Low-carb high-fat (LCHF) diet on trial..Wit... - Healthy Eating

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Low-carb high-fat (LCHF) diet on trial..With Tim Noakes

'Low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diets are trending, but how healthy are they really? Are they for everyone? What does the science say? Professor Tim Noakes, co-author of “The Real Meal Revolution,” is a renowned scientist and researcher from South Africa who is convinced that most people can improve their health by restricting their carbohydrate intake and upping their fats.

He had to defend this dietary position in recent years before the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA). He came before the council as a result of a tweet where he replied to a breastfeeding mother, suggesting that she wean her baby to a LCHF diet. The trial was focused, in part, on whether he was offering “unconventional and unscientific” advice to the mother.

In today’s episode, you’ll learn about the outcome of the trial, why the LCHF (a/k/a Banting) diet is scorned by some, what health benefits can result from adopting it, what it looks like to eat this way in the day-to-day, and more.'


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There was a ridiculous craze - now defunct, I think - for weaning babies onto the government-standard low-fat diet. Babies in particular need more fat than adults, so I imagine there was an epidemic of 'failure to thrive' during that ill-advised experiment.

I'll listen to the podcast later, sounds interesting.


At synapses.co.za/lessons-bad-... the article "Lessons in bad science – Tim Noakes and the SAMJ" argues his approach to science is fundamentally wrong. If I can quote the beginning of the article...

As I’ve said before, Professor Tim Noakes might well be right in his advocacy for a low carb, high fat diet. Whether he is right or wrong is however – to some extent, at least – a separate issue from whether he’s providing an example of sound scientific reasoning in reaching the conclusions he does.

It’s understandable that people outside of science, academia, or any overtly evidence-based work might confuse personal experience, anecdotes and badly drawn samples for good evidence. However, the principles of scientific reasoning (even as taught to first-year students, as I’ve done for years), remind us of these and other common errors. Once you know about confirmation bias, you shouldn’t flaunt the fact that you deploy it, but rather regret that you (like everyone) are prone to quite typical errors.

As a practitioner of evidence-based something-or-other, you’d know and understand counter-intuitive things, for example that a conclusion can sometimes be the correct one, regardless of how poor the argument for that conclusion is. And, that a good argument can sometimes result in a false conclusion.

Most important, perhaps, is that you’d know of the various resources we have for making it more likely that we reach the correct conclusion, and you’d know of the sorts of errors to avoid because they tend to lead us to false conclusions. And given that you care most of all for getting closer to the truth of the matter, you’d be aware of your responsibilities to set an example to others of sound reasoning about science – especially if you are perceived to be an authority figure.

When a scientist like Noakes seems willing to ignore most of these principles in favour of promoting a conclusion – through whatever support comes along – he doesn’t sound passionate, committed, maverick and so forth. He sounds like a quack (and sometimes, even a conspiracy theorist, at least when citing some of the reasons why his “obvious” (to him) truths are somehow not adopted by everyone). To Noakes, all research that disagrees with him is “industry-funded” or otherwise tainted, but never treated as counter-evidence.


The argument goes on. Click the link to read the full article if you are interested in understanding what makes good science.

When someone begins to argue that he sounds like a quack...


Good to see he's got a LOT of support! :)

Please (andyswarbs not included!) people, sign this petition to show your support if you think Tim Noakes is helping a lot of people, by spreading the truth about how people 'should' be eating for optimal health and the way he has been treated is unfair!

Support the SCIENCE and Professor Tim Noakes... change.org/p/health-profess...


What a GOOD guy (And definitely NOT a quack!), we need many more like him!

LCHF, the way to go!! :)

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Why did Tim Noakes - who has never eaten a whole food plant based diet - developed diabetes? Is it his omnivore diet that is to blame?

Why does he still have diabetes? Is it his continuing omnivore diet?

Compare this with the advice of Dr Neil Barnard who has an almost 100% cure rate over many years of helping people recover from diabetes.

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Andy, specifically what evidence do you have refuting Noakes's claims?

