Friday, 11 December 2015

In starvation or ketosis, protein should have NO EFFECT on blood glucose level, not RAISE it.

From Blood Sugar is Stable:-

In a healthy person, BG (blood glucose) is held at a fairly constant value with slowly-varying glucose inputs (except after high-GL meals, which produce rapidly-varying glucose inputs) by a NFB (negative feed-back) loop. See Blood Glucose, Insulin & Diabetes.

When protein is eaten, this produces a glucagon response from pancreatic alpha cells, which tries to raise blood glucose level by stimulating the liver to convert liver glycogen plus water to glucose. Protein also produces an insulin response from pancreatic beta cells, which tries to lower blood glucose level by a) increasing glucose uptake from the blood and b) inhibiting HPG (hepatic glucose production). The net result is no change in BG level.

In extended fasting or on VLC (very low carbohydrate)/ketogenic diets, there's no liver glycogen left after ~1 day.
The glucagon response has no effect on HGP.

The insulin response still has an effect, until physiological IR* develops.
∴ Blood glucose tries to decrease, but the HPAA keeps it steady by raising cortisol level.

RE How eating sugar & starch can lower your insulin needs: Blood glucose level on a VLC/ketogenic diet can be RAISED, due to the BG NFB HPAA (hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis) loop not having a precise set point with the cortisol/adrenaline response (hyperglycaemia is not fatal, whereas hypoglycaemia can be fatal, as the brain always needs some glucose to function (~50%E from glucose)).

So, how come people on LCHF (low carbohydrate, high fat) diets can have normal or slightly low BG levels?

1. Luck. The BG NFB HPAA loop isn't very precise.

2. Excessive intake of Booze. Ethanol inhibits HGP (dunno about RGP (renal glucose production)).

3. Insufficient intake of Protein. This deprives the liver & kidneys of glucogenic amino acids (Alanine & Glutamine are the 2 main ones), forcing BG down and making the HPAA run open-loop and raise cortisol level. There's another source of Alanine & Glutamine available - Lean Body Mass. Uh-oh!

Consuming more protein on extended fasting or a VLC/ketogenic diet can result in higher BG level for three reasons.

1. It allows the HPAA to run closed-loop, as it's supposed to.

2. The lack of a 1st phase insulin response in people with IR/IGT/Met Syn/T2DM* results in a temporary BG level spike with the intake of rapidly-absorbed proteins e.g. whey. There's an unopposed glucagon response, until the 2nd phase insulin response begins.


*Long-term drastic carbohydrate restriction kills the 1st phase insulin response! See

P.S. This only applies to people who have sufficient liver glycogen, due to them eating some (50 to 100g/day, say) carbohydrate.

3. Hepatic Insulin Resistance results in the insulin response inadequately suppressing Hepatic Glucose Production. As 50g of protein (an 8oz steak, say) yields ~25g of glucose from glucogenic amino acids, there's an increase in the amount of glucose entering circulation, which raises BG level.


Friday, 4 December 2015

Low-carbohydrate High-fat diets: Green flags and Red flags.

Fun with flags. But first, a poem!

Atkins Antidote

Eating low carbohydrate what threat that poses

Do my friends think I’m suffering from halitosis?

I’ve got these sticks for measuring ketoacidosis

I’m taking supplements but I don’t know what the dose is

I’m trying hard to keep in a state of ketosis

I’m not sure what the right amount of weight to lose is

I’m sure I’ve put on a pound just through osmosis

Is eating this way risking osteoporosis

Are my kidneys wrestling with metabolic acidosis

My store of liver glycogen I don’t know how low is

Who knows what the glycemic load of oats is

Does anyone know if I can eat samosas?

Ian Turnbull

I do. The answer's "No!" :-D

The Green flags...

1. For a person with Insulin Resistance, an ad-libitum low-carb diet results in more weight loss than an ad-libitum high-carb diet.

See How low-carbohydrate diets result in more weight loss than high-carbohydrate diets for people with Insulin Resistance or Type 2 Diabetes , for an explanation.

2. For a person with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM), a lowish-carb (~100g/day), highish fat diet results in minimal disturbances to blood glucose levels and minimal bolus insulin doses.

See Diabetes: which are the safest carbohydrates? , to see which foods should comprise the ~100g/day. N.B. As ~50% of dietary proteins can be converted into glucose by gluconeogenesis, ~100g/day of slow-digesting proteins such as meats, eggs & cheeses can contribute ~50g/day of glucose towards the ~100g/day total.

3. For a person with LADA or MODY, see 2.

4. For a person with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM), a LCLF 600kcal/day Protein Sparing Modified Fast can normalise BG in 1 week and reverse T2DM in 8 weeks (provided there are sufficient surviving pancreatic beta-cells).

"After 1 week of restricted energy intake, fasting plasma glucose normalised in the diabetic group (from 9.2 ± 0.4 to 5.9 ± 0.4 mmol/l; p = 0.003)."

"Maximal insulin response became supranormal at 8 weeks (1.37 ± 0.27 vs controls 1.15 ± 0.18 nmol min−1 m−2)."

After 8 weeks, transition to a diet based on whole, minimally-refined animal & vegetable produce.

See also

As Insulin Resistance is multi-factorial, ALL of the potential causes need to be addressed. Once this has been done, IR should be reversed, allowing restrictions on dietary carbohydrate intake to be lifted. See also Can supplements & exercise cure Type 2 diabetes?

The Red flags...

