The Ketogenic Disadvantage

Several studies have been published comparing low-carbohydrate, ketogenic diets with low-fat diets, mostly regarding the treatment of diabetes in overweight and obese participants. Prominent researchers in this field are Richard Feinman, Stephen Phinney, Mary Vernon, Jeff Volek, Eric Westman, and William Yancy—all supporters of low-carbohydrate dietary regimes.

Ketosis occurs during starvation. It is not a normal, healthy condition. No animal species or human society normally lives in a state of ketosis. Ketosis occurs when fat in the body is utilized to obtain energy in the absence of glucose. Glucose is normally obtained from the digestion of carbohydrates. Ketosis results in the production of ketones—acetone being one of the three types of ketones produced during ketosis. Blood acidity rises with an increase in ketones.

During pregnancy, ketosis has been linked to adverse outcomes for the unborn child.

Ketogenic diet trials almost invariably compare a ketogenic diet with a mislabeled “low-fat, high-carbohydrate” diet. Both the control diet and the ketogenic diet are not healthy diets—the participants are far from healthy at the start of the trial or at the conclusion.

The ketogenic trials appear to assume that the only criteria for a healthy diet is the ratio of fat, carbohydrate, and protein. Many other components are important for health such as fiber, refined sugars, phytonutrients, and protein sources.


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What are the Benefits of a Low-Carbohydrate Diet in Treating Cancer?

The view that sugar causes cancer is prevalent in the popular press and on the internet and it should be avoided.

A number of doctors and naturopaths hold this view. Since starches are digested as simple sugars then it is recommended that starches should also be avoided.

As a result, a low-carbohydrate diet is endorsed. Some ketogenic diets recommend high levels of vegetables which are high in nutrients but low in the amount of energy that is provided. The absence of starch from these diets results in a calorie restricted diet which is possibly ketogenic. If a diet is restricted in carbohydrates, it will be high in fat and protein.

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Worried about whether you should be eating eggs?

The Australian Heart Foundation has the following comment regarding eggs.

Worried about whether you should be eating eggs? They’re really nutritious and it’s fine to have them regularly as part of a healthy diet. Eggs contain good quality protein, 11 vitamins and minerals, and are a source of healthy fats including omega-3 fats.
One egg has about 5 g of fat – but most of this is unsaturated, a fat that you need to be healthy. An egg contains only about 1.5 g of saturated fat and no trans fat.
As part of a healthy balanced diet you can eat up to 6 eggs each week without increasing your risk of heart disease.

However, according to the Physicians’ Health Study, doctors consuming 7 or more eggs per week had a 31% increase in all-cause mortality compared with those consuming less than 1 egg per week. With diabetic physicians, the association was much higher with the increase in mortality doubled.

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The Big Fat Surprise

An article relating to Nina Teicholz book, The Big Fat Surprise, was printed in the Australian on 29th December 2014. Unfortunately, it is largely a repeat of misinformation and misunderstanding of the history of diet and cardiovascular research that is found in popular books and websites.

Whilst the current western diet is appalling and contributes to our poor health, it is absurd to contend that we have been lied to by the government, nutritionists and researchers. The contention that saturated fat from animals is actually quite good for you and cholesterol isn’t really important is simply wrong and not supported by research.

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TIME Magazine Article – Eat Butter – Part 2

TIME magazine published an article by Bryan Walsh that appeared in TIME magazine on 23 June 2014.

The cover of the magazine asserts “Eat Butter. Scientists labeled fat the enemy. Why they were wrong.” Unfortunately, much of the evidence that Walsh presents in the article “Don’t blame the fat” is simply wrong and misleading. Walsh states that between 1977-2012, egg consumption fell 9%, beef 37% and milk 72%.

For the period 1970 – 2000, total added fats (up 40%), dairy products (up 8%), cheese (up 107%), low fat milk (up 79%), all meat products (up 10%), poultry (up 89%) and fish (up 22%) increased. These significant increases were not included in Walsh’s report. All of these food products, even low fat milk, are high fat foods.

 

The total calories consumed also rose significantly by 24%.

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TIME Magazine Article – Eat Butter

It is with alarm that I read Bryan Walsh’s article Ending the War on Fat that was published in TIME magazine on 23 June 2014.

According to Walsh:

Keys’ work became the foundation for a body of science implicating fat as a major risk factor for heart disease. The Seven Countries Study has been referenced close to 1 million times.  But Keys’ research had problems from the start.  He cherry-picked his data.

If the book has really been “referenced close to a million times”, it means that it has been referenced close to 80 times every day, including weekends, since the book was published in 1980.

Walsh claims that Keys “cherry-picked” his data.  It is evident that Walsh has confused with Keys’ 1953 paper Keys’ paper, Atherosclerosis, A Problem in Newer Public Health and his later study Seven Countries, A Multivariate Analysis of Death and Coronary Heart Disease.

Walsh fails to elaborate on how Keys “cherry picked” his data. Commencing in 1957, the Seven Countries Study studied 12,763 men in 16 regions in seven countries. What data was omitted from this study? How was the data “cherry-picked”?

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What are the Health Benefits of Coconut Oil?

Coconut Oil is passionately advocated as a wonderful product that has a multitude of health benefits.  An example of the potential benefits is shown below.

The health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, cholesterol level maintenance, weight loss, boosted immune system, proper digestion and regulated metabolism. It also provides relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV, and cancer, while helping to improve dental quality and bone strength. These benefits of oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and their respective properties, such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-fungal, antibacterial and soothing qualities.

It sounds to good to be true.

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Heart of the Matter – ABC Catalyst

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation Catalyst program series produced a 2 part program collectively titled Heart of the Matter. The programs are titled Dietary Villains and Cholesterol Drug War. These programs were aired in October 2013.

The presenter and co-producer is Dr Marianne Demasi. The medical experts interviewed include Dr Michael Eades, Dr Jonny Bowden and Dr Stephen Sinatra. Science and medical writer Gary Taubes was also interviewed.

The views presented are based on popular books stating that we has been following the expert medical advice for the past 20 years (or 30, 40 or 50 years) and we are unhealthy than ever. They claim that there is a conspiracy to hide the truth concerning health, fat and cholesterol. These popular views are based on myths, fabrications and a distortion of the facts.

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The Low-Carbohydrate Diet Myth

A fundamental argument that is made at the beginning of many low-carbohydrate articles, books and websites is that the we has been following the expert medical advice for the past 20 years (or 30, 40 or 50 years) and following a low-fat diet. Despite, this we are fatter than ever. Many of these articles claimed that there is a conspiracy to hide the truth concerning fat and cholesterol.

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