Every man is the creature of the age in which he lives; very few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of the time. --VOLTAIRE
All great truths begin as blasphemies. --GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
The low carb diet has probably been the most controversial and hated diets of the last 50 years. Although it was made popular thanks to Dr. Robert Atkins in his 1972 book Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution, the fundamental idea behind the diet goes at least a hundred fifty years back.
Meet William Banting
, a British undertaker who lived in London in the mid 19th century. Throughout the years, Banting had gained weight gradually, and at one point was so obese that he could not tie his own shoes and had to walk down the stairs backwards or else risk falling. He had tried a variety of diets and exercise regimens to no effect before finding a diet, recommended by his doctor, that finally worked for him. This diet consisted of meat, greens, fruits, and dry wine, and avoided sugar, saccharine matter, starch, beer, milk and butter. It was so successful that Banting lost weight rapidly, and decided to share his experience by writing an open letter to the public, called Letter on Corpulence
. Its popularity was such that it had to be reprinted multiple times, and the term "banting" became synonymous with dieting.
Throughout the first few decades of the 20th century, Banting's results were easily reproduced by a ton of individuals, as well as by researchers during epidemiological studies and laboratory experiments. The results were always the same: the higher the diets were in carbohydrates, the more likely the subjects were to gain weight, and the more difficult they found it to lose weight. The epidemiological studies in particular pointed to strong correlations between the introduction of sugars and refined carbohydrates to the diets of populations previously isolated from civilization, and significant increases in obesity in those populations. The Eskimos, for example, live on a diet that is practically zero carbs, and full of protein and animal fats. The vast majority are lean and athletic, with virtually non-existent heart disease and cancer. It is only those individual Eskimos that regularly visit civilized settlements that demonstrate cases of overweight and obesity (which is why Eskimos are shown as plump in popular media - because Western civilizations typically see only to those individual Eskimos that become overweight after being exposed to Western foods).
But all this changed in the 1950s thanks to one important individual: Ancel Keys
. Keys was a scientist who studied the effects of different kinds of fats on health. He was solely responsible for popularizing the supposedly direct link between saturated fat consumption and CVD risk, even though the way he reached that conclusion was highly questionable:
During World War II, Keys studied starvation and sustenance diets using 32 conscientious objectors from Civilian Public Service as test subjects in the Minnesota Starvation Experiment, and eventually producing his two-volume Biology of Human Starvation (1950). His interest in diet and CVD was prompted, in part, by seemingly counterintuitive data: American business executives, presumably among the best-fed persons, had high rates of heart disease, while in post-war Europe, CVD rates had decreased sharply in the wake of reduced food supplies. Keys postulated a correlation between cholesterol levels and CVD and initiated a study of Minnesota businessmen (the first prospective study of CVD), culminating in what came to be known as the Seven Countries Study. These studies found strong associations between the CVD rate of a population and average serum cholesterol and per capita intake of saturated fatty acids. Then, as now, critics have rightfully pointed out that this "strong association" becomes weaker when data from other countries are added to the mix and there have been allegations that Keys "cherry picked" the data to support his hypothesis.
Despite the fact that there was plenty of counter-evidence that disagreed with Keys' hypothesis, he ignored all of it (or explained it away using fallacious logic) and was able to use his considerable aggressiveness, charisma, and influence to first get the American Heart Association to accept his hypothesis as fact. Then, through that organization, he convinced the government and eventually the media and the public that fats are bad and should be kept to a minimum, while saturated fats are outright evil and should be avoided as much as possible. Instead, Keys said, the public should follow a diet that is high in complex carbohydrates and moderate in protein, while keeping fat intake limited to small amounts of plant-based fats. And that became the basis for the US Government's dietary guidelines, and the surgeon general has been repeating it since the 1960s.
After that we all know what happened, more or less. Obesity continued to increase despite the fact that the population in general decreased its fat intake and increased its carb intake. Dr. Atkins came along and suggested that, hey, what we're doing is clearly not working, whereas low-carb seems to work, so let's try that. He said a few wrong things, but got most of it right. However, he was vilified and demonized for advocating a supposedly risky diet. Some scientists and journalists went so far as to call him a mass-murderer for recommending free consumption of animal fats under the guise of promised weight loss. And so, even though pockets of followers continued to follow a low-carb diet, the population at large looked at the Atkins diet, and by association any low-carb diet that came after it, as a "fad diet".
