid typical diabetic complications from hyperglycemia. But you're switching one poison for another. And you might actually become insulin depleted early, as insulin sensitivity erodes and cortisol runs amok as your body interprets carb restriction as starvation.

Think about any service provider monitored by the Better Business Bureau. You have a few rats running around your house so you call an exterminator. Instead of using conventional rat poison, the exterminator uses his patented poison mix called VLC, which he claims works 100% better than competition. You see that the rats are gone. But a few months later, you find out that you've been invaded by termites because the poison called VLC chemically attracts another type of pest; soon your foundation is giving way and your house is ruined.

If something like this happened, not only would you call BBB or the Board of Health, the District Attorney's office or hire an attorney for fraud. That's the situation here. Unfortunately, some of these gurus are doctors are very glib and clever at hiding the underside of VLCing. They'll recycle customers, who'll rave about weight loss initially. Many are medically illiterate so they will shrug off cold hands, low body temperature and other signs of hormonal dysfunction. It's the ones that stick with it long-term like diabetics who end up with permanent damage. Michael Edes is very clever playing dumb and playing to the uninitiated converts whenever charges of side effects are leveled against him. Fraud is not a strong charge to level against these guys. If enough people focused and did something, they can and will bankrupt these charlatans.
dancer80 said…
Yes and it is noted for us to see. But does the research reflect possible bias? I don't believe so. Many of the nuts-are-healthy research are funded by the nuts industry, but are we to throw out the positive research data linking moderate nuts consumption to healthy diet? I personally don't believe so either, provided the funding is transparent and the methodology used are within accepted protocol.

The links you have provided tell of caution for infant soy formulas and raised unanswered questions about hormone disruptors, which were not addressed by the study. Most of the scaremongering by bloggers and quack physicians take such questions posed and then turn these questions into statements or facts. Again, soy is one of the most studied foods today, data from studies focusing on individual components of soy are often misrepresented by anti-soy paleo community. Same thing with misrepresenting soy as superfood by vegans.

The Japanese eat a lot of soy, by a lot I mean probably around 1-2 servings a day on average, everyone eats soy from babies to the elderly. Between China, Korea, and Japan which all have soy as regular part of diet, I'd say the Japanese eat the most of it. Soy has been part of Japanese and Chinese diets for at least the past millenium+. If soy was as harmful as it is made to be in the West amongst certain militant paleo crowd, we would see the health side effects there. I personally am sick of traditional/ ancestral Asian food cultures being misappropriated and cherry-picked to fit paleo agendas.
ZM said…
Dancer80: "Yes and it is noted for us to see. But does the research reflect possible bias?"

It depends. In the case of Messina, given his vegetarian agenda and strong ties to the soy industry, extra skepticism of anything he writes is needed. His job is essentially a soy promoter which he has been doing for more than 20 years. I just brought up his ties because people who cite this paper are often quick to point out potential conflicts in papers they disagree with but then ignore the blatant conflicts in the Messina paper. However, it seems that this does not apply to you.

Anyway, agreed with much of what you had to say.
Hello_I_Love_You said…
Look, bud, it's not that they're worthless. Most parts of the world don't have access nor would the insurers pay for such services. If they were made available and affordable, there are doctors who would avail their patients for such tests in a jiffy. You're reading the newsletter circulated by practitioners of family medicine. These are GPs who're barely in touch with the changing currents in lipidology. That's why they made fools of themselves on Jimmy Moore's show. Taking a lipid advice from such people is like reading last year's newspaper. With proper contexts and caveats, those tests are more predictive than simply tallying up Framingham risk scores. It's like Cate Shanahan, another practitioner of family medicine, claiming TG/HDL is everything to atherosclerosis.

Fear and the learning curve involved in grasping new concepts, and their potential conflict with the views you currently hold dear are behind such intransigence. Even if Shanahan was bright enough the grasp LDL-P, she would still have a problem since it could mean low trigs could induce atherosclerosis -- a no no, if you're devoted to low-carbing and keeping trigs low. These are differing motivations behind not embracing the latest technology. In the case you mention, it's cost and unavailability. In her case, it's fear and sheer ignorance.
rudyInLA said…
I agree with you but with a few differences. I have spent some time on diabetes forums and of course talking with doctors and endocrinologists. One thing I'll say is I don't blame the Atkins books for my longer term problems. I didn't really read the book as thoroughly as I might have and later learned that Dr Atkins indeed warns of hormone and thyroid issues in many who don't increas carbs over time. I didn't, As an American, I invoked my right of "if a little is good....more is better" and avoided carbs like the plague. My blood sugars were much improved and very within a week. my tunnel vision was my problem. The gradual decline in my overall health was quite gradual, over a year or two as I recall, so I didn't notice it until it was approaching critical mass. I can also say there is a LOT of resistance to low carb by a lot of diabetics. The terms low, moderate,high in themselves is a problem. Very vague. On the other side are people who can dissect the composition of their daily food down to what would appear to be an incredible degree. I personally could with my phone apps analyze my food but I refuse. Too much work, too vague, too nutty (no offense to those who do such things though) and I just don't think I need that precision. I know when I'm eating too much and when I'm eating something that potentially could mess me up I don't avoid any food group but I do avoid certain foods and quantities of sother foods. Balance. The way I ate when I was younger and the way my mom fed me when I was a kid. Diabetes can be scary for a lot of people and I don't begrudge their pursuits to control it better, but the guys who dispense medical advice, theory and dogma. crouching it in disclaimers so they ARE prescribing treatments and "supplements" but can't be held liable is sickening and makes me angry. They think their brilliant and their idiots. Talk to a well trained endocrinologist or doctor then listen to podcasts by these guys. The gurus understand so little of the processes they claim to be expert in. It's terrifying.....really. I personally think it's criminal in some cases.
Rosie May said…
Do you bring the same skepticism to the table for those promoting other protein sources such as grass fed meat and raw milk who may have an agenda also, ie. paleo, Weston A Price Foundation ?
ZM said…
The same standard applies to everyone.
Rosie May said…
Good, just curious!
Kevin Klatt said…
When I was in bioanthro undergrad, a few people started a "Slow Food" group and pushed all of this bs, manipulating 'traditional' diets to their basically Paleo/lowcarb agendas. Anytime I would object, they told me I was swayed by the western medical model. So frustrating. I also read 10pgs of deep nutrition - the only thing deep about it was her deep misunderstanding of Nutrition, gene expression and epigenetics.
carbsane said…
Yeah ... that book is an abomination. It is a good litmus test though! Anyone who claims to have read it and comes away with a new respect for "paleo" is a liar. It's not paleo so let's get that out of the way. Lots of it is not about nutrition per se either.

It is filled with total nonsense in 3/4 of it. Including such things as exploding HDL and fat cells that pack up shop and move to become muscle cells and vice versa throughout your body.
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