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getfit1980 06-09-2012 05:28 PM

Gary Taubes: Why We Get Fat
 
Hi everyone,
I recently read Gary Taubes new book Why We Get Fat. I'm facinated by his paradigm of weight loss. It is in stark contrast to what I've learned over the years including the education I recieved as a personal trainer (12 years ago). I have been on his "diet" (although recommendations in the book are scarce) for about a week now and will weigh myself at the two week mark. I'm very curious to see how it works considering the lack of excersise and the focus on insulin as the driver of fat accumulation rather than calories. I know, I know, just eat healthy and excercise! But maybe, just maybe, when we diet (restrict calories) and spend an hour or hours excercising (expend additional calories to our basal) we're doing it the hard way! Maybe, its as easy as stopping the production of the hormone (insulin) that causes fat accumulation.
So far the plan is no where near as challegeing as programs I've been on in the past (or recommended to my clients). Yes its hard to restrict carbohydrates, but that's really the only challenge. With a traditional weight loss diet you face many challenges including hunger and intense excercise commitment and sometimes a dissatisfaction with the food choices.
Has anyone else read this book? If so, what is your experience and thoughts?

tandoorichicken 06-09-2012 10:57 PM

getfit,

you might want to pop on over to the paleo/primal thread. GCBC is a starting point for a lot of us over there but specifics on diet and exercise are more widely available in that community rather than in any of Taubes' books.

diamondsandsweetpeas 06-13-2012 07:13 PM

I also read and enjoyed that book. Just wanted to add, "Rethinking Thin" and "The Smarter Science of Slim" are both good follow-ups to Taubes' book. "Rethinking Thin" references Taubes and then adds case studies and clinical trials about obesity. "The Smarter Science of Slim" is heavily referenced and gives an eating/exercise plan from an insulin point of view.

1dwing 06-15-2012 07:13 PM

Why don't people just start taking control of their lives and stop believing that it's some outside factor. We get fat because we eat to much food. Period. There might be variables that can help us lose fat but calories in/calories out. I eat at a 700 kcal deficit right now. Once I hit my goal body fat I will go to a 500 deficit and then 250 and so on until I maintain. I have 2-4 tbsp of peanut butter every night and enjoy a couple of chocolate chip cookies a week. Everthing I like to eat I can fit into my macros. I rarely post here but I've gotten tired of hearing, only low carb, no it's vegan, paleo, fruitarian... I did keto last year and lost weight( about 35lbs). This year I'm at 32 so far. It all works. I just make sure that I get in my protein and fat and the rest I go with how I feel. If I want more bacon or fruit or pizza I have it.
Find foods you enjoy but eat at a deficit.

tandoorichicken 06-15-2012 08:49 PM

That's all fine and well, 1dwing, but for different people different foods make sticking to that deficit much easier. For some it's low carb, for others it's low fat, for others they might have some interaction with a disease or some drugs they're taking. For that reason it's important to present as many viable options as possible. There's no one plan that works for everybody. So yes, it's calories in vs calories out in theory but saying it's only that grossly oversimplifies the situation.

Rubystars 06-15-2012 09:45 PM

I don't think it oversimplifies it at all. You need to eat less than you burn to lose weight. If you eat tons and tons of meat every day that's a sure fire way to set yourself up for high cholesterol and a heart attack or stroke.

Some of our Ice Age ancestors (if your ancestos were in Europe) didn't eat very much vegetation because it wasn't available in big quantities on the wind blown steppes. However eating the way they did will lead to an early death. It didn't matter so much for them. They had children at young ages and lived long enough to pass on their lifeways and wisdom to the next generation, but by today's standards their lives were very short.

Fatness was valued (look at the Venus figures) because it meant surviving through times when less food was available.

I think today when we are in a state of constant plenty, avoiding fatness (which goes against our instincts) is the key to survival. Taking advantage of the phytonutrients, fiber, and vitamins and minerals found in vegetables and fruits makes sense.

Every major civilization has a carb based diet, and most of these carbs are grains. Grains didn't pop out of nowhere. Even our remote ancestors ate grass seeds sometimes, just not in the quantities we do today, and since the ice age, European people and those in the Middle East in particular have eaten a LOT of grain, and mostly, it benefited society. Whole grains also have a lot of minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fiber. To say we're not evolved to eat grain is taking a skewed view of evolution. Humans have always eaten seeds. Grass seeds are just another type of seed that was consumed in the distant past too. Refined grains aren't very good for you but whole grains are fine.

Legumes aren't some abomination. They're also healthy for people. I have no idea why paleo eaters are against legumes.

Shira81 06-16-2012 12:30 PM

its true that insulin plays a huge role in fat accumulation but there is a point where your body cant get past a certain point with being really fit and healthy (in my opinion) without exercise. One problem is that people overdo cardio. I agree that you should look into primal lifestyle. I do primal mostly. I do eat a few things "off" the diet or a couple of things that are questionable and I find exercising the primal way to be much more fulfilling. As humans we need physical activity. It doesnt mean we need to suffer with diet and exercise but with consistency it works. I have been on every diet and a major yo yo deiter forever until now. I definitely believe in this stuff.

Shira81 06-16-2012 12:31 PM

rubystars, I agree with you!! And I do think its individual, but like you said we might just eat waaaaaaay too much of those grains etc...and forget about veggies.

1dwing 06-17-2012 02:58 AM


Originally Posted by tandoorichicken (Post 83622)
That's all fine and well, 1dwing, but for different people different foods make sticking to that deficit much easier. For some it's low carb, for others it's low fat, for others they might have some interaction with a disease or some drugs they're taking. For that reason it's important to present as many viable options as possible. There's no one plan that works for everybody. So yes, it's calories in vs calories out in theory but saying it's only that grossly oversimplifies the situation.


