Metabolism, Diet, and Disease Conference

Well, it’s  Back to the Better-Late-Than-Never…

There’s an interesting conference starting Tuesday the 29th in Washington – today –and I should have written about it months ago. It’s the Metabolism, Diet and Disease conference being held at the Georgetown University Conference Center. The editors of BioMed Central, a British open-access science publishing company, are the organizers. They contacted me in October 2010 to tell me they had read the British version of Good Calories, Bad Calories The Diet Delusion – and found it compelling. They were particularly struck by the notion that there are many disciplines involved in the science of obesity, diabetes and their associated chronic diseases, but they don’t read the same journals and they don’t tend to interact in conferences. So their idea was to put together a conference that would solve this problem. Between us, we recruited a first-rate executive board – including the two Nobel Laureates, Michael Brown and Joseph Goldstein – and put together a conference that, as I see it, includes most of the major issues revolving around and feeding into insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.

The original idea – if you’ll pardon the cliché – is that insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome are the elephant, and we would get all these people in one room, who were studying the legs, the trunks, the tail, the ears, etc., and may not have realized quite what the whole elephant itself looked like. As the recruiting of speakers started, the conference evolved and took on a life of its own. Much of the original idea still exists, but there’s a fair share of the latest esoteric research ideas, for good or for bad (sirtuins, irisin, etc.), which may or may not have anything to do with the elephant itself. But we still have some of the leading researchers in the world talking about everything from the epidemiology of insulin resistance to the pathologies that associate with it – diabetes, heart disease, cancer, aging, etc. – and the pathways and mechanisms that link them all together.

One session, which I’m chairing on Thursday morning, is called “Dietary factors in metabolic diseases,” and the speakers are all addressing the carbohydrate issue.  We have Luc Tappy, the leading fructose biochemist in the world, talking about the role of fructose in metabolic disorders, and then Jeff Volek and Eric Westman talking about the effects of carb-restricted diets, suggesting that the carbohydrates (refined grains, of course, and sugars in particular) might be the fundamental problem. It will be interesting to see how the mainstream researchers take this, as they’re used to thinking about carb-restriction as quackery and now it will be presented as potentially mainstream itself.

On Saturday, I’m in Scottsdale Arizona talking at the National Lipid Associations annual convention. This, too, should be interesting, as I’ll be presenting my Why We Get Fat lecture an hour after Robert Eckel speaks. Eckel is a former president of the American Heart Association who is on record saying that he doesn’t even think low-carb-high-fat diets should ever be tested, that it’s unethical, because they’re so dangerous. After I speak, I’ll get to hear Rob Lustig and Peter Havel talk about sugar and fructose. As I said, it should be an interesting day and an interesting week.

Speak Your Mind

*

Comments

  1. Eric says:

    Gary,

    Do you know if any of the sessions or discussions will be videotaped or recorded and available online?

    Thanks!

  2. Marsha H. says:

    PLEASE report back after these gatherings and let us know if visible cracks are forming in the very protective shell of the “carbs are your best friends” egg.

  3. Nikhil says:

    Will be very interesting to hear what happens! Keep posting, Gary! :)

  4. Megan says:

    Insulin resistance certainly is the elephant in the room. I doubt it and the true causes can be ignored for too much longer. I am pleased to see that the UK scientists (where I live) are finally discovering your book. Now it just needs mainstream media to push the ideas. A difficult task, but certainly doable here in the UK.

    Please tell us what your week was like. Your posts are like gold dust!

  5. Will Lanich says:

    The main argument for favoring fat restriction over carb restriction is that fats contain more calories than carbs, but is this actually true? When we incinerate fats and carbs to test their calorie content fats give off more energy, but this is not how our bodies process foods (by this method of measurement gasoline and sawdust should be great energy foods). It’s somewhat like testing the cold cranking amps stored in a battery by burning it. Has anyone attempted to study the chemical processes our bodies use to break down nutrients and confirm that these processes extract the same amount of energy that burning does? Also, have we studied the effects activity level, time of day, mood, combinations of foods, et al. have on our bodies’ chemical processes? In other words, does the body of a football player who takes a few sips of an energy drink process that food the same way as does the body of a couch potato who sips some energy drink while watching TV?

    • Warren Dew says:

      Yes, it’s actually true that fats provide more usable calories to the body per gram than do carbohydrates. People have looked at this right down to the ATP level – the ultimate units of energy used by the body – and it’s true. The whole reason animals use fat rather than carbohydrates for their stored energy is because fat is more efficient in terms of calories per gram.

      It’s irrelevant, though, because we have feedback cycles affecting how much of which foods we eat. A meal with fat is much more filling than a meal with carbohydrate, so we eat less of it.

    • Razwell says:

      That is an excellent point, Will. As my friend Urgelt of YouTube has discussed on his site:

      ” A calorie is a unit of heat used in physics. It has everything to do with how much energy is liberated from *burning* a substance. It has very, very little to do with biological processes, which do not involve combustion.

      The Caloric Model of obesity is a 60 year old rough analogy . It considers food for its combustive chemical energy and completely ignored what actually happens to food molecules in the body. Overeating is bad of course for health, but the phenomenon of obesity is far more complex than that.”

      Excellent thought, Will. Urgelt is smart enough to discredit these Internet gurus who rail on Gary Taubes all the time. Both myself, and Urgelt , greatly admire what Gary has done for the advancement of obesity discussion and getting the ball rolling in the right direction. Namely, getting far away from the simplitic “passive caloric accumulation bank account” hypothesis which now has more than enough evidence against it to completely discard.

      Dr. Leibel and Dr. Rosenbaum only add to this mountain of evidence against the erroneous and common “bank account” misperception.

      Take care,

      Razwell

  6. Gail Lake says:

    Hi Gary: I just read your book – Good Calories, Bad Calories and found it very interesting. It all seems to make sense, but I have some questions. I can understand that our ancestors were hunters/gatherers and problems started when we domesticated animals and starting drinking their milk and growing and refining grains. In the wild, carnivores eat mostly meat, fat and some residue of plants that are left in the stomach of their prey. If our ancestors before agriculture were hunters/gatherers, then the diet would have consisted of meat, berries and fruit. Wouldn’t fruit have constituted a large part of the diet for several months of the year? How does this play into the theory that we should not be eating carbs of this variety? Granted we still would have been eating a small amount of calories, compared with today, and berries are lower on the glycemic scale, but carbs none the less containing lots of fructose, albeit contained in a better “package”. I know that we live longer now, thanks to medicine and better ways of protecting ourselves from predators, but in times when people ate all the wrong things, we were still living fairly long lives – although perhaps experiencing many health ailments along the way. Why is it that humans live such longer lives compared to animals in the wild who supposedly eat the way nature intended and why has our lifespan seemed to increase even after agriculture when we eat all the wrong foods? I would be interested in your views pertaining to these questions. Thank you.

    • Ann says:

      The fruit our ancestors ate wasn’t the fruit we are eating today. Sugars were lower, and I doubt very much that our ancestors were eating *much* of it. Think of a crab apple – how many of those can you eat? Modern fruit has been hybridized to be sweeter and juicier.

      The one caveat to this is the equatorial peoples. They probably had access to sweeter and juicier fruits, and I’ve heard many others question this as well, although it seems like during the last ice-age most of the equator was frozen as well, but I could be wrong about this.

      If you think of ice-age peoples, they probably had very little access to carbohydrates at all most of the year.

    • FrankG says:

      @Gail. Although we may have seen an increase in human lifespan in the last century or so, it may be that it has really only finally caught back up to where it was prior to the advent of “civilization” 10,000 or so ago.

      For example…
      Longevity Among Hunter-Gatherers: A Cross-Cultural Examination…
      Our conclusion is that there is a characteristic life span for our species, in which mortality decreases sharply from infancy through childhood, followed by a period in which mortality rates remain essentially constant to about age 40 years, after which mortality rises steadily in Gompertz fashion. The modal age of adult death is about seven decades, before which time humans remain vigorous producers, and after which senescence rapidly occurs and people die. We hypothesize that human bodies are designed to function well for about seven decades in the environment in which our species evolved.

      You may also want to read Anthropologist Jared Diamond’s view on “civilization” as The Worst Mistake In The History Of The Human Race…

      I don’t see anyone saying that we should NOT be eating carbs per se but rather that it is the quantity and quality of carbs in the “western” diet which are more likely to be causing the epidemics of preventable health issue we see all around us, rather than pointing the finger at the fat in our diets; which have been vilified in recent decades.

      As for our ancestral diet being “meat, berries and fruit”, I doubt that was the case at least for my relatives who lived through the European ice-ages. Fruit would likely only have been a seasonal food… that may well have been eaten in quantities that led to extra fat mass being laid down in the Fall only to be burned off during the long cold Winter ahead. ;-)

    • jim healthy says:

      Gail — I’m sure you’re aware that fruit in the hunter-gatherer era was not fruit as we know it today. But I think the real answer to your question has to do with their activity level and the overall scarcity of calories. We see in traditional Asian culture that refined white rice is a dietary staple available at all meals, they did not exhibit obesity or diet-related morbidity until these populations adopted a more Western diet. The explanation is the intense activity level required on a daily basis for subsistence. These carbs are immediately burned for energy, rather than being stored. I believe Gary, in one of his books, offers the example of sugar cane cutters in Cuba. Though they suck and chew on cane chunks all day, they remain slim and relatively disease-free (except for their teeth). Fat accumulation seems to occur because of refine carb consumption AND lack of activity. JIm H

    • Joyce R. says:

      Gail, All the responses to your post are correct, but the point you make about carbs is crucial. Think about it… if carbohydrates were available in a significant amount, it would mean that it was a time of plenty. Summer… adequate sun and precipitation and adequate growing season… Plenty of FOOD… It make perfect sense that this would trigger fat storage for the “lean” times, when the only food available would be game that could be caught or killed… During those times, there would negligible amounts of carbs available, triggering the release of the fats stored during the time of plenty. This is what insulin does.

      Fruits and vegetables are good for you and no one is saying you shouldn’t eat them at all! But if one has inherited the genetic tendency to store energy as fat, an/or needs to lose weight, fruits and high sugar veggies will need to be limited.

  7. ThatWriterChick says:

    Would love to know if there will be a transcript or video available of the conference sessions.

  8. Kim Thornton says:

    Just got your post via email. Wonderful news. Certainly look forward to a follow-up report to learn about the responses! Keep up the great work!

  9. Ruti Eastman says:

    Looking forward to reading about both adventures. (No pressure, no pressure…)

  10. evan llewellyn says:

    I fiind these discussions so refreshing and exciting. To challenge established ideas is not easy for they seem to have a life and resistance of their own. I have been fascinated to read Gary Taubes’ synthesis of the issue of insulin resistance and the role of carbohydrates. And I am even more fascinated to hear how it will eventually be resolved, or if and when a new consensus is arrived at. Thank you so much for bringing these issues to the fore for the genreal public to consider.

  11. Luke says:

    Will the proceedings / recordings of this conference be open to the public?

  12. Donald Ewart says:

    Thanks, Gary. I’ve been marching behind your flag ever since I read your book, “Good Calories, Bad Calories”. Sent copies to several of my friends. The book just makes good sense.
    I hope these forums do some good.

  13. Ida Fiorella says:

    It is very encouraging to hear about the Metabolism, Diet, and Disease conference now in progress. Many of us who are living a low-carb life and experiencing the related health benefits are amazed by the lack of respect and lack of acknowledgment given to the massive body of evidence supporting carbohydrate restriction. The general public continues to trust a system that is dictated by politics and profit. This conference and the one in Scottsdale should go a long way in getting the scientific truth out in the open. Thanks, Gary, for both “Good Calories, Bad Calories” and “Why We Get Fat”. I have read both cover-to-cover and have been loaning them out ever since. Thank you also for your continued work in the field. I am looking forward to hearing you speak at the Ancestral Health Symposium in August!

  14. Steve Pehnec says:

    Hello, Gary
    Would love to sit in on these conferences, it sounds like an opportunity to see some fireworks. (In the future, should you need a 63-yr-old acolyte to help with your luggage, notebooks, etc., I’ll arrange an early retirement from my current job.) Failing that, would you let us know, please, if and when conference proceedings are made available? Finally, GIVE ‘EM HELL!