While I agree with the article that we can sometimes reach the right conclusions for the wrong reasons, I don't see that this is happening with LCHF. The theoretical underpinnings of LCHF are extremely strong: the metabolic changes involved are very well understood now. I'd also agree that just because someone is a doctor it doesn't necessarily mean he knows anything about the scientific method, but Tim Noakes is a research physician - in theory at least he should know how science works.

However, I think the article is conflating issues of science with issues of practical application ("technology"), and the conclusion ("we have no long-term data regarding the possible harmful consequences of a high-fat diet.") is just not true. We have several large government-funded longitudinal studies that show no connection between high-fat diets and all-cause mortality, such as the Nurses Health Study. The amusing part is that those studies were commissioned with the overt intent of proving that link. Most governments (the UK is an exception) have now quietly removed their advice against fats in general and saturated fats specifically.

LCHF works in that it reliably achieves all the effects that its proponents say it does, for almost any random subject. Many other popular diets either work only for SOME people, or for none at all.

The important point about LCHF is this: about 10% of the population do just fine on a high-carb diet (of which a 'whole food plant based diet' is one type). You can feed them more-or-less any amount of carbs and their bodies will deal with it, without any signs of metabolic distress. The other 90% have varying degrees of "carbohydrate intolerance" (yes, it's an imprecise phrase, but I don't know of any better one). However, 100% of the population have no known lower limit for carbs - that is, it's not necessary for health.

In other words, with very few exceptions (people with genuine metabolic disorders) anyone can eat LCHF and thrive. A lucky few can eat high-carb low-fat and get away with it.


I can quite easily agree that people do well on LCHF in the short to medium term. That I don't disagree with. It is the long term that I have concern with.

My point in posting this article (one of quite a number btw) is that I would prefer to take my stance from hard science, properly researched, properly published. To show that I am not biased on this I watched a video concerning the Hippocrates institute where Dr Garth Davis, again someone whom I have the highest respect for, was taking the Hippocrates Institute to task - in no uncertain terms - for not publishing what they claimed.

For anyone who does not know the Hippocrates Institute has healed 100,000s of people over six decades from chronic illness. They advocate a largely raw food version of the diet I follow. Very hard core. But then to cure some chronic conditions that is what may be needed.

So here was Garth Davis really tearing into the people of the Hippocrates Institute for not publishing good science and then relying on good science that has been peer reviewed.

My point is that is the standard I like to hold myself to. If anyone can find any reference I make and argue fully that it is not good science - then I want to know. I want to be the first to know and I can and will adjust my stance.

My point then is I hold others to similar standards. If I find someone like Noake who is drawing conclusions based on bad science, then I call that out. I will name and shame that anywhere I go.

And so anyone who relies on Noakes as a way of choosing the right or wrong paths to improve their diet is putting themselves at serious risk.

Dottie, you say HCLF evidence is extremely strong. I want, I need and others here need to see what good research you can find that supports your ambitious claim. And as I say - long term benefits with minimal risks, aka side effects such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, parkinsons and so forth.

You show me that evidence from a large range of unbiased peer reviewed scientific papers and I will consume some dairy tomorrow, despite the harrowing effects it would have on my arthritis. That fact is any and all evidence is funded at core by the meat & dairy industry and people who are paid by them.

That's your challenge. I have my pint of cows milk ready.

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"That fact is any and all evidence is funded at core by the meat & dairy industry and people who are paid by them."

Andy, do you understand how comments like this make you come across?

When offered links to 15 year studies of keto and LCHF you ignore them.


I don't think Andy wants to know about the studies, Rignold.


well I am sure Dr Cousens or some other reputable scientificnessist will ahve produced a meta analysis saying "all Big Ag lies" or similar. May as well roll with that.


My attitude is, no one guru or no single protocol is bound to be perfect. Take what you can, to suit and leave out stuff you don't need. We all have the screen to keep the unwelcome bits from coming in whilst letting the fresh air in. We are all different and let's listen and stay respectful. Arguing will lead to the dreaded acidifying effect. ;-)


I agree with this post 100%. I come on here to have a conversation, not a competitive debate. Let the judging stay on the comments sections in the news websites.