Why don't people just start taking control of their lives and stop believing that it's some outside factor. We get fat because we eat to much food. Period. There might be variables that can help us lose fat but calories in/calories out. I eat at a 700 kcal deficit right now. Once I hit my goal body fat I will go to a 500 deficit and then 250 and so on until I maintain. I have 2-4 tbsp of peanut butter every night and enjoy a couple of chocolate chip cookies a week. Everthing I like to eat I can fit into my macros. I rarely post here but I've gotten tired of hearing, only low carb, no it's vegan, paleo, fruitarian... I did keto last year and lost weight( about 35lbs). This year I'm at 32 so far. It all works. I just make sure that I get in my protein and fat and the rest I go with how I feel. If I want more bacon or fruit or pizza I have it.
Find foods you enjoy but eat at a deficit.

I believe you missed my point. We all have seen people and have BEEN THOSE PEOPLE that sit around making excuses about why we don't lose fat. In the end the diet really does not matter that much. We all need the same nutrients to survive though the differences between us are slight variables of each. Anyone who has lost fat has done so only due to the fact that they have consumed less calories than they burn whether its through consumption or working out. Personally I enjoy paleo/keto. I love meat and veggies. I just make room for cookies whatever snack I might enjoy and don't feel guilty about it.

Rubystars 06-17-2012 05:06 PM

One thing I've never seen any pro-paleo person explain to me is which stone age culture they're trying to emulate. Ice Age Europe was not steady but fluctuated between warmer periods and colder periods over thousands of years. There were times with more forest and times with less forest and more grassland, etc. All of these would have changed the diets of the people living there.

I see paleos typing about "Grok's time" but they never define what that is, what the climate was like at that particular time, what the people were eating at that particular time, etc.

They don't even define which of the many subcultures of Cro Magnons they're trying to emulate. Was it Aurignacians? Gravettians? Which one did "Grok" supposedly belong to?

getfit1980 06-17-2012 11:52 PM

thanks for the recommendations diamondsandsweetpeas! I'll check those out.

getfit1980 06-18-2012 12:25 AM

To 1dwing:

I think its important to think clearly when discussing these issues of overwieght and obesity. We are, basically talking about the biology and physiology of the body. I think its tempting to think of these issues in terms of morality. If you do good things and sacrifice, you get good things. If you do bad things and don't sacrifice, you get bad things. But none of this has anything to do with how the body works.

We know people get fat because they eat too much and/or move too little. That's not the question. The question is why do some people eat too much and move too little. Is it really because they are lazy or gluttonous? The carb/insulin hypothesis says that the arrow of causation is backwards. In other words, we don't get fat because we eat too much and move too little. We eat too much and move little, BECAUSE were getting fat!

Rubystars 06-18-2012 04:00 AM


Originally Posted by getfit1980 (Post 83700)
To 1dwing:

I think its important to think clearly when discussing these issues of overwieght and obesity. We are, basically talking about the biology and physiology of the body. I think its tempting to think of these issues in terms of morality. If you do good things and sacrifice, you get good things. If you do bad things and don't sacrifice, you get bad things. But none of this has anything to do with how the body works.

We know people get fat because they eat too much and/or move too little. That's not the question. The question is why do some people eat too much and move too little. Is it really because they are lazy or gluttonous? The carb/insulin hypothesis says that the arrow of causation is backwards. In other words, we don't get fat because we eat too much and move too little. We eat too much and move little, BECAUSE were getting fat!

I think people move less when they get fatter because it becomes harder to move, and it makes people even fatter, but obviously the cause of getting fat is a calorie surplus.

tandoorichicken 06-18-2012 04:39 PM

1dwing:

Echoing what getfit1980 said, Taubes' book is about the biology of obesity. I don't agree with everything that's in there (including Taubes' contention that exercise is pointless for weight loss), but it does form a good basis for figuring out how to control dietary variables to keep weight down. If you see any of my posts in other threads, you'll see that we're on the same page regarding calories in vs. calories out. There's no doubt that calories matter. Mike already has a thread to your point called something like "hey fattie, excuses why you are fat" for people to air their misgivings. After you've admitted your excuses, figuring out what you're going to do about it is the next step.

Rubystars:

I think we need to step back here a moment. A lot of people conflate Taubes' work with the paleo community. It's easy to do since a lot of people who start with GCBC eventually make their way into paleo. But it's not the only theory of obesity floating around. Stephen Guyenet has a pretty well articulated food reward theory that IMO needs some more scientific rigor at this point (modern processed foods release too much dopamine, essentially turning them into dietary cocaine). Taubes' insulin hypothesis is on better scientific footing at the moment.

That said, I also think that from the outside, there is rightly a view that paleo evangelists live in a bubble of cognitive dissonance. I would argue that the people that are most vocal about paleo are those who have recently tried it (the "book version") and had success; these are people who have done numerous "diets" in the past and paleo is another "diet" that worked for them. As a result, for them there is only one "paleo diet" which excludes certain foods and includes others.

This cannot be repeated often enough, but THERE IS NO ONE, SINGLE ALL-ENCOMPASSING PALEO DIET. Arctic Inuits did not eat the same food as tropical islanders. Heck, even among islanders, there are nations where coconut and fat cuts of fish and wild pig were staples (very high fat), and other nations where root vegetables formed the base of every meal (very high starch). Also, most cultures outside of America and Europe supplemented their diets with insects. So it's fallacious to assume, for everyone, that there is only THE paleo diet as written. Or what I like to call, the "book version."

tandoorichicken 06-18-2012 06:29 PM

One at a time.


