Saturday, February 9, 2013

Matt Lalonde PhD Nutrient Density

Mathieu Lalonde, Ph.D, presenting at the Ancestral Health Symposium 2012 (AHS12).
Nutrient Density: Sticking to the Essentials

A proposed model of nutrient density that eliminates established biases is employed to compare the nutrient density of meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds to that of grains and legumes.

Mathieu Lalonde is an organic chemist with a genuine interest in human metabolism, nutritional biochemistry, health and athletic performance.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

How to Win an Argument With a Nutritionist or Registered Dietitian

For reasons I have disclosed before, I prefer not to get in to online arguments with nutritionists.
I used to enjoy it, but ended up becoming frustrated so I gave it up.
But… I often observe these arguments online.
It’s fun. Usually.
There’s an annoying pattern I’ve noticed though.
The people who are arguing with the nutritionists, who seem to have all the facts straight and are trying to make their point, don’t cite any studies.
This is a problem!
I get it…
Not everyone has a ton of studies bookmarked on their computer and it can be quite a hazzle to start looking them up at the time of need.
But citing studies is critical in an argument about science. Nutrition = science!
So, with this article I decided to collect studies for the main arguments against some of the more foolish claims made by nutritionists, vegans and know-it-all low-fat zealots.
All of them are in a copy-paste friendly format. Just highlight the URLs to the studies and Click Ctrl+C (Cmd+C on mac) or right click and select “Copy.”
If you tend to get in to these online arguments a lot, I suggest you bookmark this page!
Remember Kris’s Law:
“Whatever the nutrition authorities have to say… the exact opposite is likely to be the truth!”
(Disclaimer: Many nutritionist are good people and seem to know what they are talking about, but the ones that seem to be the most active in the mainstream media seem to do little other than spreading potentially dangerous misinformation.)

Nutritionist Says: Protein is Bad For Your Bones

Put on: this face.
There are some short-term studies showing that the increased acid load from a high protein intake can lead to increased calcium excretion. That is true, but this is only a short-term phenomenon.
The long-term epidemiological studies on protein intake and bone health shows the exact opposite. Increased protein intake correlates with improved bone health and a lowered risk of fractures.

Nutritionist Says: Protein is Bad For Your Kidneys

Put on: this face.
There is NO evidence that increased protein is harmful for people with healthy kidneys.
In fact, the studies show that increased protein can lower blood pressure:

…and improve blood sugar control in type II diabetics:

High blood pressure and diabetes are the key risk factors for kidney failure. Consequently, eating more protein, not less, should be good for the kidneys.
The advice to restrict protein intake for the bones and kidneys is likely to have the exact opposite effect.
Here are two review articles that show no harmful effect of protein consumption on kidney health:

Nutritionist Says: Whole Wheat is Good For You

Put on: this face.
Whole wheat raises the blood sugar faster than most other foods and its glycemic index isn’t much lower than refined wheat..
Additionally, gluten is likely to be harmful for people who don’t have celiac disease.

Whole wheat raises small, dense LDL, which is extremely atherogenic and can lead to heart disease:

Nutritionist Says: Low-Carb Diets Are Dangerous

Put on: this face.
This is simply not true. There are no documented severe reactions to low-carb diets and they tend to improve all the main biomarkers of disease, including HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, LDL particle size, blood pressure and body fat levels.
Low-carb diets have an outstanding safety profile and appear to be healthier, more effective and easier to follow than low-fat diets:

A lot more studies on this here.

Nutritionist Says: Eating Fat Makes You Fat

Put on: this face.
This seems logical enough, but doesn’t hold up in practice.
Diets that are high in fat, but low in carbs, and eaten without restricting calories are usually a lot more effective than low-fat, high-carb diets that are calorie restricted.

Again, more studies here.

Nutritionist Says: Saturated Fat is Unhealthy

Put on: this face.
Not true. Saturated fat raises HDL cholesterol and changes the LDL pattern from small, dense (bad) to large, fluffy (good).
This has been studied extensively and an association of saturated fat with heart disease has never been proven.

Nutritionist Says: Eggs Are Bad For You

Put on: this face.
Not true at all. Eggs, especially the yolks, are incredibly nutritious and highly satiating. There has never been any proven association between egg consumption and cardiovascular disease.