The low-carb diet is a temporary patch to ameliorate IR/IGT/Met Syn/T2DM, a bit like replacing a failed circuit-breaker by sticking a nail in its place, to allow the house to function while you fix the problem by buying a new circuit-breaker. Although the house functions fine with a nail in place of a circuit-breaker, you wouldn't want to spend the rest of your life without a working circuit-breaker protecting the house.

So, why do low-carbers seem to want to spend the rest of their lives using a temporary patch to ameliorate their IR/IGT/Met Syn/T2DM?

Long-term use of very-low-carb, very-high-fat diets is not recommended.

1. Cortisol level can gradually increase, resulting in increasing fasting BG level. See How eating sugar & starch can lower your insulin needs and Survival of the Smartest (part 2) - Dr Diana Schwarzbein.

2. If you do too much high-intensity exercise, you may momentarily black-out, fall and hurt yourself. See "Funny turns": What they aren't and what they might be.

3. Some people seem to gradually go bat-shit crazy. See Can very-low-carb diets impair your mental faculties? Read the comments in Do the behaviours of Ivor Cummins & Gearóid Ó Laoi seem normal to you?

4. Insulin Resistance is bad, mmm-kay? See Lifestyle-induced metabolic inflexibility and accelerated ageing syndrome: insulin resistance, friend or foe?

5. Dyseverything elseaemia isn't addressed. See Type 2 diabetes: between a rock and a hard place , Type 2 diabetes: your good signalling's gonna go bad and When the only tool in the box is a hammer.

6. Dietary deficiencies may develop. See Rigid diets & taking loadsa supplements to compensate for them.

7. High-fat diets with no energy deficit result in high postprandial TG's. Postprandial lipaemia is atherogenic. See Ultra-high-fat (~80%) diets: The good, the bad and the ugly.

There may be more but I'm knackered, so I'm Publishing!

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Doctor in the House – Watch Diabetes Not Being Reversed Using Low Carb on BBC, While LCHF'ers Freak Out.

This post is about Doctor in the House – Watch Diabetes Reversed Using Low Carb on BBC, While Old-School Dietitians Freak Out.
The YouTube videos may be gone, but the image lives on!
Available to view in the UK on iPlayer 'till 19.12.15 at

In Dr. Eenfeldt's blog post, he makes some schoolboy errors.

1. T2DM (type 2 diabetes mellitus) Reversed with LCHF (low-carb, high-fat) diet. Uh, nope!
a) Sandeep's HbA1c fell from 9.0 to 7.0, which is an improvement but by no means a reversal, as Dr. Chatterjee agrees in
b) Sandeep has T2DM, not T1DM. See When the only tool in the box is a hammer...
Sandeep's BG (blood glucose) went down on LCHF, but what about his dyseverything elseaemia? *sound of crickets chirping*

2. Old-school dietitians freak out. Uh, nope!
In BDA alarmed by controversial and potentially dangerous advice in BBC’s ‘Doctor in the House’, Dr. Duane Mellor sounds pretty cool, calm & collected (though I expect that he sustained injuries from all of the eyeball rolling, as he had to refute for the umpteenth time yet another load of LCHF bullshit).

3. He plays the Shill Gambit card.

Oh, the comments! In typical echo-chamber fashion, LCHF commenters praise Eenfeldt's flawed points. I wonder how long my comment will stay up for?

My comments on the programme (c/p'ed from Facebook):-
"6 minutes in. I think that Priti is deficient in Magnesium (Mg), from her stress levels, anxiety, headaches and difficulty in getting to sleep. Blood tests are useless, as they don't correlate with Mg stores. Need CSF (cerebrospinal fluid) test (lumbar puncture - very painful).

12 minutes in. Priti's blood test results normal. Sandeep has hypovitaminosis D, which is a cause of IR (insulin resistance, it's what caused mine). This important fact is not mentioned. unsure emoticon See

16 minutes in. Talked about sugar in foods & drinks but ignored the large amount of cheese that Sandeep ate earlier. Cheese is *very* energy-dense. Sandeep has been in positive Energy Balance for *way* too long.

24 minutes in. Priti's getting sugar cravings in the morning. Lack of Magnesium also causes IR & poor BG regulation. See

29 minutes in. HIIT (high-intensity interval training) for Sandeep is good for increasing his IS, but little use for reducing his VAT (visceral adipose tissue). You can't out-run your fork.

33 minutes in. Walking for Priti to lose weight? You can't out-walk your fork. If 1,000 steps takes 10 minutes and burns an extra 40kcals, then 10,000 steps takes 100 minutes and burns an extra 400kcals = one chocolate bar.

33:47 minutes in. Sareena has had a full-time job working indoors for the last year. Less sun exposure = falling Vitamin D3 level = deteriorating immune system, deteriorating mood & deteriorating IS. See

I don't think that I can watch much more of this programme!"

followed by:-
"In conclusion:-
1. Anyone who suffers from chronic anxiety is probably deficient in Mg.

2. Anyone who lives in the UK (United Kingdom :-D) and has coloured skin and/or works indoors is probably deficient in Vitamin D3.

3. ~85% of people who have T2DM have excessive VAT. Asians who were skinny in early adulthood have limited SAT (sub-cutaneous adipose tissue) hyperplasia, resulting in small skin-folds but large bellies. A LCHF diet is not suitable for over-fat people with T2DM. It should be a LCLF diet i.e. a low-calorie diet, to deplete over-full cells. Calories count.

4. You can't out-walk/run your fork.

5. Dr Chatterjee has a strong bias. This is not a good trait for someone who's supposed to be practising Evidence Based Medicine."

