More Low-Carb Athletes that Never Were
Chris Masterjohn emailed me your blog. Great stuff. I’d stumbled on it before, but was a ‘fat adapted’ low-carber so any mention of carbs got a blind eye. I know you know what I mean
I just finished “Why Low-Carb Diets are Terrible for Athletes: Part 2“. Thought I’d mention a few more ‘low-carb athletes’ for your leisure. Someone mentioned them to me the other day as an argument for thriving “low-carb athletes”. Five minutes on Google quickly debunked that. One was Simon Whitfield and the other Dean Karnazes. You may have seen this stuff, but I figured I’d forward along in case:
“Apparently Mr. Karnazes is as smart as he is fit. He eats everything that’s not red hot or nailed down while he’s running, but he eats what sounds a lot like a low-carb diet when he isn’t. Which makes a lot of sense. ” ~Mike Eades
A lot of sense unless you’ve actually done high volume exercise.
“…what sounds a lot like a low-carb diet…” Quick conclusion!
An even quicker search on Google (which no brainwashed low-carber is going to do) would show that it’s nothing close to low-carb. One line of many, “Granola, fruit, and unsweetened yogurt are my “go to” foods if I need to bump up the daily calorie intake” ~ Dean Karnazes
Thanks for the good stuff!
thanks for the email, I wasn’t aware of these guys or that the increasingly desperate low-carb crowd was citing them in support of their untenable beliefs.
Dr Michael Eades’ attempt to portray Karnazes as a low-carber is laughable; then again, most of his claims about nutrition get me in stitches. Time has clearly established that the good doctor knows absolutely nothing of value about sports nutrition and athletic training (nor fat loss). This is a guy who claims that taking post-workout carbs suppresses growth hormone (it doesn’t), who co-authored a book with Fred Hahn about “Super Slow” training that was filled with utterly absurd claims (click here for a concise debunking of said claims), and who arrogantly and chauvinistically lambasted two exercise physiologists for stating the plain, science-backed truth about athletic nutrition at a seminar in Texas – namely, that athletes should eat high-carbohydrate diets and consume carbohydrates immediately after training. According to Eades, these scientists (whom he smugly derided as “chicks”) were “idiots” and their statements were “breathtakingly stupid”.
Here’s what truly is breathtakingly stupid: That, eleven years into the 21st century, anyone would still attempt to recommend the use of low-carb diets for highly active folks when study after study shows they either worsen athletic performance, produce poorer performance than high-carbohydrate diets, or both.
The well-documented performance-destroying effects of low-carbohydrate diets are why they are avoided like a bad smell in the world of athletics. Athletes much prefer winning to losing, and dragging your ass around in a glycogen-depleted funk is definitely not conducive to victorious performances.
Because they can’t fall back on sound science, low-carbers instead fall back on their prodigious rumps, pull up Google and desperately search for anyone resembling an athlete who purportedly follows a low-carb diet. When they find an athlete who once forgot to eat their after-dinner mint, who was too full to eat the potato that accompanied their steak, or left some of the crust on their pizza uneaten, they yell “GOTCHA!!” and claim him as one of their own.
According to the 2007 story by Wired:
“You wouldn’t believe the stuff Karnazes consumes on a run. He carries a cell phone and regularly orders an extra-large Hawaiian pizza. The delivery car waits for him at an intersection, and when he gets there he grabs the pie and rams the whole thing down his gullet on the go. The trick: Roll it up for easy scarfing. He’ll chase the pizza with cheesecake, cinnamon buns, chocolate éclairs, and all-natural cookies. The high-fat pig-out fuels Karnazes’ long jaunts, which can burn more than 9,000 calories a day. What he needs is massive amounts of energy, and fat contains roughly twice as many calories per gram as carbohydrates. Hence, pizza and éclairs. When he’s not in the midst of some record-breaking exploit, Karnazes maintains a monkish diet, eating grilled salmon five nights a week. He strictly avoids processed sugars and fried foods – no cookies or doughnuts. He even tries to steer clear of too much fruit because it contains a lot of sugar. He believes this approach – which nutritionists call a slow-carb diet – has reshaped him, lowering his body fat and building lean muscle. It also makes him look forward to running a race, because he can eat whatever he wants.”
