More Uncovering of the Inuit Myth: Stefansson and Anderson Belleview Experiement; Compromised Glucose Tolerance

Here’s a followup to this post: To Reiterate, Just In Case You Missed It: No Elevated Ketone Levels in the Inuit. In retrospect, I wonder what the reaction would have been had I titled the post different, like: “Inuit have normal glucose tolerance on their natural diet, but it goes to shit when in objective ketosis.”

In that post, I showed that at no time have Inuit been measured to be in ketosis. It’s merely assumed. On the other hand, there’s no doubt that after an 80 hr. fast that they were in ketosis.

For me, the big message was not the state of ketosis on their natural diet, but what happened to their glucose tolerance when there could be no dispute about their deeply ketogenic state. Here’s the plots, again. The first plot is their tolerance on their normal diet. The second plot is the same people after an 80-hr fast.

Screen Shot 2014 03 31 at 8 27 24 AM
Normal glucose tolerance with adults receiving about 120 grams 12 hrs after last meal
Screen Shot 2014 03 31 at 8 28 16 AM
280-300, and over 220 for three hours after the same 120 gram dose of glucose

Yet, when I put that post up, everyone was all on about the suggestion that the Inuit are not actually in a state of ketosis on their normal diet, while completely ignoring the glucose tolerance. All sorts of stuff was offered up, from them being “keto adapted,” to Vilhjalmur Stefansson’s obituary in the NYT.

Well, thanks to Duck, again, we actually get to see what happened to Stefansson and Anderson themselves in similar circumstances, only reversed.

At the conclusion of the “Bellevue Experiment,” another lesser known study was published by Edward Tolstoi, who got to test Stefansson and Anderson with a glucose tolerance test once the year of meat was completed. Anderson’s glycosuria is discussed heavily in the paper. Tolstoi also discusses the Heinbecker study that was referenced by Richard in the article.

The Effect Of An Exclusive Meat Diet Lasting One Year On The Carbohydrate Tolerance Of Two Normal Men, by Edward Tolstoi (J. Biol. Chem. 1929, 83:747-752)

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.[1] This seems a likely explanation.

Well, let’s see what happened to Stefansson and Anderson, in reverse.

The results obtained by these procedures are presented in Table I and Charts 1 and 2. Both show that a marked rise in the blood sugar occurred after the test meal following the previous high fat, low carbohydrate diet. The curve of K. A. not only increased in height, but the hyperglycemia was prolonged also. He presented a glycosuria. V. S. had only an increase in the height of the curve. His urine was sugar-free. After a mixed diet for the periods mentioned above, both men reacted normally to the glucose tolerance tests, the height and the duration of the blood sugar curve being well within normal limits, and the urine sugar-free.

The plots.

Anderson – solid line after 1-yr LCHF, dotted after 3-4 weeks normal carb
Stefansson – Solid line after 1-yr LCHF, dotted after 3-4 weeks normal carb

And just as I’ve been saying over and over, based on simple intuition, the paper affirms.

The above results are not new. They were emphasized by Odin (3), Malmros (4), Stenstrom (5), Staub (6), Kageura (7), Greenwald, Gross, and Samet (8) and others. It was believed that during a period of a low carbohydrate, high fat diet, the need for insulin was diminished, with a resulting decrease in its production. Then, upon administration of a large quantity of carbohydrate to a subject subsisting on such a diet, the carbohydrate mechanism is heavily taxed. The production of insulin cannot keep up with the demand, the result being a hyperglycemia and often a glycosuria as well. The extensive and excellent work of Malmros (4) also supports the above view. He worked with normal human beings who had glucose tolerance tests after general diets as well as after high fat, low protein, and low carbohydrate mixtures. The duration of such diets varied from 1 to 23 days.

In every case a lowering of the tolerance to carbohydrate was noted irrespective of the duration of the preceding diet. Greenwald, Gross, and Samet (8) were of the same opinion. They believed that a diet consisting chiefly of protein does not lower the tolerance for glucose as much as a diet consisting principally of fat. This inference might be used to explain the difference between the results of Heinbecker (9) and the ones presented in this paper. […]

If then a low carbohydrate, low protein, and high fat diet lowers the tolerance to carbohydrate in normal human beings, is it reasonable to assume that a high carbohydrate diet will raise the tolerance?

This too has been demonstrated. John (11) performed glucose tolerance tests on two normal subjects to whom he gave 100 gm. of glucose on 5 successive days. And although the peak of the blood sugar curve was 260 mg. on the 1st day, the maximum was only 90 mg. on the 5th day. Traugott’s (12) experiments concur with this work. He gave an initial dose of 20 gm. of glucose, obtaining an increase in the height of the blood sugar curve. When, an hour later, after the first 20 gm. additional amounts of glucose were given in various quantities, from 20 to 100 gm., no hyperglycemia was noted. Apparently the initial stimulus of 20 gm. evoked sufficient amounts of sugar-metabolizing hormone, to take care of the additional quantities of glucose given later.

