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HED: High Everything Diet (If eating garbage is your problem, just eat more of it)

Coming to one or more of your favorite blogs' comments section soon, if the messianic crusade on Peter's Hyperlipid blog is any indication. The comment thread in question begins here. He has also hit Dr. Eades on this post (there's no comment links, but the comments in question begin at 25 April 2009, 23:24). Now, Stephan's blog.

In a nutshell, from one of his comments:

HED = high-carbs + high-fat + high-calories

HED = SAD - sugar - HFCS - PUFAs - TFAs

I'm not going to recount all the specifics, as those are contained in the comments -- over and over -- if you're interested.

I've said before that I don't think carbohydrate is the primary problem (for those without type 2 or borderline, or obsese), and the Kitavans and other H-G groups seem to prove that. In that regard, this HED does seem to eliminate at least some of what migh destroy a high-carb munching Kitavan's health, i.e., refined sugar, high fructose corn syrup, processed vegetable oils (HEDers seem also not too fond of omega-3 PUFA -- the Ray Peat influence) and trans fatty-acids.

He has also posted that lots of the low-carbers ignore the Kitavans, which is true. I don't think that's the case for all the paleo-like eaters, and certainly not true for me, as I've often written that healthful diets exist from equator to arctic circle, from high carb intake (Kitavans, Kuna and others -- mostly from starch) to virtually zero carb (Inuit).

What I think is of far more importance is to find the diet or life way that works for you. First, begin with a principle: Real Food and nothing but Real Food. Next, attempt to determine where your genetic ancestry evolved in the last 50,000 years since coming out of Africa. Did your ancestors evolve in tropical regions with plenty of starches and fruits available year round, in regions with limited starches and fruits only seasonally, or with pretty much nothing but meat and animal fat most of the time?

Start there and go with how you feel as your first and primary authority. It's a process. There is great variability, so you may be more adaptable to one macronutrient mix than another, or, it may not make much of a difference. Some are going to feel better on high carb, and some on zero carb, and some in-between.

But never forget the Real Food principle. That's a safe haven and you just can't go wrong.

The HED people are saying, in essence, that if you don't eat grains in abundance (e.g., replacing the cals with more meat, fat, veggies, fruits, nuts), that you're "stupid" and that you're damaging your health. That's nonsense. It violates a sound and proven principle (Real Food), it's -- so far -- based on short term anecdotes and nothing more, and it proposes a one-size-fits-all diet.

Perhaps most annoying of all is that -- at least in the case of the comment crusader -- they seem to take great stock in each and every anecdote of great health achieved (over the last weeks and couple of months) on this HED, yet discount the thousands of low-carb and paleo anecdotes recounted over decades. Everyone here knows my story, including that I've lost 50ish pounds so far, dropped my BP from 160/100 to normal ranges, have HDLs in the 130s, Trigs in the 40s, cured and reversed gum disease, and have rid myself of a number of prescription medications that I have been on for years, and in one case, decades.

But I'm not munching on unlimited bread, pasta, bagels, pizza and pancakes, so I've actually damaged my health, you see. I am unclean; unwashed; unsaved. I'm ruined. I need salvation: HED, I repent; please save me.

A final note about that last paragraph. He -- over and over -- stipulates that those things are only a problem in a low fat environment and that eating them with plenty of animal fat solves the problem. Well, I was never a low fat dieter, and have probably been over 40% fat most of my entire life, mostly from animal sources. I was never much of a candy or junk food muncher, but I certainly did eat lots and lots and lots of bread (with huge mounds of meat, cheese, and veggies between), pizzas (all meat, usually), always used lots of butter and drank plenty of milk and other dairy sources of fat.

Grains ruined my health, and getting away from them while eating unlimited meat, fowl, fish, animal fat, coconut milk & oil, veggies and reasonable fruits and nuts restored my health.

This post is intended as a public service announcement, aimed primarily at those who, for lack of a good explanation, seem to be influenced by religious crusades. So just remember: Animals don't need gurus. Be your own Master and Control your own life.

Comments

  1. Good post. It seems many paleo "gurus" (and you'll be lumped into this by default) don't acknowledge that there is such a thing as a "high carb" real food diet. Perusing the low carb boards, you end up seeing people who think that at best fruits and veggies aren't bad for you, which is flabbergasting.

    Athletes, especially endurance athletes, will need more calories than they can get from just a real food diet, but that's another discussion for another time. Good work.

  2. Richard – your use of the terms crusade and religion seem entirely appropriate here. The tone of this guy's words has all the hallmarks of dogma at the expense of objectivity. I haven't looked over his proposals in detail but just the way he communicates it makes me suspicious of his stance.

  3. Great response, Richard. Yes, I saw Bruce's missives several times last night on the various blog comments. I even went to Matt Stone's website. It had a bit of a MLM feel to it, like Amway. Perhaps that's what this is about.

    I'd wondered where Bruce had gone, as he used to comment frequently about relatively small issues in the scheme of things, like the high fiber content of chocolate, and which nuts had more or less PUFA. Then he sort of disappeared from discussions, perhaps because no one paid enough attention to his concerns and comments? But I guess he's back now and we know what he's been up to. Talk about a pendulum swing. Wow. Hope it works out for him.

    I guess I sort of take issue with Bruce's use of the word diet. I tend to think of "diet" as "the food one eats", not necessarily as a "way of eating to reduce weight". And I don't equate weight level with health at all. There are plenty of skinny unhealthy people out there eating garbage, too, and I know some rather fit overweight people who eat Real Food (perhaps too much insulin-raising foods, though).

    Even though I stick to a LC paleo-oriented way of eating or "diet", I don't count carbs or restrict foods much, either. Heck, I hardly even measure when I cook (and I make a huge % of our family's food from scratch with foods direct from the source rather than from a supermarket). I "eyeball" a lot of stuff, but follow a general omnivorous plan that also avoids what HED suggests avoiding. Though I do avoid foods that to the best of my knowledge aren't in my best interest – no more than tiny, infrequent amounts of concentrated sugars, very little starch (especially if from grain), no more than incidental amounts of modern vegetable oils that are high in omega 6, TFA, etc. So like Bruce, I already sort of eat the way he is suggesting, except for the sugars and grains/starches. But I can't see how HED will fix my lack of a first phase insulin response (yes, my metabolism is damaged from something, perhaps veg oils from the past) and gluten intolerance.

