Sweden gets it right

I sometimes think that I should go and live in a Scandinavian country. They get so many things right about how to run healthy, equitable, societies. In addition, the people who live there seem more balanced and, well, frankly, more grown up. So it comes as no surprise to me that if a nation was to turn round and begin the process of rejecting the absolute nonsense that a high fat diet is bad for you, then it would be a country in Scandinavia.

That Scandinavian country is Sweden1.

Now, I have been aware that there has been a movement towards a high fat low carb diet (HFLC) going on in Sweden for some years. This has been led recently by the heroic Dr Annika Dahlqvist, a General Practitioner who had been advising her diabetic patients to eat a low carb high fat diet (LCHF).

She was, of course, attacked by the idiots…sorry experts:

‘In 2007, the controversy began when two dieticians pointed out to Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare that LCHF dietary advice recommended to diabetic patients by general practitioner Dr Annika Dahlqvist was not compatible with either scientific evidence or conventional practice. However, following a report by diabetologist Dr Christian Berne, Dahlqvist was cleared.’

Cleared of what, exactly? Advising diabetic patients not to eat sugar. The mere fact that anyone could be dragged in front of the authorities for advising this just shows had completely mad the world of dietary advice has become. How entrenched the idiotic anti-fat dogma now is. How utterly divorced from reality and science.

As I have pointed out many times on this blog, and elsewhere, carbohydrates, at least all the carbohydrates humans can digest, are converted to sugar(s) in the GI system. They must be, because all that carbohydrates consist of are different number of sugar molecules bonded together in different ways. When you break them to bits in the digestive system, they become simple sugars.

As we all know, people with diabetes have problems with high blood sugar levels. So, dum de dum….let me think. Should diabetics eat carbohydrates/sugar, or should they eat fats. Yes, you are right, they should eat fats. This is a complete no brainer.

But, of course, the argument goes that diabetics are more likely to die of cardiovascular disease and eating fat increases cholesterol levels, and this increases your risk of cardiovascular disease. Well, this could obviously be a problem if any part of that causal chain were true. But it is all nonsense. As the latest Swedish report from the SBU (Swedish Council on Health Technology Assessment) makes clear (after reviewing 13,000 studies), a low carb diet leads to the terrible dangers of

‘…a greater increase in HDL cholesterol (“the good cholesterol”) without having any adverse effects on LDL cholesterol (“the bad cholesterol”). This applies to both the moderate low-carbohydrate intake of less than 40 percent of the total energy intake, as well as to the stricter low-carbohydrate diet, where carbohydrate intake is less than 20 percent of the total energy intake. In addition, the stricter low-carbohydrate diet will lead to improved glucose levels for individuals with obesity and diabetes, and to marginally decreased levels of triglycerides.’2

In short, when they looked at all the evidence, they found that low carb/high fat diets raise HDL cholesterol (the so-called ‘good’ cholesterol). They have no effect on LDL levels; they also lower blood sugar levels and triglyceride (VLDL) levels. All good and healthy, and all of which bascially means that insulin resistance has been reduced – the underlying cause of diabetes.

In reality all that the Swedes really ‘discovered’ is the quite astonishing fact that eating a high carbohydrate diet is bad for you, and worse for you if you are a diabetic. Well, blow me down with a feather. They have found exactly what a working knowledge of human biology/physiology would tell you would happen.

But we live in a wold controlled by entrenched stupidity, dogma, and the financial interests of massive companies who are making billions selling tasteless low fat mush. These companies know that the only way you can make low fat food, e.g. low fat yoghurt, taste like anything half palatable is to stuff it with sugar. Cheap, nasty, and damaging to health – also driving the ever increasing weight gain and diabetes in the Western World.

Why is everyone in the Western World becoming obese? Because we are replacing fat with sugar in many foodstuffs. The obesity ‘epidemic’ started at exactly the same time as the idiots, sorry experts, decreed that a healthy diet was a diet full of carbs. Which was, and remains, the exact and complete opposite of the truth.

However, anyone who dares to stand up and state the truth, gets dragged in from of organisations such as the National Board of health and Welfare. Eventually, however, the truth does emerge, as it must. Because the truth never dies. It can be stomped on, squashed, concreted over and napalmed. However, it lives on, taunting those who do everything in their power to deny its existence.

The truth is that all of the dietary advice we have been bombarded with for the last forty years about the dangers of fat consumption has been utterly and completely and damagingly wrong. Of course there will be a backlash against the Swedish report – there always is. Various powerful idiots, sorry experts, will be pushed in front of cameras to make various denunciations of the Swedes and their damaging and dangerous conclusions. The strings of these idiots will be jerked in unison by faceless marketers in companies that promote low fat spreads, and the like. Yes, you know who you are.

And yes, this stuff does make me angry. It is killing people prematurely, millions of people, all around the world.

1: http://coconutoil.com/sweden-becomes-first-western-nation-to-reject-low-fat-diet-dogma-in-favor-of-low-carb-high-fat-nutrition/

2: http://www.dietdoctor.com/swedish-expert-committee-low-carb-diet-effective-weight-loss


Question:            ‘What do you call five hundred dieticians lying at the bottom of the ocean?’
Answer:               ‘A good start.’

162 thoughts on “Sweden gets it right

    1. Alison Toker.

      What if the so-called scientists, dieticians and the like DO accept that fat doesn’t make you fat? Are they going to go back on their word and tell the general public to start eating butter, lard, cream, cheese and the like? If they did, would that not be “shooting themselves in the foot”? And is it not going against the Statin/ cholesterol theory? Or, will they just carry on and let people get fatter, die prematurely and treat their diabetes and other side effects in the meantime?
      It makes me so sad.

    1. smartersig

      This is rather confusing, my interpretation of this is that we should not limit our carbs as they are the best form of fuel for our bodies, but should limit our carbs to complex carbs rather than simple carbs. This is advocated in the book I am currently reading on the people of Okinawa (authored by doctors). Who is right, low carbs or just low simple carbs ?

      1. james

        Dr Malcolm can probably answer this better than anybody but I think the fly in the ointment so to speak is probably the resistant part of any starch. There is quite a discussion going on at the moment about resistant starch(RS) RS is important because it survives the hydrochloric acid etc. processes in the stomach and arrives ‘unscathed’ in the small intestine where a series of beneficial bacteria break it down into -among other things-short chain fatty acids (butyric acid C4H8O2) which is most likely the reason for the hype about the good fiber of whole wheat grains. Which by the way come at a very high cost with their load of gluten and lectins. In other words when trying to avoid the dangers of wheat yet trying to feed your beneficial small intestine microbiome you want to hunt for a good source of RS.

  1. Anne

    You should have heard the laughter here in my living room just now when I read your PS Dr Kendrick 🙂 🙂 It certainly would be a good start.

    I’m on a very low carbohydrate/high fat diet (30g carbs per day) and have just had my lipids done: total 7.6 but HDL 3.6 🙂 Trigs 0.5. LDL – who cares !

  2. Graham Henry

    Love the article and am completely convinced what you say is absolutely correct. It’s scary just how much we are all being duped…or should I say fed on a diet of high carb low fat!

  3. Robert Park

    May I add, as a dog lover, that this is exactly the same with dogs. I am not in the business of kennelling but do provide dogs, two at a time, a home from home care situation. Principally, those are older dogs or ones which are ill or possibly require medical attention. We keep to the diet which the owners prefer and which they provide which mostly is dry or cooked but, occasionally, they may need to be fed by myself when they are introduced to the BARF diet. What one finds is that many of those animals suffer from diabetes or diabetic related health problems and are often advanced in the aging processes. The diet the Vets recommend is one based on carbohydrates which, of course, exacerbates their condition. When occasionally I am required to feed them on the BARF diet then within a few days their condition notably improves when one observes some remarkable recoveries. Not only does their health improve but so does their physical appearance and endurance when their bodies and bone structure become more robust. What I have learned, not only from my interest in animals but from experience and observation, is that the term ‘specialists’ implies limited knowledge!

    1. Deborah

      Of course, dried dog food is full of wheat and other carbohydrates. Dogs in the wild do not eat wheat or rice. They only eat other animals – they are natural carnivores. Pet dogs should eat meat, bones and organs because their digestive system is not suited to the lectins in grains (just like humans)

      1. Richard Gibbs

        I don’t think that’s true. Wolves eat vegetation in the summer when it’s available. They eat only meat in the winter because that’s all there is. In humans lectins can be blood type specific, so just because a lectin can be problematic for some humans it doesn’t follow that the lectin is a problem for other species.

    2. Jonas A

      Well here is another result for you to think about. I have a dog, Border Collie, a couple of years ago she got a tumor in her canine mammary. A surgery took the tumor away. How ever this tumor came back with a 3 month intervall several times and it started to get expensive to have surgery and the last tumor was malignant. I decided, since ive heard that tumor was fed by sugar, to change my dogs diet from grain to only meat.