  15. George Henderson says:

    Wish I could be there.
    Look at these links;
    Suppression of FOX01 allows gut cells to produce insulin.
    Ketogenic diets may supress FOX01 in these cells enough to relieve type 1 diabetes.

    Gut insulin from Foxo1 loss
    nature genetics | volume 44 | number 4 | april 2012
    Seung K Kim

    Neuroendocrine cells, including those in the gut, have a vast array of functions. A new study shows that conditional inactivation of the gene encoding Foxo1 in mouse intestinal endocrine cells converts them into cells synthesizing and secreting insulin. Ectopic gut insulin production was sufficient to ameliorate glucose control in mice with conditional pancreatic b-cell loss and diabetes mellitus.

    http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/content/60/7/1872.full
    Suppression of FoxO1 Activity by Long-Chain Fatty Acyl

    OBJECTIVE
    Overactivity of the Forkhead transcription factor FoxO1 promotes diabetic hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, and acute-phase response, whereas suppression of FoxO1 activity by insulin may alleviate diabetes. The reported efficacy of long-chain fatty acyl (LCFA) analogs of the MEDICA series in activating AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and in treating animal models of diabesity may indicate suppression of FoxO1 activity.

    RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
    The insulin-sensitizing and anti-inflammatory efficacy of a MEDICA analog has been verified in guinea pig and in human C-reactive protein (hCRP) transgenic mice, respectively. Suppression of FoxO1 transcriptional activity has been verified in the context of FoxO1- and STAT3-responsive genes and compared with suppression of FoxO1 activity by insulin and metformin.

    RESULTS
    Treatment with MEDICA analog resulted in total body sensitization to insulin, suppression of lipopolysaccharide-induced hCRP and interleukin-6–induced acute phase reactants and robust decrease in FoxO1 transcriptional activity and in coactivation of STAT3. Suppression of FoxO1 activity was accounted for by its nuclear export by MEDICA-activated AMPK, complemented by inhibition of nuclear FoxO1 transcriptional activity by MEDICA-induced C/EBPβ isoforms. Similarly, insulin treatment resulted in nuclear exclusion of FoxO1 and further suppression of its nuclear activity by insulin-induced C/EBPβ isoforms. In contrast, FoxO1 suppression by metformin was essentially accounted for by its nuclear export by metformin-activated AMPK.

    CONCLUSIONS
    Suppression of FoxO1 activity by MEDICA analogs may partly account for their antidiabetic anti-inflammatory efficacy. FoxO1 suppression by LCFA analogs may provide a molecular rational for the beneficial efficacy of carbohydrate-restricted ketogenic diets in treating diabetes.

  16. Put up a Paypal donation link on your website to fund the research that is needed. We, the people will donate to prove or disprove your theories. We just want the truth

    I’ve heard you say many times that you visualize a specific study, but no body will do it. Let us provide the funding.

  17. David says:

    Good Luck, Gary!

  18. Matthew Ricci says:

    I attended the Metabolism, Diet and Disease conference and thought the session that you chaired today was quite interesting. The conference in general was well worth it. I do have one minor point of disagreement with something that both you and Eric Westman said. You both mentioned that most animal studies using high fat diets use diets that are made by mixing in fat to a grain based chow diet. You corrected pointed out that this dilutes nutrients. However in the vast majority of the literature over the past 5-10 years, most of the high fat diets used in animal studies are made from purified ingredients (there are thousands of papers to this effect).. This means that nutrients are not diluted and that calories from carbohydrate can be relatively low. For example, purified diets containing 60% fat by energy usually contain 20% of energy from protein, leaving only 20% of the calories from carbohydrate. So, high fat animal diets are not necessarily “high” in carbohydrate. In fact they can be fairly low and this can be fully controllable at the request of the researcher. I’d be glad to share references with you.

  19. Hi Gary,

    I’m a desperate fat girl that needs your help. Okay I had to have a hook in, now- I have been following you for a while, not in a scary way, but in a “this guy knows what the hell he’s talking about” kind of way. I first heard about you from my younger know-it-all brother and we had many a debates about calories in and calories out theory. NOT that I bought that that was ever true, but I just couldn’t have this conversation while he was shoveling greasy pepperoni and melted mozzarella in his mouth. That being said, he’s lean and fit and I’m 150 lbs overweight so it was hard to have a fat leg to stand on while debating the right way to eat. He bought me the book “Why We Get Fat” and I was a believer.

    The reason I am writing now is because I would like you to take me on as a project for research. As I said before I weight around 320 lbs and I’m 5’6″. I’m extremely sick of everyone telling me “but you have such a beautiful face” which is about the most backwards compliment someone can give you. Granted, I do have a pretty face that’s hiding under more face, which is hiding under another face… but I know if I seriously take on this low carb way of eating I will drop tons of weight and be a huge success. I just want to do it in a way that is acknowledged, measured, and ultimately celebrated. Is there a way that if I agree to eating your regimen and whatever you suggest- you can help me to document my dramatic weight loss and we can give the finger to the American Heart Association, The Diabetes folks and ESPECIALLY Dr. Oz!

    I’m not sure what makes me think I’m more special than the other 3 million people that write you with this same request, but I can guarantee I just am.

    Fat girl in Spokane,

    Jessica L. Medlen

    • Donna E says:

      Jessica, you raise a very important issue: it is extremely difficult for people to find medical professionals to provide them guidance (let alone to take them on as a “case study”) while they are trying to lose weight by low-carbing. Jimmy Moore has a list on his website that attempts to do this, but–no criticism of Jimmy at all–it’s too limited to be very helpful. I have written to some of the well-known low-carb medical professionals asking if any of them have like-minded colleagues near where I live, but they don’t respond. I hope you can find some support. You can also consult http://www.dietdoctor.com and especially his section on LCHF for beginners. Good luck!

    • Somewhat Less Fat Broad says:

      Sorry, hon, but this is a crock. You don’t need special attention or to be ‘celebrated’ or to be someone’s reasearch, just learn what you need to learn and get going. All the information you need is out there, in books and online. So is support and encouragement on support forums if you need if. Start a blog about it like others have if you crave the public eye. But if you’re waiting for that special trigger or recognition or some magic moment to get started, you’re just kidding yourself. Regaining metabolic normalcy and shedding excess fat by restricting carbs is a long, slow, hard slog for those of us who have achieved and maintained triple-digit losses but the best reward is one’s own regained health, not what others think. Stop waiting for others to make it possible some day and make it possible for yourself today.

    • Third Chimp says:

      Jessica – one thing you can do to help the cause is join the Ancestral Weight Loss Registry http://www.awlr.org
      Your progress will then contribute to the growing body of evidence about LCHF diet. Its also worth mentioning that having a support group is very important to the success of lifestyle changes, even changes that improve your health. If you don’t have that from the people around you, then the blogosphere will have to be it – comments sections like these or on http://www.marksdailyapple.com are invaluable for that.

    • John K says:

      Go to Dr. Peter Attia’s website http://www.eatingacademy.com and start with “Start Here”. Read everything on this website, and you’ll most likely learn everything you need to know about losing weight the LCHF way.

    • Tom Boyer says:

      Taubes is not a doctor and he does not sell a diet. So you will have to do this on your own.

      Tell your family doctor you’re going to try Atkins, that it’s your choice as an informed patient. Then get the New Atkins book (Westman) and just follow it from induction on. Then as you lose weight, schedule visits occasionally with your doctor.

      Side effects are mild but you need to be aware of them — the Atkins book has good explanations. The only real danger is that your blood pressure is likely to drop (a good thing in the long run) and that could cause you to feel faint while your body acclimates itself to a new lower blood pressure. Atkins will emphasize the need to drink plenty of water during induction and sometimes there is a recommendation to drink broth to increase your salt intake, which keeps your blood pressure up during the adjustment period.

      If you’re on blood pressure meds, you may need to work with your doctor to reduce the dosage as you lose weight. Many Atkins patients don’t need blood pressure meds after they lose weight.

    • Leonard Fox says:

      I would love to see someone write a book around a “Jared” experience. Just as Jared made losing weight eating subway sandwhiches famous someone should do the same with a company that would champion (AND ADVERTISE) the results. Make it extreme and write a book. Use a companies product exclusively. Perhaps the Hormel company. It could be called the “Spam Diet”

      Go for it Jessica!

    • Hi Jessica,
      I’m wrote a reply to your comment but it added it further Down. Roseanne

  20. I can only hope the conference is video taped and distributed. After Good Calories Bad Calories came out I thought for sure the whole paradigm would shift. But, sadly it’s still not the case doctors, trainers, and nutritionist are still repeating calorie is a calorie is a calorie. I have tested low carb high fat diets on dozens of my clients and it works very well because it reduces hungry. Many of my clients believed they were emotional eaters or had a mental disorder until they reduced carbs. I can’t thank you enough for changing my life and my clients.

    Do you believe the government and the food industry doesn’t want this to change?

  21. Nigel says:

    I’m a fat latecomer to the diet and health scene. Iam 5’11″ and was 241 lbs in early March when I started looking at ways to lose weight. 10 years ago I tried cutting out meals and drinking “healthy shakes.” Yes, I lost weight and put it on again. I am reasonably active and said “as long as I can do everything I want, I am OK.” Then in March I got on the scales and they screamed for me to get off. My research led me to the “Paleo Diet” that espouses low carbohydrate intake. I cut out bread, cakes, biscuits and other grain products. I am losing about 1lb per week. Last week I noticed that according to “experts” I should perhaps be losing weight more rapidly. I went to a calorie counting site and found that I could halve my breakfast calorie intake as I was eating a lot of nuts then. I am also doing High Intensity Exercise every other day or so. I have lost 16 lbs in weight and my blood pressure is decreasing. Also, my resting pulse has gone down from the low 60ies to just below 50 beats per minute. As far as I am concerned, this must all be good.

  22. Peter Cole says:

    Fear of heart attack, fear of cholesterol thus malnutrition and finally obesity

    The public deserves the simple solution to heart disease. The important work of Weston A Price, specifically the discussion of the observed Activator X, needs exposure and contemporary validation beyond Chris Masterjohn’s efforts. Vitamin K2 appears to be the fat soluble vitamin that critically controls coronary artery calcification, atherosclerosis, arteriosclerosis and osteoporosis. The fear of the dreaded heart attack leads to adoption of the improper low fat advice and exacerbates the absence of essential vitamin K2. Gary’s GCBC shows that obesity is not effectively treated by the popular dogma. The business of medicine profits immensely, by the popularization of the cholesterol hypothesis, all based on the improper conclusion that avoiding fats will support heart health. The unintended result may even be obesity.
    Author Kate Rheaume-Bleue’s book Vitamin K2 and the Calcium Paradox provides well researched support of these concepts, but without Gary Taube’s clear evidence of the medical profession’s improper conclusions and improper guidance the public will never be ready to accept the simple truth and solution.

    The public deserves the simple solution to heart disease. We need to cut directly to the solution of cardiovascular disease, (fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, K2) and then address obesity, the disease of malnutrition.

  23. Sean Kelly says:

    Dear Mr. Taubes,

    I just read your article in the NY Times about sodium. Can you post references to that article? I found the DASH study you linked to very informative.

    Thanks in advance

    • George Henderson says:

      Sean, I’ve noticed that Gary, wisely enough in my opinion, doesn’t answer comments; so some tips;
      1) pull up the DASH 2 abstract on PubMed, then look at all the papers linked to this in the right-hand panel, and follow their links as far as these go. This will give you an overview of the research (but PubMed is not complete access, so:)
      2) Find mentions of studies in Gary’s article and enter key words as search terms in google; researcher’s names + sodium + other clues in the text.
      It is fairly easy to pull references to any article in this way, it just takes a little time to get used to it.

  24. The Metabolism, Diet and Disease Conference/BioMed Central people, need to wake up to the fact that processed sugars and hybrid carbohydrates/hybrid plant life are potent powerful stimulant drugs like cocaine and amphetamines because of all the high breeding and availability and consumption ratios.

    These stimulant drugs are the reason for the Egyptians and the Pyramids and Moses and Jesus Christ. “The Rise and Fall of The Roman Empire”. The “Kings” and “Queens”. “All the Kings Horses and all the Kings Men”. The reason we are on the moon and the reason we have populated the planet earth to seven billion people currently from one billion people in only one hundred years.

