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The Paleo Diet

I'm finally getting around to reading The Paleo Diet, by Loren Cordain. I'm doing so on my new Amazon Kindle, which I love. I've had the Sony Reader (500, then 505) for some time, but though it's wonderful quality hardware, it requires software to interface (a kinda iTunes-like thing) and Sony simply refuses to make its Connect software compatible with the Mac (I switched about a year ago, never to look back). So, Sony Corporation: YOU'RE FIRED! I've been purchasing their high-quality products for as long as I can remember, but will never give them another dime for anything if I can help it.

So anyway, one cool thing about the Kindle is that you can clip excerpts and either have the Kindle email 'em to you via the cellular network for a small charge, or, just use USB. Accordingly, I've got an except from the book's intro.

I have examined thousands of early-nineteenth and twentieth-century photographs of hunter-gatherers. They invariably show indigenous people to be lean, muscular, and fit. The few medical studies of hunter-gatherers who managed to survive into the twentieth century also confirm earlier written accounts by explorers and frontiersmen. No matter where they lived -- in the polar regions of Canada, the deserts of Australia, or the rain forests of Brazil -- the medical records were identical. These people were free from signs and symptoms of the chronic diseases that currently plague us. And they were lean and physically fit. The medical evidence shows that their body fat, aerobic fitness, blood cholesterol, blood pressure, and insulin metabolism were always superior to those of' the average modern couch potato. [...]

Amazingly, scientific studies of Greenland Eskimos by Drs. Hans Bang and Dorn Dyerberg from Aalborg Hospital in Aalborg, Denmark, showed that despite a diet containing over 60 percent animal food, not one death from heart disease-or even a single heart attack-occurred in 2,600 Eskimos from 1968 to 1978. This death rate from heart disease is one of the lowest ever reported in the medical literature.

These are the same sorts of things I've been reading in Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, as well as Good Calories, Bad Calories. The failure of the "health authorities" to integrate this information, combined with the murderous advice to "cut the fat and eat more grains" boggles the mind. And here's where it has gotten us.

Hunting Fail

My brother found this one.

But here's the best one of all time, I think.

Enjoy the Holiday.

Cardiovascular Health

Here are a couple of must listen podcasts. You can call 'em up on your computer, or, put them on an iPod, iPhone, or other player and listen whenever. I like taking them in while driving.

These two particular podacasts are a two-part interview by Jimmy Moore.

‘Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show’ Episode 185: Interviewing ‘Heart Scan Blog’ Author Dr. William Davis (Part 1)

‘Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show’ Episode 186: Interviewing ‘Heart Scan Blog’ Author Dr. William Davis (Part 2)

Cardiologist William Davis runs the Heart Scan Blog and is involved with the Track Your Plaque program. Formerly spending his professional time doing cardiac procedures such as stents and angioplasties, he's now focussed on prevention, early detection, and reversal.

Listen to what he has to say about "vitamin D" (it's actually a hormone) and how it's profoundly helping his patients. Find out also why LDL numbers are useless and that you need to know your particle size. It's the small and dense that count, not the big & fluffy. Find out about heart scans and scores. Find out why most cardiologists and hospitals aren't interested (procedures generate billions in revenue).

In the second part, he explains why following the conventional advice to lower fat intake, eat more whole grains, take blood pressure and cholesterol meds killed Tim Russert at an early age.

How Animal is That?

We're going to roast beef bone marrow tomorrow night, to have along with my aunt's French onion soup, which incidentally, she makes from scratch using this exact same thing, roasting and then making stock to a nice thick reduction over about two day's time. Her French onion soup is essentially demi glace with onion in it (and without the roux).

Marrow

There's two of them like that, now cut up into 16 pounds worth. Inspiration here and here.

Good Carbohydrates, Bad Carbohydrates?

I had intended to point out that Dr. Michael Eades sponsored a Q&A with Gary Taubes, author of Good Calories, Bad Calories, and it's worth a read.

