Cooking, Cooling, and Reheating Starches For Even More Digestive Resistance

One of the more common questions we've had since the very beginning of the Resistant Starch Explosion is: if cooling your cooked starches (e.g., potatoes, rice, beans, pasta) increases the resistant starch (retrograded RS3), will reheating it destroy it?

It was Tim Steele who came up with the info that not only does it not destroy the RS3, successive cooling and reheating actually increases it—though the the first cycle is by far the biggest bang.

Well, so now we have some testing on real people, using pasta: Is reheated pasta less fattening?

The volunteers were randomised to eating either hot, cold or reheated pasta on different days.

On one day they got to eat the pasta, freshly cooked, nice and hot with a plain but delicious sauce of tomatoes and garlic.

On another day they had to eat it cold, with the same sauce, but after it had been chilled overnight.

And on a third day they got to eat the pasta with sauce after it had been chilled and then reheated.

So what did happen?

Well we were fairly confident the cold pasta would be more resistant than the stuff that had been freshly cooked and we were right.

Just as expected, eating cold pasta led to a smaller spike in blood glucose and insulin than eating freshly boiled pasta had.

But then we found something that we really didn't expect - cooking, cooling and then reheating the pasta had an even more dramatic effect. Or, to be precise, an even smaller effect on blood glucose.

In fact, it reduced the rise in blood glucose by 50%.

So there you have it. Short & simple, too.

It makes me wonder if this is why I didn't get fat eating all that pasta at the mom & pop Sicilian place down the street from my flat when I lived in France. I'd walk down 2-3 times per week and if it wasn't a wood fired pizza, it was a bowl of pasta. But I recall one evening asking their son, Salvatore (who's limonadier he gave me when I left is still used to open wine around here, 22 years later), how they do their pasta so quickly, in single batches.

They precook it and put it in the fridge. Then they reheat in salty, boiling water, portion by portion. Go figure.

Update: OK, found the actual program website, as well as the short video segment.

And here's a chart I clipped.

Screen Shot 2014 10 16 at 11 38 58 AM

Update 2: This appears to work for freezing and toasting bread, too.

The impact of freezing and toasting on the glycaemic response of white bread.

CONCLUSIONS: All three procedures investigated, freezing and defrosting, toasting from fresh, and toasting following freezing and defrosting, favourably altered the glucose response of the breads. This is the first study known to the authors to show reductions in glycaemic response as a result of changes in storage conditions and the preparation of white bread before consumption. In addition, the study highlights a need to define and maintain storage conditions of white bread if used as a reference food in the determination of the glycaemic index of foods.

What If You Ruin A Vegan Potato Salad With Chicken Stock?

Well first of all, I'm floored. ...No, it's not about Lyle McDonald's revelation today over living a double life as a porn producer.

Nope, I'm talking about yesterday's post: What If You Modified Dr. McDougall’s Program To "Starch-Based Paleo?" I was prepared to duck for cover; but as it turns out, the comments are not that at all. Rather, I see a combination of folks who've already adopted something similar, along with folks asking some of the same questions that plague me.

For instance: is added fat in any way Paleo or Primal? No, it's not. Rendering and isolating fats is solidly a neolithic/agriculture/pastoralist thing. Can we be honest with ourselves? Is a huge part of the backlash over Paleo over the last half decade well deserved—with its images of bacon in pounds, and swimming pools of added fat? On the other hand, I'm no big vegan fanboy. Just ask DurianRider: Live Debate: The Animal (That’s Me) vs. Durianrider (Raw Fruit Vegan Harley Johnstone).

Over the ensuing years, it has nagged at me that I think they're just both very wrong, but for different reasons. The vegans are just wrong because they're fucktarded about basic anthropology and simply dismiss mountains of science that we've been omnivores for a very fucking long time—and gorillas get more animal product than vegan humans (via insects). It was the Tiger Nuts, however, that made me realize that Paleo, as currently peddled, is just as fucktardedly wrong. Different reasons.

And so, I'm at the point where I desire to see if there's a possible synthesis between the two. Real Food veganism has profound elements of paleo, and they rightly put paleo in short pants over some things (like added fats). And bacon is just not Paleo in any stretch of the imagination, nor are virtually any of the snacks and treats from the flashy money whores out there. Nor are any of the similarly fucktarded "Paleo" websites devoted to baking shit.

So, in some respects, the Real Food vegans are more Paleo than faux Paleo. But, just as for the low carbers, no animal is as fucktardedly baked into the cake as is the fuclktardism of no-or-low carbs.

Pissed off, yet? If not, then here. Let me help some more.

IMG 2704

...After yesterday's post, I got into in-for-a-penny-in-for-a-pound mode. I'm curious. I actually have never done anything but a relatively high meat/fat diet. It was more "balanced" when I was growing up—vegetables and starches were always part of every meal. Meat was always treasured but as I retro-spect, so were so many of the veggie or starch preparations. I have my mom's cookbook and it's loaded with vegetable preparations across the board.

So I'm just going to do an experiment where fruits and starches make up the foundation, augmented with all that leafy shit, plus an egg every now and then, and meat/seafood measured in ounces.

What happens? I don't know. What I do know is that I'm not afraid of the result in any slight manner. I embrace the 'what it is, is.' Do you? What really stops you from taking any action out of your comfort zone? Is it fear on various levels, or is it something rational?

Here's the vegan foundation of that dish:


  • 2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon creole or other whole grain mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • generous grating of black pepper
  • 1/16 teaspoon hickory smoked salt or other smoked salt
  • 1/3 cup sliced green onions or chopped red onions

What I did was:

  1. Used apple cider vinegar (no diff)
  2. Used 3 tablespoons of EVIL CHICKEN BROTH (in place of veg broth), from leftover chicken soup with an apple in it (completely ruined it as inedible for vegans)
  3. Used Maille Dijon mustard (no diff)
  4. Used finely ground back pepper (no diff)
  5. Used 1/8 teaspoon of smoked paprika in place of the smoked salt (no diff)
  6. Added 1/3 cup of thinly sliced celery (no diff)
  7. Used both green onions and paper-thin sliced yellow onions (no diff)

So, see how adding chicken stock ruined it for vegans? Fucktarded? Of course.

See how it's potatoes, ruining it for physiologically insulin resistant VLCers and diabetics, convinced that their pancreas and metabolism must remain a couch potato in fear of a spike—analogous to a rapid heart beat when climbing stairs after a year of playing Call of Duty? Fucktarded? Of course.

Later, I'm going to piss off vegans and LC/Paleos even more. I have a half dozen chicken thighs in the fridge. I'm going to broil them, no added fat. Then, I'm going to eat exactly one of them (2-3 oz of actual meat, I guess) with about a half plate of that potato salad.

So, it pisses off the vegans twice, and the Paleos, twice or more:

  1. Vegans are vegans. So, the dish is ruined because of the chicken stock. Plus, there's the thigh of a face on my plate and it's poison.
  2. Paleos are paleos (and VLC are VLC). So, the dish is ruined because it has starchy white potatoes and not cauliflower purée. Furthermore, its calorie and fat content have not been boosted by exponential factors by adding olive oil, butter, mayo, coconut oil, or any and all. Moreover, it's not 4-6 chicken thighs, all sautéed in some cooking fat, reduced to a sauce on top, sprinkled in bacon bits.

OK, I didn't even start writing this post until I tasted the dish. Never had a fat free potato salad before. I hope there's enough left for Beatrice and the chicken thighs.... Now I'm thinking about a million ways I can fuck with this recipe.

What If You Modified Dr. McDougall’s Program To “Starch-Based Paleo?”

Let's put our heads together. I'll start.

First, I watched Denise Minger's very interesting AHS14 Presentation the other day, Lessons From the Vegans: What the Paleo Movement Can Learn From the Success of Plant-Based Diets. I also noted that I'd not have believed or taken any of this seriously had I not seen what "The Potato Hack" did for people (that's eating nothing but potatoes with herbs, vinegar, spices—no-to-very minimal added fat or animal protein). Since then, it's been about various starchy things in order to feed the gut biome with Resistant Starch and other plant fibers.

So clearly, what Denise covers seems to indicate that starch-based vegan protocols like Dr. McDougall's work (for both weight loss and diabetes). But what I found most enlightening is this realization, juxtaposing with very low carbohydrate diets:

  • VLC diets work for both weight loss and diabetes control; but for the latter, one must remain VLC and indeed, a return to "excess" carbohydrate intake often tends to bring on both rapid weight gain and very significant glucose spikes into the 200s and beyond.
  • Starch-based vegan protocols also work for both weight loss and diabetes control; but for the latter, this constitutes a reversal, since by definition, diabetes is a disfunction in carbohydrate metabolism and carbohydrates are precisely the basis of the therapy.

In a potato skin, one can look at the difference between these two extremes (VLC and Vegan) as a baked spud with a scoop of butter and sour cream on it. For the VLCers, the problem is the potato. For the vegans, the problem is the added fats (plus, it's animal sourced but that's probably superfluous—they don't do added EVOO either). But, again, through the lens of the VLC extreme, McDougall's "cure" certainly must strike one as highly ironic, eh?