Originally Posted by Rubystars (Post 83625)
I don't think it oversimplifies it at all. You need to eat less than you burn to lose weight.

In theory, yes. You need to eat less than you burn to lose weight. But, it is much easier to eat less when you aren't hungry all the time. If I eat high carb vs. high fat, I feel hungry all the time, and I'm more likely to go off the rails. Same number of calories, world of difference.


If you eat tons and tons
of meat every day that's a sure fire way to set yourself up for high cholesterol and a heart attack or stroke.
1) Taubes' downfall is that he lays out this beautiful theory but no explanation of how to actually implement it. People think it's a free license to baconize everything. Eating lots of meat isn't the best because of potentially carcinogenic byproducts of the cooking process, especially during grilling or roasting. The paleo implementation of this theory isn't as much meat as people think.

2) Unless you have familial hypercholesterolemia, eating cholesterol won't raise your blood cholesterol. Total blood cholesterol comes from both dietary and endogenous sources. In other words, eat more cholesterol, and your liver makes less of it. Eat less, and your liver makes more to make up the difference. What does raises cholesterol to a very significant effect is carbohydrate, particularly high-glycemic, refined carb, but also the lower glycemic stuff. Regarding saturated fat, Krauss et al. did a survey study of the last 30 or so years of saturated fat and heart disease research and found that there is no connection whatsoever between dietary saturated fat intake and incidence of heart disease.

3) High cholesterol doesn't cause heart disease. It might be a marker for inflammation and vessel damage. So the goal of any intervention should be to lower inflammation, not lower cholesterol. An analogy: lowering cholesterol is like trying to treat a scrape by reducing your access to band-aids. Greater use of band-aids is a sign that you're scraped up pretty bad. But your scrapes are not being caused by your greater use of band-aids.


Some of our Ice Age ancestors (if your ancestos were in Europe) didn't eat very much vegetation because it wasn't available in big quantities on the wind blown steppes. However eating the way they did will lead to an early death. It didn't matter so much for them. They had children at young ages and lived long enough to pass on their lifeways and wisdom to the next generation, but by today's standards their lives were very short.
Just because we're trying to live longer than our ancestors doesn't mean that our lifestyles have to be drastically different. Paleo uses the ancestral lifestyle as a framework to build a sustainable lifestyle for modern humans. The modern approach scraps all of that and builds something from scratch, then claims that paleo is the approach that makes no sense.


Fatness was valued (look at the Venus figures) because it meant surviving through times when less food was available.
This might say something about societal norms today. Slightly overweight people are actually the ones that live the longest in our society. Yet they're in the group that's maligned.


I think today when we are in a state of constant plenty, avoiding fatness (which goes against our instincts) is the key to survival. Taking advantage of the phytonutrients, fiber, and vitamins and minerals found in vegetables and fruits makes sense.
Eating processed foods goes against our natural survival instincts because we're messing with our brain and body chemistry eating food that was never available naturally. Avoiding processed food is to follow our instincts. Eating plenty of vegetables and fruits is, in fact, in line with our instincts. Getting fat is not an instinctual drive, but a result of ditching instinct in favor of temptingly presented calorie bombs. On the other hand, if you do follow your instincts and start from an ancestral framework, you'd be hard pressed to find anything in there that will make you fat.


Every major civilization has a carb based diet, and most of these carbs are grains. Grains didn't pop out of nowhere. Even our remote ancestors ate grass seeds sometimes, just not in the quantities we do today, and since the ice age, European people and those in the Middle East in particular have eaten a LOT of grain, and mostly, it benefited society.
Read Jared Diamond. The only way grains benefited society is that they enabled empires to keep standing armies in times of peace, away from the capital at regional fortresses. These societies trampled the ones whose soldiers were also farmers, teachers, doctors, etc. In short, grains are a cheap source of calories, easily stored, good to survive on, but not to thrive on.


Whole grains also have a lot of minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and fiber. To say we're not evolved to eat grain is taking a skewed view of evolution. Humans have always eaten seeds. Grass seeds are just another type of seed that was consumed in the distant past too. Refined grains aren't very good for you but whole grains are fine.
Whole grains don't have anything that you can't get from other sources. It's estimated that around 40% of the American population is gluten-sensitive (whether it's diagnosed or not), so there's no good reason to purposefully eat grains, whole or refined, if you can avoid them. To the point about seeds, and also non-gluten grains, many paleo advocates have no problem with them. I myself eat rice and quinoa occasionally and haven't had any problems with them. They just tend to be filling and crowd out the nutrient dense foods on my plate like other vegetables.


Legumes aren't some abomination. They're also healthy for people. I have no idea why paleo eaters are against legumes.
Legumes are another one of those foods where if you can get the nutrients somewhere else, why eat them? They give a lot of people gas, many of them who are gluten-sensitive and already suffer from irritable bowel can get really messed up intestinal problems from all of that insoluble fiber, and the bean "meat" itself contains natural pesticides that can provoke an immune response similar to an allergy. I eat beans sometimes because I'm a foodie, not because of their supposed healthy qualities.

It's not terribly complicated. Get your vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and fiber from leafy greens, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Get carbs, when you need them, from fruits, starchy root vegetables, honey, tree saps. Get protein and fat from meat, eggs, nuts and seeds. It's sustainable, and not all that expensive if you plan it well. It's certainly cheaper than medical bills. I've been at it for 3 years already. And if it doesn't work for you, so what? Go find something that does. :)

Rubystars 06-19-2012 01:24 AM

I'll come back and respond to your points later (have to go to work in a few minutes) but I probably agree with you more than I disagree. About grains and legumes though. If they were so horrible for us, then why is it that one of the main foods that kids ate when I was young were Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, and it never harmed any of us?