It's interesting that Priti is fatter than Sandeep, yet Priti doesn't have T2DM and Sandeep does. Priti was most likely fatter than Sandeep in their respective childhoods, for whatever reasons. Priti had more SAT hyperplasia than Sandeep, so she has more storage capacity for dietary fat than Sandeep does. Priti can gain more SAT, which protects her from developing T2DM. Sandeep can't, so he gains VAT, which has limited storage capacity and is more metabolically-active than SAT.

See also Adipocyte Hyperplasia - Good or Bad? and A *very* special dual-fuel car analogy for the human body that I just invented.

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Free will? It's just an illusion! How the Food Product Industry gets people to dance to their tune, part 4.

Cont'd from Free will? It's just an illusion! How the Food Product Industry gets people to dance to their tune, part 3.

"You tend to get what you accept" Tillerman (don't ask). The following music video sums it up.

If you give someone an inch, they'll take a mile. Why do people put up with the following piss-takes?

If you accept crap, you get crap. Therefore, insist on non-crap.

I used to think that I couldn't do certain things, e.g. perform in public, due to extreme shyness.
Now I do things like this...

Almost anything is possible, if you put your mind to it.


Friday, 6 November 2015

Free will? It's just an illusion! How the Food Product Industry gets people to dance to their tune, part 3.

Cont'd from Free will? It's just an illusion! How the Food Product Industry gets people to dance to their tune, part 2.
Derren Brown shows how easy it is to manipulate your thoughts, by the use of subliminal images.

I may have mentioned it somewhere on this blog, but everyone is different. The reactions of the kids in the "I ate all your Halloween candy" video in the previous blog post varied from total melt-downs, through feigned deaths, through tears, to "That's all right!". Candy/sweets have different importance to different people and people's suggestibility varies from "Very easy to manipulate" to "Very hard to manipulate".

There's engineering of foods to be as moreish as possible. "The trouble is, they taste too good!" (Crunchy Nut Cornflakes), "Bet you can't eat just one!" (some savoury snack made from refined starch, salt & flavourings) and "Once you pop, you can't stop!" (Pringles). As Harry Hill once said "The problem with heroin is, it's rather moreish!" Although addiction to pure table sugar isn't a thing, addiction to hyperpalatable foods is a thing (which can be reduced by Naltrexone). See Food cravings engineered by industry and Sugar addiction: pushing the drug-sugar analogy to the limit.

Then there's the incessant marketing, including direct adverts, sponsorships, product placements, celebrity endorsements, tie-ins etc. See The Money Spent Selling Sugar to Americans Is Staggering and It’s Not Your Imagination: Celebrities Hawk Pretty Much Only Junk Food.

Then there's the bribery lobbying of government to:-
1. Water-down Dietary Guidelines so that crap-in-a-bag/box/bottle (CIAB) meets them. As people get fatter and sicker, the Guidelines and the government get the blame.
2. Subsidise the ingredients of CIAB so that it's cheaper than produce.

Then there's corruption of science e.g. getting doctors to advertise cigarettes years ago. Organisations with vested interests are created, to promulgate conflicting dietary information. Is it any wonder that the public distrust science and scientists?

Edward Bernays' manipulation techniques have worked exceedingly well. If you're too fat and someone says to you "Nobody made you over-consume that crap", point out the above.

What can you do? You can't sue Food Product manufacturers, as their products don't immediately harm you. See How Ultra-Processed Foods Are Killing Us. Hit them where it hurts i.e. in their bank accounts, by eschewing CIAB and basing your diet on whole, minimally-refined animal and vegetable produce. CIAB should be treat foods, not staple foods.

Finally, here's a nice video on how to form good habits for life.

Cont'd on Free will? It's just an illusion! How the Food Product Industry gets people to dance to their tune, part 4.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Free will? It's just an illusion! How the Food Product Industry gets people to dance to their tune, part 2.

Cont'd from Free will? It's just an illusion! How the Food Product Industry gets people to dance to their tune, part 1.

Remember the video "YouTube Challenge - I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy 2015"?

Some of those kids reacted as if their life had just come to an end!

Disclaimer: I don't know anything about psychotherapy, so I don't know how accurate the information is in Hypoglycemia and Neurosis.

Please don't pacify crying babies/toddlers/children with sugary crap.

Cont'd on Free will? It's just an illusion! How the Food Product Industry gets people to dance to their tune, part 3.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Free will? It's just an illusion! How the Food Product Industry gets people to dance to their tune, part 1.

Cont'd from Public Service Announcement: Calling all Low-carb, Low-fat and Veg*n advocates.

I feel a music video coming on! It's Not Safe For Work!

Start of clarification.
I've noticed some confusion over the term "Crap-in-a-bag/box/bottle" (CIAB). My previous post received the following comment, which I'll annotate.
"Is highly processed the problem? Yes.
Tinned tomatoes are processed, what's wrong with including those in your diet. Nothing, other than the fact that they're too salty for me if they're tinned in brine.
What about low sugar baked beans? Nothing, other than the fact that they're too salty for me.
What's wrong with a burger if all it is, is minced beef? Nothing.
Other processed food:
Smoked mackerel Fine.
Frozen peas Fine.
Milled porridge oats Fine.
Parma ham Fine.
Cheese Fine.
Nitrate free bacon Fine.
Prunes Fine.
Almond butter Too calorie-dense & moreish for me.
Filtered milk Fine.
Low sugar jam Fine.
Roasted chestnuts Fine.
Haggis Fine. I think."

CIAB is stuff like French fries/chips, chips/crisps, "fast food", take-aways, pizzas, biscuits/cookies, chocolate, sweets/candy, sugar-sweetened beverages, sugary cereals etc.
End of clarification.

