The case for Keto – a review

9th December 2020

Gary Taubes has a new book out called ‘The Case for Keto,’ which he sent to me in the form of a real book with real pages, that he wanted me to read. Which I have.

I then suggested I should do a review and stick it up on my blog. I shall say, right up front, that I strongly recommend this book.

This may not be a surprise to those who know my thoughts on diet, heart disease and suchlike. In my case Gary is preaching to the converted. This is a book which covers the fact that fats, saturated fats, indeed any fats (other than trans-fats, and the industrially produced fats from grains) are perfectly healthy. Humans have eaten them for millennia.

You don’t see cave paintings of early humans out scything autumn wheat fields. No, you see pictures of men, because men always get the easy jobs, chasing woolly mammoths with spears. They are not just taking the mammoths out on early morning exercise, and throwing the spears to play catch. They are throwing those spears at the mammoths, and chasing them into spike filled pits, then eating them – saturated fats and all.

Anyway, as Gary makes very clear, despite the endless claims that animal fats are bad for us, when you get down to it, the evidence simply does not exist. The idea that fats make us fat and diabetic and kill us with heart disease is simply a ‘meme.’

An idea so widely held that everyone just believes it must be true. So much so that there is no need to even think about it. Fat gets into your body, floats about and gets stuck to your artery walls. Fat, cholesterol, same thing innit? ‘My mind is made up, don’t confuse me with facts.’

I think I should mention that Gary first gained considerable fame in this area with his book ‘Good Calories, Bad Calories.’ In the UK and Australia, it was called. ‘The Diet Delusion.’ This is where he first looked at the idea that fats were bad for us and found it to be based almost entirely on hot air.

So, if it is not fat in the diet that is capable of causing weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and other such nasty things, what is it? As Gary points out clearly, and inarguably, the answer is sugar. By sugar, he means carbohydrates (all sugars are just simple carbohydrates).

Slightly more complex carbohydrates are bread, and pasta, and rice and potatoes. These are just made up of lots of glucose molecules stuck together. Many people are unaware that our body takes in pasta, bread, rice etc. and simply breaks them down into sugar. So, pasta = sugar. Bread = sugar. Potatoes = sugar. Just as much as sugar = sugar. They all have the same effect.

Gary goes through the history of the brave individuals who have been those pointing out the damage that can be caused by excess carbohydrate intake for decades. Those who have been squashed flat by the mainstream. An English professor of nutrition, John Yudkin, tried to make this all clear in his book on sugar(s): ‘Pure, white and Deadly’ first published in the early 1970s. He was attacked and shouted down by Ancel Keys – the main promoter of the diet/heart hypothesis.

Gary maintains a calm and reasonable tone when discussing some of these events. Which is admirable. If I were him, I would be breaking the furniture, and chewing the curtains. He also calmly points out where the evidence is strong, and where it is weak, or where it does not exist at all. He does not overclaim, nor suggest that cutting down on carbs is a panacea that will benefit everyone. It is the calm reasonable tone that is actually most impressive. He knows his stuff, and he lays it out carefully and clearly.

What of the title of the book itself? ‘The case for Keto.’ For those who know this area ‘Keto’ is the metabolic state achieved when the body stops using sugar for energy and starts to break down the stored fats instead. These stored ‘fatty acids’ are converted to molecules known as ketone bodies in the liver. The body is perfectly happy to use them for energy. This is ‘ketosis’. Explaining the title of the book.

Many people think ketones are the preferred energy source for most organs in the body. Virtually the only exception being some processes in the brain, that require glucose, and only glucose, to function.

The downstream benefit to entering ketosis is that, when you burn up fats and ketones, you are also using up your “energy stores” aka fat. So, once you stop burning glucose, and start using ketones, you can finally lose weight. Also, your blood glucose levels fall, your insulin levels fall, and the body has a chance to reset itself.

Gary has spoken to many, many doctors and researchers who are now absolutely convinced that the best way to prevent, even reverse, the wave of obesity and diabetes sweeping the modern world is to change from eating carbohydrates and eat more fats. I agree with him. If you read this book, I believe you will agree with him too. He makes a compelling case. It is the Case for Keto.

514 thoughts on “The case for Keto – a review

  1. Jeremy May

    Good one!
    In the near (mid) future, when we look back at the balls-up we made of Covid, one thing (though it may be down the list some way) is a concerted look at our metabolic health and the individual’s ability to combat all disease. This isn’t my idea, someone with some nouse said it, maybe Ivor Cummins.
    I’m low carb but, even after 5 years, sometimes walk past a cake-shop sloooowly, drooling a bit. It’s messages like Gary’s that will keep me on the footpath and out of the bakers.

    The trick will be to get the book into the hands of those who really need it.

    Reply
    1. Jude Fossett

      I would love to see the Gov, nhs and all GPs promoting this way to live and eat. Instead they do gastric bypasses and all sorts of procedures that could have been prevented. The nhs is not a health service, it’s disease control.

      Reply
      1. Jamie

        Me too. I used to get lots of colds etc but I haven’t been ill at all since going low carb a couple of years back. It feels like a miracle.

        Reply
      2. kranglepus

        most are promoting basic healthy eating and live a better life with physical exercise, but most people are not able to do it, so some people needs to get these procedures to live (which luckily is very few of us).

        But the problem with any diet is, why restrict yourself to only one concept, humans hasn’t survived this long because only one concept is beneficial, the holy grail.

        But my problem with keto, is that at the start you loose weight fast, because one is not used to eat in that manner, and thus get a huge calorie deficit, maybe too large, as if we were starving. and if the body feels it is starving, it may promote insulin resistance. and the problem with this is that people isn’t going to be in ketosis for the rest of their lives, so when we start to eat more sugars again, we may already have a insulin resistance within our body which makes it harder for our muscles to use sugar -> stored as fat.

        the goverment is very strict regarding what it recommends as diets because lets face it, do we actually know the long-term effects of the diets up against eachother in the long run? no, but we do know the benefits of vegetables, fruit, berries, nuts and getting sufficient protein, so this is the most important of the government recomendation.

        Reply
    2. peter Downey

      Good points, Jeremy. But I’m not as optimistic as you when it comes to a universal ‘look back’ on COVID-19. I think it will be many years before that happens – rationalization must have its day (and it’ll be a long one).

      Reply
      1. Joe Dopelle

        “We meant well, and we followed the best scientific advice”.

        That will be the refrain.

        Although I still don’t understand how politicians and civil servants who know nothing of mathematics, science, technology or medicine (and are proud of it) can tell the difference between good and bad scientific advice.

        Anyone?

        Reply
        1. smartersig

          Until recently there was not a single immunologist or virologist on the Sage committee. Many people think SAGE was set to deal with pandemics like this, its role is to handle disasters so SAGE would no doubt get involved if a meteor was heading our way, except they would make recommendations with no Astronomers on board. The big mistake that set us out on this shit show was assuming that 100% of people would be susceptible to this ‘new’ virus when in fact this is not a new virus, not unless it landed from Mars. Many of us had T cells due to the close cousins of this virus and hence with a 100% input parameter Ferguson plugged in the numbers and watched his laptop explode when it hit 500,000 deaths

          Reply
        2. DaveL

          Seems like a lot of medical people are pretty short on mathematics and science, too. Dr Kendrick is an exception, in my experience.

          Reply
    3. Arie Brand

      The most comprehensive refutation of Gary Taubes’ views that I know of is that by the neuroscientist and obesity researcher Stephan Guyenet:
      https://www.stephanguyenet.com/references-for-my-debate-with-gary-taubes-on-the-joe-rogan-experience/

      For Guyenet it is calories in – calories out, and a surplus of the former, that decides about weight gain.

      So it does for another Taubes-critic, the Australian researcher Anthony Colpo, whose pugnacious style is not to everybody’s liking. He is never dull though:

      https://anthonycolpo.com/tag/gary-taubes/

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        Arie Brand: I have read Guyenet and always enjoy Anthony Colpo, but “. . . calories in – calories out, and a surplus of the former that decides about weight gain” doesn’t sound particularly scientific. Sounds like “eat less, move more,” or “drown less, swim more.”

        Reply
        1. Sasha

          Gary: if it doesn’t scientific, maybe you could explain where the extra calories go. Regardless of their source

          Reply
          1. Gary Ogden

            Sasha: Good point. What I meant was this statement is too simplistic a view of the complexity of human biochemistry, and thus of little value for understanding anything.

  2. Lyn

    John Yudkin has rightly become a prophet, as have many other outliers. Just a shame it’s taken so long. Here’s to the outliers!

    Reply
    1. Frederica Huxley

      Coincidentally (?), at the same time Yudkin was being drummed out, we were being exhorted to only consume margarine, low fat foots and seed oils. The food industry has a great deal to answer for. My eyes were finally opened in the late 80s when I read a diet book that stated that low fat foods were often packed with extra sugars. Sure enough, labels became required reading!

      Reply
      1. patrick healy

        Yes Frederica,
        One of my diet bibles is Dr Mary and Dr Michael Eades who wrote Protein Power,
        One of the memorable quotes is “Dump the corn flakes in the dust bin and eat the cardboard box – its more nutritious”
        On the subject of politicians and science the response to the Chinese Flu, and global warming. is identical . It is no coincidence that Carbohydrates are ‘good’ and the gas of life – carbon dioxide – is ‘bad’
        Thank god for realists like our good doctor.

        Reply
    2. Frango Asado

      Professor Yudkin, like Gary Taubes, was a very courteous, measured writer. He never exaggerated, and his politeness in the face of Ancel Keys’ (and others’) offensive mockery was positively miraculous.

      Reply
    1. Janet Love

      Just bought mine in Australia, from a Book Depository, $26.57 including postage. – MIne has a yellow cover / paperback.

      Yep, metabolic dysfunction is the single most dangerous Risk Factor for Wuhan flu, so when we see around 80% of Americans labelled as ‘Insulin Resistant or T2D, on top of being obese, it becomes clear why they are taking a massive hit with hospitalizations and mortality.

      Reply
  3. JR

    Hi, on sugars:
    “Potatoes = sugar. Just as much as sugar = sugar”
    My rephrase: Potatoes = glucose * glucose . Just as much as sugar = glucose + fructose. Glucose being the driver of metabolism, as well as most potent insulin stimulator. Makes glucose a two-edged sword, if you remove or reduce it; down goes both the glucose and the energy managing hormone. Works especially well for those who have lost their balance (pre t2d).
    JR

    Reply
  4. smartersig

    Can anyone explain to me why when I test my blood sugar an hour after eating I get the following

    My fasting is about 82

    1. Porridge made with water nothing else 106
    2. One slice wholemeal bread and low sugar baked beans 96
    3. Bowl of white rice nothing else 86

    Seems to me rice is getting a bad rap

    Reply
    1. shirley3349

      To get a clearer idea of what is happening when you, personally, eat carbohydrates, you need to measure your blood glucose hourly for at least six hours, possibly for longer. Some people, like me, take a long time to digest and absorb their food and they get a high blood glucose spike far later than one might expect.
      If you want a really clear picture, invest in one of those gadgets that monitor your blood glucose continuously. Then, should you wish, you can optimise your food intake to produce your ideal blood glucose picture, if you feel the effort involved might eventually pay off in terms of better health and so forth.

      Reply
    2. BobM

      Take your blood sugar more often. When I was wearing my CGM (continuous glucose monitor), I realized that high carbs caused my blood sugar to go up and back down to the starting point within an hour. So, taking your blood sugar an hour after eating might not give you the full picture. Also, you want to see an overshoot, which I get only with very high sugar items (like ice cream). Take it longer than an hour. Try every 15 minutes for 90 minutes.

      And, just because you don’t get a blood sugar rise from rice doesn’t mean others don’t. Blood sugar is highly variable from person to person.

      Reply
      1. smartersig

        I would really appreciate it if someone else on here could repeat my experiment with rice, porridge and beans on toast

        Reply
        1. Jennifer

          Smartersig.
          I don’t want to discourage you from searching for a solution to your blood glucose ups and downs, but please read round the topic and keep your own records. I use insulin. I keep immaculate records, and have failed to fathom a definitive answer to the good and bad effects of all sorts of foods for myself. My endocrinologist knows that I take care and consume a varied diet, ( a diet rich in real, unadulterated foods of all 3 macro nutrients), and if a day’s readings spike upwards, ( for an obvious or unknown reason) then go steady the next day. He realises that I know what that means, but that some of his patients will never get to that point, no matter how hard they try.
          I think there is little to benefit from comparing another person’s response to foods with your own response.. Your response is your response alone, and believe me, even your own metabolism will vary in response to the self same foodstuffs from day to day. I can eat rice with my curry one week, and have no adverse effect. I confidently eat rice with my curry the next week, and lo and behold! ….totally unacceptable.
          I mitigate decent carbs with quality fats.e.g. porridge made with double cream. Chunky potato chips made in beef dripping. And home made sourdough with unsalted butter atop. I realise this will send shudders up some people, but it works for me, ON THE WHOLE, but NOT every time, as I still get caught out sometime, and I don’t know why, and can’t explain.
          I am advised that the best measure is HbA1c every 3 months. If that shows unacceptable levels, then another look at diet and medication, and general lifestyle may be suggested. This is long term, as opposed to making major changes on a daily basis.I have found after all these years that there are no definitive answers, merely general guidelines. I am fortunate that I have the equipment provided by NHS to manually take my glucose levels frequently, but not via a continuous measuring device.
          Good luck.

          Reply
          1. DaveL

            Lot of wisdom there. The idea that there is some standard mean, plus or minus some standard deviation that applies to all, for a various list of physiological attributes, like weight, blood pressure, cholesterol level, insulin… Anyway stop there, but this concept has been used pretty harmfully to prescribe all sorts of drugs to people who were otherwise healthy, but didn’t fit the norm.

          1. smartersig

            Yes I did it was similar to white rice the exact number escapes me
            If anyone has a glucose monitor I would be very interested if they could repeat it and see if they get similar differences

      2. KidPsych

        True that. I’ve worn a CGM multiple times, and sushi was the one food that consistently sent glucose spiking. Berries at the same time of day did not. Even with this knowledge, I’d be hard pressed to support the idea that the spike caused by sushi rice was in any way devastating to my body. I do think an overall 24-hour profile (and beyond) is probably a more helpful way to consider how glucose and insulin transact. Eating lots of extra fat could certainly keep glucose spiked over time if one is overeating. I’ve found a (for me) healthy middle ground by consuming lots of lean protein (200 g/day), vegetables, while easing up on carbs a little. Mind you, I was pretty serious about my keto states, so higher carb for me means eating berries at night, not gorging on cake. I follow Ted Naiman’s advice for much of this. Lower carb and lower fat seems to work just fine, with high satiety and nutrient density.

        Reply
    3. Jennifer

      Smartersig. I failed to mention that my porridge is made from raw, flocked groats. I purchased the roller from Germany, and use it to press whole organic grains and seeds that I use in other dishes too. I mainly flock the groats to make fresh muesli when I don’t make porridge, and that way the groats are uncooked. Methods of food production are an important factor in the quality of the food we eat, and its impact on glucose levels.e.g. Very high temperatures generally deplete nutrients, and raw retains nutrients, but with exceptions, where certain foods must be heated to be safe. In the same way, my organic wholemeal bread is made from freshly stone ground wheat and rye berries, left to ferment over many hours. It is alarming to notice the detrimental effect of bought white bread on my glucose levels, although being in lockdown all this year I have not been exposed to gatherings where such sandwiches are served.
      I like the concept of the ‘slow food movement’, started in Italy about 30 years ago, as people were noticing that the impact of fast, industrialised food production seemed to be affecting the health of consumers. Their aim was to return to the older methods of food production where possible. Similarly I have been making raw sauerkraut for a few years since being educated on its benefits by Goran of this parish. The health of our gut biome has received much coverage in recent years, and I think it is an important issue to bear in mind.
      Sorry for this long-winded response, but I hope it helps in the discussion that has evolved from your original question.

      Reply
      1. Jamie

        There seems to be a belief that porridge is healthy. It’s just a bowl of starch which will convert to sugar with little nutritional value. Scrambled eggs/yoghurt and berries much more nutritious.

        Reply
        1. Jennifer

          I disagree. If groats are grown organically, then prepared on the day of use, cooked for minimal time ( or ideally raw), then they are a healthy way to get nutrients.
          On the other hand, if porridge is bought off the shelf, so quite possibly stale, some of the nutrients are obviously lost. Even worse, if it is processed with all sorts of fancy bits and pieces to make it appear ‘attractive’, then cooked to bu—-y, then by all means put it into the category of unhealthy processed food. Yes, it looks like porridge, tastes like porridge, but does not live up to the task of real porridge…in the same way that many modern foodstuffs bluff us into poor health.

          Reply
    4. Terry Wright

      Hi smartersig;
      if you measure a fasting insulin; and then an insulin an hour a glucose load, that may tell you much better how “stressed” your pancreas is; (far more so, than a glucose …)

      Dr Kraft showed this from 1970 onwards;https://profgrant.com/2013/08/16/joseph-kraft-why-hyperinsulinemia-matters/

      It is only 50yrs ago; so orthodox medicine has not caught on this yet.

      .. the first sign of stress/distress was that the INSULIN levels rise greatly; (rather like extra police controlling largely peaceful protests); ie extra police produce a semblance of peace;

      folks vary in their responses: some say rice produces less rise in glucose; others find it produces much more; some folks say if you freeze the rice after cooking; then re-heat; it produces less glucose …….. some like us choose just to give it a total miss: the choice is for each

      Reply
    5. Rick

      We are now discovering that metabolism of a whole host of foods is very individual. The same food will not cause the same insulin or other responses in every person. Labelling any food ‘bad’ or ‘good’ is often misleading (not suggesting this book does this). Many people who do well on one diet type be that Keto or anything else and then write about it are often at an extreme end of the typical bell curve. That said the bad fat narrative is well out of date and excess simple sugars far too readily available and added are a potential problem.

      Reply
  5. Alivi

    Hi
    on the comment that some parts of the brain require glucose…it is my understanding that in the absence of carbohydrates, the liver can provide the needed glucose just fine

    Reply
    1. Joe Dopelle

      That is true, Alivi, but it doesn’t detract from what Dr Kendrick said.

      It is also true that, in ketosis, the brain has been observed to switch to using ketones for fuel, which can cut its requirement for glucose by something like three-quarters (from memory). The conventional wisdom is that the brain needs over 100 grams of glucose a day, and that if it doesn’t get that it will somehow stop working. It’s not true, and just as well – since 100 grams is nearly quarter of a pound.

      For centuries there have been credible reports that ketosis makes people’s thinking clearer – or at least they thought it did.

      Reply
    2. Jerome Savage

      I tripped over a piece on a social media page recently that was full on against the LCHF emphasising that the body needs sugar in particular the brain and we hav always as a species eaten fruit which has high sugar content. But it appears that the liver can provide that. I suspect it’s a bit of closet marketing.

      Reply
      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Fatty acids are stored as triglycerides (three fatty acids attached to a glycerol spine). If triglycerides are broken down, a glycerol is also released. Two glycerol molecules = one glucose molecule. So, as you break down fat you get glucose – the glycerols are brought together in the liver to make glucose. If fat(s) are broken down to produce energy there is certainly enough to power the brain – and the few other places where glucose is needed (some of which is required for red blood cells to function properly).

        Reply
        1. Jerome Savage

          Thanks Doctor Kendrick for the clarification. I do believe I came across that in one of your books but certainly, the reminder is very welcome.

          Reply
      2. anglosvizzera

        I wonder whether at certain times of the year early man was able to find enough “fruit” on a regular basis to provide glucose, so it would seem logical that the body was able to make glucose out of other macronutrients

        Reply
        1. Gary Ogden

          anglosvizzera: Yes, from triglycerides. Probably other ways as well. The liver is an amazing little factory, churning out an incredible variety of products!

          Reply
        2. Terry Wright

          Hi anglosvizzera;

          “I wonder whether at certain times of the year early man was able to find enough “fruit” on a regular basis to provide glucose,”

          we seem to labour under the illusion; dare one even say it, the conceit … that our physiology is TOTALLY different to other mammals; can I suggest every liver can do gluconeogenesis;

          we think INSULIN is something special to us alone: if you check you can find the fruit-fly (Drosophila) and earthworms have insulin-like molecules; ie deeply primieval; we see insulin as glucose-regulating; one could suspect that is actually minor; it is as the master orchestrator of growth that perhaps we should view it; (or master orchestrator of BLOAT …..)

          Reply
          1. Gary Ogden

            Terry Wright: I forgot to thank you earlier for the link to Dr. Knobbe’s talk. It is something I am beginning to think is critical (the role of high levels of dietary linoleic acid in the modern plague of chronic diseases), but hadn’t really thought about. Not just sugar!

    3. Meme

      Blood sugar regulation appears to be highly dependent on the liver’s ability to store glycogen. I think men have a better ability to do this, plus with more muscle mass (generally speaking), men can store more glycogen in muscle tissue as well.

      Women, who have less muscle mass and are nine times more prone to thyroid issues and therefore poorer liver health, will have a MUCH tougher time regulating their blood sugar in the absence of eating carbohydrate.
      Context is everything.

      Reply
      1. Terry Wright

        welcome to the forum Meme: a newcomer? are you from PHE?

        “Women, … will have a MUCH tougher time regulating their blood sugar in the absence of eating carbohydrate.”

        We must flag this as your opinion: can you cite any evidence at all to support these extraordinary generalisations? I admire the way folks like yourself can with a serious face make such sweeping allegations.

        Would this event to some extent confound your assertions? https://primalliving.com/blogs/news/zero-calories-5-days-100-miles-challenge-steve-bennett

        Two ladies were part of the team of eight: they might take exception to your generalisations about women and liver health?

        Reply
    4. Tony

      That’s true. Where does the glucose come from though? It is created from protein. So getting adequate protein is then important to prevent muscle and organ breakdown.

      Reply
  6. Sharon

    It was your Cholesterol Con book followed by Gary Taubes Diet Delusion which completely changed my views on health. I have a lot of time for Taubes and will read his new book but I must say I am not totally convinced by it being all about the sugar. I do agree that if you are already fat then removing the carbs is the obvious first step but I think PUFAs need a bit more attention too.

    Michael Eades puts forward an interesting hypothesis regarding the impact on the electron transport chain by saturated fats and unsaturated fats, the balance of which changes the fat cell’s “full” signal. This is suggesting that the removal of saturated fat could be more of a root cause for obesity than the addition of carbohydrates. It would be great if you could have a read (if you ever get time!) and share your thoughts on it too. https://www.proteinpower.com/a-new-hypothesis-of-obesity/

    Reply
    1. Martingale

      A lot of this has come from Petro Dobromylskyj’s blog called Hyperlipid. You can find it here: http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/
      Although it’s very interesting, it’s so far only theoretical. It would be great if someone could get funding to do some research here. But, although interesting, it can’t be the principal driver, as evidenced by many people’s experience, including a major low carb weight loss pioneer:
      Dr Eric Westman, in one of his videos some time ago, said that he often treated people on low income, who weren’t able to afford butter or meat from pasture raised animals and used seed oils in their cooking. While not recommending them, he was concentrating on getting them to follow his guidelines, specifically “carbs not more than 20g total, not net”. They lose weight, get healthy just like his other patients. So his experience is the same: it’s the carbs, not the fat. That doesn’t take away the need for research into long-term effects of high consumption of polyunsaturated fats, like the link to age related macular degeneration (so far we don’t know if there’s causation due to lack of research).

      Reply
      1. Chad

        It’s carbohydrate combined with vegetable oil that creates the problem. Linoleic acid maintains insulin sensitivity even in ketosis, when glucose should be spared. Get rid of the carbs and the vegetable oil is less of a problem.

