Roundup: Lustig on Sugar on NPR, Vegan Orthorexia, and Adolf Hitler on Saturated Fat & Eating Paleo

~ While I often catch at least part of Ira Flatow’s Science Friday on NPR, here’s a segment I missed last Friday: Should Sugar Be Regulated Like Alcohol? Well, of course, the question tends to assume the premise: namely, that alcohol should be regulated. Sure it should, by any human being who consumes it, or their direct guardians. Same for sugar, or anything, really. So I guess what they’re really talking about is it being regulated by someone else who, presumably, “knows better.”

Whether you agree with that view or not, it’s not really what I find so overly important about this interview and to his credit—I suppose—Lustig seems to admit that this “campaign” is mostly to draw attention to the issue. It’s pretty starling. Perhaps review to a lot of you but I enjoyed it. About a 17 minute segment you can listen to right here.

Related to that is a new post up by Dr. Stephen Guyenet. Most sugar consumption graphs you see go only back to early 1900s but he extrapolated data from a couple of sources to get back to 1822.


Stephan adds:

It’s a remarkably straight line, increasing steadily from 6.3 pounds per person per year in 1822 to a maximum of 107.7 lb/person/year in 1999. Wrap your brain around this: in 1822, we ate the amount of added sugar in one 12 ounce can of soda every five days, while today we eat that much sugar every seven hours.

He goes on to calculate—tongue-in-cheek, of course—that if the trend continues, by 2606 the American diet will consist of 100% sugar.

~ Commenter Razwell put up the link to this nifty 6-7 minute 20/20 segment on what’s predominately vegan orthorexia, along with a perfect poster boy for the movement. Watch out, women, that you don’t meet this guy and get all BWVAKTBOOMed.

Further to that, a great comment from Trish on veganism.

Talk to a vegan and this is what you’ll learn:

1. They are city dwellers or live in a college town. If you find a vegan in the country, they will still have been city-born or lived in an urban environment for a while but they want to be all crunchy and grow their own food. The chances of them having lived in New York, San Francisco, Portland, OR, Seattle or DC at one point or desperately wanting to live in one of those places is disproportionately high.

2. They are invariably under the age of 40. Every once in a while you’ll stumble across one in their fifties. You can tell because they look 70.

3. If they’re male, look for the vegan girlfriend standing close by. The power of pussy for male pussification purposes is very strong.

4. They are from the very least an upper-middle-class background and therefore have never known a day of true hardship in their lives.

5. They rarely eat actual vegetables. Their diets are filled with beans and soy and pasta and Amy’s frozen dinners. Maybe a bagged salad once in a while.

6. If they brag about their cooking skills their recipes are usually for desserts or some variant of pizza or fake meat. They also love their condiments–salsa, hot sauce, mustards, sriracha, etc.

7. They will blame any of their numerous physical ailments on genetics, age or the weather, even if they inadvertently let it slip that they hadn’t experienced an ailment before going vegan (this applies mainly to dental issues in my experience).

8. The younger they are, the more likely they’ve been raised by the first generation of parents who were told that their kid would shoot up a high school or not make it into Harvard if he/she were told “no” or was subjected to any sort of rejection, failure or criticism.

~ I’d always heard that Adolf Hitler was an animal lover and vegetarian. Perhaps that’s just vegan propaganda. Here’s evidence he was actually pro-Paleo, fooled by his own government.


  1. rob on February 19, 2012 at 14:40

    Turns out that ADOLPH is the guy who invented meat tenderizer

    The other guy is the one who raged across Europe

  2. P on February 19, 2012 at 14:12

    It’s ADOLF with an “F”

    • Richard Nikoley on February 19, 2012 at 14:42

      Don’t how I did that, i.e., goof it in the title and then get it right in the text. Thx for the heads up.

  3. David McCracken on February 19, 2012 at 14:48

    The same movie clip is subtitled with a storyline about completing expense claims. For anyone who has ever been cursed with the pettiness of them, it is brilliant beyond price. Watch for the jabs at corporate training. This is a gem.