In How to lose weight and get slim by eating "fast food" for 180 days. I showed that it's possible to be healthy on a diet of fast food, if you have a plan and you stick to it. The vast majority of people who eat fast food don't have a plan!

Between the ages of 5 & 8, I spent my 12d/week (that's 5p/week, for those of you who are too young to remember £,s,d.) on sweets. Aniseed balls were 4 for 1d. I also ate French Fancies (small sponge cakes covered in fondant icing) and drank Corona Lemonade (~15% sugar content) at home.

How did I get such a ferocious sweet tooth? Here's the probable answer:- Farley's Rusks.

Look at the health-washing on the Heinz web-site.
"Farley’s Rusks have been loved by mums and babies for generations. Each rusk is lovingly baked using baby grade ingredients."

Let's take a look at the baby grade ingredients:-
"Wheat Flour, Sugar, Palm Oil, Raising Agents (Ammonium Carbonates), Calcium Carbonate, Emulsifier (Monoglycerides), Niacin, Iron, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin A, Vitamin D."

The first three ingredients are refined starch, refined sugar and refined fat. The refined sugar content is 29% by weight. Perfect food for a baby! The previous sentence may contain traces of sarcasm.

Cont'd on Free will? It's just an illusion! How the Food Product Industry gets people to dance to their tune, part 2.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Public Service Announcement: Calling all Low-carb, Low-fat and Veg*n advocates.

Cont'd from The cause of America's rising obesity rate is irrelevant. The cure for it is what's important.

While you're rearranging the deckchairs by squabbling over which diet is best...

People are getting fatter and sicker in increasing numbers around the world, due to increasing numbers of people eating a diet based on crap-in-a-bag/box/bottle. Would switching back to a diet based on whole, minimally-processed produce not be an improvement?

So, why don't you all agree to say the same thing, like:-

Base your diet on whole, minimally-processed produce, rather than products. Tweak it to suit.

While you're wasting time shouting each other down, the manufacturers of crap-in-a-bag/box/bottle are laughing all the way to the bank. :-/

Cont'd on Free will? It's just an illusion! How the Food Product Industry gets people to dance to their tune, part 1.

Monday, 2 November 2015

The cause of America's rising obesity rate is irrelevant. The cure for it is what's important.

NuSi go home. You're not needed!

On a blog comments section somewhere, a argument discussion took place about what caused America's rising obesity rate. Certain people have a hypothesis that there's one cause. Here's a rough list, in no particular order:-
Carbohydrates (Taubes)
Refined Sugar (Yudkin. Lustig)
Refined Fructose (Lustig)
Wheat/Gluten Grains (Davis)
Fat (Ornish, Esseltyn etc)
Saturated Fat (Ornish, Esseltyn etc)
Animal Protein (Vegans)
Mineral Imbalances (Karlsson, "Duck Dodgers")
The Government (Nikoley)
Dietary Guidelines (Teicholz et al)

It's not Refined Sugar. Sorry, John Yudkin & Robert Lustig. See below...
Refined Sugar intake (kcal/capita/day) is higher in France than in the USA, but in France there's a lower obesity rate. ∴ Hypothesis disproved*.

*As the Refined Sugar intake data may be unreliable (it's also associational data), the hypothesis is not necessarily disproved. If only there's an interventional study (which proves causation) which results in lower weight on a higher sugar/fructose intake. There is! See The effect of two energy-restricted diets, a low-fructose diet versus a moderate natural fructose diet, on weight loss and metabolic syndrome parameters: a randomized controlled trial. ∴ Hypothesis disproved.

I asked Duck Dodgers what he wanted to happen. He said:-
"My feeling is that if people recognize that enriched foods are the antithesis of whole foods, then the demand for enriched/refined foods may diminish, forcing the industry to change."

I want people to eschew refined foods for whole foods, too. So all the arguing about what caused America's rising obesity rate was a complete waste of time. This gave me an idea. I decided to run my idea past someone who deals with obese people with T2DM and who just happened to be in the U.K, attending the Health Unplugged Conference, I PM'ed Dr. Jeffrey Gerber on Facebook, inviting him to meet me at Cafe Class in Woking (a location roughly half-way between my home and London).

So this happened...
Ivor Cummins came, too!

Suffice it to say, the afternoon was a blast!

Cont'd on Public Service Announcement: Calling all Low-carb, Low-fat and Veg*n advocates.

Friday, 30 October 2015

A treatment for epilepsy that's as cheap as chips and not a ketogenic diet.

I did some research on PubMed about epilepsy and found something unexpected.

The art of magnesium transport.
"Patients with hypomagnesemia suffer from a wide range of symptoms including muscle cramps, cardiac arrhythmias and epilepsy."

See also Magnesium: Just as important as Calcium , The usual suspects and Depression: The similarity between magnesium and ketamine.

Failure to communicate: How to fix it.

First, a video. I used this video about two and a half years ago.

We communicate with each other verbally and non-verbally. To maintain a reasonable rate of information flow from talker to listener, non-verbal handshaking from listener to talker is used for flow-control.

Unfortunately, people with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) like me (I was officially diagnosed as having an ASD, yesterday) can't detect non-verbal handshaking, resulting in failure to communicate. Body-language = Double-Dutch. This is confusing and upsetting for all concerned, because neither the talker nor the listener understand what's going on.

A talker with an ASD thinks "Why won't they listen to me?". "Why are they walking away?", while a listener without an ASD thinks "Why do they keep on talking when I'm giving clear signs that they should stop?".

Like SkyNet, I have become self-aware. Now that I am aware of this problem, I can fix it. Here's the solution. If you're having a conversation with someone, and they don't stop talking when you're giving clear signs that they should stop, do the following:-

Oh, look. The French already do it. From the above site:-
"Chut! / Silence!