So I suppose one has to decide what dog they have in the fight. For VLCers, it's carbohydrate restriction by definition. For vegans, it's animal-food elimination by definition (and for McDougall, also the elimination of added fats, even vegetable based). What's my dog? Omnivory, because that's simply what we are.

However, there is vast flexibility in an omnivorous context. VLCers are still typically omnivorous (unless doing LC veg*n). On the other hand, starch-based solutions appear to have merit, with the added flexibility that in the case of diabetes, the 'poison' is the cure.

So, I'm open to the idea that there could be a McDougall-esq Paleo approach. A high starch / fruit / vegetable diet that excludes grains and other highly refined foodstuffs, excludes all added fats (but for minimal cooking), and allows for small portions of animal foods like eggs, meat, fish, shellfish, and fowl.

McDougall has a Free Program on his website (Warning: you will have to grit your teeth for all of the cholesterol, saturated fat, and vegan propaganda). He also has a fairly recent book: The Starch Solution.

From The Introduction on the free website, here's the basis of his program:

  • A diet of plant foods, including whole grains and whole-grain products (such as pasta, tortillas, and whole-grain bread), and a wide assortment of vegetables and fruit.
  • Plenty of spices and usually small amounts of sugar and salt to enhance the flavor of food.
  • Exercise as simple as a daily walk.
  • The exclusion of animal foods, including red meat, poultry, dairy products, eggs, and fish – all of which provide toxic levels of fat, cholesterol, protein and, very often, infectious agents and harmful chemicals.
  • The exclusion of all oils including olive oil, safflower oil, and corn oil. Oils are nothing more than liquid fats that increase obesity, which in turn, depresses immune function and contributes to the most common chronic diseases.

So, how might one "Paleoize" it?

  • A diet of plant and animal foods, including a wide assortment of starchy vegetables, legumes, and fruit, with minimal amounts of non-processed eggs, meat, fish, shellfish, and fowl.
  • Grains, except rice, are excluded. Generally, all highly processed and refined foods are excluded.
  • Plenty of spices and usually small amounts of sugar and salt to enhance the flavor of food.
  • Exercise as simple as a daily walk.
  • The near exclusion of all added plant and animal fats. Natural fats (plant and animal) may be used in minimal amounts to cook food, excluding deep frying anything.

I went through the web-based program but saw nothing indicating any sort of macronutrient ratio. Here's a 10-day meal planner, but I don't find much use in that for my purposes. I prefer to kinda "reverse engineer" the thing. So, given the parameters, here's how I might formulate as a starting point.

  • 4 oz. animal-based food per day per 100 pounds body weight.
  • Whatever food, but a good starting point might be 2 days land-based, 2 days air-based, and 2 days sea-based with the 7th day as wild card.
  • The remainder is starchy plants, grain (rice), legumes, other vegetables and fruits.
  • After the animal food limit is reached, all hunger is assuaged with plant foods.
  • No added fats. However, if good success is achieved, experiment with small amounts of olive oil, butter, cheese, etc., but think of it as "herbs & spices;" i.e., flavor and texture enhancers.
  • Don't discount the value of reduced beef, lamb or chicken stock as extreme flavor enhancers. Very little calories, protein, or fat.

Alright, there's my shotgun, shit-against-the-wall way of doing things. Your turn. Contributions, refinements, critiques and GFYs welcome. Keep in mind: this is about exploration and not dogma from any extreme. With any luck, some folks, perhaps even adventuresome Type II diabetics, will give this a shot. For the diabetics, I would add (ESPECIALLY if you have been LC or VLC): expect to have to cover heavily with insulin initially (this would be my guess). But, if the claims have merit, it seems to me that insulin requirements ought to gradually diminish over time. But yea, you're probably going to be freaking right out for a while.

A few afterthought footnotes:

  1. When you watch Denise's presentation, take particular note that these effects seem to diminish or go away at fat levels above 10-15%. It's for this reason I've shotgunned this to exclude added fat and allow for only minimal amounts for cooking, as well as only 4 oz from whatever animal (including its fat) per 100 lb body weight daily.
  2. Do take a read at Stephan Guyenet's interesting post about his experience rubbing elbows with the McDougalls, et al, up in Santa Rosa: Thoughts on the McDougall Advanced Study Weekend.
  3. Still Stephan. I just saw this as I popped in to grab the link for #2: Metabolic Effects of a Traditional Asian High-carbohydrate Diet. "A recent study supports the notion that an 'ancestral diet' focused around high-starch agricultural foods can cultivate leanness and metabolic health."

Monday Morning Laf & Mok

1. The United States, once considered a bastion of economic freedom, now ranks 12th in the world.

Either get by, get your asses out, or whatever. I don't really care. Well, the only thing I do care about is abject moron fucktards spouting that 'land of the free' meme. I don't even bother to capitalize it, anymore.

Question: would it be possible for cannibals to ever be #1 in economic freedom? Or, how about a people for whom voting (forcing others to pay for your shit) has become their greatest Super Bowl?

I understand that I am repeating myself.

2. I can die now. I've been exampled in an article—writ by a "syndicated journalist"—with Tucker Max.

Screen Shot 2014 10 13 at 10 53 15 AM

Well, with BOTH a twitter feed and a website called BodyForWife, it's just kinda too delicious to ignore for at least a few hours of Laf & Mok. I must stipulate, though: Both Tucker Max and John Durant advised me against this.

But, I'm a shameless whore.

Screen Shot 2014 10 13 at 11 09 27 AM
Shameless Whore

The fun is limited to Twitter, and this. No need for any further, with Laf and Mok. Plus, at least one pussy male in league has already given the "adult conversation" admonition. Aaron Fuller's Twitter profile (@AndreYoungPhD) indicates that he's a "Future NBA coach." So, perhaps I'm out of bounds.

You can see the poking, laf, & mok  beginning here for me. My favorite:

Richard Nikoley ‏@rnikoley 3h3 hours ago
@TuckerMax @johndurant @BodyForWife I cook for my wife: "FEED THE ANIMAL!"

Here's Tucker:

@johndurant @rnikoley @BodyForWife scrub toilets for wife, save a ho for wife, be a barista for wife, icy hot stunnaz for wife

And John:

John Durant ‏@johndurant 3h3 hours ago
@TuckerMax @rnikoley his handle and website is @bodyforwife, Hahhahahhahahaha

Alright, time to get back to work. Plus, I need to walk the dogs or, Free The Animals.

Sunday Random Hit & Run – Health & Fitness Edition

Just another mishmash of links and commentary

1. Am I imagining things, or did Dr. Mike Eades just dismiss by implication, a few dozen arctic and Inuit researchers going back over 100 years as "lack[ing] an understanding of basic biochemistry?" 


After all, it's quite clear, if one actually reads the post, that it's almost entirely a review of all the research literature going way back, including the research of August Krogh, winner of the 1920 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his discovery of the capillary motor regulating mechanism—nothing to do with biochemistry. Duck didn't assert anything. He merely quoted the literature, demonstrating that it was all reaching the same conclusion: that it either directly or by implication contradicts Stefansson's Friendly Arctic Fairy Tales and thus, contradicts Eades as well.

2. In contrast to Eades' confirmation bias and intransigence, here's Denise Minger's AHS14 presentation.

Lessons From the Vegans: What the Paleo Movement Can Learn From the Success of Plant-Based Diets

The paleo diet has a growing reputation for assisting in weight loss, managing or treating chronic disease, and boosting quality of life for those who follow its tenets. Yet low-fat, plant-based diets -- which are also gaining popularity in the mainstream -- appear to produce similar successes using a vastly different approach. How can such a dissimilar diet have health effects that mirror those of paleo? This presentation examines the reasons behind the success of plant-based diets, and discusses what the paleo movement can learn from them. In doing so, we'll gain a new perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of the paleo philosophy and question some common paleo "truths" that may not be as solid as we currently believe.

Had I not directly seen for myself and in my comments what the potato hack can do, I'd probably be highly skeptical of Denise's presentation. But I have, so I'm not.

3. What kids around the world eat for breakfast.

I had to find an excuse to post a pic of this adorable kid-face.

japansese girl
Natto is her favorite food

Saki Suzuki, 2 ¾ years old, Tokyo

The first time Saki ate the fermented soybean dish called natto, she was 7 months old. She promptly vomited. Her mother, Asaka, thinks that perhaps this was because of the smell, which is vaguely suggestive of canned cat food. But in time, the gooey beans became Saki’s favorite food and a constant part of her traditional Japanese breakfasts. Also on the menu are white rice, miso soup, kabocha squash simmered in soy sauce and sweet sake (kabocha no nimono), pickled cucumber (Saki’s least favorite dish), rolled egg omelet (tamagoyaki) and grilled salmon.

Check out the rest. Most of it puts most of what typical American kids eat to shame.

4. "This Video Of Second Graders Being Treated To A $220 Seven-Course Tasting Menu Is Utterly Delightful" (Digg)

Well, I find it depressing and sad, though their behavior is generally exemplary.