        Reply
  7. smartersig

    Also can anyone without fueling a riot explain why the Cochrane meta analysis of RCTs on sat fat showed a dose dependant reduction in cardio events when sat fat was reduced

    https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD011737.pub2/full

    Also what is it it in meat that results in every eped’ study showing meat consumption married to heart disease. A good example would be the German and Uk healthy shoppers study which by recruitment made a good stab at normalizing for other habits

    Reply
    1. Chancery Stone

      Isn’t it the old problem that in lots of sat fat studies they don’t separate out the good meats from the bad? They shove in sausages, processed meats etc. In other words, they just call anything with meat in it ‘meat’. And, of course, some of these meats are NOT just meat. There’s also an issue with some studies that the men in them (they often seem to be men only studies – which is also strange) are also smokers and drinkers and they make no allowance for that. (I see you say this Shoppers study DID allow for these things? I’ve not seen that one.)

      In other words, a lot of the sat fat and meat studies, the men in them are eating things other than meat and also have unhealthy lifestyles in other ways. A man could be eating a relatively healthy diet and knocking back 4 beers a day and subsequently be fat and not too healthy and it would be nothing to do with the meat he eats, or even his diet, per se.

      Reply
      1. smartersig

        See my previous reply, even observational studies will try to control for other factors but this Cochrane meta analysis was only done on RCT’s

        Reply
      2. KidPsych

        I recall one study that showed a correlation between meat eating and vehicular death. Healthy user bias is an obvious confound with epidemiology.

        Reply
    2. Joe Dopelle

      I have seen a lot of potential reasons, smartersig. Most of the studies cited were observational – have you ever tried writing down a rigorous list of what you consumed every day a year ago? (I couldn’t even do it for last week).

      I have seen studies that quite unblushingly counted a Big Mac as “meat”. No concern about the big fat bun, or the sugary sauce.

      When they do a controlled study that confirms everything the subjects eat, and that counts as “meat” only grass-fed beef, lamb, etc., I will be prepared to pay attention.

      There is also a reverse “good boy” effect. When everyone from the government all the way up to smug nutritionists and doctors are continually prating that meat is bad for you, who do you think are the people who eat meat? Those who never listen to any of those people – not a bad idea in itself – but also those who smoke, drink a lot, take drugs, drive too fast, and have other risky habits.

      Reply
      1. smartersig

        Thanks Joe but these were randomised control trial in the Cochrane report not food questionaiires
        Also when it comes to smoking etc in non RCT’s they do try to control for this so for example if studying meat eaters v plant based they would only have non smokers in both

        Reply
        1. Terry Wright

          I can only repeat again the conclusion from your beloved Cochrane study

          “We found little or no effect of reducing saturated fat on all‐cause mortality”

          No effect = no effect

          Many labour under the delusion; that MEAT = SATURATED FAT

          As Zoe H commented recently

          “.. dairy products are the only food group that contains more saturated than unsaturated fat.”

          “All foods that contain fat contain all three fats – saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated – there are no exceptions.”

          ….. sort of 101 lessons ………..

          Reply
    3. Chad

      I would suggest listening to some youtube presentations with Professor Ben Bikman. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfSJFPu50_A
      When protein is combined with carbohydrate, it can skew the insulin to glucagon ratio, which causes problems.

      Saturated fat is not a problem. You either eat or make it yourself.

      The excerpt below from the results section of Cochrane study above doesn’t match your interpretation:
      “We found little or no effect of reducing saturated fat on all‐cause mortality (RR 0.96; 95% CI 0.90 to 1.03; 11 trials, 55,858 participants) or cardiovascular mortality (RR 0.95; 95% CI 0.80 to 1.12, 10 trials, 53,421 participants), both with GRADE moderate‐quality evidence.

      There was little or no effect of reducing saturated fats on non‐fatal myocardial infarction (RR 0.97, 95% CI 0.87 to 1.07) or CHD mortality (RR 0.97, 95% CI 0.82 to 1.16, both low‐quality evidence), but effects on total (fatal or non‐fatal) myocardial infarction, stroke and CHD events (fatal or non‐fatal) were all unclear as the evidence was of very low quality. There was little or no effect on cancer mortality, cancer diagnoses, diabetes diagnosis, HDL cholesterol, serum triglycerides or blood pressure, and small reductions in weight, serum total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and BMI. There was no evidence of harmful effects of reducing saturated fat intakes.”

      Reply
      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        Yes, that is what the report says. Nothing of any importance – at all. A confidence interval that includes 1 within the range, means nothing of any significance has been found. I think the most important point, that they emphasize, is that the evidence was of very low quality. Which it is.

        Reply
        1. smartersig

          ” A confidence interval that includes 1 within the range, means nothing of any significance has been found”

          I would not use those words personally. What it means is that if you ran this test thousands of times some would come out at 1.01 whilst the vast majority would be in the mid range oif normally distributed ie well below 1.0. What does that mean, well it means there is chance that 1.01 is the actual number but its a small chance. Lets say (being generous) that the real number is 0.98. Do you want to fashion your diet around 0.98 when there are perfectly delicious and edible choices with 1.12?. Maybe yes if you want to trade some health loss for pleasure, thats fine

          Reply
          1. smartersig

            That makes sense in decisions with a profound outcome but when the decision is eat plants and not meat there is not really a downside

          2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

            I began years ago studying CVD. I looked at the diet/heart hypothesis in great detail and it became clear that fat/saturated fat had nothing to do with CVD. I have watched the terms of the discussion twist and turn and divide and grow extra heads over the years – hydralike. Always a sign that the primary hypothesis is wrong. More recently I became convinced that, for a significant number of people, carbohydrate consumption lead to insulin resistance, obesity, the metabolic syndrome etc. etc. This, in turn, increases the risk of CVD. Not all plants are high in carbohydrates, but potatoes, crisps, fruit, porridge, fruit juice, chips/fries, anything containing sugar, rice, bread, pasta, coca-cola etc. these are all plant based nutritional foodstuffs. They can clearly do harm. In short, I disagree with your statement.

          3. smartersig

            And a whole food plant based diet would not include any of them with the exception of fruit. Citing bad vegetarian food is not a valid debating point.

          4. smartersig

            Sugar beet would not be in a whole food plant based diet

            The others you mention are harmful in the same respect that Oxygen is harmful, but we need it nevertheless. I am suspicious of grains especially processed grains and try to minimize them but in the grand scale of harm they are small players.

            I would not offer up Hot dogs as a measurement parameter for animal based foods.

            Please show me some RCT’s where carnivorous diets win out over plant WFPB

            Mark

            >

          5. Gary Ogden

            smartersig: Read Dr. Paul Saladino’s “The Carnivore Code.” There most certainly is a downside to eating plants. While plants benefit from animals eating their fruit, as it aids in seed distribution, no plant in its right mind wishes animals to eat its leaves or roots. They need them for, respectively, making their own food and delivering minerals and water. To discourage munching on these crucial parts, over eons plants have developed strategies such as putting nasty chemicals in them, for example lectins. Animals who are almost exclusively vegetarian, such as elephants and the great apes, have coevolved with these plants and have developed strategies to cope with this. But the lineage which became humans veered away from this when they discovered how tasty and healthful a nice mammoth steak was. And the rest is history. All primarily vegetarian animal species have a very large factory in their guts to process this enormous amount of plant matter. Humans do not. But the main reason I eschew most plant foods in favor of animal foods is that animal foods are far more nutrient dense (and delicious).

          6. Gary Ogden

            smartersig: An odds ratio anywhere close to 1.0 is simply meaningless, especially with low to moderate-quaility data. This stuff (the Cochrane meta-analysis) should be, as Dr. Kendrick has said more than once, “crumpled, tossed, and binned.” An OR of 0.5 or 2.0 with good-quality data would say something. There is not, and there never will be an RTC showing that meat or saturated fat consumption has any but positive outcomes for health, especially developmentally for children. We evolved, and developed far larger brains than any other primate because we ate meat at every opportunity, and learning how to harness fire and cook it enhanced this process, as cooking increases the bioavailability of nutrients in foods, both of animal and plant origin. Give a toddler as weaning foods a choice between meat and tofu, and watch what happens. Poor people the world over would give there eye teeth to have more meat in their diet.

          7. smartersig

            ‘Cooking enhances food’ are you sure about that

            Might be worth watching David Kantz destroy Nina Teichov in this debate

          8. KidPsych

            Potential downside?

            https://edzardernst.com/2020/12/vegetarians-and-vegans-are-at-an-increased-risk-of-bone-fractures/

            In EPIC-Oxford, dietary information was collected at baseline (1993–2001) and at follow-up (≈ 2010). Participants were categorised into four diet groups at both time points (with 29,380 meat eaters, 8037 fish eaters, 15,499 vegetarians, and 1982 vegans at baseline in analyses of total fractures). Outcomes were identified through linkage to hospital records or death certificates until mid-2016. The risks were calculated of total (n = 3941) and site-specific fractures (arm, n = 566; wrist, n = 889; hip, n = 945; leg, n = 366; ankle, n = 520; other main sites, i.e. clavicle, rib, and vertebra, n = 467) by diet group over an average of 17.6 years of follow-up.

            Compared with meat eaters and after adjustment for socio-economic factors, lifestyle confounders, and body mass index (BMI), the risks of hip fracture were higher in

            fish eaters (hazard ratio 1.26; 95% CI 1.02–1.54),
            vegetarians (1.25; 1.04–1.50),
            vegans (2.31; 1.66–3.22).

          9. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

            The acidity of meat? That, I am afraid is a pure nonsense. Fats are called fatty acids, because they are mildly acidic. But when stored as triglycerides, they are Ph Neutral. The human body has a thousand ways of controlling ‘acidity’. Acidity causes calcium to be leached from bones… Sorry, but we are heading into tinfoil hat territory here.

          10. smartersig

            Yes I will retract that ‘from the bones’ para, I think you are correct. However the excess calcium peed out when we eat meat is thought to be derived from increased calcium uptake from the food. Why this happens no one is sure but the increase in calcium in the blood stream is eventually peed out. Question, do we want extra or maybe excess calcium in the blood, can it lead to calcification of arteries ?

          11. Gary Ogden

            I love the final sentence in the conclusions: “Thus, obtaining calcium from the diet rather than supplements is to be encouraged.” I’ll continue eating cheese.

          12. smartersig

            I am always baffled why low carb high fat people are quick to suggest that the diet of our ancient ancestors surely cannot be harmful and grains etc are a recent addition and yet they are happy to consume cheese and other dairy

          13. Gary Ogden

            smartersig: I’m simply suggesting sticking to real wholesome food, produced by farmers, and finding what works best for each of us as individuals. Knowledge about ancestral diets is useful in this process, but I follow no hard and fast rules other than these: 1. Avoid all industrial seed oils, which means virtually all packaged food which has fat as an ingredient (invariably soy or canola), and 2. Limit carbohydrates except special occasions. Also helpful to chew slowly, eat with others, and enjoy what we eat. Finally, ignore dietary advice.

          14. Gary Ogden

            smartersig: Weak evidence. What I found interesting, though, is the fourth of the related articles below, concerning the historical change in the Na/K ratio since the beginning of agriculture. More support for K supplementation.

        2. smartersig

          Lets take these confidence intervals a bit further, they mark the boundaries of variation. If we ran a number of epid’ studies, and here have been plenty, we would expect some to come out showing that meat has no effect on cardio outcomes. Proponents of alternatives eg plant based would say OK 10 out of the 100 studies showed meat consumption helped with cardo health but hey the other 90 did not. Alas I am not aware that they have to make this statement as there are no studies that show meat is advantageous to heart health. Now here is my main question, given that it is still not conclusive that meat is a significant player how do we take the above from a Bayesian perspective. If we start with a 50-50 standpoint on whether meat is OK or not, do we move it 60-40 meat is not OK, 70-30?. You might want to say no only 55-45 but nobody can seriously say 45-55

          Reply
          1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

            You cannot decided to turn studies that were designed for classical statistical methodology and suddenly decide to subject them to Bayesian analysis retrospectively. I would also counter that studies on ‘meat’ rarely have anything to do with meat. Everything else gets mixed in. I would further point out that the country in Europe with the highest saturated fat consumption in France. Guess which country in Europe has the lowest rate of CVD?

          2. smartersig

            I am not applying Bayesian stats to frequentist stats what I saying is that I take the frequentists stats and apply them to my personal bayesian thinking on the subject. I think we should all learn to do this instead of saying this is 100% and that is 0%. Take the election for example many will say Biden has won 100% whereas in fact there is a 3% chance that Trump will win when I last looked 4 days ago

          3. smartersig

            Epi’ studies, we like them when they validate our opinion but they are junk when the dont.
            Swiss second biggest consumers and second lowest CHD and more

      2. smartersig

        Combined cardiovascular events

        follow‐up mean duration 52 months1

        RR 0.79 (0.66 to 0.93)

        Myocardial infarctions

        follow‐up mean duration 55 months

        RR 0.90 (0.80 to 1.01

        CHD events

        follow‐up mean duration 59 months1

        RR 0.83 (0.68 to 1.01)

        All the other risk ratios are below 1.0 but the variance range is higher.
        These are not the numbers you want to see, even stroke is below 1.0
        They do not nail it I agree but they move my bayesian barometer in the wrong direction especially for meat

        Reply
        1. Bloomy Vintage Design

          The WHO organization is HEAVILY funded by the Gates foundation who also happen to be the biggest investor in fake meat for it’s “sustainability”. If Bill and Melinda get their way everyone will be eating soy burgers to save the planet.

          Reply
          1. smartersig

            9.4% thats not exactly damming evidence you will need better than that and by the way I am not a fan of the WHO, far from it

    4. Mike smith

      One of the problems I see with blaming meat is that it covers everything from a grass fed steak cooked in butter to a cheap sausage cooked in vegetable oil. These studies are observational at best so cannot really take them too seriously. Add to that the fact as the food and pharma industry have a massive interest in encouraging us to eat processed food rather than small farmers produce and you start to see the promotion of junk science.

      Reply
    5. David

      “There was little or no effect of reducing saturated fats on non‐fatal myocardial infarction (RR 0.97, 95% CI 0.87 to 1.07) or CHD mortality (RR 0.97, 95% CI 0.82 to 1.16, both low‐quality evidence), but effects on total (fatal or non‐fatal) myocardial infarction, stroke and CHD events (fatal or non‐fatal) were all unclear as the evidence was of very low quality. There was little or no effect on cancer mortality, cancer diagnoses, diabetes diagnosis, HDL cholesterol, serum triglycerides or blood pressure, and small reductions in weight, serum total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and BMI. There was no evidence of harmful effects of reducing saturated fat intakes.”
      https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD011737.pub2/full

      Any reason for using a reference to an old version?

      Reply
      1. smartersig

        Is there a newer version ?

        “Authors’ conclusions
        The findings of this updated review suggest that reducing saturated fat intake for at least two years causes a potentially important reduction in combined cardiovascular events. Replacing the energy from saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat or carbohydrate appear to be useful strategies, while effects of replacement with monounsaturated fat are unclear. The reduction in combined cardiovascular events resulting from reducing saturated fat did not alter by study duration, sex or baseline level of cardiovascular risk, but greater reduction in saturated fat caused greater reductions in cardiovascular events.”

        Reply
        1. David

          Of course there is a new version. There’s a brightly coloured banner that warns readers that the one you referred to is out of date.
          Now do you have any repost to the findings of the review which I posted?

          Reply
          1. smartersig

            Thanks the findings/conclusions are exactly the same on the updated version, they appear to have the same 15 trials

    6. Terry Wright

      so welcome to the forum smartersig; a newcomer to join the ranks?

      Epidemiological studies are the lowest form of research; they are like scratching through the chicken entrails, looking for pointers, that a decent study methodology might pursue in the future. The Harvard group are notorious for generating endless worthless scraps of paper, showing that everything is worse than everything else.

      “We found little or no effect of reducing saturated fat on all‐cause mortality”

      That is perhaps more what most might find useful from what you cite; it is the same as statin studies; overall mortality is unchanged; a clever statin study will fail to cite overall mortality.

      Reply
      1. smartersig

        I agree about the mortality figures but I prefer to take note of the constant favouring of plant based eating in epi’ studies that show heart disease time after time is lower in such eaters. The reason is that I suspect you can tilt the mortality scales by simply being aware of the odd inefficiencies in plant based eating eg lack of Vitamin B12 and folate. Of course there is also the possibility that if you are susceptible to heart disease then such an approach will serve you best.

        Reply
        1. Terry Wright

          smartersig

          “I suspect you can tilt the mortality scales by simply being aware of the odd inefficiencies in plant based eating”

          I think we can say you blow us away with the penetrating brilliance of your observations; long may they continue.

          Reply
  8. carl297

    It’s great to see this snowball starting to roll and gather more momentum. Another calm and clear voice can only add to the quiet shout that sugar, not fat, is the enemy. This view is gaining traction with the work of Michael Mosely, Roy Taylor et al and of course the much maligned ‘Atkins’ approach. I remember some years ago experimental documentaries trying various ‘diets’ proclaiming a message along the lines of ‘of course its a bad idea (eating fats and proteins) but its the one diet that actually works……. Anyway, I’m off for a lump of cheese to snack on.

    Reply
    1. Terry Wright

      “Roy Taylor et al” …. hmmmmmmmmmmm

      Roy Taylor and Lean get very snarky about keto: Lean dismisses it totally; they are of the “eat less, exercise more” school; I would suggest it is unclear where Moseley stands;

      Reply
  9. Gary Ogden

    Thank you, Dr. Kendrick. I find the evidence for reducing carbohydrate consumption for improved health for most people compelling. For me, eliminating grains eliminated the small spare tire which persisted despite running 30-50 miles a week during marathon training. And it disappeared in only a few weeks. Then, in January of this year I began a ketogenic diet (<20 grams carbs per day) as cancer therapy. In May I eliminated most fruits and vegetables as I adopted the Carnivore Diet (Dr. Paul Saladino). All this while doing time-restricted eating (two meals a day, between about 10: a.m. and 6:00 p.m.) and a great deal of physical activity. By August I began to feel hypoglycemic in the morning, so I went back to three meals a day, and added small amounts fruit. I think it was a very good thing to eliminate especially the cruciferous vegetables and the nightshades. Garlic and onions, and herbs, are about the only vegetables I eat now. Feel great, and I have more stamina for hiking. This winter has been so dry I dug out the humidifier, and sleep better.

    Reply
  10. jeanirvin

    I have the Diet Delusion and re-read it now and then. It is one of the books that have supported my transition to low carb. Looking forward to this new one.

    Reply
  11. Joanne D Smyth

    Question – is the saturated fat in grain fed beef still okay? With the animals being kept in concentrated animal feeding lots, and never seeing a blade of grass, surely the composition of that fat is different? Does it work the same as grass fed beef?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. Frango Asado

      As far as I know (unqualified but keen) grain-fed meat should be avoided if possible. It’s better than carbs, but not as good as grass-fed meat, wild fish, and poultry, pigs, game that have foraged for themselves.

      If you have read “Farmageddon” (horrible, but useful to know) you will have some idea what many animals on modern “farms” are fed. Soya muck and ground-up sea-bottom creatures dredged from the ocean floor, in many cases. (That being the absolute cheapest “feed”).

      It’s utterly astonishing what a pig’s breakfast (so to speak) “capitalism” has made of our food – surely one of the most important matters for all of us. Surely a reasonable approach would be to let grazers roam on grasslands, hardy grazers such as sheep take the hillsides, pigs and poultry forage in woodlands and orchards, etc. It’s not rocket science!

      Reply
    2. Gary Ogden

      Joanne D Smyth: Yes, the fat profile of CAFO beef is different than that of those entirely on grass. The amounts of linoleic acid (omega 6) are similar, but the CAFO beef have lower amounts of alpha linolenic acid (omega 3).

      Reply
    3. Terry Wright

      Hi Joanne
      “is the saturated fat in grain fed beef still okay?”. The public is deceived into thinking that beef is pure saturated fat; it ain’t; it is a mixture of saturated fat; mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats; no food is pure saturated fat. Saturated means the carbon atoms all have a hydrogen attached; saturated means stable; to the contrary, unsaturated means unstable; Ignore the bogey-men: this latest blog will attract a host of trolls; ideally one would eat grass-fed beef; but not everyone can choose. I think that is an intellectual preference: I do not know of any data to support it.

      Reply
      1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

        There is more saturated fat, per gram, in olive oil than in a steak – on average. Spitting foodstuffs down into their constituent parts is pretty pointless. We all eat food. Almost all of it is fine to eat. The stuff made in gigantic factories, with belching chimneys, chemicals thrown in with gay abandon, should generally be avoided.

        My general rule is that, if I cannot read the list of ingredients without assistance of magnification – I don’t eat it

        Reply
        1. Mr Chris

          Malcolm
          A couple of replies on here have spoken of a need for stenting following a low carb diet. Realise you cannot express an opinion based on a few lines of comment, but I thought constriction of arteries was largely a result of a too much carb diet? Have I misunderstood all you have said over the years?

          Reply
          1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

            I would respond by saying that I believe, in fact I know, that there are many hundreds of factors that can increased the risk of CVD. An excess carb diet can be an important cause, in some. It may have no effect, in others. I would be very surprised if the need for stenting was caused by conversion to a low carbohydrate diet. It was probably something else that did it.

          2. smartersig

            I think the person in question had only been on low carb for a few years and it would take longer than that for it to have an effect that required stents. More likely the previous years contributed. I do wish we could get away from saying high carb is likely to cause HD. I mean if you ate mainly plants which are high carb your chances of HD would certainly not increase IMO. What we mean is high simple carbs that are quick to convert to blood sugar, that may difffer in individuals but we can lump crap high carb food together as problematic for all

          3. andy

            Dr. K.,
            Listened to interviews of Tucker Goodrich by Mercola, Ivor Cummins, and Paul Sladino.
            Lessons learned: linoleic acid (omega-6) is bad, adding excess carbs is really bad. Carbs by themselves are not that bad. Low carb is high fat. Grain fed animals produce fats high in lenoleic acid. Animal products can be bad, be careful.

          4. Gary Ogden

            MR Chris: I don’t recall Dr. Kendrick ever stating that, though I may be wrong. What I do recall is his hypothesis that atherosclerosis is caused by a clotting problem, that the repair part of the constant damage/repair system in the cardiac arteries lags behind the damage, and that the main causal chain begins with HPA axis dysfunction, which comes from our ill management of stress. Surely not everyone who eats a high-carbohydrate diet gets atherosclerotic plaques, even though for many, excess circulating insulin over time can cause the damage which increases faster than the repair system can repair it.

        2. Gary Ogden

          Dr. Kendrick: Right you are! Astonishing. I never compared the two, but olive oil has 14 times the amount of SFA as beef. Olive oil: 49g per 100g; Beef: 3.5 g per 100g.

          Reply
          1. Gary Ogden

            LA_Bob: You are correct that olive oil is mainly MUFA (14% SFA, 77% MUFA, and 9% PUFA). So my “49g/100g” is wildly incorrect, and I recognized this shortly after positing it, not quite awake and thinking straight, around 5:00 a.m. As a direct comparison, though, ounce for ounce, olive oil actually has 4 times the SFA (4g/oz) as beef (1g/oz). That said, olive oil is composed of virtually all fatty acids, and beef has all sorts of other wonderful components. The data comes from Mary Enig’s “Know your Fats.” It can be confusing to make comparisons since the food quantities are given in English units (tbs., oz., and cups), but the data are given in metric units (kcal, g, and mg). Sorry to sound like an idiot. I meant well.

          2. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

            A good debate is where you can get things wrong, recognise the mistake and move on. The general point, however, remains. ‘Super-healthy’ olive oil contains far more saturated fat than ‘terribly unhealthy’ beef. Which most people are completely unaware of. Indeed almost all debates on nutrition are almost entirely fact free.