    The reason “The Kingdoms” took over the planet earth and “The Middle East” and Africa and Australia and The Americas.

    These are the purest of truths and the purest of facts but not pointed out and not known and not understood until this very moment.

    Right now.

    This instant.

    The effects of these massive doses of stimulants on a daily basis on our human populations “Psyche”, are the cause of all wars.

    The “adrenaline like” effects.

    Power hungry and lust for more.

    “Self Centered”.

    “Egotistical”.

    “Egomania”.

    “Narcissistic”.

    Please listen.

    These effects are even more important than our psychical health concerns, great as those are.

    Who better than the “British” to grab ahold of this majorly important truth.

    We feed this poison to our babies and think nothing of it.

    My discovery…

    My “Nobel Prize” is in the offing.

    “For emphasis”.

    Tom Bunnell

  25. These effects are even more important than our physical health concerns, great as those are. — I meant to say.

    TB

  26. Dave Cooke says:

    What Gary Taubes asserts can be confirmed empirically. I know that if I don’t eat carbs, I am not hungry.
    If I eat meats and leafy vegetables, and reduce carbs, I will lose weight and feel better and breathe more productively. I have and I do. I have lost 20 lbs in less than three weeks. I feel great. After another 20 lbs, I’ll indulge in some mashed potatoes once a week…. or maybe a slice of Brown Sugar Pie.
    Thanks Gary.

  27. Tom Boyer says:

    Excellent piece on salt in Sunday’s NYT, once again parting the curtain on the slipshod science behind federal diet recommendations. Once again, I am led to wonder why the federal government and various medical associations don’t declare a moratorium on national diet recommendations until they can be reasonably confident that they’re not giving harmful advice. Which might be another 50 years or so.

    However it did occur to me that the “low salt could increase risk” hypothesis could also be a mistaken conclusion resulting from the nutritional epidemiology trap. People eating less salt in these studies might tend to be a high-risk population that is reducing salt intake on their doctor’s orders. So maybe it’s not the lack of salt that increases mortality; it’s the risk factors that led the doctor to tell the patient to eat less salt.

  28. M. Kertesz says:

    Please read this article:
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK50961/
    Your statement in the NYT about the lack of evidence for the health benefits of low Na diet is somewhat of an overstatement to say the least.
    A more balanced reporting would be appreciated.
    Sincerely,
    MK

    • Mike T says:

      There is really nothing in this article that proves anything regarding the health benefits of salt restriction, it merely discusses efforts by different countries to reduce salt intake and purported results. I don’t see any references to randomized, double-blind control studies in this that would back up your assertion.
      MT

  29. WigWag says:

    It’s great to see Gary Taubes participating in a meeting with the likes of Brown and Goldstein.

    The Conference looks interesting, but there are some obvious oversights in terms of the invited speakers.
    It would have been great to have Tom Seyfried of Boston College present. Seyfried is an expert on the Warburg Effect and has done a lot of interesting work on the effect of the ketogenic diet on glioblastoma multiforme including the following,

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21885251

    It is also too bad that the conveners didn’t think to invite Richard Veech, who works right down the road at NIH. Veech is interested in the potential efficacy of ketones as a therapeutic agent rather than looking at them as merely an irrelevant bystander produced by the ketogenic diet. See,

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22561291

  30. Michael C says:

    Hey Gary,
    Read both your books after hearing your CrossFit lecture, really eye-opening stuff!
    Mid 40s and fit, I thought I was doomed by a family history of hypercholesterolemia. My total Cholesterol was 276 with a LDL above 200. After 2 months of carb restriction on a modified Atkins diet, I dropped my total Cholesterol to 205, LDL to 144 and Triglycerides from 93 to 63. This brought my CHOL/HDL down to 3.4.
    I work in Healthcare and none of my coworkers has ever seen a drop like this in 2 months without medications. Granted this is a sample size of one, but I am happy to contribute to the larger study.
    Thanks for what you do.

  31. All of this is just fantastic news Gary. Thank you so very much for doing so very much to help humanity as a whole get healthier in all respects by bringing to light the truths that always were but obviously not recognised by enough influential people and policy makers. It is really very commendable and inspiring.

  32. Donna Flynn says:

    I read your books last summer and they have made a tremendously healthy difference in my life. I was on the verge of becoming diabetic and once I understood the insulin mechanism, I immediately changed my eating habits and have reduced my fasting blood glucose levels from the 140s back to the 90s and have lost 35 pounds. It’s the first time in my adult life that I’ve been able to lose weight, after trying every conceiveable diet. More important, my endocrinologist thinks it is possible that I may have permanently avoided becoming diabetic. I have referred many people to your books and just wanted to take the time to thank you for your important work and the change it made it my life!

    Donna Flynn

  33. I read for recent Article “Salt We May Have Misjudged You” and found your basic premise interesting and thought-provoking with respect to actually needing salt in your diet to survive and be healthy. I was disappointed, however, that you really failed to give a strong opinion and advocacy for keeping good salt in the diet. And perhaps most importantly, you never mentioned natural, unprocessed salt vs. highly processed, bleached, declumped and chemically stripped of its minerals table salt. Table salt is a dead food while sea salt is a living food full of minerals and trace nutrients our bodies were meant to have in order to work and function properly. Those in the medical and research fields, who are woefully under-informed, clinging hopelessly to old dogma, continue, as you noted, to demonize salt, all salt as nothing more than evil sodium chloride and this simply is not true. My own doctor, an informed and always reading and researching M.D., sells Brittany Gray mineral sea salt to his patients for their health and believes that to limit good salt from the diet is the first step in creating a very potentially bad health risk. I would like to see a more comprehensive article on the subject of SALT vs SALT with real stats, real research and more on the submissions that are now surfacing from professionally conducted research studies, that salt, especially natural sea salts have a great deal to offer toward good health on many levels not here to for even thought to be affected by salt and minerals, such as improved cognitive thinking, Ph balance in the body, kidney function and heart health improvement- just to name a few. It is my intention to help educate people toward better health with the truth, facts and actual research- not just to sell them sea salt. You have a far-reaching voice in this issue and I’d like to see a more proactive message from real research about natural sea salts and their benefits toward good health. Thank you. L. Szymanski

  34. Mark says:

    “Eckel is a former president of the American Heart Association who is on record saying that he doesn’t even think low-carb-high-fat diets should ever be tested, that it’s unethical, because they’re so dangerous.”
    This is funny to me. I’ve been doing low carb high fat since last August. In May I had my annual check up.
    Cholesterol down 30% and well below the top end of “normal.” Blood glucose and A1C show that I am no longer pre-diabetic. Kidney and liver function tests are all normal.
    And the weight is coming off at a healthy sustainable rate.
    I have more endurance than I had a year ago too. I can actually swim two miles now. But I don’t go crazy with exercise. I don’t see how an extreme exercise program can lead to sustainable weight loss either. But people that do that are great customers of orthopedic surgeons and physical therapists :)
    I’d love to see video of the Q&A after you presented.

    • Mark says:

      One more point regarding low carb high fat. I assume this “Dr” has no clue about the diet that endocrinologists recommend for for pre-diabetic and type 2 diabetes patients.
      My niece developed diabetes after her second child. After 6 months on a low carb high fat diet, she is no longer clinically diabetic and she has lost weight.
      Conventional wisdom is very often wrong. Even more so when $billions have been spent support the wrong ideas.

  35. D Barry Boyd, M.D. says:

    Gary, I have followed your work and enthusiasm for the carbohydrate insulin connection. I am a practicing oncologist, direct the nutrition curriculum at Yale School of Medicine and am in the midst of establishing a Center for Cancer Nutrition Education. My focus for over 10 years has been on the crucial connection between insulin and the metabolic syndrome and cancer risk and survival. Despite the growing recognition of this crucial connection, many in the public are completely unaware of this association, in part because of the cacophony of voices preaching many different views often completely unscientific and self-serving. I think the intersection between the diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer requires a truly holistic view of these diseases and the central role of concentrated carbs, excess fructose and the overall high calorie environment to address these issues. Thanks for your work
    D B Boyd, MD,MS

  36. Joyce R. says:

    I think it’s great that all these specialties start acknowledging and reading what other specialties are doing!! And I’d have loved to take Eckel’s blood pressure during your presentation!

  37. E2 says:

    Gary,

    Just wanted to say thank you for what you do and please keep up the good work. Not only might your work help find a cure for obesity, it may actually erase the social stigma attached to being overweight. I’m one of the lucky ones who has never had a problem with excess weight gain, but I’ve watched friends and loved ones struggle to control their weight and I know what hell they go through, living in a society that can be so cruel and callous to those that are overweight. After reading “Why We Get Fat,” I became a believer in your theories and I try to pass them onto as many people as I can. Obviously, I try to point friends that are overweight to the book for health reasons, but more importantly, anytime I hear a thin person sneer at fat people, I tell them to read the book, hoping that maybe they’ll learn a little compassion once they start thinking of obesity as a disease and not a character flaw. I really hope that your work will change society’s contemptuous attitude towards the overweight and obese.

  38. Emily says:

    Hi Gary — have you seen the article in the June 2012 issue of the Atlantic? I believe it is called The End of Temptation and is about Skinnerian approaches to weight loss. The basic idea is that losing weight takes an enormous amount of willpower (“fad” diets like low carb are dismissed out of hand), but that it can be done if you can put yourself into a virtual Skinner box, where your behavior is as controlled as possible. I would love to hear your take about how eating low carb reduces or eliminates the need for willpower and/or behavior control.

  39. Gary you and Bob Lusting more than held your own at the NLA and we’re VERY glad you were there. Have enjoyed Eric Westman’s presentations as well. Glad you got to get home and rescue your kids on Sunday from “Honey Nut Cheerio” implosion !

  40. Peter Silverman says:

    I once asked you about Ron Krauss’s contradictory views, and you said you didn’t get it either. Now I get it. Here’s the link. I like the audio bettermthan the transcript. http://www.meandmydiabetes.com/2012/04/17/ron-krauss-saturated-fat-red-meat-it-depends/

  41. Rick Merrill says:

    At the National Lipid Association Convention at 3:45 on Saturday Lawrence Appel will be presenting, “The Need to Reduce Sodium in the US Diet – Challenges and Opportunities”. Gary – please don’t get in a fight with this guy. We hate to see you raked over the coals the way they do.

  42. Will DeMay says:

    Just read your NYT article “Salt, We Misjudged You.” To the point: I found it shallow and misleading. There is a sub-stantial amount of scientific research on the effects of sodium in the human body of which you seem to be unaware. If you would like to get up to speed on the subject, read “The High Blood Pressure Solution” by Richard D. Moore, M.D., Ph. D. Richard spent 30 years studying the biophysics of sodium, potassium, calcium and insulin in the human cell. The book references hundreds of journal articles. If Richard has one complaint, it is that even the medical establishment is not familiar with the science of salt.

    By the way, athletes on the typical American diet do indeed need to replace the salt they lose through sweat. Athletes on no-salt diets do not. They sweat virtually no salt. Nor do most mammals. Their bodies conserve the salt that they need. But read the book. We need to get beyond the politics.

    • George Henderson says:

      Is it even possible to restrict salt in the modern diet without simultaneously increasing intake of potassium, magnesium, calcium, etc.?
      If salt is in, say bread, which is a low-potassium starch, so we replace this with potato…
      Or if we replace salty snack bars with fruit…
      How often has the hypothesis about sodium been checked without altering other electrolyte intakes?

  43. Joyce R. says:

    Does anyone here know of anyone doing research or papers on low carb/high fat diets in CHF? Dr. Mary Vernon mentioned in one of her videos she’s seen EFs go from 10-15% to 40%…

  44. Jim says:
  45. Jim says:
  46. Scott Beerman says:

    I read about Gary in the 02/2011 Men’s Journal Magazine and have come to the conclusion that he is spot on with his diet advice. It’s great to see common sense at work. Go Gary! I WANT MORE INFO FROM THE CONFERENCE!
    Beerman

  47. tara says:

    Dear Gary,

    My name is Tara Ashbaugh and I firstly want to say that I am inspired by your work. So big thumbs up to you, keep up the great work you do.

