The Fruit Doctor wants centenarians or near... - Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating
46,429 members8,336 posts

The Fruit Doctor wants centenarians or nearing on a high-fat diet thriving...


The Fruit Doctor Michelle (not a fruitarian) on youtube has produced a video commenting briefly on her own journey of following a vegan lifestyle in response to a number of high-profile vegans who have returned to eating meat/fish etc.

What she does in the video is try to explain why she will remain a vegan and how she thrives on it nd has done for 30 years. Part of her justification is many well documented and high profile vegans or near-vegans with good long lives. What is valuable is these people are thriving to the very end. In her video she talks about Bernando Lapallo, Fauja Signh, Marge Jetton, Ellsworth Wareham, Ancel Keys, Norman Walker, Roy Swank, Mike Fremont, Cicely Tyson, Walter Kempner, Charlotte Gerson, Jay Kordich, Virginia Vetrano, George Malkmus, Caldwell Esselstyn T. Colin Campbell, Ruth Heidrich, Mimi Kirk, Karyn Calabrese, Annette Larkins, Victoria Moran.

What she is asking for some people to both give a thumbs down to the video and comment with high-profile low-carb/paleo/carnivore eaters who exhibit similar long lifestyle successes who are thriving at the end of their lives.

23 Replies

High fat, low carb is quite a new trend, isn't it? I'd be surprised to find people who've been following it for 20 years of any age.

My great gran was Irish Catholic, and lived on a very traditional meat and 2 veg diet (with fish on Friday's), and lived to be 105, if that's of any use to you?

Cooper27Moderator in reply to Cooper27

I've watched the video out of curiosity, and a lot of the people she names included fish, chicken or dairy in their diet, and they ranged in ages from 69-114 (the 114 year old eats fish).

andyswarbs in reply to Cooper27

Yes, the okinawans ate some meat. But their diet was 95% carbs, much of which was potatoes. Today's modern okinawans (same genes presumably) are eating a more SAD diet and they are becoming more obese and dying younger of the usual chronic illnesses.

It is true that many of these long established communities ate some meat or fish. But analysis of the diet shows overwhelming plant based. Interestingly Dr Fuhrman (one of the plant doctors) argues that longevity studies show that an increase in fats is needed after the age of 80 in order to reach that extra longevity. Being a mere 66 yr old I am not there yet but I have that increase in mind. I presume what he is talking about is studies of those blue zones.

>> It is true that many of these long established communities ate some meat or fish. But analysis of the diet shows overwhelming plant based.

You just described a standard LCHF diet.

andyswarbs in reply to Cooper27

Both my mum & dad lived to 91 and had their faculties to the very end. If I mirror my Dad in one way it is an interest in Yoga. He was doing his own yoga poses into his 90s. As a family one fabulous moment was sharing their 90th Birthday bash as a family party in a swimming pool. My mum did need to get down into the swimming pool using her wheelchair, but once in the pool. Our family tends to live long lives. And my Mum and Dad ate vegetables from their own garden, and some eggs, dairy, meat & fish. But I don't consider them in the same league. My parents in later years did a lot of watching sport on TV. Nothing wrong with that, but it is hardly challenging.

The people on The Fruit Doctor's list are people who lived very active and challenging lives to the very end. Both Caldwell Essyltyn and T Colin Campbell exemplify that being in active research for 60 years - and still going. Ellsworth Wareham, although a retired cardiologist, he was actively training until he was 95.

Compare this with Robert Atkins, renowned cardiologist, born within 4 years of both Essyltyn and Campbell) and the inspiration of the low-carb movement, who according to his postmortem died at the age of 72 of a heart attack, congestive heart failure and hypertension.

Cooper27Moderator in reply to andyswarbs

I don't know the ins and outs of the Atkins diet, but don't think it involved much vegetables, and it was a very heavily processed diet. I'd need to read into it more, before commenting, but I've never viewed it as a pinnacle of healthy diet. Although 72 is older than some of those listed in the video (I know those people are still alive).