          3. smartersig

            There are practitioners who fell that ALL oil is bad even olive oil. Ornissh, Esseltyn and Macdougal are three and I can see why. There are experiments that show Olive oil impairs blood flow

          4. LA_Bob

            Gary,

            Got a reference for that? 49g SFA per 100g olive oil is 49%. That doesn’t sound right. See this reference:

            https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwiSroja59LtAhXaQc0KHd5kAMEQFjAUegQIHxAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.longdom.org%2Fopen-access%2Fsaturated-and-unsaturated-fatty-acids-composition-of-olive-oils-obtained-from-less-salty-black-table-olives-preserved-with-vacuum-2155-9600-1000582.pdf&usg=AOvVaw1ycjZxfhcWpENGi57Lt0ze

            Olive oil is mostly MUFA:

            • Oleic acid (C18:1), a monounsaturated omega-9 fatty acid. It
            makes up 55-83% of olive oil.
            • Linoleic acid (C18:2), a polyunsaturated omega-6 fatty acid that
            makes up about 3.5-21% of olive oil.
            • Linolenic acid (C18:3), a polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acid that
            makes up 0-1.5% of olive oil.
            • Stearic acid (C18:0), a saturated fatty acid that makes up 0.5-5% of
            olive oil.
            • Palmitic acid (C16:0), a saturated fatty acid that makes up 7.5-20%
            of olive oil.

            But for a moment there I felt really good about the potato chips I eat which are fried in olive oil instead of only good about them.

          5. Mark Sanders

            However, you may eat a half pound steak in one sitting, but you’re unlikely to do that with a half pound of olive oil.

          6. Gary Ogden

            Mark Sanders: Good point. I’ve never really liked the taste of olive oil, so I don’t use it. So much of it is phony, too. I do love the taste of animal fat, though, especially beef and goat, and butter, of course.

  12. dearieme

    “He does not … suggest that cutting down on carbs is a panacea that will benefit everyone”: well said. Have you watched Giles Yeo’s YouTubes on obesity and genetics? He suggests that different people will react to diets in different ways because of their genetics.

    (And he’s a practical man who disciplines himself by ensuring there are no pork scratchings in the house.)

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      dearieme: He is correct. Many of the Navaho of Arizona are obese because the gene to respond to scarcity was conserved in their population. The poverty and easy availability of cheap, nutrient-deficient carb-rich foods have done them no favors. The deserts of the Southwestern U.S. deserts are unreliable food producers, and have few large game animals.

      Reply
  13. Steve

    As discussed previously, IMO, “Diet” is a four letter word and a major part of the problem. The diet industry is driven by money, not health, and it’s in their interest to make you part of their income stream.
    It’s more important for peoples to adopt a ‘healthy lifestyle’ than to just go on a diet. Look at your lifestyle, make the appropriate changes and then follow them during your life, reviewing as appropriate. Diets promote the ‘Binge and Purge’ approach, which doesn’t work, and don’t tackle the underlying problem which for most dieters is their baseline bad lifestyle.
    There’s also a lot to be said for the ‘everything in moderation’ approach, consider we’ve been eating Bread, Potatoes and Rice for thousands of years without issue, I’d suggest.

    Reply
    1. shirley3349

      Surely the key to early man’s major change in diet was learning to control fire in order to cook. While freshly-killed, raw meat is both palatable and digestible, (provided one’s teeth are healthy), most starchy foods require quite a lot of boiling, (which also needs a fire resistant container), or thorough grilling, plus added salt, to taste at all appetising. Wild fruits, except in the tropics, are only available for a limited time of the year, and most green vegetables products are poor sources of energy even if eaten in bulk.

      Reply
    2. Frango Asado

      But don’t forget the original meaning of diet: simply “what you eat and drink”.

      diet1
      n noun
      1 the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.
      2 a special course of food to which a person restricts themselves to lose weight or for medical reasons. Ø[as modifier] (of food or drink) with reduced fat or sugar content.
      n verb (diets, dieting, dieted) restrict oneself to a special diet to lose weight.

      DERIVATIVES
      dietary adjective
      dieter noun

      ORIGIN
      Middle English: from Old French diete (noun), dieter (verb), via Latin from Greek diaita ‘a way of life’.

      (COED)

      Reply
  14. Chancery Stone

    Nothing to do with Gary’s new book, but thought I’d let you know I was editing an entry on Famotidine on Wikipedia and quite by accident was on a talk page for another subject, where they were discussing diabetes and diet, and fell over someone wanting to cite your work as a reference. Another editor was horrified (actually they were all fastidiously aghast, as if the culprit had suggested including a link to porn) but one, in particular, nixed this idea most vehemently, summing you up, quite seriously, as “The man’s a danger to society”, Thought that might tickle you….

    Reply
    1. Frango Asado

      Wikipedia has some serious problems, but they are just the problems of sharing knowledge in human communities.

      Apparently there are no bosses or even editors (in the classic sense of someone who checks, corrects, and sets policy).

      Yet in this apparently full-fledged democracy, there seem to be “tides” of fashion and false beliefs – just as in the mass media and society at large.

      It seems from what you say that many Wikipedia editors (in the Wikipedia sense of the word) are convinced that Dr Kendrick’s views are wrong and that he is a menace to society.

      But that proves that we can’t always trust Wikipedia: on some topics it can be proclaiming the exact opposite of the truth.

      Reply
  15. peter Downey

    I disagree on fats. It’s well known that when Fred brought back the meat, Wilma would thoroughly go through the meat ensuring she cut out all the fat. Though Fred used to sneak out in the night and rummage through the rubbish – which is why he was somewhat overweight.

    Reply
  16. Marc

    Rookie mistake here: ” So, pasta = sugar. Bread = sugar. Potatoes = sugar. Just as much as sugar = sugar. They all have the same effect.”

    If we talk about sugar in common parlance, we mean sucrose, which is glucose+fructose, which in metabolic terms is totally different from glucose, dextrose and complex carbs.

    Non-sugar high-carb diets are perfectly fine, and have been for millenia. Most traditional Asian and African and Latin American diets are/were high-carb low-sugar diets (rice, potato, corn).

    Reply
    1. smartersig

      I do not think they all have the same effect or indeed the same effect as pure sugar. For example my low sugar beans on toast give a reasonably low glucose reading despite the bread and a bit of sugar in the beans but I guess thats because of the fibre. Foods may contain the same sugar but may not release it into the blood as the same rate

      Reply
      1. Pauline

        Yes! The fibre slows everything down. That is why ingesting glucose is advised as the quickest way to raise blood sugar to relieve a hypoglycaemic event.

        Reply
    2. LA_Bob

      “Non-sugar high-carb diets are perfectly fine…”

      Partly agree and partly disagree.

      There’s the concept of “brokeness” that both Gary Taubes and Peter Dobromylskyj (Hyperlipid) allude to occasionally. I’m not sure it gets quite enough attention.

      We know that alcohol can “break” a liver. From Robert Lustig, we know fructose can as well. How broken a liver becomes depends on the person and the extent and duration of the breakage. From Nina Teicholz, Tucker Goodrich, and Peter we also learn that omega-6 fatty acid (from soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, and so on) also breaks livers and more. And the combination of high sugar and high seed oils seems to be especially bad.

      Too many people move on from a broken liver to a broken pancreas to broken fat cells; fat cells unable to produce the leptin to help the brain know the broken person has had enough to eat.

      A lightly broken person may be able to switch from high-glycemic carbs to low-glycemic carbs and away from high seed oils and become healthier. A badly broken person may never be able to do this. They are so broken that only avoiding carbs can help and sometimes not even then.

      I think another term for this is “loss of metabolic flexibility”.

      This is something I’ve learned reading these guys over the last ten years. “Carbs” per se aren’t the problem. Neither is a little linoleic acid (naturally found in beef, for example). Industrial amounts over many years are a different matter. And past a certain point, you might not be able to reclaim health without something like keto.

      Reply
      1. Peggy Sue

        Another excellent and very interesting comment. Best blog in ages Dr Kendrick. Such a relief to get away from the bloomin pandemic and vaccinations!!!

        Reply
  17. roisin costello

    Its a new leap Malcom to go from your previous views to your current one of all Carbs being The Sugar Problem . Ive read both your own and Garys books . I ve waivered over going fully keto due to an ongoing love affair with my microbiome .. my inner pets ! At last , Ive reached agreement , (which beats Borris ) . Ive been in ketosis for 2 months this time around . Note cognweition and sleep better but morning run slower . Waiting.for this Fat Adaptation to kick in ! .I reckon we re Insulin Resistant as a culture
    Cheers
    Roisin Costello
    Tipperary

    Reply
    1. Joe Dopelle

      I have no hard evidence, but it sounds plausible that eating a carb-heavy diet with vegetable oils for one’s first few decades could cause changes in metabolism that might persist for some time after the shift to a healthier diet.

      Reply
  18. JERRY WHITE

    I can’t seem to digest animal fats. Haven’t eaten for 40 years. I have a high TMAO score and elevated uric acid count. What should I am grain free and dairy free. I worry what I should be substituting to optimize my body?

    Reply
      1. Mike Smith

        Have you ever considered that plants have evolved certain toxic chemicals to discourage humans from eating them ? Unlike an animal who’s defence is to run away or fight back, plants cant do that so have other defences. Ok we may have bred the toxins down to a lesser level but still toxic to a lesser degree ? Just throwing a thought out there.

        Reply
          1. andy

            Quick google; red yeast rice is produced by fermenting rice with a mold (Monascus purpureus). The statin produced most likely is a defence against bacteria or other mold species. Hint: statins can affect gut microbiota and mitochondria. Constant battle between species for survival.

    1. Jennifer

      Jerry, !!!!? 40 years without food? Sorry, I realise you have skipped the word, ‘them’, but it did make me laugh out loud.

      Reply
  19. andrea burgener

    perhaps I’m being thick or don’t understand how fat intake is researched, but I’ve never understood how the arguments around certain foods and certain fats are made. more specifically, why has meat been villified from a health point of view for containing saturated fat, when it contains more unsaturated than saturated? How can they tell that it’s the saturated fat which should be blamed? Is there actually a way??? !!!!!

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      andrea burgener: Good point. Beef, for example, contains more mono-saturated fat than saturated, but very little poly-unsaturated. All fats which occur in the foods we eat are a mixture of saturated, mono-saturated, and poly-unsaturated, so its a little silly to call foods by one of these monikers. Coconut oil is composed of 92% saturated fat, the highest of known foods, and has neither legs nor lungs (and doesn’t get the ‘Rona as far as I know).

      Reply
    2. Terry Wright

      indeed Andrea;

      some suggest that these epidemiological nutritional “studies” are perpetrated by scurrilous cockroaches; with a warped agenda, but I couldn’t possibly comment.

      Reply
  20. smartersig

    My own view is that sat fat and meat in particular is not the elephant in the room, sugar and seed oils are probably what we need to focus on when it comes to the public who are never going to experiment with Keto. I also think as others do that most meat in the supermarkets and consumed on mass is a long way from optimum being grain fed in the most. I am pinning my colors to the mast with an optimum of mainly low simple carbs via whole food plant based with some fish included. Having said that I do eat meat when ti crosses my path and if my partner fancies some I insist on grass fed free range. As for cave man wall paintings in the same way that food questionnaires can be unreliable wall paintings have to be even worse. No self respecting cave man is going to paint images of himself cultivating Brocolli

    Reply
  21. NHSWorker

    I’ve tried Keto myself for about 9 months. It didn’t work for me unfortunately. I felt like I constantly had very little energy, couldn’t sleep very well, bowels were… not good (sorry). I tried increasing fats significantly, increasing salt, vegetable and water intake; everything the books and blogs recommended. Nothing seemed to work. I also missed foods like bread, chips, (real) beer; all of which I consumed previously but not to excess. I also struggled to lose weight from around my waist (couldn’t get it under 37 inches around the navel level).

    I found the best solution was to return to my “normal” diet but to strip back the portion sizes of bread, potatoes etc to a minimum. I also enjoy milk chocolate now and then. My problems went and my waist size reduced to 35 inches. My GP (a bloody good Irish one that everyone wants to see) postulated that my body didn’t like keto diet and churned out loads of cortisol, which made me gain weight.

    My lesson to self was to keep starchy carbs etc. to the lowest level possible, but not low enough to cause problems, including weight gain. Everything in moderation really, or a 80/20 ‘ish rule.

    Anyway that’s my personal experience for what it’s worth.

    Reply
      1. NHSWorker

        Thank you, yes we are all different. I wish I could have stuck to it. Hopefully it will make a big difference to some people who have metabolic issues (inc. those with type 2 diabetes) and, indeed, also as a preventative measure for many other people. It would also make a big impact on our pharmacy budgets!

        Reply
        1. Joe Dopelle

          Just cutting down on sugar and other refined carbs should help. Potatoes and other root vegetables may be perfectly healthy; and salads. Professor Yudkin was very clear about that.

          Reply
    1. DV

      I’ve had similar experience to NHSWorker. Husband and I were on low carb for over a year, some years ago after reading Good Calories, Bad Calories. Although we both dropped weight, I think we dropped a bit too much. (Our faces in particular looked very thin, not in a good way.) I didn’t feel that healthy with my gut either. We then went more paleo (still low carb but incorporated grass-fed meats in our diet) for a couple years at least, with pretty much same health/weight issues.

      After being on paleo for a while, we started slowly adding back small amounts of foods such as beans, a few mostly non-wheat grains such as quinoa (a grass), oatmeal and millet, and scaled back much of our red meat eating. Each day we ate less than about 120 mg. carbs, and continue to do so, with any carb balanced with a protein and/or acid like lemon juice or similar. No sugar eaten at all except the small amount in dark chocolate. We’ve eaten this way for several years and are still feeling much better although my husband still struggles to gain weight, whereas I gained enough weight to look healthier in the face and find that I can gain more if not careful in controlling carbs. This is the happy medium for us. We don’t eat like we ate before going low carb, but more of a balance than the prohibitions and strict carb-counting of low carb or paleo.

      Reply
    2. Joe Dopelle

      Richard Wrangham’s books are well worth reading. “Catching Fire” argues that cooking meat may well have marked our takeoff as a new species – as much as 2 million years ago. Apes that had come down from the trees to hunt would have benefited enormously from domesticating fire. They could cook meat in an hour or so, saving far longer because cooked meat can be chewed and digested much quicker and using less energy. Moreover, the fires would keep predators away at night, making it unnecessary to climb trees for safety. Thus they could afford bigger brains and smaller guts.

      As well as meat, Wrangham says that our ancestors cooked roots such as potatoes and yams. So the basic human diet would have been roast meat and potatoes! Yum. Plus whatever salad they gathered, in continuation of their ancestors’ diet.

      Wrangham’s other great book “Demonic Males” is also wonderfully revealing. Why are chimps so much more aggressive than bonobos? Becaise bonobos have more food. Why do bonobos have more food? Because they happened to be on the side of the river that had no gorillas, so they could eat the ground-growing vegetation as well as the leaves of trees. Hence bonobos go around in larger groups, which – by game theory – makes fighting far less attractive. When chimps fight, it is usually five or six to one, a foregone conclusion. Watch British police fighting protestors, and you will see exactly the same odds and outcome.

      Reply
    3. Donna Black

      NHSWorker, same here. I tried keto for a month. Felt constantly nauseous, tired and gained weight. Maybe from having gallbladder removed?
      My rule of thumb now is: Eat what your grandparents ate. And being an Ulster-Scot I find it hard to live without taties.

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        Donna Black: Yes, the gallbladder is crucial for the production of bile to digest fat. No wonder you were nauseous. Early on I felt the same way if I ate too much fat, so I’ve increased the dose gradually, and am fine with eating fat now. Keep doing what works!

        Reply
    4. Eggs ‘n beer

      Dr Steven Gundry, a heart surgeon, has written a couple of books on his version of keto/paleo. It’s based on the facts that we never ate grains, tomatoes, potatoes (and other solonaceae), sweet corn, or sugar until after the ice age finished, or Columbus discovered America. Apart from sugar, all these foods contain lectins which are poisonous to us, and 11,000 years is far too short an evolutionary time for our guts to adapt. Suffice to say, as explained in his The Plant Paradox, all your symptoms can be caused by lectins. When I can stick to my lectin free diet I do not need any toilet paper after a stool. Which is very useful in these days of Covid induced shortages. He explains in detail the microbiology and physiology behind the lectin problem, explaining why they make you tired (insulin receptors on cells blocked by lectins), sticky stools, and a whole range of other symptoms/diseases.

      Reply
  22. james

    I think you are well aware that here you are mostly preaching to the choir, so it is of utmost importance that we share this all on social media. The hoax has been going on long enough.
    As is the case of course for this Covid thing.

    Reply
  23. Martin Back

    The other day my urine started smelling like acetone. This rather worried me, because i don’t like being a chemical factory. I consulted Dr Google, who advised me that I either had diabetes or was in ketosis. I’m pretty sure I’m not diabetic, and I shouldn’t be in ketosis because I eat about 100 gm of carbs a day. A mystery. Anyway, I continued eating my home-made sourdough bread, and things are back to normal.

    I have to thank Taubes for his articles. As a result of reading him I have cut out sugar entirely, and lost my fear of saturated fat. I’ve also eliminated seed oils from my diet, and I feel much healthier. But on a limited income there’s no way to avoid carbs. You have to have a cheap source of calories. The thing is not to over-indulge. And if you can’t afford grass-fed beef, you have to make do with eggs and canned fish, which are healthy enough in their own right.

    Reply
    1. Jennifer

      Martin, you are spot on. A limited income is sometimes used as an excuse, but you have shown that not to be the case. Sugar consumption has been shown to affect the brain along the same addictive pathway as heroin. I say sugar….not carbohydrate. Certain carbs have exceptionally beneficial affects on the body, and there is much research to support that.

      Reply
  24. Mike smith

    Well all i can add is that I went from 24 stone to 14 stone with an a1c currently at 28. Trigs of 1.1 and HDL of 1.5 LDL currently 5.2 but had always been high. Having lost the 10 stone easily my energy levels are through the roof and I’m never sick (I do take 10k d3 daily along with a few others vits). All of this was achieved by me doing the exact opposite of what my doctors told me (and keep telling me). Having seen the improvements in myself, my lovely wife has now gone keto too. Dropped 4 stone and all of the other above health benefits. Good health comes easily once you stop poisoning your body with processed food and sugar. No more healthy wholegrain cereal with skimmed milk for us. No thanks. Fatty bacon and egg please all cooked in lard. Yummy. I’m sure I will die in the end and the establishment will probably blame my lifestyle choices but until then I am living a wonderfully fulfilled life.

    Reply
  25. Mark Heneghan

    The point about some carb food producing lower sugar spikes than others (ie its glycaemic index) is that this is no guarantee of less sugar absorption overall, or to put it another way, the area under the curve is more important than the height of the curve. After all, if you eat 100 g of carb as white bread, or ‘healthy’ nutty fibrous brown bread, the number of glucose molecules, and thus the amount of insulin produced,is almost identical.

    Reply
    1. Jennifer.

      Mark. That being so, ( and I accept it is), I would like to know which of the 2 curves that you describe, is the one which causes damage. They each require the same amount of insulin, but over a different timescale. My ophthalmologist has explained to me that it is the sharp, high, short-lived spikes and slumps which damage small blood vessels, ( as in the eyes,) and as such it is important to eat high fibre carbs which reduce the spikes and dips. When I said I was being guided by my HbA1c results, her response was that the fast acting carbs cause such a quick response that we can miss the spike if checking blood glucose even at 2 hourly intervals, and yet damage is being done. My thoughts are that maybe it could be the total insulin being released that is a problem, or is it over production of glucagon after the slump???It is a lot for me to get my head around, especially as I am getting mixed messages from highly educated sources. My instinct is to eat moderate quantities of low glycaemic carbs, modified with healthy fats, and just enough protein to keep healthy. . In the end, it seems to be….. ‘fingers crossed’.

      Reply
      1. Mark Heneghan

        I meant the curve of the graph blood glucose over time, and also the insulin response curve which will be a similar shape, as it depends on the glucose curve. I appreciate and accept that spikes of glucose, and subsequent insulin spikes have many undesirable effects, and that I believe is the driving argument behind the conventional dietary advice for type 2 diabetics (in particular) but also people in general. Many times my patients would ask why, if blood glucose is derived from dietary carbohydrate, are diabetics advised to eat a diet containing 55 -60% carbohydrate? I well remember putting their minds to rest by explaining that total carbohydrate per se didn’t matter, what mattered was how high the blood sugar rose after meals, so if the glucose entered the blood stream slowly, as with ‘healthy’ carbohydrates, that was ok. Meanwhile, millions of diabetics following this advice saw their long term blood glucose (Hba1c) rise each year, with increasing levels of medication needed to reverse it., increasing weight gain, increasing circulating insulin, with all its associated downsides. I remember in the days when plastic shopping bags were free, we would accumulate huge numbers of bags, and put them anywhere, drawers, cupboards, loft space,anywhere to get them out of sight. Eventually my wife said that we needed more cupboard space, and I replied that we needed to stop taking in shopping bags. The amount of blood sugar is analogous to the shopping bags, and the general modern medicine approach is to use insulin to ‘tidy away’ the glucose wherever it can. First it will fill the glycogen space, and when that is full, it will store it in the fat space, which is relatively limitless (unlike our house!) The answer seems to me to reduce the total amount of carbohydrate coming in, not the rate at which it comes. In essence what I am arguing is that the ‘healthy’ carbohydrate gives a false sense of security.
        Another particular point is that fructose, fruit sugar, as we know doesn’t raise blood glucose significantly, but it does contribute to hepatic fat and worsening insulin resistance.

        Reply
        1. Jennifer

          Mark, we are on the same side of the discussion as I have long since condemned the 55%-60% carb message for anyone, not only diabetics. There is no place in a sensible lifestyle that encompasses extremes of any macro nutrient at the expense of eliminating others; they are not sustainable over the long term, and lead to the never ending roundabout of that destructive feeling of failure.

          Reply
          1. Mark Heneghan

            The LCHF/keto movement opened my eyes and made we realise that had we stuck to our 50s diet we never would have got in to this mess. A spin-off is that we now know about the dangers of trans fats and seed oils. If I ever eat a keto diet it is by accident. 130 g carbs or less per day works for me, and usually not even half that, but it leaves room for treats. We are definitely on the same side.

      2. andy

        Jennifer, ophthalmologist is probably right in pointing out that glucose spikes can damage capillaries in eyes. Hyperglycaemia damages endothelial cell glycocalyx as well as increasing VEGF. Vascular endothelial growth factor is blamed for promoting excessive blood vessels in eyes. Doctor will inject meds into eyeballs to counter VEGF and slow down wet macular degeneration.
        Not an expert, this is what I googled.

        Reply
        1. Jennifer

          Andy. I had an acute illness a couple of years ago. It manifested in extreme blood glucose levels over a matter of days, which despite being well managed immediatly, caused damage to my eyes. I was commenced on the eye injections, being advised that the damage would hopefully be halted, but not reversed. Well, I have been informed now that there has been a marked reversal in the damage, which is fantastic. I am waiting to find out if the very expensive treatment is to continue. Our amazing NHS saved my sight just as I started school, ( post measles), and is doing it once again in retirement. It is my duty to keep as healthy as I can to minimise interventions. It concerns me that type II diabetics are defined as fat, greedy, slothful individuals, and that any associated outcomes such as blindness must be due to their own neglect. My acute illness came out of the blue, and happened so suddenly, but with the result that I appear to be in that same category. ( I know I am stigmatised by remarks from certain individuals, despite their knowing my lifestyle has never fitted that description).
          Diabetes type II is a chicken and egg situation. I believe that being overweight, etc etc, is the result of diabetes, and not the cause, but that is a discussion for another day.

          Reply
          1. Jennifer

            Terry. Great video, thanks. I agree with the points regarding foods containing omega 6. I banished pure seed oils from the kitchen in the 1970s when I couldn’t clean any cooking utensils after heating such oils….dreadful stuff.
            I do not have AMD, wet or dry. My acute illness caused Diabetic Macular Oedema occurring suddenly, and without warning…..I was immediatly commenced on Eylea, an anti-VEGF medicine, which was approved in 2015 for use for DMO by NICE. I am blessed that the improvement in my sight is so good. I will find out in January when my NHS Consultant does scans to show the state of affairs. My Optician has done scans at 6 monthly intervals, and was pleased to show me the comparisons. 4 months ago the oedema had subsided and the small lesions on the macula had diminished, whilst the damage to parts of the retina had completely resolved.
            In the mean time, the video was 45 minutes well spent today, and I will be following the Internet regarding AMD, particularly those researchers who believe that diet is important in eye health. I am careful with diet, and acknowledge that in my acute phase of DMO, Eylea has been excellent. But, I must play my part in promoting improvement. Controlling my diet is the best way I know.