      Guess what, no more tumors for over a year plus that a limp in one of her back leg was gone. Remember it was malignant tumor and im pretty sure if I invented a medicin that could give this result I would be pretty ritch today. Im just freaking angry because im pretty sure that this aint something that have been unknown.

      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        I think the area of sugar(s) driving tumour growth is a very interesting one. There is evidence that insulin, used in type II diabetes, can greatly increase the risk of certain types of cancer. Insulin is a growth factor, and could stimulate cancer cells, or it could be that cancer cells need sugar as an energy substrate. Either way, reducing carbodhydrate intake seems like a good idea.

        By the way, thank you everyone for discussing things in such a polite way, and with respect for each others views. This is, and should be, an emotional area. Health, and vested interest damagine people’s health ought to make one angry, but our debate should be reasoned – and it is.

    3. Dryfoodkillscats

      It’s even worse with cats. Cats are true carnivores, but vets recommend (and sell) dry food with up to 70% carbs (with a bit of protein thrown in, mostly from plant origin such as wheat gluten meal). No wonder feline obesity and feline diabetes rates are soaring, and kidney disease rates as well (due to the lack of moisture in that crap which causes permanent dehydration). And what do vets prescribe for obese or diabetic cats or for cats with renal failure? More high-carb kibble, but of the even more profitable variety (“prescription diets”). Nearly all veterinary nutritionists seem to be on the pet food industry’s payroll, with very few exceptions like Debra Zoran DVM.

      My apologies for my poor English, I’m no native speaker.

      1. Blackbourn Stephen

        I bet most cat and dog owners feed this stuff to their pets because it’s cheaper than pure meat. It soon becomes false economy if they then have to take them to the vets for surgery.

      2. Alison Toker

        My local vets’ sell Virbac dog and cat food. (The ingredients are atrocious!) Virbac also supplies them with drugs and vaccines too. Does that tell you anything? Personally, I feed my dogs a raw diet and believe domestic pets are over vaccinated. It is the same in the pet “health” industry as ours. A big, fat, lying money racket!
        I began my lchf diet nearly a month ago for various reasons, really, just to see what happened and I must say, I feel great! When one reaches their mid fifties, one (do I sound like the Queen?) accepts the aches and pains as part of getting older, but that’s not the case in my experiment, sorry, experience. They’ve all gone! As for my HDL’s and big, fluffy LDL’s, I love em!

      3. MissGish

        I work for a cat vet who is always trying to get people to change their cats to wet food. For those who make the change, the results are well worth it. I inherited 3 cats who were all extremely obese and had live off dry food only. One could not even jump onto anything, despite being less than 2 years old. Two are now normal weight, and the other chubby but still slimming. It was canned food that made the difference.

  4. matswiman

    Thank you Dr. McKendrick!

    It is so relieving to hear you use the brutal words “idiots”. They deserve to be called that after having been stared at by reality since thousands of years. It has been known for that long time that an overload of flour, starch and sugar cause excess blood sugar, which damages the cells.

    If you ask a fifth-grader what s/he would suggest as a solution, s/he answers: “Minimize these nutrients!”.
    This extremely logical deduction is far too simple for our industry hostages whether being professors, MDs, “experts” or health care bureaucrats or worst of all, ministers, politicians or the general public.
    The ‘experts’ have now stumbled upon the diabetes truth for years, hurried off to billions of so-called ‘research’, leaving the truth on the ground and achieving only fake and/or surrogate solutions.

    Someone suffering from peanut allergy is interestingly advised to stay away from peanuts.

    We live in a mad world governed by idiots.

    Best regards

    Mats J C Wiman
    Healthy diabetic since 2008
    http://www.FriskaDiabetiker.se (in Swedish)
    ‘HealthyDiabetics.se’ under construction)

  5. Richard Gibbs

    I think it’s worth stating again – “For every complicated problem there is a solution that is simple, direct, understandable, and wrong” – H. L. Mencken. LCHF will work for many but not everyone. Atkins doesn’t typically work well for those with type A blood because they usually have a low level of Intestinal Alkaline Phosphatase (IAP), which is used to break down dietary fat. Conversely type O people have the highest level of IAP, so can handle a high fat diet better, and they are the ones who should avoid wheat, partially because it agglutinates type O blood.

      1. Richard Gibbs

        There are 3 basic reasons why blood type affects human diet.
        1. Blood type specific lectins.
        2. Secretor status – about 80% of people have the secretor gene, which means the blood type antigens are directly secreted into bodily fluids, which affects the the composition of the digestive tract bacteria, some of which feed on these antigens.
        3. Gene linkage – genes are not inherited randomly; if a particular gene in the egg/sperm came from one parent then the neighboring genes on the DNA are much more likely to come from the same parent. Thus the inheritance of genes can be correlated with blood type. For humans some of these associated genes are related to the digestive system.

      1. julie

        My husband has reveresed his diabetes in less than 6 months by eating a vegan diet. Low carbs but definitely NO fat, and now no meds.

    1. Marijke

      I am a type A and I am doing very well on a low carb – high fat diet. I have been eating like this for five years now and I intend to continue for the rest of my life.

    2. Laurel

      I’m type A+ and I lose weight like mad on a LCHF diet. But, I hate it, hate it hate it! I want my potatoes! I want my bread! I never ever lost my cravings for carby things. And on top of that I had debilitating leg cramps every night. Argh!

  6. Pingback: Sweden gets is right | Bydio

  7. Gill P

    I have been on the LCHF diet since 25 August this year and have lost 10 lbs which is a lot better than when I was on a well-known slimming group’s diet. (12 lbs in 18 months!) I am not bothered about bread or potatoes etc and just have the same as the rest of the family, but without the over-indulgence in carbs!

  8. Conny Rost

    We have to get in LCHF into the care of the elderly otherwise we
    will experience the same thing as the young australian soldier that
    came to the front during the war. The Brittish officer asked him:
    “Did you come here to die young man? No I came yesterdie he answered”

  9. Professor Göran Sjöberg

    I like the way your are framing this “dietician stupidity” – has nothing whatever to do with science – and I do use the same framing when I am lecturing about LCHF in Sweden.

    I have been in natural science research and development (in material technology) about the most time of my life and was staggered when, for personal reasons, I started to untangle this web of “stupidity”. I finally became very convinced that the so called medical science has much more in common with religious beliefs than with true science and this, at the start, I could not even imagine.

    I am an ardent supporter of Dr. Dahlqvist – she may have changed the world for good.

    Göran Sjöberg

    Adjunct Professor, Chalmers University of Technology

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      I think it is always fascinating when a true scientist finds themesleves looking at medical ‘science’. Medical ‘science’ has, in many cases, little to do with real science. It is far too often driven by dogma, various irrational beliefs, money, status and powerful individuals. I suppose all of scientific endeavour is constantly threatened by such things, but medicine seems more prone to bias than any other area.

      1. Professor Göran Sjöberg

        Again good phrasing to me!

        I fully agree with these “scientific limitations” (not least in materials technology); science can at most only be well founded hypothesis and then at best corroborated and supported by reality as, e.g., by the present overwhelming experience in the Swedish grass root LCHF movement.

        Myself and my wife are here, ourselves, two amazing “anecdotic” (again unscientific stupid naming from the medical community which reminds me of John Locke’s entangling on this naming issue in peoples minds) examples among thousands of others in Sweden.

  10. Eddie Mitchell

    Dismissing these people as idiots is letting many off lightly, they are in fact mercenaries and assassins, they kill people for money. Many are highly educated and know exactly what a high carb diet does for most diabetics control of blood glucose. They know more carbs leads to more medication, which for many leads to a more unpredictable control of blood glucose. The NHS published audits prove around 93% of type one diabetics never get to a safe HbA1c. The situation is also grim for many type two diabetics. Current methods of controlling diabetes with a high carb low fat diet has failed totally. The bottom line is this. These people do not know what they are doing, and that makes them not fit for purpose, or they do know what they are doing, and are criminals.

    Some time ago I read these words by a certain UK Doctor from Scotland and now working near Manchester. He got it spot on, then and now.

    “The reality is that over the years, and around the world we have killed literally millions of diabetics by advising them to eat a high-carb diet and avoid fats. Only now is it being recognised that previous advice was and remains useless, dangerous and scientifically illiterate”  

    Results for England. The National Diabetes Audit 2010-2011 

    Percentage of registered Type 1patients in England

    HbA1c >= 6.5% (48 mmol/mol) = 92.6%
    HbA1c >   7.5% (58 mmol/mol) = 71.3%
    HbA1c > 10.0% (86 mmol/mol) = 18.1%

    Percentage of registered Type 2 patients in England

    HbA1c >= 6.5% (48 mmol/mol = 72.5%
    HbA1c > 7.5% (58 mmol/mol) = 32.6%
    HbA1c >10.0% (86 mmol/mol) = 6.8%

    These pitiful results are very similar to those obtained in previous NHS audits over the past 5 – 6 years. 