I mean it had wheat and peanuts in them! I never heard back then of anyone having a bad reaction to the bread or to the peanuts (or any other type of nut, legume or not). If you listened to the modern gluten-free advocates and the "nut free zone" advocates then you'd assume all of us kids should've been falling on the floor having seizures.

I don't personally believe there's anything harmful in grains or nuts or legumes for most healthy individuals. I also have a tendency to believe that most gluten sensitivities and nut allergies are psychosomatic or completely fake because I never heard of any of this back in the 80s when I was growing up and every kid brought a PB&J to lunch (without having an anaphylactic shock attack, imagine that). Now I know that for a small portion of the population, that there are real wheat allergies, peanut allergies, celiac disease, etc. so if you have these conditions then I'm not talking about you, but I don't think it's nearly as common as people think it is.

tandoorichicken 06-19-2012 05:00 AM

Psychosomatic or not, IMHO it's not worth the shrink hours to correct a perceived gluten intolerance so it might be easier to just not eat gluten grains, since the nutrients are found elsewhere. (I'm not hating on psychiatrists, btw; I have psych friends).

I don't really believe that the anti-nutrients in grains or legumes do any significant damage over the short-term. I too, ate PBJ's in elementary school and literally pounds of pasta during my teenage growth spurt. It's the cumulative damage over the long term from three constituents I'm concerned about:

1) phytic acid, which is a very negative molecule that binds readily to positive ions like calcium, magnesium, and potassium and decreases absorption in the intestine;

2) lectins, which are plant proteins that can irritate the intestinal lining and increase it's permeability to larger molecules and proteins, which then provoke an allergy-like immune response;

3) canavanine, an amino acid found in beans that resembles arginine. It can take arginine's place in certain proteins, which screws up their structure and renders them useless. It also interferes with arginine's ability to stimulate the production of nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels and reduces blood pressure.

Here's three things I'm not concerned about:

1) natural saturated and monounsaturated fat, and w-3: SFA's are used as energy when there's little exogenous glucose floating around. Many also only raise HDL, and not LDL. Notable exception being palmitic acid, found in palm oil. MUFA's and w-3's produce anti-inflammatory byproducts. w-6's on the other hand, produce inflammatory byproducts.

2) protein: up to 1g/lb body weight combined with heavy lifting promotes dense bone growth.

3) getting enough glucose: the human liver manufactures about 720 calories worth of glucose per day, mainly from glycerol, the backbone of fat molecules. This is more than enough to power the brain.


I'm not trying to pick a fight or anything, I'm just a biochemistry nerd with time and a loud mouth. Don't take it personally :D

Rubystars 06-19-2012 12:16 PM

I had to shorten some of the quotes because I went over the character limit.


But, it is much easier to eat less when you aren't hungry all the time.
For most people, eating more protein helps. I can see that. It's just I see so much of the time when I lurk paleo boards that people seem to think that calories in/calories out doesn't matter at all.


1) Taubes' downfall is that he lays out this beautiful theory but no explanation of how to actually implement it.
I'm curious as to how you implement it without excessive meat and without excessive legumes. Because you've got to get your protein from somewhere and if you're not overconsuming meat and eggs to get into a ketogenic state and you're staying away from tofu and beans (beans are about half protein/half carb if I recall correctly), then how are you getting enough protein to go low carb?


2) Unless you have familial hypercholesterolemia, eating cholesterol won't raise your blood cholesterol.
I agree with this actually. It also matches the research I've done.


Total blood cholesterol comes from both dietary and endogenous sources.
The only ones I've ever seen say that saturated fat doesn't cause a rise in cholesterol are paleos. I don't think a moderate amount of it is harmful but if you eat a lot of saturated fat by consuming a lot of meat then I do think it will cause heart disease.


3) High cholesterol doesn't cause heart disease. It might be a marker for inflammation and vessel damage.
You know what I've heard is a great anti-inflammatory food? Oatmeal. Also almonds and tuna, which are probably paleo, but I've never seen any evidence that oatmeal causes inflammation and I see it recommended on lists of anti-inflammatory foods. You know red meat (a paleo favorite) also causes inflammation. And vegetarians often say "why eat meat when you can get the same nutrition from other sources"? I'm not a vegetarian but they use the same argument you do for avoiding many of their favorite foods. My question is to counter all that, why NOT eat whatever foods are nutritious and eat a variety of them so that no one food has enough of a bad effect on you?


The modern approach scraps all of that and builds something from scratch, then claims that paleo is the approach that makes no sense.
Well my point is modern paleos are not really eating and living the same way real paleos did, and if modern ones did, then they'd probably live about as long as the real ones did.


Slightly overweight people are actually the ones that live the longest in our society. Yet they're in the group that's maligned.
It's wrong for people to hate people for being overweight. What's scary is that in a few thousand years society went from valuing someone having a little extra fat as a survival tool and a signal that someone was reproductively healthy, to seeing even someone at a normal, healthy weight as being "too fat" and preferring the anorexic look.

I think that people tried to eat as many calories as they could, when they could. History has always been feast and famine, and when famine times came, those with more fat survived better, and so that's why a lot of us have a genetic tendency to be fat. Many of the people who didn't died and didn't leave any descendants.


In short, grains are a cheap source of calories, easily stored, good to survive on, but not to thrive on.
It benefited society by allowing people to settle, to create larger populations, to specialize into different crafts rather than having to spend so much time on survival activities, which eventually led to our modern tech.


Whole grains don't have anything that you can't get from other sources.
Neither does meat.