    And the sample meal of food from Taco Hell, I mean Taco Bell? That isn't even food; it's edible food-like substances, to use Michael Pollan's phrase. Nothing at TB even requires cooking at the restaurant. TB uses heat & serve, reconstituted with water & serve food products because it's cheaper and doesn't require trained cooks, only workers who can open packages and use machines. And how does one avoid refined veg oil and TFA with TB food? I'd pay more attention if Real Food was suggested instead of garbage foods. Rare TB meals, no big deal. But as a matter of course, that's hard to take seriously.

  4. Well, as someone who appreciates the work behind "HED" – I just think you're misunderstanding a little. Don't mind Bruce's aggressiveness with the subject – really, he's just seen first hand what eating this way can do for himself. We all witnessed his enthusiasm change – pretty incredible, if I do say so myself ; reason to take a little time to really view or think about this concept a little more.
    See, I don't think grains and breads are 'necessary' for health. No one's really saying that. To say someone may have an intolerance to gluten or dairy – or overall blaming of a food, is where we or some of us interested in the concept may disagree. So you don't need them to survive – it's just the best if you can eat them with no ill effects.
    The very very basics behind this high-everything concept is that it's high in everything that most 'diets' would not allow, such as high carb and fat together, and high calorie.
    What's different is that it's not a diet that is avoiding any product for all eternity, and saying "there! I've done it! I'm all around healthy!.. even though I can't eat this, or that, or this". Yes you could argue that, well, maybe you can't eat it because it's just not meant for people. But than why would other people be able to eat it? Genetics? Well, with how many 'genetics' I've seen miraculously change, such as going from metabolism type to metabolism type or ectomorph to mesomorph, genetics just seem to fall apart as a theory. It's almost an easy way out to explaining a problem.
    While I would disagree about 'ancestry' dictating what someone should eat; I think many would agree that you do have to find what works for you in your current situation . For example, I pretty much follow the guidelines – I just get pretty much all of my carbs come from potatoes, because they are the easiest to be digested (for me, at this time). I eat more of those, with a lot of saturated fat, some protein, and vegetables.

    The whole junk food thing, I think, is still getting discussed. Of course, classification of junk food is a large topic. It's about what we see as junk food. There's no doubt huge variables against highly refined fructose and processed vegetable oils to point a few fingers.

    There really isn't a huge difference in thought though. Please see that there's no guruship going on here. No one's following a strict plan religiously other than making sure to get the basics and adjusting from there. As Matt had said once, the very highest quality is "extra credit". We are all just trying to get to a state of metabolic stability. What comes with metabolic stability? Well, that I promise you will not be disappointed if you start looking into it. And really mastering the basics, perhaps only the basics, will take you there.

    Also; any real foods will no doubt be healing. But the question is if healing is avoiding foods that any human being should be able to eat. That is, a homo sapien.

    Much respect for that, though. We obviously agree that natural food is just awesome, plain and simple. You probably have done a lot for yourself doing that alone! But all I'm saying is, maybe there's something bigger. Certainly adding in carbs was one of the best things I could have done. No matter if I was on the most natural food possible, raising carbs was a major factor, major step in my progress.

    Hope to see ya round –
    Chloe

  5. I can buy being excited about new discoveries. I have been that way a time or two, myself, but just as with my fasting, working out fasted, cold water immersion and so on, I'm always open to the possibility I'm fooling myself in whole or in part, and so I continue the experimentation.

    Some time back I took the raw milk out of the equasion and seemed to feel better for it. Then, a couple of weeks ago I thought I'd try it again, and had no problems. So, either I can have it episodically, something was wrong before that's not wrong now, or, it's truly not great for me but giving myself a rest for a few months fools me into thinking I can go at it full force, only learning 2-3 months down the line that I can't, after the bad effects sufficiently manifest themselves.

    Who knows? What I do know is that if I eat unlimited meat & fat, and get some veggies, fruits and nuts, I have no problems.

    There's another problem with HED I didn't address: the seeming advocacy forced feeding, i.e, cramming lots of cals down your throat whether you want them or not. I eat when I'm hungry, or, not really hungry but desirous of food. Sometimes it's small meals, sometimes large, and sometimes I fast for fun & profit.

    "End of diets." Give me a break. HED is one of the most catechistic proscriptions I've seen in a while.

  6. Excellent post. You've just echoed many of my frustrations with the Paleo/Low-Carb community.

    Even in this niche, it seems that many people want the answer to be handed to them with all the details provided, rather than exerting the effort of finding it for themselves.

  7. Chloe:

    With all respect…

    "I don't think grains and breads are 'necessary' for health. No one's really saying that."

    Here's Bruce, here…

    http://high-fat-nutrition.blogspot.com/2009/03/sabbatical.html?showComment=1240891380000#c4276815203377935356

    "Avoiding grains and starches is stupid and ridiculous."

    So, if I have a couple of more eggs, butter, and a larger breakfast steak, maybe a tall glass of raw whole milk instead of the potatoes & toast, and because I feel awesome afterward instead of shitty, then I'm being "stupid and ridiculous." That comment, incidentally, is perfectly in context, as that was Bruce in response to me, making exactly the same point.

    Incidentally, I do fine on limited starches, like potatoes and rice — so long as I keep the quantity down and make it a light meal. Big meals have to be primarily meat and fat, for me, otherwise I feel uncomfortably full. Yea, I know what Bruce will say: I just need to eat even more of the stuff that makes me feel too full, just put more fat with it.

    On your point about genetics, you ought to read "The 10,000 Year Explosion." I definitely think there's wide genetic variation in tolerance to grains, and that's it's accelerating. That does me no good, however. Me genes are set. At any rater, consider lactose tolerance, a definite genetic mutation. Also, witness how HGs do even worse on white flour (and sugar) than Euros and Asians who've had them in the diet for thousands of years longer.

  8. I would be really interested to see what happens on an NMR Lipoprofile after 12 weeks on a HED (before and after!). I can't help but wonder if a lot of the HED promoters might be a little embarrassed with the results. 12 weeks is enough time to show a shift with sdLDL and with particle size of HDL. What happens to triglyceride levels with all of these carbs?