    Kind regards Eddie

      1. james

        Malcolm, om Melchior’s blog we have decided there is a war going on. We either fight or we collaborate. There is no middle ground. What EFSA is proposing about fructose has nothing to do with health but everything with Big Food and Big Pharma taking complete control by way of sneaking in bit by bit cheap HFCS . Which means virtually the complete center aisles of the grocery store

    1. Mats J C.Wiman

      Thank you!!

      The results in Sweden have been similar. The five year mortality is 40% = Five years after diagnosis 40% of the patients are dead.

      A splendid performance for a health care oraganisation, isn’t it. A mad orgainisation run by idiots.

  11. Eric

    While I completely agree that there are large financial interests in selling us the processed food we have today, the incentives and impetus for that came from the government, specifically the McGovern commission’s execrable report fingering dietary fat. Once the government sets the party line, it’s play along or not get funded. Also consider what would happen (and likely will one day) when all the players come out with a “we were wrong, and we got the “settled science” backwards. Sorry to the next of kin to all those who died following our advice and to those who got sick doing so” I’m sure the lawyers will love that.

  12. Nate England

    Sorry, Doc, but here is some old data that shows the need to call them criminals instead of idiots. About 10 years ago, the New York Times did a very large three part article on diabetes. Generally, it was very good but rather depressing. But the part that centered on Bellevue Hospital was infuriating. Bellevue had three floors that were dedicated to treating complications of diabetes, such as, amputations, eye surgery, dialysis, heart surgery and a cancer ward. A group of employees, who had a brain and a heart, saw that these floors were full of patients, in part, because most diabetics did not have a good knowledge of how to manage their blood sugar. So, they opened a diabetic education center in the basement. It lasted about five or so years. It was closed because the profit per square foot from the education center was too low. They were making way more money amputating feet and cutting open chests.

    1. Steve Prior

      Hi Nate

      As you say “So, they opened a diabetic education center in the basement. It lasted about five or so years. It was closed because the profit per square foot from the education center was too low. They were making way more money amputating feet and cutting open chests.”

      I have written before about the nature of structures which drive behaviour and this is no different.

      The money system and the economic system is optimised for profit. People (that’s all of us) are doing what the system dictates we must do. We must make as big a profit as we can or we die.

      Pharmacuetical companies will do whatever it takes to make more money. Governments will do all it can to stay in power. Businesses will do all they can to take more money out of people’s pockets than another competing business.

      The system is set up to do that and that is what we do.

      When one starts to look at this from a design/systems perspective one will see rotten structures everywhere.

      The solution is obvious in a way and that is to create an economy which is optimised for resources. The problem is we have dug a huge great hole and are hell bent on maintaining the existing system. We then go into problem solving mode and so solve one problem which then creates another problem.

      The economic system we are persuaded to obey is a human construct. At some point we may all come to our senses and change the whole wicked rotten thing but don’t hold your breath.

      At some point in the future, the truth will come out about Statins, there will be people wondering how this could happen and that it must not happen again… Then it will happen again because the underlying economic structure dictates how society behaves.

      Karl Marx was in part completely (and I’m no Marxist) correct about the issues relating to the way the economic system is structured. He did some great analysis but had a useless rubbish solution.

      1. Mats J C.Wiman

        Brilliant anlysis!
        What to do?
        I am writing on a party program for “The New Party” (working name) for Sweden.
        Basically, the solution is quite simple: just what civilzation ha already done: through legislation AND law enforcement.
        Laws should not be a thing of the past, they should be continually used to correct all the madness we see.
        Enforcement and sanctions should also be harsher, as today’s possibilities to evade the law is so much easier with the aid of globalisation and its ever present tool, the Internet.
        Madness and its mother Greed cannot be allowed to rule!


  13. Jonas A

    Haha well you are very right in your thougts. When anyone tries LCHF and get significant bettet both mentally and physicly you realise that you have been decived by the companies in coallition with the govarnment to belive that fat is bad for you. After 3 month on LCHF i lost 20kg, ask google how much in lbs, dropped blood pressure from 199/99 to 120/80. Guess fat aint so bad after all. You can all try it. Gl from Sweden

  14. Eddie Mitchell

    Hi Malcolm

    I read this last night and thought it sums up quite well how we arrived at the dietary lunacy that prevails today. Ancel Keys comes to mind.

    “It is more important to provide material for a true verdict than to gloss over disturbing facts so that individual reputations may be preserved.”

    Sir Basil Liddell Hart in the preface to History of the First World War.

    Kind regards Eddie

  15. Axel F

    By their systematic review, health authorities in the Sweden are among the first in the world to acknowledge the huge potential of carbohydrate restriction to treat conditions such as obesity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. I do hope this is only the beginning and that health authorities elsewhere will follow in their footsteps. There is very much at stake because obesity and its metabolic and cardiovascular consequences are becoming very serious health issues of pandemic proportions. We should not accept that effective weapons to fight these disorders are left unused.

    More on the issue here..

  16. John C

    One factor that appears to have been overlooked in many of the studies referenced here is the effect of a diet defficient in magnesium. I have checked some of the details of the composition of some of the LCHF diets and cannot find any reference to Mg content. Magnesium defficiency is now emerging as a key player in both sudden cardiac death, i.e. arrhythmia, and development of atherosclerosis. For a good summary of the latest research see:

    “Endothelial cells and magnesium: implications in atherosclerosis”
    Jeanette A. M. Maier
    Clinical Science (2012) 122, (397–407)

    Most western diets are low in Mg and I would not be surprised if those studies that have found that some LCHF diets promote atherosclerosis are also low in Mg.

  17. Martin

    “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” / Gandhi

    Two years in ketosis and counting… 🙂

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      David, nice to hear from you on this site. Yet, I know, and it may not come as a huge surprise to know that I know Aseem Malhotra. You know his father…although you may not know it.

      The tide does seem to be turning this time. I am not holding my breath. As Max Plank used to say. ‘Science progresses one funeral at a time.’

      1. dearieme

        I once read that a psychologist eventually investigated Planck’s proposition and found it to be false. Old scientists were perfectly capable of changing their views rather than being bitter-enders. Hurray for empirical investigation!

  18. Sue Richardson

    Just for a laugh, go and buy today’s (23 Oct) Daily Express. The headline will either have you rolling in the aisles, grinding your teeth or at the very least wondering whether all these ‘experts’ have been living on another planet. They certInly haven’t read Dr K’s Book! Oh, the headline? “EATING FAT IS GOOD FOR YOU! After 40 years of warning doctors now say it’s healthy”. What will they ‘discover’ next!

    1. Mats J C.Wiman

      @Sue Richardson
      This book saved my life in 2008 (after i lost 15 kg with LCHF): “Fat and cholesterol is healthy” by Danish/Swedish assistant professor Uffe Ravnskov (Chief voice of THINCS (The International Network of Cholesterol Skeptics).
      His scrutiny of the many ‘twisted’ (my adjective) studies purporting to demonstrate/prove the dangers of saturated fats
      was so thorough and conscientious = convincing that I started to enjoy butter, fat meat, bacon and shrimps and other animal delicacies and decided to throw away my statins, BP-pills and Metformin, after which I felt better than ever and
      showed values better than non-diabetics.

      escapee from the jaws of death

  19. Michelle Hough

    Although I am starting to understand some of the science (I am currently studying for a health science degree). I am also listening to my body. I completely cut out processed food, sugar and grains at the beginning of June and now eat a HFLC diet. Having done just about every diet going over the years. I had all the bad experiences bloating, sugar highs and lows, cravings, mood swings and low energy levels. I am now free! I barely think of food. I eat when I am hungry and it is truly a revelation. I have researched and read more and more and the truth is there. I cannot believe what the food and health industry are doing to people. Thanks to people like you Dr. Kendrick and the others fighting the cause the message may one day get through. I’m certainly trying to do my bit.

    1. Mats J C.Wiman

      @Michell Hough
      Your ar telling the story of many thoussnds of Swedes. That is why LCHF has ben and is like prairie fire.
      For me as a diabetic, its an enormous blessing just like for many of my colleague victims.


    2. Professor Göran Sjöberg


      Welcome at young age to emerge on the right side of the fence!

      In Sweden we are, as this thread indicates, in the fore front by regaining health through the grass root movement which is known under the acronym LCHF to emphasise the Low Carb part (get rid of the carbs first) and then to compensate with fat, preferably saturated as butter or coco nut oil, thus HF.

      You might not wonder that LCHF is still considered as THE evil by most health authorities though the door now is bit ajar and the LCHF is now approved for the short term treatment of obesity and even put in ahead of low fat calorie counting diets.