I think activity is important - it's great to see these people continuing to keep active, it's a common theme for those who live into their 80s/90s.

andyswarbs in reply to Cooper27

An anecdote. I know of just one friend that I know who did Atkins. A big man who lost of ton of weight and swore by it. Now years later he is an even bigger man trying other diets, probably low-carb because he loves his meat.

Cooper27Moderator in reply to andyswarbs

Well sure, but we all know someone who's a stickler for a crash diet. The problems always start when you return to old eating habits at the end of the diet, because you've been too restrictive. But then that's where we at the healthy eating forum hopefully buck the trend: we're trying to get into the habit of a healthy and maintainable lifestyle :)

andyswarbs : it's surprising how many people are experts on the Atkins diet, considering how few have actually read his book.

The only difference between "classic" Atkins and modern LCHF is that he was slightly overzealous about the carb restriction in maintenance. IIRC, he suggested that potatoes, bread, etc should be permanently off-limits and that things like fruit and carrots should be treated with caution. The reality is that these things are perfectly OK in moderation.

Atkins took great pains to emphasize the importance of vegetables (non-starchy ones, of course). The reason everyone believes Atkins is all about steak and eggs is simple:

a) The media mounted a very successful smear campaign against him, and he didn't really do himself any favours because he wasn't a very articulate guy.

b) Most people who "did Atkins" didn't bother to read the book, and just picked up some hearsay from the media. The unfortunate fact is that, if you eat nothing but steak and eggs, you will lose weight, so the nonsense propagated by the media was reinforced.

Completely agree with Cooper27 about the importance of exercise. Too many people think they can carry on with a fundamentally unhealthy lifestyle as long as they eat lots of steak and eggs. Predictably enough, it doesn't work like that.

Praveen55Star in reply to andyswarbs

Robert Atkins did not die of heart attack, heart failure or hyper tension. He died of head injury due to a fall. However, some vested interest tried to defame his work by propagating false cause of his death:

JAS9 in reply to Cooper27

Well there are probably still tribes in Africa and elsewhere who live on a LCHF diet. The one that I've heard of are nomads who eat a lot of meat from their livestock and they die in their 40's.

The only others I know of who were on a keto diet for decades were the children who had epilepsy. They suffered many liver and cardiovascular illnesses, but it was better than dying young(er).

Cooper27Moderator in reply to JAS9

It's not really comparable... nomad tribes don't have access to quite a few of our major life extending luxuries - such as tap water and indoor toilets (the number 1 factor in reducing disease and increasing life expectancies in the Western world). I'm not sure what their vaccination access is like either.

Wait, what? The point of her video is to get people to disapprove of those who live long and healthy lives on high fat diets?

Impudent upstarts, how dare they live too long when they're not supposed to!

JAS9 in reply to TheAwfulToad

No, she wants those who disagree with her to give her video a thmbs down and to list people who have thrived with LCHF for a ong time in the comments. Read more carefully.

JerMan22 in reply to JAS9

Exactly. She'd like to know of any healthy, old LCHF people if there are any. She hasn't been able to find any, and I've never known of one.

TheAwfulToad in reply to JAS9

Ah, got it. Sorry. Which video are we talking about? I'll leave a comment.

It's hard to find what you're not looking for, but I'll give her credit for looking. Also worth pointing out that (a) there just aren't very many LCHF adherents around, because the mainstream advice is so pervasive and (b) those that do exist tend to keep quiet, because they know their doctors will shout at them, tell them to eat more carbs, and give them pills to make sure they die on schedule.

I've just found one Fruit Doctor video telling me that LCHF makes you age faster, because of some cargo-cult mumbo jumbo. Aging is an incredibly complex issue. Even the leading minds of our time don't quite know how it works yet, so I doubt "doctor" Michelle has much to add. Wikipedia says:

"However, only low molecular weight AGEs are absorbed through diet, and vegetarians have been found to have higher concentrations of overall AGEs compared to non-vegetarians. Therefore it is unclear whether dietary AGEs contribute to disease and aging, or whether only endogenous AGEs (those produced in the body) matter."

My gut feeling is that this is yet another wood-for-the-trees irrelevancy that the nutritionists have seized upon in an attempt to stay relevant.