Nutritionist Says: Diet Soda Can Help You Lose Weight

Put on: this face.
This is true in the context of a controlled diet. However, most people don’t count calories and do not eat a controlled diet.
In the context of a western, ad libidum diet, epidemiological studies show that diet soda consumption is associated with severe weight gain, diabetes and the metabolic syndrome.

Nutritionist Says: Sugar is Just Empty Calories

Put on: this face.
It’s true that sugar is empty calories, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Sugar can also lead to fatty liver, insulin resistance and may be a significant contributor to the metabolic syndrome.


Kris’s law still holds.
It doesn’t seem like it is about to change in the next few decades. Modern nutrition keeps on clinging to the old ideas that brought us the obesity epidemic and for some reason they seem completely unwilling to change their minds.
Are there any other myths (lies?) you would like me to cover? Shoot me a comment below and I’ll see if I can add them to the list.
I’d love for this post to become a “weapon” for all of us to change the world, one nutritionist at a time.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Modern Wheat a Perfect Chronic Poison, Doctor Says

Modern wheat is a "perfect, chronic poison," according to Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist who has published a book all about the world's most popular grain.

Davis said that the wheat we eat these days isn't the wheat your grandma had: "It's an 18-inch tall plant created by genetic research in the '60s and '70s," he said on "CBS This Morning." "This thing has many new features nobody told you about, such as there's a new protein in this thing called gliadin. It's not gluten. I'm not addressing people with gluten sensitivities and celiac disease. I'm talking about everybody else because everybody else is susceptible to the gliadin protein that is an opiate. This thing binds into the opiate receptors in your brain and in most people stimulates appetite, such that we consume 440 more calories per day, 365 days per year."

Asked if the farming industry could change back to the grain it formerly produced, Davis said it could, but it would not be economically feasible because it yields less per acre. However, Davis said a movement has begun with people turning away from wheat - and dropping substantial weight.

"If three people lost eight pounds, big deal," he said. "But we're seeing hundreds of thousands of people losing 30, 80, 150 pounds. Diabetics become no longer diabetic; people with arthritis having dramatic relief. People losing leg swelling, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, and on and on every day."

To avoid these wheat-oriented products, Davis suggests eating "real food," such as avocados, olives, olive oil, meats, and vegetables. "(It's) the stuff that is least likely to have been changed by agribusiness," he said. "Certainly not grains. When I say grains, of course, over 90 percent of all grains we eat will be wheat, it's not barley... or flax. It's going to be wheat.

"It's really a wheat issue."

Some health resources, such as the Mayo Clinic, advocate a more balanced diet that does include wheat. But Davis said on "CTM" they're just offering a poor alternative.

"All that literature says is to replace something bad, white enriched products with something less bad, whole grains, and there's an apparent health benefit - 'Let's eat a whole bunch of less bad things.' So I take...unfiltered cigarettes and replace with Salem filtered cigarettes, you should smoke the Salems. That's the logic of nutrition, it's a deeply flawed logic. What if I take it to the next level, and we say, 'Let's eliminate all grains,' what happens then?

"That's when you see, not improvements in health, that's when you see transformations in health."

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Truth About Fat

REMEMBER when chips were deep-fried in lard? When suet gave puddings a silky fullness and vegetables were served with lashings of butter?
For decades, health authorities have urged us to replace these ''bad'' animal fats with the ''good'' fats found in vegetable oils, to avoid heart disease. But some say such advice is killing us.
''There is no real evidence to show that saturated fats, found mainly in animal fats, cause heart disease,'' says David Gillespie, author of the polemical book Big Fat Lies.