It's estimated that around 40% of the American population is gluten-sensitive (whether it's diagnosed or not), so there's no good reason to purposefully eat grains, whole or refined, if you can avoid them.
Considering for at least the last 10,000 years most people who had ancestors outside of Africa were eating bread, I'd say I'm fairly well adapted to grains. I think things like celiac and gluten sensitivity are rare because if for all that time people were eating bread those who couldn't tolerate it probably wouldn't have been as fertile.

If you went to someone in the Middle Ages and offered them a loaf of bread when they were hungry do you think, that it's even remotely possible that the person would say "Oh no thank you, bread makes me feel icky". Heck no! They'd eat it, and feel better afterward. I don't know what happened to people today. Why are people suddenly developing these strange reactions to things that have been safe for thousands of years? Why does someone today suddenly claim to be gluten intolerant when their great grandparents had bread at every meal and lived to a ripe old age? Could there be an environmental contaminant?


To the point about seeds, and also non-gluten grains, many paleo advocates have no problem with them.
I just don't see what's wrong with gluten when most people in most of the civilized world ate it for millenia and they weren't lying on the floor suffering from it. Something must be different about today's people for them to suddenly start having issues with it. If it made people sick it never would have gained so much popularity.


Legumes are another one of those foods where if you can get the nutrients somewhere else, why eat them?
They do have good nutrition in them and every type of food has some kind of chemical in them. The trick to that is eating a varied diet to balance it all out.


It's not terribly complicated. Get your vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and fiber from leafy greens, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Get carbs, when you need them, from fruits, starchy root vegetables, honey, tree saps. Get protein and fat from meat, eggs, nuts and seeds.
What I take issue with is that I think a lot of people are not really eating a healthy diet when they go 'paleo' but are actually gorging on red meat. They say they're eating like cave people but they don't even define which cave people or what time period they're emulating.



Originally Posted by tandoorichicken (Post 83790)
Psychosomatic or not, IMHO it's not worth the shrink hours to correct a perceived gluten intolerance so it might be easier to just not eat gluten grains, since the nutrients are found elsewhere. (I'm not hating on psychiatrists, btw; I have psych friends).

I just think that if people survived on wheat as a staple food for so long and now suddenly in modern times people are having bad reactions to it something must have either changed about the wheat, or some other factor must be at play here, because it's only in the last few years I've seen an explosion of "gluten free" products in the stores and people saying they're gluten intolerant, etc.

Either people are are reacting in mass paranoia or something has changed over the last few years. Suddenly people are having trouble with wheat and peanuts when I never ever heard about this in the 80s and 90s. It's not that people didn't have allergies back then or celiac, but it wasn't something that was common enough to be in the public eye like this.

Now I can't even give out halloween candy to the neighborhood kids without one or more of them piping up that they're allergic to peanuts (which I highly doubt, but I'm not their doctor so I would never test it). Forgive me if I'm really skeptical about this stuff but it seems like rare conditions have now become really common.



It's the cumulative damage over the long term from three constituents I'm concerned about:
What about the antinutrients in cruciferous vegetables and squash? Almost every food has some kind of toxin or chemical that needs to be accounted for, red meat being no exception to that.


1) phytic acid,
2) lectins,
3) canavanine
Thanks for the info. I still have to wonder if these are any worse than any other run of the mill things found in foods that we eat all the time that our livers are more than equipped to detoxify. Can't the bad effects be mitigated by eating a varied diet?


Here's three things I'm not concerned about:

1) natural saturated and monounsaturated fat, and w-3
Most doctors will say to limit saturated fat. Are they really wrong?


2) protein:
3) getting enough glucose:
I don't worry about getting enough protein because it's in almost every food. Also I agree with you that we don't need a lot of glucose.

[quote[I'm not trying to pick a fight or anything, I'm just a biochemistry nerd with time and a loud mouth. Don't take it personally :D[/QUOTE]

I'm definitely not. Don't worry. I think this is interesting.

I think the main part I agree with you on is that less processed food is better, more natural food is better. I just don't like the way most paleos seem to approach this.

tandoorichicken 06-19-2012 04:32 PM

Thanks for your reply. Yeah, unfortunately there's a lot of bad science out there, and people can get pretty dogmatic about it (as with any dietary paradigm). I'm pretty sure neither you nor I have the complete picture and anyone who says they do is selling snake oil.

One thing I want to clarify about gluten is that with evolution you often get a change in the general shape and a few insertions/deletions of genes and proteins over time. To be honest, the gluten protein in early domestic wheat probably wasn't that bad. People also had to do real work to process it, since these field grasses grew to about 8 feet high and had hard, thorny shells covering the seed husks (like pine cones). Heritage strains of wheat like einkorn and emmer have fewer chromosomes (diploid, 14 chromosomes, and tetraploid, 28 chromosomes, respectively) and so their gluten proteins are actually relatively harmless. Modern wheat, on the other hand has 42 chromosomes (hexaploid) and is bred to be 2 feet tall and huskless (perfect height and exposure to be sucked into a harvester) as well as naturally more resistant to pests and fungus. I'm willing to bet modern gluten plays some part in this pest resistance too.

So the reason bread in the middle ages probably didn't affect people was that the more irritating form of the gluten protein is probably a more recent development. There are a few places online that sell emmer wheat. I want to try making bread at home with it.

tandoorichicken 06-19-2012 08:10 PM

I also wanted to add that paleo isn't a high protein diet. It can be low-carb for many people, but it doesn't have to be. Plus, protein's a pretty lousy energy source. I generally get between 50-60% fat, which usually means pouring olive oil over everything, and take fish oil daily. For protein I aim for 0.75 - 1g / lb lean mass. Since I'm estimating I'm around 20% body fat at 165 lbs, that usually amounts to around 100 - 130g of protein per day. Carbs vary based on physical activity.