      LCHF is not a diet for losing weight – it is a way of life for health!

  20. Robert Park

    From a personal angle, I was a vegetarian for 18 years (but not for ethical reasons) when I then had to have an emergency quadruple by-pass; that was 1990. On arising from intensive care and being asked what I wanted for breakfast I said, ‘well, if I am going to die I am going to die happily so make it streaky bacon and fried egg’ and since then (now 82) I have been in remarkably good health! In those intervening years I discovered that PUFAs gave me angina and so too did MUFAs but not to the same extent. For a number of years I have been consuming a standard diet but which consists principally of lashing of saturated fats mostly of the animal variety. If my saturated fat intake drops I begin to feel a degree under as if I am suffering from fat starvation which I probably am. On my present diet it seems that I can continue to enjoy those lovely food items made from grains (biscuits, cakes, cereals, breads, etc) and maintain my blood sugar level around the prediabetic stage so long as I also take lashings of saturated fat. I am carrying about a stone over weight (but then I am 6 feet tall) but it never seems to rise above this level. My blood pressure is around 120/75. The late Guru of low calorie research, Dr Roy Walford, who followed the results of his research and wrote the book ‘The 120 Year Diet’ but whose diet was principally vegetarian, suffered from neurological problems in his late 70s and never made it to his 80th birthday. Maybe it is better not to be a scientist.

    1. Professor Göran Sjöberg

      Robert Park,

      You beat me with more than a decade but I am about in the same situation as you in terms of clogged arteries and preference for cookies.

      1999 I was at the emergency department and should, as they said, be very happy to have survived the very serious heart attack i experienced and also with very limited damages on my heart. The successful outcome was probably due to that my regular exercising which with time had built collateral blood vessels. I was offered a by-pass operation which I though abstained from and still do. I also refrained from all the medicines they at once prescribed.

      When I was on a check up half a year ago I met about the most “idiot”, incompetent doctor I ever met. To start with he had not been able to recover my records (it was at the same hospital!). “I am not interested in what you have done during 14 years!” was the start up comment. The next comment was: “You can talk anyone over but not me!” Interesting when a “heart specialist – cardiolog” don’t even dare to open up a a discussion we a patient, though in this case well read. When I finally asked him if he could recommend a good text book on heart disease he could not even do that properly. “I follow the guidelines was his comments when he prescribe five new drugs!” He was quite aware of the fact that I was never to take any drugs. “I think what you are doing is almost criminal!” He was neither impressed by my survival having refused all their offers. “You have only been lucky!”

      As a R&D-man in natural science I look for cause rather than for remedies and realised that I had been a cookie-monster with a sweet tooth for all my life and that in the cookies was the cause to find in terms of what is today well known as trans-fats – a major culprit for heart disease. So I banned all foods containing “partially stabilised unsaturated fats” – probably the best thing I ever have done. All margarine was replaced with butter. No more cookies – no more sweets – a hard but scientific decision!

      And of course a LCHF way of life.

    2. Professor Göran Sjöberg

      I forgot to mention that my blood pressure at rest is less than 110/60 which I had actually informed my infamous cardiologist in writing about well before our appointment but that did not refrain him subscribe drugs to lower that. And also statins were prescribed since it was on his “guidelines list” although my cholesterol levels where just “perfect” but prescribed as an anti-inflammatory medication. I could have talked with him for about an hour on this specific subject this was not an option in his case.

      “Mercenaries, assassins …” as Eddie Mitchell mentions comes to my mind.

      Health care seems more and more like a horror movie!

      1. Trixie

        In the US, it’s all about the guidelines. If you present complaint A, the drs must treat using 1, 2, 3, etc. in proper order. If you have a heart attack, you will be prescribed anti-cholesterol drugs even if your levels are in the “normal” range. I try to stay away from all allopathic medicine and lean towards natural substances, however big pharma donates big $$ to try and regulate natural products right out of business.

        1. james

          That holds for diettitians too. Everybody has to’ follow protoco’l, but what really seriously worried me more than anything else is that apparently doctors could be sued for malpractice or have their licences suspended when/if they don’t have a minimum amount of their patients on statins (as a percentage of their number of patients).
          If this is really true what viable alternative do you have as a physician?

    3. Glynis Mitchell

      You make agreat point about feeling deficient in fats sometimes. Your comments about also enjoying some “bad”carbs is also interesting. It reminded me of advice Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride gives to pregnant women in her GAPS book–“take a little bread with your butter.” –The balance is altered in favour of the fats, and the result is to offset the carb spike. I think this is a very important point.

      Once more, we have a smashing. Thank you all.

  21. Fredrik

    Roughly 60% of the 55-60 million people who die every year on planet earth die from some kind of degenerative disease, with heart disease as the leading killer. If a percentage of these, let’s say a moderate 25%, die as a direct result of following wrong dietary guidelines, you come up with a number around 8 million deaths per year at the moment. Just to put the seriousness in some numbers.

  22. John C

    For those that are interested the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Commission) is screening a 2 part series of “Catalyst” starting tonight titled ” The Heart of the Matter”


    To summarise:

    “Is the role of cholesterol in heart disease really one of the biggest myths in the history of medicine?

    For the last four decades we’ve been told that saturated fat clogs our arteries and high cholesterol causes heart disease. It has spawned a multi-billion dollar drug and food industry of “cholesterol free” products promising to lower our cholesterol and decrease our risk of heart disease.

    But what if it all isn’t true? What if it’s never been proven that saturated fat causes heart disease?

    In this special two part edition of Catalyst, Dr Maryanne Demasi investigates the science behind the claims that saturated fat causes heart disease by raising cholesterol.”

    I will be watching.

    I think the message is starting to gain momentum when the major non-commercial TV network in Australia has the courage to take on big pharma and the National Heart Foundation, a supporter of statins..

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Glad this is finally happening. I have been communicating with Maryanne for the past year – as has Uffe Ravsnkov. This entire story is getting heavily watered down, but hopefully hard hitting enough

    2. Shona Young

      The ABC has had to pull this from their website, due to concerns about issuing wrong advice…people will die etc etc (according to Aust Heart Foundation and Dieticians Australia). Apparently many people went off their statins (I will not put them in uppercase…) as a result of this program, and a hue and outcry prevailed. Latest news …http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-06-15/patients-cut-back-on-statins-after-catalyst-story-research/6545026
      But I have found the programs on this site…

  23. Robert Park

    There is research (probably hidden in today’s archives) which examined arterial plaque to discover that a massive 70% was made of PUFAs, 23% from Saturated fats, and 7% from other sources. Seemingly saturated fat has in its make-up both poly and mono unsaturated fats. The perceptive might recognise that the 23% furring of the arteries by saturated fats is most likely caused by the poly or mono unsaturated within the saturated fat. Additionally, it appears that PUFAs are potent suppressors of the immune system (and, of course, sugars) and that monounsaturated fat creates masses of those nasty wee free radicals which can hardly be heart friendly. It appears that those fats only cause furring of the arteries in the presence of carbohydrates in the diet but I am not aware of any research to substantiate this view. PUFAs also thins the blood and hence why the Inuits apparently had few cardiac problems although if wounded it seems they bled to death. The thinning of the blood is said to have caused aneurysms. Given a choice I guess I would settle for the quick exit of a cardiac arrest.

    I am also reminded that when Captain Scott of the antarctic expedition was preparing for his voyage that he and his team did not know how to handle dogs nor how to ski and while it was recognised by other explorers that the pemmican that was so essential to survival had to include the saturated fat. Scott, in his wisdom sought the advice of the medics and was advised not to include fat in the pemmican, advice which he accepted. Could it have been the lack of saturated fat in diet that brought about his and his team’s demise? How amazing that we British make heroes out of failures.

    1. Eddie Mitchell

      “I am also reminded that when Captain Scott of the antarctic expedition was preparing for his voyage that he and his team did not know how to handle dogs nor how to ski and while it was recognised by other explorers that the pemmican that was so essential to survival had to include the saturated fat. Scott, in his wisdom sought the advice of the medics and was advised not to include fat in the pemmican, advice which he accepted. Could it have been the lack of saturated fat in diet that brought about his and his team’s demise? How amazing that we British make heroes out of failures.”

      Scott failed because he was one the greatest bunglers in UK history and a very poor leader of men. Leaving aside the monumental list of reasons he failed, there was indeed serious dietary shortcomings. The diet was not only of poor quality, it was woefully short in calorific requirements. Man hauling sledges required at least 1500 calories a day more than his team were consuming. Scurvy also lead to their downfall. The famous Capt. Oates had a long healed, serious war wound open up, scar tissue acting in this way is a classic severe scurvy manifestation. Amundsen’s men consumed a superior diet, including next to raw fresh meat, fat and organs obtained from seals. Also they had at their disposal over twice the food available compared to Scott’s, and Amundsen’s men did not pull the sledges.