''By contrast, polyunsaturated oils are actually what is giving us heart disease, with the assistance of sugar, and possibly also type 2 diabetes, cancer and obesity.''
Gillespie has no medical training but his work has been embraced by followers of new diets such as the ''paleo'' and ''primal'' diets. They hold that the key to good health is eating more like our ancestors - eschewing sugar and manufactured oils and embracing meat and natural fats.
Medical doctors are also among Gillespie's followers, including Melbourne anaesthetist Rod Tayler, who says he lost 11 kilograms in two years by following a more ''traditional'' diet, low in carbs and higher in saturated animal fats.
''I'm with Gillespie; I don't see that there is any problem with animal fat - we've been eating it for the past 3 million years as we've evolved,'' says Dr Tayler, whose daily breakfast is a three-egg omelet with cheese and butter, lardy bacon and yoghurt topped with cream and nuts.
''Since I've been eating this way my good cholesterol is up and my bad cholesterol is down.''
Australian nutrition academics say such diets are dangerous and Gillespie's conclusions are specious. ''He is a purveyor of 'big fat lies','' says Dr Jennie Brand-Miller, creator of the ground-breaking ''glycaemic index'' to treat and prevent diabetes.
''We know that replacing saturated fats with sugar, as they do in low-fat yoghurts, is bad … But that is not to say you shouldn't try to reduce your saturated fat intake and replace it with polyunsaturated fats.''
A former corporate lawyer, Gillespie buttresses his arguments with evidence from dozens of recent scientific studies, including a 2010 American analysis of past ''population'' studies, capturing a cohort of 350,000 people. It found ''no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk [of heart disease]''.
Gillespie also cites several less comprehensive studies, including one in 1996 of Jewish Israelis, whose kosher diets are high in polyunsaturated fats and who have some of the world's highest rates of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
''All this suggests that the Dietary Guidelines for Australians, which tell us to avoid animal fat and consume lots of polyunsaturated oils, are actually a recipe for heart disease,'' he says. But nutrition expert Professor Peter Clifton, who co-wrote the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet, says Gillespie has cherry-picked evidence.
''His ideas are certainly gaining prominence but they're completely wrong,'' says Professor Clifton, who cites a later, more detailed American study that concluded swapping saturated for polyunsaturated fat meant a 10 per cent reduction in heart disease rates.
He also rejects the Israeli example, saying other lifestyle factors there promote heart disease.
However, different polyunsaturated fats have different effects, says Anastasia Boulais, a Port Macquarie hospital intern with an interest in ''ancestral health''.
''Omega-3, found mainly in fish, is good for us,'' says Dr Boulais. But she says a 2010 study found participants with a higher intake of omega-6 (found in vegetable oils) had an increased risk of coronary heart disease.
While the debate continues, the push towards low-carb, higher-fat diets is gaining pace. Pro-fat cookbook author Christine Cronau this year published The Fat Revolution, with the tag line: ''Why butter and real fats actually make us slim.'' In Melbourne, Palate restaurant in Prahran offers a ''paleo'' menu featuring full-fat dairy and meat, and there are scores of lard-loving, paleo-oriented gyms and clubs.
As the British-born chef at the fat-friendly Duchess of Spotswood says, animal fat never fell out of favour in some quarters. ''It's just honest food,'' says Andrew Gale, whose signature dishes include steak for two, sealed in dripping. ''If you can render fat and use it - duck fat, chicken fat, kidneys, suet or whatever - it keeps your costs down and it's bloody delicious.''

Read more:

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Low Carb Diets More Effective Study Shows

A review of 17 different studies that followed a total of 1,141 obese patients on low-carb eating plans — some were similar to the Atkins diet — found that dieters lost an average of almost 18 pounds in six months to a year.