Just because Karnazes avoids processed sugars and fried foods and “tries to steer clear of too much fruit”, that doesn’t even begin to qualify him as a low-carber. I do all these things too, and I eat up to 500 grams of carbohydrate daily. Does that make me a low-carber? Not bloody likely!
A slow-carber? Well, given that I emphasize low-GI foods and almost always consume any high-GI items with much lower-GI foods, and only consume simple sugars during and after training, that would be a much more fitting tag. Unlike the low-carb approach, which launched war on carbohydrates in general, the “slow-carb” approach focuses on the quality of carbs.
In a much more recent (2010) interview with “The Diet Detective”, Karnazes was asked:
Diet Detective: Do you have a favorite healthy recipe or cooking tip? If so would you share it?
Dean: Plain Greek yogurt, Nature’s Path organic cereal, and fresh cut fruit. It’s the perfect start to every day.
Hmmm…I wonder how many low-carb books recommend cereal and fruit as “the perfect start to every day”?
Bottom line: Dean Karnazes is not a low-carber. And why would he be? Unlike our simpleton low-carb friends, Karnazes no doubt values real-life results over armchair theorizing and self-delusion.
As for Simon Whitfield, I did a Google search and found he endorsed a vegan book called The Thrive Diet – also endorsed by vegan advocates Neil Barnard, Joel Fuhrman, and T. Colin Campbell. You know, just the kind of people any devoted low-carb athlete would gladly snuggle up next to! Intrigued as to how such an ardent low-carber would let his name appear alongside these vegan stalwarts, I did some further searching and found a 2008 article where he stated he ate muffins, blueberries, dates, cereal, and “the staple (and favorite) yams!!!!! Or other tubers”.
Sounds like Whitfield is about as much a low-carber as I am a chimney sweeper. As with Karnazes, it appears the ever-hopeful but increasingly desperate low-carb crowd have zeroed in on an isolated aspect of Whitfield’s nutritional habits (in this case, his high-fat breakfast) and used it to portray his diet as something it’s not.
Low Carb Diets and Thyroid
I’m the guy with the bad back. Great advice on the McKenzie stuff. That and Perfect Health author Paul Jaminet recommending similar things, stretching [and working with] a tennis ball really broke up the stiffness, and I’ve made big improvements! Also, your diet from The Fat Loss Bible plus a little dairy is [very similar to] The Perfect Health Diet, so both get credit in my book as both convinced me to eat this way (and Paleoish bloggers). I’ve gone from 250 to 195 in 4 months! Still want to get to 175 and shredded like you!
Just want to mention on your latest article about low carb diets lowering thyroid, I was wondering if the type of fat was messing with the thyroid results of the studies?
The Vermont long term study:
“The long-term study of fat overfeeding included four subjects studied before and after overeating fat for 3 mo. The excess fat in these diets averaged 895 kcal/d consisting of margarine, corn oil, a corn oil colloidal suspension, and fat enriched soups and cookies.”
An excess of omega 6 impacts the thyroid, as explained by Stephan Guyenet in this article:
And your last example, the short term study from Ullrich:
“One diet was high in polyunsaturated fat (HF), with 10%, 55%, and 35% of total calories derived from protein, fat, and carbohydrate, respectively.”
So I wonder if a saturated / monounsaturated high fat, low carb would have the same effect? Otherwise, how can you suggest non-keto low carb for diabetic and sedentary folks?
Thanks for the iron info [from previous email]. I’ll really look into that even more. You’ve convinced to definitely start donating blood for that reason.
glad to hear the back is feeling much better and that the weight is peeling off, well done!
175 ain’t that far away, so keep up the good work, and take extra note of the info in The Fat Loss Bible regarding how the games changes a bit as you get nearer and nearer your target weight.
Regarding the fat/thyroid question, even the zero-fat diets show large reductions in T3. It appears that the lowered T3 seen on low-calorie diets and low-carbohydrate diets is an attempt by the body to guard against protein catabolism (ie lean tissue breakdown). Carbohydrate restriction, which via insulin reduction increases protein losses, evidently exacerbates the situation. As fat has little effect on insulin levels, meddling around with saturated/poly/mono ratios will do little to change the situation.
And anecdotally, why have symptoms of euthyroid sick syndrome (the diet-induced reduction in T3) been observed in low-carbing folks who kept their polyunsaturated intake low (including yours truly)?