    Ok to cut a long story short, I am currently 23 years old and I have always had an interest in nutrition but unfortunately I took what I thought was so called healthy eating to far and became severely underweight and as a result as you can image I suffered with not only physical depletion but also mental. I ended up being diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa in December 2005 (6th to be precise), at the age of 17. (Just a note that I have always been a very healthy child, very active as I loved sports and I had a very healthy appetite).

    I was sent to an eating disorder clinic, however I am not what many would call a ‘classic’ anorexic, as I did not demonstrate many traits. It was mainly the physical ones (eventually through the years psychologist said the same, but I had picked up more classic behaviours along the road unfortunately), e.g.- I didn’t weigh food, or myself, push food around my plate. I didn’t eat in secret, never scared of food – in fact always loved it…
    What I really was struggling with was OCD and control. I managed to gain and loose weight a few times over the years as I had always been aware of how underweight I was and I always wanted to be healthy again.

    So something that started out as a genuine passion for ultimate healthy living converted into a severe illness that I am still working on, but I believe having finally diagnosed myself (with medical help), I am approaching a FULL recovery from the angle of OCD being my main issue with the ultimate goal of living a full ultimately happy and healthy life. This has recently been accelerated with my finding of the primal/paleo living. I feel I have had a huge shift in my mind set. I love fact and who can argue with facts, right? So I have reaped so many benefits already, however weight gain is not happening and if it is it is pretty slow, although the huge increase in fat and no more cereal in diet is amazing alone I want to be at a healthy weight whilst I want to gain lean mass (I am 5’10 currently 8st 3lb ish), as I no how amazing that would be. I hate the look and feelings of being underweight, but with the need past need for ‘certainly’ along with the OCD it had paralysed me for far to long now.

    Over the years I have tried many things and I have found I finally know my passion and purpose in life. To use this experience in order to help others (intervention prevention as well as treatment), by combing my two passions – mental wellness/health and nutrition and I would love love love to be a professional, motivational speaker. I have many inspirations in this area also such as Tony Robbins, Oprah etc….

    So some of my issues many may relate to in the sense of trying to fix the problem the ‘right way’, and how it is really the same for some loosing weight just opposite way around and the fears that can build from that not having certainty.

    So I was wondering whether you and any of your guests would have any advise for me in order to gain weight – muscle mass mainly, whilst keeping toned on a paleo/low carb/ primal lifestyle. I know you had one lady on who did have a background of eating disorders but not a lot of detail was actually in the pod cast. I really just want to live a fulfilling happy, ultimate healthy life for myself and be able to help others in the future.

    I believe everything happens for a reason and I WILL beat it once and for all now and as a result be able to really understand and help others in their pursuit of true pure happiness.

    Thank you so much for your time I am truly grateful. Any information needed I am more than happy to share with you.
    Take care all the best,
    Tara

    • Adam says:

      Hi Tara,

      You might find it interesting to check out Wolfgang Lutz’s Life Without Bread. This German doctor apparently “cured” several anorexics by putting them on low carb diets. Basic idea: anorexia and obesity can both be considered disorders of the fat tissue as opposed to “calorie imbalance” disorders. Eating better quality foods (i.e. low carb/paleo stuff) can normalize the endocrinology of the fat tissue and thus, paradoxically, perhaps fix both problems. Definitely worth a read. And good luck to you!

      • gallier2 says:

        Yes, definitely a good recommendation. Prof. Lutz (btw was Austria) is really the ultimate low-carb genius. His book is really an excellent starting point.

  48. Rosalind says:

    Hi Gary,

    I’ve been on the research trail in earnest to finding out what’s making ME fat for the last 18 months and found and read your books. I’m just looking at your video lecture at the University of Texas online at the section that talks about how fatty acids can come and go from adipocytes but triglycerides can’t get out because they’re too big and have to wait to be broken down to fatty acids again by particular hormones.
    I’m researching the question ‘what foods can stimulate hormone sensitive lipase (HSL) for instance, to get the process of breaking down the triglycerides to fatty acids’. One website said eat more complex carbohydrates – http://www.livestrong.com/article/354362-how-to-increase-fat-burning-enzymes/ which is back to the old paradigm of a higher carb diet (which doesn’t work for me).
    Has your research covered which foods (carbs or protein or fat) stimulate the necessary hormones to release the fatty acids?

    • Rosalind,
      the answer to your question is yes, Taube’s research shows that the absence of insulin stimulates the release of fat to be metabolized into energy. Carbohydrates are the primary cause of raised insulin levels.
      So it’s not “which hormone promote fat use (as energy)” it is “which hormone, when absent, allows the body to regulate its fat levels properly and allow the body to adjust to its genetic fat set-point.”

  49. By the way, here’s a little story I’m sure you will like about my experience with a diabetic’s meal on Air France: http://healthfully.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/a-diabetics-meal-on-air-france/

  50. Mary garlock says:

    Just finished “Why We Get Fat”. I will be starting the recommended eating plan today. Any recommended websites or books with more menu suggestions? Thank you.

  51. Bill says:

    Will you be in attendance at Peter’s talk on June 20th at UCSD?

  52. excellent points altogether, you just won a new reader. What would you recommend in regards to
    your put up that you made some days in the past? Any positive?

  53. Lauren Gardner says:

    Hi
    Any comment on the finds of the study titled Associations among 25-year trends in diet, cholesterol and BMI from 140,000 observations in men and women in Northern Sweden, that was published yesterday at http://www.nutritionj.com/content/11/1/40/abstract?

    • Mike T says:

      Dr Briffa has a response to this study at http://www.drbriffa.com/2012/06/12/shocking-swedish-science/
      The problem with these studies is that they are epidemiological. These types of studies are not really of any value in answering questions, but are more valuable as tools to suggest hypotheses to would explain the results of these studies, that then can be subject to randomized double-blind research. This is actually one of the key arguments that goes through most of Gary’s science writings is the poor quality research at the heart of many commonly held beliefs.

  54. Arjun Mehta says:

    Eagerly awaiting your opinion on the Sweden Study

  55. Bill C says:

    Are any of these conferences open to the public?

  56. Suzanne says:

    I find this fascinating. I’m currently following the teaching of the Plant-Based crowd, Esselstyn, McDougall, Barnard, et al. I’ve found that this way of eating is profoundly good for my health. I am not 100% plant perfect, I eat some meat on the weekends, but I make sure it is raised in the most natural way possible (grass fed, etc). I really think that what you say is quite similar to what they say, though I don’t think they would agree with me. The refined, ultra-calorically-dense foods of the modern diet is the problem.

    It’s difficult to be taken seriously when you are over 300 pounds. It’s frustrating and infuriating at times. Doctors dismiss me with a simple, “just try Weight Watchers, I hear they are very good.” Meanwhile, the doctor saying this to me is fat! So then you go to Weight Watchers and all the skinny ladies who had 5 pounds to lose make “Lifetime” within a month and there are all sorts of bells and whistles, and you’re sitting there, 200 pounds from your goal, eating at a starvation level, knowing that you will never get there.

    I have hope for the first time in years with Plant-based eating. I’m not counting, except for the animal products or oils that I eat on the weekend (under 700 calories for the week). I’m interested to hear about more research. I live near Harvard, they can study me!

  57. Ryan says:

    Just read the results of the TODAY trial in NEJM. “lifestyle modification” arm was interesting re: methods: calorie deficit plan for youth with Type 2 DM.

  58. Paul Meyer says:

    Saw this article and thought it was just the sort thing GT is into, touchs on introduction of processed foods to Victorian working class diet. http://dissentmagazine.org/online.php?id=612

  59. MARTIN says:

    Hi Gary
    My wife is on statins, and her doctor gives her ‘standard’ cholesterol advice. Do you know of any New York City doctors to recommend, who base their practice on the hard science in your books?
    with many thanks
    Martin

  60. Anne Richardson says:

    http://scienceblog.com/community/older/2000/A/200000173.htm

    There could be a link between carbohydrates, alcoholism, and seretonin deficiency as well. See above article.

  61. Anne Richardson says:

    Sorry, the link to the direct page did notmwork, but you may go to http://scienceblog.com and search for “carbohydrate self-medication.”

  62. Gary,

    This is great news. The mainstream are coming round gradually. There was a programme here in the UK last week called “The Men Who Made Us Fat” (you did an interview in it) and it really reinforced what the likes of you and Robert Lustig have been saying.

    On the other hand, there are still powerful food companies putting out misinformation. There was a letter in today’s UK Independent on Sunday from a Richard Laming, the Media Director of the British Soft Drinks Assocation, which states that “HFCS [high-fructose corn syrup] can have no particular role in causing obesity” and repeats the calories-in, calories-out mantra. I don’t know how these people can sleep at night.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/letters/ios-letters-emails–online-postings-17-june-2012-7856475.html

    Please keep on fighting to get the truth out. More and more people are getting behind you.

    Warmest Regards,

    Chris

  63. Razwell says:

    It’s great to see you blogging again, Gary. I just stumbled upon the article today. I hope the talk went well.

    Dr. Robert Eckel is behaving like the antithesis to genuine science. Einstein would be displeased with his attitude. I wish Dr. Eckel would understand that science is a work in progress. There are only different degrees of certainty. Anything can be ammended with new evidence.

    Many doctors are like this- very dogmatic and stubborn. No imagination and willing to test new creative ideas. These types of doctors are becoming intellectually lazy and dormant. They need to exercise their brains and exercise their imiginations as Feynman and Einstein would have said.

    Best Wishes,
    Raz

  64. Mike says:

    Mr. Taubes,

    I read Why We Get Fat and have watched several of your lectures and interviews online. I understand that carbs drive insulin, which in turn drives fat. And I understand that excess carbs are turned into fat. What I don’t understand is what happens to excess fat and protein. If calories don’t matter, and if I eat very few carbs and 5000 calories of fat and protein (say 50/50 ratio), what happens to those macronutrients, assuming my BMR is 2000 calories per day and I don’t exercise? Is whatever happens sustainable without causing other health problems?
    Thanks for your good work!
    Mike

    • Trish says:

      Mike, I think it would be very difficult for you to consistently eat 5000 calories a day, if your requirement was 2000. I suspect your body would rebel. If you want to do the experiment, go ahead, please take notes, and report back. Have you seen the BBC video called “Why aren’t slim people fat?” (or something similar)? A group of effortlessly slender young adults participated in an overeating experiment. They report how difficult it was to get up to high calorie intake asked of them. They used things like chocolate cheesecake and chocolate ice cream. High fat, yes, but also high sugar, and with the extra reward of chocolate. Nobody said they drank a cup of garlic anchovy butter, or scarfed a half pound of triple Brie, or the like. In the absence of simple carbs to override the satiety mechanisms, your body will regulate appetite with vigour.

      • FrankG says:

        Here is a link to the first part of that documentary
        Why Are Thin People Not Fat 1/7…

        ..and I agree that eating real whole food with an LCHF balance is naturally self-limiting. There seems to be a common misconception that: when Gary (and many others now) suggests we can eat as much as we want or need of high-fat real food, this is taken to mean the same as we can eat as much fat as possible. The idea is not to force yourself but to stop when your body says it is satisfied… which in my experience happens a lot sooner on real whole food.

        Remember that we don’t just eat for energy (calories) but for all the other nutrients that our bodies require. I am convinced that: in the midst of apparent plenty, there are many folks who are malnourished and simply keep eating because the body has not been satisfied.

        I’d also suggest that a 50% split of Fat and Protein is too much Protein… apart for any other consideration that would be a waste of money ;-)

  65. Frank Chiarilli says:

    I just had a stress echo test and my cardioligist looked at it and said my heart is good. He then looked at my records and said, “Oh you’re not taking any heart medicines! ” I am 72 and had a stent put in at 60 years of age. Low carb every since.
    Thanks to all the people out there like you that continue to fight for Science in nutrition. Don’t get discouraged, I had to hound my pre – diabetic son to try low carb. His last visit the Doctor said ” I don’t know what you are doing, but keep on doing it.”
    Many Thanks..

  66. ConcernedFan says:
    • NM says:

      ConcernedFan, the bacon ingredient “sodium nitrate” can be taken care of if you buy bacon that is now labeled as “natural”. I try to avoid meats with nitrates.

  67. Phil Early says:

    The Metabolism, Diet, and Disease Conference.. is there anyway to see these lectures online? Thank-you for your work.