When you want some one to shut up or fermez-la, you can hold up your index finger in the air (not in front of your lips), and give a severe look to the people disturbing you. French teachers use this gesture frequently."

Please don't give us a severe look. We don't do it on purpose to annoy you. We can't help it. TIA. :-)

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Both Sides Now: Asperger's.

Continued from Both Sides Now: Nerds!

A couple of years ago, a psychologist that I was chatting to at a party told me that she thought I had Asperger's. I wasn't upset. I was actually rather relieved, as it explained everything. Since then, several more people, who work for "Disability Challengers", working with children with severe ASDs (Autism Spectrum Disorders) have told me much the same thing.

Here's everything(ish)
A preference for reading science books rather than being with people.
A desire to take things apart and put them back together again (sometimes failing at the latter!) to see how they worked.
Being known as "Professor" at school, as I could chatter away about science facts for hours.
Sucking at forming relationships with women. Logic & emotion mixed like oil & water.
Becoming an Electronic Engineer rather than a Doctor, as it meant working with objects rather than people.
Focussing on a task for hours e.g. Researching, producing new blog posts and updating old ones.
Obsessive behaviour in certain areas.
Loving routine.
Hating change.
Difficulty with communicating facts to people e.g. having a "hectoring" tone.
Offending people without realising it by speaking bluntly or interacting with them in a very logical way, and then failing to recognise their body language shouting "Stop talking!", "Go away!", "Why did you do that?", "I'm offended!" etc at me.

In January 2015, after a series of failed relationship attempts, I asked my GP for a referral to an ASD clinic. After a wait of 10 months, I've got an appointment to see an ASD specialist at the end of this month.

Knowing that I would be seen by a specialist made me more self-aware and I started to push myself into doing things that would normally scare the crap out of me e.g. Approaching a complete stranger in a pub, introducing myself and engaging them in meaningful conversation.

So, I know that there's a monkey on my back and I know what it's getting up to an increasing proportion of the time. Bear with, bear with!

By the way, the computer/smart-phone that you're using to read this post was invented/designed/developed by people like me! Ditto, the Internet.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Netiquette and obnoxious arseholes.

Hey, look! I baked you a cake!

I live my life on the principle that if I wouldn't like someone doing something to me, I won't do it to them.

If I see a man having a discussion with a woman that I know in the street, I wouldn't barge in and start haranguing the man, because I wouldn't like it if someone did that to me.

So, why is it that on the Net, obnoxious arseholes think it's O.K. to do it? No, it's not! There's something called Netiquette. Observe it.

Yes, Man and Bali. I'm looking at you! When someone is commenting from the safety of their computer keyboards (or Smartphone touch-screens), they can turn into obnoxious arseholes. In real life, they might get a punch in the chops, which they'd richly deserve.

Addendum: On a Facebook status, far far away, the following conversation occurred (the beginning has been redacted):-

Me: I've liked some of their comments, too. That's why it's odd that they're playing up now. They seem to be "White knighting" Jane.

Kade: And now the plot thickens. You see, this might be something entirely different.

As an amused onlooker with no real interest in this drama, or the anonymous actors, I'll offer two educated explanations.

1. As you've already touched on, this might be a simple case of plain 'White Knighting', which isn't all that uncommon on the internet. Case closed.

2. If one were to really consider where the various moving parts of these dietary arguments -- and their actors -- find their home ground, Jane would actually be someone who'd get considerable sympathy from the plant-based or plant-centred crowd. Her general theories and ideas espouse a very low animal product intake paired with a puritanical focus on non-refined plant foods. Considering this avenue, one could see where this is going and why those individuals would like my comments and support her regularly. It's one of those areas where they find considerable overlaps of agreement.

Too bad they didn't realise that even *you* share in those overlaps and that much of your exchange with Jane is actually harmless and over a truly minor disagreement. Unfortunately, the relative anonymity of the internet not only makes individuals rambunctious, but also extremely presumptive of things they cannot gauge, such as tone and intent behind comments. This might prompt certain hot shots into White Knighting for someone in a friendly disagreement, which they can't decipher as being friendly, *because* that someone also happens to relatively champion their outlook in a highly volatile environment where even mild disagreements are far too often perceived as polarising.

Me: I couldn't have put it better myself!

Would it be a good idea to put what you just wrote in an addendum at the end of my blog post?

Kade: Up to you, Nige. Go for it if it is any good to the point you're making. ; )

As a result of the above conversation, I've changed my mind about Man & Bali. They're not obnoxious arseholes.

Further addendum: We seem to getting on O.K. now!

Cooperation is so much better than endless squabbling.

Saturday, 24 October 2015

Science and zealots: How to detect bad science and how to detect zealots.

Last night, I got banned from Zoë Harcombe's blog. More on that later. Meanwhile, this...

I re-read It's all about ME, baby! (1997 - present) and there's something important missing.

In 2005, I discovered Lyle McDonald. Before this happened, I had the following beliefs:-
1. If something works for me, it must work for everyone else.
2. If someone with qualifications states a fact, it must be true.
3. If someone without qualifications states a fact, it must be false.
4. If a study confirms my beliefs, it must be true.
5. If a study contradicts my beliefs, it must be false.

Sound familiar?
1. is a "Hasty generalisation" fallacy.
2. is an "Appeal to authority" fallacy.
3. is an "Ad hominem" fallacy.
4. & 5. are a "Cherry-picking" fallacy.