As I mentioned before I don't believe there's such a thing as THE paleo diet, but it's a pretty handy framework or model to build from.

Also, Gary Taubes isn't really "paleo" per se; he's an Atkins advocate. Many people who follow a paleo-style plan have "evolved away" from Atkins.

djslatt 06-19-2012 09:19 PM


Originally Posted by tandoorichicken (Post 83824)
So the reason bread in the middle ages probably didn't affect people was that the more irritating form of the gluten protein is probably a more recent development. There are a few places online that sell emmer wheat. I want to try making bread at home with it.

I've heard spelt is a 'healthier' wheat (and delicious -- I do bake sourdough bread with it). Do you know how it compares with emmer?

tandoorichicken 06-19-2012 09:39 PM

Not sure about spelt. I think it does affect people with celiac to some extent. I've heard emmer takes more elbow grease to grind to flour because the wheat berry is particularly hard. I'm sure it would be equally tasty though. As a heritage grain, though, it might also be more expensive than spelt, like kamut/khorasan.

Sourdough is also a good prep method because the fermentation step enhances mineral availability. Sourdough spelt sounds really yummy, btw.

Rubystars 06-21-2012 05:20 PM


Originally Posted by tandoorichicken (Post 83824)
Thanks for your reply. Yeah, unfortunately there's a lot of bad science out there, and people can get pretty dogmatic about it (as with any dietary paradigm). I'm pretty sure neither you nor I have the complete picture and anyone who says they do is selling snake oil.

You're right. I'm learning more all the time.


One thing I want to clarify about gluten is that with evolution you often get a change in the general shape and a few insertions/deletions of genes and proteins over time. To be honest, the gluten protein in early domestic wheat probably wasn't that bad. People also had to do real work to process it, since these field grasses grew to about 8 feet high and had hard, thorny shells covering the seed husks (like pine cones). Heritage strains of wheat like einkorn and emmer have fewer chromosomes (diploid, 14 chromosomes, and tetraploid, 28 chromosomes, respectively) and so their gluten proteins are actually relatively harmless.
One of the things I was thinking of was that a lot of paleos say we're not adapted to eat grains. I disagree with this because while some people's ancestors might not have eaten grains on a regular basis, if you have ancestors that came from the Middle East or Europe, or even most of Asia, then they ate lots and lots of grains for about 10,000-15,000 years.

Even back in the hunter-gatherer days, I can't see a group of hungry people turning their noses up at eating grass seeds, when nearly all types of grass produce edible seeds and they were very knowledgeable about their environment and the plants in them (down to the medicinal qualities of them which formed the only pharmacy for most of human history).

I saw a guy on youtube harvesting wild grass seeds (he said you have to be careful about ergot, so you may not want to try that at home). And he was able to get a pretty substantial amount of grain from them with just little effort. I can't see our paleo ancestors turning down this potential food source if it was available to them.

Humans are incredibly flexible omnivores that can eat a wide variety of plant and animal materials and derive benefit from them.


Modern wheat, on the other hand has 42 chromosomes (hexaploid) and is bred to be 2 feet tall and huskless (perfect height and exposure to be sucked into a harvester) as well as naturally more resistant to pests and fungus. I'm willing to bet modern gluten plays some part in this pest resistance too.
Even with this change, it seems strange that people have been having so much trouble just within the last decade or so. It seems like there's suddenly this epidemic of "gluten sensitivity" which didn't exist before even with durum wheat. I wonder if it has to do with some GMO contamination? Maybe they added even more chromosomes to already modern wheat or mixed it with a fish gene or something?


So the reason bread in the middle ages probably didn't affect people was that the more irritating form of the gluten protein is probably a more recent development. There are a few places online that sell emmer wheat. I want to try making bread at home with it.
I like the Nature's Path brand cereal that's called Heritage grains. It has a mix of different ancient grains and pseudo grains and they taste pretty good. I usually have it with some almond milk. I've been trying to eat less inflammatory foods lately (whole grains are supposed to be less inflammatory than refined grains) and so I will usually have it with some almond milk and sometimes some nuts too. I figure since almonds are anti-inflammatory that it might cancel out any inflammation from the grains. I try to pair things up like that as much as possible although I don't get too obssessive about it.


Originally Posted by tandoorichicken (Post 83846)
I also wanted to add that paleo isn't a high protein diet. It can be low-carb for many people, but it doesn't have to be. Plus, protein's a pretty lousy energy source. I generally get between 50-60% fat, which usually means pouring olive oil over everything, and take fish oil daily. For protein I aim for 0.75 - 1g / lb lean mass. Since I'm estimating I'm around 20% body fat at 165 lbs, that usually amounts to around 100 - 130g of protein per day. Carbs vary based on physical activity.

As I mentioned before I don't believe there's such a thing as THE paleo diet, but it's a pretty handy framework or model to build from.

Also, Gary Taubes isn't really "paleo" per se; he's an Atkins advocate. Many people who follow a paleo-style plan have "evolved away" from Atkins.


One thing I like about his approach is that he focuses on insulin and controlling insulin as being important to weight loss. I think this is one reason why the avocados were helping me last year, because they suppress insulin (and fat storage).

I don't think I could eat that high of a percentage of fat every day because I need to have more volume on my plate which is why I try to fill the plate up with food that's not very calorie dense most of the time. Fatty foods come in smaller portions.

A lot of the blogs/sites I've seen seem to indicate that paleo is low carb which is why I got that impression. If it's just based on natural foods then that's more reasonable and something I can't say is bad, but the way a lot of people seem to approach it seems unhealthy and dangerous. I actually saw on one of the sites that people were recommending to someone needing to lose weight to eat lots of butter. I wondered what planet these people were from!