I'm led to believe that the human genome is unaltered after 24,000 years but we must have diversified genetically enough for one way not to suit all people.

I feel that the best I can achieve is whole vegetables, fruit, herbs, spices and nuts with fish, eggs and certain meats as an accompaniment rather than the main ingredient.


I believe I have replied to all posts. Certainly I have taken considerable time digesting and replying. And I hope others have provided me with the same courtesy.

If I have missed anything then that is my error but it is not intended.

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Andy, if you want to be scientific, the onus is upon YOU to furnish disproof. One of the biggest mistakes that the general public make (and that includes most public officials) is that they think science is like a court of law, with what's "right" and "wrong" decided by the balance of evidence. It is not like that at all. I suggest you read up on the work of Karl Popper to get a proper understanding of the modern scientific method.

The LCHF theory has met some important criteria for scientific validity:

a) It rests on a solid base of biochemistry knowledge, some of which only recently came to light because of the popularity of LCHF. For example, it's been discovered that, on with a very low carb diet, your body preferentially burns short- and medium-chain saturated fatty acids for fuel; people eating LCHF therefore have a much lower level of circulating saturated fats than people eating high-carb diets. To LCHF advocates this is less interesting than it appears, since saturated fats seem to be of no clinical significance, but it does address the "concerns" of people who still believe that they are.

b) It makes specific predictions that turn out to be true.

c) No experiment has shown the basic tenets to be false.

At this point, the duty of Science is to focus on (c): test the theory until it breaks. Until that happens, it can be accepted as 'fact'.

Low-fat high-carb, in contrast, has NEVER had any biochemistry behind it, NEVER made successful predictions, and has been disproven (as a proposed 'healthy' diet) many times over. And yet it keeps coming back from the grave. It's absolutely bizarre. The modern obsession with removing fat and replacing it with starch or sugar has created an epidemic of misery: go and look at slough of despond in the NHS thread if you don't believe that.

Incidentally, the phrase "evidence-based medicine" arose precisely because most medicine does NOT meet the standards for hard science; instead, doctors use a method more akin to technologists developing new products. They try something, and if it works, they keep doing it, even if they're not entirely sure why it works. A majority of drugs and medical procedures are developed this way. Sometimes theory catches up, sometimes it doesn't (we still don't know why general anaesthetics work, but we're all jolly glad that they do). There is nothing really wrong with this, even if it isn't "proper" science. It gets results for people who urgently need it. The downside is that it sometimes turns out to be wrong, but this isn't such a big deal if officials just say, oops, we're wrong, let's try something else. One recent instance that springs to mind: episiotomy during childbirth. It turns out that it's not just unhelpful, it exacerbates tearing (something any mechanical engineer could have predicted). So it's rarely done anymore. In the diet war, they either can't or won't admit they're wrong.

Oh, and LCHF has nothing to do with milk. It's a method, not a specific diet. It's perfectly possible to do LCHF without dairy: many people do exactly that. In theory it's even possible to do vegan LCHF, although probably rather difficult.


Thank you TAD. I accord with Karl Popper's thinking. In the area of nutrition proof and disproof are notoriously difficult to arrive at because so many factors are at play. I think this in part is why the HCLF vs LCHF wars will continue for many decades. Finding that resounding blow that knocks out the opponent is no an easy task.

The foundation of the modern high-fat low-carb movement can be said to be the Atkins Diet. I think that's right? Sadly Atkins himself was seriously overweight when he died... of a heart attack. Since Atkins the diet has returned in many forms, but essentially it is still high fat low carb. And indeed it is extremely popular. People lose weight on it reliably initially.

Many modern forms of LCHF emphasise removal of processed foods, and this I totally applaud. Processed foods are the cause of many modern illnesses. I think of food as something that has been grown in sunshine, and processing in factories removes us further and further from that tenet.