  4. Leslie on February 19, 2012 at 15:20

    My husband would tell you I have orthorexia because I won’t eat processed crap. He eats boxed cereal every morning for breakfast while I have eggs and smoked salmon or some such thing. My disdain for products containing HFCS or seed oils, or prepared frozen foods in a box (which I’m quite capable of preparing at home … I’m retired! and love to cook) is viewed as an extremist position and paleo is a ‘cult’. It irks him to no end that I’m feeling and looking so good; in some perverse way he’d like to see me get sick. It saddens me that he won’t read the books and articles I show him, or just try eating this way for a few weeks … I don’t want him to succumb to degeneration that can be slowed or stopped with better nutrition. Walking around the grocery store, I don’t hold out much hope for the average consumer to give up sugar. My husband’s attitude is shared by everyone in our circle of family and friends as they look upon him sympathetically, putting up with the nutcase who thinks roasted bone marrow is to die for and isn’t interested in pizza.

  5. Sarah on February 19, 2012 at 15:24

    Watch out, women, that you don’t meet this guy and get all BWVAKTBOOMed.

    That kid couldn’t knock the bottom out of a wet paper bag. I have my doubts that that’s really just orthorexia – seems like in this case, as in a lot of cases, veganism is just a cover for anorexia nervosa.

  6. VeryTrue on February 19, 2012 at 15:42

    Sarah wins the thread.

    From doing yoga I bet I know 2 dozen vegan girls, many former dancers in high school, all of whom are “recovering” from their eating disorders. NOT. The vegan girls have veggie boyfriends, and they do actively attempt to turn them fully vegan. Most vegan guys I’ve been introduced to were bi/gay – I’ve met very few straight vegan guys – But that may just be the yoga crowd in general.

    The straight men are indeed very angry – I was surprised in talking with them after yoga, since it’s supposed to make you really chill. Anecdotally, I do think there’s something problematic in veganism for men esp – this rage thing they have is weird.

    • rob on February 20, 2012 at 04:45

      Could be that their testosterone levels are low, guys don’t feel right with low testosterone, makes them crabby.

      • Be on February 20, 2012 at 09:20


  7. KJ on February 19, 2012 at 15:56

    I have seen that orthorexia story before and I guess I didn’t take it as a warning against raw veganism as much as a warning against food as religion in general. In that sense, I think there are a number of people in the paleo crowd who identify so much with what they eat/don’t eat–it consumes so much of their time and their thinking–that they might also be considered orthorexic.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 19, 2012 at 16:41


      Yea, there is a continuum, I suppose. This is why I like to emphasize real food, nutrient dense, leave. It at that pretty much.

      • gallier2 on February 20, 2012 at 06:04

        One important aspect that needs emphasis, especially for you yanks (not you specifically as you get it) is that good food is a source of pleasure. If you don’t derive pleasure from eating, then you’re doing something wrong. In the puritan mindset pleasure is suspicious (a sin) and a lot of the problems with food (and sex also btw) are related to that. Veganism, puritanism (in the sense of wanting only pure products), low-fat and semi-starvation are more a religious act of contrition and self-flagellation than anything else. That is one of lessons the old world can give to the new world and the north of Europe (in fact it’s more a protestant/catholic cleavage than an new/old world one).

      • Richard Nikoley on February 20, 2012 at 07:46

        Yep, and I make good use of those analogies whenever I can.

      • Todd Watson on February 20, 2012 at 08:12

        “good food is a source of pleasure.”



        “In the puritan mindset pleasure is suspicious (a sin) and a lot of the problems with food (and sex also btw) are related to that.”

        This how we came up with Kellog’s cereals. Kinda pisses me off, especially after working out, eating a big assed omelet and blueberries, then watching my parents eat a bowl of cereal. Not related to Puritanism, but part of it’s aftereffects.