    Of course, I doubt many of them could get their moms and dads to pay for the tests…

    Sorry, that was mean…

  9. It's interesting to me that this has apparently come out of a paleo/low-carb, etc. environment. Though I don't know, I suspect that for people eating mostly real food, LC, for some time, that they would be fine with the "energy boost" (sugar from heavy starches) and actually feel euphoric for a time.

    After all, it takes decades to destroy a metabolism from the time we're young into mid-30s when we begin to pay the piper. It's plausible that after some months to even years of eating clean, one's metabolism is once again able to handle all the crap grains, again, and they are fooled into thinking they've cheated mother nature.

    I'm relatively certain that I could go back to eating pizza, bear and burgers in fair quantity without feeling anywhere nearly as bad as I used to. I also believe those "phenomenal results" would be short lived.

    I also wonder how many of them have been supplementing with vitamin D and other beneficial supplements. I suspect that even on the SAD, vitamin D supplementation would be of great help.

  10. "The HED people are saying, in essence, that if you don't eat grains in abundance (e.g., replacing the cals with more meat, fat, veggies, fruits, nuts), that you're "stupid" and that you're damaging your health."

    I have a public service announcement myself: The quote above is nothing more that a straw man-do not fall for it. Read the posts Richard linked to and see for yourself what a straw man it is.

    In essence, without Richard's ad hoc nonsense clouding the issue, the HED position regarding grains is that they are not unhealthy as such. It is only people with unhealthy metabolisms and the resulting weakened immune function-which results in food allergies, such as gluten sensitivity- who cannot eat grains. A healthy person that avoids refined sugar, PUFA's trans fat, with a healthy metabolism can eat grains without ill effects. Moreover, Bruce advocates eating unbleached unenriched grains; to ignore this is to completely drop the context. Many problems that people have with grains is quite possibly related to the fact the the vast majority of the grains they do consume are both bleached and enriched.Lets Consider bleached and enriched separately for a second.

    Bleached grains have toxic residues as a result of the bleaching process. The bleaching agent itself, which is chemically similar to Clorox, is found left over in minute amounts in the grain, which is in and of itself toxic. However, the problems do not stop there. The bleaching process leaves residues of toxic chlorinated hydrocarbons and dioxins. Methionine, an essential amino acid, reacts with bleaching chemicals to form methionine sulfoxine, which has been shown to cause seizures in animals. As for the enriching process: many times the added vitamins are synthetic- these are not real vitamins; they are mirror images of natural vitamins and toxic in the body. In addition the iron they add is not a colloidal version- it is a heavy metal, just like iron filings are. Thus, eating bleached enriched grains is a completely different story than eating unbleached, unenriched grains like HED does.

    Moreover, much of the bread and dough that people eat have added toxins such as soybean or canola oil- another thing Bruce says to avoid, period, including in grains.

    Richard has failed to isolate variables- or at least demonstrate that he has isolated variables. He makes no mention of whether or not the grains that "ruined [his] health" were bleached and enriched- I'm sure they were, considering he was eating bread and pizza dough. In addition, he fails to consider the fact that he was probably eating HFCS's from the pizza sauce and other sources; if you are not consciously avoiding them, it is very easy to eat several grams per day. In the same vein, he does not seem to consider that when he was eating the grains that "ruined [his] health",he was also eating lots of trans fats and PUFA's. For instance, it is very easy to have a PUFA consumption of +10% calories, even if you are getting most of your fat from animal sources. Eggs are around 8%, some chicken is as high as 12%, pork can range from around 2% up to 11%. My point is that unless one is watching ones PUFA consumption, it is easy to overconsume it, particularly in the context of a diet that is includes refined sugars/HFCS and carbs. (I say that because the is some evidence that PUFA's are not nearly as damaging when one is eating a low-carb, or Paleo diet). In sum, Richard seems to have failed to isolate variables and is overreaching himself when he tries to lump HED with his previous diet.

    It should be noted that even Richard's title sets up a red herring. HED does not advocate eating garbage. And even if it does, it the burden of proof falls on those who proclaim starches, grains, etc are garbage, because how do you prove the something is not garbage?

    If there are people who doubt that PUFA's can be damaging and cause oxidative stress, I invite them to google this paper and read it: The effect of increased intakes of polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E on DNA damage in human lymphocytes." Then go read Ray Peat's articles about
    PUFA's.

  11. "Avoiding grains and starches is stupid and ridiculous." Yes Bruce said that but it's taken out of context. Still more context-dropping from Richard.

  12. As I pointed out, it is precisely in context if one cares to check the context.

  13. Shoving endless amounts of food down your throat is poor advice, but the seed of what he's talking about is the "refeed" as explained by about 11ty billion diet gurus. I think this might be where you are unintentionally short sighted: you started as a fatty and there is no reason for someone so over-fat to refeed. You have enough bodyfat that you're not going to hormonally signal starvation.

    Those of us who are naturally lean have to play by a different set of rules.

  14. John Campbell says:

    Richard – thanks for the heads up on this – WOW – the whole thing seems like a combination of politics and religion – both of these make my head hurt and stomach ache more than any food I have ever ingested. Not worth the time to debate such ideas and their presentation. As Peter says – come back in 20 years and we will see.

    Richard, I could not agree with you more – real food and listen to your body – simple, but profound – rock on.

  15. Chloe,

    Gluten sensitivity can cause autoimmune thyroid disease leading to either hypo or hyperthyroid, which disappears when gluten is eliminated. So it's more likely that gluten causes the thyroid issues than the other way around.

  16. But then again, that's not what this Brucie character is advocating; seems I'm talking past the point.

  17. Skyler:

    Agreed. Actually, I'm not short-sighted about re-feeding. I think it's absolutely essential to listen to one's own body, and so I sometimes forego the fasts and I sometimes pig out and include a fair amount of starches like potatoes or rice. And I still feel good afterwards. I'm sure there are ways to accomplish the same thing in a strict Paleo way (tubers, perhaps), but potatoes & rice seem to me an easy, simple, readily available compromise.

    Less frequently are the cheats. While I can't remember having a slice of pizza in quite a while, I do have the odd burger, like a Carl's Junior $6, Wendy's triple, or an In & Out. And, since it's so infrequent I always get the fries, too.