It was somewhat funny. You had all these people that were desperately trying to lose weight on a doctor-recommended low-fat high-carb diet and failing, and on top of that paying thousands of dollars every year on cholesterol and blood-pressure reducing medications in an effort to treat the symptoms of their high-carb diets. Yet, when they saw their friends and relatives following low-carb diets and actually losing weight AND reducing their CVD risk factors in check, they looked down upon them as fad dieters who were no doubt committing suicide.
For the past decade or so, there has been an increasing amount of evidence that, contrary to established medical dogma and popular belief, low carb diets are actually quite safe.
Overweight people on low-carbohydrate and Mediterranean diets lost more weight and got greater cardiovascular benefits than people on a conventional low-fat diet, according to a study that endorses alternative diets published in a major medical journal.
The study, which tracked 322 Israelis for two years, surprisingly found that a low-carb diet, often associated in the U.S. with high levels of meat consumption -- was better than a low-fat diet in boosting blood levels of "good" cholesterol, or high-density lipoproteins associated with cardiovascular health benefits. It also determined that the Mediterranean diet, which includes wine, olive oil, whole grains and fruits, was better than the low-fat diet in controlling glucose levels.
The researchers suggested that doctors and nutritionists could use the findings to tailor diets individually to patients with heart disease or diabetes, stressing that these were alternatives to low-fat diets that many people find hard to follow. The results also indicated that worries that low-carb diets, in particular, might cause health problems, are unfounded.
"A lot of people believe a low-fat diet is the only sanctioned weight-loss diet," said Meir J. Stampfer, an epidemiology and nutrition professor at the Harvard School of Public Health who was senior author of the report, published in Thursday's edition of the New England Journal of Medicine. The study found that "there are alternatives that work better."
The study's leader, Iris Shai of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, said, "We believe that this study will open clinical medicine to considering low-carb and Mediterranean diets as safe, effective alternatives for patients."
The study was funded with a $497,000 grant from the Jenkintown, Pa., nutritional-research foundation established by Robert Atkins, the late diet guru whose Atkins diet is controversial because it allows dieters to consume large amounts of meat and cheese, while eliminating bread and pasta. The foundation said it didn't influence the findings, and the study's authors said they didn't have any financial conflicts under the New England Journal guidelines.
Dean Ornish, a doctor and University of California at San Francisco professor who advocates extremely low-fat diets, said the Israel study shouldn't be seen as endorsement of the Atkins diet because the low-carb participants in the study were encouraged to consume vegetable fats, as opposed to the meat fats that Atkins dieters typically ingest. "A vegetarian Atkins diet is almost an oxymoron," he said. He also said the low-fat diet in the study, which was based on recommendations by the American Heart Association, doesn't cut out enough fat.
Low-carb diet advocates said they weren't surprised by the results, which they said confirm shorter, smaller, studies done over the past 20 years. Last March, Stanford University researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association that over the course of a year, overweight women assigned to follow the Atkins diet lost an average of 10 pounds, exceeding losses recorded by women on other diets in the study. However, the study was criticized because many of the women didn't stick with diet guidelines and because they were paid to participate.
Stephen Phinney, professor emeritus of nutrition at University of California at Davis who has researched high-protein, low-carb diets for more than 25 years, said that with publication in the New England Journal -- which he called "the keeper of the consensus in medicine" -- he expects that "what was considered unacceptable, becomes mainstream thought."
Jimmy Moore, a 36-year-old from Spartanburg, S.C., who operates a dieter's Web site, says he lost 180 lbs. after going on the Atkins diet four years ago. He said he did it even though his doctor "thought I was nuts." He says his doctor was impressed with his diet success, and publication of the study may convince him to recommend the diet to other overweight patients.
In the Israel study, after two years, those in the group assigned to the low-carb diet lost an average of 10.3 lbs. -- 58% more than the 6.5 lbs. lost by dieters who followed the low-fat diet based on the Heart Association recommendations. Those on the Mediterranean diet, which includes lots of carbohydrates like pasta and more calories from fat in the form of olive oil than the Heart Association recommends, lost 10 lbs., nearly as much as the low-carb diet.