      • gallier2 on February 20, 2012 at 06:16

        I forgot, to illustrate this intermixing of food purity and sex purity one only needs to look at the history of breakfast cereals. Who invented them and why? It was John Harvey Kellogs and Sylvester Graham who invented corn flakes and Graham crackers to provide “health food” to fight against carnal urges (i.e. masturbation).

  8. Jerry on February 19, 2012 at 18:21

    I used to be fairly strictly macrobiotic. Macrobiotic eating is definitely orthorexic, no doubt about it. It’s supposed to be based on traditional Asian diets, and it part, it is, but far too much of it is just the same old regurgitated junk about poly-unsaturated oils, “health whole grains”, and soy.

    Loved Richard’s stereotypes! They fit macrobiots exactly. He’s dead-on right. In hindsight, I’d say the majority of macrobiots I met were female. Probably 75-25. And the guys tended to be wimpy, submissive. I’m quite convinced that a 50% grain diet will eventually make anyone that way, especially if you throw in a lot of soy. Once you get blood sugar swings, you tend to become sentimental or “spiritual” and many urban macrobiots follow the diet for this reason. Generally, the guys were kind of spacey, or otherworldly, always lost in thought thinking about some stupid and irrelevant eastern religion spiritual practice.

    And you are so, so, so right about Amy’s processed foods! I used to live on them. And amasake, a sweet rice drink. Wouldn’t be caught dead with it now.

    Thank God I’ve seen the light and am now paleo. I’ve never felt better. Several health problems (dental, asthma, blood sugar, low cholesterol, etc.) have gone away, and I feel amazingly better. Meanwhile, a close friend who stayed macrobiotic died of a heart attack at 47, and another has severe osteoporosis. It’s incredible to me how psychotically attached people become to damaging diets.

    • gallier2 on February 20, 2012 at 06:08

      Hey, one could think you’re talking about Don Matesz, the new Don Matesz not the one from 1 year go.

      • Jerry on February 20, 2012 at 11:27

        Never heard of him until now. Just looked over his primal knowledge blog. Yes, you really see the macro influence in his thinking. My personal experience contradicts what he’s currently advocating.

        My thoughts: macrobiotics and similar high-grain diets, can, in principle, keep you lean and healthy. BUT only if you keep yourself consistently in a state of semi-starvation. Even Taubes touched on this. And I’ve seen many, many very slender, lean, apparently healthy macrobiots. I’ve also met many semi-fat ones. The older you get, the harder it is to remain slender on a macrobiotic diet.

  9. Uppy on February 20, 2012 at 04:36

    Thanks for the 20/20 piece…really enjoyed it!

    Hypothetical situation: you’ve got three friends – Johnny, Bratman, and the mustachioed interviewer. Who do you call to help you move your couch?

  10. Razwell on February 20, 2012 at 06:43

    Thank you, Richard, for the mention. I sincerely appreciate that. Your book is going to help my brother who does natural bodybuilding. He is way over doing things. I suggested a vigorous 30 minutes twice a week. He thinks you’re right. He went far too often, far too long when he lifted. His body broke down.

    You have the most balanced approach of all the Paleolithic guys. You’re not dogmatic and always adjust.

    Real food is the message. As you correctly noted Paleo is Arctic to Antarctic seal level to 16,000 feet. Some ate more crab rich – tubers ,fruit , insects often , while others had more meat and fat. And you indulge now and then when you feel like, which is great. Your Paleo diet doesn’t “define” you, and that’s good , and you acknowledge it is a complete lifestyle far beyond diet.

    I agree on personal experimentation and lisetning to the body intently and adjusting accordingly to its messages .

    @gallier2 I laughed so hard I was in stitches after reading about Graham and Kellog for the first time. They are not the only nutty vegan/macrobiotic types.

    Have a look at “Ellegant Elliot Offen” from Howard Stern’s show. You will never see a stranger person. He runs 16 miles a day in women’s lingerie and eats only peppers tofu and things like that . Do a YouTube search of this guy and you will not believe it LOL !