  26. Bryan Hemming

    Though not on subject matter I thought this latest article in The Intercept might be of great interest to you.:”A Danish study found that people with elevated levels of a compound called PFBA were more than twice as likely to have a severe form of Covid-19″. As you rprobaly know some cholesterol reducing drugs contain PFBA. https://theintercept.com/2020/12/07/pfas-pfba-severe-covid-study/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=The%20Intercept%20Newsletter

    Reply
    1. Jennifer

      Bryan. I think your link is certainly related to the subject matter. As very ill Covid suffers have been found to have elevated PFBA, many also have low levels of cholesterol, and correspondingly low levels of Vit D. And, I suggest, the majority of elderly consume statins. The links are too strong to dismiss.

      Reply
  27. Eric

    Thank you for reviewing Gary’s new book that I wasn’t yet aware of! I am also glad you are writing about something again that we are mostly in agreement about 🙂

    Why mostly:
    starch = 2 glucose may be the driver for insulin, but sugar = glucose + fructose may be bad in other ways. Fructose has about 10x the glycating activity of glucose, so it damages a whole lot of proteins. It also leads to fatty liver, especially if had with PUFA.

    That is the other point where I disagree: not all fats are healthy. PUFA in general oxidizes easily, and especially linoleic acid’s decay products are pretty nasty poisons. PUFA have also been impliated in leading to weight gain by messing with the “full” signaling, and as mention above, fructose (or alcohol) and PUFA are the perfect recipe for fatty liver.

    Reply
  28. Darag Rennie

    Yay, if I’m seeing this in my inbox because of something you did, many thanks Malcolm.

    If it’s just a random event then all I can say thanks to chaos theory and let you know this is the first notification I’ve received from your blog for over a year.

    Best

    *Darag* +64 (0) 275 047 280 *Darag Rennie *

    Evolving Food Pyramids: The Lies That Keep Us Sick, Fat & Tired And What To Do To Feel Healthy, Trim & Energetic Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KQ3K6LK/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_x61HFbX3WVPN4

    On Wed, Dec 9, 2020 at 11:42 PM Dr. Malcolm Kendrick wrote:

    > Dr. Malcolm Kendrick posted: ” 9th December 2020 Gary Taubes has a new > book out called ‘The Case for Keto,’ which he sent to me in the form of a > real book with real pages, that he wanted me to read. Which I have. I then > suggested I should do a review and stick it up on ” >

    Reply
  29. Jeremy May

    I live in the (former) industrial north of England where T2 diabetic symptoms are merely an ‘irritation’. It’s only when neuropathic feet actually prevents someone from walking to the fish and chip shop that things are deemed serious enough to ‘have a word with somebody’.

    Our friends had a new kitchen installed at some expense. Very nice it is too. But I left after an inspection visit with my mate’s fury ringing in my ears. He was angry that their brand new fridge-freezer wasn’t big enough to take an extra-large (mass-produced) frozen pizza without taking it out of the box.

    One other point. My Mrs and I are both taking 8k ui D3 / day, at least during the winter. Many sources seem to consider that too much. The NHS for example says 400 ui (hundred) is adequate and 4K could be harmful. I see MS above is on 10K.

    Reply
      1. mmec7

        I take 5000 Units a day, plus the bolstering supplements to help in the Heave-Ho to bolstering the old (83 yr old) immune system.

        Reply
    1. Jennifer

      LA_Bob. I like your explanation. In a 10 minute GP consultation, combined with lack of in-depth tests available, we can see how newly diagnosed diabetics are lumped together as Type II, prescribed Metformin, advised to eat low-carb, and sent on their way.
      No time to discuss the type of carbs; the type of fats to remove, and, importantly, fats to positively include; then, the elephant in the room…..reduction of highly processed pap to be replaced with real foodstuffs.

      Reply
      1. Mike D

        Eat the elephant in the room, then use all that new space to install cross trainer, weight bench etc.

        Then we’ll all be fit as fiddles !

        Reply
    2. Jennifer

      Jeremy. What I consider poor dietary regimes are seen as the norm across the ‘advanced and developed’ globe, and have been thus for long enough. There is a lack of knowledge as to what constitutes proper food. Consequently, many are over fed, but under nourished; to put it bluntly, actually mal-nourished.

      Reply
      1. Joe Dopelle

        There is a theory – I believe reputable – that the body is very sensitive to its needs and what it is being fed. So that if some vital nutrients are absent or insufficient, a person my remain hungry even after eating full meals. The body is crying out for (e.g.) high quality protein, or animal fat, or magnesium, or Vitamin D – but since it can’t talk, its only resource is blunt instrument of hunger.

        The Jaminets make this point very well in their book “The Perfect Health Diet”. (Honest, I am not on commission – I just think it’s a very good book!) They start from the idea that you need many nutrients in the right quantities, and the basic problem is how to get all those nutrients without consuming too many calories.

        That is one of the best reasons for avoiding “empty calories” such as sugary drinks, excessive fruit, white bread, etc. You are using up your “calorie allowance” without getting enough nutrients (other than plain energy).

        Reply
        1. Joe Dopelle

          “…since it can’t talk, its only resource is blunt instrument of hunger”.

          Now I come to think of it, exactly like a baby crying. She needs something, and it’s up to the parent to work out what.

          Reply
          1. Bloomy Vintage Design

            This is precisely what happened to me years ago when I was a grain eater…..perpetual non-stop hunger despite eating too much. My theory was the phytates in “healthy whole grains”, beans, nuts and seeds were blocking the proper digestion/uptake of key minerals and apparently my body thought I was starving even though I was obese. My vegan years absolutely wrecked my digestion and thyroid. Through much experimentation I’ve found meat, eggs, saturated fat, plus fruit & veg to be very satiating. No need to overeat. Real whole food, who knew?

          1. Bloomy Vintage Design

            smartersig: My main protein sources are dairy, gelatin (for the specific amino acid profile), beef, eggs, seafood and lamb. I eat chicken and pork on occasion.

            On the contrary, I think fruit is very nutritious. I would argue that fruit is designed to be eaten. We have sweet taste receptors for a reason.

        2. Gary Ogden

          Joe Dopelle: Thanks. Excellent point. I stick to nutrient-dense for most of what I eat. This is especially important, I think, because as we age we absorb nutrients less well. A typical breakfast for me is three eggs with sliced garlic and grana padano parmesan and barely cooked, about 4 oz. fatty pork belly, sometimes some smoked salmon or shrimp or oysters. Lunch 4 oz. beef with a generous hunk of cheese. Supper 8 oz beef or pork, cooked with garlic, onions and oregano, and sometimes more cheese and/or guacamole. Some fruit, and a few times a week some Brazil nuts. About twice a week 20 g whey protein. An occasional treat of pork rinds. I would eat lamb and goat if I could get them, but shopping, even connecting with farmers is a nightmare with this ‘Rona hoax.

          Reply
    3. Joe Dopelle

      “The NHS for example says 400 ui (hundred) is adequate and 4K could be harmful”.

      Yeah. “Could be harmful”. “Might be harmful”. “Potentially could be harmful”. Etc.

      It would be fun (if anyone had the endurance) to ask the NHS for its evidence of that statement.

      Some time ago, Dr Zoe Harcombe noticed a particularly outrageous claim about cholesterol being made by (I think) the British Heart Foundation. Being an expert, she asked the BHF what evidence they had for the claim. After a bit of foot-shuffling, they admitted they hadn’t any – but said the claim came from the British government. So Dr Harcombe asked the government – and you can imagine all the buck-passing that went on there – eventually to be told that the claim came from the BHF.

      He conclusion was that “everyone knew” that cholesterol was bad for your heart, but no one actually had any hard evidence at all. They all just made the claim, and if pressed would refer to one of the others.

      (I would try to find the exact reference in Dr Harcombe’s blog, but it is paywalled which makes that a fool’s errand).

      Reply
    4. Tish

      Jeremy: I like to trust my body a bit. Since our ancestors in the north (or south in the Southern Hemisphere) have had plenty of time to adapt to store sufficient vitamin D in their fat for the long winter months I imagine that we could be making plenty from summer UVB rays if we do not stay indoors huddled over computers, etc. Those in snowy or icy areas would benefit further from the reflected rays. We are told that large supplements are safe because in sunshine very large amounts of vitamin d can be quickly made before the body ends the conversion. Outright toxicity from supplementation certainly seems to be rare and to only occur after extremely large quantities are taken. But are there any sub-clinical effects from very high doses that we are not aware of? Swallowing a pill doesn’t quite equate to sunshine-derived for me and makes me limit my supplementation to an on and off haphazard swallowing of 1K from December. I seem to have a sufficient supply of Vit D – self-tested on a £7 test bought online, and I’ve had my three score years and ten.
      The situation is of course different for dark skinned people in high latitudes.

      Reply
    5. Terry Wright

      Hi Jeremy;

      a 20yr old; in 20mins of midday sun; can make 20,000 IU of Vit D;

      you can find that Vit D is a cholesterol molecule, flipped open; check out the images;
      you will find it very similar to oestrogen; progesterone; testerone; aldosterone; we can break all those down; we can break down Vit D too; it does not cumulate in some mythical deep store somewhere;

      the NHS is usually 180degrees out about most things ………..

      Reply
  30. Lazlo13

    Hi, my first time commenting. I got interested in low carb quite a number of years ago now, due to knowing and working with an orthopaedic surgeon in Tasmania, Gary Fettke, whom some people on this blog may have heard of. He had a lot of strife with the Australian board over there for trying to help patients by advising them to go low carb…obviously he must have helped too many people and needed to be stopped.
    When I looked into low carb further it just made sense to me; eat proper food, avoid processed foods, reduce sugar intake. While I never have gone properly low carb or keto I did really reduce my bread, pasta and rice intake mostly, as I had a very high carb diet (back when athletes used to talk about carb loading before every race!) I always noticed back then that I was chronically hungry no matter how many carbs I ate, and I had really bad IBS. When I finally cut bread and pasta down a lot, my IBS really improved. And I actually felt nourished and satiated after a meal!

    I do also recommend a book I read earlier this year, Regenerate by Sayer Ji. I think what he discusses in regards to food and the natural world is also quite relevant, and the many different properties that each food can provide us, as opposed to just looking at them from the perspective of ‘carb, fat or protein’.

    Thank you Dr Kendrick for your fabulous blog, I only found you this year with the Covid madness and am really glad I did 🙂

    Reply
  31. jeanirvin

    I was pleasantly surprised this morning to find that Derbyshire libraries have this book on order. I am first in the queue!!

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      That is a fascinating video. It looks to me more and more obvious that the powers that be in our respective health services actively do not want to clear up the COVID crisis any time soon.

      Another example of this, is that recently here in the UK it was agreed – many months after the evidence was clear – that Vitamin D supplementation was of value in stopping COVID. Instead of belatedly urging everyone to take a daily dose of Vitamin D, they said they were going to make available a special vitamin D supplement to very vulnerable individuals in about 1 month’s time – maybe it is out by now, I don’t know. In other words, they were desperate not to see this crisis abate.

      This is a real scandal.

      Reply
    2. Jennifer

      TFS.Thankyou for this. Please could someone tell me the name of the drug being spoken about….I just cannot catch what it is. Thanks.

      Reply
  32. ecogreengp

    I’ve been promoting low carb diets of varying types for those wanting to lose weight / for PCOS / for IGT etc for over 8 years now. Initially I felt out on a limb and concerned that if a patient complained I would be hauled up for “incorrect advice” … so I critically appraised papers mentioned in books such as “the Primal Blueprint” and kept an eye out for journal articles. Over time the tide really has turned. I see a whole swathe of GP’s now talking about this and taking it on board. I no longer feel alone (partly due to the community on twitter) or concerned I will be hauled up … It is so good we as GP’s can be part of the solution.

    Reply
  33. John

    Dr. Fauci (USA) appears to takes 6,000 IU per day, i.e. don’t rely on a v****** to save you.

    I want the NHS to test me in late winter after taking ~4,000 IU/day. Will they agree or will they be overwhelmed by doing the COVID-19 v******? In March 2020 they were dismissing routine appointments and I couldn’t get a late winter test for 2019-20.

    If it shows as expected that I only have around 90-120 nmol/l, I’ll up the dose I take from autumn to spring. Several American doctors now think that the sweet spot is a bit higher than 120 … but one probably does not want to go over 150.

    Dr David Grimes (UK) has documented the NHS policy on vitamin D for many years. He has a blog.

    Reply
  34. Diana Earnshaw

    20 years ago, I was working in a recovery centre for police officers. During a health check with a rather rotund lady, I asked her if she had tried any diets for weight loss. She said she’d tried them all but the only one that worked, was The Atkins Diet. Being a good little nurse and after much tooth-sucking, I told her she was right to come off it because of cholesterol etc. etc. She asked me if I had read it (I hadn’t) and told me that I shouldn’t comment if I had not read the book. And she was right.

    I read it. The scales fell from my eyes because at last, the science made sense. (I made myself very unpopular at work because as you know, once you know something as a fact, you can’t un-know it. I was disciplined for advising diabetics to cut out grains and other sugars.)

    There was little on the internet about low carb back then – other than Atkins, but my “teacher” was Barry Groves. I read every word on his website (which lives on despite his sad demise – http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/). Since then, I have also read books by Gary Taubes, Weston A. Price, Zoe Harcombe, Nina Teicholz and many more. Possibly Barry Groves was the start of this revolution. His work is well researched and referenced. I became a Clinical Nutritionist. (I got the qualification in order to to get insurance – then I could teach as I wished!)

    Even though I have retired from nursing, I am still fighting the fight by keeping up my Face Book page. We have to keep going or the human race will die out as they won’t be able to reproduce.

    Thanks for bringing this way of eating to the fore and thank you for all your entertaining and illuminating blogs!

    Reply
  35. Michelle Sawyer

    My 83 year old Mum has diabetes, AF, a pacemaker, COPD and breast cancer. We call her, the man they couldn’t hang.
    Anyway she insists that her diabetes was caused by taking bisoprolol which she was prescribed when she first had heart problems. She is tiny and very thin and always has been. She insists on eating porridge every morning and I am trying to persuade her that a high fat diet would benefit her. Her NHS diabetes diet advise assumes that because she has type 2 diabetes, that she is overweight.
    Anyway I’m going to show her this blog post, so she can ignore me again, but at least I feel as though someone with a medical background is swimming against the tide, with regard to fat consumption.

    Reply
  36. Craig E

    Dr Kendrick I am with you on the saturated fat and cholesterol 100%.

    However, the following two paragraphs in your article I disagree with:

    “So, if it is not fat in the diet that is capable of causing weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and other such nasty things, what is it? As Gary points out clearly, and inarguably, the answer is sugar. By sugar, he means carbohydrates (all sugars are just simple carbohydrates).”

    “The downstream benefit to entering ketosis is that, when you burn up fats and ketones, you are also using up your “energy stores” aka fat. So, once you stop burning glucose, and start using ketones, you can finally lose weight.

    Here’s why:
    1. A while after writing Good Calories Bad Calories (which I read) Taubes set up the Nutrition Science Initiative in 2012 through which he commissioned a metabolic ward study to test the carbohydrate/insulin hypothesis. The study showed that fat loss actually decreased in the ketogenic phase of the trial and lean tissue reduced, and the lead researcher Kevin Hall concluded that the study results falsifies the carbohydrate/insulin hypothesis. This didn’t change Taubes’ mind though.

    2. There is no proof that people can’t gain weight via fat in the diet. There is also no proof that carbohydrates are uniquely fattening. Weight change is about the difference between the weight (mass) of the food and liquid you take in and the mass that leaves your body over time. Mass is lost via faeces and urine (dead cells, excess nitrogen), sweat, water vapour and carbon dioxide that is the end product of respiration. Any excess carbon taken in to the body over the immediate metabolic need MUST be stored, whether it’s sourced via carbs or fat. It can’t magically disappear. The storage form of carbon in primarily adipose tissue and glycogen (although protein contains carbon too). So it’s over-eating above your body’s needs that causes weight gain, not the macronutrient choice.

    3. Sugar/carbohydrates per se are not evil. We are perfectly adept at metabolising sucrose, lactose, starch etc. However, like with anything, excess carbs will cause problems. As you have mentioned in previous articles, the body goes to extreme lengths to ensure that blood glucose does not fall too low – it is essential – yes it can be made endogenously via glycerol and certain amino acids but it is essential for life. We can’t do to glucose what the world did to cholesterol.

    Some have argued that carbs are addictive or that they are less satiating than fat so you’re bound to eat more of them. However, according to a study to determine the satiety index of foods ( SHA Holt et al – A satiety index of Common foods – 1995) boiled potatoes came up on top based on cross section of 38 different foods. Second was fish.

    Reply
    1. smartersig

      Taken from that paper

      “SI scores correlated positively with the serving weight of the foods (r = 0.66, P < 0.001, n = 38) and negatively with palatability ratings (r = -0.64, P < 0.001, n = 38). Protein, fibre, and water contents of the test foods correlated positively with SI scores (r = 0.37, P < 0.05, n = 38; r = 0.46, P < 0.01; and r = 0.64, P < 0.001; respectively) whereas fat content was negatively associated (r = -0.43, P < 0.01)."

      Protein fibre and water help with appetite satisfaction fat does not
      Can we assume that fat makes you want to eat more fat which makes you fat ?

      Reply
      1. Craig E

        Hi Smartersig you could make that assumption but I suppose it’s not necessarily the case that one will overconsume fat to the point of getting fat just because fat is less satiating.

        My own view about why we get fat is:
        (a) food is being designed to be exceptionally tasty such that people eat past the ‘full’ signal
        (b) we eat too quickly – not allowing time for the ‘full’ signal to be processed
        (c) we eat nutrionally poor food and drinks that are replete with energy but contain little of the essential vitamins, minerals etc that we need
        (d) we eat more because of food availability

        Weight gain in my view has little to do with the pure % of each macronutrient in the diet.

        Reply
  37. Patrick Nerney

    Great stuff as always – I look forward to your posts with a rare anticipation. One small matter as pointed out by your fellow medic and campaigner for more rational medicine, Dr Jason Fung, is that sucrose (sugar) contains one molecule of glucose and one of fructose whereas simple starches are glucose all the way, (I am not comfortable with biochemical physiology and stand to be corrected) The point he makes is that fructose as well as being sweeter than glucose cannot be directly utilised by tissues but must be metabolised in the liver first and in that process has important effects such as causing a fatty liver and exacerbating insulin resistance. I’d say therefore that sugar is maybe not exactly comparable to starch, It is as the great Dr Yudkin said many years ago in his amazingly prescient book “pure white and deadly”.

    Reply
  38. Bob

    Just another Taubes book, then.
    You shouldn’t oversimplify; you can lose weight without being in ketosis and your muscles need glycogen in them in order to work.
    I know that doesn’t mean we feed dietary carbohydrate.

    Reply
  39. David Bailey

    Malcolm,

    It is good that you support Gary Taubes, who has shown amazing strength against the forces pitched against him.

    At one point you wrote, “This is a book which covers the fact that fats, saturated fats, indeed any fats (other than trans-fats, and the industrially produced fats from grains) are perfectly healthy.”

    I wasn’t quite sure what that meant. Were you saying that PUFAs were good, unless crushed out of seeds (e.g. sunflower oil), or were you saying that PUFAs are bad for you, and coincidentally, these are primarily obtained by industrial processing?

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      David Bailey: Virtually all the fats we eat contain a percentage of PUFA. For example, beef fat contains 47% SFA, 49% MUFA, and 4% PUFA, while chicken contains 31% SFA, 47% MUFA, and 22% PUFA, and sockeye salmon 24% SFA, 47% MUFA, and 29% PUFA. (All figures from Mary Enig’s “Know Your Fats”). Both omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids are PUFA’s. They are both essential in our diet, and thus are called “essential fatty acids” (EFA). But we only need a little bit of them. We know from both the Sydney Heart Study and the Minnesota Coronary Trial that intentionally increasing the percentage of linoleic acid (an omega 6 PUFA) in our diets kills us faster. According to Dr. Kendrick the Inuit are more prone to nose bleeds from the anticoagulant effects of the high omega 3 content in their largely seafood diet. In my view it is pointless to be concerned about ratios or amounts of fatty acids in our diet. If we just stick to real food, and avoid industrial junk, it makes no difference to our health what these ratios or amounts are.

      Reply
      1. Jennifer

        Yes, Gary. The majority of us just can’t visualise %ages of this, that and t’other. What we may take on board, are the principals of good nutrition. Getting bogged down with the science, albeit very interesting for the boffins, and those of us with time on our hands, is a turn off for many, who just need to know what is safe or destructive for our bodies.
        How do we get the message to the multitude that morish, industrialised pap, beautiful sparkling, sugary pop, and tasty, refined vegetable oils, need to be banished? There needs to be a workable and understandable method for showing that nutritious, affordable and tasty substitutes are achievable. It comes down to trustworthy educators, who can convince us what is good, bad or indifferent. But who do we trust? I have my favourites.

        Reply
    2. Bloomy Vintage Design

      PUFAS are BAD for you!!! There, I said it.

      Let’s talk about soy, corn, canola, hemp and even the beloved fish and flaxseed oil. Consider how they’re manufactured because they certainly aren’t naturally occurring in the quantities folks are ingesting. For starters, industrial seed crops are genetically modified and doused in pesticides. Exactly how is that sustainable and good for our environment? Often solvents, high temperatures and extreme pressure are used in extraction. They smell horrid…well not hemp, it smells okay, but I certainly wouldn’t eat it. As such, these oils almost always need further refining to make them “palatable”.

      They’re a fairly recent addition to the food supply and have catastrophically pushed aside the traditional fats that humans have eaten for millenia. Unfortunately they build up in human tissues over time and oxidize at 98.6 degrees causing a wide variety of problems. If you cherish your pancreatic beta cells, proteolytic enzymes and your immune system you’d be wise to avoid PUFA at all cost.

      I use hemp, linseed and soya oils as various wood finishes almost daily (wearing gloves to avoid skin absorption). These are industrial drying oils, NOT food.

      Reply
      1. David Bailey

        BVD said,
        “Exactly how is that sustainable and good for our environment? Often solvents, high temperatures and extreme pressure are used in extraction. They smell horrid…well not hemp, it smells okay, but I certainly wouldn’t eat it. As such, these oils almost always need further refining to make them “palatable”. ”

        Yes but it seems to me that arguments like this don’t contribute in a discussion that is about medical science.

        Normal stomach contents don’t smell good – but that tells us nothing. High temperatures are also used in normal cooking, and it really depends on whether the solvents in question are dangerous in themselves (or decompose into something that is), and how easily they can be removed. Likewise, I would say environmental questions are totally orthogonal to what we are discussing.

        Reply
        1. Bloomy Vintage Design

          David Bailey: my point was to consider what humans have been eating for thousands of years as compared to the fairly recent addition of industrial seed oils that are being touted as “Heart Healthy”.
          This discussion is about KETO diets which, by necessity, will always include a lot of fat because you hafta get your calories from somewhere. I don’t eat normal stomach contents, do you?

          Speaking from my own personal experience, after years of including fish oil supplements and flaxseed oil in my daily green smoothies I became diabetic despite eating NO SUGAR and no grains. I was amazed this could happen to me and it sent me on a 10 year research bender where I learned that it wasn’t sugar that causes diabetes. At 125 pounds I certainly wasn’t fat, so in my case it wasn’t obesity that caused my diabetes either.

          Fast forward to now and I’m certain that lipid peroxidation of the so called “essential fatty acids” is what causes diabetes along with a lack of certain B vitamins as well my diet was missing some specific minerals. In the case of other folks there might be other factors such as being sedentary or stress, but for me it was changing those three things that made a huge difference.