    I think it's mostly about just throwing your body an unexpected curve now and then. In that respect, and if these HED folks were talking about that, then fine. I can appreciate intermittency in lots of things.

    Let's see where they are in six months time of force feeding food, including grains and other starches. Remember, one condition is HIGH CALORIE. I don't advocate calorie restriction except in purposeful intermittent fasting (again, tossing your body a curve), but I also don't advocate making a habit of eating when one is certainly not hungry. There are days when I eat 5k cals, and days when I'm just not hungry, and so HIGH CALORIE is out of the question.

    Equally, even though I'm pretty high fat and low carb, that to has its exceptions. Of late, I've not felt like the big, high fat-calorie coconut milk sauces you'll find in a search for 'curry.' That'll pass and I'll be right back on them, several times per week. Right now I'm not eating a lot of fruit, but soon enough I'll be gorging on cherries, grapes, various berries, making evening high-fat fruit smoothies, and so on.

  18. PaleoRD says:

    This HED approach reminds me of homeopathic medicine – like cures like. If grains are making you fat, them eat more of them, supposedly so the body can learn to tolerate them? I actually used to follow a HED without even knowing it. I am an RD, so I am very cautious with what I eat. All whole grains, no trans fat, no sugar, no HFCS, lots of organic fruits and vegetables. But I finally lost weight and got some abs after converting to serious low carb and paleo style eating. Clear skin, clear head, gobs of energy, I'm never going back to grains. Michael Pollan is critical of reductionism in nutritional science, maybe this is a natural knee-jerk reaction to reductionism inherent in a low carb or paleo lifestyle? But I agree, give some time to see how this works for those who follow it and then we can give it a better evaluation.

  19. David said:
    "I would be really interested to see what happens on an NMR Lipoprofile after 12 weeks on a HED (before and after!). I can't help but wonder if a lot of the HED promoters might be a little embarrassed with the results. 12 weeks is enough time to show a shift with sdLDL and with particle size of HDL. What happens to triglyceride levels with all of these carbs?"

    Bruce, doesn't want/need to get any tests to prove he is healthy according to him. Kind of convenient if you ask me.
    Bruce: "I don't have and will never obtain medical tests to prove that I'm healthy."

  20. "I think you may be taking this a little too personally."

    That's funny. This is my blog. It's all personal. So?

    "Isn't it possible, don't you think, that there is always a chance that you could be numb to feeling, despite what you may be doing?"

    Ah, yes: I have to be lost before I can be saved. I'm very familiar with that "technique."

    It's like DML's comment, where he says:

    "It is only people with unhealthy metabolisms and the resulting weakened immune function-which results in food allergies, such as gluten sensitivity- who cannot eat grains. A healthy person that avoids refined sugar, PUFA's trans fat, with a healthy metabolism can eat grains without ill effects."

    Unhealthy = those not on HED. Get on HED and you'll be "healthy" (saved; redeemed)

    By the way, we don't know communism doesn't work, either. "True" communism has yet to be tried, just like the "right way" to eat grains hasn't been tried — UNTIL NOW!

    "And in all fairness, toxins are unavoidable."

    Absolutely true. The paleo principle is to eat them in a variety, and to focus on those of their genetic derivatives that have been with us the longest, not the shortest.

    It's a principle. As, for instance, HED cannot touch this, where I say:

    "The good thing about the paleo principle is that it's a principle, not a description for a macronutrient ratio."
    http://www.freetheanimal.com/root/2009/04/the-original-lowcarb-diet.html

    As near as I can tell, HED is just more of the same tinkering with macronutrient prescriptions, though in a more clumsy way: eat a lot of all of 'em.

    "Soaking, sprouting, hulling, etc."

    I have said many times that if one must, then do it that way. Agreed. Too much trouble FOR ME and MANY OTHERS (get it?). Pass the steak and high-fat demi-glace, please. I'll have another.

    This is why I have zero interest in the WAPF diet, never will. Bless their hearts, but these people go to an awful lot of trouble, when I can get more nutrition out of a big steak or piece of fish with a nice fatty sauce and a huge spinach salad.

    Re lactose intolerance. Look it up. To properly digest, you need to produce lactase, which we all do, up to a certain age. The specific genetic mutation essentially turned off the gene that makes us stop producing it, so we continue. Beyond that, sure, there are people who deal with the intolerance better than others.

    "This was reinforced to an even greater degree when I went to visit my brother, who is like the king of junk food (I once watched him dunk cookies into blue powerade!). I instantly started suffering allergies and a tight asthmatic chest around his pets. But then I started eating fast food with him – Wendy's, Taco Bell, Mickey D's – and I started feeling better right away."

    Puleeze. Stop already. Can the Almighty save me too? Just watch the televangelists on Sunday or late night for lots more of the same styled anecdote.

    This last convinces me that you people are just as fucking nuts as can be. Nice, and I wish you well, but you are not in touch with reality.

    For the other readers, want another laugh?

    Here's Bruce from the same comment quoted above:

    "This is going to change the world. We're making history right here, right now. In fifty years, we're going to be written about in the history books as the people who put an end to all the diet gurus and their food avoidance neuroses."

  21. It's probably pointless, this, judging by the religious fervor this thing seems to have generated. His latest comment at Stephan's:

    "I posted your comment to my blog/forum. Just keep the criticism coming. You are doing more to undermine yourself than I ever could."

    …then a bunch of stuff about how healthy sleep deprivation is, then…

    "I posted your comment to my blog/forum. Just keep the criticism coming. You are doing more to undermine yourself than I ever could."

    A shorter version:

    "We will save the world!!! And all your efforts to stop us will only make us stronger!"

  22. Stephan, have you considered that thyroid disease could be caused by a Taco Bell and McDonald's pig-out deficiency, and not staying awake all night?

  23. For those interested in this thread and my public service, see my comment at Stephan's:

    http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/04/nutrition-and-infectious-disease.html?showComment=1240972560000#c2415879847580952753

    Short version: Taco Bell is the most nutritious food ever!

  24. 'It's like DML's comment, where he says:

    "It is only people with unhealthy metabolisms and the resulting weakened immune function-which results in food allergies, such as gluten sensitivity- who cannot eat grains. A healthy person that avoids refined sugar, PUFA's trans fat, with a healthy metabolism can eat grains without ill effects."