  11. Steve on February 20, 2012 at 07:21

    Weston Price’s research studied 16 tribes from across the globe and every single one of those tribes ate meat not a single one was vegetarian. Every over 40 plant eater I’ve seen looked ill – like the nutrient deficiencies are showing up on their face.

    If I don’t eat lots of meat and saturated fat I feel ill very quickly. I follow a metabolic typing diet (though it’s not really a diet) and as a fast oxidizer I do really well on liver, beef, lamb and loads of butter.

    I never listen to mainstream views on nutrition and health because they are nearly always wrong.

    If you want success look at what the masses are doing and do the opposite.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 20, 2012 at 07:57

      Yep, have blogged on Price many, many times, as well as referenced his work in my book. To my mind, he’s a bit “beyond paleo,” in the sense that paleo is merely the ecologically given. Ancestral is about gaining deep knowledge of food sourcing, combining, preparation etc within a specific ecological niche and passing down that wisdome over long periods of time, building on it over time as well.

  12. palo on February 20, 2012 at 09:10

    Whenever I hear a know it all, busybody trying to regulate what I.m trying to ingest, I develop a strong desire to hang him by his balls (boobs if woman) from the highest tree I can find.

  13. Dan from Canada on February 20, 2012 at 11:16

    Hi Richard, any idea when your ebook will be available on iBooks? I have money in my iTunes account and really want to pick up your book!


  14. Canadian Eh on February 20, 2012 at 12:33
    • LizMc. on February 21, 2012 at 20:40

      Oh dear God, that’s the most upsetting thing I’ve seen all week :(

      • Trish on February 25, 2012 at 04:22

        Jesus God, talk about a lollipop head. See she’s a big fan of DurianAnorexic–I mean DurianRider, too.

        And I’m Free the Animal famous! Thanks, Richard!

  15. Joshua Tenner on February 21, 2012 at 06:28

    Thank you very much for posting my video! I thought it was rather funny :D.

  16. Elizabeth on February 21, 2012 at 18:26

    It irritates the snot out of me when people talking about regulating sugar, because by that they usually mean taxing people who buy sugary foods like soda or candy, things which every fool knows have sugar in them and can be easily blamed for people’s health issues. HELLO? Processed food is FULL of sugars and HFCS, which I consider a substance of evil. Why don’t they regulate the food manufacturers who use lies and dissemination to cover up the fact that their crap is partly responsible for the increase in sugar consumption? Only partly, though; people don’t have to eat that stuff to survive, as we can all agree.

    Also, although I imagine saying this might get me some heat: I have a friend who’s vegan, and has been for over twenty years. He’s in pretty good health overall, gets a lot of hard exercise on his farm, and his family are all in good shape (four kids were raised as vegans and are now all in their teens and early twenties). They do grow lots of their own food and don’t eat a lot of processed things or soy — so-called “organic” processed food isn’t any better than the standard stuff in many ways. They seem to have avoided major health problems because man, do they eat a lot of fat. Avocado, coconut, and tree nuts, and the oils of all those, play a big part in their diets.

    So while I personally believe that veganism is largely unworkable and somewhat ridiculous, and I did giggle at the vegan stereotypes portrayed above, I still respect my friend and his family for living an unpopular lifestyle that seems to be healthy for them…and not pushing it on others (or else I’d never have become friends with him.) And at least he and I are in agreement that real food is ultimately what’s important, instead of manufactured garbage.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 21, 2012 at 18:42

      I think fat in a vegan diet (coconut, avocado, nuts) makes a world of difference from a low fat vegan.

  17. Richard on February 27, 2012 at 22:01


    the video you posted had absolutely nothing to do with 80/10/10, it had much of anorexic freakish raw-foodish to do wo woulnd’t eat fruits because “it has too much of sugar” nor root vegetables bacause they have “too much carbohydrates”. What I see is culturally influenced Atkins philosophy (fear of carbs) mixed with raw foodism. That raw foodism is derivived with similar pseudoscientific BS logic as paleo, “appeal to nature”.

    My mother’s aunt herself was hospitalized in the 1980 because of her raw-foodism and the anorexia it induced. She ate mainly sprouts, and endured with under 1000kals for a long time. A mean spirited would say she got to hospital because she was a vegan, someone else would say she end up there because she was orthorexic and tried to camouflage it with veganism.

    I am personally vegan and advocate people to comsume starch-rich plant foods such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, quinoa, beets, etc. Foods lade with good dose of calories.

  18. Jerry on February 28, 2012 at 05:36

    Almost, but not quite. The logic behind paleo is an appeal to human nature, not an appeal to nature. That is, human nature as shaped by evolution.

  19. Richard on February 28, 2012 at 06:43

    It’s called appeal to nature -fallacy, which includes all kinds of sub-fallacies, such as design fallacy in evolutionary context, etc. Nothing but bunch of pseudoscientific bullshit propagated by intellectual midgets.

  20. Richard on February 28, 2012 at 06:49
  21. Richard on February 28, 2012 at 10:13


    when will you try McDougall diet? I want to see you as healthy, vibrant and evolved. I don’t want to see you in the form of chubby redneck. You’ll be soon on statins and high risk segment for SCD, sudden cardiadic de.., that is, unless you change your course.

    Think about it. Wouldn’t it be wonderfull to have you on decent, plant-based, neolithic-style diet. Loads of whole-wheat products (which W. Price advocated as well), legumes, potatoes, and more healthy whole-grains. We’d have you eating like pre-industrial rural North-American farmers whose diet were circa 90% whole-wheat products, beans and corn.

  22. Grant on June 4, 2012 at 14:29

    Hello Richard,

    Love the blog man, your a prick but its what makes ya loveable. Not much of a commenter as I am more of a lurker and have a tendency to rub some the wrong way.

    Anyway, Orthorexia? Really? Are you fucking kidding me? I know that statisticaly we all suffer from some sort of ridiculous failing that only by praying or paying a doctor or therapist can we ever be redeemed or whatever the hell but… really? I tend to agree with the earlier sentiment about crabby guys chasing pussy (low testosterone makes men REALLY aggressive) as I have seen that in action over and over again.

    That young fella needs a punch in the head, a steak and night of Tango. And perhaps Voltair’s correspondences on the nature of free thought and religion could do some good as well.

    All the best

    Then maybe he could get onto reading something that isn’t propaganda for the weak.

  23. Bitch on November 30, 2012 at 01:46

    1) I DO live in the country and have NEVER lived in any major cities. I have ALWAYS lived in the country. And I don’t know what a “college town” is.

    2) I find that most vegans look a decade or two YOUNGER than the norm. Sorry pal.

    3) Now that’s just rude. That’s insinuating that all males are ignorant, selfish assholes. And it’s hardly true.

    4) Lettuce IS a veggie. And I eat rice, green beans, potatoes, broccoli and…well, that’s mostly it. I actually am not a huge fan of veggies, but it’s typical that most vegans are. I see ’em eat some weird shit. But, you have to realize that veganism is a lifestyle- a moral choice. Diet is only one aspect and it is certainly not a choice made because of taste. I love bacon and burgers and shrimp and the likes. I just don’t eat them. I was always a meat and cheese person, and I can’t suddenly make myself like veggies I have never liked. Of course, my taste is slowly changing, but I’m still me. Basically, this comment is a judge of taste buds, not veganism. And it’s pretty ridiculous.

    6) Did they just name all the food there is? If all we make is fake meats, sauces, desserts, or some vegan version of pizza or other typical food item, then you cover most of the food that exists. I mean, there are a lot of veggie things that most vegans make, but this person obviously thinks we live off processed soy. -buzzer sound- Wrong answer.

    7) I’m not sure about this one. But, the only problems I have DID begin before I became vegan. LONG before and only got better once I became a vegan. This is just sad.

    8) LOLWUT?

  24. […] Roundup: Lustig on Sugar on NPR, Vegan Orthorexia, and Adolf Hitler on Saturated Fat & Eating Pa… […]

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