          I cut all PUFA out of my diet and started taking vitamin E (per Chris Masterjohn) to help detoxify my tissues. I also supplemented with B vitamins and I pay very close attention to mineral intake. It has taken YEARS, but I am no longer diabetic and can eat carbohydrates with no ill effect whatsoever. Even consuming “deadly” white sugar in the form of candy won’t spike my blood glucose. However I’ve noticed that excess sugar consumption can cause weight gain now that I’m menopausal. That hormonal shift seems to have altered my metabolism. So refined sugar is now saved for treats. My daily diet includes plenty of saturated fat, it’s very apparent to me that the TYPE of fat one eats really does matter.

          PUFA NO BUENO.

          Reply
      2. Karl

        I think the consumption of concentrated PUFA in the form of vegetable oil is likely the cause of the OTHER pandemic – the one that has killed even more:
        https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/diabetes

        I’ve read all of Gary Taubes’ books – he seems to not want to look at concentrated PUFA oils? I was hoping there would be some hint in this review if he had finally opened the door? Does he take even a glance at the elephant in the room?

        I think Petro (and others) have made a strong case (over on hyperlipid) that high PUFA diets cause inappropriate insulin sensitivity of adipose tissue – leading to the narrative that this causes over storage of fats, leaves people hungry – eating ever more until T2D shortens life. Not to mention the lower quality of life. With a 600 day half life, short term diets that reduce LA consumption don’t work.

        I don’t think the proton theory is ungrounded – We are witnessing the appearance of T2D in the third world – in phase with the introduction of seed oils that replace the traditional animal fats.

        I put excess PUFA consumption in the same camp as low level heavy metal exposure (mostly lead) as the number one health issues of our time – sadly, ignored health issues..

        Reply
        1. smartersig

          So what about Omega 3 PUFAs in the same sense what about Vegetables which are essentially carbs, I mean should we not eat sweet potato.
          There is a tendency to bracket all Carbs as bad and all PUFAs as bad which is clearly not the case.

          Reply
          1. Karl

            One can not possible avoid all PUFA – the point is when it becomes a large component of the caloric intake.. What happens in the mitochondria – the low level science is clear – PUFAs change insulin sensitivity – at high dosages (modern western diet) they are endocrine disrupters .

            Insulin causes fat storage – if you over-store fats – you will be extra hungry – eat more. Even a small caloric imbalence will cause weight gain over time.

            There are a large number of people trying to lose weight by diet and/or exercise – and they are mostly failing – this explains why. What is even worse, if they correct their diet – the benefit can be years away. Before seed oils were heavily marketed, obesity was rare.

            Concentrated seed oils are not human food.

            This is not a secret – if researchers want fat mice or rats – they feed them a diet with PUFA..

          2. Mr Chris

            Karl
            Sounds like calories in must equal calories out for stable weight
            Thought that was debunked aeons ago

  40. Mark Heneghan

    People may disagree as to how LCHF diets work – reduced appetite through better satiety, loss of water early on (undeniable), reduced appetite through lower insulin levels, reduced appetite through eliminating glucose dips, or maybe all of the above, but what they do do better than LFHC diets for diabetics is lower their weight, their Hba1c, their blood pressure, and their triglycerides. Far better to argue about why something does work, than to argue about why something should work, but doesn’t.

    Reply
    1. shirley3349

      I thought that the reason it works is something like this: excess carbs are stored as fat, excess protein is turned to carbs and stored as fat, but excess fat is partly not absorbed and partly metabolised by the liver to produce excess heat which the body then seeks to get rid of. On a hot day, one’s appetite is much reduced to compensate.

      Reply
        1. Jennifer

          Gary. That is very kind of you. I read the article, and it is quite convincing, but I am not a researcher, so cannot pass judgement. My general knee jerk reaction is that, with so much info out there regarding older drugs being relegated to the third division, Big Pharma and Big money are behind the push for new treatments, and the money-making roundabout whizzes on and on.

          Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      He’s a long term man. At least that is my reading of his book. I am less fundamentalist Keto. I think some people truly are enormously carb intolerant – a significant number of them may well, actually, have Maturity Onset Diabetes of Youth (MODY), which is essentially slow onset type I diabetes. So, not insulin resistant, simply lacking in insulin. A few people can eat carbs with abandon. The majority would do well to reduce carbs down considerably, but are probably OK with simply moderating intake. Primarily, it depends on how ‘insulin resistant’ you have become.

      Reply
        1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

          Non-invasive. Indirect calorimetry. More invasive check insulin response post GGT. Or semi-invasive, continuous blood sugar monitoring for a week or so to see what effect different foods have on your glucose levels.

          Reply
        2. BobM

          A CGM (continuous glucose monitor) is good, but that’s only half the story. A Kraft test is best. A 2 hour one is usually good enough. They give you a glucose drink (usually 75grams), take blood sugar and insulin before, then at at least every hour for two hours. Some think it’s better to take more samples earlier, say every 30 minutes for at least the first hour.

          This is an introduction:

          https://headsuphealth.com/blog/self-tracking/low-carb-lab-testing-part-7-the-kraft-test-hyperinsulinemia/

          Reply
      1. Jennifer

        Dr Kendrick,
        We need better testing from the start. Measuring insulin, not just HbA1c, would be helpful.
        I was very fortunate to have correspondence with Prof Roy Taylor, regarding the (inappropriate, as it turned out) polypharma I was subjected to.
        A close blood relative, with unmanageable diabetes, had an hour long, face to face consultation with him just before his NHS retirement. His wisdom regarding the myths and fallacies surrounding what diabetes actually is, was an eye opener. He diagnosed my relative with MODY, after nearly 20 years of struggling along, having been quietly accused of being ‘the non-compliant patient’..
        How does his knowledge get down to all medics at the coal face, as it has obviously reached you? So many Nurses and Doctors seem to be stuck in a time warp, or maybe they are just afraid to speak out. Fortunately, my endocrinologist discusses diabetes with me in a pleasant and understandable manner, knowing that I try to keep abreast of the ever evolving management of the many facets of Type II.

        Reply
      2. shirley3349

        Sometimes, I think I must have what might be termed Moody Pancreas Syndrome, that is, when my pancreas is in a good mood it can metabolise 10g of carbohydrate (almost) normally, when at other times it is so cantankerous it can take over 10 hours to do the same task.
        Still I continue to lose weight slowly, around 8 stone after 4 years, and recent HbA1c readings have been well within the normal range, so I try to eat for pleasure and not to worry.

        Reply
  41. anonymous

    Nice and compelling review.

    One thing about sugar. I think I have read somewhere that there were a few wars to control the production of sugar cane. My, my, why would politicians want to take control of that food while completely ignoring the production of milk, butter, cheese, meat, fish and eggs.

    It’s not like they were planning something toward the establishment of a caste system with superfat, weak and stupefied indentured servants who are so happy thinking the money is flowing from the upper class down, right? No. Impossible. No one can pull such a long con.

    Well. The fact that if you put sugar in anything then it tastes better (meat, sauce, milk, butter, cheese, vegetables, fruit) proves that it was unavoidable and not planned. I’m sure.

    Reply
    1. Joe Dopelle

      I think it was Gary Taubes who observed that, in Shakespeare’s time, refined sugar was as expensive as cocaine is today.

      Reply
    2. Jennifer

      In response to Anonymous. Sugar is the unacceptable face of corrupt politics, as history has shown. It is the biggest form of legalised drug pushing. The sugar industry deliberately confuses the public by defining sugar as a ‘natural’ ingredient. Unfortunately, it has resulted in all forms of carbohydrates being classified in terms of ‘teaspoons’ of sugar, as though they are interchangeable. So along come the ‘low carbers’, advising us to throw the baby out with the bath water, thus abandoning nutritious carbohydrates in order to avoid the pure white and deadly stuff.
      Sugar is so powerful and addictive that, as someone profoundly pointed out, we could eat s..t if it was covered in sugar.
      Let’s see how many trolls respond to this!

      Reply
  42. mmec7

    Thank God for sanity. One gets sooo tired of pointing out that each and every morsel of the bread, pasta, helping of potatoes, rice = sugar. Now add in biscuits, cake, buns = sugar. Bang one’s head on the desk ! Please let this biik be mandatory reading for every medical student, every doctor and every so-called ‘dietitian’, and, recommended for all fifth formers ! Education. That is the name of the game. TG for sanity in this world of insanity. Yea. ‘The Case for Keto’.

    Reply
  43. mmec7

    I take 5000 Units a day, plus the bolstering supplements to help in the Heave-Ho to bolstering the old (83 yr old) immune system.

    Reply
    1. Frango Asado

      It’s quite feasible to make almost any pastry or cake using nut or coconut flour. Doesn’t taste very different, but the texture isn’t the same – quite crumbly, because of the lack of gluten, etc.

      An ideal application is apple (or fruit of your choice) crumble. That is what nut flour pastry does best!

      While possibly much healthier than wheat recipes, nut flour pastry is at least as fattening! (Maybe more so). So it’s best as an occasional treat – which pastry, cakes and sweets (and arguably fruit) should be.

      Reply
      1. Penny.

        Hmm, I’m not sure that it doesn’t taste any different with nut or coconut flour. I’ve been cutting back on wheat flour but making shortcrust pastry is one of those things which is much better with wheat flour in my opinion. I always make my mincemeat which has far less sugar added than commercial stuff, which I dislike. The cakes I’ve made using almond or coconut flour are not a patch on those made with wheat flour. I’ve been baking for well over 50 years and learnt from my mother who was a noted cook (she died aged 96.). I agree that crumbles aren’t too bad with substitutes but not as good. I don’t think that I’ll be giving up wheat flour completely. At Christmas I sometimes make as many as 30 cakes for gifts and over 100 jars of jam and marmalade, so maybe I should be giving these things to my enemies, not friends.

        Reply
        1. shirley3349

          As children, we made mincemeat in industrial quantities at home. Me and my brother were the (slave) labour force! Dried fruit was then sold loose, unwashed, with stalks attached and these had to be picked off and all foreign bodies removed before the fruit could be rinsed and used. There were trays of the stuff and the job took hours. The only decent job was one’s turn at the mincer, when one could finally sample one’s handiwork. Apart from mince pies, Mum had several other recipes which used mincemeat, which we ate throughout the year.
          I still like it, but I could never face making my own. There used to be several luxury brands, which boosted with extra brandy were quite nice, but the recent ones are not so good. But as my gran-daughters love my mince pies, I will be baking a batch for Xmas day.

          Reply
    1. Frango Asado

      Interesting. (Although very cruel – just think of the mockery it will get).

      As most sub-Saharan Africans have fairly dark skin, one wonders what effect this has on Vitamin D intake. (Of course, it’s conceivable that chimps make their own so don’t need outside sources).

      Having thick hair and living (mostly) in the forest, chimps wouldn’t get much sunlight anyway.

      Reply
        1. Frango Asado

          Interesting, although I am slightly worried by scientists who spell “phosphorus” with an extra “o” as “phosphorous”. The latter is an adjective, although more and more people make this mistake.

          As for the canopies, I don’t think adult chimps can get up there. They get pretty heavy and the branches wouldn’t support their weight. (Juveniles can go higher, of course).

          Anyway, wouldn’t all that hair prevent much UV from getting through to the skin surface?

          Reply
  44. Mark Christopher Wilson

    Surely this was all made perfectly clear, down to the chemistry involved, in the “Dr Atkins Diet”. That was 20 years ago.

    It’s all made even clearer in the “The Obesity Epidemic”.

    I think the Fat is Bad and Carbs Are Good canard is just one of many outrageous lies told to the public in the last 30 years. Here’s my list of reasons not to trust the Government/Scientific establishment axis:

    1. Eating fat and meat is bad for you

    2. AIDS affects everyone; everyone can die from AIDS

    3. Cut down on salt to avoid high blood pressure

    4. Healthy cattle must be killed to prevent the spread of Foot-And-Mouth because Foot-And-Mouth is such a er, terrible disease

    5. Eggs have got salmonella in them

    6. The world is gonna end soon because we’re burning carbon and this is an emergency

    7. Saddam Hussein has got WMD and can launch a lethal attack on the West in 15 minutes

    8. There will be a disaster on 1 Jan 2000 if we don’t panic and spend billions on pointless upgrades of software systems

    9. Covid-19 is gonna get you; we’re all gonna die from it

    10. When you get to high school, big kids put your head down the toilet and flush it

    Etc. etc. etc.

    Thank you, Dr. Kendrick, for your sanity and humanity.

    Mark Wilson

    Reply
  45. Nigella P

    I have a copy of The Diet Delusion by Gary Taubes and it inspired me to low carb. However, prolonged low carb didn’t like me. I tried it in my late 30s and it effected my thyroid and was one of the things that I believe nudged me into hypothyroidism. It is only a belief as it seems that if you don’t have Hashimoto’s disease, no one call tell you why you become hypothyroid!

    I went low carb for 6 months and lost weight, although obviously that slowed eventually, as I didn’t disappear altogether. However, I felt desperately low in energy, constantly and unrelentingly thirsty and found my mood became low too. I would also get that slightly shaky feeling on exertion, which didn’t seem good.

    I think my body found it stressful to be so low in carbs and I now take a more moderate approach. I restrict processed carbs in the main; particularly sweets, pasta, cakes & biscuits but I will have the occasional piece of toast and take a relaxed approach to fruit too. I eat small portions of rice and white / sweet potatoes with my evening meal.

    I’m not sure if this is the most healthy option but it works for me. If my weight creeps up, for me the easiest way to reduce it is rather boringly to lower calorie intake and increase exercise! Works every time for me, which I know is a deeply unfashionable thing to say, as everyone nowadays seems to dismiss it as not working, but for me it really does.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      All diets work – if you stick to them. The question is, what is easiest for you to stick to? I recommend reducing carbs (all the way to zero if you can, but for most us, including me, this is not going to happen), taking some exercise, some high intensity to burn up glycogen/glucose stores – that you enjoy, and doing intermittent fasting, or eating nothing for longer spells e.g. missing breakfast and not eating until mid-day.

      Reply
      1. Steve

        It may be obvious, but I’ll say it anyway, I’d suggest there is no ‘diet’ that can generically be applied to everyone. Schoolchildren, manual workers, athletes, etc. will all have differing dietary requirements from office workers, for example, and need to balance their fuel intake to their energy needs during the day – we’re all different and therefore our personal diets will also be different and may vary over time.
        As an ex marathon runner I can vouch for the importance of adequate ‘carbo loading’ prior to long runs, to not do so would risk ‘the wall’, ketosis (?), and a whole world of pain.
        Bottom line: analyse your own personal lifestyle and what changes you need to make, if any.

        Reply
        1. smartersig

          There are probably a large number of marathon runners fallen foul of the carb loading idea. Jim Fix almost certainly died of heart disease due to carb loading for runs, the problem is that runners seemed to think you can out run a bad diet and as such pizza pasta etc are OK to load fuel. The damage to arteries still prevails whether you are running or not in fact maybe more so due to sheer stress on junctions

          Reply
          1. Steve

            You know what they say about people who make assumptions ?
            Jim Fixx died of underlying and historical heart issues (arteriosclerosis), nothing to do with carbo loading. He was responsible for creating the ‘jogging’ craze in the 70s, he was not a marathon runner per se. His heart problems are well documented – have a read.
            Yes, some runners do have bad diets; however, there is no correlation between bad diets and carbo loading – chalk and cheese !! Your assumption shows a lack of understanding of what carbo loading is and how it is applied. A runner will carbo load from five to two days before an ‘ultra’ event (>20 miles) – then that’s it. So if you run one Marathon a year you would probably only carbo load twice – a test run and then prior to the race. Most serious runners only do two or three marathons a year. This is hardly going to be the cause of any problems ?

          2. smartersig

            Not if they eat a carb load diet to cope with training. You dont just turn up 3 times a year and run a marathon

          3. Joe Dopelle

            Jim Fixx died of a heart attack at 54.

            But his father died of a heart attack at 45.

            Fixx probably died accidentally. He had finished a run, and was standing when he collapsed onto a grassy slope. That held him somewhat upright, which (as I recall) was said to have prevented blood flow from being restored. (Which supposedly is one advantage of fainting – it gets you horizontal fast).

          4. Frango Asado

            Actually, what I remember is Dr Fixx being heavily criticized for saying that, because of all the mileage he ran, he could eat fried breakfasts without fear of a heart attack.

            When he died, it was claimed that his consumption of bacon and eggs had contributed.

      2. Gary Ogden

        Dr. Kendrick: Combining the Carnivore Diet, which is very low in carbohydrates, with intermittent fasting did not work for me. After about two months or so, I began to feel hypoglycemic every morning. I suspect an occasional fast would be a good idea, but daily, I’m not so sure about.

        Reply
        1. Jeremy May

          I limit to 25g of carbs / day (estimate, not a fanatical counter) and I fast 6 days out of 7 (7.00 PM to midday). On the 7th, maybe a couple of slices of ham or a tin of mackerel. I do most of my exercise in the mornings too (combo walking / cycle 90 miles or so / week). I do have plenty of fluid, water and coffee. We’re all different, some, like me, are peculiar as well!

          Reply
          1. Gary Ogden

            Jeremy: Yes. This is a topic worthy of discussion. While the evidence is clear that being in ketosis is a healthy state, both short term and long term for many if not most people, I recently read an article which raised concern about long-term continuous ketosis. A break of a few days or weeks (or even one day a week) from time to time might very well be a good idea. I’m not sure the why of what happened to me. It might have been as simple as not getting enough calories. But I’m going to continue three meals a day, as it is working well for me. The Carnivore Diet has resolved some things which were concerning me. I’m not rich, but can afford high-quality animal foods.

      3. Craig E

        There is absolutely no need to reduce carbs to zero not to mention that most people couldn’t do it. As with the argument about cholesterol, the body has intricate regulatory mechanisms to adjust based on fed/fasted state. These include allosteric inhibition of enzymes, substrate level inhibition and hormones. So when you eat carbs, gluconeogenisis is inhibited and glycogen synthesis is activated. Fatty acid synthesis from carbs only occurs once glycogen stores are full.

        I do think low carb may benefit those who have type 2 diabetes…but…years ago, when you posted about the book Diabetes Unpacked, I posed some questions that had me puzzled about the causes of type 2, and whether people are diagnosed as type 2 that really dont have it, and I dont think I am any closer to resolving those questions. I am still intrigued by your ‘Turning diabetes upside down’ post where glucagon is in the cross hairs.

        My view on carbs is that people only really need to cut out carb laden/nutritionally poor drinks which are easy to over-consume. More broadly, eat minimally processed foods that are nutrient dense and don’t contain synthetic compounds. Eat slowly and stop at full signal.

        Reply
    2. andy

      Hi Nigella, we are all different and react differently to dietary changes. To understand effect of Keto diet one must consider all aspects of the KETO>MICROBIOME>LIVER>PANCREAS>BRAIN>MITOCHONDRION axis.

      Reply
  46. David Bailey

    This is semi off-topic.

    There are wonderful organisations like https:// FullFact.org that will helpfully tell you exactly what is right and what is wrong with all the things you might read on the internet – such as here!

    I suddenly realised that these websites can be used in a very useful way. For example, someone told me that there is a concern that the covid vaccine (all of them, I think) could reduce fertility because of a human protein called synctin-1 which resembles the spike protein that the vaccines target. Synctin-1 is used in placental development.

    Sure enough, if you GOOGLE that protein, you get a number of links to this page:

    https://fullfact.org/health/vaccine-covid-fertility/

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      David Bailey: Typical. Should be called FACTFREE rather then FULLFACT. Of course there is no evidence that the Pfizer ‘Rona vaccine affects fertility because pregnant women, and women actively attempting to get pregnant were excluded from the trials. This is true of all vaccine trials, and likely most, if not all drug trials. In the U.S. pregnant women are strong-armed into getting both the flu and DTaP jabs, neither of which have ever been tested on pregnant women (this would be considered unethical by the pea-brains who formulate policy). I well remember the time when pregnant women were strongly cautioned to avoid anything and everything which might harm the fetus, and this included pharmaceutical drugs.

      Reply
      1. David Bailey

        I hope I made my point clear because it is all to easy to type a reply and then realise too late that it could have been worded more clearly. My suggestion is to use organisations like FullFact.org for one purpose only – which is to test if something (such as the protein Synctin-1) is getting too close to the real truth which they want to conceal.
        I think it performed that role admirably!

        I totally agree that to say that there is no evidence that the vaccine affects fertility, is completely fatuous, but almost certainly fools some readers.

        Reply
  47. Christine Hudson

    Very off topic but some weeks ago I commented that our local wind band was returning to socially distanced rehearsals. Apart from the 4 week hiatus caused by Boris we are still rehearsing. Last night we had a Christmas jumper evening in aid of our local branch of Save the Children. Here is one of the video clips from the event https://youtu.be/GBUmIJHppWQ I hope it makes you all smile and fell a little better!

    Reply
  48. Liz

    Malcolm, how do you live with this insanity? I had rampant T2 diabetes complications 7 years ago, I went low carb, my HbA1c has been between 31 and 40 all this time. My health and weight are now better than in my 20’s. Was I praised by my GP? Nope, told I was ‘overtreated’ and that carbs are an essential part of the diet.
    Now looking at the covid insanity, I tell my friends ‘it’s no more dangerous than the flu’, do they listen? They say ‘but I saw an A/E doctor on the news in tears, saying they couldn’t cope’. My reply is that this is normal winter pressure in an underfunded health service. They don’t listen. My ex is barricaded in his house, my friends are hand sanitising at every farm gate when we are walking in the countryside! I was shouted at in the charity shop for bringing them a TV inside instead of leaving it out in the rain. Yet I’m allowed to go into a cafe with a friend without a mask. (I’m in Scotland)
    I watch Ivor Cummins and weep for the stupidity of it all.
    How does one live with this? Can’t get through to anyone, can’t make a difference.
    It’s said that all that is needed for bad things to happen, is that good people do nothing. Yet what can I do? What can anyone do? The lockdown protesters are branded in the media as ‘Covid deniers’.
    How do you cope?
    Anything you can tell me that will help me sleep at nights?

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      I realise that we are all – politicians, the likes of Neil Ferguson, Bill Gates, Anthony Fauci – stumbling about in a world that we don’t really understand, and trying to believe that we can control events in some way with actions, and charts, and mathematics and suchlike.

      Fear, I suppose, is really the underlying problem. Fear causes us to act irrationally, and stupidly, and become angry with anyone who doesn’t go along with what they are told. I watch, and I attempt to understand what is happening, and why. As someone quite well known once said. To understand all, is to forgive all. Or something of the sort. There are some who it is a little more tricky to forgive than others. I sometimes hope, though I should not, that they can no longer see their reflections in the mirror.

      Reply
      1. smartersig

        I do not think the three you mention are exactly stumbling about in our world,Ferguson maybe, he who launched his model on the belief that we were all (ie 100% pop) vulnerable to the this ‘new’ virus, new I think because it landed from Mars late last Autumn 2019. When you start with that number you are going to get 500,000 deaths and eventually have to walk but hey I noticed on the mainstream Truman media show that they needed to ask someone about the implications for a few days off lockdown over xmas. You guessed it, Mr Ferguson was interviewed

        Reply
      2. Martin Back

        “To my disappointment I now realized that to know all is not to forgive all. It is to despise everybody.” ‭ ― Quentin Crisp, The Naked Civil Servant

        Reply
    2. smartersig

      I am having the same problem, you present evidence to people as to why the current lockdown is completely unnecessary and you hope for a reasonable response such as ‘I disagree for the following reasons’ but what you get is total mental breakdown of any logical thought, one person even told me to stop talking about covid in this way. The problem is deep rooted and long standing, we are conditioned by education, TV and other media to never question. Its pretty effective when you look around in the current situation. Everyone hanging on news from the BBC or The Times/Guardian about when we will all be released from a sentence that we have never bothered to question and investigate. Meanwhile we still await Vit D supplements to arrive in my Mums care home but the wonder drug vaccine will be there last week

      Reply
      1. Penny

        My husband is convinced that Ivor Cummins’ advice is killing people, therefore he should be in jail. My OH always says “yes, deaths are coming down but they would have been higher had we not had lockdown. I can’t win.