As for the blog post you linked to, it’s all animal research. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: animal studies are are a pretty dodgy proxy for human research.
As an example: the Rabolli/Martin study used rats and found the exact opposite of human studies, namely that the high fat diets (saturated and unsaturated) produced greater rises in T3 and especially T4 than the high-carb diets.
Even if the animal results regarding n-6-rich oils affecting thyroid hormone uptake at the cellular level are eventually confirmed in humans, it still doesn’t explain the observations that low-carb diets also lower blood levels of T3 in humans. Perhaps n-6 PUFAs may one day be found to have an additive effect on ESS in humans, in addition to that of carb restriction.
He claims “1960s men fed a diet high in linoleic acid also gained weight relative to a more typical control diet containing the same number of calories” – but no citation is provided.
“Otherwise, how can you suggest non-keto low carb for diabetic and sedentary folks?”
That’s a bit like asking why do doctors suggest a stomach pump for someone with alcohol poisoning. Because once you’re in a shitty situation, your available options often aren’t so great. Just like it’s best not to get stupidly drunk, it’s best not to become sedentary or diabetic. I don’t recommend either, but if you are in that situation and have poor glycemic control, then a low-carb diet is a worthy option. Basically it’s a trade-off: would you rather risk euthyroid sick syndrome, or crappy glycemic control? Take your pick (of course, the best option would be to lower your iron to teenage or near-teenage levels, start exercising vigorously on a daily or near daily basis, take the appropriate supplements including magnesium, methylated B-vitamins, etc, eat strictly low-GI foods…but the number of people who will actually do this instead of remaining seated on their mushy Western posteriors is, regrettably, miniscule).
As for the studies, thanks for the further clarifications. I tried to think of a way out for a low carb angle and saw the omega-6 issue. Your rebuttal though leaves little wiggle room for the low carb way to be the real answer. I think you’re like the health “James Dean” but a “rebel with a cause.” You fight the establishment, and then turn the low carb world upside down!
I am going to increase my carbs now that I’m exercising a lot more. I still don’t want to aggravate my back yet while it continues to get better so I just walk 2 hours most every day and very light limited lifting. It’s not biking hills like you, but it works for now. And I’ve noticed I could use a bit more energy finishing the workouts walking in the summer Texas heat of 100 degrees. I expect no problems finishing my weight off since I have made a spreadsheet with the numbers and calculations from The Fat Loss Bible set up for me!
Thanks for your time and efforts! I hope to have Anthony Colpo’s “must read” articles for many years with perspectives on studies like this! And the next book needs to be in the pipeline. : )
“I think you’re like the health “James Dean” but a “rebel with a cause.” You fight the establishment, and then turn the low carb world upside down!”
LOL. Unlike the legendary actor, I sold my Porsche before it killed me and never turn the bottoms of my jeans up, but I’m flattered by the comparison nonetheless
There’s something I figured worth mentioning after reading your comment: “I’ve noticed I could use a bit more energy finishing the workouts walking in the summer Texas heat of 100 degrees.”
Carbs are crucial, of course. However, a lot of people overlook the importance of electrolyte replacement when working or exercising in the heat. A major reason for this, no doubt, is the mammoth amount of idiotic anti-sodium propaganda that we’ve been subjected to over the years. That’s an entire article (or book, even) unto itself, but suffice to say for now that 500-1000 mg of sea salt in every litre of water you drink in very hot conditions is a prudent idea.
Also, something I and my “inner circle” have begun experimenting with is the use of methylated B-vitamins, and the preliminary results have been quite positive. There is an economically-priced product by Jarrow called B-Right, but I’ve also been recommending (and using myself) extra amounts of pantethine, pyridoxal 5-phosphate, and methylcobalamin. I also take the following, which aren’t included in B-Right: folinic acid, adenosylcobalamin, and sulbutiamine.
All the best,
Could You Share Your Strategy for Reducing Ferritin Levels?
could you share the strategy you used to reduce your ferritin levels?
In your latest blog article, you mentioned that you had successfully reduced your serum ferritin to the average levels of a teenager.
