Gary Taubes: Opinion


Found this interesting Opinion piece by Gary Taubes published on December 22, 2017, online in the Globe and Mail entitled: Minimal carbs, lots of fat, incredible dieting results – but not enough science.

There really isn’t much new in this article that you haven’t read before, but it puts it all together and may very well be a good read for the Newbie.

This is citation is interesting:

Now, decades later, the most recent unbiased review of this evidence – from the Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization founded to do such unbiased reviews – has concluded that clinical trials have failed to demonstrate any benefit from eating low-fat diets and so, implicitly, any harm from eating fat-rich foods. The 2015 review describes the evidence as only “suggestive” that avoiding saturated fat specifically may avert a single heart attack and says it’s even “less clear” whether this would lengthen anyone’s life.

Put simply, if this were a legal case, saturated fat would easily be acquitted. Any unbiased judge might even toss it out of court. This puts the history of LCHF diets into an entirely different perspective: remarkably effective medical interventions – both as treatment and preventive measure – that were rejected as quackery not because they were harmful but because they clashed with naive biases about the causes of obesity (gluttony and sloth) and the nature of a healthy diet.

Now – go and enjoy your Holiday Meals and Parties and when the New Year dawns and you think about undoing the damage done and getting healthy — Sign up for the Winter 2018 52 Day Challenge. See you at the Starting Line.


Canola Oil – May not be healthy.

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Because of the Omega 6 : Omega 3 imbalance in our general diet, I cut back on vegetable oils. Corn and Soybean oils being the most pervasive in our diet, I attempt to avoid products with those in them. Try to find a bottle of salad dressing or mayonnaise without one or the other – almost impossible.

I was very happy when Hellmann’s came out with mayonnaise made from Canola oil. I could rest easy. After all, their Olive Oil mayonnaise is actually their soybean oil mayo with some Olive oil. No real help there.

I use Olive oil, butter and coconut oil for most all frying except when you need a higher cooking temperature. For that cooking task, I’ve got a big bottle of Canola Oil. Gets used rarely, but it is there for that purpose.

Now it has all gone to hell in a barrel.

Check out this Study from Temple University: “Canola Oil Linked to Worsened Memory and Learning Ability in Alzheimer’s Disease.”

The researchers started by dividing the mice into two groups at six months of age, before the animals developed signs of Alzheimer’s disease. One group was fed a normal diet, while the other was fed a diet supplemented with the human equivalent of about one tablespoon of canola oil daily.

The researchers then assessed the animals at 12 months. One of the first differences observed was in body weight – animals on the canola oil-enriched diet weighed significantly more than mice on the regular diet. Maze tests to assess working memory, short-term memory, and learning ability uncovered additional differences. Most significantly, mice that had consumed canola oil over a period of six months suffered impairments in working memory.

What am I to do? Chuck the bottle of Canola Mayo in the garbage along with the bottle of Canola Oil? Go back to Soybean oil mayo – with or without Olive oil? What about high temperature frying?

Should we rely on just this one limited study? Can we afford not to? 

Here is a Chart of various cooking oils and their smoke point.

It looks like I need to pick up some Avocado oil. 

The 2017 “Classic” 52 Day Challenge


The 2017 “Classic” 52 Day Challenge has just ended. 

Strange coincidence. The “Classic” Challenge was the very first Challenge all those many years ago and this was the first Challenge as the 52 Day Challenge Group linked to the Men’s Health Facebook page. A new day dawns.

There are 67 people signed up for this group. Of those, maybe 1/3 are prior Challengers. Very few individuals actually participated in this Challenge. WHY? No idea.

I was in favor of maintaining our link with Men’s Health since it would be a feeder into the Challenge. 67 interested individuals speaks to that. Still – The next Challenge which starts on January 3rd is going to give us a better idea of how this is going to play out.

Victor said it best: Build it and they will come.

For me – I will continue to participate. I like the dynamics – I like the people – I like the camaraderie.  And – I am afraid of falling back into old habits.

This morning – I looked out the window at about 6:00am – the Snow that was coming up the coast had not arrived yet. Woke my wife and said – Gym Time. We were at the gym by 7:15am. The Classic Challenge may be over but my life – which includes the gym – is still on track.

Here are my final numbers for the Challenge as of Friday, December 8, 2017, Day 52 (100%)

  • Clean Eats: 96/102/96 (100%)
  • Resistance Training: 18/15 (120%)
  • Cardio Training: 19/15 (126.67%)
  • Personal Goal 1 (Push-ups): 2600/2600 (100%)
  • Personal Goal 2 (Chin/Pull-ups): 1300/800 (162.5%)

I’m pretty happy. There were a number of vacation days that I was unable to get to the gym. Still – I managed to get within 3 workouts of my usual 20 RTs and 20 CTs.

My weight this morning was the same as my weight at the start of the Challenge. Maintaining my weight is an unstated and continuing goal. I have never weighed the same for this long a time – over 10 years.

Winter has come – I put on clothing from last season without worrying if it would fit. So Nice!

So with that in mind – See everyone on Wednesday, January 3rd for the 2018 Winter Challenge.

Lies We’ve Been Told!

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The big health news – The Sugar Industry Lied. “What The Industry Knew About Sugar’s Health Effects, But Didn’t Tell Us.” This story has been repeated in a number of publications. The original “study” was published in PLOS Biology.