Excluding drop-outs, the average weight loss was 12.3 lbs. for the low-carb dieters, 10.2 lbs. for the Mediterranean dieters and 7.3 lbs. for the low-fat dieters. The subjects started out with an average body-mass index of 31, well above the top level of 24.9 considered normal weight. About 85% of those in the study were men.
The study was conducted among a group of workers at Israel's Nuclear Research Center in Dimona. Aided by support from the center, including color-coded menu information in the company cafeteria, 95% of the employees stuck with their diets for a full year and 85% were still involved at the end of the two-year study. Dr. Shai, the lead researcher, said that the "support in the workplace," helped people stay on the diets, even after weight loss plateaued at the six-month mark. She said the success suggests that workplace support for diet programs could help employers improve employee health.
The low-carb diet was also found to reduce harmful triglycerides, a precursor of heart disease, more than the low-fat diet. Levels of "bad" cholesterol, or low-density lipoprotein, which is associated with the formation of arterial blockages, didn't significantly differ among the three diets.
Low-carb diets permit people to freely eat cheese, meats and animal fats that are discouraged in traditional diets, although in the Israel study, employees were counseled to emphasize vegetable fats. The low-carb dieters weren't given any restrictions on the number of calories they could consume, although they ended up eating about the same number of calories as the other two groups, indicating that they were satiated by their fat consumption. After an initial two-month period with just 20 grams a day of carbohydrates, they were allowed to consume up to 120 grams a day, well above the Atkins-recommended levels.
The low-fat and Mediterranean dieters were restricted to 1,800 calories a day for men and 1,500 for women. The Mediterranean dieters were urged to eat poultry and fish instead of beef and lamb, and they ate a handful of tree nuts and about five tablespoons of olive oil a day, so they got 35% of calories from fat. The low-fat dieters got just 30% of calories from fat.
Dr. Shai, the study leader, said she conceived the study when she was at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston on a Fulbright scholarship. "Before I came, I had the understanding that a low-fat diet was the best. But after I came, I started to think maybe we are wrong." Dr. Shai, 39 years old, said she thought the Israel nuclear research center would be a good place to run a study because it is isolated and people seldom leave. In addition, people were all on a private computer network, making it easy to monitor employee compliance by administering electronic questionnaires. But she says, "The main effects could be achieved in any workplace."
Barbara Howard, former chairwoman of the American Heart Association's Council on Nutrition, said that the group hasn't advocated a low-fat diet in recent years. She said reducing total calories and exercise are the key to weight loss. The group also urges people to avoid saturated fats and limit "calorie dense foods" such as fats and "highly processed carbs like pastries."
Background:Low-carbohydrate diets have been advocated for weight loss and to prevent obesity, but the long-term safety of these diets has not been determined.
Conclusions: Our findings suggest that diets lower in carbohydrate and higher in protein and fat are not associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease in women. When vegetable sources of fat and protein are chosen, these diets may moderately reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.
Objective: The objective of this study was to prospectively evaluate the relations of the amount and type of carbohydrates with risk of CHD.
Conclusion: These epidemiologic data suggest that a high dietary glycemic load from refined carbohydrates increases the risk of CHD, independent of known coronary disease risk factors.
What does obesity have anything to do with this?
Everything, it seems.
For more than 50 years, nutritional science and its related medical fields and disciplines have been dominated by one giant myth: that obesity is an eating disorder, caused by uncontrolled eating and sedentary behavior. As a result, the primary methods used in the treatment of this disease have been based on limited food intake (especially fat intake, because fats are denser and also because of the belief that they are dangerous) combined with cardiovascular exercise.
It is interesting however that, while medicine has been making leaps and bounds of progress in other areas - such as the ability to perform open-heart and open-brain surgeries as routine operation, re-shape the ocular lenses with lasers, and transfer organs from one patient to another - the medical professionals that treat obesity have hit a giant wall of failure. Obesity is at a rise, not just in America but across the entire world. The dangerous health conditions that it causes - heart disease, diabetes, cancer - are killing us faster than anything else. Every year, more Americans die due to obesity-caused diseases than all the Americans that died during both World Wars, The Korean War, and Vietnam War. The conventional wisdom of obesity treatment that prescribes reducing overall calorie intake and increasing physical activity does not work for the vast majority. And, for the small portion of patients for whom it does work, its effects are only temporary. Most of the patients that manage to lose weight with calorie-restricted diets that are low in fat and high in complex carbs and protein gain it right back within a year or two.