      Just for a bit of trivia. Huskies can obtain fats and nutrients by consuming human excrement went hungry. Clearly our metabolism is not 100% efficient even when working at best. Then there is the matter of heat loss etc.

      Kind regards Eddie

      PS. To Malcolm I posted up an article the other night re. The Royal Australasian College of Physicians has sacked its own ethics committee just days after the committee produced strict new guidelines on doctors’ ties to industry. Did it hit your spam filter or is there a problem with the post.

  24. David Bailey

    The story of science gone astray, that we see being exposed here, is, I think, not unique. For example, a little hunting on the internet reveals a very similar story relating to “Global Warming” (renamed as “Climate Change” to make it easier to justify). Again, billions of pounds are at stake, based on incredibly tenuous evidence. Again you find well qualified people in the field calling foul.

    I’ll bet there are other horror stories too. Part of the problem, I think, is that as governments start to accept scientific advice and spend big money, it becomes just too embarrassing to admit that that advice might be wrong!

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Rebecca, thank you for you kind words. Yes, my friend Dr Malhotra has just blasted the saturated fat nonsese in the BMJ, and made a few waves. I hope the tide is turning. I think there might be enough momentum to sweep away fifty years of nutritional nonsese. I certatin hope so.

  25. Sue

    I have been told by my doc that my cholesterol is 6.8, and that maybe I should consider taking statins. Dr Kendrick, is there any level of cholesterol that you consider to be too high, and if so, what is it? Do you think 6.8 is too high? My blood pressure is normal. Thanks for any response.

  26. Divad

    There may really be some kind of revelution going on here in Sweden.
    The government department “Livsmedelsverket” (National food agency) is stil resisting, well entrenched in deep unscientific denial (they may actually be allied with the food industry). My well educated friends and collegues though, have lately got very interested in 5:2 fast, low-carb, sourdough bread baking and the effects of excessive gluten intake. I think they are representative of the population, judging from newspapers etc.

    Bring out the guilliotins. Heads will roll!
    /Divad, the Swede

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      I think things are changing, but I doubt many heads will roll. When the dust settles the same experts will still be at the top of the pile, the words and the music will have changed – that’s all.

      1. Professor Göran Sjöberg

        I am afraid that you are right again!

        Still it is encouraging to se a program like this on public television although in Australia (through the following Swedish link).


        Dr Oz had recently also a show with impact with Dr Permutter as a main contributor. Perlmutter had his great book “Grain Brain” just recently published in September. A reading must!

        For certain, things are turning!

  27. Richard Gibbs

    I have no respect for Dr. Oz. He will say anything sensational to sell his TV show and magazines. I don’t think a week goes by that he doesn’t appear on the front cover on a woman’s magazine in the US touting yet another different diet. What he’s saying in the segment is ALL carbs are bad. We have had years of public preaching a low fat high carb diet. Are we now going to have preaching of the high fat low/no carb diet. Time for the Mencken quote again! Time people started working on the concept that LCHF works for some and HCLF works for others.

    1. Eddie Mitchell

      “I have no respect for Dr. Oz.”

      Agree 100%. He will pimp anything if there is some mileage to be gained. What a week for the low carb high fat lifestyle. Jeez if it gets any better the BDA,NHS and DUK will be jumping on the good news train soon.

      Kind regards Eddie

      1. james

        Neither have I much, but what you zealots seem to forget is that Oz and the women’s magazines are far more important than what you guys in your infinite wisdom think. The women are the game changers. They are in charge of the family’s health and the budget. So whether you like it or not, your opinion does not count in the great scheme of things.

        1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

          James No-one here is a zealot. Far from it. We are mainly people who are fighting back against dogma and zealots. Suggesting ‘we’ think we have infinite wisdom is – I presume – meant as a terrible insult. I don’t think anyone here thinks they have infinite wisdom. Infinite wisdom is not required to see that the dietary advice of the last forty years is utter nonsense – and not supported by any evidence. I accept that (currently) our opinions have litte impact ‘in the greater scheme of things.’ Although Uffe Ravnskov greatly influenced Annika Dalqvist, I influenced Dr Malhotra (who has recently written in the BMJ attacking the low fat high carb dogma) and I provided -as did Dr Ravnskov support and background information for the Austrlalian Broadcasting Comapnies recent documentaries attackign current dogmma etc. Perhaps you believe that great changes just suddenly appear – fully formed – from the ether. Change comes in small steps. The first voices are silenced, or ridiculed. But in the end, if you keep stating the truth, you can make things change. The great scheme of things changes little by little. Fuelled by individuals who care enough to try and make things better. I am sorry but I find your e-mail exceedingly disappoiting. What did you hope to achieve with it – exactly?

          1. james

            ”James No-one here is a zealot”
            Far be it from me to accuse everybody of being a zealot, but I honestly find the sincerity of people wanting a healthier society to knock everybody who happens to be a greater influencer than themselves, wearing a bit thin. See also the comment by Professor Göran Sjöberg.
            Mine was meant in the same vein and if it was received as offensive I apologize.
            I have absolutely no issue with the rest of your retort. Am not sure from what you deduct that I would think otherwise.
            I have been frustrated with the slow acceptance of what I consider a lot closer to nutritional truth, probably just as long as you and have for years been met wide eyes glazing over while I went a tirade about what I thought was wrong with what they were eating , so I know ‘zealots’ accomplish. Malhotra presented in a Dutch ladies magazine is going to make a difference. Does it really make a difference who gets the credit. Yudkin gets it -from some-, posthumously.
            At least from me.
            Uffe gets it from me, but to the larger public it is going to mean a lot more when people like Oz all of a sudden seem to have seen the light. At least he gave Perlmutter time in the limelight. And so does another despised figure who is turning out to becoming a game changer.
            My interest , and absolutely only interest in the general health and nutritionally consciousness of my neighbour next door, the community I live in.

      2. Robert Park

        James, OZ is a plargiarist and contrary to your cherished view that women manage the health and budget of the family which is manifestly your experience but it is certainly not mine and I doubt if my experience is unique. Women’s magazines simply hide behind the rising tide of popularity in the same manner as other publications otherwise they would be out of business. Women do not change the rules of the game but rather compel institutionalised thought precesses to consider feminine feelings which were absent during the rise of the industrial revolution. Technology, television, and today’s Internet, has brought into effect considerable changes to society and is continuing to do so and has giving voice to the less articulate and not solely to women.

      3. Richard Gibbs

        My complaint about Dr. Oz is that he is irresponsible, and that is unacceptable from someone with his level of influence. It’s one thing to challenge the dogma of HCLF. It’s another to vilify ALL carbs, as he did in that segment, and even suggest we stop consuming fruits. No talk about glycemic index, which is important in determining the effect of a carb on blood sugar levels, or how to choose carbs responsibly for a balanced diet.

        I remember about 20 years ago Meryl Streep making a fuss about wax on apples, so apple consumption dropped and millions suffered from poorer nutrition and/or constipation. Wax is just a saturated fat, hardly harmful. Oprah Winfrey got sued over her pronouncements about beef (and she was responsible for Oz becoming a public figure). Oz has supported the “immunization causes autism” clamor.

        Public figures have influence and need to weigh carefully what they say.

        1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

          Whist science is pure….humans are far from it. We are not going to get from low fat to higher fat overnight. There will be various steps on the road which will be imperfect, but better than where we currently are. So, if Dr Oz helps along the way, no probs.

          1. james

            Richard I too have many issues with Oz’s presentations. Actually, like Professor Sjöberg, we threw out the tv long ago. Must have been early 90’s. When I hear about Oz it’s usually somebody who puts the link on a Facebook page or blog. The way David Perlmutter’s presentation was dumbed down I think Perlmutter himself was probably not too happy with either. However what I found even more disturbing and possibly even harmful, is the fact that in Oz’s ‘brain exercise’ little attention was was payed to, what I still consider, the big elephant in the room, seed oils. Personally I think the swamping of our mitochondria with N6 all the time, and in quantities that completely mess up the signalling, is as big a threat to a good functioning energy supply for our central nervous system as anything else. In all the research I have perused over the last four or five winters that I found myself forced to spend some more time on this, it was always polyunsaturated fats (oxidized or not) hovering somewhere in the background. Often unaccounted for.
            I still haven’t heard from Ian Spreadbury whether in his hypothesis about fat as the facilitator for the bad guys getting through the tight junctions, it made any difference what kind.
            In regards to Robert Park’s comments : we shall see. Talking to a friend marketing executive for a big corp. when accusing him of all sorts of stuff, it is apparently a little different than what we usually think. Big Food is spending millions on finding out what our women think, what they read. They follow very closely where they think where their thinking appears to be taking them. The successful companies will be there when the women arrive. Yes, they do influence their behaviour in all sorts of sly and behind the scenes moves, and yes, magazines will follow the money, but have a closer look at who are beginning to take over the glossies. I am seeing more and more health products, natural products, etc.
            I wish I could be more optimistic for a tipping point than I really am, but we cannot deny that there seems to be a bit of a mood swing. There is definitely a lot of distrust of large corporations telling consumers what should be on their plate.