Simply stated: The Sugar Industry aggressively hid the fact that sugar had negative effects on health and advertised that it was a healthy nutrient.

The sugar industry did not disclose evidence of harm from animal studies that would have (1) strengthened the case that the CHD risk of sucrose is greater than starch and (2) caused sucrose to be scrutinized as a potential carcinogen.

Are you shocked. Read Michael Moss” Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us. Or Gary Taubes’ Good Calories, Bad Calories. And so many other books out there – in the Low Carb world.

Does this sound familiar. Smoking is healthy – right? How many years did it take to show the lies the Tobacco industry foisted upon us. 

Big Tobacco finally tells the truth in court-ordered ad campaign.”

Smoking kills 1,200 people a day. The tobacco companies worked to make them as addictive as possible. There is no such thing as a safer cigarette.

Ads with these statements hit the major television networks and newspapers this weekend, but they are not being placed by the American Cancer Society or other health groups. They’re being placed by major tobacco companies, under the orders of the federal courts.

Lies our Fathers Told – Dietary Fat is unhealthy. Carbohydrates are healthy. Sugar, Tobacco, Low Fat – name your poison.

It is up to you to read, understand and control your own health.

Rant over.

Sugar Alcohols – The Lie!

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When I first started eating Low Carb – over 10 years ago – I looked for all of the substitutes – especially sweet ones – that I could find. 10 years ago, there were not all that many.

As time went on, I slowly weaned myself from the necessity of having something sweet – especially foods that were highly processed. I still made some of my own treats – most of which can be found in the recipe section of this blog. I just did not have them all that often. Most all of these treats are made with Artificial Sweeteners of one form or another.

During this same period of time, the Atkins company followed the same path as Weight Watchers – marketing their own foods. I dislike WW foods for any number of reasons. Since they are almost all high in Carbs – I just don’t buy them. They are also very highly processed.

Atkins now has a significant line of products. I no longer buy them because they are highly processed and I prefer to eat simply and clean. Yes – in a pinch – I will get one of their Candy Bars – marketed as a good source of Protein. That does not happen for months at a time.

A recent headline and article disclosed that Atkins has been sued for false advertising as it relates to how they count Sugar Alcohols. Can you deduct Sugar Alcohols from the Carb Count. The truth – NO!

WebMD has this to say:

Sugar alcohols are a type of sweetener used in foods labeled “sugar-free.” You’ll find them in chewing gum, sugar-free candies, cookies, soft drinks, and other foods. Sugar alcohols have about one-half to one-third fewer calories than sugar.

For example, if a food label doesn’t list sugar as an ingredient, but it has 20 grams of sugar alcohol, that is equal to the calories in about 10 grams of sugar. If you are counting carbohydrate and there are more than 5 grams of sugar alcohol in the food, you can subtract half the grams of sugar alcohol from the total grams of carbohydrate. For example, if the food has 30 grams of carbohydrate and 8 grams of sugar alcohol, you can count that food as 26 grams of carbohydrate.

The reality – although they may not cause a Spike in Blood Sugar – they still have an impact – especially if you have Diabetes. WebMD goes on to report:

Are there risks from eating too much sugar alcohol?

If you eat too much of them, sugar alcohols can cause diarrhea, bloating, and weight gain.

Truth be told – I significantly limit my intake of foods with sugar alcohol for the simple reason that I have significant bloating and eventual diarrhea. Not Fun.

So beware the marketing hype.

A New Day Dawns.

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After a bit of floundering and with guidance of Shrinkinguy, the 52 DC has landed in a Closed Group linked to MH Forums on Facebook.

We are not sure how this is going to work out – but it is at least a path forward.

Check out the new – hopefully improved – 52 Day Challenge.

52DC Finish Line – Saturday 9/30/17


With a tip of the hat to Shrinkinguy!

This is the FINISH LINE for the Fall 52 Day Challenge.

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We made it through another challenge!  

If you’re reading this, you made it through, and regardless of how well you did on your goals, the most important thing is that you finished!

A BIG thank you to everyone who helped make this challenge a success – our Challenge hosts and our daily hosts and YOU! 

Today we’ll be posting our final numbers for the challenge, which includes all 52 days.  JUST COMMENT TO THIS POST.

Soon we’ll have an awards ceremony, so stay tuned!

Quoting from  the FAQs:

Your level of final placement, Gold, Silver, or Bronze is achieved solely from the Core Goals of the challenge, CE’s, RT’s, & CT’s.

  • Make 1 Core Goal: Give yourself a Bronze Medal
  • Make 2 Core Goals: Give yourself a Silver Medal
  • Make all 3 Core Goals: Give yourself a Gold Medal
  • Make all your Core Goals and your Personal Goal 1: Give yourself a Gold+ Medal
  • Make all your Core Goals, PG1 along with 95-103 CE’s: Give yourself a Platinum Medal
  • Make all your Core Goals, PG1 along with 104 CE’s: Give yourself a Platinum+ Medal

Note: Although there will be an Awards Ceremony posted soon, if you miss that tally, you may still award yourself a Medal in accordance with these rules. This entire Challenge is based upon the Honor System.

Question of the Day: What was your biggest success for the challenge, and what was your biggest hardship?  Did you learn anything along the way?


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