Some of the best (and worse) articles came out after the first-ever Ancestral Health Symposium (AHS), which was held in LA recently. The speaker’s list looks like the “who’s who” of diet and health experts, even though at least one of them needs to be off the list. Before we get to the AHS stuff, a quick survey of the most recent best/worst-
Best-Another Writer Figures Out That Calorie Theory is Weak:
…It’s not the calories, but rather where those calories come from, that determine whether you burn or store fat.
Let me give you two meals to drive that point home. One consists of wild salmon and steamed garlic spinach; the other includes pizza and ice cream. Both contain exactly 500 calories. Which would you bet helps you burn fat?
No contest. The high-quality protein, omega-3 fats and fiber in the nutrient-dense salmon/ spinach combo keeps you satiated, supports the maintenance and/or development of muscle and triggers your fat-burning hormones.
The carb-heavy pizza and ice cream, on the other hand, will spike your insulin and crash your blood sugar levels, leaving you hungrier, tired, nutrient-deprived and prone to weight gain.
This study supports my belief that your body is a chemistry lab and not a bank account. Calories do matter, but they hardly constitute the whole fat-burning picture…
Worst-The “Reward Theory” of Obesity:
I took the following blog (Whole Health Source) off the “Bookmarks” list on the site because of this stupid series on food rewards as an explanation of the obesity epidemic. Stephen Guyenet has lost his mind. He wrote like an 8-part series on how obesity is explained by food rewards, and he’s trying to discount some of the more recent work done by experts.
A clip from part 1:
The brain assigns reward to, and seeks out, experiences that it perceives as positive, and discourages behaviors that it views as threatening. Drugs of abuse plug directly into reward pathways, bypassing the external routes that would typically trigger reward. Although this system has been studied most in the context of drug addiction, it evolved to deal with natural environmental stimuli, not drugs.
As food is one of the most important elements of survival, the brain’s reward system is highly attuned to food’s rewarding properties…
At first glance, this makes sense, but think about it…hasn’t this always been true? What is this guy thinking? He’s trying to explain away this generation’s obesity epidemic by basically blaming people for eating what they like. If this were the real explanation, obesity would not have taken a huge jump about 1980, when the “low fat” disaster started. The low fat craze is the true answer, not “food reward.” This kid needs to go back to school and learn something this time, or just shut up about stuff he doesn’t know about until he gains some experience. It’s no wonder that Gary Taubes had to correct him at AHS, which we will get to later. Kids!
Best-Some Common Sense in Avoiding Type 2 Diabetes-
If there is any one thing you can do to avoid type 2 diabetes, reducing carbs would be that one thing. This should be obvious, but even drs are still not getting this right. It was good to see this in the Daily Mail in the UK…
‘…My doctor said if I didn’t change my lifestyle I would have full-blown diabetes in a year. I was horrified.’
Determined to avoid this, Diane put herself on a low-carbohydrate diet — within two months, she’d lost 3st and her blood sugar levels were completely normal.
‘I was delighted,’ she says.
What might surprise many is that Diane’s diet was the opposite of what’s usually recommended for diabetics (which is to eat a diet high in carbohydrates and low in fat).
But Diane’s approach was the right one — that’s because there has recently been a U-turn in the thinking about the best diet for diabetes, although few will know about it…
It’s like we are still in the stone ages or something. I just can’t believe medicine is this far behind reality.
Worst- Dumbest (and False) Reasons to Not Eat Protein:
This is just wrong-
Eating large amounts of red and processed meats is associated with higher rates of heart disease and cancer, and most nutritionists such as Marion Nestle recommend cutting back on meat, especially on fatty cuts.
However, it’s less well known that your protein choices can have a substantial impact on the environment. Meat and dairy production requires tremendous amounts of fuel, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers, and generates greenhouse gases. The Environmental Working Group’s (EWG) recently published Meat Eater’s Guide points out that if you ate once less burger a week it would be the environmentally-positive equivalent of taking your car off the road for 320 miles.