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  69. Jacob Golbitz says:

    Very interested in what you think of article about “low-glycemic” diet published in WSJ today…

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304458604577490943279845790.html

  70. SP says:

    Would appreciate your take on the JAMA report on the study comparing low fat, low GI and low carb diets — reported today here:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304458604577490943279845790.html
    and here
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-06-27/calories-low-carb-weight-loss/55843134/1

    • Trish says:

      This study is interesting because it supports much of what low-carb diet proponents have long been saying. My immediate response is that the next best step would be to tweak their low-carb diet to find (if possible) versions which did not raise CRP – rather than abandoning what they demonstrated is the most effective diet for maintaining a healthy metabolism. Until I see the meal plans, I do sort of wonder what hospital dietitians came up with for a pre-prepared LCHF diet and whether it could be improved.

    • Mark says:

      Oh my god! I looked at the actual studies before I looked at these reports! The reactions within these reports are both hilarious and incredibly biased! “But some experts say these findings are very preliminary.” That’s utter crap… this type of study (a randomized cros-over trial) provides absolutely the strongest possible evidence you can get, assuming that the study was well-done (which it seems in this case, from all appearances). Yes, they are preliminary because they should be replicated by another trial. But if someone else were to do a similar study and get similar results, then this would be just about as close to “truth” as you could ever get.

      “The authors note a downside to the low-carb diet: It appears to raise some risk factors for heart disease.” That’s even worse!! Which ones, precisely?!? As I note below, the CRP result was “non-significant”, and not even really trending in a harmful direction. Non-HDL cholesterol was signifcantly more “harmful” for the low carbs diet, but both HDL and triglycerides (the *real* things to worry about) were more favorable for low carbs, triglycerides by a *long shot*.

  71. Brendan Hambly says:

    Hi, my body type is ectomorph, and as such I have no problem with obesity or being overweight, but I have been diagnosed with high LDL levels and have adopted a low carb diet to perhaps combat this. Just wondering if anyone can answer my question:
    I’m still trying to find the link between carbohydrates and cholesterol. Is it that carbohydrates (especially grain products) can cause and/or contribute to inflammation of artery walls and lining, thus causing the body to produce more cholesterol in an effort to smooth/patch up the inflamed cellular walls/lining of arteries; which in turn, causes higher cholesterol levels?
    Cheers, Brendan.

  72. jim phillips says:

    Gary – Wondering what you think about the study recently posted on JAMA and discussed by Mark Bittman in the NYT today. Specifically, the findings related to cortisol and CRP. I’m a low carber and this concerns me.

    Thanks.

    • Mark says:

      Jim,

      There was no evidence of any difference with respect to CRP (tests “for trend” are pretty much garbage, just a way to fish for signigance without being so obvious .. if the overall p-value is “non-significant”, then one shouldn’t even look at the test for trend). However, the confidence intervals virtually overlap.

      Why are you worried about cortisol? What does it measure? Do researchers who use it even know what it measures? (Besides some vague notion that it’s related to “stress”)

      • Mark says:

        By the way, I think this study is hands down the best support I’ve seen for the bulk of hypotheses in GCBC. To all appearances, this was a *very well-done* study. Note also that it is a *properly randomized* cross-over trial, which means that the data being summarized in their Table 3 are from the very same people, not different groups of people with differing dropout rates, etc. This truly is the strongest evidence possible, especially if it can be replicated. Look at those triglyceride values!!! The very low carbohydrate diet blows the other two diets out of the water. And let me remind you that these results are for the VERY SAME PEOPLE, with diets in randomized order.

        • Mark says:

          Dear Gary,

          My very strong personal suggestion, as a biostatistician, health research, and someone who spends a lot of time studying philosophy of science, if you want to fund a study via your foundation that will get at the heart of the hypotheses proposed in GCBC, fund an exact replicate of this trial. We need a replicate to rule out type I errors (p-values, no matter how low and how consistent, do not provide an indication of type I error).

  73. Can the papers from the Metabolism, Diet and Disease conference be accessed on line?

  74. Judy Parrish says:

    I’d be interested to hear your take on the recently publicized research by Ludwig at the New Balance Center. On article is at http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/26/which-diet-works/ Another was in the Wall Street Journal (I think on 6/27 or 6/26). Frustrating that neither reported the actual levels of CRP and cortisol, but the NYT article at least contained the statement that the low-fat diet had the worst outcomes. I’m kind of annoyed, though, that both articles concluded that not all calories are the same but didn’t cite you!

    • Mark says:

      I actually just submitted a letter to JAMA regarding the statistical testing problems regarding the CRP result (it was vastly over-stated!!), and I cited Good Calories, Bad Calories front and center. Hopefully it will get published.

  75. jeff says:

    ” I doubt it and the true causes can be ignored for too much longer.”

    Hah — it will be ignored for as long a “scientists” are more interested in money and careers than truth.

  76. Ann Marie Carlton says:

    I have read Good Calories, Bad Calories and the more readable Why We Get Fat and What to Do About It. They do complement. The 2nd is a faster read with the major information components. I live in a 2-person household where my spouse is the cook (a good thing! : ), but we differ on what is healthy. I have come to believe my body cannot metabolize carbs the way I could when I was much younger. He continues to believe carbs are an essential part of the normal diet. But now he now admits he has difficulty losing weight (for the first time in our 39 year marriage I weight less than he). He is now beginning to think of my philosophy (yours) in a new light. It will take time, but if he comes around, my “task” will be much easier. I still need to lose another 15 lbs. on top of the 20 I initially lost after reading “Calories.” Thank you for such good work. It was the only information that resonated with me. If conventional wisdom isn’t working, what’s wrong? It’s not me! Thank you!

    Ann Marie Carlton

  77. Jonathan Diamond says:

    Gary,
    You might want to push this — see below:

    Dear Editor of the Sunday Review (July 1) (this is not a letter to be published, this is an appeal for a correction.)

    The “What Really Makes Us Fat” contains an error that mistates the main point of the article.

    In the paragraph that begins , “The results were remarkable.” (By my count, paragraph 12) Sentence 3 is the problem: “On the very low-carbohydrate Atkins diet, there was virtually no metabolic adaption to the weight loss”

    You mean to say, “On the low-fat diet, etc.” Your point is that Atkins is the best for losing weight, but this sentence states it is the worst. Would you issue a correction for the many people like me who are trying to lose weight?

    Thanks,

    Jonathan Diamond

  78. Thea says:

    The Ludwig paper is fascinating, Gary, as is your Times piece. But what about the big potential downside:
    From the paper: “Although the very low-carbohydrate diet produced the greatest improvements in most metabolic syndrome components examined herein, we identified 2 potentially deleterious effects of this diet. Twenty-four hour urinary cortisol excretion, a hormonal measure of stress, was highest with the very low-carbohydrate diet. Consistent with this finding, Stimson et al31 reported increased whole-body regeneration of cortisol by 11β-HSD1 and reduced inactivation of cortisol by 5α- and 5β-reductases over 4 weeks on a very low- vs moderate-carbohydrate diet. Higher cortisol levels may promote adiposity, insulin resistance, and cardiovascular disease, as observed in epidemiological studies.32 – 34 In a 6-year prospective, population-based study of older adults in Italy,35 individuals in the highest vs lowest tertile of 24-hour cortisol excretion, with or without preexisting cardiovascular disease, had a 5-fold increased risk of cardiovascular mortality. C-reactive protein also tended to be higher with the very low-carbohydrate diet in our study, consistent with the findings of Rankin and Turpyn.36 Other studies also have found reductions in measures of chronic inflammation, including CRP with a low–glycemic index diet.37 – 39″

  79. YepJockoAgain says:

    I’m back after being banned from this site. Thanks for the cards and letters.

    If you Zombies are still interested in questioning this stupid diet you are failing at while damaging your kidneys, liver and pancreas, here is some food for thought:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zVxA6yipv4

    You are being played by a huckster making bags of money off your misery.

    • terrence says:

      Oh well,
      the ZOMBIE is back, spewing his uninformed, useless DRIVEL – for example, see the STUPID, vegan falp doodle at the ZOMBIE’s URL. It is nothing more or less than the typical vegan crap (uninformed, useless DRIVEL).

      ZOMBIE – Thanks for demonstrating, yet again, that vegans are FOOLS. – hysterical, risible, laughing stock fools!

      • YepJockoAgain says:

        Nope, not a vegan. Just someone who actually thinks critically before playing games with my heart, kidneys, liver and pancreas.

        But I like vegans because they show you idiots how easy it is to lose weight just by eating whole plant foods.

        If you’re dumb enough to take advice from people who have obviously failed at the very diet they espouse, then by all means give them your money and get yourself some nice hardened arteries in the process. In fact I encourage you to do it. It’s genetic cleansing at its best.

        • terrence says:

          Do you EVER bother to read anything here, before you spew your STUPID CRAP, Zombie?

          I did NOT say you are or were a vegan – I REFEREED TO THE VEGAN WACKOS AT THE URL YOU DUMPED HERE. THE LINK IS INDEED A BUNCH OF VEGAN FOOLS.

          You may not be a vegan (I could care less), but you are still a FOOL and an IDIOT – you do not bother reading anything before you dump your self-righteous, self-congratulatory CLAP TRAP.

          Anyway – THANKS FOR THE LAUGHS, ZOMBIE, THANKS FOR THE LAUGHS – after all you are a LAUGHING STOCK FOOL. (you just may try READING before you dump you inane silliness…)

          • YepJockoAgain says:

            Sounds like you could use a good cry, Terryboy. There there, come to papa.

            Your hysterical, whingey, rambling responses are not doing your cause any good. I should say “your religion”, actually. So why don’t you just ignore it and wait for your kidney and heart disease in about 5 to 10 years (depending on your age, which from your writing seems to be about, hm 8 years old?), instead of responding with vitriolic, all-caps fury?

            You obviously aren’t mature enough to handle news you don’t like, so I’ll be ignoring your comments from now on, Little Terry.

            This news is for the rest of you, from someone who actually DID do your diet for several years, which resulted in dangerously high trigs, 3 kidney stones and thyroid issues. All were resolved after moving to a high carb, plant-based (NOT vegan) diet.

          • FrankG says:

            Ooh look… yet another alias. Such bravery to troll the internet anonymously ;-)

            Meantime over at WHS (turns head and spits) someone who calls themselves “gunther gatherer” said…

            “…I did paleo for 2 years and then VLC for 4 years. I developed dangerously high trigs and had several kidney stones before I stopped. The last stone was 5mm. This means I was pissing my bones down the toilet. blah blah blah…

            I can only hope that last stone was a doozy to piss out ;-)

            Watch out that those dangerously high trigs (whatever the heck THAT means) don’t kill you LOL

            But Hey … I’m not trying to prove anything. I really don’t care what you do. You’ve obviously got an anit-LC bias, but I urge you to look this stuff up in the literature (and I mean studies that REFUTE your theory also) if you really do care about this topic, like you say.

            You have a chance to learn from others experiences and do your own research, so please don’t just listen to people who haven’t even seen success themseves, yet claim to be experts.

            Don’t play games with your body based on theories espoused by internet gurus, is all I’m saying.

          • YepJockoAgain says:

            Frank, first I was Carbsane, now I’m some other poster on some other blog? Get your story straight.

            BTW, I wasn’t addressing you either. You’ve chosen to be fat and miserable some other way, so enjoy. Will be scrolling over you too from here on in.

            But do keep giving out advice to everyone on this blog, since you’re obviously an expert yourself who’s at their goal weight and feeling so happy and right with the world! What a twat.

          • FrankG says:

            Who’s to say that I don’t think BOTH these personas are CrabInsane herself? Multiple personalities fits in perfectly with the shrieking harpy EvilLyn

            But I’m glad to see you posting… please keep it up… each additional word you write confirms for everyone your own ignorance ;-)

        • gman3164 says:

          All right, jocko, haven’t come across your nonsense in quite awhile! I’m still doing low-carb/high fat, and doing slow-burn and “Smarter Science of Slim” work-outs at the gym. I’m adding muscle while losing fat. All blood markers are great, and I feel better now than I did when I was in my 20′s, as I’ve stated in the past. And I’ve still been working on the heavy bag once a week, so whenever you’re ready….