    Unhealthy = those not on HED. Get on HED and you'll be "healthy" (saved; redeemed)'

    Wow. That is not what I was saying at all. My point was *only* what I said: food intolerance and allergies are (for the most part) related to the health of ones metabolism. To try to read more into that comment, i.e "Unhealthy= those not on HED. Get on HED and you'll be "healthy" (saved; redeemed)" is intellectually dishonest in the extreme.

    If you want to take exception to what I actually said, that is one thing, but don't put words in my mouth.

  25. You guys are reversing cause & effect. See Stephan's recent comment.

    This is all quite silly.

  26. PaleoRD says:

    High Fructose Corn Syrup Miracle Cure Diet!!!!

    Little did you know that what you have been avoiding is actually what can save you! Apparently, avoiding HFCS is like the overuse of antibiotics. The body does not know how to process HFCS because it has not been exposed to HFCS. So, merely increase the exposure to HFCS and the body will naturally adapt and we can thrive on it. HED sounds good if your talking about adaptation to the environment in a quick process, but I doubt that humans can do that. Bacteria can overcome antibiotics because they are ONE-celled organisms, and the success of cell division gives quick feedback on whether the offspring will make it. Humans should adapt to eating starch? We all know from personal experience that dogs can eat stupid crappy dog treats, and it makes them fat! HED is saying that because you can digest it, you should eat it. Yeah, lead tastes good but it sucks when it has displaced hemoglobin and brain function deteriorates to a vegetative state.

  27. In _some_ fairness, they — Bruce and other HEDs — eschew HFCS. Not sure how that squares with fast food, as it's plausible it's hidden in many places.

    If a guy can munch fast food without probs, more power to him. What I object to is the notion that it comes even close to a varied diet of Real Food.

  28. "You guys are reversing cause & effect. See Stephan's recent comment.

    This is all quite silly."

    Stephan's comment does not definitively settle the issue. Cause and effect can sometimes go both ways depending on the context. If gluten sensitivity caused hypo/hyper thyroid but hypo/hyper did not cause gluten sensitivity, then those that are treated for hypothyroid would never see their gluten sensitivity resolve itself. However, there are anecdotal reports of hypothyroid patients whose food allergies, including gluten sensitivity, improved upon treatment or cure. I believe Broda Barnes observed the same type of thing in his book.

  29. "Richard has failed to isolate variables- or at least demonstrate that he has isolated variables. He makes no mention of whether or not the grains that "ruined [his] health" were bleached and enriched- I'm sure they were, considering he was eating bread and pizza dough."

    Actually, I could accuse you of the same thing.

    Plus, it's laughable. Rather than occam's razor-style pointing at the consumption of hundreds of grams per day of a substance with known INTEGRAL toxins and anti-nutrients (grains), I am to focus on micrograms of bleaching agents and few grams PUFA — and you guys even scorn natural PUFA with a decent 6/3 ratio.

    Besides, this isn't my point at all. Bruce's catechism is very clear: your problem is that you're not eating a whole lot of grains (most of us already eat plenty of meat and sat fat, avoid/minimize n-6 and frankenoils, refined sugar, etc. And, if he did spend any of that time (referring to the posts on Peter's blog) qualifying as you have done (somewhat) with respect to those who really truly can't eat grains, then I didn't see it.

    My point remains: even if it were true that some of us who think they can't actually can eat grains (and in the huge quantities suggested) I still wouldn't. I enjoy being off them completely, as I like huge steaks and my hugely caloric, sat fat coconut milk based curries, where I can get 1,500 cals easily in one helping (see my food porn category, or search curry). And, I'll even do some rice with that, now and then.

    Bottom line: calorie for calorie, my high fat, high meat, veggie meal is far more nutritious than anything that includes grains to any significant degree.

    In terms of nutrition, there's no comparison between a paleo-like diet and SAD or HED. Cordain has shown this (in case you don't know, not a fan on his sat fat stance):

    In fact, I resent even granting this silly concoction an acronym, seeing as it's been around all of what, 4 months with only the last two in serious testing? As far as I'm concerned, this is largely hair-splitting, the major difference being grains, and I will remain skeptical that in all these testimonials, people are eating as many grains as Bruce is claiming.

    Jesus.

    Come to think of it, in what specific ways does this diet differ from WAPF? They eat lots of grains, and not bleached refined, either, instead using all sorts of traditional methods. I was a member of a local WAPF message board and had to eventually get off it for all the people moaning and groaning about their constant health problems. Also, their pictures of many of their pot-luck events features plenty of overweight, puffy, carb-face people.

    Oh, Ray Peat. When even one of the people I seriously respect for their science acumen begins paying serious attention to Peat (on the PUFA issue), then so will I.

  30. There is actually a name for this 'gene tracking' you are talking about and you can get it tested here : https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/genographic/participate.html

  31. You must make Friar William of Ockham turn over in his grave.

    There is no end to strong evidence that people have varying degrees of intolerance to things they're not genetically adapted to eat. Eating them anyway leads to cascading effects all over, and manifests in various conditions like GERD, LBS, celliac, small dense LDL, inflammation, arterial plaque, insulin resistance, diabetes, arthritis, auto-immune conditions in general, obesity, and so on.

    You guys are simply trying to wish all this away by clinging to some spurious notion that it's the reverse. We just aren't eating enough Taco Bell, or whatever.

    Well, y'all go ahead. I'll be anxious to hear how you've achieved even HIGHER levels of "health" in another six months or so (I think Bruce says this the hundreds of times he does because he actually wants to believe it so badly), after most of you have finally exhausted and spent all the gains you made restoring good metabolic and digestive tolerance by eating Real Food (paleo-ish), to include dumping grains & legumes, possibly dairy.

    In fact, dairy provides a good example, and were you guys to couch it like this, it would be more credible. Setting aside potential problems from some of the hormones found in milk, there's no doubt that there was a genetic mutation 7ish thousand years ago enabling continued production of lactase after weaning (see The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution, Gregory Cochrane). Accordingly, I consider dairy to be a grey food in a paleo context.