There seems to be a lot of conflicting information about what works and what doesn’t. I remember from the iron chapter in your Great Cholesterol Con book, you mentioned blood donation and IP6 as possible methods to use, but I also remember that you cautioned that the amount of blood drawn from blood donations may not be enough to have any meaninful reduction in iron stores.
I’ve also searched for people’s personal experiences using IP6 and for the most part the feedback people have provided is that it hasn’t helped them reduce their ferritin levels to any considerable degree (some have mentioned success with apolactoferrin).
I’d like to reduce my ferritin levels below the high “normal” levels that my doctor thinks nothing of and was just wondering what strategies other people have used to successfully do this.
I know you are a busy guy, so I will take no offense if you have no time to respond to this (I do get quite a chuckle when you do your posts about emails).
yes, I’m more than happy to share my experiences and my suggestions.
The first thing anyone must do before embarking on any iron-reduction regime is to get their iron status tested. Before attempting to lower one’s iron, one should actually determine if it in fact needs lowering.
Yes, brilliant, I know.
No really, thank you….
Seriously, people should forget about phlebotomies, IP-6, lactoferrin/apolactoferrin, drinking ungodly amounts of tannin-rich teas, and dating vampires until they’ve visited their doctor and asked him to check the following (at a minimum):
The most crucial one is serum ferritin (as it is the most reliable reflector of overall bodily iron stores) but the other two also supply important information.
Thankfully, you’ve had the wherewithal to already perform this crucial step prior to any iron-lowering attempt. Congratulations, because this automatically shows you are smarter than a good deal of the population. Which isn’t surprising, you being an AnthonyColpo.com reader and all.
Anyway, this is where the fun really starts. And the disclaimers. What follows is what worked for me after much trial and error, anyone who intends to lower their iron in a similar manner should pay close attention to their energy levels, mood, and overall feeling of wellbeing. They should also be under the care of a medical practitioner….if you can find one who has a clue what you’re trying to do.
OK, let’s now begin the story of how I lowered my bodily iron stores without destroying my training in the process…
Despite knowing about the benefits of iron reduction many, many moons ago, it wasn’t until just a few years back that I finally got my serum ferritin down to where I wanted it to be. The problem was that, being an active individual who trains on a daily or near-daily basis, I simply wasn’t able to recover from phlebotomies. Each withdrawal pulls a half-liter of blood from your body, which is a significant loss; the average person has around 5 liters of blood in their body, so we’re talking a 10% loss of total blood volume in a matter of minutes. In sedentary folks, whose oxygen delivery needs are rarely challenged by anything more strenuous than pushing a supermarket trolly or the buttons of a remote control, this isn’t such a big deal.
But for someone whose oxygen delivery needs encompass storming up hills on a bike, doing multiple sets of power cleans, rolling on the mats, doing sprints at the local park, etc, etc, things get a little muddy. Well, they did for me anyway. After withdrawals I’d feel flat and sometimes would even get a slight swelling in my throat.
So I went back to the drawing board. In 2008, I sat down for a brainstorming session in my high-tech experimental facility (a.k.a. my kitchen), stared at the 2005 Superman calender on the wall for what seemed like an eternity, then – in a blinding, mind-jolting, reality-transcending flash of light (my little nephew flashed his new Bat Torch in my eyes…) – I came up with what turned out to be a rather sterling plan.
I decided to have blood withdrawals on a monthly basis, until my target serum ferritin was reached. The key change was that, on the weeks I had the withdrawal, I took the entire week off from training and had the phlebotomy mid-week. I trained like an animal with high volume on the other 3 weeks to compensate.
The average reduction in serum ferritin per withdrawal is 30 ng/mL, so I estimated I’d need 6 withdrawals to get down to around 25 ng/mL. This is the recommended target by folks such as the Iron Disorders Institute, and is just above the USA cut-off limit for deficiency (20 ng/mL). Here in Australia, the cut-off point is 30, something I’ll discuss further in just a moment.
As it turns out, I hit 28 after only 5 phlebotomies. I suspect the early arrival was due to my vigorous training regimen.
At this point, I started to feel fatigued during and after bike rides. Going up hills suddenly seemed much harder and my times were slipping backwards. By the time my serum ferritin had increased to 38, I felt fine and was churning out kick-ass times again. So I now give far more credence to the Australian cut-off than the US cut-off. Not because I come from a land Down Under where the women glow and men chunder, but because the US cut-off point is probably way too low for athletic folks – it certainly was in my case.