        Reply
        1. smartersig

          Just tell him deaths were coming down before we entered March lockdown and also why did excess deaths flat line throughout the summer and yet we were getting pissed in pubs and on beaches etc. What we have now is a casedemic based on faulty case analysis

          Reply
      2. Joe Dopelle

        Suppose we had a system whereby anyone who gives such important and influential advice should do so on the understanding that if they are wildly wrong, they will incur a heavy fine?

        Then Dr Ferguson would not have been able to misadvise the government this year, as he would still be in debtor’s prison working off his last lot of fines. (He might be out in around… oh, say 2170).

        After all, if these clever people are so positive that they are right, the risk of being fined should be vanishingly small.

        The ancient Athenians had a system like this as part of their democracy. Generals and other officials were elected by the whole electorate. (Only Athenian-born men, but that doesn’t affect the principle). Everyone who was elected served for a fixed term of one year. Then they had to present themselves in front of the people and give an accounting. Others were allowed to ask questions and present evidence.

        If the official had done well, he might be voted a bonus, a statue, or some land. If he had done badly, he could be fined, exiled, or even sentenced to death.

        That approach might get us a better grade of leader. And make them a bit more careful.

        Reply
    3. LA_Bob

      Hi, Liz,

      There’s something I read many years ago that if you’re nervous in a meeting or preparing to speak before an audience, just imagine the other folks sitting there all naked. The hilarity can do wonders for the nerves.

      Just imagine Anthony Fauci standing naked before the podium pontificating about…whatever. Or Bill Gates, the ultimate nerd who got the revenge. Or, Boris Johnson in Parliament.

      I hope this suggestion does you some good. Believe me, I wish I would do this more often myself. It actually works.

      Reply
      1. Joe Dopelle

        “Just imagine Anthony Fauci standing naked before the podium pontificating about…whatever”.

        Or watch this – as often as you like.

        Reply
    4. BobM

      Covid is much more dangerous than the flu. MUCH more dangerous. A 55 year old man in our town got covid early in the pandemic, spent 12 days on the ventilator and 50+ total days in the hospital. Know a 48 year old female in our town (works in my wife’s former school), got covid, seemed to recover, was in the third (inflammatory) phase, had a stroke and died. Know of another 55 year old male, he and his wife got covid, she was worse and had to be hospitalized. He seemed to recover, but in the third phase of covid (the inflammatory phase), had heart attack and died.

      This doctor gives a weekly update on covid from NYC every week. It’s sobering. He discusses a mid-30s male on ventilation at the highest possible setting. A family where two sisters got it, one sister is already dead. Another family where both the mother and daughter got covid, both in the hospital. He also goes through the 3 phases of covid and how to treat them.

      https://www.microbe.tv/twiv/twiv-692/

      Covid is also more dangerous because you can be asymptomatic (and either get symptoms or never get symptoms) and be contagious. The flu is self-limiting, as you’re too sick to go out. SARS was similar — when you got SARS, you got a fever during the contagious period.

      I also follow quite a few epidemiologists on Twitter, and I have read their reviews of IFR. While the older you are, the worse it is, and there’s a theory that 90% of the differences in death rates are due to age, it’s still a bad disease. There are plenty of “long haulers”. I follow a low carb doctor from the UK. His son got covid, and MONTHS later still still has POTS.

      I don’t understand the number of people who think the disease is nothing. In the US, our health care system is extremely taxed in many locations now because of covid.

      Alas, there were so many low carb advocates I used to follow, who I no longer follow because of covid.

      Reply
      1. Jennifer

        Bob. Have you stopped following the low carbers because you consider their low carb advice is now incorrect? I came to that conclusion about 3 years ago because I found low carb was unsustainable. I believe we need vitamins and minerals from as many macro nutrients that we can manage to fit in our day, without compromising our glucose levels or weight.
        I think we are entitled to change our views after reading round a subject….i.e. By educating ourselves, and without being ridiculed.
        I maintain the rules of 1)omitting sugar (pure, white and deadly), 2) never using extracted seed oils, 3) keeping processed foods to the minimum.

        Reply
      2. Mark Christopher Wilson

        Don’t be daft. Flu is a proper illness; you can’t have it and “not know you’ve had it”. You don’t have glandular fever or meningitis and not know you’ve had them (had all three) or tonsilitis. There’s no such thing as an illness with no symptoms. How do you know you’ve not had diptheria? You might have had the asymptomatic version… How can Covid be anything other than a collection of symptoms – like AIDS – that have a variety of causes and exacerbations?

        Reply
  49. Liz

    I tell my friends that there are seriously clever people that are telling us that we are doing it all wrong. They tell me that there are seriously clever people that say we are not doing enough. I have looked at the stats, I am just a retired doctor, no great shakes in the stat department, but even I can see things are nowhere near as bad as 2018 flu season,
    WTF???

    Reply
    1. smartersig

      There are highly qualified experts telling us that we must lockdown and the virus is very dangerous. There are also highly qualified experts telling us the opposite. The media decide which experts get their opinion out, so in effect our experts are the media

      Reply
      1. LA_Bob

        smartersig,

        Yep. And when the experts (or maybe “experts”) disagree, what do lay people do? My answer for the moment. is, Whatever they want! Aren’t they justified either way (at least, sort of)?

        We are lucky to have the mass communication that is the internet. Yes, it often fuels the madness of crowds, but it also gives succor to the “citizen scientist”, who has more access to more information and more opportunity to study it than ever before. Dave Feldman, Ivor Cummins, and, yes, Gary Taubes are fine examples of this.

        And that’s not counting the platform it provides us to read and converse with people like Malcolm Kendrick.

        Reply
        1. smartersig

          Yes but when it comes to Covid too many peopole who are challenging the common narrative are being deplatformed, banned from Facebook, Twitter etc. Social media is towing the line to keep legislation off their backs

          Reply
  50. Dr. John H

    Many years ago I read a fascinating study reported in the Weston Price journal. The study authors compared two pacific tribes that lived on neighboring islands. One tribe ate mostly meat and fat, while the other mostly carbs. Both had excellent health, and were free from chronic disease such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes. All of this changed when modern foods were introduced, and the health of both tribes plummeted which included the aforementioned diseases.

    I tend to think that vaccines, antibiotics, processed foods, and other chemicals in our food and environment damage our microbiome, favoring the growth of pathogenic yeasts that feed on carbs. I see this as perhaps a reason why HFLC works so well for many, where if the same person lived a couple of hundred years ago they could have eaten more carbs without trouble.

    Reply
    1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

      I was watching Countryfile – my wife loves it. A Welsh farmer was growing the wheat that people used to eat in the past – it had a name I cannot bring to mind. He then threshed it, by hand, and separated the wheat from the chaff – and all that ancient stuff. It was, it seemed, completely different to the wheat we now grow. Bread used to make him ill, but the traditional wheat made bread he could eat quite happily. I think that industrial farming – for all the increased yields and benefits it brings – has created food that is not very good for us. To quote my friend Zoe Harcombe. We need to eat food that looks like food. With the occasional Magnum and sticky toffee pudding thrown in from time to time, obviously.

      Reply
      1. David Bailey

        Did this farmer say how long it takes for him to react if he returns to the usual break – and indeed, it is possible to get a whole variety of different breads.Wouldn’t it be great if it were possible to get beyond the simple observation that bread used to be better, and find out what the difference is really caused by?

        Reply
        1. Gary Ogden

          David Bailey: One clear answer is gluten. Modern varieties have more, and at least in the U.S., commercial bakeries add more, as it shortens the time of rising. Rye has gluten, but I suspect not as much as wheat. My rye sourdough I always let rise overnight ( 8-12 hours) before baking.

          Reply
        2. Joe Dopelle

          See Dr William Davies’ “Wheat Belly” books and blog (subscription, regrettably). To get the vaunted yield increases of the “Green Revolution”, scientists bred new strains that have such heavy heads that the stalks must be short or collapse. (Hence “dwarf wheat”). According to Dr Davies, genetic engineering was used and so the grains grow much faster and get bigger, but nobody really knows what’s inside them.

          Reply
      2. Frango Asado

        Einkorn, emmer, triticum… Dr Davies’ “Wheat Belly” tells you the whole story in the first chapter or two. He agrees that ancient varieties were much healthier, but still doubts whether human beings evolved to eat grain of any kind.

        Reply
        1. Jennifer

          Frango. There is a lot of good info in “Wheat Belly”. As he explains, the modern wheat is modified to produce strong low stems that are easier to harvest mechanically. They are loaded with big berries to give enormous yields, and good profit. The density of the stems needs fertilisers and then pesticides etc, and here lies the downfall of decent wheat. Wheat was never gorged in the quantities it is these days. We were told that the world needed such vast quantities in order to feed the poor and starving, and it salved our consciences whilst lining the pockets of the enormous chemical and agribusinesses. We are witnessing the deterioration of health across the globe because if it. The imbalance of one macro nutrient over another is never going to be sensible.

          Reply
      3. Martin Back

        Possibly Hen Gymro (“Old Welshman”) wheat:

        Now, small mixed farms in the area are looking to increase biodiversity and practice regenerative agriculture whilst craft bakers are looking to create loaves full of flavour, with flour of known provenance. The qualities of Hen Gymro which made it valuable to farmers in wet West Wales 100 years ago make it valuable again today.
        In 2020 Hen Gymro has returned to Llanerchaeron where a four acre field of the wheat is being grown again for the first time in many years.
        https://www.fondazioneslowfood.com/en/ark-of-taste-slow-food/hen-gymro-wheat/

        Reply
    2. smartersig

      This post by Dr John H is probably the best post on here so far. I am sure we can be quite healthy, certainly relative to a standard western diet of the last 30 years or so by consuming a high fat diet or a high carb diet where the carbs are complex. Both, shown by the example cited, are healthy and both will solve chronic problems like diabetes and obesity if used instead of our standard diet and the junk marketed to us.

      Reply
      1. Mr Chris

        Smartersig
        I agree with you, these diets of Pacific Islanders eskimos etc are examples of basic diets keeping people healthy and free of chronic diseases. I think that it is no use preaching this to people, they don’t want to believe it, they have confidence in the official line.
        In the end each must try to make their own mind up.

        Reply
    3. Joe Dopelle

      There are a number of anomalies that could be explained in that way. My favourite is the fact that people who live solely on fatty meat – and absolutely nothing else except water – aparrently do not develop deficincies of water-soluble vitamins. (The fat-soluble ones are right there in the fatty meat).

      Case in point: Shackleton’s expedition to the South Pole. Scott was conscientious to a fault, and did his research meticulously. The scientists told him (in 1909 or so) all about the anti-scorbutics available, so he laid in plenty of lemon juice, fruit, etc. Yet there is a theory that his party died of scurvy! (Supposedly the authorities held that fact back because it sounded so bad).

      Shackleton was far more free and easy, and his crew not only ran out of lemon juice – they ran clean out of any and all food. So they had to go out on the ice and shoot seals and catch fish. After a good part of a year, not one had the slightest sign of any deficiency.

      Case in point: Owsley Stanley III (known as “Bear”), who ate nothing but meat – mostly raw – for the last decades of his life. Likewise excellent health, no deficincies.

      Case in point: Vilhjalmur Stefansson https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vilhjalmur_Stefansson. He and a friend lived on nothing but meat for a year, while being observed by doctors all the time!

      Hypothesis: Vitamin C, which seems so vital to us, may be an antidote to refined carbs. Maybe if you don’t ear refined (or any) carbs, you don’t need it.

      In general, how many false conclusions have been drawn by scientists who just assume that our “normal” living conditions today are normal for our bodies?

      Reply
        1. Joe Dopelle

          What I find astonishing is that, with the billions in funding sloshing around, no research has been done on this since the 1930s. Not profitable, I suppose – although I would think that raising healthy pastured meat would be a good business.

          Reply
        2. Joe Dopelle

          Yes, I overlooked salt – quite a vital nutrient! Although if you drink blood, as do lions (and the Masai)…

          The theory of a pure meat diet is entrancingly simple. Why bother eating a whole spectrum of nutrients when you can let herbivores do that – and then eat them?

          Reply
    4. Jennifer

      Dr. John H. How right you are. Since we are where we are in these complex, genetically mixed societies, I think moderation in all things can be the best answer. I read that in ancient times, the Northern British islands grew barley and groats in the climate and soils above a line from the Trent to the Humber. So, those inhabitants were genetically adapted to cope with those crops. People living south of the line were able to successfully grow wheat, and thus were adapted to digest wheat well. Our history of the last 1500 or so years, also shows that there really was a North/South divide of genetic make up, based on where our invading ancestors originated from…..Vikings settled in the North, and Angles and Saxons settled in the South, due to geographic difficulties.
      We are now a complex genetic soup mix from all over the world, so must accommodate one another ‘s idiosyncrasies. By keeping food as pure as we can, and avoiding all the nasties that you mention, I reckon our body functions have enough to cope with.

      Reply
  51. Martin Back

    I bake my own sourdough bread. Made from an equal mix of stone-ground non-GMO white, wholemeal, and rye flours. It’s delicious, much better than commercial bread, and works out quite a bit cheaper too. Once you get the hang of it, there’s very little work involved. I haven’t bought a loaf of bread from the shops for about two years now.

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      Martin Back: I can’t blame you one bit! It is delicious, especially with an equally thick hunk of butter on top. I learned to make sourdough in 1973. Two loaves at a time. We had a household of six adults, and the first loaf would be gone before it had fully cooled.

      Reply
  52. Jeremy May

    I glanced over this by chance this morning – https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/articles/soy

    The headline grabbed me, 1kg / week. 140 grams per day @ 30g per 100. 45g carbs / day.

    I’m not sure how much Soya I eat to be honest – directly, not much, but hidden?
    For example they feed animals on it. Does it disappear because chicken fillets (for example) claim 0 carbs. I guess it must.

    I haven’t digested the article (digested! Good eh?) but soya does seem to set a particularly bad example both as a food production footprint and in the eating of it.

    It seems it quite possible to buy food soya-free but you would have to look petty carefully at the lables and possibly pay more? In many places times are hard so cost is often a major factor in diet, maybe even THE major factor.

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      Jeremy May: Thanks. Frightening. What the BBC article fails to mention is that in ancient China (where the soybean originated), it was not used as a food, even for livestock, until they learned how to ferment it. “The Whole Soy Story,” By Kaayla Daniels, PhD., is full of information about this pseudo-food. 62 kg/week? An overlooked cause of much that ails us.

      Reply
      1. Jennifer

        Gary. I detest anything soya. I read round the subject years ago, and have failed to find anything to credit it with. In fact it surprises me it is marketed at all as a ‘foodstuff’. It takes so much processing, which suggests it must be wrong for humans and animals. Since we may eat same animals, it sort of puts me off meat. Unfortunately soya is hidden in so many bought foods, including bread. Hence we mill organic grain, from Northumberland, and produce our own, unadulterated, wholegrain sourdough.

        Reply
  53. John Hunt

    Thanks Malcolm for the heads up on Gary Tubes latest, it’s on my Santa list. I have been a great fan of Gary Tubes work, refer to it frequently and I must have done wonder for his sales figures. A great author, brilliant style and great research. Talking to the avid follower.
    Thanks for your blogs, great, keep it coming.
    Happy Christmas
    John Hunt DO

    Reply
  54. Mark Sanders

    Just because fat, including saturated fat, is not bad for you doesn’t mean that carbohydrates are bad. The Irish were healthy with a diet almost exclusively on potatoes (until the blight that began the starvation), and many primitive societies have lived on tuber roots with no effects of obesity or diabetes. There’s a saying, the poison is in the dose. Even sugar is not going to kill you assuming that’s the only thing you’re eating.

    I tried a very, very low carb diet about 6 years ago and ended up with all sorts of hypothyroid symptoms — cold feet and hands, hair falling out, sleeping 12 hours a day. And it ended with my first heart disease event leading to a stent. So I have no problem eating carbs or saturated fats.

    Reply
    1. Jerome Savage

      A study many years ago that compared the health, with emphasis on coronary health, of boston irish & the population that they came from in Ireland found a much higher incidence of coronary failure in the Boston population. This was used in an advertisement campaign to promote butter over its alternative commonly used in the US, that is margarine. The presenter of that a popular radio & TV host was roundly condemned for spreading false information by the experts. I might have thought that physical farm work engaged by the buttered folk might also have been relevant.

      Reply
      1. Frango Asado

        As far as a I know butter from healthy grass-fed cows is one of the best foods you can eat. Especially in spring and autmn when the fresh grass gives the butter an extra yellow colour. Dr Weston Price isolated his “Ingredient X” to such butter – it wasn’t for another 50 years that it was identified as compounds associated with Vitamin K2.

        Reply
        1. shirley3349

          I thought the yellow colour of butter was produced by bacteria as the butter aged. Fresh butter is almost white just as when one accidently overwhips cream. I remember the New Zealand butter we ate as a child which took many weeks to be shipped to England. This was far more yellow than the English produced butter which I eat nowadays and did not taste nearly so nice.

          When I stayed in Vienna as a teenager, I first ate fresh, unsalted butter on Bauernbrot, (whole-wheat/rye sourdough bread) for the evening meal. The butter was almost white and had a wonderful, delicate, butter flavour which complemented the bread, cold meats and cheeses perfectly.

          Reply
          1. Frederica Huxley

            I make all our butter with organic cream, and it always fascinates me that the cream goes yellow when churned, with a deeper hue when all the buttermilk is rinsed out.

    2. David Bailey

      I think the most worrying aspect of carbs is that they mostly digest into pure glucose, or glucose+fructose in the case of table sugar.

      Given that, isn’t it remarkable that when people go for dietary advice because they are in danger of developing T2D, they are advised to avoid saturated fat and eat mainly carbs!

      Giving people the wrong advise when they are starting to fall ill, seems particularly awful, because that is when people are most motivated to override their innate sense of what they like to eat.

      I am not a medical scientist or doctor, but I think the best thing is not to go for extreme carb diets unless it is to try to solve a deadly problem – such as trying to starve a cancer of its fuel – glucose. In general I think eating very little sugar is a good dietary change, and replacing the manufactured produce, margarine, with butter is another.

      IMHO, there are lots of arguments on both sides about the diet of primitive societies, and all of them are a bit suspect because very few primitive people lived long enough to discover the consequences of their diet.

      Reply
      1. Jennifer

        David. People following the discussion this week about food fads, surely must conclude that we have been urged to eat incorrectly for the last 100 years. ( in the name of science, you understand !!!) Big money is at the root of the problem.Thank goodness we are beginning to understand the causes of type II, and hopefully reverse the damage. It is not as simple as merely removing carbs from the scene.

        Reply
    3. andy

      Hi Mark; I recently also ended up with a stent by attempting a low carb/ meat is good diet. I suspect linoleic acid overload from eating industrial chicken and pork as the primary reason. Looks like animals bio-accumulate PUFAs by consuming plant seeds (soy/corn). Might take a long time to clear PUFAs from my cell membranes.

      Reply
      1. Jerome Savage

        Dr K has implicated stress and air pollution, (vehicle fuel fumes) in coronary problems. A matrix of environmental influences against food types measuring harm caused fires up the imagination.

        Reply
        1. andy

          Hi Jerome: a fired up imagination is good for hypothesis generation.
          Here is another hypothesis; linoleic acid is one of many plant defence compounds devised to protect seeds and nuts from fungi, bacteria, and predators. Concentrating this compound into a food source might not be a good idea.

          Reply
      2. Terry Wright

        hi andy; sorry to hear you got a stent;

        ” I recently also ended up with a stent by attempting a low carb/ meat is good diet.”

        not sure the two are irreparably tied together: for example; were you unwell that you decided to reduce your carb intake? Tell us your medical background; I suspect you confessed your wickedness to medical staff in a moment of weakness; (that you had lowered your carb intake); .. and that medical staff would gleefully pounce and taunt you for not adhering to their religion; in essence, the Inquisition got to you, and you were forced to recant;

        why anyone would eat chicken; raised on grain; in industrial plants; and fed antibiotics de rigeur, sort of escapes me ……. lashings of campylobacter thrown in free, for nothing …. yummy … grass-fed beef and lamb seems much healthier; in the mammoth tradition Dr K so described ……….

        “Might take a long time to clear PUFAs from my cell membranes.” indeed; saturated fat is stable fat; unsaturated fat is unstable: breast milk is mainly saturated fat; our own fat is mainly saturated fat; we store mainly saturated fat; PUFAs are a modern madness: the Minnesota Coronary Study; and the Sydney Diet Heart Study; were both suppressed studies; where those given PUFAs did worse; Geoffrey Rose (1967) published a UK corn oil study: higher death rate in the PUFA but at least he did publish his work; fellow co-religionists of Ancel Keys suppressed anything that challenged their dogma;

        Reply
        1. andy

          Hi Terry,
          I have been health conscious all my life. Ate eggs when eggs were demonized, only threw out a couple of egg yolks before regaining sanity. Never ate butter substitutes. Seldom used seed oils. Rarely ate in restaurants or fast food outlets. No medications, resisted statins. Went low carb 20 years ago when my acquaintances were rapidly dying from cancer. Lost weight, 172 lb to 150 lb. and down to 140 after stenting. Consider myself lucky having only one stent a 80. Other arteries are also clogging up, therefore urgent need to get theory right.

          What have I learned? I already knew that seed oils were unhealthy by creating easily oxidied LDL. What was new was the large amount of linoleic acid in grain fed pork and chicken.

          Reply
  55. james

    The Irish were healthy on a diet of mainly potatoes??? Care to give any reference?
    I had to severely cut down on carbohydrates and mainly wheat products to get over my heart attacks (twice) and slowly clean out my arteries for what it’s worth. So far so good after tien years, with no statins, no by-pass.

    Reply
    1. Mark Sanders

      Here’s one reference on the Irish and potatoes: http://www.rackwitz.users4.50megs.com/population.html
      The potato was pretty much responsible for the increase in population in Ireland after 1750. Up to almost half of the people were on potatoes almost exclusively, the rest added milk products and occasional dishes of meat to their diet.
      There’s nothing wrong with reducing your carbs, my point is that there isn’t any reason to totally eliminate them from your diet.

      Reply
      1. Jerome Savage

        Is it possible that such energy was burned up quickly through continued, significant and frequent episodes of physical labour some of it rigorous ?

        Reply
        1. Mr Chris

          Jerome
          About the Irish and potatoes, it would seem to me that doing hard work or exercise soon after eating carbs such as potatoes would clear them out of your body. But don’t eat chips before going to bed?

          Reply
          1. Jerome Savage

            Theres a chip which when crunchy on outside, light on inside, hot with salt n vinegar, is a bit irresistible – on occasions. Add the crispy whiting again with salt n V and life is good ? Is that bad?

          2. Mr Chris

            Jérôme
            Mouth watering description. Someone said that if they started on carbs they couldn’t stop.know I can’t
            Definition of addiction?

      2. Mr Chris

        Mark
        At the same time as the Irish were subsisting on potatoes, the Scots were living on porridge. I lived on porridge for breakfast every day in my formative years

        Reply
        1. janetgrovesart

          I believe that as long as your metabolism isn’t ‘broken’ in some way then spuds and porridge/porage are fine. Now, though, they come packaged and ‘enhanced.’ Not so good.
          Personally, I can’t go near either or any because of the horrible things they do to my blood glucose levels. Such a shame as I think there’s nothing finer than a bowl of porridge, slightly salted and with a dash of good scotch……and I’m a wee Sassenach. Och aye.
          Greetings from the very tip of England.
          J.

          Reply
      3. Terry Wright

        thanks Mark

        “my point is that there isn’t any reason to totally eliminate them from your diet.”