There are other aspects of modern low-carb that are excellent, notably more vegetables. Not enough in my book, but then you know that!

What worries me about the high-fat low-carb is the demonisation of carb as it is some kind of devil. It talks about lectins, for instance which is completely off the wall thinking. Yes not cooking kidney beans fast for 10 minutes in boiling water is going to lead to bad outcome. But similarly the human body NEEDS meat to be prepared, esp cooked, and generally cooked thoroughly otherwise bad outcomes are likely.

You argue that my plant food diet has no biochemistry basis, which I find a weird claim and I would ask you to justify this position. To say it has been disproven many times, that also I would like to see the evidence of. PLEASE!

I am not familiar with "slough of despond." If you could provide me with a starting link then I will research.

I know very well that milk can be avoided on a high-fat diet. Vegan LCHF, yes I belonged to a facebook group that advocated this. I found the experience very painful to be a part of, so I left. Watching all these people going further down a dark road...

My bottom line for this post is that people love hearing they can eat foods they have always eaten. That is why high-fat diets are popular. Tell someone they can have as many slices of bacon fried in as much butter as they want and as many eggs as they like with a little bit of bread toasted and itself soaked in even more butter. Why wouldn't this be popular? Well, for me it is the long term outcomes. The epidemic of diabetes and other chronic diseases.

And where are those diseases in people who follow my kind of lifestyle? Nowhere. Just point me to a hospital full of people following my kind of lifestyle. Anywhere in the world.

You want a prediction? The Public Health England healthunlocked.com/healthye... will have little effect on health outcomes in coming years because somehow although fat is VERY clearly implicated at the beginning, by the time it came to recommendations mysteriously dropped as an issue. Yes the guidelines will have some effect, but it won't be dramatic. It won't very significantly reduce diabetes (as per Dr Neil Barnard's near 100% success rate.) On the other hand it will make a generation totally paranoid about their calories and their continuing ill-health.


Mmmm, eggs, butter, bacon, full fat milk...Love all these delicious and satiating foods! :)

Incidentally, so does my 84 year old father who eats these foods in abundance and since stopping taking statins around 7 years ago, has been in perfect health! He did have three heart attacks in his 50s, but that's when he had cut back on saturated fats, due to 'flawed' science telling him these natural foods were bad for his health and was eating more polyunsaturated oils and carbs instead!

Just because these foods don't seem to work for you Andy, does not make them bad for the rest of the population and many people are actually curing themselves of illnesses like Diabetes, for example, by adopting a low carb, high fat diet!

I like this too:

What was I made to eat? fixmyhealth.wordpress.com/2... :)

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It is not about what works for me or you or your dad. We are just anecdotes.

Its the science that is important. We are talking about risks and risk management.

The adventist study covering 96,000 people publichealth.llu.edu/advent... shows vegans have far better health outcomes in the long term.

Here is just one conclusion, "Levels of cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, and the metabolic syndrome all had the same trend – the closer you are to being a vegetarian, the lower the health risk in these areas"

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The science is flawed and only based on epidemiological studies, which don't mean anything! They get paid to produce the desired outcomes.

I've had enough of arguing with you Andy, bye.


"Getting paid for desired outcomes," is the most untrue statement I could ever imagine. I thus presume you never bothered watching the video on how Dr Greger puts one of his videos together. Shame, you might have learnt something.

Whatever one day you may be fortunate enough to have an ah-ha moment.

good bye dottie.


As to the FixMyHealthy link which features a video by Dr. Barry Groves. He clearly had a genetic heart defect. That put him at higher risk of dying of a heart attack, which is implicated in his death. This is what I am talking about RISK MANAGEMENT. To ignore his genetic heart defect was definitely a contributing factor in his death. If he had not followed a high-fat low-carb then it is possible, and in my mind probable he contributions to nutrition could have gone on for many more years.

It's about managing risk.

As to arguing religious texts. For my mind the bible is a book of lots of stories. It is not science and can lead people down very bad roads very easily.