  80. Steven Cogorno says:

    Will,

    It is definitely true. You’re right that calories are measured by burning Ina device called a bomb calorimeter. You say “this is not how our bodes process food” but in fact, it’s exactly how our bodies process food. Burning is an reduction/oxidation reaction. The chain of chemical transformations that occurr in cells are also redox reactions. The difference is that the reactions are performed in more I controlled way that allows the energy to be captured more efficiently. The main mechanism for generating energy from nutrients is the citric acid cycle and the electron transport chain.

    A god resource for understanding more about these processes is a book called harper’s illustrated biochemistry.

    A good referee f

  81. Diane says:

    Gary, read the opinion article in the NYT of 7/1/12. I have been trying to tell people about low carb diets for years nobody listens. The best thing after being on the program for approx. 3 weeks you lose your cravings for sugar rich foods. My observation regarding weght watchers although good is set up for failure too much food, too much thinking about it, ie. constant cravings. Good research. thanks, Diane would love comments.

  82. Sue Lewis says:

    Hi Gary
    I’m interested in your take on a study, results of which published in British Medical Journal, which has had press headlines in UK this week saying “study warns of risk to heart”. http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e4026
    Medical Correspondent of the Daily Telegraph (Stephen Adams) reported that “dieters who attempt to lose weight by eating fewer carbohydrates… and more protein were found to be 28% more likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke”….”a 15 year study of 43,000 middle-aged Swedish women found”
    Just seen your post about the conference and look forward to reading more about this
    Best wishes
    Sue Lewis (Ipswich, UK)

  83. Bill Scheffer says:

    Dear Gary,

    I read “What Really Makes Us Fat” (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/01/opinion/sunday/what-really-makes-us-fat.html) with great pleasure and have great respect for all you’re doing to help people become healthier. Thanks!

    I do have some questions, which grow out of my understanding that Westman, Phinney, and Volek’s NEW Atkins diet is a bit different from the (old) Atkins diet (of Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution). My questions are: Do you that the new Atkins diet works? In the Ludwig study, is the new Atkins diet the same as the Atkins diet or is it more like the low glycemic index diet? Would you recommend that someone who wants to lose weight follow the new Atkins diet or the (old) Atkins diet of Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution?

    Thanks!

    With very best wishes,

    Bill

  84. Gary Ozenne says:

    I just heard you on NPR – Fascinating,

  85. Jack C says:

    I’m committed to these nutritional ideas but like to add that the sourcing of the meat should be emphasized to include as much “free-range” and/or “pastured” animals due to the over use of corn as a feed source. It would also mean more humane treatment of our food, and more omega 3′s in the fat.
    How do you prevent Gout from this diet?
    Thanks

  86. Dee says:

    I have just re-read Why We Get Fat for the second time, and would like to incorporate more protein and fat in my diet. I have lost a significant amount of weight over the last few years by eating less than I used to of a more healthful diet (which – yes – did include reducing protein and fats) and incorporating regular exercise in my life. I still, however, struggle with hunger, and am hoping that a higher protein/fat intake will help with this. I’m a little nervous about regaining weight after five years of weight loss. Are there any readers out there who have first lost weight, and only then successfully incorporated a lower carb/higher protein way of eating as a way of maintaining the weight loss? Thanks for any suggestions.

    • Trish says:

      Hi Dee, This is exactly the question that was addressed in the study by Ludwig et al. which was widely reported on and is addressed in the comments above. In short, they found that a low carb-high fat diet is the best for keeping your metabolism revved after weight loss.
      The fear of eating fat (that it means gaining fat) is so pervasive in this culture, I can understand why you feel nervous. I have found that one of the best things about a low-carb diet is getting over the fear of eating fat-rich foods.
      A low-carb high-fat diet is probably the ONLY way you will be able to keep off the weight you have lost because, in my experience, low-carb does an amazing job of allowing your body to regulate appetite so that you eat as much and only as much as you need to eat. On low-carb, Dee, I hope you will come to trust hunger as a good sign that you should nosh on something, not an untrustworthy drive you have to fight. Best of luck to you!

  87. Jerry Spencer says:

    I’m 59 years old and have struggled for many years to reduce the fat in my abdomen. Is there something I’m doing wrong?

  88. John Holub says:

    Dear Mr.Taubes,
    “Why We Get Fat” has helped me control my winter fluff.Thanks. I do have a question I’d like to ask.
    In your book you mention that for some caffeine may stop the fat burning process. Although I’ve cut down ,would switching to decaffeinated coffee be a good route to take to continue the fat burning process?

    Thank you,
    John

  89. carol broscheid says:

    what do you think of the article in today’s New York Times that contradicts your recent NY Times article. My husband and I are on opposite sides of this weight loss controversy. Thank you

  90. paul helman says:

    The article in today’s NYT health section giving voice to the opinions of on Jules Hirsh is a veritable compendium of dietary nonsense and misinformation. Such are the “experts” in this field.

    • paul helman says:

      Dear Carol,
      I rote my comment before I read yours but my response is the same. One of the lessons we learn from reading Gary Taubes is what constitutes the true scientific approach from what is otherwise wishful thinking. It is pathetic that someone of Hirsh’s apparent academic achievment cannot rid himself of
      his dogma. I did at age seventy last year and have benefitted by it as have many of my patients.

  91. Razwell says:

    The only blogs I read are Gary Taubes’ blog and Stephan Guyenet’s blog. They both inquire, have imagination and intuition. They represent genuine inquiry. I commend both of them for digging deeper benath the surface of the common perceptions and assumptions about obesity.

    Curiousity about the very mysterious is what keeps science alive.

  92. Tom Santosusso says:

    Please pardon me while I gush. I’m currently finishing “Good Calories, Bad Calories”, but I have to say you had me at insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. Ignoring the warnings, I had eaten myself into the syndrome and then progressed to Type 2 diabetes, which though under control with medication was slowly worsening. After a few chapters of “Good Calories, Bad Calories”, I began to eliminate most carbohydrates, replacing them in my diet with meat, fish, poultry,eggs, and cheese. Over the past month, my blood glucose values have fallen almost into normal range, I’ve lost 12 pounds and 2 pants sizes, my blood pressure has stabilized in a normal range, and I’m growing handsomer by the day. (Well, maybe not the last one, but you get the idea.) Bless you for applying the scientific method to this horrible problem and your clear presentation of the facts in a way that is actionable. As for your critics, “Non illigitimus carborundum” — don’t let the bastards wear you down.
    Tom Santosusso, Ph.D. (Organic Chemistry)

  93. I have recently finished reading “Why We Get Fat” and feel willing to re-engage in a weight-loss attempt after many years of skepticism.

    I gained over eighty pounds eating the high-carb low-fat weight-loss diets of the 80′s and 90′s, assuming that those pounds came from the occasional bowls of ice cream or slices of cake I sneaked. Sure, I sometimes enjoyed success, but any success was always short-lived and followed by weight gain. I stopped “dieting” entirely about fifteen years ago and have remained at the same weight ever since. I’ve been waiting for research that makes sense.

    Finally, your book clarifies many of the points that confused me.

    For example, I loved my exercise routine–walking–and engaged in it until both Achilles tendons screamed at me to stop. No matter how much I walked, no matter the distance or hilliness or duration of the walk, I remained heavy. Your book explains why this happens.

    Second, your book explains the ‘willpower’ conundrum. I knew I could exercise willpower. I have migraines, and have adjusted my diet often to accommodate the triggers I’ve identified. If I have the willpower for that, then why don’t I seem to have it for weight-loss?? Your book explains this, too.

    I’m currently switching from high-carb/low-fat eating to carb-free eating. The greatest challenge for me will be giving up the scant teaspoons of sugar I put into my mugs of hot tea. Once I’ve weaned myself from that sugar, I hope to get results.

  94. Christopher Hyatt says:

    I wonder if you could comment on remarks in today’s NYTimes by Dr. Julius Hirsch in which he seems to directly counter the ideas you advance about diet and weight loss. See: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/10/health/nutrition/q-and-a-are-high-protein-low-carb-diets-effective.html?src=me&ref=general

    Thanks.

    • Martin says:

      Here is a letter I sent to Gina Kolata, who wrote that piece interviewing Dr. Hirsch in the NYTimes which was aimed directly at refuting Taubes’s previous article.

      I am in disbelief that about the interview article you have authored in the NYTimes. During the 60 years that Dr. Hirsch has been researching obesity he and his colleagues have presided over the explosion of an obesity epidemic in our country. Most probably it has been the result of newly developed processed foods coupled with bad advice from nutritionists recommending a high carb low fat diet. These are the people who heaped scorn and derision on Dr. Atkins without bothering to do the science to whom you are now turning for an opinion.

      Of course it is very hard to do controlled studies on humans and measure these complex variables. Even to get an appropriate sample of 21 subjects in the study you cited 700 people had to be screened. But people are now embarking on the difficult task of trying to prove why we get fat. I trust you are familiar with the writings of Gary Taubes.

      “Calories in calories out” is just a restatement of the1st Law of Thermodynamics, and in this context the notion is mindless drivel. We despise economists, but none are so stupid as to tell us that the reason a government is running a deficit is because is spends more than it takes in.

      Equally ridiculous is the notion that somehow we suddenly are a people with no self control exposed to limitless amounts of food. Every day I see people so obese that they are fatter than those in the circus side shows of a century ago. People like that did not exist in the past. These people are suffering from a disease which modern medicine has not yet been able to understand. They are not just people lacking willpower who eat too much.

      There are many people who have a vested interest in not coming to terms with our obesity epidemic, from the scientists whose theories have only lead to greater problems to the agricultural industry that invented high fructose corn syrup.

      Severe calorie restriction will always result in weight loss, but the human body can sustain homeostasis throughout its many systems, and in a healthy body maintaining a normal weight should take as much effort as maintaining normal blood pressure or body temperature. I have no trouble maintaining a constant weight over a period of months without closely monitoring my diet or exercise.

      Dr. Hirsch’s smug comments about a perpetual motion machine belie the complexity of the subject, as he is well aware. While calories in may be relatively easy to measure, and calories out from exercise also measurable, the problem of quantifying total energy expended in maintaining bodily systems, digesting food and the calories excreted is an undertaking so complex even the study you are discussing had to use some assumptions.

      In short your article does a real disservice at a time when medical science is just beginning to come to terms with the monumental failure of current theories of nutrition and obesity.

      I hope you will continue to research this very important subject and update your findings.

      P.S. I thought I would point out the exact spot in your article where Dr. Hirsch grossly oversimplifies “calories in calories out”.

      Although Dr. Hirsch might say, “yes, but we measure these things, too” and he does mention total energy expenditure and resting energy expenditure in summarizing the study under discussion, in fact these things are difficult to measure, and I was surprised to learn that excretions are generally not measured but assumed to be constant.

      “To lower fat content — reduce obesity — one must reduce calories taken in, or increase the output by increasing activity, or both. This is true whether calories come from pumpkins or peanuts or pâté de foie gras. ”

      Here is the falsehood suddenly contradicting what he has said above. “By increasing activity” somehow becomes the only calories out solution. But in fact the energy required to breakdown food may vary, resting energy expenditure or metabolism can vary, and calories excreted can also vary.

      This is the failure of current nutritional science that Dr. Hirsch does not want to acknowledge. Overturning years of bad science and coming to terms with what is probably America’s biggest health problem will be very difficult work. Please try to help.

    • Martin says:

      I should mention that Ms. Kolata wrote an generally unfavorable review of Gary’s book “Good Calories Bad Calories”, so this dispute has been going on since 2007. Here is the link to the review and Gary’s response.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/07/books/review/Kolata-t.html?ref=review

      http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/28/books/review/Letters-t.html

  95. The British were not alone getting us into this mess.

    There were others, both before and after them, but they are certainly “giant” players in all this.

    “Royalty and Kingdoms” and all.

    Not to mention, “All the Kings Horses, and all the Kings Men”.

    With guns and swords on horseback, with hundreds of thousands strong.

    Killing every man, woman, and child who would not “adore” and “honor” and “obey” and “serve” them.

    “His Majesty”!

    “Her Royal Highness”!

    Stimulant addicts all, including commoners and everyone of us here today.