Unfortunately, the research into iron reduction for athletes is next to non-existent, which is what necessitated my guinea pig approach in the first place. Because my experience constitutes an experiment of 1, I can’t guarantee at exactly what SF level other athletic individuals will experience performance decrements. Hence I strongly recommend the following precautions:
1. Get your SF tested regularly when using phelobotomy, IP-6 or any other iron-reduction strategy. Do not wait until after you estimate you will reach your target SF, because by then you may already be “overbled”.
2. Do NOT overbleed, otherwise you will drop into the deficiency zone. Ask anyone who’s ever been anemic or iron-deficient and they’ll tell you – it sucks. Everything feels like a massive effort, simply getting up out of a chair feels like a 600 lb squat, and as for doing a workout…yeah, right.
3. Closely monitor your energy levels, mood state, etc.
4. Keep a close eye on your performance, via run/ride times, poundages or whatever other measure is used to define performance in your chosen sport.
5. Do not have phlebotomy the day of, before or after a hard workout, trust me, you’ll regret it.
6. Buy yourself a copy of the outstanding Exposing the Hidden Dangers of Iron by Garrison and Weinberg. Ignore the authors’ dismissal of IP6, and realize the recommendation to lower SF to 25 is for sedentary folks…otherwise the book is excellent and contains a wealth of information and is a must read for anyone partaking in iron reduction. I honestly believe it’s one of the best popular-format health books ever written.
If you’re prepared to do all that, then some potentially huge improvements in wellbeing and performance may be just around the corner.
One last thing: most blood donor schemes only allow you to donate blood once every 8-10 weeks. If you have high iron levels and wish to reduce them solely by phlebotomy, this is too infrequent. If you can’t get a doctor to prescribe more frequent phlebotomies, don’t have venipuncture skills or don’t have a family member/girlfriend who is a nurse, then you’re going to have to find a complimentary or alternative strategy.
My first stop would be IP-6, which I used successfully to halve a very high starting SF level several years back. One could use IP-6 exclusively, or in conjunction with blood donation. Why others have not experienced success with it, I can’t say with no further information to work with (dosages, manufacturer, etc). I used a level teaspoon of Source Naturals IP-6 first thing on an empty stomach every morning. I often get people asking me how long they will need to take IP-6 for; refer back to recommendation #1. I am not a clairvoyant, only blood testing can tell you how your iron-lowering efforts are progressing and where your SF is at.
I’ve not used lactoferrin or its variants, and don’t personally know anyone who has, so I cannot comment or vouch for their efficiency, or lack thereof.
Dr Francesco Facchini has used a diet free of red meat and high in phenols, tannins and phytate to dramatically reduce bodily iron stores and greatly improve clinical outcomes in chronic kidney patients. The diet also included dairy and eggs, both of which contain iron-binding elements. I tried this approach in a half-assed manner many years ago (I halved my red meat intake but wasn’t prepared to cut it out entirely, and wouldn’t eat phytate-rich foods like soy and whole-grains in a fit due to their concentration of other unwanted anti-nutrients. This was also well before I’d had my food sensitivities to dairy, eggs et al successfully treated with N.A.E.T). Not surprisingly, it did diddly for me. However, if you want to check out Facchini’s protocol, here’s a link to the full text of his published paper:
His book The Iron Factor of Aging: Why Do Americans Age Faster? is also a worthy read, but I must again emphasize I personally do not endorse avoidance of red meat, I earnestly believe it is too concentrated a source of valuable nutrients to eschew.