In the FixMyHealth it has a whole paragraph of nonsense, "The most insidious lies are those that use epidemiological studies. Find a population of your choice. Find a trait. Plot the correlation. Bingo! Asians have squinty eyes. Asians are Buddhists. Conclusion? Buddhism gives you squinty eyes. Or is it the other way around? Squinty eyes predispose you to be a Buddhist? Or is this all nonsense?"

Please please quote links that are not splattered with nonsense. Nonsense in that paragraph includes:

1) "all epidemiological studies are lies." The study cannot in itself be a lie, that is a complete nonsensical sentence. Arguing that peer-reviewed research is to be dismissed just is a rubbish argument. Do you know what the peer-review method is?

2) it then goes on to argue A=>B and A=>C thus B=>C or something like that. Again complete nonsense. The epidemiological studies that I quote have none of that lack of logic. Please show one example.

If I may add there is an implication the high-carb low-fat lifestyle ONLY relies on epidemiological studies. This is a complete and utter myth.

I am glad you like that article. But I find no useful arguments in it. You might argue I wouldn't because of my stance. But honestly I really want quality statements. Please present some quality arguments and I will change my mind.


This is one of the reasons why I never bother to follow these online diet gurus. There are different schools and people should just follow what they feel to be right or choose the method that works for them e.g. oil-free or oil-rich, whichever, depending on the individuals who have individual choice/preferences/needs/purposes. Also, there's the difference amongst different people. There are people, who are generally healthy but want to eat "healthy" to lose weight, people who are diabetic (and need to lose more weight), and others who have health conditions (systemic inflammation) who would need to avoid/eliminate certain types of food. To people, who would stop eating any sort of oil (besides naturally occurring oils in nuts) or dairy or any lean protein such as chicken or turkey, it may be normal for you to avoid these altogether in order to control your inflammation. But, I'm sure there are a plenty of people, who would not see it the same way as you would. You are just getting your needs met but someone else's needs might be different. One's diet has its targets and objectives you need to meet, be it, simple weight loss, anti-inflammatory, or just getting healthy/fitter, generally. Different people have different needs, which are all highly personal.

Andy's diet is hardly High Carb as far as I am aware if his main dietary staple food is either raw or cooked veggie and "some" unprocessed grains on the side without any processed food whatsoever. It's a highly stoical diet very few can follow over a long period. He largely follows the type of diet by listening to his body to combat his systemic inflammation and he feels that animal proteins and oils would flare his arthritis as far as I am aware. High Carb diet generally means that you are eating loads of white bread, cookies, baked goods, potatoes. I doubt any of us are into that. Everyone's arthritis reacts to different food groups. In my case, high refined sugar/fruits with high sugar content seem to be the trigger food.


>> Andy's diet is hardly High Carb as far as I am aware if his main dietary staple food is either raw or cooked veggie and "some" unprocessed grains on the side without any processed food whatsoever.

I agree, which is why I find it a bit baffling he sees the need to trash LCHF. Much of what he believes is also practiced by LCHF adherents; Tim Noakes, in particular, clarified his position by stating that he's basically telling people to just eat proper food with meat and vegetables, rather than packaged crap. It's incredible that this is even halfway contentious.

If an austere vegan diet works for andyswarbs , fine. Most people either wouldn't be able to stick to it or wouldn't derive any benefit from it, but that doesn't make his observation invalid.

Nor, though, does his observation invalidate the experimental observations on large populations eating 'omnivore' LCHF. I can't remember if Andy said he's tried that, but he clearly has some specific issue that means he can only eat his plain-food diet. Many people report various chronic diseases disappearing on LCHF with meat and dairy included; Andy, presumably, is just one of those unlucky few (maybe 0.1% of the population?) who lacks some critical metabolic cogwheel for dealing with that particular variant.


My starting point to trash is when evidence to support ANY dietary lifestyle is supported by poor evidence. For example, when someone, like Tim Noakes rejects "causal" conclusions, and that word causal is not used lightly then I have to call that into question, as I think everyone should.