Meat is also expensive…
Worst- Fat ‘disrupts sugar sensors causing type 2 diabetes’
This is a good example of why amateurs should not try and read medical studies and write articles for the public about them, and the study is stupid anyway-
…US researchers say they have identified how a high-fat diet can trigger type 2 diabetes, in experiments on mice and human tissue.
Writing in the journal Nature Medicine, they say that fat interferes with the body’s sugar sensors.
The authors argue that a deeper understanding of the processes involved could help them develop a cure.
Diabetes UK said the study was interesting and a “theory worth investigating further”.
One of the main risk factors for type 2 diabetes is being overweight – rising obesity levels have contributed to a doubling of diabetes cases in the last 30 years.
Fat and sugar
Sugar in the blood is monitored by pancreatic beta cells. If sugar levels are too high then the cells release the hormone insulin, which tells the body to bring the levels back down…
Amazing. The headline says “high fat” but the explanation is sugar in the blood. Hello? Anyone home? This passed for health writing? It’s terrible.
Special Ancestral Health Symposium Section:
The first-ever Ancestral Health Symposium (AHS) was a huge success. It has already been called “The Woodstock of Evolutionary Medicine.” It attracted the right mix of speakers and got the info out afterwards. The speaker’s slides went online pretty quick, and the videos have been going up pretty quick as well. If you want to learn what is going on in Paleo/Primal and who is who, AHS has the best info right now.
Take some time and watch the videos. This is the best set out there right now. Hopefully the AHS will become an annual thing.
One thing that has lit up the message boards and comments on blogs is the flap between Stephen Guyenet and Gary Taubes. Guyenet is losing it lately with his “reward theory” of obesity, and then he starts in on trying to pick apart Taubes on how insulin explains obesity. Taubes reportedly schooled him at the AHS, and the fuss got everyone talking. Score: Taubes = 1, Guyenet = 0.
Best- Explanation on Why Guyenet is Wrong and Taubes Isn’t:
…The Carbohydrate Hypothesis, as attacked by Guyenet, looks basically like this:
Excessive amounts of carbohydrates (especially refined carbs / sugar) increases insulin and results in fat gain.
Guyenets argues in his post that carbs are not necessarily the cause of increased insulin, and insulin certainly do not result in gaining weight (maybe the opposite!). Basically he says that while low carb works, the theory to explain it is wrong.
However, as every doctor who has ever treated diabetics with insulin (and their patients) probably knows, injecting insulin certainly does tends to increase fat gain. And in untreated type 1 diabetics, with no insulin, weight plummets. Guyenet does not mention that.
Thin people usually have low insulin levels, obese people usually have high levels of insulin. Guyenet does not believe that is significant…
What does it all mean? Guyenet is wrong and everyone knows it. The blogs are all taking their shots and correcting him. He will probably get over it, but I’m not reading his crap anymore.
Best- Jimmy Moore’s Summary of Previous Podcasts of AHS Speakers:
The hardest-working guy in low-carb, Jimmy Moore, put together a list of his previous audio podcasts from people who were speakers at AHS. Check this out…
Best- Dr Jack Kruse on Gnolls.org, Magnesium, Obesity, and the AHS Flap:
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Magnesium (Mg) is an ion that is often spoken about in the blogosphere but its importance has been underemphasized. After speaking to Gnolls.org blogger/author/hairstylist J. Stanton ………about this issue at the AHS I decided to publish this blog a bit earlier on Magnesium to help clear the air on this cation. I also think it may help bring some clarity to the new paleo “squabble” that has begun with Taubes, Guyenet, Lustig, and Eenfeldt. And I do love this type of passion. It helps solves scientific problems. Failure of the hypothesis should make us all seek the answers. We have heard many podcasts from the paleo community leaders espousing the use of this supplement for muscle aches, constipation, and improving sleep and metabolism. But what we have not heard is why this is important and how should we attack the low magnesium clinically…
If you think the FDA does an excellent job (sarcasm) of monitoring health and food, you don’t need to worry about S. 1310, a bill to ramp up regulations of supplements.