    There's no credible scientific evidence to suggest that there has been any such drastic adaptation to grains and legumes. Perhaps there's some, but you can't simply wish away inflammatory agents that invoke immune responses and their effects with "I feel so good" anecdote. Alcoholics and other drug addicts spend a lot of time "feeling good." They also stay up all night a lot, like Bruce does. That brag really shows his level of dementia. As an aside, I can too, in fact far better than even in college and I'm 48, but I don't delude myself into thinking it's a healthy thing to do very often.

    You all can choose to eat all the junk/fast "food," bread, pasta, pancakes you want. What you don't get to choose is whether or not you have to live the consequences.

    Your "eat more toxic substnces" (but a bit at a time) approach is tantamount to bloodletting in terms of scientific plausibility.

  32. Oh, no! You mean I can't just eat a lot of Taco Bell and get my metabolism all H3LTHY?

    Seriously, thanks Ahrand, for injecting a little sanity.

  33. Bruce did not say "you need them to live". In fact, he's saying basically what I'm describing – that you should not have to avoid them. Just a little more 'in your face' is all.
    You're effort against this is all pinned on Bruce's opinions. I think you may be taking this a little too personally. He's not the entire foundation, as I've said, this isn't a religion at all. Quite the contrary.
    You can fast and feel awesome, too. You can starve and never feel hungry, just as much as you can eat meals far apart, never get hungry. Isn't it possible, don't you think, that there is always a chance that you could be numb to feeling, despite what you may be doing? As an example, there is a euphoria associated with not getting enough food – as in, perhaps, raw food veganism – which is why a lot of them can come of as a little.. cracked out – but also, happy, in the clouds, I'd say. I bet you wouldn't be able to convince them they might be doing something potentially harmful, no matter how they may feel now.
    Hunter Gatherers may do worse on white flour and sugar because of (1) what the source is; usually cheaper, possibly much older and more prone to rancidity, and (2) maybe the fact that they drop their original foods and start taking in more white flour and sugar everyday is something to consider. Most europeans and asians eat white flour or sugar or rice with some sort of more nutritionally complete diet – at least, the healthy ones. Obviously there is much greater obesity and health problems in the U.K., (than say, in France) where they do eat white sugar and flour, along with cheap oils (rather than more natural sources of saturated fat), and totally getting into the same fad the U.S. is in, like low fat – that doesn't seem to be making them any less susceptible to the wide variety of diseases we've got going on over here. To say a white dude is less reactant to white flour than a hunter gatherer isn't true at all. Make both of their diets void of nutrients and they won't live long, or at least, will contract some bad problems.

    And in all fairness, toxins are unavoidable. If we weren't meant to eat any toxins at all, we would not have such amazing detoxifying organs. There are ways to decrease phytic acid content, which many cultures seem to do one way or the other, usually. Soaking, sprouting, hulling, etc. To say it's not a food isn't incredibly fair. It provides energy, minerals, and vitamins. Yes, there are anti-nutrients – but there are most certainly ways to dumb down the anti-nutrients, and there are ways to over power them if you have a strong system, like everyone should. We are opportunistic creatures, and I think, we should take advantage of that.
    Also, I'm sure it's not impossible to think people haven't cured their lactose intolerance. I just don't understand how it's genetic if someone could have a 'slight' lactose intolerance, or an all out full intolerance – and that's it, you're stuck with it. I think how vulnerable you are to getting an allergy can be determined on a pre-diet when in the whom or genetics – but, to see people who think they have an intolerance clear it up is just a little bit of a slap in the 'genetics controls a lot' theory's face. As an example of the point I'm trying to make, I'll throw something out there. If you think an allergy to milk is genetic – do you think an allergy to animals, like a dog or cat, is genetic? If so, Matt had brought up an example of his allergies disappearing, with the effect of eating fast food. Despite his natural sources of foods (such as raw milk and grass-fed beef), his cat allergies had not vanished. Not until the macronutrient ratios were at a more efficient balance. Hope he doesn't mind bringing him up, but, this is just too good of an example!

    Here's a few quotes about allergies from the comment section in Matt's blog, posted by the man himself

    "… here is a quote from Mary Shomon's The Thyroid Diet (dumb book overall, don't read it), suggesting that food allergy and gluten sensitivity is caused by a low metabolism…
    "Thyroid disease seems to make people more likely to have food allergies and sensitivities (e.g., wheat, milk, cheese, eggs, soy, and citrus allergies). As a thyroid patient, you are also at greater risk of candidiasis – yeast overgrowth – and the sensitivity or allergy to yeast can become an impediment to effective weight loss. All of these allergies and sensitivities can cause inflammation and disrupted digestion and ultimately leaky gut/dysbiosis, which can further interfere with weight-loss efforts.” "

    [link removed]

    "This was reinforced to an even greater degree when I went to visit my brother, who is like the king of junk food (I once watched him dunk cookies into blue powerade!). I instantly started suffering allergies and a tight asthmatic chest around his pets. But then I started eating fast food with him – Wendy's, Taco Bell, Mickey D's – and I started feeling better right away. "

    [link removed]

  34. 1. In a state of nature, diet changes with the seasons.

    2. All plant foods have toxins, else the bugs would get them before we do.

    Ergo, just about any change of diet can make one feel better temporarily. This is the hidden secret of fad diets. We are supposed to rotate our foods, exchanging one set of natural insecticides for another. Those who eat all raw without blending do this naturally; eating the same food daily becomes next to impossible as the instinct revolts.

    Similarly, if one is eating too much or too little of a macronutrient, a radical shift can make one feel a lot better — temporarily. A high protein eater can feel wonderfully "light" and "spiritual" when going vegan. Later, as the imbalance shifts in the other direction, the vegan can become irritable and fanatical.

    The HED diet is thus utterly unproven. A couple of months of uncontrolled trial by a few people is not real science. To go on a web crusade dissing all other diet advice based on such scant evidence is to invite ridicule. The essence of the scientific mindset is tentative conclusions, with calls for more experiment, until the evidence has become overwhelming; and even then an openness to reinterpretation is a good idea.

  35. "To go on a web crusade dissing all other diet advice based on such scant evidence is to invite ridicule."

    Precisely.

  36. The whole reason I went to paleo is because there's science there. There's also small-scale studies and a lot of anecdotes, but so far all HED has going for it is anecdotes. There's no theory, no science, no small-scale studies.

    Maybe it does work, but I'm willing to wait for it. I don't expect that a few years of paleo will be any worse for me than the three decades I spent eating SAD.