Good luck, if you have any other questions let me know and keep me informed of your progress,
More Anti-Saturate Hogwash
I guess I should have written this mail earlier. Now I have many questions I’d like to address and I wouldn’t want to waste your time. But if I wait any longer, the problem might get worse with more questions adding to the former ones. So I decided to jump into it and come what may…
I’m a great fan of your work. I was among the first buyers of The Great Cholesterol Con (got it from Lulu – so early that I missed the update you issued later on) and I also jumped on The Fat Loss Bible as soon as it was available. Both were great books that taught me a lot. I remember reading TGCC at night, jumping on my bed unable to believe that our health authorities went so far to distort the truth. But study after study, you made your case. I then tried to alert people around me only to be laughed at. In my country, that is France, the cholesterol theory rules and I am still to meet a doctor who may reconsider his/her position regarding this dogma. A French cardiologist recently published a book exposing the same views as yours but he is hardly considered by the establishment. His name is Michel de Lorgeril and his website is:
I also remember, from reading The Great Cholesterol Con, that you wrote something about your diet at that time:
“It was only after settling into a high-fat, high-protein, low-carbohydrate eating plan – the exact opposite of that recommended by most health authorities – that I was able to attenuate the negative changes brought about by years of high-carbohydrate eating. My blood pressure and glycemic control finally returned to normal levels, while my digestive function, mental focus, energy levels and overall sense of well being improved dramatically.”
Then, in The Fat Loss Bible, you “suddenly” informed your readers that the low-carb diet sucks! I guess that some of your followers got lost along the way by you turning the wheel at 180°. Of course, when reading TFLB and studies about carbs and performance, one can understand why low-carb diet sucks. And you also explained why you decided to eat more carbs in this post on anthonycolpo.com. But it may be a good idea to issue another post to explain why eating carbs doesn’t harm your blood pressure, glycemic control, digestive function, mental focus, energy levels and overall sense of well being anymore.
As far as I’m concerned, I never ate a true low-carb diet. I turned toward what you may call a “paleo-diet” or a very-low (almost no) grain (nor legumes) diet*. I eat meat, fish, eggs and lots of vegetables and fruits. Mostly in a raw state because I like it that way. For the record, I was diagnosed a peripheral neuropathy in year 2000 (never been overweight nor diabetic but admit eating junk food at that time), have then been treated with corticoids for a few years (no success), been diagnosed osteoporosis in year 2006 (thanks to corticoids), been treated with biphosphonates for 2 years until I decided to throw all this shit away. I then turned to study nutrition and supplements and graduated dietician in October 2010 (but still need to learn a lot). I’m 45, train 5 days a week as much as my nerves can stand, eat well. I look a bit like a car from J. G. Ballard’s “Crash” but don’t really care. The main point is I’m alive and kicking.
Another concern I have is about saturated fats. In some papers, when consumed in excess, they are supposed to harden cell walls (membrane), preventing cells from optimal functioning and accelerating aging (1, 2). Through this way or other pathways, they’re also supposed to lead to cancer (3, 4). So how much would be an excess ? How much would be an healthy amount ? Having an updated view from you would be a blessing.
Last thing I would like to address is a book I read from Dr. Neal Barnard entitled Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes. He suggests a very-low (almost no) fat, cholesterol and low protein (but high-carb) diet which implies no animal products. Of course, this is a disguise to promote a vegan diet cause, you know, “animal proteins are bad for your kidneys” and this kind of stuff. But he claims he has studies to support his program, studies in which he and his team obtained very good results with type 2 diabetic patients (5,6,7). So I wonder : “where’s the trick?” Did he obtain his results because his patients simply lost weight which improved their health parameters or is there anything else? As a “guru killer”, your view would be very helpful here.
Well, that’s it.
Thank you for enlightening us year after year.
Best Regards (I didn’t dare the “Yours Truly”)
* I confess cheating once in a while cause there’s a very good “Ristorante” in my area and I love Italian food.
I did a quick review on Pubmed. An extensive review will certainly provide other supportive and non-supportive studies.
1) Nagata C, et al. Association of dietary fat, vegetables and antioxidant micronutrients with skin ageing in Japanese women. Br J Nutr. 2010 May;103(10):1493-8.
2) Gu Y, et al. Food combination and Alzheimer disease risk: a protective diet. Arch Neurol. 2010 Jun;67(6):699-706.
3) Freedman ND, et al. Association of meat and fat intake with liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma in the NIH-AARP cohort. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2010 Sep 8;102(17):1354-65.
4) Meinhold CL, et al. Available carbohydrates, glycemic load, and pancreatic cancer: is there a link? Am J Epidemiol. 2010 Jun 1;171(11):1174-82.
5) Barnard ND, et al. The effects of a low-fat, plant-based dietary intervention on body weight, metabolism, and insulin sensitivity. Am J Med. 2005 Sep;118(9):991-7.