Health sites are up in arms about S. 1310, which came out right after the 4th of July weekend. The gist of it is the bill seeks to make it much harder to market and sell supplements so that Big Pharma can take the same things and ramp up the price by a factor of about 10 or more. Why let people have fishoil for $20 a month when we can give it a fancy name and make it $200?
Lee Bechtel, a National Health Federation lobbyist brings us important developments regarding the latest attack to our health freedoms and what we can do. We can and must fight this.
Bill S.1310, the “Dietary Supplement Labeling Act of 2011″ by Senator Dick “To Hell With Supplements” Durbin coupled with new FDA guidelines could change the face of your health and the economy forever.
In a nutshell, “This bill is nothing more than…an attempt to impose more FDA control over dietary-supplement manufacturers, their marketing, and consumer access to supplements.” The modest supplement companies don’t stand a chance under the costly regulations, paper work, off putting warning labels, and the new (dis)approval process. This will leave the competition to the mega-companies and of course, Big Pharma.
On the same day, the FDA introduced it’s own guidelines called “Guidance for Industry: Dietary Supplements: New Dietary Ingredient Notifications and Related Issues” that mimic and correlate with Durbin’s bill. Coincidence?
Just Because You’re Paranoid, it Does Not Mean They Are Not Out to Get You:
There is a call to action that is going around by Dr Byron Richards, one of the authors of the excellent “Mastering Leptin” book. Here is the link… Most of it is pretty good, but Richards reaches too far into the tinfoil hat conspiracy stuff and that’s too bad. It’s better to stick to the facts and not play the “international trilateral conspiracy” card like he does in his backup article. That is SO 30 years ago…
From the Call to Action-
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Under the cover of the July 4th holiday, Senator Richard Durbin (D-Illinois) and the FDA launched an unprecedented and coordinated assault on the dietary supplement industry – a direct attack on consumers. Without a massive consumer protest of this abhorrent abuse of regulatory power consumers will be denied access to many dietary supplements they currently take. Furthermore, the cost of dietary supplements will skyrocket due to the unnecessary regulatory burden imposed upon dietary supplement companies, the legal wars that will go on for years, and the reduction in competition that currently keeps prices low.
Let’s see how a science site gets from this…..
Bias in science is a dangerous thing. Bias in food science seems to be the norm. A study was done to see if a fatty acid changed emotions, and when a science website got the study, they assumed “fat=bad” and completely screwed up.
The fatty acid studied was dodecanoic acid, aka lauric acid, commonly found in breast milk, coconut milk, some nuts, and other things. It it thought to be healthy.
In this study, “Fatty acid–induced gut-brain signaling attenuates neural and behavioral effects of sad emotion in humans,” researchers found that people that were given an IV of dodecanoic acid were less sad than people who were not, during an experiment. Conclusion, the dodecanoic acid attenuated sadness. OK fine, the result gets published.
Now medicalxpress.com gets it, and it gets stupid. Someone sees the “fatty acid” thing, and writes the following title and intro-
Fatty foods really are mood enhancers
A new study published in the August issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation shows just why it is that people tend to turn to fatty foods in order to boost their emotional state and reduce feelings of sadness. Be it chocolate chip cookies, French fries and a chocolate shake or whatever your favorite fatty food may be, researchers say these fatty foods create a biological change in your body to reduce the feelings of sadness…
This is how news sites, even that should know better, completely screw up. The basic assumption is that fat=bad, so they don’t know what to do with this data except to try and twist it into some “fat makes you feel good, so no wonder people have problems” kind of thing. Just look at the story tags if you think I am making this up- “brain activity, biological change, fatty foods, french fries, emotional disorders, breast milk, fatty acids, emotional state, eating disorders, participants.” The study never even mentioned french fries or eating disorders. These were introduced by the news site which put a negative spin on it, due to bias.
What’s the truth?
The study found something completely reasonable. Something that is found in breast milk and healthy foods such as coconuts also helps people feel better. This is good. What the site mentioned above did was assume this was bad, and they tried to equate the good food with french fries, cookies, and milkshakes. This is just irresponsible.Share on Facebook