I found this quote concerning the general leanness of Asians on relatively carb-rich diets particularly interesting in light of my own conclusions:

The Asian question first. I do address this in the book and I address it again in the afterward of the paperback. There are several variables we have to consider with any diet/health interaction. Not just the fat content and carb content, but the refinement of the carbs, the fructose content (in HFCS and sucrose primarily) and how long they’ve had to adapt to the refined carbs and sugars in the diet. In the case of Japan, for instance, the bulk of the population consumed brown rice rather than white until only recently, say the last 50 years. White rice is labor intensive and if you’re poor, you’re eating the unrefined rice, at least until machine refining became widely available. The more important issue, though, is the fructose. China, Japan, Korea, until very recently consumed exceedingly little sugar (sucrose). In the 1960s, when Keys was doing the Seven Countries Study and blaming the absence of heart disease in the Japanese on low-fat diets, their sugar consumption, on average, was around 40 pounds a year, or what the Americans and British were eating a century earlier. In the China Study, which is often evoked as refutation of the carb/insulin hypothesis, the Chinese ate virtually no sugar. In fact, sugar consumption wasn’t even measured in the study because it was so low. The full report of the study runs to 800 pages and there are only a couple of mentions of sugar. If I remember correctly (I don’t have my files with me at the moment) it was a few pounds per year. The point is that when researchers look at traditional populations eating their traditional diets — whether in rural China, Japan, the Kitava study in the South Pacific, Africa, etc — and find relatively low levels of heart disease, obesity and diabetes compared to urban/westernized societies, they’re inevitably looking at populations that eat relatively little or no refined carbs and sugar compared to populations that eat a lot. Some of these traditional populations ate high-fat diets (the Inuit, plains Indians, pastoralists like the Masai, the Tokelauans); some ate relatively low-fat diets (agriculturalists like the Hunza, the Japanese, etc.), but the common denominator was the relative absence of sugar and/or refined carbs. So the simplest possible hypothesis to explain the health of these populations is that they don’t eat these particularly poor quality carbohydrates, not that they did or did not eat high fat diets. Now the fact that some of these populations do have relatively high carb diets suggests that it’s the sugar that is the fundamental problem. Ultimately we can only guess at causes using this kind of observational evidence. To know anything with certainty we’d need the kind of randomized controlled trials I yearn for in the epilogue of GCBC.

It has been some time that I have thought it's less to do with carbohydrate and more to do with grains (wheat, in particular), sugar, vegetable oils, and all the heavy processing and refinement that goes into those commodities, as well as the thousands of cheap derivative Frankenfoods derived therefrom.

Selfish Fat – Barry Sears on CBN 700 Club

Here's something I was going to toss up the other day, but got sidetracked. It's an interview of Barry Sears, author of The Zone and other books, and his latest: Toxic Fat. Take a look:

It's interesting how he characterizes fat (adipose tissue) as a kind of "cancer." It immediately reminded me of my "tumor" analogy I wrote about back at the first of the year:

I think the tumor analogy is an interesting one, at least in the way I understand Taubes at present. What do you often hear expressed about tumors, short of outright removing them? Well, sometimes they're "small," such that the risk of surgery isn't called for. So, you try to keep them small. Why? Well, because when they're small their effect is minimal. They aren't cannibalizing good tissue sufficiently to cause a large effect. How about shrinking a tumor? Same thing. And what happens when a tumor gets to be of sufficient size? Does it not then become a self-sustaining cannibalistic parasite, sacrificing healthy bodily tissue for its own sake in a positive-feedback mechanism, such that the bigger it gets, the bigger and more parasitic its influence on the rest of the body until eventually its pathological selfishness kills the very host that feeds it?

Harping on Vitamin K2

I'll keep harping on it so long as Stephan keeps harping on it, and I don't think that's happening anytime soon. My previous K2 posts here, here, and here.