If Noakes advice had been presented in a way such as "sorry folks, I know Noakes is a bit out there, but I feel his conclusions deserve some merit." Then I would have given it more credibility. But no, Noakes was presented as some kind of authority with NO qualification of his merits. Yes he is Professor Emeritus, etc etc. But just because someone has a job title does not mean he de facto is talking scientific sense.

I will rubbish scientific advice about my own chosen lifestyle, and indeed I have done on these forums without compunction. Why should I hold Noakes to a different standard?

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If my diet is "austere" it is just because I have a crippling disease that I am fighting tooth and nail over each and every day. If you take away the disease element then the vegan lifestyle is extremely cheap, easy, varied and thoroughly enjoyable. For most people they can adapt to that lifestyle with ease.

I am not "one those unlucky few (maybe 0.1% of the population)" It is my contention that anyone, without exception, with serious rheumatoid arthritis can seriously improve their health following the path that I chose. That improvement can lead a vast swathe of people resuming normal lives, even, for many, to the point of removing drugs from their life - forever.

RA apart, people with other illnesses can find recovery from serious illness. Some illnesses get so far they cannot be reversed, eg Parkinsons, Dementia but they can be held in check.

The third, and hopefully largest group, is those without obvious illness. These who get close to my kind of lifestyle will, and do, find things like their BMI normalising, no small improvement. A large proportion of people find that if they get a cold/flu their recovery is faster than it used to be. People report these things all the time.

The people at biggest risk of ill health when going to a vegan lifestyle are those who eat as they used to forever. So they eat their "meat and 2 veg" plates with meat substitutes. These substitutes are good in the short term and they have none of the disadvantages of eating real meat, such as antibiotics. needing to be cooked and prepared carefully, and thrown away if uneaten.

Yes, I an at an austere end, but that is not the norm of a vegan lifestyle, and not even of a whole-food plant-based no-oils lifestyle. My question is do people want to live with illness, or live a life relatively illness free - even into "old age?"

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Andy, I think we're probably talking past each other. Your diet "works". LCHF "works". Mediterranean "works". A whole bunch of other diets also "work". The only one that DOESN'T work is the NHS diet. I never said your diet had been shown to be bad. I was speaking specifically of government-standard low-fat high-carb, which is strongly associated with metabolic syndrome and is most likely the proximate cause. However, as mentioned by myself and others, your diet probably doesn't meet the definition of low-fat high-carb.

There may indeed be people who benefit from the diet you're advocating. If it works for you, it will undoubtedly work for others. However, I would take the view "if it ain't broke don't fix it" - there are millions of people worldwide who have found a new lease of life on LCHF, and there's no obvious reason to suggest they should all stop what they're doing and eat vegan.

Your arguments about the health benefits of veganism are only marginally true at best: I mentioned the example of prostate cancer with hard numbers, showing that vegans are only slightly less likely to get it. There was a huge government-funded study done very recently on bowel cancer because people had got it into their heads that red meat was responsible. The study showed no link with red meat, and a very weak link with processed meats (possibly because people who eat a lot of processed meats also eat a diet deficient in other respects).

There is really no dispute about the safety of LCHF, and you still haven't referenced any paper that actually demonstrates harm: or more specifically, WORSE harm than that associated with low-fat high-carb. If it weren't so serious it would be funny: the NHS diet clearly doesn't work and in all probability is dangerous, and yet they have the sheer brass neck to suggest LCHF might (might) cause as-yet-unspecified harms.

It seems to me that it gets right up their noses because it IS so safe and effective. It irritates the hell out of the experts that they can't find any evidence of harm, despite throwing billions of dollars down the toilet trying to find some.

Even on the NHS website, they don't say "there is evidence that LCHF is harmful", or that "studies X, Y, Z show LCHF to increase the risk of diseases A,B,C". They just say, "there are concerns that...". Weasel words like that don't belong on a page that's supposed to be scientific. Well, WHO is concerned exactly? What are they concerned about? And if they're concerned, why haven't they designed and funded an experiment to address their concerns?