    Agree about the WAPFers. I was always strangely perplexed at why so many of them were still obese & achey & sick. The main thing I got from WAPF was to look for real foods; hence my switch to paleo is mostly a move away from grains.

  37. Richard, If you wish you ignore evidence that food allergies have a relation to metabolic health, go ahead. I, for one, am going to go with the evidence: that food allergies can both be the cause of and the consequence of metabolic disorders, depending on the situation. There is no "wishing" things away. Read people like Broda Barnes, then go to pub med, for instance, and search for hypothyroid + allergies. If you are willing to do this, (and do some earnest research over a span of a few days) you will find that acknowledging that food allergies can indeed be caused by metabolic problems is not wishful think but based on scientific fact. I would provide you with the literature myself, but it was a couple of years ago that I actually researched it myself, and I have since lost the bookmarks to the relevant research. If you want, I can go dig up the literature and provide it for you; it might take a few days though.

    By the way, conceding the fact that intolerance's can be genetic does not invalidate the fact that their origin can also be metabolic in nature.

    As for grains- yes, I am suspicious of them, too. Despite the fact that I can eat them without problems, I rarely ever do so, precisely because of the natural toxins in them, as you have pointed out. For starches- if one wants to eat them- it is probably better to get them from tubers. White rice is probably ok too, because it seems to be low in toxins.

    However, my point regarding the bleaching and enrichment of grains still stands. I will address your response to me regarding that, and the isolation of variables, sometime later (maybe). For now I am out of time and must study my courses.

    By the way, HED is not about eating junk/fast food, despite your efforts to distort it as such. Read the "rules" Bruce has on his site. I question some of it too, but that is another issue…

  38. "The HED diet is thus utterly unproven. A couple of months of uncontrolled trial by a few people is not real science. To go on a web crusade dissing all other diet advice based on such scant evidence is to invite ridicule. The essence of the scientific mindset is tentative conclusions, with calls for more experiment, until the evidence has become overwhelming; and even then an openness to reinterpretation is a good idea."

    Good point, Carl M. I actually agree wholeheartedly.

    Now, off to study…

  39. "Researchers have identified a genetic link for lactose intolerance. Some people are born with a likelihood of developing primary lactase deficiency because it has been passed to them genetically (inherited from their parents). This discovery may be useful in developing a diagnostic test to identify people with the condition."

    You have it backwards. Lactose _tolerance_ is the mutation (that is still continuing to spread, BTW). The natural (pre-mutation) state was intolerance. I don't have time to look up the specific gene, but there's thorough dealing with the topic in the new book I believe I've already mentioned: The 10,000 Year Explosion.

    …And the debate is tiresome at this point and I'm not interested. That goes for DML's recent comment too.

    I only wanted to ridicule for a half day, because I consider this whole business ridiculous.

    A parting note: whoever thought it would be a good idea to put this out on low-carb and paleo blogs and forums is a dumbass. I'm sure you'll get lots of adherents from fast food and pizza munching carb faces, however.

  40. My response to Chloe serves as my concluding comment to you as well.

    I'll add one thing, and that is that whoever is in charge of this marketing effort out to fire BruceK. This guy has the right attitude:

    http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/High-Everything-Diet/message/13538

    The two of you have also been reasonable, though I believe you're both seriously fooling yourselves, that is, if you consume a lot of grains and legumes. And if you start pigging out at fast food joints, as Bruce has made crystal clear he does, then it's really only a matter of time.

    I'll have a Carl's Junior lettuce wrapped $6 burger now and them. They're probably OK to eat even more frequently, but I stay away, because I know it's only a matter of time before I would start cheating here and there. I think a lot of your adherents are going to run into those problems and go right back to where they began, if they aren't heading there already in spite of the few restrictions.

  41. "The two of you have also been reasonable, though I believe you're both seriously fooling yourselves, that is, if you consume a lot of grains and legumes. And if you start pigging out at fast food joints, as Bruce has made crystal clear he does, then it's really only a matter of time."

    Richard, its nice to see someone committed to the Paleo style of eating acknowledge that one can indeed not only survive but thrive on a high carb diet like the Kitavans (which was also high saturated fat diet though low in overall fat compared to western standards), depending on how it is put together. I don't see how a reasonable thinker committed to honest research could draw any other conclusion.

    What seems to be missing in this discussion is that the Kitavan high carb/high SFA diet is not the only high carb diet on which one can thrive.

    Several of the healthy African groups Weston Price studied ate high grain diets, not grain free high carb diets like the Kitavans. They didn't adapt to the grains physiologically, nor did they ignore them, but rather adapted the grains for healthy consumption, by soaking, sprouting, fermenting, and, God forbid, even refining their grains.

    These groups were every bit as healthy as the Kitavans.

    As for the PUFA issue, Chris Masterjohn has done excellent work. He is the discover of Weston Price's activator X, which we now know is K2. He certainly gives the PUFA issue a perspective that is mostly lacking today, regardless of what Ray Peat is writing.

    You can read an abstract of his special report here: http://www.wolfrivernaturals.com/chris-masterjohn-special-reports.htm#pufa

  42. You don't talk much about it, so I didn't think you knew. I stand corrected!

  43. "That's funny. This is my blog. It's all personal. So?"

    You can write about something and have it be personal; but what I mean to say is that you are not looking at the entire concept with rational thought or fact – just you're opinion. Such as the food being junk.
    Why is it that genetics could determine an allergy – but diet could reverse that allergy? I realize that lactose intolerance is a non-allergy – but, if you think that allergies in general are genetic, and these 'genetics' have been overcome – wouldn't the same effect be at least considered applicable for lactose intolerant individuals?
    (As a side topic – peanut allergies have been ever so increasing; on the rise – just like a disease. Just like obesity and type 2 diabetes has increased in children. I think they're both diet related.)
    Lactose intolerance is related directly with digestion. It's a problem with producing lactase. The NIDDK seems to be unsure as the specific cause of lactose intolerance;
    "Some causes of lactose intolerance are well known. Primary lactase deficiency is a condition that develops over time. After about age 2 the body begins to produce less lactase, though most people will not notice symptoms until they are much older.