Skoorb 06-28-2012 06:17 PM

I read the book. I think it had a lot of good data but don't agree with its ultimate premise that we should all be high fat, high protein ultra low carb. Also I take issue with the idea that the average substantially overweight person can "eat to satiety" and still lose weight as long as carbs are fully restricted. Trust me, I can pile down 1000 calories of almonds like it's absolutely nothing at all.

One of the reviews on amazon challenged with a good point I don't recall being addressed which is that modern meat is very high in saturated fat; i.e. it just isn't the same as the meat from yesteryear. The way around this is organic grass-fed, which many paleos like, but have you seen the price of it? Very expensive. I do eat some of that stuff but my diet primarily of that would break the bank. I see tandorchicken refer to a study about sat fat and heart disease, but AHA continues to recommend a limited intake of it. I can only assume they are aware of a meta review of its effects. This is similar to the talk about cholesterol in food. I'm not sure how to reconcile the recent view that cholesterol in food isn't such a big deal after all with AHA's continued recommendation to limit cholesterol-high food.

What the book did for me is have me take a serious look at my macros and my source of food. I will say right now I'm pretty darn low on processed food. I also have upped fat intake a lot (about 35% of calories), and there is fairly conclusive evidence that a high-carb diet is bad for triglycerides and blood pressure; it really is a bad diet, so the book helped me to think a little outside the box. I am 40-45% carbs, though still, but it's not processed (as long as I don't include canned beans without sodium as not processed!).

I've seen some mainstream stuff recently as well (maybe wasn't paying attention before) about low-fat diets and their injurious nature. They were touted for a long time but there's no evidence they really help fat loss, and there is evidence that they cause harm to the body (aforementioned triglycerides). Some continue to adhere to them ignorant of these ideas, though, and are still scared of fat. Taupe makes a fine point that there are no essential carbs. It is thought we could live long term on nothing but protein and fat. However, I am positive many still see fat as "worthless", as in "I already have some on my body, so why do I want/need to eat more of it?".

A recent staple of my diet is avocados. I eat them like I'm paid to. Those and almonds regularly create my lunches these days.

------

Drawing parallels between diet of people years back and how that is relevant to us is very hard. We know little about cavemen, for example, other than that 40 was probably old age, so even if they were all going to have heart disease at 50 it didn't matter.

tandoorichicken 06-28-2012 09:01 PM

For anyone who's interested, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study today that pitted three diets against each other over the short term (4 weeks) for ease of weight maintenance. As many of us know, weight loss is hard enough, but maintenance is 10x trickier.

The link's here but the here and there of it is that a low carb diet resulted in an extra 300 calories/day extra energy expenditure at rest compared to a low fat diet that's typical of what's recommended by AHA. Low glycemic diet resulted in an extra 120 calories/day compared to low fat.

Most reviews of this study do remark that the low carb diet increased markers of inflammation that enhance heart disease risk. However, those same reviews for some reason fail to highlight that the study also found that the low fat diet has the worst record among markers for metabolic syndrome (which also raise heart disease risk), such as lowest HDL, highest triglycerides, and worst insulin sensitivity among the three diets. In fact, it's the low carb diet that boasts highest HDL and lowest serum triglyceride among the three.

Just some food for thought :)

Skoorb 06-29-2012 01:51 PM


Originally Posted by tandoorichicken (Post 84456)
For anyone who's interested, the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study today that pitted three diets against each other over the short term (4 weeks) for ease of weight maintenance. As many of us know, weight loss is hard enough, but maintenance is 10x trickier.

The link's here but the here and there of it is that a low carb diet resulted in an extra 300 calories/day extra energy expenditure at rest compared to a low fat diet that's typical of what's recommended by AHA. Low glycemic diet resulted in an extra 120 calories/day compared to low fat.

Most reviews of this study do remark that the low carb diet increased markers of inflammation that enhance heart disease risk. However, those same reviews for some reason fail to highlight that the study also found that the low fat diet has the worst record among markers for metabolic syndrome (which also raise heart disease risk), such as lowest HDL, highest triglycerides, and worst insulin sensitivity among the three diets. In fact, it's the low carb diet that boasts highest HDL and lowest serum triglyceride among the three.

Just some food for thought :)

Is interesting, but I think the diet didn't use many participants.

I do think nutritionally a high-carb diet is more likely to include processed foods, many of which are as close to worthless as one can get. I was eating corn chips last night with cheese for dinner (normally I eat much better) and thinking how patently worthless those things are. They have on carb energy and nothing else. Everything has been refined out of them. So I wonder if the high-carb dieters' results are due to some metabolic inefficiency. If that's the case though I might think a less efficient body requires more calories, not less. I dunno :)

tandoorichicken 06-29-2012 07:02 PM

The diets in this study were designed, controlled diets (e.g. the meals were handed out, not left in the hands of the study subjects) so calorie levels and nutrition values were equivalent among subjects. Individual variations in metabolism were also accounted for as everyone did all the diets, in a random order. Low carb still burned 300 calories more per day than low fat. It's true, the study only comprised 21 people in a metabolically deranged subset of the population (obese teenagers); that would also explain higher systemic inflammation during low carb (fat burning in obese individuals can release fat-soluble toxins into the blood to be excreted, which is why fat loss sometimes makes you feel physically miserable), (not to mention that teens are an inflamed bunch in general, what with all the hormonal block parties going on in them). In the end though, they didn't have an explanation as to why low carb burned more calories than low fat, only that it happened. 300 calories a day is still a significant number though, and worth looking into.

getfit1980 07-18-2012 03:16 PM

Diet Update: 20 pounds down!
 