    TB

  96. naturesong says:

    I just finishes an audio streaming interview where you talked about the truth behind weight gain and the hormone insulin. Good interview by the way.
    When you spoke about “fat tissue deregulation” I didn’t get the whole picture. Were you saying that if you have been chronically obese for many years, there is little hope in changing this “deregulation” process. I am aware that with willpower, you can reduce your sugar intake, resulting in decrease insulin which causes us to store fat., but it sounded like you were saying that there are two types of people one who eats and uses carbs for immediate energy and one who stores this energy in fat cells. Is their a way to retrain our bodies natural tendency to store this fat and work more like the immediate energy user? I want to change this process in my body if I can. I want to reprogram it so to speak.

  97. Judy Kuhel says:

    Just finished reading “Why we Get Fat” and noticed there was no mention of nuts or nut butters. Where do they stand in the eating plan?

  98. Lauriann W. says:

    I just finished reading Gary Taubes book Why We Get Fat and am so upset! Why oh why have we been lied to for so long and are dying of disease as a result? (Well, Mr. Taubes’ book actually answers that question. My question is probably just rhetorical anger.) I cried through parts of the book I was so upset at being sold a lie for decades. Now I am another fat over 40s woman whose been on and off low fat diets, trainers, yoga, gyms, shakes, etc for, well, since college. I joke that I am like Oprah with 4 sizes of clothes in my closet. I remember being taught that food pyramid back in the 1970s in elementary school. Then the low-fat lie was drilled into my head. Lies upon lies. Thank goodness for Mr. Taubes book to wake me up and tell me what scientific research really says about our bodies’ metabolic processes. Thank you! Low carb here I come. And thanks for letting me vent. I never post on the internet but I am so worked up and downright ANGRY at the medical establishment for the lies we’ve been told. It’s irresponsible.

  99. Nicole says:

    I am reading your book “Why We Get Fat” on the suggestion of a friend and based on the blog by Dr. Peter Attia. I am not done yet but I am overwhelmed. My first instinct is to cry uncontrollably for hours because I’ve basically been poisoning my daughter since she was in the womb. My second instinct is to rage at the world for such ignorant behaviour. That includes my teacher for Basic Weight Training for Life. She writes this:

    “Carbs Are Good: No Carbs Mean Fatter Person – - We use food and stored food to make the energy we need to live, be active, and exercise. In aerobic metabolism, where copious amounts of energy can be converted to be used, the process begins with the breakdown of glucose. Glucose is our blood sugar or blood carb. Through a series of steps these glucose molecules produce some usable energy, but also leave a by-product substrate called pyruvate. The conversion of pyruvate in combination with oxygen, allows stored fat to be used as fuel substrate as well. To put it simply. Fat can only burn in the flame of carbohydrates. If you do not have carbs, you cannot burn fat. If you cut down on carb intake, you get fatter. Again, we are not talking about weight, but about fat. Muscle doesn’t weigh less than fat, it is more dense. At the same weight muscle takes up less room. That means you can tighten your belt a notch even though the needle on the scale does not move.”

    Even before your book and Attia’s blog this would have seemed a particularly dumb unilateral statement to make. Being much more informed on the biochemical processes I am shocked into inaction. I have no idea what to say to this. And I do have to say something. I am required to write on each topic.

    Even though you have scared me into oblivion I want to thank you for all of your tireless research and your laymen terms. I believe you fight for all of us.

  100. EverybodyLovesJocko says:

    Gary, would you be so kind as to give a caloric breakdown of what you eat daily? I think there are a lot of readers that should know how many calories you REALLY ingest…

    • FrankG says:

      Right Jockass, (Gunter Gat Herder, Crabinsane or whoever you are pretending to be today) because in everything that Gary has presented the most important point is that calories really matter! LOL ;-)

      • EverybodyLovesJocko says:

        For the last time Frank. You are fat and your diet is not working for you. That’s all we really need to know about you.

        Your anger and accusations and paranoia will not change the facts.

        • FrankG says:

          Au contraire mon capitain I don’t know why you feel the need to justify your own ignorance with lies but I am quite content with both my much reduced weight and diet… not (once again) that it is any of your damn business ;-)

          BTW interesting to note that Gunt Cat Herder also recently called me fat at WHS (turns head and spits).. so bully for you in confirming suspicions. Not only a liar but hiding behind aliases as well.. oh so brave when anonymous eh? ;-)

          • EverybodyLovesJocko says:

            You are paranoid, seeing attacks from all sides, all from the same mystery stalker. Is it because you’re fat and sensitive about it??

            Seems so. Now run along now and give free wrong advice to other unhappy low carbers.

          • FrankG says:

            Oh I don’t flatter myself that you are here just to try and just get a rise out of me with your childish taunts — and they really are VERY amateurish attempts “ooh you’re so fat!” LOL ;-)

            No I just find it interesting that the same chicken-shit person has to hide behind multiple anonymous aliases in order to scuttle around like vermin between various blogs. Hey rats and mice are considered vermin… maybe that this why you seem to align with WHS and CrabInsane so well! :-)

          • EverybodyLovesJocko says:

            And I find it interesting that an obviously oversensitive fattie like you has to continuously respond to someone he says is so amateurish and childish. We’re all chasing poor little fat boy! Seems like I’m getting your goat.

            Enjoy your permanently high BMI then. Toodles.

          • FrankG says:

            Yawn…

        • gman3164 says:

          What facts are you referring to, jocko? I suggest you go over to Tom Naughton’s blog and check out the presentations from the Low-Carb Cruise. You’ll see some actual science, rather than the drivel you call “facts.” BTW, are you back up to 300 yet, CarbInsane? Oh – I forgot – you were banned from Tom’s blog for attacking Jimmy Moore, so don’t bother visiting his site… I’m still working on the heavy bag…

  101. Marvin Horst says:

    I read this article on NYT website
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/10/health/nutrition/q-and-a-are-high-protein-low-carb-diets-effective.html

    The I read your article on NYT wesite.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/01/opinion/sunday/what-really-makes-us-fat.html

    No wonder people become confused on diet and nutrition

    • FrankG says:

      It seems to me that people only allow themselves to become confused by blindly and unquestioningly accepting the word of a professor emeritus with 60 years of obesity research blah blah blah… or even for that matter, a science-writer with a penchant for debunking bad-science. In both cases I suggest you read the articles critically, do additional research yourself (read source documents not the interpretations of others; who may or may not have their own agendas) and make up your own mind. Therein lies the answer to your confusion ;-)

  102. Jeff Jardine says:

    Gary,
    I am your former Mercedes mechanic in Los Angeles, so I follow your writing when I find it. I read Good Calories (except the notes) and when I tried what the book suggested in my own eating, my doctor was quite cross with me for tossing the statins and getting my cholesterol in order. I really enjoyed Why We Get Fat. I suggest a book on Why We’re So Stupid. Keep up the good work.
    Jeff

  103. Eryn says:

    Hello,
    My daughter recommended I research this a bit. I am a Type II Diabetic, under good control, but trying to lose weight. I have lost 15 lbs. but got sick and gained back 5, and still need to lose about 25 more. I have been on a liquid/protein drink diet, with one solid meal a day. While the blood sugars remain fairly constant, I have more dips than usual and actually had a bad one yesterday.
    I have an ongoing battle with a dietitian who believes I should be eating a huge amount of carbs in a day, more than I can possibly eat and hope to lose any weight.
    Do you have any ideas/suggestions?
    Any help appreciated,
    Eryn

    • Get rid of that dietitian immediately and continue to follow your daughters recommendation to look further and further into to this low carb high fat diet, and you will recover your health fully in no time at all.

      This is a genuine discovery that the entire world needs to see.

  104. Gary Mullennix says:

    Just saw survey where people see obiesity as more dangerous than smoking…and want the government to do something about it. You should testify in Congress about the need to greatly enlarge the stock of grass fed animals, increased cheese and butter production. This could easily be paid for out of discontinuing any sugar subsidies. How do we get the stupidity of whole grains to stop?

  105. Lorraine Johnson says:

    I’m still waiting to hear what was learned at this conference. If not here could you point to a review?

  106. Linda says:

    Is there any scientific evidence that supports a relationship between the acidity in our food and either weight gain (obesity) or mineral loss (bone loss)?

  107. James says:

    GIVEN WHAT MR. TAUBES IS CLAIMING ABOUT INSULIN, I’D REALLY LIKE TO KNOW HOW MANY CALORIES A DAY HE EATS. IS HE SAYING THAT WHETHER IT’S 3000KCALS OR 10,000KCALS A DAY, YOU WON’T GET FAT AS LONG AS INSULIN IS LOW? PARDON ME, BUT IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE. I BET HE’S JUST KEPING CALS LOW SO THIS DIET LOOKS LIKE IT WORKS ON HIM.

    • FrankG says:

      Right James, (Jockass, Gunter Gat Herder, Crabinsane or whoever you are pretending to be today) because in everything that Gary has presented the most important point is that calories really matter! LOL :-)

      It’s OK to use your inside voice you know :-)

      • James says:

        IS YOUR NAME GARY TAUBES? APPARENTLY YOU CANNOT READ

      • ulli in furs says:

        why don’t you cool it FRank? this blog is open to anyone and it’s not your job to chase people away when they ask questions. i’m low carb but I for one would actually like to know how many calories Gary eats too. thanks.

        • Willi L says:

          agreed. Find a hobby Frank.

        • FrankG says:

          If Jockass has nothing better to do that come up with new aliases then so be it — thankfully I have a life to get on with.

          Anyone who genuinely follows this blog would already know that it is rare for Gary Taubes to answer questions directly here in the comments — yes how dreadful of the man to neglect his “followers”… unlike some who seem to spend all day on their blogs… one wonders who is paying them so to do? I expect that Gary Taubes also has a life and a day job ;-)

          So either this person (who repeats — nay SHOUTS!!! — the same question that Jockass asked earlier) does not genuinely follow this blog, or is asking a “question” just for effect.

          I have attempted to answer the question based on what I have read and viewed of Gary’s works and presentations. Any discussion of the number of calories is patently absurd if you truly are low-carb — yes, some still find it useful to watch portions but many of us (myself included) don’t count anything… just like every other animal on the planet.

          Again for anyone who genuinely follows this blog they would know that Gary has already given general details of what he eats in a previous post “Before sugar, we were talking about cholesterol”

          “I do indeed eat three eggs with cheese, bacon and sausage for breakfast every morning, typically a couple of cheeseburgers (no bun) or a roast chicken for lunch, and more often than not, a ribeye or New York steak (grass fed) for dinner, usually in the neighborhood of a pound of meat. I cook with butter and, occasionally, olive oil (the sausages). My snacks run to cheese and almonds. So lots of fat and saturated fat and very little carbohydrates.”

          Beyond that and if it were me I’d say mind your own damn business… this question is a non-starter because any doubter could simply claim any numbers quoted as falsehoods ;-)

          • Willi L says:

            Did you really say “nay”?? What a c*nt.

            once again: you seem to have lots of time to speak for someone else on their blog. time to get a life.

          • LeenaS says:

            I’m seeing an unhealthy obsession here Frank, with a side of paranoia maybe… The commenter’s not even talking to you. And maybe some of us have the same question! Just relax. you’re getting wound up about nothing.

          • James says:

            “MIND YOUR OWN DAMN BUSINESS”? THATS A LAUGH. YOU’RE THE ONE ANSWERING SOMEONE ELSE’S QUESTION POSED TO SOMEONE ELSE ON SOMEONE ELSE’S BLOG. PISS OFF AND MAYBE FIND A GIRLFRIEND.

          • EverybodyLovesJocko says:

            “And maybe some of us have the same question!”

            Thank you!

            PS: nope, not banned yet. Just sitting back and leisurely watching Fattie F turn this blog against him…

          • FrankG says:

            Poor little Jockass and all his imaginary friends… it would be funny were it not so pitifully transparent :-)

          • EverybodyLovesJocko says:

            Willi said it best:

            Time to get a life, paranoid fatboy.

          • Ron Croudy says:

            stop the bickering. jocko you’re being cruel and frank you’re being kind of a paranoid wacko. don’t make me pull this car over, you two! : )

            let’s stick to james’ question, which was “How many calories does Gary eat per day?”

          • FrankG says:

            James SHOUTED “GIVEN WHAT MR. TAUBES IS CLAIMING ABOUT INSULIN, I’D REALLY LIKE TO KNOW HOW MANY CALORIES A DAY HE EATS.”