The fact is that the only people who are "concerned" about LCHF are the drug companies and food manufacturers who stand to lose a lot of money if low-fat high-carb goes out the window.

Even the detractors of LCHF say that yes, you will maintain a normal weight on this diet, it normalizes your blood lipid profile, it's excellent for managing T2 diabetes ... BUT WE STILL THINK IT'S HARMFUL. I mean seriously, is that even logical? LCHF makes people look and feel healthy, by any measure you care to name, but it's still BAD FOR YOU in some nebulous way? Sorry, but that's just completely irrational.

As for Noakes, what got him into trouble, specifically, was telling people to eat meat and vegetables. Seriously. That was his statement, on record. Are you really asserting that that's bad advice?


I am truly surprised that to someone outside my dietary lifestyle high carb low fat means including refined carbs. Truly surprised. So I have just spent a few minutes looking at the top entries on google when searching for that phrase. What I find seems to support my view. The top entry was an article about Freelee the banana girl who eats 30 bananas each day. Whilst I only have a banana once every few days, I put her in my kind of lifestyle.

Interestingly I came across a lancet article thelancet.com/journals/lanc... which seems to support the predominant view here, that high carbs increase mortality risk. A study across 18 countries. This should be music to the ears of people here. I said I would tell it how it is and alter my view if justified.

In this case I am not changing my view. The reason can be summed up in hardvard rebuttal hsph.harvard.edu/nutritions... which challenges the study's conclusions, arguing the data does not support such conclusions.

But, and the reason I add this here, is obviously the PURE study authors did not distinguish sufficiently the concept of carbs when devising their questionnaire. I really am truly surprised. It is as if outside by lifestyle there is a blind spot.

Dr John McDougall prefers the word starch rather than carbohydrate. He argues that almost anyone can understand the term starch, but understanding good and bad unrefined and refined carbs is elusive. Until now I thought he was being silly.

For what its worth, I asked people inside my community if they thought I ate I high-carb diet. The jesting that came back at me can be summed up as, "don't be silly!"

Last night's dinner? Lentil, kale & carrot curry with an equal serving of wholegrain rice. Carb, carb, carb all the way carb.


The government's standard advice on diet is rubbish. That we can totally agree on. It is that advice that has led to chronic illness spreading like wildfire. It is that advice that has filled our NHS to bursting point. It is that advice that has filled the coffers of pharma.


well, at least there's something we can agree on :)

I do agree that using the word 'starch' is better than carbohydrate, not least because there are several types of carbohydrate that humans can't metabolise for energy.

>> authors did not distinguish sufficiently the concept of carbs when devising their questionnaire.

This is a fair point. I get the feeling that a lot (possibly most) of your carbs are from vegetables not from starches. It's definitely true that lots of studies fail to distinguish between - for example - a slice of white bread and a baked potato. The latter is not a huge problem (especially if it's a smallish potato). The former definitely is.

I have to take issue with you re. Robert Atkins though. He didn't actually die of a heart attack (head injury, IIRC) but he had had heart attacks and it's possible he might have died of one if not for his accident. But really, what would that prove, except that old men die? He was 72; not exactly ancient, but definitely in the queue for his appointment with the grim reaper. It's just one of those odd ironies, like traffic-safety campaigners getting killed in car accidents (yes, it's happened - more than once). If he'd died of prostate cancer would you have said: see, it just proves that LCHF causes prostate cancer?

If there were millions of LCHF dieters keeling over from heart attacks in their 40s and 50s, you'd have a reasonable point. But there aren't.

So let's talk about holding up some common standards. The NHS diet does nothing good for people. It's almost certainly responsible for an epidemic of misery, chronic disease, and death. And yet there they are, complaining that LCHF doesn't make you live forever, therefore it's bad. That's just stupid.