Overall, participants had improvements in their waist circumference, blood pressure, triglycerides (blood fats), fasting blood sugar, C-reactive protein (another heart disease risk factor) as well as an increase in HDL (good) cholesterol. LDL (bad) cholesterol did not change significantly
"These improvements occurred during weight loss which is known to lead to some of these changes," says William Yancy, an associate professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center and a researcher who worked on the analysis. It's being published in the journal Obesity Reviews.
Yancy has done several previous studies on the Atkins diet, including some that were funded by the Atkins Foundation. A low-carb diet is a reasonable one to follow to lose weight and improve heart disease risk factors, he says.
Low-carb eating plans slash the consumption of breads, pasta, potatoes, rice, cakes, cookies and some fruits and starchy vegetables while beefing up intake of fish, chicken, beef, eggs, butter, cheese and some vegetables and fruits.
Gary Foster, director of the Center for Obesity Research and Education at Temple University in Philadelphia, echoed Yancy's observation. "A lot of these favorable effects are due to the weight loss itself, not to the specific diet, with the exception of HDL, which does seem to have more favorable improvements on the low-carb diet."
He wasn't involved in this analysis but did research comparing a low-carb diet and a low-calorie, reduced-fat diet and found both produce similar weight loss and improvements in health measures.
"We have passed the time where we would say the Atkins diet is bad for you. That's an outdated position," Foster says. "This is a viable alternative for weight loss."
Robert Atkins, a cardiologist, published his first book on the diet in 1972. The revised version, called Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution, was a best seller two decades later. He died in April 2003 after a fall.
Nutrition experts have long favored a more conventional diet, which reduces the overall amount of calories and fat while allowing a wide variety of foods.
One small study published recently found that dieters who were trying to maintain their weight loss burned significantly more calories — about 300 more a day — eating a low-carb diet than they did eating a low-fat diet.
About two-thirds of people in this country are overweight or obese, which increases the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, many types of cancer and other chronic illnesses.

Friday, August 31, 2012

GMO Reality Check

GMO Dangers Ignored
Many countries, including those within the European Union, require strict labeling and testing of GMOs. As a result of this labeling, GMO products simply do not sell in most of the world. Here in the United States we do not require labeling or testing of GMOs. How is it that in the US GMOs seem to have had free rein?
“Unlike our European allies, unlike Australia, Japan, much of Africa and others, we have failed in the United States, for 25 years now, to pass a single law on addressing and assessing the environmental or health consequences of GMOs,” Kimbrell pointed out. “Every effort has been defeated by the biotechnology industry.
“What we have in this country is a complete regulatory failure with GMOs. We have no mandatory labeling, no mandatory testing. The USDA to this day has never come up with an environmental impact statement on a single GMO plant, though they’ve promised it over and over again, and court after court has demanded they do so.
“The USDA has illegally approved one GMO after the other and has been disciplined by the courts, by the General Accounting Office, and by the Inspector General.
“The problem is that the USDA has pretty much become a rogue agency and a wholly owned subsidiary of the biotechnology industry, and that’s really sad. Former Iowa governor, now US Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, was the biotechnology industrial organizations’ ‘Governor of the Year’ in 2001. He brought his current general counsel, Ramona Romero, directly from DuPont this year. The law firm that Vilsack worked for fought us on GMO cases after he wasn’t governor anymore.”
Another problem is a combination of outdated legislation and agency disparity when it comes to attempts to enforce it. “You have a brand-new technology without any congressional guidance, which then goes down to the agency level,” Kimbrell continued. “If you’re EPA, FDA or USDA, you are trying to regulate biotechnology in agriculture under laws that were passed 15 years before anyone knew this technology existed. Here you have corn engineered to contain Bt and they try to regulate it under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act. That means they’re trying to treat the plant as a pesticide—the whole plant. When they passed that law in 1972 on pesticides, they thought they were regulating chemicals; they didn’t think they were regulating plants. In another example, we’re now seeing GMO salmon, and the FDA is treating it as an animal drug—the salmon. So what happens here is that because of the failure of Congress to withstand the lobbying of the industry, the entire technology has been shoved down to the agency level. We have about seven different agencies under about twelve different laws that are trying to regulate biotechnology, with laws that were passed long before biotechnology came on line. So it’s a system that’s built for failure.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Palaeolithic nutrition that holds promise for the prevention and treatment of diseases of civilisation

A multidisciplinary reconstruction of Palaeolithic nutrition that holds promise for the prevention and treatment of diseases of civilisation
Nutrition Research Reviews, 07/18/2012

Kuipers RS et al. – There is ample evidence that ancestors lived in a land–water ecosystem and extracted a substantial part of their diets from both terrestrial and aquatic resources. Rather than rejecting this possibility by lack of evidence, the default assumption should be that hominins, living in coastal ecosystems with catchable aquatic resources, consumed these resources. Finally, the composition and merits of so–called ‘Palaeolithic diets’, based on different hominin niche–reconstructions, are evaluated. The benefits of these diets illustrate that it is time to incorporate this knowledge into dietary recommendations.

Read more: