Juxtaposition: Dallas & Melissa Hartwig vs. Nora Gedgaudas

Way back when, I took a first-impression dislike to Dallas, Melissa and the Whole 9.

They were annoying. Came on the scene quick, rose just as quickly, and they were fucking strict; and those were the reports I was getting in my comments. But I didn’t have much time to look into it. “They’ll go away.” They didn’t.

Then one day I looked, looked some more, and I understood. There is a time and place for strict dealing and that’s what they deal in. For a time; the idea being, to remove as many confounding variables as possible so you can really see the difference between strict real food and packaged junk in very high resolution, over 30 days. Now, thousands of folks do a Whole30 once or more per year.

As is often my style, I can easily go from hate to love in a heartbeat. The inverse is a lot harder, though. Concerning the former, I still have fond memories of Dallas heaping grinning shit on me for wearing a suit for my AHS12 presentation. I’m typically walking around in cargo shorts barefoot.

New Whole30® Program Rules

White potatoes are now allowed on the Whole30 program […]

We are always thinking about the Whole30 program—how to make it better, more effective, easier to follow, and more logical in its framework. The discussion of white potatoes began about a year ago amongst our team and valued advisors, and the debate raged hard and long. White potatoes are a whole, real, nutrient-dense food! It doesn’t make logical sense to leave them out while other carb-dense foods like taro, yuca, or sweet potato are allowed. […]

Eventually, we arrived at a consensus. Potatoes of all varieties are in, but fries and chips are not. […]

And you now what? Just a light coating of those taters (toss in a wok) with coconut oil, ghee, lard, or red palm oil makes awesome oven fries (450-500 for 10, toss, go another 10). I began blogging about adding potatoes in 2009, while doing Leangains, and found myself leaning out while eating a lot of them. I realized it was not about starch, but processed food.

Let’s juxtapose. I hate doing this, because I really adore Nora and her partner on a personal level and they have only ever treated me like a King; but girls: you have to embrace new knowledge and understanding, and the VLC club is running on fumes vis-a-vis Paleo/Primal. Plus, if you get the thousands of comments like I do, you must know that all is not paradise in paradise. I can’t count the number of people who’ve helped themselves by curing their starch deficiency.

Plus, it’s just getting to ridiculous proportions with people who ought know better ignoring plain facts and science.

I even have a professor at a well known institution scouring the literature to see if there’s a case of obligate carnivores ever having been measured in ketosis—the the Inuit have never, in nearly 100 years of trying (if you bother to read the above links). Nope, not found so far.

But, she has found that even seals aren’t in ketosis, and even in a fasted state.

As far as I can see, there have never been any wild animals documented to be in ketosis when not not starving, I’ve searched literature, libraries… I’ve asked old colleagues with arcane knowledge. Nada.

I may of course be wrong about this, but dang, if it’s been shown in any fed wild animal, it’s a rare study….

Heck, some of them avoid ketosis even for prolonged fasting (!) – these seal pups do it by recycling glucose (granted, they probably need to do that due to diving demands, but the result is they can stay out of ketosis during prolonged fasting).


“High levels of Cori cycle activity and EGP may be important components of metabolic adaptations that maintain glucose production while avoiding ketosis during extended fasting or are related to sustained metabolic alterations associated with extended breath-holds in elephant seals.”

Sometimes, I just want to answer any ketosis questions with :

“Ketosis is an adaptation for starvation. Short-term fasting is very good, but long-term ‘nutritional ketosis’ is a modern experiment. Period.”

So here’s Nora in, to me, a very curious state of being. I’d describe it in three points:

  1. 2008-11 Cocksure
  2. Palpably frustrated to the point of stammering
  3. Doesn’t actually have time to look into it (see #1)

You can judge for yourselves. It’s at the 38ish minute point in her podcast with Dave Asprey. They talk resistant starch and safe starches for about 10ish minutes.

I reiterate: up to you to judge and this by no means makes Nora a net disvalue, to me. Not by a long stretch. I know it’s rather lame to say that I post this to help, but it’s really true. I was on fire 2 days go. I slept on it twice, trying to figure out a way to simply motivate the whole community to get past the dogmas that we ALL bought into.

Please end this by scrolling up and refreshing yourself with how it’s generally going, Dallas and Melissa being just the most recent examples. Then, if you are so inclined, get word to Nora whatever way you can and plead with her to make sure she really delves into everything.

Please be constructive in any comments.

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  1. Charmed, mon cher :-)

    There’s also the poor, misunderstood hibernating bear…which despite all it’s fat is Not in ketosis when hibernating :

    or a comprehensive review pdf (on bears) here :

    The seal pups and the bears are not the norm for the response of wild animals to prolonged fasts, but they are examples showing that some animals manage to avoid ketosis even in extreme conditions.

    This is in addition to the fact that apparently all wild animals, including carnivores, are not in ketosis in the fed state.

    That said, I value ketosis for it’s therapeutic effect in certain cases and I personally value very highly periodic fasting for its wide variety of benefits.

  2. “I may of course be wrong about this, but dang, if it’s been shown in any fed wild animal, it’s a rare study….”

    Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. There are very few studies on ketosis in healthy humans, after all.

    Perhaps your professor can do a little research on the dietary patterns of wolves and ketosis in dogs and draw a few conclusions.

    Or read this: “Postexercise ketosis undoubtedly exists in most mamalian species, but among the domestic species, it has been best documented in dogs and horses. Postexercise increases in plasma levels of ketones have been observed in racing sled dogs (Hammel, et al, 1977). Postexercise ketosis has been reported several times in the horse…”

    “Clinical Biochemistry of Domestic Animals”


    • Tuck, if you have a citation for a ketosis in a “fed wild animal”, I’d be interested.
      That would be an example in nature of the continuous ‘nutritional ketosis’ advocated by some.
      Not domestic animals and not periodic states.

      There’s no question that many animals will fall Periodically into ketosis, as did humans. I really recommend it myself, have been practicing periodic fasting since childhood.

    • Its easy to understand why we fail over and over to detect ketosis in fed humans and non-human animals in the wild, i.e., natural state.

      Too high of protein intake. Could also be various carbohydrate, such as fresh liver, animals that eat the entirety of other animals including skin, fur, stomach contents, but protein explains it anyway so why bother.

      And this is established metabolic science.

      So you’ll excuse me, Tuck, if in the zeal to believe in doG, people constantly bromide me me with “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” Well, yes, at a point, it is—particularly when there’s zero evidence FOR a proposition after many attempts.

    • Duck Dodgers says:

      Tuck, you might do well to stop and think for a moment and look at the nutritional profile of wild game that wild carnivores actually eat: Bison, water buffalo, kudu, springbok, giraffes, impala, deer, ducks, fowl, etc., etc.. They’re all TOO LEAN to support ketosis!


      Mind you animals don’t eat the fatty parts and walk away. They and their families devour the entire lean and fresh animals — a relatively small amount of glycogen and huge quantities of protein. But, not nearly enough fat, period.

    • LaFrite says:

      “They’re all to lean to support ketosis”

      Actually Duck, it is not the leanness that matters, but the energy balance.

      See for example http://caloriesproper.com/?p=4052

      You can eat 50% of your cals as proteins if you wish, but so long as you are keeping a negative energy balance, you can be in ketosis. I bet you can eat an apple and a banana a day and be in ketosis 😉

    • Duck Dodgers says:


      Looks like there may be some issues with Bill’s post. I won’t claim to be an expert on ketosis, so perhaps others can sort it out.

    • Duck Dodgers says:

      A little birdie informed me that if it’s negative enough you are burning your own fat and that’s a high fat diet. Makes sense. Reminds me of the potato hack.

      Certainly not something one can do indefinitely.

    • LaFrite says:

      Duck, a high fat diet ? Hahaha, well, maybe you can see it that way but “burning your own fat” is not exactly what I would call part of a diet. For me, the way I understand it, is that a diet is defined by what you eat (put in your mouth for eating).

      But never mind. Ketosis can be reached in different ways, and a high fat – low protein – near 0 carb diet is one of them. But you won’t necessary lose weight on that one though as your energy balance can be positive …

      In the end, I truly don’t care about all that noise. It’s great that something like a ketotic metabolism exists but in these of plenty, I don’t see why you should abuse that state all the time! This is nonsense to me. Reading some people, it’s almost like reaching a state of “spiritual bliss” and they try to stay there for permanent bliss. Don’t some even say “ketosis heaven” or some bollocks like that ?

      A ketogenic diet is no heaven. Give me a traditional French diet! That’s more my definition of food heaven 😀

    • Duck Dodgers says:

      Hahaha, well, maybe you can see it that way but “burning your own fat” is not exactly what I would call part of a diet. For me, the way I understand it, is that a diet is defined by what you eat (put in your mouth for eating).


      Where do you think body fat comes from? It’s nothing more than extra nutrients that are stored up from a previous meal.

      If you consume nutrients, and your body stores those nutrients to be burned on a different day, those nutrients are still part of the total sum of what you ate. The only difference is that it was metabolized on a different day.

    • LaFrite says:

      Hehe, same would go for proteins and carbs then 😀

      No no, diet for me is what you eat, not what you store for later. I don’t eat myself, I can certainly use stored fats and wear out muscles from previously built stuff from ingested proteins but I don’t consider that nutrients in the diet sense.

      Ah, semantic games, how much time do I spend on them … 😉

    • Duck Dodgers says:

      Well, the definition is still validated by your requirements. It all comes from eaten food.

  3. Jarringly painful interview with Nora. She somehow managed to irritate me more than Mr. Bulletproof (such a huckster). Nora’s arguement is, “I just haven’t time to look into it” and “resistant starch is not real food for humans” –> Therefore RS is bad or at best neutral, don’t bother. Hmm…spot the logical fallacies.

  4. Well fed and balanced human gut microbiota (supplied with all the different fibres it loves to metabolise) pays its human host back with so many beneficial effects, including nerofeedback for free.
    Happy gut bugs mean a happy human. No EEG biofeedback needed. What are you missing, Nora?

    • Gemma, together with probably a whole host of butyrate producers, missing for sure L.plantarum 😀

  5. I challenged Nora once about the sweetness of fruit, when she wrote:

    “Consider that modern day fruit is NOT bred for its nutrient content so much as for its sweetness. Modern cultivated fruit is much larger and far more filled with sugar than its wild counterparts. Wild fruit is far more tart, in general, than sweet ….”

    “With respect, It isn’t true that modern fruits are significantly sweeter than wild fruits.

    “Blackberries, salmon berries, thimble berries? (Going by my local environment.)

    “Yes, they’re SMALLER — but less sweet than, say, an apple?

    “Not true.

    “Here are 2 studies that show the opposite:”

    To which she replied:

    “You are, of course, correct. …”

    Hopefully you’ll all have some luck with her on the starch front.

    And that it isn’t just pro forma, that it forms a deeper impression.

    • Denise Minger did a post that obliterated that notion about no sweet wild fruit.

      Moreover, can anyone say honey? How about maple syrup and other sweet tree sap?

    • FWIW, according to this paper, cultivated fruit is sweeter, not due to a higher sugar content, but by taste, because cultivated fruit has a higher sucrose content than wild fruit:

      “Most primates include considerable fruit in the diet. These wild fruits typically are more nutritious than cultivated fruits: they have a slightly higher protein content and a higher content of certain essential vitamins and minerals. Of interest is the fact that, as a rule, sugar in the pulp of wild fruits is dominated by hexose (considerable glucose and/or some fructose, and very little sucrose), whereas that of cultivated fruits is high in sucrose, a disaccharide. Cultivated fruits are therefore very tasty to humans because sucrose tastes sweeter than glucose. The sugar composition of cultivated fruits is one example of the way in which a strong sweet taste may be used to enhance the appeal and consumption of many foods human now consume, foods that often consist largely of calories.

      Because sucrose must be broken down into glucose and fructose before it can be absorbed, the difference in sugar content between wild and cultivated fruits may seem trivial. However, Western diets rich in sucrose have been suggested to relate to various health problems. The difference in sugar consumption between wild and cultivated fruits could affect features of molecular transport and absorption and perhaps insulin production. Further, many wild fruits contain fibrous pulp and multiple seeds, which provide a high ratio of indigestible to digestible components and may slow sugar digestion and absorption.”


    • Dr. Curmudgeon Gee says:


      very interesting! it’s new for me

  6. Boundless says:

    > … but long-term ‘nutritional ketosis’ is a modern experiment. Period.”

    It’s more than an experiment. It’s a pretty useful management tool for epilepsy and T1D. The jury is still out on other uses (like cancer). But future optimal human diets are apt not to be full time NK for the vast majority of cases.

    Contemplating the starch initiative, I’m thinkin’: does blood sugar rule (both immediate and HbA1c)? If yes, then perhaps the questions before us include:

    Are there ways to optimize BG other than simply restricting high-gly carbs?

    What role does gut biome play in this, and how do we take command of the remote control for that?

    • Boundless, hi. Please see first comment under post.

      Mentioning the fact that NK is proven useful for certain diseases addresses it’s therapeutic effect in special cases up to now, without any accounting of long-term physiological impact.
      An extreme example of this issue : Arsenic is also very useful therapeutically. That doesn’t make it a desirable for broad, life-long use.

      Specific therapeutic effects do not change the fact that long term NK does not have any analogue in nature nor any long history in civilization and has a small patient set of data – data which in fact show adverse effects in many cases (epileptic children studies).

      So long term NK is by definition “a modern experiment”.

      There’s nothing wrong with that, btw. Nothing.

      It’s just that ‘nature’ or evolution cannot be presented as evidence that long term NK is desirable for anyone.

      It may be, I surely don’t know, but the point is no one does.
      So, ‘caveat emptor’ – given which, I’m all for n=1, especially if someone monitors well and shares info :-)

  7. OldTech says:

    I think NK or not is the wrong question. I think that question should be about optimal blood glucose. After-all, it is blood glucose that contributes to glycation and the formation of AGEs and these are what damages our bodies.

    What is optimal blood glucose? How much data do we have on optimal glucose? I have not seen much. In fact, I have never even seen the question asked. Everybody just knows that it should be around 85 mg/dl. Is everybody right?

    I am not sure, especially after reading Peter’s Hyperlipid blog.

    • “…Peter’s Hyperlipid blog” – yes!
      Speaking of someone who “monitors well and shares info”…and most of all, analyzes research with a sharply critical eye and synthesizes biochemistry and physiology with keen insight and experience.
      Brilliant man, just simply brilliant.
      Just one personal opinion, of course :-)

      Also, unsurprisingly, doesn’t wear blinders, presents any personal preferences as such (with whatever supporting evidence or plausible/testable suppositions for mechanisms) and above all, Doesn’t answer questions with unfounded categorical statements.
      Nora and company could take notes….

  8. “I slept on it twice, trying to figure out a way to simply motivate the whole community to get past the dogmas that we ALL bought into.”

    You may try to scare them with H2S extinction from protein fermentation :-)
    It’s known that when proteins are fermented in the gut then H2S is emmited as a side effect.
    And then show that H2S was the cause of biggest mass extinctions out there – look for Peter Ward’s work.

    “This allows a type of bacteria to take over that creates hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Animal life cannot live in water that has a lot of hydrogen sulfide in it. When you have concentrations of greater than 80 ppm of hydrogen sulfide, or you get up to 200 ppm, which is easily done, you’ll kill every animal [in the ocean]. Eventually so much hydrogen sulfide leaks into the atmosphere that it kills animals and plants. […] Every mass extinction except the dinosaur extinction seems to have been caused by this.”

  9. Jimmy 4 Jesus says:

    Hmmm. The horse is dead. Flog it all you like but it won’t move.

  10. Brian the surfing elephant says:

    Can anyone tell me why white potato? Here in New Zealand there is a really old heiloom deep purple variety that look like dog shit (the Maori name for them is actually tutai kura
    … dog shit). I have them growing wild here and they are the nuttiest floury beautiful lush food, but they are not white. Any ideas?

  11. Jesus. That interview. Resolutely hostile to any possibility that any human might benefit from eating starch, resistant or otherwise. Over and over again with this assertion that “It’s not real food for humans.” Care to qualify that, Nora? No, thank you. I don’t have time to familiarize myself with what I already know is snake oil bullshit.


    None of this surprises me, though. My first exposure to Nora’s opinions on these issues was on her July 2012 appearance on Jimmy Moore’s Ask the Low Carb Experts show. The program ordinarily involves the guest expert providing detailed answers to specific listener questions that only a well versed student of the relevant topic would be expected to answer. On this episode, however, the same diversity of questions was met with one response, hardly even reworded from question to question: “Humans don’t need any starch. Therefore, no starch is ‘safe’ for us, and we ought not to consume it. Eat fat instead.”

    Seriously. Really robust, well thought out, well written questions. Same god damn reply every single time. It was surreal. Jimmy, by the way, was “yep”ing and “right”ing along the whole time.

    On that note, Jimmy really pisses me off when he says his goal is to be a neutral presence in an unfettered forum for discussion on controversial topics, like this one, but barely even seems to make an attempt to hide the agenda that he favors. On the 2011 online safe starch symposium, Jimmy made that claim, and then responded to justifiable prods in the comment section about a biased agenda by explaining why he didn’t think it was prudent to advise starches as a baseline without going out of one’s way to disclaim that metabolically deranged people should think twice. Ugh.

    Reminds me of that excellent retort Richard made to Michael Eades back in April. If your goal is to avoid bias, then shut the fuck up (my words) and simply provide the forum for the discussion. On the other hand, if you have an opinion, then by all means share it, but stop pretending you are not biased. An opinion requires an underlying bias, no two ways about it. You can’t be neutral and opinionated at the same time.

    Nora is a nice gal, and Jimmy is a nice guy. They have both contributed to the discussion, and that is good. Jimmy especially should be commended for devoting so much time to putting the medical professionals who disagree with the low-fat state religion in touch with lay people. But her and his blind spots on this issue are absolutely maddening.

    My prediction of the future is that it is only a matter of time before these two–as well as many others, such as Volek, Feinman, and Ravnskov, all of whom on that same symposium blog post were condescendingly dismissive of the Jaminets for their starch recommendations, some vitriolically so–are either (a) admitting they were wrong and extolling the virtues of safe and resistant starches, (b) pretending they always believed in these things (remember CSPI on trans fats?), or (c) (this is the tragic possibility) clinging ever so stubbornly to their dearly held beliefs long after the science has been resolutely settled, so that they are not even relevant voices any more, the way the animal fat will kill you ‘experts’ are right now.

    Nora, Jimmy, and everyone else who does not have the “time” (i.e. interest) to look into this stuff, for your own sake, please develop the “time,” and do it soon. Stop being the 21st century versions of Ancel Keys. That would be a terrible way to go down in history.

    • Dr. Curmudgeon Gee says:

      there’re dogmatic zealots in all diet camps (LCHF, HCLF, RS, vegan, etc)

      i stopped listening to Jimmy after the “safe starch” panel; exactly for the same reason (his pretending to be to be “neutral”)
      it is ok with me that he has a bias since LCHF works for him; but i detest phoniness & self-righteouness


    • Dr CG

      I was there in person. The worst part for me was listening to Rosedale and then, coupla hours later, following him immediately, to give my presentation.

    • Dr. Curmudgeon Gee says:

      Dr. Rosedale did not irritate me as much as Jimmy tho, he does not pretend to be

      can you find some old images of Plain Indians,
      beautiful homosapiens

  12. Martin says:

    All that Dallas & Melissa & Nora & Jimmy &… Richard are saying on this topic is their opinions. I’ve long lost confidence is simple solutions (e.g. ketogenic diet vs all potato diet vs any-simplified-approach diet). No simplified solution works for me. Certain combinations do, sometimes.

    But when looking for science-based (and not opinion or anecdote-based) baseline, I consider these guys to be the experts:

    That’s my baseline. It’s not a perfect or final solution I have not seen any better one to start from.

    Argue with them, ask them about RS, not Nora or Jimmy or Melissa.

    • But when looking for science-based (and not opinion or anecdote-based) baseline

      Anecdotes aren’t the worst thing in the world. A “science-based approach,” while necessary and useful in many ways, still has holes.

      Two come to mind primarily:

      1. Most of the time we aim for a clinical study, the gold standard of science. But you can’t test everything you need to test in order to establish clinical proof of a dietary/lifestyle tenet. Life is simply too complex. Gary Taubes enumerated this frustrating complexity in Good Calories, Bad Calories when musing about the quandary of trying to design an effective and conclusive clinical study. For instance, if we reduce carbohydrates in a diet, do we increase calories in fat and/or protein? Which one? Or both? If both, then how much of each? And regardless of which we choose, what makes the difference in teh final result? The absolute reduction of carbohydrates? The decrease in carbohydrate relative to the other macronutrients? Or something else that we have not identified? With even one such study being prohibitively expensive, you could not test multiple studies in parallel either. The quagmire is endless.

      2. You can opt instead to use observational science to piece together “markers” of health. But this approach is not flawless, either. Selecting which markers to measure reincorporates the element of bias, which science is supposed to avoid (and as we know from Taubesian research et al, rarely does in practice). How do you decide what to measure? What if some indications contradict others? Are you going to conclude “good” or “bad” based on majority rule? If so, how do you know that certain combinations of these markers don’t result in different longevity of life and/or vibrancy of health than others? The danger here is a false sense of security, where you have this enterprise that you implicitly believe lacks bias, but in reality is full of it.

      Anecdotes, on the other hand, can be much more useful than we often give them credit for. Where experimental studies may give us a decent starting point, individual experiences can help fill in the gaps. Take Tom Naughton’s experience illustrated by the following comment, whereas he had previously been highly skeptical of “safe” or resistant starches:

      I’ve heard from people who say their energy flagged on a very-low-carb diet, but they felt great when they added 100 grams or so of “safe starches” back into their diets as prescribed in Paul Jaminet’s Perfect Health Diet. I believe them.

      Those anecdotes clued him in that there might just be something to this starch thing.

      Take Richard’s recent remarks in a discussion debunking the pursuit of a (fictional) sterile avoidance of bias in human life:


      The Synthesis then becomes the new Thesis, and the process repeats ad infinitum; not in circular fashion, but rather, a spiral fashion where each cycle represents more knowledge, better understanding, get’s a little closer to the truth. As such, I never have to worry much about someone’s bias. Let them be as biased as they like and then synthesize new understanding from competing bias. Someone’s comment on a post of mine might be 90% logical fallacy—or just mostly bullshit—but 5%, or 1% decent antithesis from which which a synthesis might emerge and in turn, a new, more complete thesis.

      …Or, you can waste endless hours debating who’s right and who’s wrong; who’s biased and who’s impartial; who’s cognitively dissonant and who’s consonant. Or, you could be making progress recognizing that in all likelihood, you’re both right, both wrong; both biased; both living in some measure of dissonance and contradiction—in different proportions, contexts and perspectives—and there’s a synthesis dying to get out if you could both simply embrace intellectual honesty.

      But nothing is settled, ever. I prefer it that way.

      And not only is the journey (rather than the end goal) preferable–it is an inevitability of life. We’ll never know all the answers. Not even in a thousand years (presuming our descendants are still here).

      To corral up all my rambling and return to your original point, I think we have good reason to combine anecdotes with “rigorous science.” Be especially careful of that latter concept…you have to bore deep holes of scrutiny and skepticism into every study that comes out before you can trust it as an oracle. Chances are, since it was designed by humans, it will contain the same flaws and biases that plague all of us humans. I’m not saying they’re worthless. Just don’t let them give you a false sense of security.

    • @Martin
      Science is about building models, that have a predictive power in reality. Volek/Westman/Phinney and others you link to models don’t do that, as the predictions that very bad things happen when one eats moderate levels of carbohydrates rather than very low ones is just not realized in this reality.
      I’d also argue that Richard’s models are more complete – he searches and adopts into them various submodels, like this gut biome now, but many other things in the past – like leangains, paleo etc. Low-Carbers on the other hand are fixated around the same area for a long time.
      When it comes to debates the people you linked to are not frequent debaters, although I found for example this:


    • Yes, yes, yes! Anecdotes can indeed be much more useful than we give them credit for. And yes impartiality is a myth. The conceptualization and design of studies certainly is heavily constrained by the researcher’s biases.

  13. Jimmy 4 Jesus says:

    Your new juxtaposition image theme is growing on me. I think I’m starting to understand its relevance. Please add more images to the series asap. Some that are a little more cryptic would be fun too.

  14. Sasy squatch says:

    I’ve always been a Nora fan and have enjoyed her books. I’m not trying to be over critical here, but doesn’t Nora look kind of bloated and over weight
    in this podcast with Asprey? I have noticed that in some of her other podcasts. Plus she looks kind of haggard and worn out. If this is what long term VLC does…….please pass the starch!!

    • There’s nothing to be concerned about. She also said she never has reports of adverse reactions to VLC amongst her patients.

      Nothing to see here.

    • I started to think the same, but couldn’t tell for sure. The image seemed to be distorted wider than true, so that was throwing me off quite a bit.

  15. Sasy squatch says:

    By the way. During the 8 or so minutes I watched of the Asprey interview of Nora. I had to hear Asprey mention how he’s spent $300,000.00 over the last 10 years, bio hacking himself for about the 500th fucking time. What an annoying DICK!!!!

    • Duck Dodgers says:

      Well, he spent $300,000 and 10 years biohacking himself and he still can’t tolerate a side of french fries. This suggests that he has some extreme gut issues that even money can’t easily solve.

      Meanwhile countless others are making more progress with about $100 in probiotics and prebiotics. So, at least he acknowledges that starch is working for many and I think that’s certainly better than turning a blind eye to it.

      However, Dave couldn’t help patting himself on the back as he claimed that the collagen in his bulletproof coffee ferments to butyrate at the same rate as RS. I’d love to see a citation for that. I don’t think that’s true.

      I distinctly remember seeing a study about Cheetahs fermenting SCFAs from consuming collagen, skin and other grisly bits when digesting whole animals, but I was the one who uncovered that study a few months ago, and Table 3 clearly shows that hardly any butyrate is fermented from collagen:


      And as best as I can tell, that’s the only study to look into the SCFAs fermented from animal fibers, and collagen does not appear to be a significant source of butyrate whatsoever.

    • Duck Dodgers says:

      Slight correction. Collagen isn’t part of his coffee.

      But here’s what he said about collagen and RS:

      Dave Asprey said (skip to 42:44):

      “Resistant starch is food for the bacteria who have hacked your system, in my opinio… in the Bulletproof Diet Book that comes out [cringeworthy/shameless plug]… That has… the research for that book. Fermenting collagen in the gut can make as much butyrate as fermenting resistant starch. So, I’m actually open to the idea of resistant starch for some types of people. Carefully timed. And it has to do with ratios of some things in the gut. But for the most part, I’m like… I will use resistant starch, in the evening, sometimes with probiotics. And it seems to have a benefit. If I do it during the day, and I do it all the time, I tend to gain weight and I get environmental allergies that I don’t normally have.

      Let’s just say that his Jeckyl and Hyde experience with RS is a very unique n=1. I can’t help but wonder if he’s experiencing a nocebo effect. Whatever.

      Anway, he claims collagen produces as much butyrate as RS? Again, the only evidence I can find to discuss that possibility clearly disagrees with that statement. I really doubt he can back that statement up.

  16. I always have just the tiniest feeling of dread when I see this many pingbacks to our site from your blog. This one wasn’t so bad. Thanks, Richard.


  17. Duck Dodgers says:

    Nora said:

    “To quote Bernstein, you can have an amino acid deficiency, you can have an essential fatty acid deficiency, but there is no such thing in any medical textbook on Earth as a carbohydrate deficiency. There is no such thing as a glucose deficiency….per se.

    Well, I don’t know about you, but nobody in their right mind gets nutritional advice from “medical textbooks.” And those same medical textbooks also say some unkind words on dietary saturated fat.


    The Joint Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations/World Health Organization Expert Consultation on Human Nutrition stated in 1998:

    From: Carbohydrates in human nutrition (Report of a Joint FAO/WHO Expert Consultation, Rome, Italy, 14-18 April 1997). FAO food and nutrition paper 66. World Health Organization. 1998. ISBN 9251041148.

    “One of the major developments in our understanding of the importance of carbohydrates for health in the past twenty years has been the discovery of resistant starch.”

    Nora, Nora, Nora… The evidence for the role of carbohydrates and Resistant Starch in human health isn’t just there. It’s overwhelming.

    • To quote Bernstein, you can have an amino acid deficiency, you can have an essential fatty acid deficiency, but there is no such thing in any medical textbook on Earth as a carbohydrate deficiency. There is no such thing as a glucose deficiency….per se.

      The LC clergy has been regurgitating that tired line for ages. It means nothing except that humans will not starve to death from eating no glucose.

      I doubt any of us would debate Nora on that point.

      As for an ideal eating strategy that leads to robust, vibrant health… Quite a different story, obviously. But she doesn’t seem to want to go there.

      Someone needs to tell Nora that it is the year 2014. And also, that she need not confuse us with George McGovern or Michael Jacobson.

    • Going back to the H2S subject – eating a lot of protein (especially ones with methionine, cysteine amino acids) that cointain sulphur, causes a gut bacteria shift towards to produing a lot of H2S.


      “The toxic effects of sulphur reducing compounds, particularly hydrogen sulphide, at concentra-tions commonly found in the lumen of the human colon, appear to be mediated through impaired utilisation of butyrate by colonocytes. Hydrogen sulphide causes increased epithelial permeability, loss of barrier function, cellular proliferation, and histological changes in rat colon that are similar to those seen in humans with UC.
      UC patients have significantly higher luminal concentrations of hydrogen sulphide than controls and disease activity correlates with sulphide production rates.
      Endogenous sources do not seem to make a significant contribution to the colonic pool of sulphur. The major exogenous sources of sulphur are the sulphur amino acids (found in high protein foods such as red meat, cheese, milk, fish, nuts, and eggs) and inorganic sulphate (in Brassica vegetables and as preservatives in processed foods, particularly commercial breads, beers, sausages, and dried fruit ). Sulphur amino acids and inorganic sulphate reach the colon where they are converted to sulphides by fermentation with colonic bacteria or by sulphate reducing bacteria.
      Faecal hydrogen sulphide concentration is increased by increasing either the sulphur amino acid content (as meat) or sulphate content (as additives) of the diet.
      Generation of hydrogen sulphide by sulphate reducing bacteria is modest compared with total faecal sulphide concentration, suggesting that fermentation of sulphur amino acids may be the more important of the two mechanisms of generation of hydrogen sulphide.”


      “Sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) colonize the guts of ∼50% of humans. […] Proteins and carbohydrates are broken down by primary fermenters, yielding short-chain fatty acids (e.g., acetate, propionate, and butyrate) and gases (e.g., H2 and CO2). […] In the human gut, H2-consuming microbes include methanogens, acetogens, and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB). These organisms produce methane, acetate, and hydrogen sulfide (H2S), respectively. […] Various studies using different analytic approaches have identified SRB in the fecal microbiota of healthy adults (7, 8) and in the distal gut mucosa (9). […] D. piger Is a Common SRB Present in the Fecal Microbiota. […] A Diet with Low Levels of Fermentable Carbohydrates Is Associated with Increased Utilization of Host-Derived Glycans and Increased Levels of D. piger. […] These results suggest that D. piger benefits from diets that provide low levels of complex carbohydrates to the distal gut. We hypothesized that this benefit reflects the fact that consumption of the polysaccharide-poor HF/HS diet prompts increased utilization of host sulfated glycans by members of the defined artificial human gut community, thereby providing free sulfate to D. piger. […] we found that the increased sulfatase (EC3.1.6.14) gene expression in Bacteroides species observed in mice consuming the HF/HS diet was accompanied by significantly higher proportional levels of D. piger and significantly higher concentrations of H2S in cecal contents […] revealed significantly lower levels of bacterial fermentation products (acetate, propionate) on the HF/HS versus LF/HPP diet”


      So what H2S does do in our organism? For one it slows down mitochondria, lowers temperature, moving a human towards being a cold-blooded animal. An anti-Matt-Stone substance.


      It seems to have some beneficial cardiovascular effects, blood pressure effects though.


  18. Nora:

    Nora argues that “there is no such thing as a glucose deficiency” and therefore it is not essential.

    There is no glucose deficiency because the body will do everything in its power to make it if you don’t eat it. That’s sound “essential” to me.

    She’s a business person dressed like a scientist and has staked her professional reputation and financial well being in this position. The result: she refuses to follow the science for fear that she’ll lose whatever credibility she has.


    Asprey sells way too much proprietary crap at this point to be believable. He’s a classic marketer. Create a need/anxiety and sell some crap that will address it. Mercola Jr.?

    • She’s a business person dressed like a scientist and has staked her professional reputation and financial well being in this position. The result: she refuses to follow the science for fear that she’ll lose whatever credibility she has.

      I agree 100%. She may not even realize it, but she is so heavily invested in these ideas psychologically, that she is actively resisting any contradictory evidence. She appears to have romanced herself into believing that she is the first person to write a book and/or blog that will not later turn out, in hindsight, to contain erroneous information. That reflects true arrogance, because the underlying assumption is that she knows all the answers. “None of the tenets in my book will ever be refuted. THIS is absolute truth, bitches.”

      Mind you, I would not say any of this if she had actually given the topic the time of day and looked into the nuts and bolts. But she spineless hasn’t, as she made clear in that interview.

  19. To me —– all these quacks and all there diets, PALEO, LC, SCD , WHOLE30, KETO FAT, GRAPEFRUIT, JUICING, ETC

    NO one diet is best ( due to your personal microbiome)… Im a walking example with my Gut, physically now and mentally excuse all my rants– :) These Diets are all tools to re-balance yourself. From all the testing and notation i have done in 2.5 years documenting my life(SICK to great health). Ive done the following in this order, SCD diet , Paleo , LC and now Adding in RS/ eating paleo with FATS.. My health is amazing

    Cardiac calcium score = 1
    Peripheral Arterial left & right sides = 1.08
    AbdominalAorticAneurysm <3 cm
    Body Mass Index 22
    Atrial EKG Fibrillation = perfect
    Carotid Artery Disease = R & L PSV <110cm
    I could go on and on with tests Ive done—-

    My inflammation is non exist -cardio and GI tract now…. GUT is good no more CROHNS or COLITIS — no more sinus problems or headaches or seasonal allergies
    MY stool PH runs 6.6 to 6.8

    All the things that bothered me 2.5 years ago foods, Potato , beer, dairy GLUTEN I can eat again—I dont go crazy and many I choose not to really personally eat.. I carry 4 genes for intolerance / celiac– I dont have celiac .

    When I lay out all my studies , papers notations SUGAR is the evil ,with YEASTS/fungus Not fat, over the counter drugs F you up- lowering your gut lining. Big pharma drugs antibiotics/ steriods and inhalers cause and GIVE you YEAST over growth. Many of these drugs treat symptoms NOT causes — bacteria/yeast

    A poor diet of to many grains , lowers the gut lining in all people not just gluten issue people, over use of alcohol — lowers gut. To much wine — ups the yeast , as well store bought FAKE bread( commercial yeast) To many processed foods , SUGARS and eating way to much CANDY—what I call fruits and your OUT of balance( fruit is seasonal- to many JACK WADS it to much and all year round

    All these diets can be used as tools to re balance your mirobiome . The problem many people have no idea where to start (or what there problem is– Nor does there doc GP or GI) Many jump in maybe at the wrong diet / wrong phase—because they saw some BS article on the net or DR OZ on TV. —-when they fail—- they bash it. Like the whole 360 lady. The goal is to FIX and re balance the GUT all your life long problems will walk away…. Im living proof, Many are at different points due to life experiences or POOR choices

    My GUT BIOME is nothing of what it was from the age 1 to 39 years old… Today Im 41

    I can say missing bacteria, and high yeast F-ed me up.. once in this circle you can almost be sure to NEVER GET out— your medical physician will make you worse and a customer for life — your GI doc will play with dangerous immune suppressant drugs – really masking your under lining problem or causing more hidden yeast problems / bacteria over growths. But you dont feel it. A long SLOW DEATH— as you pile on more health problems and drugs to treat each symptom

    fix the yeast, raise the bacteria— all will fix block and cancel each other… Food is medicine , diets and tools… For me I say a modified Paleo/doug kauffmann Phase 2 , with RS starches ADDED in (at the right point) and fat is the way to go. Many who fail here with RS most likely have such bad yeast over growth the yeast/fungus — enjoy the feast over the tiny bacteria (good ones ) you have left— the 1o percenters

    Duck Dodgers has some good advice on Fibers , Inulin & RS — as well what foods not to eat etc.. Many people try to hard to stay LC or etc when once your balanced — yeast /bacteria health will be good theres no need. eat Good real foods

    Eat real foods—–limit sugar , if its processed , comes in a box dont eat it.. Limit your sugar if its from fruits. If its over produced and stored haphazardly –corn , peanuts and wheat- large silos growing poison fungus on it –dont eat it.

    In the end –one day we will find many dieases caused by loss of gut barrier— by yeast and leaking bacteria / fungus– my thoughts

    my personally belief is cardio diease and many auto immune dieases are the result of loss of protective bacteria— causing yeast over growth . I say this from the many in my family tree who in the end succumbed to cardio, gut and arthritis -auto immune problems.

    I my self seemed to join the club at 38…..Today Im not in the club any more….Diet , fiber, inulin and real food is medicine…

    Diets are tools –until wacko docs wake up on yeast— diet — and bacteria destruction from antibiotics … people health will continue to drop. Many of these crazies push there diet – and they have no clue what the over all picture is

  20. Duck Dodgers says:

    From: Bulletproof Executive : Podcast #136

    Nora Gedgaudas: There’s too much credence being given to the whole “safe starch” idea, that I don’t necessarily consider safe at all. You know, nightshades are certainly not what I think of as safe.

    Dave: I don’t do nightshades.


    Nora Gedgaudas: And these are anything but Paleo foods. These are very, very, very new foods to us…

    Hard to believe that someone with “expertise” in “Paleo” foods never heard of Tiger Nuts.

    While Nora comes off as the ‘Sarah Palin’ of Paleo in that clip, their conversation highlights the wussification of Paleo.

    What Nora and Dave don’t seem to realize is that some of the very plant toxins they fear have also been shown to have health benefits. For instance, nightshade toxins have been shown in studies to exhibit the following properties…

    Antiallergic, Antipyretic, and Anti-inflammatory effects.
    Blood sugar-lowering effects.
    Antibiotic Activities against Pathogenic Bacteria, Viruses, Protozoa, and Fungi.
    Destruction of Human Cancer Cells
    Source: Potato Glycoalkaloids and Metabolites: Roles in the Plant and in the Diet

    For those who are curious, the paper documents all the known harmful effects and beneficial effects of nightshade toxins, and concludes by saying…

    From: Potato Glycoalkaloids and Metabolites: Roles in the Plant and in the Diet

    “Food and biomedical scientists, including nutritionists, pharmacologists, and micro- biologists, are challenged to further define the beneficial effects of the glycoalkaloids against cancer, the immune system, cholesterol, and inflammation, as well as against pathogenic fungi, bacteria, viruses, and protozoa.”

    Not so black and white, eh?

    How about so-called toxic saponins? Nora and Dave are afraid of them too. But, would it surprise you that virtually all indigenous cultures make an effort to consume toxic saponins and tannins? They are nearly always found in bark and bush teas that are consumed by nearly every culture, including the Inuit. Take the Masai for instance. Turns out if you actually take the time to research their eating habits, you find that they eat toxic Acacia nilotica bark extract, with virtually every meat-heavy meal. The bark is rich in saponins and tannins. The saponins are believed to lower cholesterol and heart disease incidence (National Geographic, Oct 1995).

    What about the Inuit? Labrador Tea was a major component of their diet. And guess what? It’s really freakin’ toxic.

    From: Wikipedia: Labrador Tea

    [Labrador tea] has been a favorite beverage among Athabaskan and Inuit people for many years…Labrador tea has narcotic properties. Evidence suggests that excessive consumption of the plant may cause delirium or poisoning. Toxic terpenes of the essential oils cause symptoms of intoxication, such as slow pulse, lowering of blood pressure, lack of coordination, convulsions, paralysis, and death. It is apparently safe as a weak herbal tea, but should not be made too strong.

    Oh, and Labrador tea has saponins and tannins too. Definitely not “bulletproof” tea. Are Nora and Dave are oblivious to this, or just willfully ignorant?

    At any rate, hormesis from “toxic” plants appears to be a new frontier for health research. Tim shared this very cool article on nutritional toxicology that was published just a few days ago.

    Fruits and Vegetables Are Trying to Kill You

    From: Fruits and Vegetables Are Trying to Kill You

    Warding off the diseases of aging is certainly a worthwhile pursuit. But evidence has mounted to suggest that antioxidant vitamin supplements, long assumed to improve health, are ineffectual. Fruits and vegetables are indeed healthful but not necessarily because they shield you from oxidative stress. In fact, they may improve health for quite the opposite reason: They stress you.

    That stress comes courtesy of trace amounts of naturally occurring pesticides and anti-grazing compounds. You already know these substances as the hot flavors in spices, the mouth-puckering tannins in wines, or the stink of Brussels sprouts. They are the antibacterials, antifungals, and grazing deterrents of the plant world. In the right amount, these slightly noxious substances, which help plants survive, may leave you stronger.

    Parallel studies, meanwhile, have undercut decades-old assumptions about the dangers of free radicals. Rather than killing us, these volatile molecules, in the right amount, may improve our health. Our quest to neutralize them with antioxidant supplements may be doing more harm than good.

    If one truly makes an effort to research what indigenous cultures ate — and it almost certainly appears that Dave and Nora do not make that kind of effort — one will find that consistent consumption of plant toxins were a major component of their diets.

    Given what we are learning about the microbiota, it appears that a healthy gut biome may be required to tolerate these toxins — as these toxins can often be metabolized by our gut bugs. I don’t doubt that Nora and Dave have their gut issues and perhaps can’t tolerate any plant toxins. I understand that toxins can be hard on the weak, modern gut. But, to profess to the world that all plant toxins are bad just isn’t supported by the scientific literature. Nor is it supported by the dietary habits of indigenous cultures. Not by a long shot.

    The dose makes the poison. Don’t eat tons of plant toxins. But, avoid them at your own peril.

    • @Duck Dodgers


    • Duck Dodgers says:

      Gemma, I won’t pretend that I uncovered the possible benefits of nutritional toxicity on my own. I have you to thank for giving me lots of examples prior to Tim sharing that article! You should remind us of the other examples you’ve found when you have time.

    • @Duck Dodgers

      Do not worry, I care not for any merits. I am in fact enjoying the role of a backoffice girl :-)

      You are great communicator, Duck. A whole post dedicated to the beneficial toxins coming soon? When do you have time?

    • Nürnberg says:

      Very fascinating what a blind spot the possible hormetic effect of plant “toxins” is in a community that happily embraces the concept with regard to fasting and exercise. Should have been pretty f-in obvious. Good job as usual DD!

    • @Duck – you are unfair to Dave for suggesting he should be somehow an expert in Paleo stuff, and be guilty if he doesn’t:

      “What Nora and Dave don’t seem to realize is that some of the very plant toxins they fear have also been shown to have health benefits.
      How about so-called toxic saponins? Nora and Dave are afraid of them too. But, would it surprise you that virtually all indigenous cultures make an effort to consume toxic saponins and tannins?
      Oh, and Labrador tea has saponins and tannins too. Definitely not “bulletproof” tea. Are Nora and Dave are oblivious to this, or just willfully ignorant?”
      It’s a kind of strawman argument, as Dave frequently mentioned that his diet is not based on Paleo, but on his own, separate research; that lead to similar otcomes than Paleo, without using “paleo principle” or whatever. He also has been critcizing Paleo world for not acknowledging that contemporary wold is different with his favorite example being mycotoxins being much more toxic after inventing antifungals that eliminated most of just slightly harmful molds, leaving only few percent of the most dangerous ones.


      “The Bulletproof Diet looks related to the paleo or “caveman” diet based on what our ancestors probably ate, but The Bulletproof Diet arose from research into biochemistry and human performance. For that reason, this diet overcomes some of the problems that can arise from long-term paleo dieting. ”


      “Mycotoxins weren’t always such a problem for mankind. We have used them for years when we ferment foods and allow the toxins–including alcohol–formed by yeast to preserve our food. The problems we’re facing now began in 1964. That’s when Stauffer chemical company patented glyphosate, the herbicide now commonly known as Round-up™.”

    • Duck Dodgers says:

      Are we talking about the “Dave Asprey” who presents at Paleo f(x)?


      On his site, Asprey described the conference like this:

      “Some of the smartest health experts in the world are coming to PaleoFX. This will be different from the Ancestral Health Symposium because this conference will be discussing the exact “how-to” aspects of the paleo diet and health.”


      I suppose you’re right. He’s not really a Paleo expert. He just plays one on stage. 😉

  21. Sasy squatch says:

    Nora likes to mention that a particular food isn’t ‘Paleo’. But really, what foods that we eat today, was around in Paleo times? Most of the veggies, fruits, and even grass fed meats are the result of ancient and modern day cultivation and farming practices. Broccoli wasn’t around, pre agriculture (at least in its current ‘edible’ state).And everyone considers eggs to be Paleo. I doubt our HG ancestors had access to a bird that laid 300 eggs year! I’m starting to cringe at the words ‘Paleo diet’. Kind of like when Yuppie assholes started using the word ‘core’ for abdominals!!

  22. Sasy squatch says:

    I would say more 2002……but for those of us that make a living training athletes, ‘core’ is still going strong.

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