Understandably, this is a cause of great frustration among doctors who treat obesity, and those who dabble in nutritional sciences. The reason is that their conventional wisdom is based on a fundamental law of physics: the first law of thermodynamics. You see, it's all about calories in minus calories out. If a person eats more than they burn, then the excess is stored in fat tissue. If they burn more than they eat, then they lose weight. This is supposed to be so simple that even a cretin can understand it! And it's a law of nature, so if it's not working for the patient, the patient must be doing something wrong, and/or they must be lying, and/or must not have any willpower and cannot stick to the diet for extended periods of time. If science can't explain their failure, gluttony and sloth definitely can!
And there is plenty of anecdotal evidence to support the gluttony/sloth explanation. Every article you read, every TV program on obesity you watch, every expert you hear... they all talk about how fatty foods have become extremely common, how people have become more sedentary thanks to cars, TVs, and computers, and how no one is exercising. These views are usually supplemented by super-sized McDonald's meals showing off their grease in all its glory. We are eating ourselves to death, they say, and the only way to save ourselves is by summoning the collective willpower to say no to the after-dinner dessert, and, if we fail to do that, to get off our butts and go to the gym to "burn off" the calories we just consumed.
The only way science progresses is by continuously questioning itself. Yet that is the one thing that the majority of obesity researchers and medical experts have not done when faced with all the negative data and observations of failure after failure. You have 50-60 year old doctors that are still preaching the same bullshit they read in their medical textbooks back in med school. They have blamed everything and everyone, yet in their zeal to pass judgment on those they treat, they have forgotten to ask one simple question: "What if we are wrong?" In fact, not only have they not done this, but they have also crushed without mercy those of their kind who have suggested it (such as Dr. Atkins). Every alternative hypothesis of what causes weight gain and obesity has either been ignored or vilified by both medical experts and the mass media simply because it contradicted conventional wisdom.
There have been some very interesting experiments done on lab rats with regards to how insulin regulates food intake and fat accumulation. In one very interesting study, done in the 60s (iirc), scientists wanted to find out the effect of calorie restriction on rat obesity. They found that, as long as the diet remained low in fat and high in carbs and protein, the rat continued to accumulate fat even if it was semi-starved
. It made up for the difference by reducing its movements and sexual activities.
In a similar study, after rats got used to drinking water with X grams of sugar in it everyday, they were given additional servings of water with less and less sugar. The scientists found that the rats drank more and more water as the sugar content in the water decreased, until they reached a point where they exerted more energy drinking the water than they got from the sugar in it.
After doing months of research on this topic, I've become convinced that treating obesity as a disorder of eating is wrong. Eating a lot is only a symptom of obesity. The root cause is too much insulin. Insulin is the hormone that is released when blood sugar goes up, and it is in charge of storing it in fat cells. When there is too much insulin in the blood (a condition known as hyperinsulinemia, a pre-diabetes stage), too much of what we eat is stored as fat. As a result, we lack the energy for other activities, and become sedentary and eat more. This is why obese individuals eat a lot and are sedentary. Their sloth and gluttony are symptoms of their obesity, not the cause. In other words, obesity is a hormonal disorder, rather than a behavioral disorder. Therefore, we need to stop looking for the root cause in the brain and start looking for it in the endocrine system, and treat it in such a way that we reduce the total insulin level in the blood. And the only way to do this is by lowering the carbohydrates from the diet as much as we can.
Gary Taubes, the author of the controversial Good Calories, Bad Calories, recently gave an excellent lecture
on this recently. Some of the examples he gives, particularly the obesity rates among the Pima Indians and the Indians of the South Dakota Crow Creek Reservation, are particularly telling. Please watch at least some of it before responding to this thread.
I can already hear the cries of "but should we not eat fruits? Surely they are good because they contain fiber and vitamins!" Well, it turns out that the data suggesting the benefits of fiber is also suspect (not necessarily incorrect, however). We now have increased evidence that fiber by itself actually does not do anything. Most of the studies that show its benefits have actually reached incorrect or at best partial conclusions, probably because the existence of fiber is correlated with the non-existence of other carbohydrates in the food (that spike insulin). In other words, the more fiber a food has, the less sugar it has to have (in a given volume). Therefore, it may actually be the case that the benefits of fiber are not brought about by fiber itself, but rather with the decreased carb intake (or at least glycemic index) that comes with it. (Note: the fiber hypothesis was embraced with open arms because it did not directly contradict Ancel Keys' recommendation that we should all strive to eat a diet high in carbs. Suddenly you could eat all the carbs in the world, and as long as you got some fiber with it, it protected you against virtually everything).
