USDA Dietary Guidelines are Broken.

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Newsweek Opinion Article by  6/11/15 AT 11:36 AM, entitled: 

Food Guidelines Are Broken. Why Aren’t They Being Fixed?

This is an opinion piece – no question.  He eviscerates the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s (DGAC) scientific report on which the guidelines are based.

Furthermore, the DGAC asserts that its recommendations are unbiased and only based on science, but consistently the guidelines have focused on the hypothesis that limiting fat intake will decrease obesity and promote health. This focus on decreasing fat consumption has continued in successive DGAC reports even though the science behind this conclusion has been proven to be based on an outdated understanding of nutrition and health.

Perhaps the most telling criticism:

So why don’t the guidelines, which are supposedly governed by a scientific, fact-based process, do this?

Because advocating for lower-carbohydrate, higher-fat diets would fly in the face of everything the DGAC has recommended over the past three decades. Such an about-face would be an acknowledgement that the process to date has been misguided. But if we’re serious about saving lives and money, rather than maintaining bureaucratic credibility, then that is exactly what must be done.

He calls for the public and political leaders to “start asking the DGAC why we’re sticking with an approach that is clearly broken.”

It does not take but a moment before his opinion is challenged – as well it should be by another Opinion piece also in Newsweek by 6/19/15 AT 10:01 AM, entitled: 

Is a Low-Carb Diet a Genuine Remedy for Obesity?

The difference between these two articles is stunning.  Campbell starts off by telling us that he is an expert that should be listened to: because he is “a longtime researcher, contributor to food and health policy, and Cornell University professor emeritus.”

He then goes on to say that yes – the Dietary Guidelines are broken – but because they don’t follow his beliefs:

The biggest issue is that low-carb diets severely limit the consumption of plant-based whole foods, which are the main foods reversing disease and creating health benefits. A diet of these foods contains about 10 percent fat, 10 percent protein and 80 percent complex carbohydrates. This diet has all the protein we need, the right amount of fat and a rich supply of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and complex carbohydrates.

Rather than supporting his own position – he takes shots at the Low Carb world including the myth that:

It should be noted that a low-carb diet often means, by definition, a diet very high in protein and fat (from meat, dairy and eggs). A low-carb, high-protein diet may cause weight reduction initially, but in the long run it is overwhelmingly dangerous and not in our society’s best interest.

Low-carb advocates are in denial that a WFPB diet could be a more viable way for Americans to lose weight and live without preventable diseases in the long and short-term. However, like the meat, poultry and dairy industries, low-carb supporters want you to ignore this possibility and just eat more meat.

How much protein we should eat has been a continuing discussion on this Blog.  Why – because we factor in Exercise.  Instead he states that “For decades, 10 percent dietary calories as protein (RDA, the recommended allowance) has been considered sufficient (if not ideal) for human health. This level of protein is easily provided by a WFPB diet.”

10% of a 2,500 calorie diet is 250 calories or 60 +/- grams of protein.  He posits that dietary fats should be limited to a similar 10% or 30 grams.  The balance – 80% should come from complex carbs.

Seriously – the RDA number is an amount below which you might not be able to survive without illness or bodily deterioration.

When a guy has to start an article by trumpeting his credentials and then have ad hominem criticism of the opposition – I get turned off.  It undermines his entire position.  How else would you interpret this statement:

But it is clear to me that when they promote a low-carb diet, they are cleverly choosing words mixed with a little truth to push yet another diet that continues to reinforce unhealthy habits.

You be the judge.

Consumer Reports spreads biased myths about Low Carb Diets.

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There are so many articles popping up on eating Low Carb.  Many mix up Paleo with Low Carb.  There is an overwhelming failure to lay it on the line.  Truth – does not sell.

Spotted this Consumer Reports article: Surprising effects of a high-protein, low-carb diet – You may lose weight, but there’s a catch – Published: February 25, 2015 06:00 AM


First – Low Carb equals High Protein.

Second –  “Diets only work by lowering calories,” says David Seres, M.D., director of medical nutrition at the Columbia University Medical Center in New York and a member of Consumer Reports’ medical advisory board. “Where the calories come from doesn’t matter.”

Third – “You’re altering your metabolism away from what’s normal and into a starved state,” Seres says. “People in starved states experience problems with brain function.”

Fourth – “A high-protein diet also overworks the kidneys.”  This assumes that a Ketogenic diet is High Protein – which it is not.

Fifth – “Far from increasing energy, that eating style might leave you fatigued and nauseated. Constipation can also be a problem because animal-based protein sources provide little or no fiber.”

Sixth – “When it comes to heart disease, the saturated-fat-laden red meat that’s part of many high-protein diets may actually boost your risk.”

My only comment – Dr. Seres – isn’t it about time you updated your information and correctly reported on the adapted Ketogenic diet.  You have done a disservice to many.  Consumer Reports – I am glad I stopped my subscription – all those many years ago when I realized your testing was more often than not – Biased.