As part of their Food issue, the New York Times Magazine sent six second graders from Brooklyn's PS 295 to dinner at Daniel, one of New York's fanciest restaurants. Each kid was served a seven-course tasting menu that goes for $220 a person.

Now, imagine all the kids featured in #3 in the same setting.

5. Is eating behavior manipulated by the gastrointestinal microbiota?


Microbes in the gastrointestinal tract are under selective pressure to manipulate host eating behavior to increase their fitness, sometimes at the expense of host fitness. Microbes may do this through two potential strategies: (i) generating cravings for foods that they specialize on or foods that suppress their competitors, or (ii) inducing dysphoria until we eat foods that enhance their fitness. We review several potential mechanisms for microbial control over eating behavior including microbial influence on reward and satiety pathways, production of toxins that alter mood, changes to receptors including taste receptors, and hijacking of the vagus nerve, the neural axis between the gut and the brain. We also review the evidence for alternative explanations for cravings and unhealthy eating behavior. Because microbiota are easily manipulatable by prebiotics, probiotics, antibiotics, fecal transplants, and dietary changes, altering our microbiota offers a tractable approach to otherwise intractable problems of obesity and unhealthy eating.

That about says it all and has everything to do with my approach to all of this. Now, when I see all this 'metabolic, hormonal pathway' masturbatory stuff out there that doesn't contemplate the astounding complexity of the gut, I just laf. It's like watching a bunch of people strut around showing off their candles, while LED floodlights are now available. Here's what the paper covers.

  • Evolutionary conflict between host and microbes leads to host manipulation
  • Evidence indicates many potential mechanisms of manipulation
    • There is a selective influence of diet on microbiota
    • Microbes can manipulate host behavior
    • Microbes can induce dysphoria that changes feeding behavior
    • Microbes modulate host receptor expression
    • Microbes can influence hosts through neural mechanisms
    • Microbes can influence hosts through hormones
    • Mucin foraging bacteria control their nutrient supply
    • Intestinal microbiota can affect obesity
    • Probiotics are associated with weight loss
  • Predictions and experiments
    • Changing the microbiota composition will change eating behavior
    • A consistent diet will select for microbial specialists and lead to preference for those foods
    • Cravings should be associated with lower parasympathetic (vagal) tone, and blocking the vagus nerve should reduce food cravings
    • Microbial diversity should affect food choices and satiety
    • Excess energy delivery to the gut may reduce microbial diversity
    • High gut diversity may inhibit density-dependent microbial manipulation
    • Interrogation of host and microbiota genomes should reveal a signaling arms race
    • Food preferences may be contagious
  • Alternative hypotheses for unhealthy eating and obesity
    • Lack of willpower is not sufficient to explain unhealthy eating
    • Mismatch with scarce resources in our ancestral environment is not sufficient to explain unhealthy eating
    • Nutrient deprivation is not sufficient to explain unhealthy eating


Modern biology suggests that our bodies are composed of a diversity of organisms competing for nutritional resources. Evolutionary conflict between the host and microbiota may lead to cravings and cognitive conflict with regard to food choice. Exerting self-control over eating choices may be partly a matter of suppressing microbial signals that originate in the gut. Acquired tastes may be due to the acquisition of microbes that benefit from those foods. Our review suggests that one way to change eating behavior is by intervening in our microbiota.

It is encouraging that the microbiota can be changed by many interventions, hence facilitating translation to the clinic and public health efforts. Microbiota community structure changes drastically within 24 hours of changing diet [14, 115] or administration of antibiotics [116]. Fecal transplants have shown efficacy in treating a variety of diseases [117]. The best approaches to managing our microbiota are still open questions. Many studies of the effects of gut microbes on health have focused on identifying individual taxa that are responsible for human diseases, an approach that has been largely unsuccessful in generating predictive hypotheses. Studies have identified conflicting different groups of microbes associated with various diseases, including obesity [118, 119]. In other domains, it has proven useful to shift the level of analysis from properties of the individual to properties of the population, e.g. diversity [120]. Until we have a better understanding of the contributions and interactions between individual microbial taxa, it may be more effective to focus interventions on increasing microbial diversity in the gut.

Competition between genomes is likely to produce a variety of conflicts, and we propose that one important area, impacting human health, is in host eating behavior and nutrient acquisition. Genetic conflict between host and microbiota – selecting for microbes that manipulate host eating behavior – adds a new dimension to current viewpoints, e.g. host-microbiota mutualism [11], that can explain mechanisms involved in obesity and related diseases.

[emphasis added - keep it in mind when reading some of the stuff I'm seeing now that I consider far too clinically focussed for most people, far too deconstructed and reduced. Shotgun is going to be best for most people most of the time.]

...Of course, I'm sure all the microbiome researchers 'lack an understanding of basic biochemistry.' ...

Update to #1: Here's a follow up comment from Eades in response to the same person pointing out:

The article quotes over 20 different studies on the Inuit—spanning a century—including from a Nobel prize winning scientist August Krogh.

You don’t seriously expect anyone to believe that all of those scientists don’t understand “basic biochemistry” do you?

Well, I guess he does expect everyone to believe it. Eades:

They didn’t understand about glycogen degrading back then. If you want to believe the Inuit weren’t on low-carb diets, be my guest.

Wrong again. Here's Duck—someone who actually digs up research—in comments below:

I'm disappointed that Eades is still stuck on the minimal glycogen the Inuit consumed, rather than the fact that every study on the Inuit shows they were too high protein to be in ketosis. Nevertheless, he seems completely uninformed about what researchers knew about glycogen, at the time. I'm beginning to wonder if Dr. Eades is even bothering to read any of the scientific literature on the subject. Yesterday, Eades wrote:

mreades wrote: They didn’t understand about glycogen degrading back then. If you want to believe the Inuit weren’t on low-carb diets, be my guest.

Well, first of all, nobody said the Inuit weren't low carb. The scientific literature states over and over again that they ate very high quantities of protein and weren't ketogenic. Second of all, it's patently false that researchers were unaware of glycogen's rapid degradation at the time. In fact, its rapid degradation observed in 1865 was how Bernard discovered glycogen in the first place.

From: Claude Bernard and The Discovery of Glycogen Discovery of Glycogen At this time Bernard's estimations of the sugar content of extract of liver tissue were made in duplicate by titration with copper reagent of Barreswil, a modified Fehling's solution. He relates (Bernard, 1865, pp. 2291-295) how one day he was pressed for time and was unable to make his duplicate determinations simultaneously. He made one estimation immediately after the death of an animal and postponed the other until the following day. The second estimation gave a value very much higher than the first, and the difference was so great that Bernard investigated the reason for this discrepancy. Hitherto he had not ascribed significance to the length of time which elapsed between the death of an animal and the determination of the sugar content of the liver tissue. He now found that time was of great importance. Immediately after the death of an animal the liver was found to contain very little sugar, but within only a few minutes the amount of sugar had substantially increased, and at the end of two hours a large quantity had usually made its appearance.

So, from day one, glycogen was known to degrade rapidly. But, Eades has so much confirmation bias running through his blood, he refuses to recognize that glycogen in marine mammals was observed to degrade differently.

From: Observations On The Glycogen Content of Certain Invertebrates and Fishes Until recently very little information existed concerning the presence of glycogen in the fishes. That some at least is present in the tissues of marine fish had been shown by Cl. Bernard, Pavy, Brucke, and others. It was stated by Bernard that this glycogen is unusually resistant to the influence of post-mortem changes, and that it does not readily disappear during hunger. During asphyxia, however, the glycogen rapidly disappears.

Even in 1970, researchers found high levels of glycogen in some species of fish after 7 days on ice, at 0ºC.

From: Postmortem Glycolytic and Other Biochemical Changes in White Muscle of White Sucker (Catostomus commersoni) and Northern Pike (Esox lucius) at 0ºC "...Glycogen content of pike was found to remain relatively high even after 7 days of storage in ice. This is in contrast to the findings with several other species, including white sucker, where the muscle glycogen is practically completely degraded in 3–4 days."

Eades is wrong on just about everything he stated in his "confirmation bias" post, but doesn't have the decency to read anything that might enlighten his biases. What a joke.


Well, I guess I can be thankful I wasn't imagining things. I'd expected to get hand-waving over that—HE WAS ONLY TALKING ABOUT "DUCKS DODGES!" So, thanks for clearing that up, Mike.

Objective Morality Isn’t Mystical; Subjective Morality is Mystical

This always comes up eventually, in one of a couple of ways.

  1. Assertions of moral codes based on some belief system, like religious doctrine or democracy.
  2. Assertions that there are no moral rights or wrongs, because all such are subjective (see #1).

For the former, simply admonish them to consult [insert alternative belief system or doctrines]. For the latter, punch them in the face and see how fast they implicitly conclude it was objectively wrong to do so. Actions speak louder than words. It's primarily #2 that I wish to address, since it came up in a comment thread the other day. But let's first dispense with #1.

Subjective morality inevitably violates objective morality

Ironic, eh? Subjective morality, simply stated, is a set of moral dos and don'ts based on some authority and their commandments. Some doG, a book with holes, king, president, legislature, etc. It's subjective because it doesn't apply to all earthlings, so the only way to enforce it is through initiatory force. Or: 'my doG is the one true doG; all others are impostors, their followers infidels; their moral codes don't apply to me, and they must be compelled to obey mine and my doG's.' For secularists, this subjectivity generally translates to the 'political salvation of mankind;' whereby, morality is a function of bigger mobs: so long as the wolves outnumber the sheep in a decision over what's for dinner, it's a moral use of force.

This is all purely subjective; meaning, it relies upon which of differing belief systems one ascribes. It violates objective morality because force must be initiated against those of differing belief systems in order to maintain the integrity of the moral system.

People routinely conflate objective morality with subjective morality

To their credit, those ascribing to #2 recognize that virtually all the "morality" they see spouted round and about planet Earth is of the subjective variety, and [to be generous], "logically" conclude that there's no such thing as moral rights and wrongs.

They're wrong, though understandably so, given the observable landscape.

How to derive Objective Morality

It's actually rather simple, given the foregoing. First, everything that's subjective—99.9% what most seem to think they know about morality—is out. Since such subjectivity doesn't apply to all—i.e., objectively—and can only be enforced, because others have other's not "universal." It doesn't naturally apply to all human beings on planet Earth without some force forcing others to compliance.

Humans don’t automatically pursue the values needed to survive (food, water, shelter, even social relationships—we are social beings). This is the absolute root and the only possible foundation for any sense of a universal objective morality that applies equally to all human beings.

Humans must ultimately choose to live and pursue the values necessary to do so, and the fact that they have such choice (fundamentally, moral questions turn on choices; where there is no choice, it's not the province of morality) is manifest in the fact of conscious human suicide: either by act or omission, fast or slow. In other words, "choose life" is a meme that only applies to conscious, competent human beings.

Since this choice is an observable human attribute, it’s a natural choice; or, stated alternatively, a right. There’s only one natural right: the right to pursue values necessary for survival—the right to choose to live; which, for humans, necessarily implies a right to choose. Everything else is a corollary, the chief one being: 'at your own expense,' since true contradictions don't exist in nature. Pursuing a human life comes with a P&L. If at its end, you're in the black, you've been a natural human being; minimally, one breaks even (dies poor). If in the red, you've lived a human life as a parasite, reliant either upon the goodwill of others, or like a sociopath—a minor one as a predator, or a major one, like a politician.

...So, for instance, the right to own possessions is a moral right, because some autonomy over possessions is generally required to non-contradictorily exercise a pursuit of the values necessary to live—if you've exercised the natural human choice to live, rather than default to destruction, or off yourself consciously.

Most basically, the moral is simply that which is objectively good for the human organism; the immoral is that which is objectively bad

This is where the conflation with subjective morality typically arises, and so gets dismissed by the #2s. So let's explore it in the context of objective morality. Keep in mind: for something to be objectively moral, it has to apply to everyone, as fundamentals, and necessary for their pursuit of their natural right to CHOOSE to live.

  1. Food is good.
  2. Water is good.
  3. Shelter is good.
  4. A plot of land to grow food or hunt is good.
  5. An enterprise with which to engage in division of labor and trade is good.
  6. The freedom to associate with other human moral agents is good. We are social beings and while not impossible to live a life as a totally autonomous agent, it's unlikely to succeed, and humanely unnatural.
  7. Lethal self defense is good.
  8. Lethal defense of those who valuably contribute to your own survival is good.
  9. Drugs, alcohol, risk taking and other forms of slow or fast suicide are amoral. Remember, the objectively moral choice to live subsumes this (e.g., all subjective moral drug laws violate objective morality).
  10. Preferring the color green over blue, beef over pork, or Chevys over Fords, is amoral.
  11. Initiatory predation upon others is bad. Having your cake and eating it too is a natural contradiction. You can't assert your right to 'choose to live', while denying other humans who all have the exact same natural standing the very same choice; denying theirs, to assert yours. This is all the province of the subjectivist moralizers with their authorities in fancy robes and hats, whose essential purpose in life and affectation is to overcome your sense of objective morality by their authoritarian, subjective morality.
  12. Nickelback is bad. :)

I could make the list longer, but I hope you get the point a bit. Objective morality is pretty easy and concrete. Since it has to apply to all humans, and all humans to some extent hold different values beyond the raw necessity to survive. As such, people tend to find my formulation less than satisfying. After all, it's tough to resist violating the prime directive of objective morality: living life at your own expense, dealing mutually voluntarily with others as traders on various levels financial, social, emotional, and intimate.

Virtually everyone seeks to live at the expense of everyone else, now. They craft "moral" codes to make it seem right, even. These are all subjective. So, again, you see the understandable position of the #2s.

Objective morality does not encompass all values you choose to hold. Brace yourselves.

  1. No: fetuses, infants, and even children or 'mental children,' unable to yet consciously live at their own expense, are not party to objective morality. In such terms, they are the property and possessions of those with objective moral agency. Yep, objective morality has absolutely nothing to say about what you do with that property. That's the province of subjective morality (or simply: good will). Damn, you mean there are limitations to everything, not easy answers to everything and I have to weigh my values, my life P&L? That's right.
  2. Emergency or 'lifeboat' scenarios don't apply to objective morality. Perhaps, if all humans were in a lifeboat, it would. but we aren't, so it doesn't. (Back 23-20 years ago, hammering out my ideas in various USENET forums, lifeboat and prisoner's dilemma scenarios were all the rage as exceptions. My attitude was always: so let them be exceptions.) In other words, if the situation or resources are such that it's you or someone else, then what CHOICE do you have? Accordingly, objective morality doesn't apply. Or, stated as a logical corollary: you are all now faced with the same non-choice. You're on your own, morally—this is truly valid subjective morality, for once.

If you want someone dead, then kill them yourself

One province of subjective morality is that it necessarily requires pitting some people against other people (while lying about that: i.e., politics). It's really the whole point, because subjective morality is the craft of authoritarian middlemen and in that realm: War is Good (just read The Bible).

So, when people are pitted against one-another, and in a moral context, this is intuitively— or at least implicitly—threatening to you and yours (your objective moral sense), what do you do? You vote to go to war, kill lots of people, destroy lots of property, render thousands of children parentless, enslave, imprison, and put to death. All because: either, their subjective code differs from yours in ways you deem important (and you want to save their souls or please your doG—always ambiguous, that), or you've been scared into believing you're threatened and an authority is what you need to allow you to feel good about killing others and leaving theirs, destitute.

Call it 'fuzzy morality,' in the context of your innate sense of objective morality, in terms of your social agency; your "choice" to live with the mutually beneficial help of others in your circle willing to kill and maim for you.

What objective morality really is

It's the very same thing as expressing, in terms of competent, conscious human action: Hey, that goes against nature!

So, this is why the formulation: the moral is that which is objectively good for the human organism; the immoral is that which is objectively bad.

Well, that's easy, right? Well, no it's not, because other than like the first 3 things on my list, above, the others are fraught with disagreement on various levels. On the other hand, very, very many of the disagreements are founded on subjective morality, such as the democratic idea that the minority is the spoil of the majority.

In sort, it's nearly impossible to deflate the conflation of notions of objective and subjective morality. So long as people want to live at the expense of others and are happy to hire hit men and enforcers in voting booths, this will always be the case.

Chicken Soup With Apple

Yes, apple.

IMG 2701
Click for higher resolution

I make all my chicken soup with leftover rotisserie chicken caracas, with skin & bone. In this case, there were two of them. I do different variations—Paper Thin Chicken Soup (with paper thin onion and lemon, including the rind) is one of my favorites.

So, two of them, a quart of Kitchen Basics UnSalted Chicken Stock, augment with water as necessary. Bring to a boil, simmer covered for an hour or so. Let cool. Strain and painstakingly get all the bits of chicken meat—even the bits between the vertebrae.

Add whatever stuff, simmer for another 30 minutes or, until your added stuff reaches the doneness you prefer (I like veggies a bit firm).

In this case, there was 3 cloves of garlic, one bay leaf, a big handful of those little carrots, about half an onion, and a whole apple. Yep, an apple.

I only season at the end, and this is why I use unsalted stock. When liquids reduce, you can be too salty real easy. In this case, 1 TBS and then 1 TSP of salt brought it up nice. I just did a light dusting of pepper, actually wish I hadn't.

Lies, Damned Lies, and The Inuit Diet

Below is likely to be a last installment from "Duck Dodgers" on the true Inuit diet, a series of posts that began last March on the subject of "animal starch." This only led to more and more revelations about the Inuit diet; about their purported high fat, ketogenic way of life. None of it turns out to be supported by the actual scientific literature in over 100 years of study—but only by the narratives of an adventuresome, self-promoting explorer with a love of poetry and poetic writings, who believed in blond Eskimos from some lost Scandinavian tribe.

It should be noted that an absence of ketosis in the Inuit—as the literature clearly shows—is not the same as saying that ketogenic diets are bad. That clarified, it ought be recognized that if you can't demonstrate it in Inuit, you probably can't demonstrate it anywhere, and that ought substantially raise the burden of proof that they are indeed healthy long term—that a survival adaptation is the optimal way to live all the time. That can now only be supported by long term research, not relying upon the observation of a—now—mythical population of people that don't actually exist.

It is often assumed that since the traditional Inuit diet was highly carnivorous, the Inuit people must have been in chronic ketosis—a metabolic state that is typically obtained either through fasting or eating a very high fat diet while restricting protein and carbohydrates. However, those who subscribe to this conclusion apparently never bothered to read much of the published scientific literature on the Inuit. In fact, most proponents of that theory rarely cite works beyond those of Vilhjalmur Stefansson, a controversial explorer who made embellished claims and abandoned his ship and crew of the Karluk during the Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913-1918. Stefansson's controversies and sensationalist claims were revealed in the documentary, Arctic Dreamer — The lonely quest of Vilhjalmur Stefansson. It is well worth watching. However, the documentary will make you wonder why anyone would ever choose to rely on Stefansson's observations to support the performance or safety of a ketogenic diet.

It should be made abundantly clear that no researcher has ever found evidence of ketosis from the traditional diet of the Inuit. Furthermore, the published scientific literature clearly shows that the Inuit could not have been in ketosis due to the high levels of protein consumed and their conservation of fat for lighting and heating.

The first statistical survey of foods eaten by Greenland Eskimos was by Dr. Hinrich Johannes Rink in 1855. Even by that point in history, the Eskimos already had access to minimal amounts of bread and sugar that was imported by visiting Europeans. These Western foods were included in Rink's figures and were also included in August and Marie Kroghs' analysis and experiments during their a 1908 expedition to Greenland (Krogh & Krogh, 1914).

The Kroghs' study was comprehensive, as the couple constructed a respiratory chamber in Greenland for their feeding experiments on the Inuits. The subjects were required to sit alone inside the chamber for up to 4 days at a time while being fed various meals, including bread, sugar on some days and almost exclusively seal meat on other days, as gas, feces and urine samples were measured, respiratory quotients were calculated, and food was weighed and analyzed as well. (Together, the Kroghs made groundbreaking discoveries in respiratory physiology and August Krogh would later win the 1920 Nobel Prize in cardiovascular and muscle physiology, for research establishing that blood flow is regulated through capillaries that open and close according to the tissue's need for oxygen).

Krogh Inuit Respiration Chamber
Kroghs' Inuit Respiration Chamber

Glycogen had barely even been discovered when Rink made his analysis in the mid-19th century, so Rink's data on carbohydrate intake, which had been originally been attributed to small amounts of bread and sugar, was later adjusted by the Kroghs for the dietary glycogen they had observed. This was encouraged by Alfred Bertelsen's 1911 discovery of significant glycogen stores in the skin of the narwhal.

Animalske Antiscorbutica i Grønland., Hospitalstidende, Bd. 54 1911, by Alfred Bertelsen

The epidermis of Narwhale and Whitewhale [Monodon monoceros and Beluga leucas] is 12—15 mm. thick. In the stratum corneum of 2—3 mm. thickness and also in the deepest layer round the papillae there is comparatively little glycogen. But in the middle layers the cells are filled with glycogen granulations.

Krogh and Krogh set out to Greenland to investigate.

A study of the diet and metabolism of Eskimos undertaken in 1908 on an expedition to Greenland, by August Krogh and Marie Krogh (1914)

"The skin of young whales is considered a special delicacy. It has been examined recently by Bertelsen and found to contain an extraordinary large proportion of glycogen…We have no direct determinations of the glycogen, but when we compare the heats of combustion of the samples with the amounts of N and crude fat found in them we find an excess of energy which must probably be ascribed to glycogen…

…From a comparison of the ascertained heat of combustion with the chemical analyses we find that [seal meat] must have contained a considerable proportion of glycogen varying from 1.1—4% (Average 2.5%)…The raw meat must therefore have contained 3.15% N. = 19.8% protein, 8% fat and 2% glycogen…

…The normal diet of Eskimos contains an excessive amount of animal protein (280 gr.) and much fat (135 gr.) while the quantity of carbohydrate is extremely small (54 gr. of which more than ½ is derived as glycogen from the meat eaten). Their dietary habits are very like those of the carnivorous animals."

The Inuit's consumption of dietary glycogen has been supported in the scientific literature ever since. Interestingly, it wasn't until the 1970s and 1980s that researchers began to discover that diving marine mammals had even larger glycogen stores than had been previously assumed—particularly in their organs, blubber and skin.[1][2][3][4]

Although the Kroghs' Inuit subjects were supplemented with Western carbohydrates as part of their testing, the detailed measurements and analyses specifically showed that even without those carbohydrates the traditional Inuit diet was too high in protein and did not have enough fat to enable ketosis.

Over the next few years, published remarks from Graham Lusk (1914), Elliott Joslin (1917) and Philip Schaffer (1921) solidified the Kroghs' findings, while postulating the mechanisms.

In 1928, Peter Heinbecker began a series of studies on the metabolism of Eskimos eating their traditional diet, echoing the earlier findings of the Kroghs:

Studies on The Metabolism of Eskimos, by Peter Heinbecker (1928)

"According to [Kroghs'] analysis the metabolism of the food contained in the Eskimo dietary would not be expected to cause ketosis, because the calculated antiketogenic effect of the large amount of protein ingestion was somewhat more than enough to offset the ketogenic effect of fat plus protein…Average daily food partition is about 280 gm. of protein, 135 gm. of fat, and 54 gm. of carbohydrate of which the bulk is derived from the glycogen of the meat eaten...During fasting the respiratory quotient falls to a level which may be interpreted as indicating a conversion of fat into carbohydrate."

It was later pointed out by Sinclair (1953) that Kroghs' analysis of meat intake could have been an underestimate, particularly when activity was higher in such an extreme environment. The Kroghs were actually aware of this and even mentioned it in their report.

Heinbecker's 1928 study showed that the Inuit were not in ketosis while fed their traditional diet, using several methods—including urine testing of acetone, diacetic, and β-hydroxybutyric acid; acetone bodies in the breath; respiratory quotient; as well as their documented high protein intake. However, their lowered respiratory quotient, only upon fasting, was something Heinbecker wanted to explore further.

Heinbecker did additional studies on Eskimos in 1931 and 1932 with fasts lasting up to 7 days, which expanded on these findings. Heinbecker finally concluded, "The analyses of urine specimens collected from three Eskimo subjects during a 7 day fast demonstrate that these people develop a lesser degree of ketosis on fasting than do average white persons living in the temperate zones."

Despite finding no evidence of ketosis while in their fed state, Heinbecker's studies appeared to show evidence of an Eskimo adaptation to starvation ketosis, where the degree of their ketosis during fasting was not comparable to that generally reported for other human subjects. This conclusion was briefly mentioned in a 1969 Antarctic study of (non-Arctic/non-Inuit) polar sledgers.

Ketonuria In The Antarctic: A Detailed Study, by R. M. Lloyd (1969)

"Adaptation to starvation ketosis has been shown in Eskimos (Heinbecker, 1928, 1931, 1932)."

Interestingly, Lloyd writes that long distance polar sledgers prefer very high fat rations to keep weight low and calorie yield high. This would explain why arctic explorers, such as Lieutenant Frederick Schwatka, packed such high fat rations on their sledge journeys and reportedly adapted to ketosis over a matter of a few weeks. Schwatka, who initially packed a month's supply of food—mostly walrus blubber—noted that while tracking down the lost Franklin Expedition between 1878-80 he had made "the longest sledge journey ever made both in regard to time and distance" of eleven months and four days and 2,709 miles and claimed that it was the first Arctic expedition on which the whites relied entirely on the same diet as the Inuit. Low carb/high fat (LCHF) advocates often use the dietary adaptation reports from these long sledging journeys as proof that the Inuit diet is ketogenic. However, As Lloyd points out, high fat rations are simply "vital to good sledging logistics." There is no evidence—nor is there reason to presume—that sledging rations are representative of a traditional Inuit diet.

It has also been suggested by LCHF advocates that early metabolic researchers were unaware of keto-adaptation. However, we can see from the literature that this is not the case. Elliott Joslin, the first doctor to ever specialize in diabetes in the US, had even suggested an adaptation to starvation ketosis, in 1917, after analyzing the Kroghs' detailed study.

The Treatment of Diabetes Mellitus, by Elliott Joslin (1917)

"It is reasonable to conclude that the body of the fasting man adapted itself to the changed conditions and in some way restricted the output of acid bodies. This may be the explanation of the lack of acidosis among the Eskimos."

And in 1928, McClellan, Spencer, Falk, and DuBois, demonstrated that the various tests available at the time were not only sensitive enough to detect an adaptation to ketosis, but that they were cognizant of keto-adaptation stating, "Possibly the body of the obese individual has become adapted to the use of large amounts of fat over long periods of time so that ketosis is produced with difficulty. As the arctic explorers are to continue on the exclusive meat diet for about 6 months longer we shall be able to report if any further adaptation occurs."

Vilhjalmur Stefansson and Karson Anderson—the two arctic explorers mentioned in that 1928 study—continued their diet to complete their year of eating Western fatty meats, in what would become known as the highly publicized Bellevue Experiment. Again, ketones were observed in Stefansson's and Anderson's urine throughout the experiment. Observers McClellan and DuBois also acknowledged that their subjects were never consuming the macronutrient ratios observed in earlier studies on the Eskimos.

Clinical Calorimetry: XLV. Prolonged Meat Diets With A Study Of Kidney Function And Ketosis, by W.S. McClellan and E.F. DuBois (1930)

"During the first 2 days [Stefansson's] diet approximated that of the Eskimos, as reported by Krogh and Krogh, except that he took only one-third as much carbohydrate. The protein accounted for 45 per cent of his food calories. The intestinal disturbance began on the 3rd day of this diet. During the next 2 days he took much less protein and more fat so that he received about 20 percent of his calories from protein and 80 percent from fat. In these two days his intestinal condition became normal without medication. Thereafter the protein calories did not exceed 25 per cent of the total for more than 1 day at a time."

At the conclusion of the experiment, Edward Tolstoi tested Stefansson's and Anderson's glucose tolerance. Tolstoi observed that they were unable to reproduce the glucose tolerance found in Heinbecker's Eskimos—concluding with Rabinowitch that the Inuit were obtaining sufficient carbohydrates from high levels of protein and some dietary glycogen.

The Effect Of An Exclusive Meat Diet Lasting One Year On The Carbohydrate Tolerance Of Two Normal Men, By Edward Tolstoi (1929)

"Heinbecker studied the tolerance of Eskimos to carbohydrate. His subjects, by necessity, lived on a practically exclusive meat diet for years, before their carbohydrate tolerance tests were made. In spite of the fact that their diets were low in carbohydrate, the results of the tests indicated that they assimilated carbohydrate well. The blood sugar curves were within the normal range and the urine remained free of sugar. Is it possible that Heinbecker's subjects derived sufficient carbohydrate-forming substance from the protein in their diet to keep the insulin producing mechanism sufficiently stimulated to handle large quantities of carbohydrate? His Eskimos consumed about 280 gm. of protein, 135 gm. of fat, and 54 gm. of carbohydrate of which more than half is obtained from the glycogen of the meat. This seems a likely explanation."

In 1936, Rabinowitch also referenced the Inuit's dietary glycogen intake, but more importantly his observations confirmed the Inuit's high protein consumption.

Clinical and Other Observations On Canadian Eskimos In The Eastern Arctic, By I.M. Rabinowitch (1936)

"Eskimo catches a walrus he immediately opens the stomach and eats all of the clams, which have some glycogen. He also relishes the skin on the whale and narwhal, both of which are rich in glycogen, and he eats enormous quantities of meat. The Eskimos eat the livers of practically all animals, except that of the white bear. These are rich in glycogen. As stated above, when food is abundant a healthy adult will eat 5 to 10 or more pounds of meat a day, and, only when in need does he consume very large quantities of fat. Blubber is not regarded as a delicacy. It is also of interest to note that though whale, walrus and seal have enormous layers of blubber, the accumulations of fat in the musculature seen in some land animals are practically unknown; the meat is, therefore, lean. When consideration is given to these facts and to the additional fact that about 58 percent of protein is convertible into sugar, it is obvious that the ratio of fatty-acid to glucose is well below the generally accepted level of ketogenesis. I estimate that when food is abundant, the average daily diet of the adult Eskimo consists approximately of 30 to 40 grams of carbohydrate (which includes glycogen), 250 to 300 grams of protein, and about 150 grams of fat (FA/G=1.2). These amounts of meat are apparently not heroic, for it has been alleged that the Yakuts, on the Low Steppe, east of the Lena, eat as much as 25 and 30 pounds of meat a day."

Rabinowitch co-authored two additional studies during the expedition. Rabinowitch and Smith made their observations in "Metabolic Studies of Eskimos in The Canadian Eastern Arctic." Rabinowitch and Corcoran also commented on how Stefansson's and Anderson's tests—which were sensitive enough to detect an adaptation to ketosis—differed so much from the Inuit's tests where ketosis could not be detected by any measure, other than their adaptation to starvation ketosis, while fasting.

A Study Of The Blood Lipoids And Blood Protein In Canadian Eastern Arctic Eskimos, By A.C. Corcoran and I.M. Rabinowitch (1936)

Also suggestive of an unusual mechanism for the utilization of fat is the absence of ketosis in these natives, whereas the urines of both of [Stefansson and Anderson] contained acetone. The explanation of this absence of ketosis is not entirely clear. As shown previously [Rabinowitch & Smith, 1936], though the small amount of carbohydrates in the diets may be more than balanced by the potential sugar production from the large amount of protein to keep the ratio of fatty acid to glucose below the generally accepted level of ketogenesis, the respiratory quotient data suggest another mechanism also. That the Eskimo possesses a very active fat metabolism is suggested from some of the data.

Corcoran and Rabinowitch were referring to the lowered respiratory quotients observed by Heinbecker when his subjects fasted (i.e. starvation ketosis).

In 1940, Cuthbertson, MaCutcheon and Munro concurred with Rabinowitch's analyses, stating that it was likely the glycogen in their food that assisted the Inuit with their protein metabolism.

In 1952, Kaare Rodahl expanded on the earlier findings of high protein intake in the Inuit by investigating their basal metabolism on such a diet.

Basal Metabolism of The Eskimo, by Kaare Rodahl (1952)

"It is well known that considerably higher amounts of protein are regularly consumed by the Eskimos (DuBois, '28), who generally speaking, prefer a diet where approximately 50% of the calories come from protein and the greater part of the remaining 50% are derived from fat. August and Marie Krogh (13) report that the normal diet of the West Greenland Eskimos contained an excessive amount of animal protein—280gm daily—and they noted that there seemed to be a considerable delay in the metabolism of protein and excretion of nitrogen, only 60% of the nitrogen being excreted during the first 24 hours after eating large meals rich in protein. In East Greenland the Eskimos consume an average of 300 gm of protein daily (Höygaard, '41). In Alaska a daily protein consumption of more than 300 gm has been observed among the most primitive Eskimos."

A year later, Hugh MacDonald Sinclair—a professor at Oxford University—reviewed all of the available literature on the Inuit that had been published up until 1953, and remarked:

The Diet of Canadian Indians and Eskimos, by H. M. Sinclair (1953)

"The skin (mattak) is greatly relished and tastes like hazel-nuts; it is eaten raw and contains considerable amounts of glycogen and ascorbic acid…There is in fact nothing unusual about the total intake of aliments; it is the very high protein, very low carbohydrate and high fat intakes that have excited interest. It is, however, worth noting that according to the customary convention (Woodyatt, 1921; Shaffer, 1921) this [Inuit] diet is not ketogenic since the ratio of ketogenic(FA) to ketolytic (G) aliments is 1.09. Indeed, the content of fat would have to be exactly doubled (324 g daily) to make the diet ketogenic (FA/G>1.5)."

In 1980, professor Sinclair would unknowingly help Bang & Dyerberg augment their erroneous observations that the Eskimos were supposedly immune to cardiovascular disease, due to their high Omega-3 intake—an assumption that would help kick off the worldwide fish oil craze. Bang & Dyerberg's underestimation of cardiovascular disease in the Inuit was outlined in a 2013 review of the literature (free access URL here) as well as in a recent Slate article.

Sinclair, who knew all too well that the Inuit ate very high levels of protein and significant amounts of Omega-3 fatty acids, came to the conclusion that eating like an Eskimo would be optimal for health. Lest anyone reading this still thinks that the Eskimos could safely eat 70% to 80% of their calories as fat from marine mammals, Sinclair soon experienced troubling health issues from his elevated Omega-3 intake.

Fine Wines and Fish Oil: the Life of Hugh Macdonald Sinclair, by Jeannette Ewin (2001)

"He went on to an 'anti-coronary' Eskimo diet of seal meat and fish with no vegetable or land animal material, his seal was sent to him by the Danish ambassador. I remember having dinner with Hugh at Magdalen high table, an excellent meal, but Hugh ate his piece of grilled seal. He enjoyed his diet, he said, but when he pruned his roses his boots filled up with blood because his clotting factors had been somewhat disturbed by the diet, and each scratch bled."

We now know that the Inuit actually have similar instances of cardiovascular disease as Westerners and they are abnormally prone to cerebral hemorrhages.

The idea that Inuit obtained dietary glycogen was still evident in the literature in 1972:

Alaskan Arctic Eskimo: Responses To a Customary High Fat Diet, by Ho, et al. (1972)

"Carbohydrate accounted for only 15% to 20% of their calories, largely in the form of glycogen."

In 1985, Yiu H. Hui, Ph. D., a food scientist who has published a long list of books for the food industry, wrote:

Principles and issues in nutrition, by Yiu H. Hui, Ph. D., p.91 (1985)

"Eskimos actually consume more carbohydrates than most nutritionists have assumed. Because Eskimos frequently eat their meat raw and frozen, they take in more glycogen than a person purchasing meat with a lower glycogen content in a grocery store. The Eskimo practice of preserving a whole seal or bird carcass under an intact whole skin with a thick layer of blubber also permits some proteins to ferment into carbohydrates."

In 2003, seemingly unaware of the significant glycogen stores found in diving marine mammals (since they only refer to human glycogen values), VanItallie & Nufert wrote:

Ketones: Metabolism's Ugly Duckling, by Theodore B. VanItallie, M.D., and Thomas H. Nufert, B.A (2003)

"A low-carbohydrate diet is not necessarily a ketogenic diet. This is particularly true of diets with unrestricted content of meat and other protein-rich foods. Heinbecker reported in 1928 that Baffin Island Eskimos subsisting on their usual diet of meat (virtually the only source of carbohydrate in their food was the glycogen in seal muscle) showed minimal ketonuria...It is unlikely that these very small amounts of glycogen could have accounted for the absence of appreciable ketonuria. A much more likely explanation is that the glucose derived from catabolism of ingested meat protein was sufficient to prevent ketosis. McClellan and DuBois fed two human volunteers "carbohydrate-free" diets high in meat content (an Eskimo-type diet) for many months in a metabolic ward setting. Their findings led them to conclude that, in persons subsisting on diets very low in carbohydrate, ketosis varies inversely with the quantity of protein eaten. This occurs because approximately 48 to 58% of the amino acids in most dietary proteins are glucogenic. For every 2 grams of protein consumed in a carbohydrate-free diet, somewhere between 1.0 and 1.2 grams are potentially convertible to glucose. Therefore, to obtain a degree of hyperketonemia (approximately 2-7 mM/L) believed to be therapeutically effective in certain important medical conditions such as epilepsy, patients must rigorously restrict protein as well as carbohydrate intake and, when possible, increase their level of physical activity."

Stefansson claimed the Eskimos had an oversupply of fat. However, the literature suggests that most Inuit had to conserve their fat, to burn it for fuel in their oil lamps. People seem to forget that it's dark 24/7 during the Arctic winter, and if you run out of fuel, you're cold, miserable, and risk death. So, they preferred to save their fats for the lamp whenever they could.

The lamp of the Eskimo,, By Walter Hough (1898)

"Seal oil is preferred for burning in the lamp, though any animal far may be used. Capt. E. P. Herendeen informs the author that the Ootkiaviemute carry for trading, seal oil put up in pokes of the skin of the animal itself, prepared for the purpose. These skins so made up contain about 25 gallons of oil. The interior natives and river tribes are dependent upon the coast people for oil to burn in their lamps, as the small amount of fat which the reindeer yields is insufficient for the long arctic nights.

The lamp eats like a native; successful hunting means cheer and comfort in the hut of these sociable people during the winter. The economy of oil is often forced upon the Eskimo, for starvation and darkness is a frequent and near-by exigency. Schwatka says that he has known cases where the Eskimo were extremely anxious to economize oil needed to melt ice for drinking water, in which six or seven wells were dug through thick ice, before they gave up the attempt or were successful. Every particle of fat is saved on principle."

By 1887, there had been at least two sensationalist accounts (namely isolated reports from explorers Hall and Schwatka) of a few Eskimos drinking from an overabundance of oil, but it was considered to be an exception and was never observed during the Winter, when demand for lamp fuel has high.

Here is Frederick Schwatka's claim of high blubber consumption amongst the Netschilluks during the Summer and Fall months.

The Netschilluk Innuits, by Frederick Schwatka (1899)

"They have an unlimited supply of seal and ookjook (great seal) oil for lamp-use, while they devour enormous quantities of seal-blubber. Their consumption of fat, even during the summer and autumn months, when I saw them, was noticeably greater than that of other tribes."

Hall also found them with an abundance of food and fat.

Narrative of the Second Arctic Expedition Made by Charles F. Hall, by J. E. Nourse (1879)

"Oil was sipped, and tallow and marrow in considerable quantity eaten every day with the raw frozen venison."

There are very few accounts of such behaviors. Often Eskimos were observed simply dipping their lean meat in oil, but not regularly drinking the oil, as if it were water.

Journal of a Second Voyage for the Discovery of a Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific, By Sir William Edward Parry (1824)

"They certainly in general prefer eating their meat cooked, and while they have fuel they usually boil it; but this is a luxury and not a necessary to them. Oily as the nature of their principle food is, yet they commonly take an equal portion of lean to their fat, and unless very hungry do not eat it otherwise. Oil they seldom or never use in any way as part of their general diet; and even our butter, of which they were fond, they would not eat without a due quantity of bread."

Eskimos had to thaw their frozen meats internally, so it was preferable to cook the muscle meat into a soup when oil could be spared. At any rate, by 1887, John Murdoch set out to quell the sensationalist accounts that had been repeated from Hall and Schwatka's isolated observations.

On Some Popular Errors in Regard to the Eskimos, by John Murdoch (1887)

"The enormous consumption of fat, supposed to be a physiological necessity to enable them to withstand the excessive cold, is probably the exception rather than the rule, to judge from the accounts of actual observers. It seems quite probable that the amount consumed in most cases is little, if any, greater than that eaten by civilized nations, when we consider that the people who eat the fat of the seal with the flesh and use oil for a sauce to their dried salmon, have no butter, cream, fat bacon, olive oil, or lard.

We found, indeed, at Point Barrow, that comparatively little actual blubber either of the seal or whale was eaten, though the fat of birds and the reindeer was freely partaken of. Seal or whale blubber was too valuable,—for burning in the lamps, oiling leather, and many other purposes, especially for trade."

In 1953, Sinclair had clarified that the large yields of blubber were mainly reserved for fuel (unaware that in 1991, even day-old whale blubber would be shown by Lockyer to contain between 8-30% carbohydrates):

The Diet of Canadian Indians and Eskimos, by H. M. Sinclair (1953)

"The seal provides large quantities of superb fuel for lighting or heating (a 200 lb. seal provides nearly 100 lb. of blubber in winter) ; it is excellent food for men and dogs…The Eskimo eats most parts of the seal including the blood ; the blubber is not eaten in large amount except in emergencies."

By conserving their fuel, what the Inuit were attempting to avoid was the following situation—as documented in the report from Stefansson's own controversial expedition when he abandoned the Karluk and its crew:

Canadian Arctic Expedition, 1913-18: Volume XII: The Copper Eskimo; p. 107, by Mr. D. Jenness

"However much the Eskimo may look forward in summer and autumn to the winter life on the ice, with its comfortable snow-huts where the lamps, filled to the brim with seal-oil, reflect their light round the pure white walls, while beneath and behind the table the floor is littered with meat and blubber—winter, when the dance-house is crowded with friends and visitors who gather each evening to spend the hours in singing and dancing and in the performance of religious ceremonies—yet always at the back of their minds there is the lurking dread of hunger and of cold in those dark sunless days, when the huts perhaps are empty of food, the lamps extinguished for want of oil, and the people, driven indoors by the howling blizzards, huddle together on their sleeping platforms and face starvation and death...From Christmas until the middle of March one blizzard succeeded another. Often the Eskimos, unable to find the seal-holes on account of the snow that had drifted over them, sat and shivered in their huts, with their lamps extinguished, or burning so low that the heat they gave out hardly lessened the prevailing cold. The stores of food they had collected in the summer and autumn were exhausted, and the seals they caught from time to time were all too few to satisfy the needs of so many hungry mouths, even though they ate the skins and blubber with the meat."

Those in the interior, without access to seal oil had it even tougher according to the report.

Canadian Arctic Expedition, 1913-18: Volume XII: The Copper Eskimo; p. 100-101, by Mr. D. Jenness

"During the winter, however, seal-meat constitutes their principal, and for several months their only food...A little raw blubber is nearly always eaten with the seal-meat, but most of it is consumed in the lamp or fed to the dogs…In reality the Copper Eskimo is afraid to leave the ice in winter, because it is there alone that he can obtain an ample supply of fuel for his lamp. It is only in the Coppermine region that caribou are numerous enough to furnish the back-fat that might take the place of blubber, and back-fat in any case is a very poor substitute. The Backs river natives use it, but their existence in winter is characterized by the Copper Eskimos as cold and miserable in the extreme."

The importance of their oil lamps was detailed in a series of books and articles, all published between 1898 and 1899.

The lamp of the Eskimo, By Walter Hough (1898)

"Lieutenant Schwatka relates that "the Kennepetoo Innuits (around Chesterfield Inlet, especially north of it) use few or no lamps to warm their snow huts, and despite the high beds and low roofs, they are cold, cheerless, and uncomfortable beyond measure. These Innuits are essentially reindeer killers and eaters and lay in an insignificant stock of seal oil to burn in their lamps. Walrus killing is unknown to them. For light they use a piece of reindeer suet laid beside a piece of lighted moss, all being on a large flat stone."


Through the gold-fields of Alaska to Bering straits, By Harry De Windt (1898)

"The sole furniture of an Eskimo residence is a seal-oil lamp for cooking and heating purposes, which is lit in the autumn and burns incessantly until the following spring."


Eskimo and His Lamp, Fur Trade Review, Volume 27 (1899)

"Any fat does for burning, but seal oil is preferred. This is almost wholly employed, because the small quantities of fat taken from the reindeer are insufficient for the long darkness. The lamps eat voraciously, and the people often have to be very careful lest their oil run low when it is impossible to catch seals."


The Eskimo about Bering Strait, By Edward William Nelson (1900)

"The blubber of seals, walrus, or whales is stored and often eaten in its natural form; or the oil may be tried out and stored in bags and used for food as well as for burning in lamps. When used as food it is placed in a small wooden tray or dish and the people dip their dried fish or other meat into it. The oil is never drunk by them except when desiring to take it as a purgative; at such times a large draft of seal oil is usually effective."

Hall estimated in 1879 that a single continuously burning oil lamp could consume 15 pounds of blubber per week. Most Eskimos had multiple lamps for traveling, for hunting, for heating, and for cooking. Therefore, it would appear that families needed hundreds of pounds of blubber, just for fuel, to last them through the continuously dark and cold Winter. And as Murdoch and even Stefansson both pointed out, blubber was often sold to Inuit in the interior. Blubber was also needed for their dogs. It should be clear that oil was a commodity in the Arctic, something to be saved and used judiciously—not guzzled for ketones.

Incidentally, Stefansson admitted that fat for fuel was hard to come by in the interior.

The Fat of the Land, by Vilhjalmur Stefansson p. 31

"If caribou hunters could kill in August and September all the animals they need, and if they could preserve this meat to last them through the year, they would have enough fat to eat with their lean, but even then not enough left over for fuel. In practice most caribou hunters burn something else than fat, but they use a little tallow for lighting their houses in winter; in summer they have the midnight sun for light, and before and after that the bright nights. But, with the greatest economy of lighting, they do not have enough fat to go with their lean, since they are seldom able to kill enough bulls and fat cows in autumn to last more than half or two-thirds of the winter. For this reason most caribou Eskimos go to the sea coast each year to hunt the blubber animals; or else they purchase bags of blubber from the coast dwellers. These bags are made by casing a seal, and each will contain from 150 to 250 pounds of seal, walrus, or whale blubber."

Despite the supposed ease of importing blubber from the coast, as Stefansson claims, he endured "weeks" without any fat in his 1913 book, "My Life With The Eskimo"—and specifically mentions eating only "lean meat" from the caribou. Yet, during the "Bellevue Experiment," he only lasted two days without fat, while eating Western cuts of meat.

Harper's Monthly Magazine, December 1935, article by Vilhjalmur Stefansson

For I had published in 1913, on pages 140-142 of, "My Life with the Eskimo," an account of how some natives and I became ill when we had to go two or three weeks on lean meat, caribou so skinny that there was no appreciable fat behind the eyes or in the marrow. So when Dr. DuBois suggest that I start the meat period by eating as large quantities as I possibly could of chopped fatless muscle, I predicted trouble. But he countered by citing my own experience where illness had not come until after two or three weeks, and he now proposed lean for only two or three days. So I gave in…

…As said, in the Arctic we had become ill during the second or third fatless week. I now became ill on the second fatless day. The time difference between Bellevue and the Arctic was due no doubt mainly to the existence of a little fat, here and there in our northern caribou—we had eaten the tissue from behind the eyes, we had broken the bones for marrow, and in doing everything we could to get fat we had evidently secured more than we realized. At Bellevue the meat, carefully scrutinized, had been as lean as such muscle tissue can be...

...The symptoms brought on at Bellevue by an incomplete meat diet (lean without fat) were exactly the same as in the Arctic, except that they came on faster—diarrhea and a feeling of general baffling discomfort.

Up north the Eskimos and I had been cured immediately when we got some fat. Dr. DuBois now cured me the same way, by giving me fat sirloin steaks, brains fried in bacon fat, and things of that sort. In two or three days I was all right, but I had lost considerable weight.

Stefansson was experiencing the effects of rabbit starvation, also known as "mal de caribou." The comparison of caribou to lean rabbit is no accident. His experience at Bellevue clearly suggests that he was unable to reproduce the diet of the Eskimos.

The USDA defines "lean" as < 10 g of fat per 100 g of beef and "extra lean" as < 5 g of fat per 100 g of beef. Only 5 cuts of beef meet "extra lean" criteria, the leanest has 4 g of fat per 100 g serving. However, caribou meat is extremely lean, with roughly 3 grams of fat per 100 g of caribou meat.

In fact, as Per Wikholm recently calculated, Stefansson actually admitted that Arctic caribou was too lean to support a ketogenic diet:

The Fat of the Land, by Vilhjalmur Stefansson p. 244 (1960)

"It is of special interest here, and fits in with the evidence presented in the chapter 'Living on the Fat of the Land,' that Richardson gives a smaller fat component for the most northerly native pemmican than is given by the usual authorities for pemmican as made in the section between Kansas and Manitoba. Note, also, that whereas the native Arctic pemmican, as described by him, had only a third of fat against two-thirds of lean, Richardson tells us, above, that when he himself was making pemmican in England he used nearly as much fat as lean, therefore perhaps 45 per cent. Thus he was following approximately the high-fat formula of the buffalo pemmican of the fur trade rather than the comparatively low-fat Arctic formula."

It's unclear if Stefansson was obtaining any glycogen in his caribou meat, much of it was "cached" after all. However, Stefansson was somehow able to last three weeks in the Arctic interior, with only extremely lean meat and no discernable fat.

Given his controversies and tarnished reputation north of the American border, it should not be surprising that Stefansson wasn't well respected by his own colleagues. Rudolph M. Anderson, a zoologist and member of two of Stefansson's expeditions wrote, "Stefansson is the outstanding humbug in the exploration world at the present time—a persistent, perennial, and congenital liar who for years has made his living by sheer mendacity and skill in handling words." And Captain Robert Bartlett of the Karluk, who kept silent about Stefansson in public, wrote in a letter to Anderson, "Stefansson is a goddamned liar. A sly, vacillating, piece of flesh. Smart and oily as all limelight seekers are."

Despite Stefansson's conflicting and unsubstantiated claims, we can clearly see that it has been widely accepted in the scientific literature that small amounts of glycogen and excessive quantities of protein contributed to the Inuit's carbohydrates in their native diet. And it was further compounded by the observation that they needed to curb their fat intake in order to conserve their fuel.

Promoters of very low carb diets have clearly ignored the published scientific literature and data on the Inuit and relied solely on Stefansson's casual observations as a crutch, to prematurely claim the long term safety and efficacy of their extreme diets. As we can now see, their claims linking the Inuits to a ketogenic diet were not based on any hard data whatsoever. Rather, they used the Inuit as a foundation for an unsubstantiated narrative, that was crafted by Stefansson to promote his dietary theories.

It's entirely possible that chronic ketogenic diets are well tolerated and beneficial to health, but the published scientific literature clearly shows us that the Inuit can no longer be offered as evidence for such a claim.


Not much to add here. Quite a piece of work, Duck. I encourage everyone to take an hour to watch this documentary that features lots of arctic film and photo footage, pictures of Stefansson, his eskimo wife, his son (that never saw him again after the age of 9), interviews of Stefansson's grandchildren, direct quotes from Stefansson's journals and letters, and interviews with historians with expertise in the matter: Arctic Dreamer - The lonely quest of Vilhjalmur Stefansson.

Later, I'll be adding a list of links to all the posts in the series, for easy reference.

Human Animals Struggle To Be Right

 ...I think they ought struggle to find where they're wrong, and that's the one sure time they can know they're right.

Quick Bolognese Sauce

There's a million variations and the classic calls for a mirepoix, but what if you don't want to bother with all the chopping, the longer prep, etc? What if it's 7:15 and you want to be eating by 8?

Here's your plan, then.

  • Olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (I use lean in sauces; 80/10 is for burgers)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 1 TBS dried oregano
  • 1/8 TSP cayenne pepper
  • Red wine, about a cup or so (I had an open bottle of inexpensive port, so I cut it 50/50 with water
  • 1 large (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 small can of chopped black olives
  • 1/4 TSP nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 TBS salt and 1 TSP pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil for serving

Drizzle a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a pan, heat on medium, add your ground beef and sauté for a few minutes—just until the pink is gone. Deglaze with half your wine and add the garlic, oregano, and cayenne.

Sauté for a few more minutes, then add the tomatoes, paste, olives, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cover, bring to a simmer on medium heat; then uncover, add the rest of the wine and simmer for about 10 minutes. If bubbles splatter, add water as necessary (1/4-1/2 cup) to thin it a bit.

IMG 2695

Once the simmer is done, get your pasta of choice on the boil (I used gluten free, corn & rice-based spaghetti) and finish off the sauce with the basil and  cream. Let it continue to simmer on medium low as your pasta is boiling.


It's very much worth it. Give a try.