The latest book I am reading on this subject is titled Protein Power
, written by Drs. Mike and Mary Eades, written in 1997. Mike also has a blog
that I regularly read. In the book, here is what they have to say on this:
What does the typical American eat? How about the old standard: meat and potatoes -- protein and carbohydrate. A hamburger and fries -- protein and carbohydrate. A pizza, which is basically cheese, meat, and crust -- protein and carbohydrate. Macaroni and cheese -- protein and carbohydrate. Think of anything we commonly eat: eggs and hash browns, milk and cereal, pork and beans, chicken and dumplings, peanut butter and jelly, ice cream, chili con carne, lasagne -- the list could go on forever; every one of these popular foods is a combination of lots of carbohydrate and some protein. And lots of fat, of course, which we will consider shortly.
Let's forget about protein for a minute and concentrate on just the carbohydrates that we eat, which do an outstanding job of raising insulin all by themselves. The second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES II) conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics published data in 1983 on the food consumption patterns of Americans. What would you guess as the number-one food consumed by most Americans? White bread, rolls, and crackers -- almost pure carbohydrate. How about number two? Doughnuts, cookies, and cake -- more carbohydrate and fat. Number three, alcoholic beverages. All in all, of the top twenty foods that Americans eat, eleven are virtually pure carbohydrate, four are a combination of carbs and protein, and only five are pure protein or a combination of protein and fat. These last five represent only 12 percent of the calories we eat.
What about the fat and cholesterol we've shrugged off in our discussion so far? Do we not have to worry about them at all? Don't they cause some problems? Sure they do, but not nearly the problems that carbohydrates do. And when dietary fat and cholesterol cause problems, it's usually because of the carbohydrate eaten along with them. It is true that fat is the raw material from which the body makes cholesterol, and it is also true that if you add more fat to your diet your cholesterol will increase, but only if you continue to eat a lot of carbohydrate at the same that you add the fat. Although it is the raw material the body uses to make cholesterol, insulin runs the cellular machinery that actually makes it. If you reduce the level of insulin, the cells can't convert the fat to cholesterol, no matter how much fat is available. Eating fat in the absence of carbohydrate and expecting it to be converted to cholesterol is like trying to make your car go faster by putting a larger gas tank in it. If you reduce the amount of carbohydrate when you add the fat, not only will you probably not see any increase, you could even see a reduction in cholesterol levels.
Sadly, the typical American diet is almost all fat and carbohydrate. According to the National Research Council's Committee on Diet and Health in 1985, 46 percent of calories in the average American's Diet came from carbohydrate, 43 percent from fat, and a paltry 11 percent from protein. 89 percent of the American diet is fat and carbs.
Here is usually what happens: a patient gains weight and subsequently develops high blood pressure, for which the doctor prescribes a mild diuretic and low salt. The patient returns with better blood pressure but now a slight elevation in cholesterol and is put on a low-fat diet. He returns no lighter, with little change in cholesterol, but now his triglycerides or blood sugar have risen, too. The progression occurs because all these disorders are related through a single disturbance (excess insulin) that is actually being aggravated by the treatment
Jayne had been unaware that she even had a problem until she went for a routine physical examination. Her doctor checked her over, told her she appeared to be in good health, drew some blood, and told her he would call her when the results came back from the lab. He called the next day and dropped the bombshell: her blood fats were dangerously elevated. Her serum cholesterol was 750 mg/dl -- normal is anything below 200 and her triglycerides (another blood fat usually measured in the 100-to-250 mg/dl range) were a whopping 3,000 mg/dl! Most physicians get excited over a cholesterol of 300 mg/dl, let alone 750, and become outright alarmed at such a high triglyceride level. So it's no surprise that her doctor -- following standard medical protocol -- completely bypassed Step One and immediately started her on the National Cholesterol Awareness Program Step Two and two potent cholesterol-lowering medications. [protein's note: Step One is reducing fat intake to 30% of daily calories, and Step Two is reducing even further. If both steps fail, cholesterol lowering medication is prescribed.]
