I've been on a keto diet for the past month and change. I love it! I can eat all the meat, dairy and nuts I want to! I snack on beef jerky, cured meats and nuts when I'm hungry. I can still enjoy a lot of the vegetables I love! I can--oh shit.
From Popular Science:
In a recent study in The Lancet as well as in prior work, including this 2010 analysis, researchers have found that people who eat few carbs and rely on plant matter for their fat and protein intake—think beans and nuts—tend to be healthy, long-living specimens, relatively speaking. Those who eat few carbs and rely on animal proteins and fats, especially red meat, are the only low-carb dieters who seem to suffer for it. They tend to be less healthy in terms of cancer and cardiovascular disease, which are often the primary outcomes measured in these kinds of studies, and as a result they live shorter lives. This makes sense—plant protein is better for you than many animal proteins because plants contain less saturated fat, which can drive heart disease, and often have more fiber and nutrients.
I suppose I should be investing in a little more of all those tasty things other than red meat. And maybe cut down on the chicken. Also, fish.
That said, as Popular Science is quick to point out, "these studies, like virtually all nutrition studies, are merely finding associations between groups of people who are often self-reporting data. Read the rest
Crew members on Expedition 44, including NASA's one-year astronaut Scott Kelly, harvested some "Outredgeous" red romaine lettuce Monday, Aug. 10, from the Veggie plant growth system on the nation’s orbiting laboratory.
A soda for people who would never say anything untoward, but can't figure out why there isn't a White History Month. Read the rest
Two recent papers about heart disease from the Cleveland Clinic are making the rounds. The studies report that red meat and eggs cause heart disease because our gut bacteria converts carnitine and choline into Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), a heart disease trigger.
At Huffington Post, Chris Kresser has questions about the papers:
[W]hile at first glance the papers from Dr. Hazen's group might appear to be the final nail in the coffin for the omnivorous among us, a closer inspection of their data reveals some troubling questions. First, a study back in 1999 found that seafood generates much higher levels of TMAO than red meat, eggs, or any of the other 46 foods tested. One species of fish, halibut, produced 107 times as much TMAO as beef, and 53 times as much TMAO as eggs. If high TMAO levels cause cardiovascular disease, and eating fish increases TMAO more than any other food, we'd expect to see high rates of heart disease in people who eat the most fish. Yet that is the opposite of what research shows. In fact, some studies have found eating more fish (particularly cold-water, fatty fish like salmon) reduces the risk of heart attack by a greater margin than statin drugs!
In fact, whole grains could play a role in elevating TMAO levels:
Read the rest
In their second paper, Dr. Hazen's team raises the possibility that the foods we eat aren't the primary driving force behind our TMAO levels, because most people are able to excrete excess TMAO that accumulates in the blood via the urine.
The new book, Paleofantasy: What Evolution Really Tells Us about Sex, Diet, and How We Live, is billed as an "exposé of pseudoscientific myths about our evolutionary past and how we should live today." It was written by Marlene Zuk, a professor of ecology, evolution, and behavior at the University of Minnesota.
Many people who follow the paleo regimen have reviewed the book on their blogs, but my favorite review so far is by Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint (my favorite paleo book). He says the problem with the book is that no one who follows paleo believes any of the straw man premises she sets up. In other words, Zuk's idea of Paleo is the real paleofantasy and her arguments against her own straw man version of paleo were explored and accepted years ago by the Paleo community.
Read the rest
After reading the book, John Durant tweeted “Paleofantasy shouldn’t have been a book in 2013, it should have been a blog post in 2010,” and that’s as good a description as I can think of.
It’s all very uncontroversial:
There is no one paleo diet.
Who’s saying that? Humans have spanned the globe for millennia, surviving and even thriving in environments ranging from tropical to temperate, from arctic to near-aquatic, all the while subsisting on the wild foods available to those regions. Same basic diet of animals and plants, different configurations.
Evolution doesn’t just stop and humans didn’t just reach a state of perfect adaptation back before agriculture from which we’ve never progressed.
Richard Nikoley of Free the Animal started eating fried potatoes earlier this week and has lost five pounds so far.
Read the rest
This is the "magic" of potatoes. You can literally live off them, and some people have and do. Of course, you don't want to, nor do I, but it's a useful tool when you understand what's going on, which is one hell of a lot of things as I'm learning. Let me give you the very basics, though, for review.
--Potato fills you up and it's difficult to eat enough to maintain body weight.
--Eaten plain, it's pretty unpalatable and so even if you can eat enough to maintain body weight, you're going to have to get over that.
--Adding a little fat (1 tsp per medium potato) and spices will make them more palatable, but you will still have a difficult time eating enough.
--They have quality amino acids, meaning you will tend to guard lean muscle (and I supplement with branch chain aminos and liver tablets).
--Calories count, i.e., not eating enough equals weight loss; having sufficient aminos equals fat loss preferentially.
--And as UK Veterinarian Peter has also hypothesized, there may be a cute little trick that helps this along. Now while Peter—as a species agnostic veterinarian—is difficult for mere mortals to understand, things begin to sink in upon 2-3 readings of a post. The gist as this mortal understands: very, very low fat is essential. Pancreatic beta cells require fat to produce the insulin necessary to regulate blood glucose.
A new, 25-year study of rhesus monkeys is muddying the waters around the theory that heavily limiting the number of calories you eat can prolong your life. You've probably heard about the studies with worms, and mice, and rats, showing that those animals live longer, healthier lives when they eat significantly less food than control animals. But, as Nature News points out, those results aren't always consistent from study-to-study—a fact which suggests we don't really understand all the factors in play just yet. In fact, the new rhesus study flatly contradicts a previous rhesus study. But that previous experiment could have been flawed because control monkeys were fed high-sugar foods in unlimited quantities, rather than a reasonable, healthy diet. Basically, if animals really do live longer on super-low calorie diets, there's probably more going on there than just super-low calorie diets. Read the rest