        If you are unwell; and are hyperinsulinaemic; then it is a good idea Mark; it is actually a really good idea; in fact, for many it is life-saving Mark; it is a really good reason;

        you see, it helps lower insulin; insulin stops the breakdown of fat Mark: so ..

        .. eat carbs …… make insulin ……. and no fat can be used for energy;

        If you read Good Calories, Bad Calories, you will find in 1960 Yalow and Berson showed that T2 diabetics had RAISED insulin levels; and Dr Kraft detailed this from 1970 onwards;

        I agree that 60yrs on from 1960 is a bit premature for orthodox medicine to implement and grasp the work of Yalow and Berson, but we live in hope; do invest in GC, BC by Taubes; it will enlighten you;

        Reply
  56. Joe Dopelle

    ” Even sugar is not going to kill you assuming that’s the only thing you’re eating”.

    Even if that is true – and I have no wish to test it – vitamin and mineral deficiencies will. If protein deficiency doesn’t get in first.

    Reply
    1. Tish

      Molasses sugar (Billingtons is raw and good) is not very refined at all and still has a good quantity of molasses in it. Molasses has minerals and vitamins! The sugar is delicious. It’s not always easy to find but at this time of the year the supermarkets are well stocked with it for people to make their Christmas cakes, etc. It has more molasses in it than the muscavados.

      Good in lots of cakes, on the occasional pancake with lemon, on porridge, or with rhubarb…. It improves the flavour, so not just the healthy option.

      https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318719#what-is-molasses

      Reply
    1. Mark Heneghan

      When lockdown began we had a lot of time on our hands and I began to read more about dietary guidelines. Around mid may I started my own low carb diet which basically meant fat far less rice, bread, pastry, and potatoes, and of course most sweet things. My wife and 3 of my 4 sons joined in fairly quickly, and we all lost weight. I lost about 10 kg over the first 6 weeks and it has stayed off. There is no doubt that I eat less – most days I miss lunch and twice a week I fast till supper, and with no effort or suffering. Zoe Harcombe would say it is because I am eating ‘real food’, which I am, but I was before, unless you classify those foods that I excluded as not real foods. Even Zoe (I’m a big fan, BTW) has a low carb thread running through her writings. Others would say it is because I am eating less processed food, but I am not. I still do eat some processed foods anyway, if you count cheese, tinned tomatoes, tinned fish, frozen vegetables and a few more. My deliberate act of avoiding carbohydrates, seed oils, and trans fats means that most processed foods don’t get near me, but I don’t avoid certain foods just because they are processed, because I feel that they are a heterogeneous group by definition, and denying yourself something simply because it has been classified as ‘processed’ may deny you some perfectly safe and delicious food.
      My main point, as I have said before, is that this has worked for me, and I am healthier for it.

      Reply
      1. Jeremy May

        Set me thinking Mark, what IS processed food. Well, food that has been processed, but there’s a wide range of processing. I copy the following from the web, just one site I picked at random:

        “According to the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, processed foods range on a scale of minimally processed to mostly processed:

        Minimally processed foods — such as bagged spinach, cut vegetables and roasted nuts — are often simply pre-prepped for convenience.
        Foods processed at their peak to lock in nutritional quality and freshness include canned tomatoes, frozen fruit and vegetables and canned tuna.
        Foods with ingredients added for flavor and texture (sweeteners, spices, oils, colors and preservatives) include jarred pasta sauce, salad dressing, yogurt and cake mixes.
        Ready-to-eat foods — such as crackers, chips and deli meat — are more heavily processed.
        The most heavily processed foods often are frozen or pre-made meals, including frozen pizza and microwaveable dinners.”

        I guess it’s when you start adding things for flavour / texture you beginn to eat stuff our ancestors wouldn’t. Then you get things made to varying degress OF processed stuff. Here is what’s in a Pot Noodle for example, I haven’t heard of some of the things.
        Noodle mix (96%): Dried noodles (69%) [WHEAT flour, palm oil, salt, firming agents (potassium carbonate, sodium carbonates)], maltodextrin, WHEAT flour, sweetcorn, potassium chloride, flavour enhancers (monosodium glutamate, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate), flavourings (contain MILK), sugar, skimmed MILK powder

        Tell you what though, I used to enjoy one every now and then!
        Making me peckish this food talk. Just fancy a little snack. Now will it be a few salted peanuts or a wodge of disodium guanylate??

        Reply
        1. Frango Asado

          In pursuit of the closest to a healthy diet possible nowadays, it’s a good idea to restrict one’s visit to the supermarket to two or three aisles. Fresh vegetables (with optionally a little fruit) and fresh meat. Frozen meat is probably OK; what matters is where it came from and what the animal was fed on.

          It’s also practical to get some of one’s food through a regular order with an organic supplier.

          Reply
      2. Terry Wright

        to Mark Heneghan;

        well done Mark; very pleased to hear of your success; and that of your family;

        I could say N=1 but I suspect we can say N=5 at least; and the plural of anecdote is data;

        Glad to hear Zoe’s work was so useful; she toils away tirelessly.

        Reply
      1. mmec7

        – I put up an article on f/b from the BMJ on the same subject matter. Hmmmm. Disappeared. I shall give it a couple of days, and put it up again – or, choose another version, as there are quite a few selfsame articles to choose from !

        Reply
  57. Jerome Savage

    Andy – never knew this stuff existed until now. Some sites hav a nice take on it: “Linoleic acid is a polyunsaturated essential fatty acid that is found mostly in plant oils. It’s known as the parent fatty acid of the omega-6 series, and it is essential for human nutrition because it cannot be synthesized by the human body”
    https://draxe.com/nutrition/linoleic-acid/

    Reply
    1. smartersig

      The Mercola interview is worth a watch Jerome. We used to consume about 2g per day but now its up in double digits and since this occurred (last 75 years or so) relatively unheard of modern diseases eg cancer, heart disease have gone on the rampage

      Reply
      1. Mike D

        It must be about about 75 years since Rock and Roll got popular, so never mind PUFAs – that Bill Haley has a lot to answer for.
        I can’t be bothered to watch the Mercola interview Is there any scientific proof in it ?

        Reply
    2. Jennifer

      Jerome. . Yes, omega 6 is essential, but not in the volumes consumed these days. In fact, it is the ratio of omega 3: omega 6 that is the problem. — there are other omegas as well. The demonisation of animal fats has been a disaster for humankind. The likes of Dr Mercola have been writing about this for years….lets hope folks start to get the message, that chemically produced plant oils are a menace.

      Reply
      1. andy

        Jennifer, apparently omega-6 is not essential after all. I once believed that all meat was good and bacon was a health food. One stent taught me otherwise.
        My interest now is to figure out how to remove linoleic acid from my cells. Intermittent fasting with reduced feeding window to promote autophgy looks promising.

        Reply
        1. smartersig

          If Linoleic acid and along with sugar are the two main culprits in chronic disease how many plant based eaters are kidding themselves due to sugar input and how many paleo type eaters are doing likewise with grain fed meats and fried bacon in veg oil. I have the distinction of being drummed out of both communities due to pointing out the folly of these two dietary inputs

          Reply
          1. Gary Ogden

            smartersig: Drummed out? My word. As far as I’m concerned you’re quite welcome here in this band of misfits. I hereby drum you in!

        2. Jennifer

          Andy, I am not quite at the stage to accept that Omega 6 is not essential. True, our body can only receive it from external sources, and it is my understanding that very small quantities are required for good health and wellbeing. Keeping known input to the minimum is the best way to go but as Omega 6 is ubiquitous, we inadvertently ingest it, even in a perfectly healthy diet. Pure foods contain a selection of many fats, it’s just certain ones get singled out, as high in ‘healthy fats’. That ‘s marketing for you. It doesn’t mean that that is the only type of fat in that food. Omega 6 will be hiding in there somewhere, doing the job it is meant to do. It’s when there is too much that we need to worry.

          Reply
          1. andy

            Hi Jennifer: re essentiality of (LA) linoleic acid found in omega-6 seed oils. Searching Pubmed I believe that the conclusion was based on rat studies. They gained more weight than rats deprived of LA. Sounds logical.

      2. Jerome Savage

        So omega 6 is sourced thro deep fried or shallow fried foods – typical such food that comes to mind is anything coming out of a chinese takeaway, shallow fried or a chip shop, deep fried etc assuming that the oil is your standard vegetable oil on which diesel engines allegedly fire up on or can fire up on.
        I forget the name of a prominent chef who turned his nose up at rapeseed oil (it was Jamie Oliver) in favour of olive oil, lowering his tone as he referred to omega 6 in the former. The lowered tone sounded ominous.
        Are we ok with ex. v. olive oil or butter for cooking ?

        Reply
        1. Gary Ogden

          Jerome Savage: My preference for cooking is lard in the cast iron skillet. I have ghee, and sometimes use it, but butter always burns. Part of my preference is that my pig farmer feeds them wholesome food and keeps them outside in the sunshine. I do not know the origin of the ghee. I’ve never liked the taste of olive oil, and so much of what is sold is fake. Tallow is wonderful, too, and goose fat. In any case, I cook on low heat, but long enough to brown the meat. Delicious!

          Reply
          1. Philip Thackray

            Gary,

            I don’t see refined coconut oil on your list. It is my favorite for browning meat, onions, garlic etc.

            Phil

          2. Gary Ogden

            Phil: Good to hear from you! I have used coconut oil a lot. It is good. However, I have discovered that nothing ever sticks to the pan with lard, and I get it directly from the source in my own county. This is important to me, to know and approve of the source of my foods. Most of the animal foods I eat I buy directly from the farmer. With eggs I buy the best available (5 egg-rated) from the Cornucopia Institute’s list.

          3. Gary Ogden

            Jerome Savage: Ghee is simply clarified butter (butter is heated so the solids come to the surface to be skimmed off; the solids are what burn). Widely used in Indian cuisine. A skillet is a frying pan. What do you call them in the Mother Country? Tallow is simply another word for beef fat. It was the main fast food frying oil here until the CSPI goons forced everyone to stop using it in favor of trans fat. In a never-to-be-acknowledged oops-moment a few years later they forced them to switch to vegetable oil. So here we are today, fatter and sicker than ever. And with the wonder of wonders ‘Rona vaccine to save us from doom.

          4. Philip Thackray

            Gary,
            I see your point about provenance, coconut oil certainly does not come come from “our own” country!
            I’ve never used lard. We raise our own (free ranging) pigs here so I should look into having some lard rendered. But, we won’t send another group to market until next fall.
            Nice talking with you.
            Phil

          5. Gary Ogden

            Phil: Easy enough to render yourself, although it takes a long time. I’ve done it myself. Belly fat is most commonly used, but fat from around the kidneys (called “leaf lard”) is the primo stuff. Cut it all up into pieces, put it with a little bit of water in a heavy pot, such as a Dutch oven, and cook on the lowest heat for hours and hours. Years ago I used to make pies (apple and blackberry, as we had an orchard and great patches of wild blackberries), and lard is the very best for pie crust.

          6. Philip Thackray

            Gary,
            I will have the butcher save me some “leaf lard” and proceed with rendering as you suggest come next fall. Thanks for the information.
            Phil

  58. The Dim Appear

    So this is Christmas. Let’s hope it’s a good one without any tiers.

    If you look at the recommendations for daily intake of vitamins and minerals and what the best sources are for each I think most are animal. For the other nutrients I’ve concluded that without food being brought in from around the world by air freight it would be impossible to stay alive and healthy. I can’t work out how people stayed alive before supermarkets. Technically I think we should all be dead already if the recommendations are correct.

    It’s been indicated that we will be required to reduce the amount of animal food in our diets to save the world, and based on the ever changing date for the end of the internal combustion engine (moving from 2050 to 2030 which will probably change again to 2025), I suspect this really means removed completely. What will you meat eaters do when you become completely plant based?

    Reply
  59. Joel

    My experience has been very low carbohydrate diets work well for weight loss, eliminating troubles with heartburn and acid reflux, and preventing unplanned afternoon naps.
    But I find them difficult to maintain. The urge to eat carbs is too powerful.

    Reply
  60. shirley3349

    My readings around regenerative agriculture suggest that intensive plant growing is ruining soils and farmers worldwide. The cumulative oxidation of carbon from these soils is far greater than any other source of atmospheric CO2. Only carefully managed grazing in areas with low rainfall, and mixed farming in areas where rainfall is higher, can prevent more and more land turning to desert and increasing food shortages for humanity, whatever people chose to eat.

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      Shirley3349: I agree, Regenerative farming is the salvation of the ecosystem, of the food supply, and of human health.

      Reply
  61. Jerome Savage

    Not wanting to spoil the party but received the following from a newly converted vegan, 65 yr old and prolific jogger – a chronic jogger we might say with amazing energy. (But always had energy)
    Reckons I need to reform and sent this about a 98 yr old Californian committed vegan. Any thoughts anyone. Am reluctant to look at it as am sure there is a similar piece about an all meat eater or an all carb eater or whatever other type of eater -out there.

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      I think it might be worth you watching it. He explains how bad cholesterol is, and how important it is to lower sodium levels, and also the dangers of eating saturated fat!

      On the other hand, he is a very impressive man in that he can hold an extended technical discussion in the way he does.

      A discussion between him and Malcolm would be interesting!

      Reply
        1. David Bailey

          My impression is that evolution has left humans able to eat a wide range of diets. It is amazing that people can survive for long periods of time on totally weird diets – particularly some children. It might be interesting to do an actual study on such people.

          D.E.W mentioned in passing that people can learn to eat all sorts of things over a short period of time. Very many years ago, I decided to drink tea and coffee without sugar, because I wanted fewer holes in my teeth. After a couple of weeks, these drinks tasted just as nice as they did before!

          Malcolm once wrote a blog on the concept that diet is essentially irrelevant to cardiovascular disease. Of course, there were still loads of comments filled with prescriptions for what to eat and what to avoid!

          Reply
          1. andy

            David: re “diet is essentially irrelevant ”
            There were too many other risk factors to consider that made diet seem irrelevant at the time. Where there is smoke there is fire. A risk factor is smoke that produces symptoms, they are not necessarily causal. Too much smoke seems to be generated by some dietary factors and that could be dangerous to health. PUFA-6 seed oils appears to create a lot of smoke and that might be the source of the fire. KETO is about diet.

          2. Martin Back

            In the late 1920s pediatrician Clara Marie Davis did an experiment on babies of weaning age. They were allowed to choose whatever they wanted from a range of healthy foods. There was no attempt to guide them in their choice. The hope was that they would all choose a similar diet which would then become the diet recommended by pediatricians.

            The experiment ran for some years, and the result was confusion. There was no pattern to the babies’ choices. Their diets were wildly different. Yet they all turned into happy, healthy young children.

            The conclusion was, provided you gave them a range of healthy foods to choose from, they would instinctively choose a healthy diet. There was no need to obsess about it and force them to eat any particular food. — Clara M. Davis and the wisdom of letting children choose their own diets

            “The list of foods used in the experiment was made up with the following considerations in mind. It should comprise a wide range of foods of both animal and vegetable origin that would adequately provide all the food elements, amino-acids, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals known to be necessary for human nutrition. The foods should be such as could generally be procured fresh in the market the year around. The list should contain only natural food materials and no incomplete foods or canned foods. Thus, cereals were whole grains; sugars were not used nor were milk products, such as cream, butter or cheese.

            The preparation of the foods was as simple as possible. All meats, vegetables and fruits were finely cut, mashed or ground. Most of the foods were served only after being cooked, but lettuce was served only raw, while oat meal, wheat, beef, bone marrow, eggs, carrots, peas, cabbage and apples were served both raw and cooked. Lamb, chicken and glandular organs, all of local origin and not Federal inspected, were cooked as a measure of safety. Cooking was done without the loss of soluble substances and without the addition of salt or seasonings. Water was not added except in the case of cereals. Combinations of food materials such as custards, soups or bread were not used, thus insuring that each food when eaten was chosen for itself alone.”Results of the self-selection of diets by young children

          3. janetgrovesart

            I seem to remember from my far off baby days (in the 60s) that Dr. Benjamin Spock mentioned, in his, to me, bible, a similar study and found that babies offered a free choice of foods from a “buffet” would, over a week, choose a beautifully balanced diet. They’d have a go at everything.

          4. Gary Ogden

            Martin Back: Thank you very much for posting this fascinating and important paper. I had read it some years ago, but now I have it bookmarked for ready reference!

      1. Eggs 'n beer

        Diet is a funny thing. My in-laws are vegetarian very low fat eaters and always have been and are both 89 – M-I-L’s dementia is progressing though. Both are still driving, we can’t persuade her doctor that there’s anything wrong with her. But then my uncle, who smoke and drank since he was 16, always tucked into eggs, sausages, chicken drumsticks, fried foods, white bread, no vegetables, etc. lived to 97 ……

        Reply
    2. Tish

      Jerome:

      For me, it’s not all about food (and I doubt that he over-eats). The telling bit is his early words:

      “I try to maintain a calm approach to the problems of life, and not worry and fret over problems that come along. I get a good night’s sleep; if I feel like it I take a nap during the day.”

      To which I say, ‘Well done sir!’

      Reply
      1. Jerome Savage

        Yes. I think that the benefits of a good night sleep, which is in essence the deepest relaxation are underestimated, unless you have nightmares about your diet !

        Reply
    3. Dr. John H

      My observation is that very few people can tolerate a vegan diet for a long time. While it is sold to us as good for everyone, It just isn’t sustainable for most. Nutritional deficiencies eventually show up, more or less quickly depending on the person. Chinese medicine food healing has been around for thousands of years, long before before people chose food for ideological reasons. Vegans will commonly exhibit “deficiency” patterns and the cure is to eat “tonifying” foods such as meat. Also, take a look at Dr. Ellsworth very big earlobes, which in Chinese medicine means a strong constitution. With such a strong constitution, he probably didn’t need to get too much energy from his food. Most aren’t so lucky.

      Weston Prices said that it takes a least 3 generations to see if a diet is working. One of the first things to go when people are malnourished is reproductive health, since it is not necessary for survival. Low thyroid is another common difficulty for vegans. I’ve tried to find examples of 3rd generation vegans, but have not found any. Third generation means 3 generations raised vegan from birth. If anyone is aware of examples of this, please post a link!

      Reply
        1. Dr. Malcolm Kendrick Post author

          If the OR is < 2 observational studies are of little use, as it is (virtually) impossible to tease out all the confounders. As I wrote in Doctoring Data, if an observational study demonstrates an OR <2 crumple, throw, bin. These studies are all 1.09, or 1.11 or suchlike. I haven't read this one, but I doubt is has a major OR.

          Reply
  62. Eggs 'n beer

    So I’ve just got the results of my latest blood test, primarily for monitoring PSA. via a tele-appointment with my GP. She’s reading them out as they’re downloaded.

    “How are you, anyway?”

    “Feeling really great, Penny, hope you’re speaking to the phone through a facemask.”

    “No, we’ve gone really radical and aren’t doing that anymore. Anyway, the door’s shut so no-one can see. Here they are ……”

    “Your haemoglobin is down. What have you changed? It’s not dangerously low or anything, but have you altered your diet?”

    “Er, no. If anything, I’m eating more meat.”

    “Liver perfect, kidneys perfect, hey! look at your cholesterol! 5.2 (usually over 6.5. Actually, always over 6.5) you must have changed something.”

    “Well, I have been on a keto diet for the last couple of months, sort of, finding it difficult to give up bread but the last three weeks have been good as the boys have been away and we simply didn’t buy any. But eating plenty of meat, eggs, fish, butter, cheese etc. etc.”

    “Fascinating! I’ve got another patient who went keto and he’s eating bacon and eggs until they come out of his ears, and HIS cholesterol has fallen too! And oh, look, your total PSA is down from 8.1 in January to 7.2 today, which is better, but your free PSA is up from 15.6% to 23.5%, which is really going in the right direction. Are you sure you haven’t done anything else?”

    “Ah, well, (embarrassed tone) I have been taking sodium bicarbonate every day to ensure the blood pH is balanced and 5,000 i.u. of vitamin D every other day.”

    “Really! Well, eating all that meat is supposed to increase acidity, so that won’t be doing any harm.”

    So, there you have it. I’ve never been worried by the cholesterol so I find it hilarious that by increasing my fats and protein I’ve now got it into the “accepted” levels for possibly the first time ever. My binding PSA is down 19.4% from a year ago.

    Roll on a Merry keto Christmas. Smoked salmon and avo as an entrée, plenty of turkey basted with streaky bacon, real gravy for the vegetables (no potatoes of course) and a sour fruit pavlova with cream for dessert. That should knock the chol below 4.0.

    Reply
    1. LA_Bob

      Eggs,

      You really ought to write a book. Pretty good stuff.

      But, please clarify. To me “PSA” is “prostate specific antigen”. You seem to be referring a thyroid marker (TSH? T3? T4? Free the peoples??). Which is it?

      Reply
      1. Eggs ‘n beer

        PSA, yes, prostate specific antigen. Always good for man talk around the BBQ. But they’ve now discovered two types of PSA (shades of three types and fifteen sub-types of cholesterol), PSA and free PSA. Ideally, free PSA should be 25% of the total. I’m actually taking the bicarb to reduce the PSA.

        Reply
        1. Eggs ‘n beer

          Thanks Bob. That’s the most concise and useful explanation I’ve seen. 25% here I come! And I guess continuing to lower the total would be good too.

          Reply
      2. LA_Bob

        So, help me understand something else. If the bicarb is supposed to lower your PSA, are you suggesting that it lowers your risk of prostate cancer? That would certainly be a new one for me.

        Reply
        1. Eggs 'n beer

          Yep.

          A bit of background. Amongst other things, I’m a homoeopath. A mate called me a few years back, and said, “look Eggs, I’d like you to come and look at my 15 y/o daughter’s breasts. They won’t stop growing and they’re now so big they are causing backache”. Needless to say, for a good mate like him, I covered the 80 miles in record time and agreed that there was an issue there. I pointed out to him that his wife’s breasts were also of considerable size compared to her spare, almost anorexic, frame, but he dismissed that as implants. It took a while, but I eventually found a remedy that seemed to indicate it could not only stop the growth but reduce breast size, and, with reservations to my mate and his daughter that even I thought this would be weird, prescribed it. Her breasts dropped two sizes to DD. Backache disappeared. Weird.

          When some people know you’re a homoeopath, they automatically assume that you’re interested in anything cuckoo medically, and another friend sent me a youtube made by a bloke called Vern, who had conquered a cancer (bone, I think) using bicarb. An Italian Dr, Simoncini, had proposed this treatment on the basis that cancer is a fungus and changing the acidity (technically, changing the alkalinity) kills the fungus and thus the cancer. Whether this is true or not I don’t know, but when the same mate of the daughter with big breasts rang me again to say that his brother had an inoperable bowel cancer and could I do anything to help homoeopathically, I said no. If the tumour is that big then the disease has almost certainly progressed beyond a homoeopathic cure, and palliation is all I could offer in that regard. But, he could try taking a teaspoon of bicarb three times a day. The brother did so, and three months later a scan showed the tumour had shrunk to the size of a hen’s egg. The surgeons were now keen to operate but he resisted and a few months later it had disappeared completely. He says he is now completely in tune with his blood alkalinity and only takes the bicarb when he needs to.

          Since then I’ve suggested the same protocol to a few other people with terminal cancer, but they all chose to die rather than risk taking three teaspoons of bicarb per day. Their choices were fulfilled.

          So when the ol’ PSA had crept up I started taking the bicarb. I will add that I have, since a teenager, always urinated frequently, possibly a result of an enlarged prostate through much cycling during my high school years (only to and from school to save the bus fares, not for any benefit from exercise for the sake of it), so for me there hadn’t been any change in the urinary symptoms. But a rise from 2.4 in 2009 (age 51) to 8.1 in January 2020 (age 61) had to be acted upon, hence (finally) the taking of bicarb in September once or twice a day. As the December bloods show sodium and bicarbonate levels which were exactly the same as the September readings, it’s clear that the bicarb isn’t having any deleterious effects. But the PSA is down to 7.2, and the free PSA is up to 23.5% which means that the chance of anything being cancerous has reduced to about only about 7%.