LCHF is not a miracle cure for all that ails you. It make some fairly modest claims: it'll keep your weight normal and it'll reduce your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Nobody has ever claimed that, if you have a sedentary job like Dr Atkins, it'll protect you from the inevitable consequences of your lifestyle. Nobody has ever said you'll NEVER have a heart attack or become diabetic. People get ill and die. Sometimes they die of heart attacks. If it happens when you're in your 70s, well, that's a relatively painless way to bow off the stage.

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AnotherMember, my diet is about 50% carbs. I think anything above 45% is generally considered high carb, but call me a medium-carb if you want to. I like that epithet, kind of makes me unique.

If you want a technical reason for low-fat, it is to do with omega-3 to 6 ratio. When omega 6 input is low then AHA conversion to DHA/EPA has been shown to be excellent at around 80%. This is because they go through the same enzymes, and sadly these enzymes prefer omega-6. So my reducing the omega-6 input the body adapts and starts to convert omega-3's effectively from ALA to DHA/EPA.

The recommended ratio for someone with my illness has been shown to be 2-3/1 where it suppressed inflammation in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. See 2https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12442909 for more details.

By using the bodies ability to generate its own EHA/DHA I don't need to supplement regularly. Thus I only supplement when I eat away from home and less able to control the input of omega-6 into my diet.

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You read my mind, andy! Omega is a good subject, but nobody else might think that. ;-)

Well, I wouldn't start on macros, since your diet is your own personal choice. Personally, I would say, your diet is Low-Cal(ories)/Vegan (with whole grain/nuts/fruits). Green, colourful veggies are all low cal, they are carbs but they are pretty clean stuff with fibre and other health-promoting stuff. They often pass through the gut. It won't make you gain any weight. I know Tesco thinks "plant-based" diet is a new buzz word as far as I am aware. Veggies are low cal, even though they are carbs. In essence, you can call your diet as you like. But high-Carb diet may give people a false impression that your diet is full of bleached pasta, loads of white rice, white loaves of bread which I believe you wouldn't touch with a barge pole. ;-)


I don't consider a diet full of poor quality carbs high carb at all. Anyone eating lots of white bread (however prettily wrapped and presented at the supermarket), white pasta is on the road to ruin, imo. But your distinction of thinking that as exclusively high-carb is interesting, and one I had never considered. To me high carb refers to someone aiming at a healthier life and seeing whole-food plant-based as they motorway they are travelling along.


you don't consider a diet full of carbs to be high carb...

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For anyone interested in more background on Tim Noakes you might want to pick on his very controversial advice that babies should be weaned off mother's milk on to a low-carb high fat diet. This week he is facing a Health Professions Council hearing. firstthing.dailymaverick.co...

Ignoring such trials, a key claim of Tim Noakes and his Adkins-styled diet is that fat and cholesterol are not causal of cardio vascualar disease. This is most definitely not the opinion of the European Society of Cardiology.


Tim Noakes founds his opinion arguing that you have to "follow the money", arguing that A paper by Dr Krauss, whose paper


was funded by the broccoli council (sic!), whereas actually Dr Krauss has been employed by the dairy industry. Thus destroying Noakes's follow the money argument.




Sorry, dottie, I thought you were not going to comment on my posts? Hoping your diet helps you wake up properly.


I'm much more awake than you'll ever know thank you Andy!

Unfortunately, I keep getting notifications on my email that you have replied, which is quite annoying. Luckily I've just noticed I can un-follow this post now though, thank goodness, it was getting rather tedious!

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tedious, indeed.


>> Ignoring such trials, a key claim of Tim Noakes and his Adkins-styled diet is that fat and cholesterol are not causal of cardio vascualar disease.

As I've mentioned before, the raw data on this are readily available online. You can draw your own scatterplot and run your own statistics if you want. There is no correlation. Nobody has ever proposed a causal mechanism between total circulating cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. Most of the cholesterol you ingest isn't even absorbed.

There IS a predictive link between your HDL-C/triglycerides ratio and cardiovascular disease ... but eating a high-carb diet reliably makes this ratio WORSE in 90% of experimental subjects, while LCHF improves it. The biochemistry behind this effect is now well-understood.

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