Suffice it to say, Lyle bitch-slapped the fallacies out of me. Thank you so much! Read Lyle's site, if you want to learn.

How can studies conflict with each other so much?

Having read a number of conflicting studies, here are some of the tricks that bad studies use:-

1. Fudge the methodology:-
In a meta-study (a study of studies), to make something that's bad (e.g. some saturated fats/fatty acids) look harmless or to make something that's good (e.g. Vitamin D) look useless, fudge the inclusion criteria so that only studies using low intakes or a narrow range of intakes are used, so that the RRs are either close to 1 or have 95% CI values above & below 1. In addition, include studies that show both positive and negative effects (due to them looking at different types of saturated fats/fatty acids, say), so that the overall result is null.

In a study, use a different type of the thing being studied (but bury this fact somewhere obscure so that it's easily missed) to get the opposite result. E.g. To make "carbs" look bad, use a test "carb" that comprises 50% simple carbs (sugars) and 50% complex carbs (high-GI starches, preferably), thus guaranteeing a bad result.

2. Fudge the statistics:- e.g. Regression toward the mean. I'm not a stats nerd, but there are many ways to lie with statistics.

3. Make the abstract have a different conclusion from the full study (which you hide behind a pay-wall), by excluding the methodology and results.

Back to Zoë Harcombe: I left some comments on Jennifer Elliott vs Dietitians Association of Australia.

My M.O. for detecting zealots is by using a slowly, slowly, catchee monkey approach. I left a comment supportive of low-carb diets, because:-

For people with Insulin Resistance, low-carb diets DO ameliorate obesity, postprandial sleepiness and postprandial hyperglycaemia.

Was that loud enough?

I added that I thought the first priority should be to tackle the causes of the Insulin Resistance, because reversing a condition is better than ameliorating it.

My comments were helpful, with links to blog posts showing the above and how to reverse T2DM in 8 weeks. I then went for the throat, criticising Jennifer Elliot, as the article she wrote contained cherry-picked references. I included three more links to my blog as supportive evidence. This resulted in the removal of all but one of my comments (and the comment that remained had the link removed) and the addition of the following:-

"Zoë Harcombe says:
Nigel – too many comments purely trying to get traffic to your site – link above removed; other comments spammed. You’re now spammed.
Best wishes – Zoe"

The correct word is "banned", Zoë! Low-carb zealot successfully detected.

It's not a problem if a lay person becomes a low-carb zealot, but it is a problem if a Health Professional/Fitness Trainer becomes one. Cognitive bias and a refusal to accept contradictory evidence are not good traits for someone who's supposed to be practising evidence-based health/fitness.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

The UK: A green and pleasant gun-free land, or not?

First, see A US tourist made a list of 100 things he thought about Britain... and it's very accurate.
Ee by eckerslike! Where's me Hovis?

A pro-gun advocate told me that when guns were banned in the UK, gun crime increased a lot and that police now have to be armed. Yeah, right!

From Gun politics in the United Kingdom:-
"In the United Kingdom, access by the general public to firearms is tightly controlled by law, although this is less restrictive in Northern Ireland. The United Kingdom has one of the lowest rates of gun homicides in the world.[1] There were 0.05 recorded intentional homicides committed with a firearm per 100,000 inhabitants in the five years to 2011 (15 to 38 people per annum). Gun homicides accounted for 2.4% of all homicides in the year 2011.[2] There is some concern over the availability of illegal firearms.[3][4][5]"

There are pockets of deprivation in virtually every large city in the world. These pockets are often "no-go" areas for police, even if they're armed. In ungoverned/ungovernable areas, gangs thrive. From Kowloon: Inside A Walled City #9
"From the 50s until the 80s Triad groups (Chinese mobsters) had a significant amount of power in The Walled City. Kowloon became a hotbed for prostitution, drugs, and gambling; however most residents of the Walled City were not involved in the illegal activity."

Another change that encouraged the thriving of gangs in the UK was the repealing of Sus law in August 1981, after race riots in 1980 and 1981.

So, in exchange for an almost total elimination of Spree killings and mass shootings, we have an increase in Other Firearms crime, most of which occur in large cities. We can live with that.

Here's a thought experiment:-
You own a shop in an area where gangs thrive, and you have to pay a gang for "protection".
An armed gang-member is about to arrive to collect a payment. You have 3 options:-
1. Compliance: You end up poorer.
2. Unarmed resistance: Your shop, you and/or your family end up getting smashed-up (or worse).
3. Armed resistance: You and/or your family end up getting shot.

That's why there's no point in carrying a gun, in areas where gangs thrive. In other areas, there's no need.
Gangs always have the advantage over Individuals.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Why humans are more like Chimpanzees than Bonobos.

The following video contains scenes of murder, bloodshed & cannibalism.

Bonobos are the hippies of the Chimpanzee world. The following video contains scenes of sex.

Bonobo/Bonobo murder rate is about 3% that for Chimpanzees, according to the following video.

What would have happened to our ancestors if they'd been more like Bonobos than Chimpanzees? Here's a thought experiment. To translate from Ancient Bonobo to English, I stuck a Babel Fish in my ear. The dialogue is inspired by "Duty calls".

Her: Are you coming to bed?
Him: I can't. This is important.
Her: What?
Him: I'm inventing fire.
Her: Fancy a quickie?
Him: Coming, dear!

There'd have been no progress and we'd be living in a rainforest nowadays, having lots of sex. Oh, well!

Chimpanzee society is male-dominated, with males forming into cliques/groups/gangs/etc. Groups have an advantage over individuals. The third video stated that 90% of male Chimpanzees murder another Chimpanzee during their lifetime.