Just an update my success with low carb. Its been a bit over 6 weeks and I've lost a solid 20 pounds! I can honestly say that this diet is significantly EASIER than any calorie restricted diet I have been on. Some dicipline is required, especially in the begining, when avoiding carbs, but there is no hunger pains and no irratability. My exercise regime started one month into the diet and consists of light cardio 20 minutes a day, 5-6 days a week. The light nature of my exercise program reflects the message Taubes gives about exercise. Too much and your hunger will be increased.

volleyballgranny 07-22-2012 01:24 AM


Originally Posted by tandoorichicken (Post 83749)

Read Jared Diamond. The only way grains benefited society is that they enabled empires to keep standing armies in times of peace, away from the capital at regional fortresses. These societies trampled the ones whose soldiers were also farmers, teachers, doctors, etc. In short, grains are a cheap source of calories, easily stored, good to survive on, but not to thrive on.
It's not terribly complicated. Get your vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and fiber from leafy greens, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Get carbs, when you need them, from fruits, starchy root vegetables, honey, tree saps. Get protein and fat from meat, eggs, nuts and seeds. It's sustainable, and not all that expensive if you plan it well. It's certainly cheaper than medical bills. I've been at it for 3 years already. And if it doesn't work for you, so what? Go find something that does. :)

Good points--all the way down the line. I'd like to add that I don't say anything to people who are chowing down on the foods I view as unhealthy--processed carbs (grains) and legumes. Yet, they insist on trying to change MY eating habits. I get tired of explaining the reasons I eat the way I do--and my health problems are really none of their business.


Originally Posted by Rubystars (Post 83780)
...About grains and legumes though. If they were so horrible for us, then why is it that one of the main foods that kids ate when I was young were Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches, and it never harmed any of us?

I mean it had wheat and peanuts in them! I never heard back then of anyone having a bad reaction to the bread or to the peanuts (or any other type of nut, legume or not). If you listened to the modern gluten-free advocates and the "nut free zone" advocates then you'd assume all of us kids should've been falling on the floor having seizures.

I don't personally believe there's anything harmful in grains or nuts or legumes for most healthy individuals. I also have a tendency to believe that most gluten sensitivities and nut allergies are psychosomatic or completely fake because I never heard of any of this back in the 80s when I was growing up and every kid brought a PB&J to lunch (without having an anaphylactic shock attack, imagine that). Now I know that for a small portion of the population, that there are real wheat allergies, peanut allergies, celiac disease, etc. so if you have these conditions then I'm not talking about you, but I don't think it's nearly as common as people think it is.

Actually, my generation didn't fall over from eating PBJ because the foods we ate started out as food. My mom made home-made bread from wheat berries ground into flour on the day she made the bread. Our PB was not GMO, and our jelly/jam was home-made from fruit off the trees in our back yard or from fruit she bought at the farmers market. We had PBJ a couple of times a week...or maybe once a day during the school year. We didn't have PBJ, a Twinkie, an orange, and a bag of chips every single day. If we had PBJ, it counted as a dessert, too.

Additionally, it didn't knock us out because our bodies functioned well. The fact of the matter is that my body does not function well any more...I cannot tolerate wheat, seeds (nuts, beans, rice, corn) or raw veggies. Not only do many of those things make me FAT, they now make me gravely ill.

volleyballgranny 07-22-2012 01:27 AM


Originally Posted by getfit1980 (Post 85640)
Just an update my success with low carb. Its been a bit over 6 weeks and I've lost a solid 20 pounds! I can honestly say that this diet is significantly EASIER than any calorie restricted diet I have been on. Some dicipline is required, especially in the begining, when avoiding carbs, but there is no hunger pains and no irratability. My exercise regime started one month into the diet and consists of light cardio 20 minutes a day, 5-6 days a week. The light nature of my exercise program reflects the message Taubes gives about exercise. Too much and your hunger will be increased.

I am so glad to see your results! Many of us have seen this type of result in our own lives, but we are not professionals and people pooh-pooh us. You will be able to help your clients so much more now that you understand a smart-carb, healthy-fat diet.

elaine1112 07-24-2012 12:36 AM

carb free weight loss works
 
:Hi like so many other women pregnancy weight triggered yo yo dieting, calorie counting, pounding the gym. Weight up weight down, on and on, same old story until I met a friend and didn't recognise him. He had been on the dukkan diet and in 4 months had shed 56 lbs. Last year after this meeting I bought the book and it made sense, burn up the fat! First time round I lost 38 lbs but what I didn't learn was that if you start a low carb diet its for good! I put all the weight on as I returned to eating pasta and bread. I started the dukkan five days ago and have lost 5 lbs but this time I recognise low carb eating needs to be a lifestyle or the weight will not stay off ! If anyone else has started a carb fee diet let me know ! Elle:)

richardwhite33 11-17-2021 09:08 AM

Eat less

Michael6419 02-08-2022 04:33 AM

Why we get fat?
 
Why we get fat, here I told you the biological truth that why we’re getting fat.
  • First thing was that we think we get fat by eating unhealthy, junk foods which are not 100% true but the truth was that after eating the meal at night we go to our bed for sleep without doing walking or exercise. That thing gets fat on our body because the meal that we eat could not digest properly.
  • The second was that if we do not follow a proper pattern our life becomes too busy that we could not get time for ourselves. In the morning we just go to work and when we come back home at night we eat dinner and just sleep which is not good for our health. Our body becomes fatter by this routine.
Science told us that time management was very important for us. Sleeping on time, waking up early in the morning, and going for a walk daily is the way to keep ourselves healthy and a way to lose all the body fats.

MarryTitcher 04-01-2022 09:12 AM

Good advice, I'll bring it


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