            Ron has now restarted this as “How many calories does Gary eat per day?”

            In neither case do I see a question personally directed at Gary Taubes. For example, that might look like “I wonder Gary, how many calories do you eat each day?” as opposed to “I wonder how many calories Gary eats each day”?. See the difference?

            In which case I have already offered an answer with a quote and a source…

            “I do indeed eat three eggs with cheese, bacon and sausage for breakfast every morning, typically a couple of cheeseburgers (no bun) or a roast chicken for lunch, and more often than not, a ribeye or New York steak (grass fed) for dinner, usually in the neighborhood of a pound of meat. I cook with butter and, occasionally, olive oil (the sausages). My snacks run to cheese and almonds. So lots of fat and saturated fat and very little carbohydrates.”

            Anyone who wants to focus on calories could easily take that menu to a site like Nutrition Data or FitDay and figure it out for themselves. If you have read Gary Taubes books you’ll no doubt already realise that he does not focus on calories

    • FrankG says:

      wassamatter Jockass? keep getting banned?

      Or put another way… you are clearly confused and are obviously attempting to use a classic strawman argument ;-) From all I have read and viewed, Gary Taubes does NOT claim that ALL Carbs are bad, OR that Insulin is santas’s spawn or that you can stuff your face all day with 800,000 million calories just so long as you keep your insulin low — are you an idiot?

      Eating an LCHF diet does not mean stuffing yourself beyond what you need, but eating normally and naturally such that you stop eating when your body is satisfied i.e. it has all the nourishment it requires than-you very much — and that means more than just calories :-)

  108. Jeff Kirkham says:

    Hello,
    Since I started following the science in your book almost 1 year ago (I am on the third reading) I have been able to run further, work harder and lift heavier. I am in better overall shape now in my 40s than when I was in my 20s. That is no small comment since I have been in Army Special Forces most of my life.
    My mid-age belly and love handles are gone, the vascular look in my arms from my youth is back, and I am crushing old personal records at the local CrossFit gym as well as on the mountain running trails.
    My LDL is down 25% and my HDL is up 30%, sugar is in normal range and Triglycerides are where they were in my 20s, all in less than 1 year.
    I feel great! Look great! And most importantly am healthy!
    Thank you
    JK

  109. Helge Sundar says:

    I saw you on reason TV. By the way remember very well the table top fusion thing. Great interview, I come from Norway (b: 1946), and grew up with the traditional age old diet. My mother came from a farming and fishing community. We all loved fatty pork chops, fish with bacon fat etc. Then I moved out at 18, and my diet changed, and I started having all kinds of problems. Later in life I became a vegetarian, and had these craving for the food I grew up with, and finally got back to it. I love it, and I felt great again. That’s what I eat, meat fish, a couple vegetables, eggs. By the way I read Ayn Rand as a student, your point about libertarians well taken.

    Here might a subject for you, since I never see a doctor, I had a good friend, who was a heretic MD himself, he gave me this book in 1980: http://www.amazon.com/Confessions-Medical-Heretic-Robert-Mendelsohn/dp/0809241315.

    A few years ago, work related stress level was really bad, and over night I found myself in a deep depression, became very ill, I just did not want to live. One thing I knew, I would not see a doctor, simply because I believe at the best they suppress symptoms, and create ten new ones. They poison you.

    For some reason I came over the story of Lester Levenson (a great read), and a series of self help methods with a similar perspective, basically changing mental (sub conscious), emotional and physical habits, and release the body’s own health care (immune) system.

    I am by education an electrical engineer as Lester Levonson was. Engineers check what works, and we are used to think in terms of energy, electromagnetics and frequencies, what everything manifested is, there is really not lumps of matter anywhere, just for the slow senses. You cannot just not rely on sense perception (five small peep holes). You have internal senses that perceive all frequencies, from the zero point vacuum field and outward.

    I would look at a series of these methods totally open minded, I guess they call them energy medicine, affirmations, bring the brain waves into alpha, theta, and reprogram your sub conscious mind, remove the spam and install productive programs (literaly), replace your old paradigm with a new one. I do not believe in skepticism as a scientific method, but I believe in Einstein:

    “When I examine myself and my methods of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than any talent for abstract, positive thinking.”

    Fantasy is my vantage point to. Yes, you must check your assumptions, but not with skeptisim, the method is honesty, conscience. I do other kinds of research, and I know in an instant if I am cheating, doctoring the data – that is cheating myself. Peer reviews are needed, but not at the core fg the research.

    I make no claims, but I stole from many of these “gurus,” and I made my own program. I start with exercises learned from Donna Eden (read her story, she sounds new age, but her methods work), then I sit down in a chair, put myself into a deep meditative states, and do a series affirmations, including prayers, while listening partly to Hemisync sounds. I see myself from inside (the five inner senses), every organ system, every cell and every kind of cell, as energies, frequency levels. Any low frequency cluster I discover I transmutate into void, they are the cause of all illness.

    I do not make any claims, except that my recovery was very swift, I feel like a healthy teenager with an inner feeling of peace, love and happiness, I have definitely reversed aging, I see it from my skin. The cause of aging is, beliving you are the physical body, instead of the soul or the energy body that sustain it from the zero point vacum field and out. The body is created and recreated as we speak. Aging is when you identify with the physical body, instead of your spirit, as children do. The only way you can test it, is to go inside the labrotory yourself. Science look from out side in, I reverse it.

    Why not look into this field, and Lester Levenson, and the work of the bona fide scientist Bruce Lipton is a marvelous vantage point. I have studied a lot stuff; I take all into my inner laboratory, test it, and if necessary alter my method. I personally believe this is the only real medicine, how to willfully release the placebo effect. I read the skeptics, and their contributions are worthless, they “debunk” without checking things out. They have not as me, done internal experiments. I don’t even talk to the drug pushers (doctors), they are dangerous.

    You seem to be the right kind of writer; you look at the evidence, with absolutely no bias. I have no respect for the scientific community, its now the middle age church, barring those who actually have tested their assumptions, like in physics. The medical “science” is the worst, and they make people sick.

    Regards

    Helge Sundar (Mr)

  110. Cheryl Empey says:

    Thank you for your books. I read them in February and began eating only the items you recommended. I weighed 205 pounds and my blood pressure was 190/100. Since February 27 I have “so far” lost 48 pounds. I am not suffering from hunger. I eat lots of vegetables, some fruit, eggs, cheese and meat. My fat is butter or coconut oil. My beverage is water. You saved my life. My blood pressure is even below normal for my age and weight… I read everything you write…Thanks

  111. KD says:

    Just finished Why We Get Fat. Compelling read in reference to sugar. Any suggestions for the dietary needs of endurance athletes during sport? For example, the sport I engage in I need to consume roughly 300 plus calories an hour, or roughly 80 to 100 grams carbohydrate to stay fueled. This typically means defaulting to conventional sports supplements which include a variety of sugar. If not refined or highly processed, then something in the order of organic brown rice syrup. To keep energy levels up and avoid the “bonk”, I have little choice but to ingest these products. What say you? Am I missing a viable food alternative for fuel (back in the day it was bananas). Protein converts too slowly, and fat won’t readily be released at certain intensity levels, I’m told the body won’t access fat until the glucose is gone? Thanks!

    • FrankG says:

      @KD: you might try Dr Peter Attia’s blog “The Eating Academy” for tips on low carb sports nutrition… http://eatingacademy.com/category/sports-and-nutrition

      I understand that: among an increasing number of others, he is showing that ketosis can be used successfully by endurance athletes..

      Dr Andreas Eenfeldt also had a recent post on a similar topic about the South African long-distance running legend Tim Noakes… http://www.dietdoctor.com/legendary-exercise-professor-embraces-lchf

      I have no illusions about my being an athlete (although I can go hiking all day no problem) but it makes a great deal of sense to me that we would be adapted to use fat as our long-distance fuel — for no other reason than we have virtually unlimited storage capacity for it, while our stocks of glucose (glycogen) are limited. You may have read/heard some discussion about our ancestors finding a niche on the savannah by being able to run down wild game during the heat of the day… between our ability to sweat and bipedalism we were able to run other, much faster, game to the point of exhaustion. I doubt that such an ability would come with a need to suck back an high-glucose energy jel every hour or so?

  112. Keith Siegel says:

    It is unfortunate that the study you wrote about in the NY Times excluded a fourth diet- a vegan diet. It would be very interesting to see the results of a whole foods plant based diet and the impact that would have had on participants. The other glaring omission that was not cited in your op-ed piece is the blood work on those participants- what was their before/after A1C, Triglycerides, LDL, HDL, Blood sugar?

  113. Robert Tormey says:

    Gary- wife and I started the program October
    2011. Within 8 weeks had dropped fat and stabilized
    at 20% body fat. we’re both in our late 50′s do found
    the plan works to your book. cholesterol continues
    to drop, resting pulse rate declined, energy is great.
    I now gift your book to friends regularly and
    everyone is getting similar results

    thanks for your commitment to this research
    you are saving lives.

  114. elbatrofmoc says:

    To be perfectly honest the debate was a major disappointment. Apart from the little talk that Gary gave near the beginning and and the last 4 minutes, this was a waste of time – practically nobody from the panel said anything worthwile. Nothing. I would go as far as to say that the last question on calorie restriction and Garry’s comment on the need to make a distinction between the effects on restricting calories vs. the effects of restricting calories through cutting carbs was the only interesting part of the conference. It’s sad that no one was really able to address this question and say anything interesting on the matter. I would LOVE to see Gary’s researched article on the subject.

  115. Judith L says:

    After I read halfway through Why We Get Fat, I started low carb eating on July 5. My husband started on July 6. I also read GCBC. I was worried about my blood pressure. And after years of stable weight (way higher than I wanted to be), I had started to gain again and I was hungry all the time. My husband was struggling with rising blood sugar levels. We’re waiting for his next blood test in a few weeks to see the impact of low carb eating on his blood chemistry, but we’re really happy eating this way. No hunger! And a big bonus that I hadn’t anticipated was a huge improvement in my arthritis pain and stiffness. I hardly need anti inflammatory meds that I had been taking by the handful.

  116. Hi Gary. What’s your take on fructose vs glucose metabolism. I’ve been looking to write a blog entry on my site about it, but my resources are limited. I’ve heard that fructose isn’t metabolized as efficiently as glucose.

    Thanks

  117. dtodd says:

    As it seems there are many well-informed followers of Gary on this blog, perhaps someone can comment on the study just released on eggs form the trade publication Atherosclerosis, where it claims those eating a large number of whole eggs (yolk mainly) causes much more rapid thickening of the carotid walls than those who eat relatively few eggs. It seems to be in direct contradiction to Gary’s research on the subject.

  118. Hi Jessica,
    I’m an Atkins Support Partner and would love to help you. Unfortunately I’m based in Ireland so a bit far away from you. However I have just set up a website called http://www.eatingAtkins.ie to help people following the Atkins diet. There are lots of tips, advice etc on it. We also have a Facebook page and a Pinterest page with pics of some lovely low carb meals we’ve cooked if you need inspiration!

    I’m particularly interested in helping someone with diabetes as I’d love to have a case study that shows it how the Atkins diet helps diabetics. From what I can tell it seems that diabetes patients are not really told that a low carb diet like Atkins can in some cases reverse diabetes. Given that diabetes is essentially a disease where the problem is to do with blood sugar and low carb foods lower it naturally, I think this insane. So please do get in touch through the site or FB -am happy to help from an advice/moral support point of view. Roseanne

  119. Richard says:

    Gary,
    Any reaction to stories this week about health downsides to eating eggs? Journal of Atherosclerosis said
    that people who eat egg yolks regularly have about 2/3 as much plaque buildup as smokers. Would pasture-raised chicken eggs be healthier choice than regular supermarket eggs…analogous to grass fed beef? Maybe you’ll have time to respond after the DC conference. Continued thanks for your efforts.

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/egg-yolks-bad-heart-smoking-cigarettes-study-article-1.1138536#ixzz23qPizwbg

  120. JB says:

    Gary,

    I started on a mostly whole-grain substitution diet in January 2011, lost 15 lbs. in 6 weeks, and has kept it off, give or take a few pounds, since then. I’m approaching my mid-40s and have lower body fat than I did in my 20s!

    Thank you so much.

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