Jayne faithfully followed her doctor's orders for six months, although not without difficulty. The medications nauseated her, and the diet kept her constantly hungry. Her condition was the talk of her friends and relatives, one of whom actually remarked to her, "I didn't know a person could still be alive with a cholesterol of 750!" By the time Jayne returned for her recheck, she was desperate for improvement. And she improved some, but not nearly enough. Her cholesterol had dropped from 750 to 475 and her triglycerides had dropped from 3,000 to 2000 -- an improvement to be sure, but still cause for great concern to both Jayne and her physician. They discussed treatment options. Her doctor suggested either increasing the dosage of her cholesterol-lowering medications of adding yet another medicine to her regimen. Jayne wanted to think about it before she decided which option to take. She decided to do neither until she got a second opinion from another physician, so she came to our clinic.
After listening to her history, we drew another blood sample and found that indeed she did have extraordinarily elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in her blood -- 495 mg/dl and 1,900 mg/dl, respectively. In addition, her blood sugar was elevated to 155 mg/dl (normal is below 115 mg/dl), an ominous sign of impending diabetes.
We instructed Jayne to stop taking both of her cholesterol-lowering medications and to change her diet drastically. Her new nutritional regimen allowed meat (even red meat), eggs, cheese, and many other foods that most people view as causing cholesterol problems, not solving them. We told her to call in three weeks to check in and to come back to have her blood checked in six weeks.
She called at her appointed time and reported that she "felt grand" and that her nausea and hunger had vanished. The results of her blood work astounded her. Jayne's cholesterol level had fallen to 186 mg/dl and her triglycerides to 86mg/dl. Her blood sugar had dropped to 90 mg/dl; everything was back in the normal range. As you might imagine, she was ecstatic.
How could this happen? How can a diet virtually everyone believes should raise cholesterol actually lower it -- and in a person who doesn't have just a slight cholesterol elevation but a major one? We know Jayne Bledsoe's case is not a freak happenstance or an aberration because we've tried variations of the same regimen on countless other patients -- all with the same results. The results make perfect sense, because Jayne's problem, her illness, is not elevated cholesterol level -- that's merely a sign of the underlying problem. Her problem is hyperinsulinemia, a chronic elevation of serum insulin.
When Jayne first came to our office, her insulin level was almost 20 mU/ml, about double what we consider normal, which is anything below 10 mU/ml. After six weeks on a diet designed to lower her insulin level, Jayne's lab work showed that she had dropped hers to 12 mU/ml, almost normal. By treating her real problem -- excess insulin -- we were able to solve her secondary problems of elevated cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugar. Standard medical therapies treat the symptoms of excess insulin -- elevated cholesterol, triglycerides, blood sugar, blood pressure, and obesity -- instead of treating the excess insulin itself. Unfortunately, the standard treatment of the symptoms may even raise the insulin levels and worsen the underlying problem
One interesting fact about obesity is that, historically, it has been viewed as a sign of wealth and power. The thought process was that eating a lot causes obesity (here is that upside down reasoning again), and only wealthy people could afford to eat a lot. So if they were fat, that meant they were wealthy.
There are a ridiculous number of exceptions to this however. In the US alone, obesity tends to be ridiculously common among the poor. This directly contradicts with our historical understanding of obesity and social class. How is it that, in earlier ages, obesity was a sign of wealth, but in today's day and age, it is a sign of poverty? The math does not add up. If you watched Taubes lecture I linked above, he talks about the South Dakota Crow Creek Reservation in 1928 - one of the poorest areas of the US back then, with an extreme shortage of food as well as horrendous living conditions. The obesity rate? You would expect it to be low, based on the historical link of poor = thin, but it was actually a whopping 40% in adult women, 25% in adult men, and 10% in adult children. How was it that these people still managed to grow obese when starving?
To be honest, I am not expecting people here to accept this outright. I started out on a foot of extreme skepticism, and purely by coincidence, and it took months of research and reading to convince me of the beliefs I outlined above. It takes an overwhelming amount of evidence, and sometimes extraordinary conditions, to dislodge conventional wisdom, especially when it is based on a faulty understanding of fundamental laws of nature (calories in - calories out = change in weight).
But, hopefully, we are progressing in that direction, albeit slowly.
Thank you for reading.
bacon is good for you, mmkay?