Human society is male-dominated, with males forming into cliques/groups/gangs/etc. Luckily, humans have some of the caring, sharing characteristics of Bonobos, otherwise human society would have become a dystopian nightmare of rampant murder.

What "sheeple" and "selfish arseholes" have in common.

Here's a clue...

When we're born, we're selfish arseholes.
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah (I'm hungry!).
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah (I've got wind!)
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah (I've wet myself!)
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah (I've crapped myself!)
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah (I'm too hot!)
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah (I'm too cold!)
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah (I want attention!)
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah (I just felt like going "Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah" for the hell of it!) and so on.

Then we learn how to walk and talk.
Mummy mummy mummy! I want it!
Mummy mummy mummy! I need it!
Mummy mummy mummy! I really need it!
Mummy mummy mummy! I must have it! and so on.

When we don't get what we want, we throw a tantrum.
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! It's not fair!
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! It's so unfair!
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! I never get anything!
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! I hate you! and so on.

We don't like to share our toys.
It's mine! You can't have it! Biff! and so on.

Then we learn how to cooperate. Life becomes more peaceful, although children who still are selfish arseholes can be a right pain in the arse! With all of this in mind...

I've often mentioned a documentary by Adam Curtis called The Century of the Self, Part 1: Happiness Machines. If you've not watched it, please do so. It shows how easy it is to use propaganda (now re-badged as Public Relations) & emotion-targeted marketing to manipulate populations. The two main groups doing the manipulation are:-

1. Governments.
2. Industries.

Governments want populations to be docile, compliant and sheep-like, to keep the peace, pay their taxes and not ask awkward questions.

Industries want populations to be selfish arseholes and buy stuff that they don't need, to maximise their profits.

So there you have it. "Free-thinkers" may think that they are free to do whatever they want, and they may deride "sheeple" for being gullible, but they've been manipulated too.

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

How to lose weight and get slim by eating "fast food" for 180 days.

Hopefully, that got your attention! Please watch the following video.

The secret to weight loss success is this:-
1. Formulate a good plan. A good plan is one that both works and is doable.
2. Stick to it!
3. Exercise mostly increases fitness, but it does increase energy expenditure by a significant amount. See Calories Burned - Walking: 3.5 mph (17 minutes per mile). A 250lb man walking for 90 minutes expends 756kcals.

The vast majority of people who eat "fast food" don't do the above. "Fast food" establishments use every trick in the book to get people to make bad food choices and consume as much as possible.

As people are reluctant to go back for more food (as they think that it makes them look greedy), super-sizing was invented, which allows people to eat twice as much food for less than twice as much cost.

Delicious aromas stimulate the appetite. Added sugar, salt & flavour enhancers increase the food reward.

Bright colours, cartoon characters and toys entice children.

Monday, 19 October 2015

Another fallacy promulgated by a certain dietary camp.

High Carb diets are tasteless and monotonous. Steaks, cheeses & butters for the win.

If you think that High Carb diets comprise only potatoes, sweet potatoes or rice all day (which some populations actually eat without complaint), then you're mistaken.

Here's a High Carb diet (the food in the picture can sit on top of Basmati rice, if you like).

Here's another High Carb diet.

And another.

And yet another.

The above can be eaten with animal produce, which includes some steaks, cheeses & butters.

Anyone who claims that High Carb diets are tasteless and monotonous has zero imagination.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Why using macronutrient percentages is so wrong.


1. Deception

Consider Lies, damned lies and statistics, part n+1. Riera-Crichton et al.  

Relative fat intake in %E decreased and obesity increased.

The conclusion:- "Carbohydrates are fattening and fat is slimming." Yeah, right!

Absolute fat intake in grams/kcals increased after healthy eating guidelines (which weren't low-fat guidelines) came out in 1980, according to More Thoughts on Macronutrient Trends.

Gary Taubes & Nina Teicholz use this deliberate misrepresentation of data to create the false narrative that low-fat healthy eating guidelines caused the obesity epidemic in the US. It's a pack of lies.

2. The terms "Low Fat" and "High Fat" are meaningless

Take 55g of fat (500kcals), 125g of protein (500kcals) and 375g of carbohydrate (1,500kcals). It adds up to 2,500kcals, with a percentage C/F/P split of 60/20/20. It's a High Carb, Low Fat diet.

Now remove 125g of carbohydrate to leave 250g of carbohydrate (1000kcals). It now adds up to 2,000kcals, with a percentage C/F/P split of 50/25/25. It's still a High Carb, Low Fat diet.

Now remove another 125g of carbohydrate to leave 125g of carbohydrate (500kcals). It now adds up to 1,500kcals, with a percentage C/F/P split of 33/33/33. It's now a Medium Carb, Medium Fat Zone diet.

Now remove another 62.5g of carbohydrate to leave 62.5g of carbohydrate (250kcals). It now adds up to 1,250kcals, with a percentage C/F/P split of 20/40/40. It's now a Low Carb, Highish Fat diet.

Now remove another 62.5g of carbohydrate to leave 0g of carbohydrate (0kcals). It now adds up to 1,000kcals, with a percentage C/F/P split of 0/50/50. It's now a Very Low Carb, High Fat diet.

So, 55g/day of fat can be Low Fat, Medium Fat, Highish Fat or High Fat. Which leads to...

3. Confusion

When someone sees the term LCHF (Low Carb, High Fat), they think it means "Eat less carbohydrate and eat more fat". As changes in bodily stores are determined by Energy Balance, eating more fat leads to a slower rate of weight-loss (or even weight-gain), not a faster rate of weight-loss.