      4. Richard Gibbs

        It’s anyone’s guess what bit of sensationalism he will come up with next week that could set the cause back. Maybe we can have Dr. Neal Barnard from the Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine 🙂

  28. Richard Gibbs

    There are some serious bugs in the WordPress software. I have posted comments that have never appeared. I don’t know if the comment I posted at the “Contact Dr. Malcolm Kendrick” worked or not.

  29. Professor Göran Sjöberg

    Obviously nutrition has not been driven by a scientific, inquisitive, hypothetical agenda during the last 50 years but by religious dogmas about saturated fat and cholesterol but I guess that this is now starting to hit back. And as Dr. Kendrick suggests I also believe the the “high priests” will float on top even after any possible paradigm shift.

    In my world there cannot by any business interest, which is ruling the world today, from neither the food nor the medical industry to support any real science as long as the profits on statins come rolling in at the present rate. The only industry interest in science, e.g. for fundamental molecular biology, seems to be if they can smell new drugs round the corner.

    The almost complete ignorance about nutrition among medical doctors cannot be a coincidence but a part of a system where there is no interest in science – seen as the art of finding causes. If you as a diabetic get ill when you digest carbohydrates there is to me a cause and effect issue. If you take away the cause the effect will disappear and this is as simple as science can be to me but not to the medical community.

    It’s scandalous!

    And where is the scientific logic (a necessary part of science) to haphazardly attack one of the most essential building blocks of our cells with statins. To me this is dogmatic horror in practice. Science is here at the moon and it is proven!

    What we see in Sweden today is, as I mentioned, a true grass root movement with Dr Annika Dahlqvist as a pioneer and she had to pay a price for her stature. Here ordinary people are now joining in and often when they have arrived at the metabolic syndrome of various severeness. They then often stick to the LCHF life style, not first hand as a diet to reduce weight but, since health often dramatically was improved (cause and effect) as this goes for my wife and myself who, by the way, both just ‘happened’ to stabilise weight at our youth levels although we don’t really suffer from that part of our life style change. What annoys me, as a researcher of natural sciences outside the medical field, is how the medical community ridicules inumerous real life experiences as “anecdotes”. These ‘anecdotes’ should in my world of science be the drive for “real science” in medicine and as the famous French physiologist Claude Bernard tried to introduce 150 years ago.

    When it comes to how this LCHF subject now surface in media it is, as have been noticed, a completely different story and often both annoying and frustrating if your interest is serious and if you are well read but this unfortunately relates to a very small fraction of the population and here, of course, we find the subjects of the ‘popular’ media. Still when a correct view on LCHF (with Dr. Perlmutter) for once here surfaces it is perhaps not the time for serious crying.

    I myself throw the TV-set out about ten years ago and wonder why I didn’t do that thirty years earlier.

  30. Rebecca K

    Like so many others commenting here, I found many years ago that diets which restrict carbs but not fat or protein are far more effective for me, ie. LCHF diets such as Atkins, South Beach, etc. But I never understood why until a friend recommended Gary Taubes’ book “Good Calories, Bad Calories” (published as “The Diet Delusion” in the UK in 2008).

    I knew that the role of insulin was to regulate blood sugar levels, but until I read Taubes’ book, I had never understood that insulin also regulates fat disposition, and in particular, that insulin prevents the release of fat from fat tissue. (This means that when insulin is elevated, the body cannot access and burn fat, which Taubes describes as “internal starvation” which then drives hunger and the need to eat more, even though we may have lots of fat stored.)

    The book also relates in great detail the history of diet and nutrition advice in the US, and how the medical establishment got it all wrong in the 1970’s and then became entrenched in its “fat is bad” belief, which has led to the substitution of fat with sugar (high fructose corn syrup) by the food industry, leading to the obesity epidemic and massive morbidity and premature deaths….

    1. Professor Göran Sjöberg

      Yes, the Gary Taubes GCBC is an amazing achievement of a highly rewarded journalist of science. It was for sure an eyeopener for me but not least for the medical doctor Eenfeldt who is now running the most visited blog on health issues in Sweden. He also has an English version of his blog.


      And he really works on staying on top by digging up spectacular achievements through LCHF and not least on diabetes. He seems to be working very hard on going international on this issue.

      1. Professor Göran Sjöberg

        Here is an anecdote relating to GCBC

        In the the GCBC there is a rather elaborate discussion around the role of insulin as an deteriorating agent when it slows down the constant entangling of AGE (Advanced Glycation Endproducts) since there is evidently a competition for the same enzyme that is responsible for this entangling and for the degrading of insulin, the IDE (Insulin Degrading Enzyme) if I now remember this right on top of my head. Thus it is a very good hypothesis that a constant high carbohydrate load may contribute to plaque formation in the brain.

        And now the anecdote!

        On a flight from Copenhagen to Gothenburg, which is less than an hour, I happened to find a medical researcher next to me. He was going to present a paper at a brain research conference i Stockholm and pulled out his paper to prepare. It was a comparison of the mental capacity between different social groups were the ‘most deprived’ were of special interest. There was a number of parameters studied and not least food items and glancing his paper I asked him if I could have quick look.

        I then at once observed that he had not included the soft drinks and could not refrain from asking him why he hadn’t included such an item with reference to the above logic from GCBC. I have never met a researcher so genuinely and quickly exalted. He almost jumped out of the seat and he even presented me to is wife sitting behind us when we parted.

        ‘Well’, he said, ‘can you give me the reference to that book. This kind of broad scoop reading is exactly what we need as sub-specialists.’

        That was, to me, a true openminded researcher but my guess is that they today belong to a rare species but where we are still lucky to find people like Dr. Malcolm Kendrick and Dr. Uffe Ravnskov.

      2. Professor Göran Sjöberg

        By the way,

        Tomorrow I will give a lecture, “Fat, Cholesterol & The Heart”, to a number of former colleagues. (I had a some invited lectures on LCHF at the company where I was employed although as a materials specialist. I then always invited the company doctor to have him as a ‘hostage’ – worked fine.) The first slide I will show is a nice picture to honour Uffe Ravnskov.

      3. Jennifer

        Prof. Sjoberg.
        it seems I missed this whole blog in October 2013, and have now skim-read the postings, including your excellent pieces.
        As you appear to be still working in academia, it must be frustrating to mix in circles where educated people are headstrong in maintaining old beliefs, hard wired into them years ago.

        Surely, the best lessons we learn when entering adult life are :-
        1) keep an open mind regarding things previously learned.
        2) keep up to date with our particular specialities ( Continuous Professional Development is now compulsory).
        3) Avoid all forms of inappropriate monetary pressure.

        These ethical concepts rub shoulders with the way I studied, but it seems they are being side-lined.

        a) minds are remaining closed in too many cases. ( who wants to rock the boat?)
        b) CPD has morphed into a ticky-box ritual ( avoids confronting contemporaneous issues)
        c) We need to earn an honest bob or two…..(unfortunately, there are dishonest powers out there, seemingly beyond our legislative process)

        However, I take heart in the work being progressed by brave people mentioned on this site, like yourself, who are prepared to keep the pressure on.

  31. food science guru

    Your piece received plenty of responses, congratulations for that. But having come all the way to the last response they seem very one-sided (except one that quickly apologised). Moving from one extreme position of the spectrum to the other. It is a bit sad to see the dogma on both sides, well, yes I am a Swedish middle of the road guy. Thus I have actually read the Swedish report referred to and tried to find anything praising of a high fat diet. Sorry could not find it. If a low carb diet by necessity implies a high fat diet there might be some truth in claiming their support but not rigorous from a scientific point of view. And the review was very scientific in its rankings.

    I have just published my own scientific blog on the subject without inherent biases (focusonfoodsafety.com.au) and I cannot help but concluding that a balanced diet and sufficient exercise is the gold standard. But of course it is not going to please anyone following this blog.

      1. food science guru

        I don’t recommend any skewed diet, I thought I made that clear. Stay away from fads and extremes is my mantra. I have never favoured the 6-8 slices of bread earlier recommended by the Swedish Food Administration. But on the other hand some slowly digestible complex carbohydrates would surely be beneficial also to diabetics. But I am not pretending to be a medical specialist so I will refrain from issuing specific recommendations for diabetics. I stick to the scientific facts that I am familiar with.

        1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

          Carbohydrates = sugars, slowly digestible or not. A slowly digested carb will just ensure that sugar levels remain raised for a longer periods, continuously stimulating insulin, thus no possibiltiy of the body accessing rasied fat stores = greater obesity? (no studies done on this).