Ketosis – Inflammation – Psoriasis: A Linkage Found


When I first started following a Very Low Carb High Fat (VLCHF) diet, almost 8 years ago, I did it solely for weight loss.  It worked like a miracle. No complaints.  I dropped 80 pounds and recently another 10.  It was only as I continued to live a VLCHF – Ketogenic life style that I came to realize the other health benefits.  The problem was untangling the possible causes of my new-found health.  That tangle still exits. Were the benefits due to a Ketogenic Diet, the weight loss, the exercise program, eating “whole foods” instead of highly processed foods, not eating wheat and other seeds of grasses, limiting gluten, adding various supplements OR a combination of one or more of these.  Who the “heck” knows.  I don’t – that’s for sure.

I happen to have a relatively (thank the powers-that-be) mild case of Psoriasis.  It was actually discovered by my audiologist who looked in my ears and exclaimed that I had some very dry skin in there.  The Dermatologist prescribed Steroids, which are a double edged sword.  They work, but thin the skin and have a re-bound effect.  As my lifestyle change ensued, I realized that the Psoriasis had retreated.  No – it did not disappear, but it was significantly lessened.  As I wrote this blog, others commented that various skin rashes and conditions had abated.  I brought this up to my Dermatologist – who immediately pooh-poohed the concept that a Ketogenic Diet could help.  The joys of Tunnel Vision. She is a great surgeon who did an excellent job in diagnosing and removing the basal cell carcinoma on the bridge of my nose – but her dismissive response was less than satisfying.

That is why I am pleased to see a connection that I believed was there – but which my Doc dismissed.

I spotted the following article on Flipboard: New Study Explains How Low-Carb Diet Reduces Inflammation.  I am not going to get into the science of it – since that is not me.  Read the article – read the study.  The Conclusion:

The study, which was published online in the journal Nature Medicine, showed that certain metabolic processes (Ketogenic Diet) could produce compounds inside the body that could aid in suppressing inflammatory response.

After reading that, I looked up Psoriasis or Psoriatic Disease.  I found the National Psoriasis Foundation web site and the following:

Anti-Inflammatory Diet
Psoriasis is an inflammatory disease. Many individuals benefit from following an anti-inflammatory diet to help reduce their symptoms and lower their risk of related conditions.

Check out the web site which also references – weight loss, supplements and gluten.  The Tangle remains – but less so.

So – Doc – time to hit the books – you’ve been out of school too long.

EDIT: I posted an update to this post on 5/17/17. Check it out HERE.

Hip Replacement Surgery: Post Op Day 15: Happy New Year – 2015


Today is the first day of the New Year and the first day of week 3 Post Surgery.  My leg’s functionality improves daily.  The spot of pain in my right buttock is diminishing.  The last couple of days have been eventful.

On Monday, I showed up at the Urologist’s office to have the catheter removed.  When he realized that I had not been on Rapaflow, he advised to wait another day.  We ran some errands and headed home for breakfast.  The visiting Nurse came at 10 am.  “Surgical site looks great, no infection but the swelling in your leg should have started to go down.”

On her advice, I called the Surgeon’s office.  Choice – find someone to drive me into the city or call my local Doc and have a Doppler ultrasonography of the leg looking for blood clots.  Called my Doc – “Get in here Now.”  I did.  His office had already arranged with a facility for me to have the leg reviewed.  My Doc was not freaked out and felt it was within the realm of Normal.  Waited two hours – got the reading – the leg was clean.  Long – long day.

Had a good night’s sleep and felt energized.

Back at the urologist office at 7:45 on Tuesday.  Catheter was removed.  Come back at Noon.  Short day – after all – New Year’s Eve.  Got back there at Noon and since nothing had happened – “let’s give it more time.”  I paced the office.  Then we left and ran some errands to prepare for the Evening.  Back at the Urologist.  I will not go into detail – just the side effect of the Epidural has not rebounded.  We left the office at 4 pm.

All of these doctor appointments have obliterated the in-home PT.  Probably don’t need it.  Doing really well – with this new hip.

Came home and I cooked and prepared for the evening – friends were coming to our home.  I did 90% of the prep work and clean up.  Managed to get a 1/2 hour nap.  Stayed up to watch the ball drop.

We made Low Carb Ice Cream – Coffee Flavored for dessert – Super rich – Super good.  Drank a good amount and toasted the New Year with Moët & Chandon ROSÉ IMPÉRIAL – nice.

The ice cream is made with egg yolks.  This morning we used the 4 egg whites to enrich the Flax Seed Pancake Recipe.  Unfortunately – no flax seed meal – used Almond Meal – just as good – maybe even better.

Managed to Low Carb our way through the New Year – just really ate a lot – good.

All that energy I had yesterday – gone.  Dragging my sorry arse today.  Felt really jealous (and proud of her) as my wife left for the gym and I did laundry.  I might have gone to the gym – but I can’t fit any shoe on my swollen right foot.  Really lucky that I have a pair of open heeled Birkenstock Clogs  otherwise I would be bare foot.

Back at the Urologist on the 7th.

May you and yours have a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Carbs More Harmful than Saturated Fats


Caught that headline on Yahoo which referred to a recent Study.  Most interesting – the Senior Author of the Study is Jeff Volek along with his partner-in-crime, Stephen D. Phinney.