    Secondary lactase deficiency occurs when injury to the small intestine or certain digestive diseases reduce the amount of lactase a person produces. These diseases include celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and Crohn’s disease.

    Researchers have identified a genetic link for lactose intolerance. Some people are born with a likelihood of developing primary lactase deficiency because it has been passed to them genetically (inherited from their parents). This discovery may be useful in developing a diagnostic test to identify people with the condition."
    http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/lactoseintolerance/

    In other words – it has not been proven (that is, a fact) that genes specifically determine that you won't produce lactase for the rest of your life. They can determine if you are more susceptible to not producing the enzyme. I think if you explained a little more what the book you're encouraging talks about it could help disperse more information a bit.

    I wouldn't call the macronutrient ratios clumsy – and if they're clumsy – I guess any indigenous human being is being clumsy as well. You don't have to only eat steak if you've got other carb sources. It's not like you have to eat grains if you don't want to – or if you can't currently digest them.

    I do not think anything has been proven. Like saying grains aren't meant for people – or that they're harmless to people. It's incredibly hard to prove anything scientifically dealing with food. It's even harder to trust those tests when you don't know what went on, what foods or "foods" were really used and if it can even be applied to the real world. Simply look at any study trying to dis saturated fat – how it's the culprit of whatever diseases, how cholesterol raises cholesterol and fat makes you fat. Calories, and what not. Those have all been 'proven' to some people in science, but, just reading a Weston Price novel would convince someone that that wasn't true. Just looking at tribes in general.
    Masai drinking gallons of milk a day? All that saturated fat and they're not sick and dying? There is a point where we should consider real world evidence, not just laboratory results – though, they aren't incredibly useless either, but, can be misleading, in my opinion, if that's all someone were to look at.

    This also isn't the WAPF – I brought up tribes soaking grains just as an example of natural tendency to reduce toxins. Not that you had to do that personally. The members you mention are probably unhappy all the time because of their skewed hormones.

    Here's an old comment..about WAPF members
    "DECEMBER 4, 2008 5:49:00 AM PST
    Matt Stone said…
    Because while at the WAPF conference I watched every single person at every single table I ever sat at, each time with a different group of people — raid the dessert table. They may not eat much sugar, but I feel the same as Charles in that most degenerative disease conditions stem from chronically-elevated levels of insulin. … "
    [link removed by moderator]

    On that note, see this link:
    http://www.drbass.com/rosedale2.html
    Over all it's saying what insulin's effects can have – I wouldn't count on "limiting carbs to zero" to achieve that, but, this is just a very good article to consider why so many diseases can stem from hormonal imbalance. One major one being insulin.

    That last quote wasn't meant to say "fast food is healing this is proof" – It was meant to bring light that macronutrients can sometimes over power the "natural" food aspect. That is, if your food is natural than you're 'automatically good to go'. There are plenty of other things to consider, and that was a full example why.

    So no; I do not think, like most people in that foundation do, that it is simply unnatural foods that cause disease. Perhaps it is the effect they can have on the balance of the system. Most people Price noticed were replacing these foods, however, with their natural foods. So it's not completely out the door when someone says "maybe white flour isn't the thing that's killing you". Maybe it's the basics – the imbalanced hormones and their effect on metabolism. How did they happen.. and how can you fix that? White flour and sugar are not the only things that can mess up your system – hence, why not everyone can just start eliminating dairy and gluten and eat all natural and feel a-o.k. It could be totally deeper than that. This is just an attempt to tackle that problem – overfeeding has proven to be able to help, hence, where that fits in. And balancing insulin may not be entirely related to carbs only – as people going on a mostly fruit diet (nothing but carbs) have claimed to have cured their diabetes. So much for insulin suspect carbs.

    na how is that nucking futs?

  44. I don't talk much about the workouts 'cause I'm afraid all you ripped & muscled exerts'll kick my ass if I say something stupid, which is likely. :)

  45. I agree the Kitavan diet is not the only healthful high carb diet. For instance, the Kuna are another example.

    As to grain use, everything I've seen (Stephan did a recent post, I think) suggests that the populations Price studied that had grains in their diet faired far worse in terms of dental health than the grain feee populations, and I' talking on the order of hundreds of percent. Of course, when you're talking 1 cavity in 1,000 teeth examined vs. 5 in 1,000 that a big percentage, but not such a big deal especially when modern civilization was sporting 300-400 cavities per 1,000 teeth (I think those numbers are about right, from what I recall offhand.

    I've been on K2 (MK-4) for many months, now (along with D), and am amazed at how it makes my skin super soft, my teeth smooth and calculus free, and my fingernails thick and strong.

  46. Richard, I posted this to the HED Group, pointing out that you seem to be deliberately blocking my posts. If you would care to correct me on that impression, please do. Bruce

    "I just wanted to let everyone know that Richard Nikoley seems to be deliberately blocking my responses to his blatant lies about the HED-FAD. I repeatedly tried to post "The Way of the High-Everything Anti-Diet" and he has yet to publish it. So, it seems that is how he runs his forum, unless we learn otherwise…"

    http://tinyurl.com/c35ma7

  47. That's what we're here for. My first teacher was a former marine with a 25 year smoking habit and he ripped me a new one a few times…all in love of course. ;)

  48. Comparatively speaking, and I think Stephan pointed this out, the difference is relatively minor in terms of dental caries. So "far worse" makes things sound much worse than they really were on the ground. All these tribes were, according to Price, in excellent health.

    Off the top of my head I can think of 6 healthy groups that had/have high carb diets. 3 of them grain free and 3 of them full of grains. The common denominator appears to be they all had a significant intake of saturated fat (at least 10% higher than what most people eat in the West), even when total fat was low.

  49. Yep, I can buy that. My postition has been that if you tolerate grains,
    fine, but eat lots of fat and soak, sprout, or do whatever pain-in-the ass
    process you need to do. Soak legumes.

    I prefer to throw a bigger pieve of meat on the grill.

    So far, making bone stocks had been the only "nourishing tradition" that
    seem worth the effort, to me. I could make my own saurkraut, but I can
    already buy it fresh (not bottled or canned) at Whole Food. I'll make a
    small pot of beans every few months (last was in December), and I'll soak
    'em for a day.

    But if you are at all alluding to this HED diet, the above is not at all
    what's being touted by the guy with the bipolar disorder.