          Whilst I agree that we do not want to become utterly biased one way or another, at present the world of nutrition is horrible skewed against fats. We are not going to rebalance this world by being reasonable, or saying that everything is moderation is the correct approach. At present we are – in my view – horribly damaging people with unsupported dogma. Being reasonable, when the other side is so completely unreasonable, may not get us very far.

        2. Eddie Mitchell

          To food science guru

          I recommend a skewed diet, low carb high fat, it keeps me and millions of others from possible limb amputation, blindness and kidney failure. It gives me and countless others, non diabetic blood glucose numbers. The “balanced diet and sufficient exercise is the gold standard” the so called balanced diet has sent millions of diabetics to an early grave. I agree exercise is good for all.

          “But I am not pretending to be a medical specialist so I will refrain from issuing specific recommendations for diabetics. I stick to the scientific facts that I am familiar with.”

          Clicking on your avatar states ” A public health veterinarian and past professor in food safety” I am amazed you have so little to say on the subject of high carb diets and diabetes. I have read of increasing diabetes in domestic cats and dogs, brought about by pet foods having increased carbs and less protein and fats, what’s your take on that situation ?

          Kind regards Eddie

          1. lowcarbdiabetic

            Hot off the press

            A leading public health physician is warning the ABC not to air a second program on cholesterol, saying it could result in deaths.
            Last week Catalyst claimed the notion that saturated fat and cholesterol causes heart disease is the biggest myth of medical history.
            This Thursday’s program is about anti-cholesterol drugs known as statins, which are widely used in Australia.
            The chair of the Advisory Committee on the Safety of Medicines has written to the ABC in a private capacity, warning the program might cause people not to take their drugs.
            Professor Emily Banks says that will lead to more cardiovascular disease events and deaths.
            Professor Emily Banks says that will lead to more cardiovascular disease events and deaths.
            “If people stop using their statins or if they don’t start them when they should be, it’s very likely that it will result in death,” she said.
            “It’s likely that if this program goes ahead, and it does the unwarranted undermining of statins, that there will be people who didn’t have to have a heart attack and didn’t have to die from a heart attack, who will die through reducing use of statins.”
            Thursday’s scheduled program is the second in a two-part series. Promotions say it examines how the benefits of statins have been exaggerated.


            Kind regards Eddie

      2. David Bailey

        I am a bit confused by this discussion. Surely the body needs glucose (e.g. for brain function). Can it obtain glucose from anything other than carbohydrate (maybe by some very complex liver chemistry?) Failing that, the ideal diet must contain some percentage of fat, carbohydrate, and protein.

        Even so, I don’t imagine it would be easy to convert those percentages into an actual diet. I’d like to ask Dr. Kendrick what he recommends.

        1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

          Trigycerides (the basic storage form of fats) are made of three fatty acids attached to a glycerol molecule. When a triglyceride is split apart, two glycerol molecules are combined to make one glucose molecule. So, for every six fatty acids created when you break down a triglyceride, you get one glucose molecule – which the brain can use. This may be optimal fat to glucose energy split that the body needs – it would seem reasonble that are bodies are designed this way. However, if you fast, the body actually starts to break down proteins to convert them into sugars as well. My own view is that you should eat a certain amount of carbs per day. Perhaps in the 500 – 800kcal range. (More if you exericse, les if you don’t). Some people can cope with more than others. If you have problems with insulin resistnace you must really cut down on the carbs. If you have good insulin senstivity you can eat pretty much what you like.

      3. Rebecca K

        The brain can burn TWO types of ‘fuel’ – not just glucose, but also a ketone called beta-hydroxybutyrate (B-OHB). The liver makes B-OHB mainly from fat and some select amino acids. Since the liver can store only about a day’s worth of glucose (as glycogen), it’s ability to make B-OHB is probably critical to our survival. It’s true that the liver can also break-down proteins to create glucose, but it’s probably not a good survival strategy (ie. to burn one’s muscles in-between meals, especially for our paleolithic ancestors who must have faced pro-longed periods of fasting). B-OHB is crucial to why a ketogenic diet actually works (and why it may be our ‘natural’ pre-agriculture diet) – in the absence of carbohydrates, the liver converts stored fat into B-OHB, which is preferentially used by the brain over glucose (same for the heart!).

        If you want to dig into this deeper, I’d suggest looking up Dr Peter Attia, a physician/scientist who has conducted an N=1 self experiment on diet and nutrition for 7 years, partly to lose weight but mainly to address his Metabolic Syndrome (pre-Type II Diabetes), with lots of data collection (lab tests) and amazing results, and also Drs Stephen Phinney & Jeff Volek.

        By the way, Dr Attia gave a very moving TED Talk earlier this year about how the medical profession (including his younger self) has actually harmed patients through poor nutrition advice… As he wrote in his blog: “the cause of [the obesity] epidemic is NOT that people don’t care about their health, are too lazy, or eat too much. The root of the problem lies in the fact that people are being given the wrong information by those they look to as authorities.”

      4. smartersig

        Rebecca Thanks for the Attia link his message IMO on the TED talk is right on the money. My experience has been one of dropping 35lbs whilst doing less exercise. How, simply eliminating sugar, reducing carbs and wheat. Very refreshing to hear a doctor challenging the quo, I am used to suggesting ideas to UK doctors who then either do not know what I am talking about eg – what is LDL particle size or look at me as some sort of google crazy nuisance

    1. matswiman

      “Balanced diet” is the typical fig leaf for those who haven’t a clue or do not want to accept that in order to give advice, especially to oneself, you must know the basics of physiology to be be able to make a well founded choice.
      You must also realise that in order to achieve success, you yourself must also arrive at a choice and convey it.

      ‘Balanced diet’ ist just as intelligent and useful as if you gave the answer below to this questions: ‘What road do I take to attain weight loss, get away from diabetes, get to railway station’:

      “All directions / Any wroad is as good as another”. (Exerpt from the Dietician’s Bible)

      Mats J C Wiman
      Having put up with 7 clueless dieticians

      1. food science guru

        Are you saying that you are colour blind? Open up, there is a spectrum of colours out there, everything is not black or white. I can see from Dr Kendrick’s recent comment above that we are not that far apart. A carbohydrate component of 500-800 kcal seems most reasonable to me. I also understand the over-reach to get desired results. What is frightening me is people taking the comments literally and skewing their diet too far. A medical doctor in Sydney recommended his pregnant patient to it lots of swordfish. She took this literally and only ate swordfish for several months. Her child was born with extremely elevated mercury levels. So a bit of a mixed food intake doesn’t hurt or what I call a balanced diet.

        And by the way I do know my physiology but also my biochemistry that I think is more important in this case.

  32. food science guru

    I just noticed that I gave the wrong address to my blog. In case you want some more background it is actually focusonfoodsafety.wordpress.com, sorry about that. You will find that my main interest is food safety not nutrition per se.

  33. matswiman

    FEI (For everybody’s Information:

    5 years after diagnosis 40% of the patients are dead.
    (Study phrasing: “The five-year mortality is 40%).

    A splendid achievement of the Swedish health care system, isn’t it?

    Previous sufferer

  34. Richard Gibbs

    On October 24th you asked me for evidence for the claims I made about blood type and diet. I had a lot of trouble trying to post the information to this blog. Finally I created my own blog detailing where some references to these claims can be found. The blog is http://drrggibbs.blogspot.com/. Several of my earlier comments on this blog are still in “awaiting moderation” state, so I wonder if you are missing them. If you see this comment, but don’t want to approve it, please at least acknowledge on my blog that you have seen the information.

  35. robg

    Great article, I feel very frustrated by vegans regularly telling me how humans are designed to eat vegetables and how a high carb low fat approach is healthier in order to avoid CVD. Utter idiots. The world will surely be a better place without their religious stance on food. Since adopting the low carb approach i notice the effect which sugar and carbs have on my health>

    Within a day of eating sugar for example i get flu like symptoms which may go on for days, feel tired and lethargic and get brain fog. I detox by eating low carb and plenty of water. Im pretty sure that most chronic diseases can be irradicated by this eating approach.

    1. Richard Gibbs

      I agree with you about vegans being totally off the mark when they claim humans evolved to eat a plant only diet. But as I have said elsewhere in this post, I don’t agree that a low carb high fat diet is right for everyone. It’s a terrible statistic that in the US 25-33% of people are obese, but the majority are doing fine, so the official diet guidelines do work for a lot of people. I firmly believe that the one size fits all approach to diet is dead wrong. Atkins worked for me at one time, but at the same time was a disaster for my wife and one of my sons. The approach used in my family now adjusts the diet to the person; Atkins worked for me, but what I use now is not as drastic as Atkins was in terms of restricted carbs and is much more suitable for a long term lifestyle.