I must say, I find it surprising that the powers-that-be haven't attempted to (for example) track down all of Atkins's ex-patients and see how they're doing. I can think of only two explanations:

- They've spent all their research money on proving that Mighty White, Uncle Ben's and Pot Noodles have nothing to do with diabetes and heart disease.

- They can take a good guess at what the outcome would be, and they don't want anybody raining on their parade.

Because if LCHF adherents were all dropping dead from heart attacks, you can be damn sure the "fat is bad" brigade would be publishing endless papers about it. There's nothing like hard endpoints to make your point.

JerMan22 : well, there's me. I've been doing this for about 15 years, and at a rough guess I'd say I'm healthier than 95% of men in my age group (and I look better). The standard response to this is: ahhh yes, you may look and feel healthy, and your risk markers might all be exactly where the doctors say they should be, but just you wait until you're 70!

To which I would respond: if that's true, then all the present medical estimates of health (and our visual clues to health) are invalid, so why do we bother measuring anything at all and dosing people up with statins on the basis of the results?

PS: Dr Stephen Phinney, CEO of Virta Health, 69, and no apparent signs of kicking the bucket.

Queen Elizabeth II is going to be 93 next month. Her diet is more towards LCHF type. She particularly avoids starchy foods like pasta, rice, potatoes . Eats meat including steak and fish.

The terminology LCHF is a recent invention. There is a wide range of macro-nutrients that can be included in this diet depending on the individuals' health conditions. It is more like a dietary approach which can be personalised based on health requirements. Have a look at Queen's diet below:

andyswarbs in reply to Praveen55

She has toast in the morning and afternoon tea is bread as well. I thought these were starchy? One trait of people who live long lives are they slightly under eat for their BMI, and from what I see she certainly does that. Otherwise seems a great example. Thanks Praveen55.

I think Praveen's point is that people get the wrong end of the stick regarding the meaning of "low" in "low-carb". All it really boils down to is "less that the ludicrous amount of carbs recommended by the government". In that view, virtually every diet except for the nutritionist-approved diet is low-carb.

In other words, it would be more accurate to describe the EatWell Plate as the maximum amount of carbs (and the smallest amount of fat) that you can ingest without actually killing yourself. Although the Establishment diet is typically described as "balanced", that word seems to have had an Orwellian makeover to mean "completely lopsided".

Definitions, definitions. Absolutely right.

The same is true at my end of the dietary lifestyle. Critics talk about biscuits, white bread, white pasta, white rice etc etc and lump it all together as if these are nature's way of providing carbs. Which it is not. This is the result of refining foods. If the fibre is not protecting those carbs a sugar rush can/will happen in the body from these simple carbs. And then if one is at risk of diabetes all hell can break loose.

Whereas if one only eats unrefined/complex carbs where the carbs are protected by the fibre it will take much longer for the body to break apart that fibre and get to the carbs inside. This will lead to a slow and steady release of energy that the body craves and indeed thrives on.

Definitions, definitions....

Concerned in reply to andyswarbs

i agree with what you are saying in principle andyswarbs, however the glycaemic-index proves that there are significant exceptions, and other factors that affect Gi include the ratio of amylose to amylopectin, particle size, gelatinisation, cooking methods, and the presence of fat or acids.

Whilst they aren't wholefoods, baked beans or reduced-fat milk cause the over-stimulation of insulin.


Here is another example, Susannah Mushatt Jones who puts her longevity down to eating bacon and eggs every morning for over a century.

In fact, there are many more such examples.

andyswarbs in reply to Praveen55

Susannah took high blood pressure tablets - to feed her bacon habit? She was advised to have a pacemaker fitted, used a wheelchair, was blind. I mean I am sure she was a lovely person but hardly a shining example of good health? Come on, many people extend their lives using medication, in fact it may be already the norm. But if anything we're looking for good to great examples.

Before Susannah was Emma Morano who ate 3 eggs a day. I am not saying that one cannot eat these things and survive.

I am not looking for survivors. I am looking for thrivers.

You may also like...