The Study is actually entitled: Effects of Step-Wise Increases in Dietary Carbohydrate on Circulating Saturated Fatty Acids and Palmitoleic Acid in Adults with Metabolic Syndrome

This is an open article and you can read it yourself.  The Yahoo summary is on target.  Here is the Summary paragraph from the Study:

In summary, high intakes of saturated fat (including regular consumption of whole eggs, full-fat dairy, high-fat beef and other meats) does not contribute to accumulation of plasma SFA in the context of a low carbohydrate intake. A progressive decrease in saturated fat and commensurate increase in carbohydrate intake, on the other hand, is associated with incremental increases in the proportion of plasma palmitoleic acid, which may be signaling impaired metabolism of carbohydrate, even under conditions of negative energy balance and significant weight loss. These findings contradict the perspective that dietary saturated fat per se is harmful, and underscore the importance of considering the level of dietary carbohydrate that accompanies saturated fat consumption.

So my friends – enjoy your eggs, heavy cream and steak – as long as you are eating Very Low Carb.

However – Do we have to be worried that:

Funding: This work was funded by a grant from Dairy Research Institute, The Beef Checkoff, the Egg Nutrition Center, and the Robert C. And Veronica Atkins Foundation. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Partial funding for Open Access provided by The Ohio State University Open Access Fund.

Competing interests: Professional associations (Dairy Research Institute, The Beef Checkoff and the Egg Nutrition Center) were sponsors of this research. This does not alter the authors’ adherence to PLOS ONE policies on sharing data and materials.

For what it is worth, almost all of these studies are funded by interested parties.  I discount all of them.  Still – I have found that for the most part Volek and Phinney’s conclusions are one’s I can rely on.

Missing Piece of the Puzzle in a Ketogenic Diet.

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I was excited to see the headline on Yahoo and the opening paragraphs of the Yahoo report.  Then I read the Report on Ketogenic Diets compared to low Calorie Diets which came out with the “amazing” determination that “ketogenic diets suppress appetite despite weight loss.

That is a great boost for the Ketogenic world – except – the report, which is a “meta-analysis of studies that evaluated appetite before and during adherence to very-low-energy diets (VLEDs) and ketogenic low-carbohydrate diets (KLCDs)” – failed to report on one major piece – Dietary Fats.

It is as if that was a prohibited statement – after all – it goes against modern attitudes about healthy eating.

Add to that the following statement:

Ketosis appears to provide a plausible explanation for this suppression of appetite,” the authors write. “Future studies should investigate the minimum level of ketosis required to achieve appetite suppression during ketogenic weight loss diets, as this could enable inclusion of a greater variety of healthy carbohydrate-containing foods into the diet.”  Emphasis Added.

They leave out any reference to Dietary Fats and add in a reference to finding away to increase carbohydrate consumption while still being in Ketosis.

I went to the underlying “analysis” – the abstract is accurately reported.  To read the full report, I would have had to spend money.  Sorry – not doing that.

The Abstract focuses on Ketosis while ignoring dietary fats and the satiety of that component of a real ketogenic diet.  Another half truth.  

Was it intentional, bias or just plain stupidity?  Go Figure.

Protein – Musings

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After reading Keto Clarity: Your Definitive Guide to the Benefits of a Low-Carb, High-Fat Diet by Eric Westman MD and Jimmy Moore, I’ve been re-examining my Protein intake.   Moore’s point that he drives home with a sledgehammer is that over eating Protein undermines the body’s ability to produce Ketones.  Why – because the excess protein is converted to glucose.

I am not driving myself crazy about the amount of Ketones I produce.  Not getting a blood testing kit (yet).  However – his point is well taken.

Many people have a hard time eating enough protein, especially those still on a “Standard American Diet” which relies heavily on carbohydrates.  Me – the opposite.  I can over eat protein with a blink of the eye.   I found it necessary to consciously put on the brakes.

I have scaled back that amount of protein – not tremendously – but a few hundred calories – at the most – a day.  I have also increased my consumption of dietary fats.  I’m not going to wrap a stick of butter in a lettuce leaf and eat it (I could do it if it were sweet butter) – but instead – I’ll have a big scoop of sour cream on my veggies or a bit more butter or olive oil or coconut oil in the fry pan.

I weigh myself every morning – in part to help my wife keep control of her weight.  She has a much harder time than I do.

My weight zig-zags.  Up – down – sideways.  Since I have focused on reducing the amount of protein and increasing the amount of fat – my weight has trended downwards.  This morning, I weighed in at a nice solid 179.  I am not trying to lose weight but to maintain my weight at the 180 point – which should be the Mean – Medium and Mode point.  I would like to see 178-182 as the range.  Getting back to it.

I have started reading the Kindle edition of Wheat Belly Total Health: The Ultimate Grain-Free Health and Weight-Loss Life Plan, Dr. William Davis’ latest book published on September 16, 2014.  Interesting.  The guy really knows how to use a Soap Box.  It seems he and Lustig have the same “flame in their Belly” way of writing.  More to come once I finish the book.

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