    2. Robert Park

      I agree on the point about sugars but as it is added to so many food items it is difficult to avoid in the diet. From Dr Lustig’s research (Sugar: the bitter truth) he says that glucose per se can be used by all organs and cells within the body yet when I attempted to reduce sugars from my diet but kept using glucose some interesting things happened. Within about 24 hours the gout symptoms which almost constantly plagued me diminished and after a week on the diet those symptoms have not returned. I also suffer from a left-foot drag and heavy legs from below the knees (I am 82) and those symptoms too eased making them more tolerable to bear. Overall there was a feeling of body lightness and a general feeling of wellbeing and as the consequence I increased the intake of glucose only to discover that I was thereafter regularly getting sore throats (cured by taking coconut). This would probably indicate that although glucose may be beneficial to the body it does appear to have a immunosuppressive effect. I leave this thought with you as I am still experimenting. While the information from Dr Lustig’s research is obviously helpful, from my own personal observations it fails to address all sugar symptoms.

  36. Scharity

    My husband and I started a low carb diet 6 months ago after finding out his cholesterol was high and he was pre diabetic. 6 months later he has lost 60 lbs and I have lost 75 lbs. and his sugar and cholesterol are PERFECT! Also I might add that we feel better than we have in years and hardly ever have joint pain like we used to. I’ll never go back to eating carbs! If common people like us can see this, why can’t all these educated “doctors”?

    1. smartersig

      Hi Scharity

      Interesting post, I too have dropped 30lbs by going more veggie and lowering carbs. I wondered where you draw the line on carbs however. Are you referring to simple carbs – cakes pastries pasta etc ?

  37. Scharity

    We have cut out sugar, potatoes, bread, corn, beans other than green beans, and fruit. It is working wonders for us. I guess you just have to tweek it for your own personal preference. We use Atkins bars for lunch at work. May not be perfect, but our blood work is perfect. I’d think the numbers don’t lie. Glad this is finally catching on, but am still amazed at how people look at you like your crazy when you tell them what your doing. lol

    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      Our GI systems are, basically, the same as carnivores. We cannot digest most carbs – unless they are cooked first. It seems the most obvious common sense that eating other animals is going to be healthy. it is what we are designed to do.

      1. Richard Gibbs

        Why would humans produce amylase if they hadn’t evolved to be able to digest starches, cooked of course? I have made the point before that blood type A generally does poorly on an Atkins diet. The O and B blood types probably evolved from type A, which then died out only to reappear as a result of interaction of the O and B types; Mol. Biol. Evol. 29(7):1791–1796. 2012. This strongly suggests that type A was at a disadvantage when man was a Hunter/Gatherer but later became viable when agriculture started

        1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

          It is, of course, possible that we have evolved to digest ‘cooked’ starches in the ten thousand years – or so – that agriculture has been around. Although all animals have many, many, redundant functions that don’t make much sense. Why can’t humans synthesize vitamin C – when it is essential to health? What possible advantage could there be to losing this function. Why do we have amylase? Well it couldn’t be to digest starch in the wild, because only ruminants can really do this, and humans have never been ruminants. Maybe it was there to break down the small amount of starch we get when we eat fruit?

      2. Richard Gibbs

        I doubt there was any advantage to losing the ability to make vitamin C, but apparently when it happened nor was there any disadvantage because there must have been a sufficient dietary supply. Presumably man must have been eating a significant amount of fruit at the time to get vitamin C.
        I don’t know offhand if the starch in fruits is in the crystalline form, which can’t be digested without cooking, or not.

    2. smartersig

      Fruit is the confusing bit. We are told its good for us and that the sugar in it is slow release so less harmful but you seem to think its best completely removed ?.

      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        We are told many things. Some are likely to be correct, some not. Fruit contains a lot of fructose, which is good if you want to put on weight. So, it is good to eat in the autumn, if you want to last through the winter. Fruit is not so good if you are already obese, and/or have insulin resistance. Whilst I dislike the phrase ‘everything in moderation’ (to which I reply, try botulin toxin), in the case of fruit. A moderate amount is good – but please don’t ask me what a moderate amount is, because I do not know. Nor, I suspect, does anyone else.

        1. smartersig

          I agree with your opinion on the word moderate, I always roll my eyes when people use it in the context of diet. The word moderation should never be used in moderation or at all for that matter.

          1. svrst11

            Balanced diet is also another fraud, to tell us to eat everything a little, no matter the quality. But one cannot be carbofobic, but prioritize the quality of carbs, more or less in quantity, depending on the context, if you need to lose weight, D2, etc. Thus, moderation as the situation specifies

  38. Antti Heikkilä

    SBU in Sweden compared the different diets each other the benefit of the Low Carb. It is an independent organisation to assessing health care interventions like Cochrane and not official government office. I m sorry but low carb is not the official view of the diet in Sweden.

    Unfortunately, the Swedish low-carb people are over-enthusiastic. SBU has made the following conclusions, which have been known for a long time. It is regrettable that the Swedish news coverage is a real canard.


  39. kazy

    I am an advocate of the low carb/high fat diet but I am wondering what you make of the Japanese Paradox. Here are a people considered to be the healthiest in the world – although that is changing due to the import of American food into their country – but their diet is high carb/low fat. I heard a lecture in which it stated the reason for this is because the Japanese diet has absolutely no fructose in it, but that doesn’t answer the question as to all the rice and noodles they eat. That still turns to sugar. In fact over a billion people in Asia eat rice and noodles, as do the Italians who eat pasta and also considered quite healthy. Asians are the leanest people in the world. Is that they just don’t eat that much as we do? I understand that high carb foods are not consumed in isolation, all by themselves without being seasoned with other ingredients. Just like a baked potato is not eaten all by itself. Swabs of butter and sour cream change its carb impact.

  40. Matt Pasterfield

    I am type 1 diabetic and have been doing this for years. Its brought my hba1c down to 5%. Before that on a carb diet, there was no possibility of attaining normal blood glucose. My cholesterol reading are great too.

  41. Lucy

    Or you could move to France or Italy where they ignored the low fat guidelines and just ate real food all along. Remember the so called French paradox that wasn’t? I have no idea what their health officials said, but they just sneered at them and went on their way.

    1. Kevin O'Connell

      The official guidelines say the same as those in the USA & UK, but yes, a large % of the French are sensible (ornery?) enough to ignore them. However, that % is ever decreasing. Incidentally, the biggest poster on the wall of the waiting room at our medical centre is that promoting ‘healthy eating’ – you know, lots of grains, not much fat…

  42. Eugeniu Inorfos

    When we contacted Anna Karin Lindroos, PhD, a nutritionist at Sweden’s National Food Agency, to ask about the new guidelines, she set the record straight: “Sweden does not have any guidelines on low-carb-high-fat diets. The information that Sweden has guidelines on low-carb-high-fat diets is based on incorrect information circulating on the Internet.”

  43. Mark Douglass

    In our USA grocery dairy section, full fat or whole milk bottles have red plastic caps. Skim or non-fat milk bottles have pink plastic caps. Reduced fat milk bottles have another colored cap.

    As I pushed my grocery cart past another, a five year old child standing by that cart was lecturing his three year old sibling sitting in the cart, “Mommy never buys the red capped milk because that milk makes you fat.”

    A five year old already knows the party line!

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  47. Andrew B

    My mum is a retired dietician and food scientist (81 years old) and has been saying this for decades. Her professor at uni was professor Yudkin, who wrote about this in the 60’s and was ridiculed. Only after his death, did the establishment admit that he was right. Look up his book, it’s brilliant

  48. Rebecca Kemp

    Thank you for this! Swedes were ahead of us as they continued to eat blood pudding and various pates for breakfast into the 90s when I was there. Although they had become attached to their pancakes with lingonberry sauce and bean soup on Thursdays.

  49. Vincent Dawson

    I must say this is all a bit over-the-top ! I have never had a weight problem ( or my friends and family). I have a BMI of 21 and body fat of 14% and have had good results back from my GP for fasting glucose, cholesterol and blood pressure (110/70) RHR 52. ( I’m 54 years old ). I eat the standard, recommended UK “eat-well plate” / Mediterranean diet. I exercise 30 minutes daily and do two weight sessions a week. I do enjoy a chocolate treat most days. You just need to cut out as many processed, sugary foods as you can and then you are good to go…….. no fads, no more longing for pasta, potatoes and rice. Just be sensible . I enjoy lovely complex carbs with every meal as they give me bags of wonderful energy and mental clarity. They are also nice and cheap to buy. Unless you have a medical reason to eat a lchf diet, and your GP has said otherwise, just be sensible. There are too many dr’s making too much money from faddy diets.
    Dear Sweden, I think you have all gone a bit awry with your diet. I used to have such respect for you and your beautiful old diet of rough rye bread,fish, vegetables and pickles. You have lost your way I think.
    You just need to move more and eat a few less treats.

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