6) Berkow SE, Barnard ND. Blood pressure regulation and vegetarian diets. Nutr Rev. 2005 Jan;63(1):1-8.
7) Trapp CB, Barnard ND. Usefulness of vegetarian and vegan diets for treating type 2 diabetes. Curr Diab Rep. 2010 Apr;10(2):152-8.
thanks for your email and kind support of my books, but I must clarify something – nowhere in The Fat Loss Bible, new or old edition, do I say that low-carb diets suck. The initial edition used a non-ketogenic low-carb diet as its template. The updated version now features far more specific carbohydrate recommendations for individuals of varying activity levels and now only recommends a low-carb diet for sedentary folks and diabetics. Because I don’t recommend being sedentary or diabetic, ideally I’d be recommending a low-carb diet to no-one.
The low-carb diet I recommended in The Great Cholesterol Con was also a non-ketogenic diet. Again, TGCC is a book with quite a different target audience to FLB, an audience comprised of not an insignificant number of sedentary and diabetic folks.
I have repeatedly stated I think ketogenic low-carb diets suck, and given the weight of the evidence, I firmly stand by that viewpoint. But if anyone out there thinks it’s cool to smell funky, drag their ass around in a fatigued haze, experience increased catabolism and piss out important electrolytes like nobody’s business, hey, whatever rolls their trolley…
BTW, none of those studies show that saturated fats “harden” your cell membranes. They are all prospective studies relying on notoriously confounder-prone statistical ‘associations’ with skin elasticity, cancer and Alzheimers. Reference #1 showed a positive association of saturated fat (along with total and mono fat) with skin elasticity. Hardly a bad thing.
Reference #2 looks at dietary patterns, and concludes that the dietary pattern associated with the lower risk of Alzheimers “was characterized by higher intakes of salad dressing, nuts, fish, tomatoes, poultry, cruciferous vegetables, fruits, and dark and green leafy vegetables and a lower intake of high-fat dairy products, red meat, organ meat, and butter.” Now remember, if one pattern has a lower risk, that doesn’t mean the other “causes” anything. It simply means one pattern is associated with lower risk than the other. So if these results are valid, it means that people should eat their veggies.
Goddam, what a revelation!
Reference #3 merely implicates heterocyclicamines (HCAs) in cancer incidence, another job best left for Captain Obvious.
Meanwhile, if we are to take the data in reference #4 seriously, we have to believe that saturated fats are protective against cancer in the first 4 years of epidemiological follow-up, but slightly harmful after that. O-k-a-y…
Hopefully by now you can begin to see why I’m not a big fan of epidemiological research. It has its place (for example, determining the origin of viral epidemics, and those most susceptible to them), but most epidemiological research conducted nowadays is largely useless money-wasting nonsense. It certainly keeps many researchers in paid employment, but its contribution to the betterment of public health is next to zero. In fact, looking back over the last several decades, one can see that it has produced/furthered several highly counterproductive falsehoods that have gone on to gain global acceptance (cholesterol and vegetarian myths, anyone?)
As for Barnard’s claims, one must not confuse short-term benefits with long-term superiority. Almost any diet that produces significant weight loss (and the key requirement for weight loss is a calorie deficit, not the elimination of animal foods, or restriction of carbohydrates/fat/protein/etc) will result in improvements in insulin sensitivity, glycemic control, and improvements in inflammatory markers. However, the undeniable fact is that vegan diets are nutritionally inferior to omnivorous whole food diets, and the long term detrimental effects of vegan diets have been well documented.
“But it may be a good idea to issue another post to explain why eating carbs doesn’t harm your blood pressure, glycemic control, digestive function, mental focus, energy levels and overall sense of well being anymore.”
Try these on for size:
I’m familiar with Dr de Lorgeril, and greatly admire his tenacity. For readers who aren’t familiar with de Lorgeril, he conducted one of the most successful CHD-dietary intervention trials ever, and is a vocal critic of the lipid hypothesis. His website, for those of you who can read French, can be found here:
Anthony Colpo is an independent researcher, physical conditioning specialist, and author of the groundbreaking books The Fat Loss Bible and The Great Cholesterol Con. For more information, visit TheFatLossBible.net or TheGreatCholesterolCon.com
Copyright © Anthony Colpo.
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