          Make of that what you will. I’ll take another blood test in three months, but in the meantime I’m cranking the bicarb up to three times a day based upon the bicarbonate and sodium blood levels remaining unchanged on twice a day.

          I think it’s interesting that the low alkalinity of the blood is also strongly linked to many other diseases including heart disease and diabetes. And that a cause of low alkalinity is high blood sugar. So perhaps the keto diet also helps in that regard by lowering blood sugar levels; but not in my case as blood sugar has always been at the lower end of the range.

          Reply
          1. Mike D

            Well, that first paragraph was cringeworthy and irrelevant. But now we know where you live – 1975 Dinosaur Street, Creepytown
            Or did i miss some kind of irony ?

  63. Jerome Savage

    David
    Having read thro malcolm’s dissertations over the years, stress and polution are highlighted as major factors, particularly stress. But we also learn that a diet high with carbs is also a factor, indirectly thro an increased tendency towards diabetes where, correct me if I’m wrong, increases blood sugar levels leading to increased friction on the endothelium, so increasing blood vessel scarring.
    But the good doctor barely mentions the benefits of exercise apart from referencing of nitric oxide release from bone marrow which assists with endothelial repair. Personally speaking I believe exercise, some of it robust is important and certainly in our early years when the muscle needs to strengthen & grow. And indirectly, initiating good exercise habits will provide a cushion for lifes stresses.

    Reply
    1. David Bailey

      I think Malcolm has covered exercise pretty well – obviously it is a big part of avoiding CVD. Indeed, one of my objections to statins, is that they can make people feel unnecessarily frail so that they give up on a lot of exercise.

      Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        David Bailey: That is one of the key errors, in my view, in public discourse on “health.” It is so much focussed on weight loss rather than metabolic health. Clearly exercise, or simply being active, is good for metabolic health. Weight loss is clearly not, otherwise why would the obese live longer than the “normal weight,” and the overweight live the longest of all?

        Reply
          1. Gary Ogden

            Jerome Savage: Very good question! Visceral fat is clearly not good, at least in excess. Subcutaneous fat I would suggest is a good thing to have at least some. I also think part of the answer is: What is the scientific basis for the cutoff points for these categories? I suspect there isn’t any. I also suspect that metabolically-healthy adults come in a large range of sizes. I think making weight loss paramount is a terrible idea, and not the way to good health. As for me, I’m trying to gain weight, so I’m eating like a horse. This is why I’ve added back some carbs.

      2. Jerome Savage

        Thanks David
        Many great articles from Malcolm, all provoking further research but for the life of me I dont recall any significant focus on benefits or joys of physical movement. Last year or before sitting became associated with poor health, being described as the new smoking, (I know the media cant be without buzz words) but kinda made sense to me as personally, never feel as good as when am out n about getting some cardio push and some strain on the muscles. Perspiration is a bonus. Maybe should turn that round and say, never feel so poorly as after loads of inaction. (Ok I know)
        It was reported that 1 hour sitting was the limit and some businesses had computers programmed to go sleep mode at the hour and on the hour such was the seriousness of this newly identified plague of sitting.
        Seems to hav gone by the wayside, wonder why ? Something to sit on !
        (What ? )

        Reply
        1. Martin Back

          Sitting in an ordinary chair tends to aggravate my slipped disk, so I went out and bought myself a kneeler chair from an office supply store. It was possibly the best investment I ever made. Twenty five years later I still have it. It is my computer chair, and thanks to the chair I can spend hours in front of the screen with no twinges from my back. Keeping upright without support exercises your core, and there’s no temptation to sit back and relax and stay immobile for ages, which I think is the most damaging thing you can do in a chair.

          Reply
          1. Jerome Savage

            Martin, Since my brush with cardiac issued in 2004, fitness became priority, git weight reduced with fewer pints & less lare night chinese take aways. My lower back ache reduced simultaneously to the point wher it’s no longer an issue. Lifting kids out of cots was a hazard as we stay upright and bent over but that was then. Slouch on a couch ! – another hazard, unless the elbow can take pressure away from the spine. Cycling is also good, frequent movements away from the work chair and frequent walks are also good.

  64. shirley3349

    Gary,
    I think Churchill said, we were two peoples divided by a common language.
    In the UK, tallow certainly used to refer only to sheep fat. It’s not used much in cooking because of its distinctive smell; in the past, its main use was making the cheapest candles. Beef fat is known here as suet when raw, when it can be used to make steamed pastry, puddings and dumplings. When roasted and drained off from the meat, it is known as dripping, which, once slightly re-solidified, it can be delicious spread on bread or used for cooking. Lard is pork fat, as with you; if good quality it is excellent for frying, but the poor stuff can smell really vile.
    I find frying in butter fine. It does go brown but, like the French, I don’t usually see this as a problem. When making a curry, one fries the spices first, so one wouldn’t notice anyway. In a hot climate, even summer in England without refrigeration, butter soon goes rancid, so boiling it may simply be a way of getting it to keep for longer.

    Reply
    1. Gary Ogden

      shirley3349: We are indeed two peoples divided by a common language! As far as I know there is no commonly used term in the U.S. for beef fat. It seems that it, and all other animal fats except butter are no longer used commercially nor spoken of in polite company. Sheep are a minor part of the livestock industry here.

      Reply
      1. Jerome Savage

        Gary
        We refer to frying pans. I remember my mother buying suet in the butchers all those years ago. It would come in at tail end of the order, like an incidental purchase. It looked like lard but was a little sinewy & stretched. Not sure what it was for – maybe to flavour soup or a stew ?

        Reply
        1. Jean Humphreys

          Suet was/is beef fat – preferably the sort that gathers around the kidneys. One would ask for “a piece of fat for rendering” and place it in a roasting tin in the bottom oven of the Aga. It woud take many hours, but the fat would melt and be poured off, bit by bit, leaving the connective tissue (scratchings -a sprinking of salt and they were ambrosia) Forget goose fat for roast potatoes. Forget oil for chips. This is the stuff.
          Some nations were rather sniffy about English food – especially in the fifties, which is when I am thinking of, but we knew a thing or two.

          Reply
          1. Jerome Savage

            So having put the thought in my head, went n purchased some suet. Tried it on “skillet” with my eggs, usually use e.v. olive oil but lo n behold, it didnt really melt but went jelly like shrinking slightly. Tried to do roast potatoes this evening using the suet but with same result. Lard would melt – wouldnt it ?

          2. Jean Humphreys

            I don’t know what some a**** sold you, but it sure as hell wasn’t beef suet. I dread to think what it was! In sixty years of kitchen experience, I have never known beef suet to do that.

          3. Jean Humphreys

            Additional – was it raw suet? To use it for cooking, it has to be rendered. I have no idea what the raw stuff would behave like – if you haven’t got the hours to spare to prepare it properly, you should buy it ready made – some supermarkets sell it in blocks, and most butchers.

          4. Gary Ogden

            Jerome Savage: Yes, lard melts beautifully because the rendering process melts it out of the, for lack of a better word, compartments in which it is stored in the pig. Perhaps the suet could be rendered similarly?

          5. Ems

            I buy blocks of dripping (beef fat) for frying and roasting. I am not keen on the smell of lard (pork fat) for frying.
            I was surprised my butcher didn’t know the difference between lard and dripping.
            I would like to say that I rendered my own but I’m afraid I haven’t attempted this.

          6. Jean Humphreys

            I too use blocks of dripping – from the supermarket or butcher. I too don’t particularly like lard. I also save the fat from roasts, and use the brown jelly as stock. Block dripping is a lot better today than it used to be – a real butcher told me that there are much tighter regulations around how it is produced than there were.
            If your butcher doesn’t know lard from dripping, then I would recommend you sack him – he is ignorant. But then I am only 73, so what do I know?

          1. Mark Wilson

            Doesn’t anyone know what suet is? It’s the fat from around a cow’s kidneys. It doesn’t melt; that’s the whole point of using it to make suet pastry. It’s grated for use. You don’t use it for frying!
            No-one buys it from the butcher anymore; it comes in packets, ready-grated. The most famous brand is Atora; you can even get vegetable fat suet, which kinda defeats the object.

          2. Jean Humphreys

            Excuse me, but suet does melt. I saw it do so this very day, on my own stove top. Suet is hard at room temperatures, but melts in cooking. Atora is useful, but beware – each little nib is coated with flour, so that it flows from the pack. There are some places where that extra flour is not such a good idea. Ok for mixing up a suet pudding, but not so good for coating and frying.

          3. Jennifer

            Mark, a while back I asked for suet from the old fashioned butcher. Fellow customers looked at me in astonishment when the butcher said I could have as much as I wanted for free as he had to pay for disposing of the stuff that nobody ever wanted. But, I do render it down, and use it like I do beef dripping….bought from a real butcher, not from a supermarket. I render pork fat into lard as I don’t care for the standardised blocks off the shelf; refined lard seems a bit artificial to me.
            Rendered suet and beef dripping go into the chip pan.
            My rendered pork fat goes into pastry.
            Unsalted butter goes on my bread.
            Double cream in my coffee.
            Unpasteurised honey comb when I fancy something sweet in my yogurt.
            I’m alive and kicking and pleased that I had good domestic science teachers at school in the 1960s, but mainly influenced by my Mother at home. She could make a feast out of anything, which tasted good and kept us all healthy.
            The rot set in when I started taking on board the rubbish published in the popular press from the 1970s, then ultimately confirmed by the NHS nutritionists of the early 1980s. They promoted extracted seed oils as the fats of choice, and the hard fats were banished from the hospital kitchens. The carbohydrate : oil and protein ratio was totally unbalanced and the pharmacists provided drugs to reduce the dreaded cholesterol. It was the first time I had come across this cholesterol stuff, in my years from 1965 of working in the NHS. I staffed on a cardiac ward….I thought they knew best….how wrong it has proven to be.

          4. Gary Ogden

            Jennifer: Lovely! Can I come to your house for dinner? I have rendered both beef and pork fat in this way, but in all my life I’ve never seen suet for sale here in the U.S. It would be the cow equivalent of leaf lard, which is the primo stuff from the pig. When I do manage to get kidney from my beef guy, I relish the fat it contains!

          5. Mark Christopher Wilson

            Jennifer
            One the best, most sensible posts on ANYTHING I have seen this dreadful year. I asked my butcher it I could have kidney with my pork chop. He said he could give me the kidney, but DETACHED from the chop. Because of H&S. What on Earth…
            I ate a Sussex Pond pudding with Clotted Cream and had a Cholesterol test straight after. Needless to say, it was slightly raised. They were apoplectic when I refused Statins.
            I have single cream in my coffee….full-strength Camels and Bourbon and Coke yum

  65. shirley3349

    My youngest son ate the most restricted diet imaginable. On our first holiday abroad, when he was aged 4, October half term in Majorca, he survived on chicken and chips and pizza. I eventually gave up worrying, because he was very healthy, hardly ever off school and very keen on sport, especially soccer, which he played for a successful team in a local junior league.
    When he left school, he spent eight years working and travelling, mostly abroad, meeting his Israeli wife when in Tel Aviv. He now eats almost all foods, and has learned to cook all manner of things to supplement his and their three daughters’ diets since she became a Vegan.

    Reply
    1. Steve

      Call me old fashioned but I believe that parents have a duty of care for their children, particularly four year olds !
      Your comment raises all sorts of issues that I’d suggest maybe you would want to keep them to yourself ?

      Reply
      1. David Bailey

        No Steve – quite the contrary! There has been far too much censoring of other people’s views and observations, and we can see where it is heading – in so many subjects.

        If growing kids can live on diets like chicken chips and pizza for a significant period of time, that is surely is worth knowing about.

        After all, we should all be grateful that society as a whole did not fall into the low fat/cholesterol/salt folly – enough people resisted that and now we know it was a huge mistake. I am sure there were those that wanted to interfere when kids were given a diet rich in saturated fat.

        I would bet that there is a lot more to be discovered about diet, and how the body handles the various diets that are imposed on it. Science can’t progress by throwing away a lot of data – trimming it to fit what we think we know.

        I mean, the observations that many children survive perfectly well on diets that are obviously deficient in a range of things should make nutritionists wonder how that can happen.

        Thank you Shirley3349 for raising this issue!

        Reply
        1. smartersig

          They do not survive they pay for it later in life. Heart disease is not called a silent killer for nothing. Teenage Vietnam war casualties were shown to have quite progressive heart disease but of course would have appeared perfectly fit before death.

          Reply
          1. Gary Ogden

            smartersig: Those were actually Korean war casualties who were autopsied. As I understand it, the fatty streaks which are the beginning of atherosclerosis can be found even in small children.

          2. smartersig

            Yes I am sure that is the case. This begs the question does stress cause the displacement of plaque resulting in a heart attack but the progression of plaque is perhaps not stress related but mainly diet ?.

        2. Gary Ogden

          David Bailey: I suspect the diet Shirley describes it not nearly so deficient or unhealthful as the diet forced upon children by the Dietary Guidelines for the United States. Our children are in poor health, and it can’t be blamed solely on the 72 vaccines shoved into their arms.

          Reply
  66. shirley3349

    He had very few signs of illness throughout his childhood. He was a healthy weight, stocky build, strong and athletic. In his mid-forties, he remains much the same. I just keep my fingers crossed that this does not change for many years.

    Reply
      1. Gary Ogden

        Liz: Even better–carnivore. Food plants are full of compounds which damage human health. Not so foods from animals.

        Reply
        1. smartersig

          Gary i that were true then why do plant based populations thrive so. You would need to come up with some magical alternative component that is offsetting the damage done by the plants they are eating

          Reply
          1. Gary Ogden

            smartersig: Read “The Carnivore Code,” by Paul Saladino, M.D. I had no idea, other than gluten and oxalates, that plants contain so many nasties for human health. The most important point for me, though, is that animal foods are so much more nutrient dense and don’t have any downside, despite a large pile of rubbish observational studies attempting to vilify them. And they taste so good! I’m serious. Read the book and let me know what you think. Switching from vegan to carnivore made an enormous positive impact on Dr. Saladino’s health, and for me (six months on) it has been wonderful. I feel a sense of calmness. My hiking stamina is greater and recovery faster. Sleep is better, too. I suspect a large part of the benefits for me have come from eliminating nightshades and crucifers. I do eat some amount of fruit, and garlic and onions, but no other plants except wine, coffee, and rarely, chocolate.

          2. Eggs ‘n beer

            smartersig, I suppose it depends on the definition of “thrive”. The numbers may be high, reproduction and survival are obviously present, but how healthy is the population? How creative, inventive, intelligent, mentally stable, etc? Saladino quotes from a study on metabolic health which indicates that only 12.2% of the American population is healthy, metabolically speaking. So you can have an increasing population which is fundamentally unhealthy by certain metrics. The plants are not causing enough damage, short term, to kill us off before reaching the reproductive age. Just making life uncomfortable for us as we get older. Perhaps long term they might affect reproductive capability; that would be to their benefit. ATM we put decreasing sperm levels and female fertility down to human created toxins (smoke, heavy metals, fluoride, plastics) – maybe the plant toxins are starting to have a cumulative effect on our generations.

            Click to access Optimalmethealthadults.pdf

  67. Jennifer

    JDPAtten.
    So true. In UK, professionals are obliged to keep up to date….seems diabetes has somehow been avoided. Otherwise GPs and Registered Nurses would be more knowledgeable. Type II has become the scapegoat for problems of present day society, based on bonkers science most of the time.

    Reply
  68. shirley3349

    I suspect that is the official version. Like most of the European peasantry, they often supplemented this diet with whatever meat or fish they could obtain illegally, considering this their moral right. As the game laws were vicious, hanging offences at times, they would not be so stupid as to tell an outsider.
    Poaching is still common in rural England, as is, when times are hard, the stealing of livestock, mainly the odd sheep, from the fields at night.

    Reply
  69. Liz

    You know, I have talked to my son(in his 30’s) about all the appalling horror that is going down. The lies, the corruption about covid payments, the fear that is being engendered in our population.
    He says he will take the hit, generation X is fit and ready and things will work out.
    I am proud to have produced such a human being.

    Reply
  70. David Bailey

    At a recent anti-lockdown demonstration, I was given a copy of a free newspaper called “The Light”, and in it was a long and excellent article by Dr Kendrick about the folly of censoring the debate about vaccines.
    The paper has an associated forum. When I found it, it was overflowing with spam and pornography – so I contacted the owners, and was given moderation rights. The forum is now clean and sensible, but it really needs more people to join in. It would seem you can join the forum with a nickname (Mine is DavidB) but they would also like people to write articles, and the authors seem to be all named.

    So please, join the forum, write an article if you can – particularly if you are a medical doctor – and let’s try to make this grow. I see protest as the only way out of medical tyranny.

    Newspaper: https://thelightpaper.co.uk/
    Forum: https://thelightpaper.co.uk/forum

    You will also find a form that can be used to contact the owners – this was how I became a moderator of the site.

    https://thelightpaper.co.uk/contribute

    Reply
  71. David Bailey

    Sorry – slightly off topic.

    Since we are back discussing cholesterol, diet, statins etc, I thought I’d look up side effects of PCSK9 inhibitors. The most common ones are:

    flu-like symptoms such as cold, nausea, back and joint pain

    soreness or itchiness where you give the injection

    muscle pain.

    This makes me wonder if the horrible muscle problems that statins can produce, are really associated with withdrawing so much cholesterol from the body – i.e. they are a direct result of the action the statin is meant to perform. I don’t know how often these drugs are used, but since they are injected, it may be less easy for patients to test whether the pains/cramps/weakness they are feeling are a side effect or something else.

    Reply
  72. David Bailey

    Malcolm, Sorry, this is a repeat of something I posted in your previous blog, but I feel it is worth repeating – feel free to remove it if you wish.

    At a recent anti-lockdown demonstration, I was given a copy of a free newspaper called “The Light”, and in it was a long and excellent article by Dr Kendrick about the folly of censoring the debate about vaccines.
    The paper has an associated forum. When I found it, it was overflowing with spam and pornography – so I contacted the owners, and was given moderation rights. The forum is now clean and sensible, but it really needs more people to join in. It would seem you can join the forum with a nickname (Mine is DavidB) but they would also like people to write articles, and the authors seem to be all named.

    So please, join the forum, write an article if you can – particularly if you are a medical doctor – and let’s try to make this grow. I see protest as the only way out of medical tyranny.

    Newspaper: https://thelightpaper.co.uk/
    Forum: https://thelightpaper.co.uk/forum

    You will also find a form that can be used to contact the owners – this was how I became a moderator of the site.

    https://thelightpaper.co.uk/contribute

    Reply
  73. Anglophone

    Have only read two posts from this blog, but I’m already a fan. I’ve been low carb/Keto for nearly three years and haven’t had a cold in all that time. Plus I’ve lost 20 kg, which is quite nice too. I am not worried about Covid-19.

    Reply
  74. mmec7

    – Excellent Dr Kendrick. With you all the way and get tired of pointing out to people that those carbs = sugar. And that good fats are *good and to eschew all PUFAS. Might as well preach to the stone wall as to say owt. But that don’t get me off me soap box !! You’re a credit to good science, stay well.

    Reply
  75. Gary Ogden

    Turns out I was wrong about the gallbladder and bile. From The Carnivore Code, p. 291 (FAQ) “Can I do a carnivore diet if I don’t have a gallbladder? Absolutely. Your liver makes the same amount of bile. . ., but it is now stored in the bile ducts. . . . a choline-rich diet remains the key to adequate bile salt production. . . .” Egg yolks, liver and kidney, and muscle meat are good sources.

    Reply
  76. Ken MacKillop

    On ketones: These should be thought of as whole-body signaling molecules for the catabolic state, which is required for cellular apoptosis, repair, regeneration. Portal glucagon drives ketosis. Portal insulin is inversely related to glucagon only because of their paracrinological relationship in islets. At hepatic level it is glucagon, almost exclusively, that controls ketosis.
    Nearly all portal glucagon is consumed by liver, never making it to the hepatic artery. But ketones act as peripheral (to portal axis) proxy for glucagon. Brain is maybe the only peripheral tissue that utilizes glucagon itself much as a hormone — some brain cells have significant glucagon expression (e.g. receptors).
    On carb’s: These are the most powerful anabolic stimulant in diet, and we are not evolved to have much at all in our environnement. Anabolic stimulus always overrides catabolism because in evolutionary context it was rare and seldom available. Modern diet turns this upside down. It is excess of time spent in anabolism, and hence too little in catabolism, that is the overriding common cause of modern chronic tissue-specific degenerative conditions (e.g. cancer, dimentia, CVD, T2DM (although subcutaneous adipose saturation is more specifically causal for this), and so forth).
    On protein: These (i.e. amino acids) are the predominant dietary signal for growth and adaptation to environment (in maturity). And AAs are extremely important as substrate — the most precious dietary resource for life and health (i.e. metabolism). Protein is enormously underrecognized as a critical dietary factor, and generally deficient in wealthy urban (i.e. Western) societies, ironically. This is due to ignorance of biology.
    On Taubes: Too hung up on only one narrow aspect of modern health, and too hung up on the two energy-supplying macronutrients, and too hung up on the hormone insulin without any understanding of portal-axis endocrinology and the far more important and powerful (though related via beta/alpha-cell endocrinology) hormone glucagon. Insulin’s primary evolutionary purpose (especially exclusive of hepatic role in buffering blood glucose) is to drive AAs into tissues — we have no long-term storage mechanism for these. Glucagon’s role is to regulate the vital metabolism required for life sustenance, second to second (e.g. brain) via regulation of whole-body fuel/energy management in liver.
    Gary is also far too hung up on endocrinology with far too little recognition of cellular biology and metabolism IMO. The two are related, of course. But IMO the endocrinology’s importance derives from its impact upon cellular metabolism, and not vice versa.

    Reply
  77. Nick Damien

    I’m not sure it is appropriate to consider the effects of macronutrient proportion (all carbs, no fat, mostly fat etc.) without considering the effect of stress and the HPA axis. In Dr. Malcom’s book he goes into great detail about stress and cortisol levels which affect CVD but also obesity. People who will habitually eat as a reaction to stress may at some point be unable to distinguish emotional distress from hunger. The HPA axis will be all out of whack; is it possible in this state no matter what you eat it will affect your health and ability to lose weight? Also, if someone is a severe emotional eater and he/she tried to suddenly change their diet, this could raise stress levels…and might cause more harm than good?

    Reply
  78. Lucy

    I unfortunately had a heart attack on January 21, 2021. I am baffled by it all. I am 5 foot 2 and weigh 128 pounds. I am 55 year old woman. I only had one known risk factor, high LDL. triglycerides were low in the 50’s. HDL was good. CRP was low. INsulin levels were low. A1c was 5.2. fasting sugar was 85. My parents did have heart disease but they were in their 70’s. They never exercised. I tried KETO before the heart attack, but became low on potassium and stopped doing that. I am now on a modified Mederranean diet with no processed foods. I eat full fat everything. I stopped eating bread which is a processed product. The one thing my doctor found that I had was high homocystein levels. My right artery was 97 percent closed and my left was 90 percent closed. Lucky, I sustained very little heart damage. The doctor was puzzled by that because my blockages were terrible. I exercised the day before the heart attack. I have been exercising for 30 years. Perhaps all that exercise saved my life. I did not smoke, I do not drink alcohol. My stress level was off the charts. I took care of both my parents and two kids for 10 years. I was under tons of stress. Covid finaincial stress was the cherry on top of my overload of stress. After my 4 stents were place, the doctors found a mysterious blood clot in my right leg. The clot looked like an old clot but I never had any blood clots symptoms that I know of. I was very sick before there was a covid test. I had all the symptoms of covid. I was sick for 2 months back in November 2019. It’s all a great mystery. I am now trying to figure out how to live with my diagnosis. I am back to exercising 25 minutes of moderate aerobics 4 weeks after my last stent surgery. Heart disease is awful. I pray every day for answers.

    Reply

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