By all means cut the consumption of "bad" carbs, like burgers in buns, chips/fries, crisps/chips, pizza, cake, biscuits/cookies, chocolate and sugar sweetened beverages.

However, if you believe that "good" carbs like vegetable produce, legumes, whole grains and whole fruits make you fat and sick, you need to have your head examined, unless you're in the tiny percentage of the population who have genetic carbohydrate intolerance.

See also Insulin Resistance: Solutions to problems.

Monday, 12 October 2015

Everyone is different Part 4, Fallacies and another rant!

Cont'd from Bray et al shows that a calorie *is* a calorie (where weight change is concerned).

The other day, an article about Ruth Frechman appeared in my Facebook News Feed.
See A nutritionist shares pictures of everything she eats in a day

The article (written by an editor, not a dietician) started "If you're trying to eat right, then following the diet of a nutritionist is probably a good start." This infers that everyone should eat the same diet, and that diet is what Ruth Frechman ate on that particular day.

Uh, nope! That doesn't follow. The whole article is based on a non sequitur fallacy.

From the reactions on Facebook, you'd think that Ruth Frechman had just admitted to being a serial kitten-murderess. The link to the above article had the following accompanying text:-
"Imagine booking an appointment to see a nutritionist in the hope that it would improve your health and appearance...

And this haggard looking, snack-munching zombie greeted you at her office."
Dismissing someone's knowledge because of their diet and/or perceived appearance is an ad hominem fallacy.

I posted the following status:-
"As I'm unable to leave comments on that News Feed item, I'm sharing it, with the following observations.
1. Dismissing a person's knowledge because of what they look like is an ad hominem fallacy.
2. Insults are scraping the bottom of the debating barrel. Stay classy!
3. The main reason why people go to a dietician is because those people are fatter than they want to be. If YOUR logic is that a weight-loss advisor must look as though they're using their own weight-loss advice and it's working, would YOU get weight-loss advice from the man in the blue shirt? and"

Yesterday, the following post appeared in my News Feed:-
"In an article worthy of the Onion, Ruth Frechman provides conclusive proof that being a registered dietitian nutritionist means absolutely nothing. But wait...she is the author of that dietary classic "The Food Is My Friend Diet"

The very fact that this person has some degree of qualification and the implied authority that goes along with it suggests that we have reached the apex of nutritional stupidity and ignorance. The fact that Business Insider deem this worth sharing tells us they should stick to what they know.

So, join us as we snack on Popcorn, eat M&Ms, chug down fortified fruit juice, eat Quest bars and chewing gum...

There is an actual meal in there at one point, but it looks decidedly like something you might feed your dog, food is obviously not her friend, it's her fix.

Frechman, by her own account, seems to spend her days stressed, tired and hungry, and feels suitably entitled to share her own brand of self loathing with anyone who will part with the $.

Cut out the static. Learn to cook. Go for a walk. Breathe."

Uh, nope! We don't know how busy Ruth Frechman is, how much free time she has, what facilities she has for preparing meals and what foods she likes to eat. She's criticised for eating treats like popcorn and M&Ms, even though she's slim and apparently in good health.

Here's a link to her book:- Go to Page 33 and criticise THAT.

I can only conclude from some of the comments left on the above Facebook post that the world has a lot of judgemental arseholes.

Cont'd on Everyone is different Part 5, Vaccination.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

How we lose weight: Oxidation of carbohydrate & fat in the body.

1. Oxidation of Carbohydrate in the body.

Glucose is C6H12O6, or 6(CH2O)

6(CH2O)+ 6(O2) → 6(CO2) + 6(H2O) + energy

Oxygen is inhaled. Carbon Dioxide is exhaled. Water is lost in breath, wee, poo, sweat & other bodily fluids.

As 6 molecules of Oxygen produce 6 molecules of Carbon Dioxide, the Respiratory Exchange Ratio (RER) is 6/6 = 1

Converting molecular weights into their gram equivalents, 180g of Glucose combines with 192g of Oxygen to produce 264g of Carbon Dioxide plus 108g of water plus ~3,012kJ of energy. I'm using kJ rather than kcal, as the human body expends energy as mechanical energy (force x distance) and heat energy.

2. Oxidation of Fat in the body.

Fat is three fatty acids (Stearic Acid, say) attached to a Glycerol backbone. As ~95% of the energy released from a fat is from the three fatty acids, I'm ignoring the Glycerol backbone, to keep the maths as easy as possible.  Stearic Acid is CH3(CH2)16COOH. I'm approximating it to 18(CH2), to keep the maths as easy as possible.

54(CH2) + 81(O2) → 54(CO2) + 54(H2O) + energy

Oxygen is inhaled. Carbon Dioxide is exhaled. Water is lost in breath, wee, poo, sweat & other bodily fluids.

As 81 molecules of Oxygen produce 54 molecules of Carbon Dioxide, the RER is 54/81 = 0.67

Note: The RER for fats is actually 0.7, as the Glycerol backbone is converted into Glucose by the liver. As the RER for  Glucose is 1, this raises the RER of my approximated fat by ~5%.

Converting molecular weights into their gram equivalents, 756g of approximated fat combines with 2,592g of Oxygen to produce 2,376g of Carbon Dioxide plus 972g of water plus ~28,468kJ of energy.

We lose weight by breathing, weeing, pooing, sweating etc. See also Majority of weight loss occurs 'via breathing'.

This doesn't invalidate Energy Balance, as the kcal/kJ values for foods merely represents the amount of chemical energy that can be released by oxidation of the various fuels in the foods. See Why Calories count (where weight change is concerned).

We gain weight by consuming fuels & water.