Such experiments and the ones presented above lead to the belief that in normal human beings, the quantity of insulin produced is dependent upon the amount of carbohydrate ingested irrespective of whether this foodstuff is administered as such or derived from the protein fraction of the diet.

So there you have it, again and again. We’re dealing with a convenient and clever, self-serving confirmation bias on a MASSIVE scale in the VLC communities. Everyone has convinced themselves that they’re pre-diabetic—or even diabetic—because after a while on LCHF and they have some birthday cake, feel awful and measure, they have skyrocketing BG and conclude that they’ve gone and Caught the Debeetus; when most likely, they are suffering a reversible condition—just as it was with me and now, many others. Yep, I fixed it right up with a regular intake of beans, potatoes and rice. Still pretty moderate carbohydrate, but at least enough that my glucose tolerance now performs as a normal human should.

I’ll finish with a comment I received on Facebook about these study results, because I like it and it introduces something else we’ve learned recently too, that gastric bypass cures T2D.

What that diet wrought is probably delayed first insulin response, which is what you see when these guys go on VLC diets. They’re still clinging to the progressive beta cell die off theory when gastric bypasses have made it clear that glucose intolerance is multifactorial. This is why these low-carb ignorami still believe such procedures work only by limiting carb intake by reducing stomach capacity. Tell them to explain how an insulin-dependent T2 diabetic now gushes out insulin. One foundation that used to provide rationale for low-carbing gives way and you see how desperately these people are in denial.

Help victims of chronic VLC and LCHF dieting and spread the word.

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  1. GTR on July 8, 2014 at 00:08

    It may be that high-fat diets outcomes may depend on your genetic legacy: some of the genes were inherited from Nea nderthals, and are present in Europeans. Asians have some more Neanderthal genes, but different ones.

    “They found that Europeans inherited three times as many genes involved in lipid catabolism, the breakdown of fats to release energy, from Neandertals as did Asians. (As expected, Africans did not carry any of these Neandertal variants.) The difference in the number of Neandertal genes involved with lipid processing was “huge,” Khaitovich says. The study also offers another example of the lingering genetic legacy left in some people today by the extinct Neandertals. ”

    On the other hand Tibetans have their unusual adaptations to high altitudes partially inherited from another archaic humans – Denisovans.

    “Tibetans moved onto the Tibetan plateau, a low-oxygen environment that probably proved fatal to many because of early heart disease and high infant mortality. But a specific variant of a gene for hemoglobin regulation, picked up from earlier interbreeding with a mysterious human-like species, Denisovans, gradually spread through the Tibetan population, allowing them to live longer and healthier and avoid cardiovascular problems.”

    By the way Australian Aboriginals have like of 5% Denisovan DNA. It’s interesting what role they fill.

    • Dr. Curmudgon Gee on July 14, 2014 at 22:03


      interesting papers. thanks.

      forgot where i read it: Inuits have larger livers
      (don’t ask me for a citation)

      given that most aborigines can developed civilized diseases in 2 generations, seems they’re adapted even less well to agricultural food (grains)


  2. Alex del Castillo on July 7, 2014 at 17:54

    So I lost prly 75+ lbs with low carb which I dialed into Paleo and eventually found myself here after stalling. I have some thoughts about what is happening to and for lots of folks. Forgive me if you’ve gone over this ground before. Have not exactly seen it and have been lurking around for a while. Would not surprise me if you cover it in the book.
    1. Low carb / Paleo mask what is effectively a starvation diet. Folks love the initial gains ( or rather losses) and lots feel better and have a lot of chronic shit go away. I think that in addition to less fat tissue to dilute hormonal effects, bad bugs are being starved out in gut. Along with the good ones.
    2. Things like the potato hack work for many lucky enough to build back the good bugs which outcompete surviving bad ones. SBO etc helps.
    3. Similarly, some of the salutary effects of fasting may be due to killing all bugs, bad and good.

    I thought about this watching Grace’s interview with the bulletproof guy. He clearly is onto a biohack that works, but it does do by directly providing butyrate form butter of whatever rather than feeding gut bugs in cecum the stuff to make it.
    So I guess my main question is: is there already a protocol or process to get a clean slate and then reinnoculate with the right guys? I’d that what the functional health folks are about?

    • Richard Nikoley on July 7, 2014 at 18:36

      Alex, I think the best clean slate protocol is fasting. Yes, you are going to starve good bugs too, but this a natural way of, as Grace says, “weeding.” It’s not carpet bombing like antibiotics do.

  3. John Rhoades on July 7, 2014 at 18:17

    Nice work! I’m an ex-type II diabetic, ex-overweight old fart, who ran across paleo ideas and cured both problems in 2010. When the first ed. of Perfect Health Diet came out, I switched from low carb to moderate carb (about 100 g carbs/day) with no weight or blood sugar issues. My morning fasting blood sugar actually got a little lower. I was impressed by Dr. Jaminet’s logic: Why burden your liver with producing necessary carbs from protein? There is also the triage issue: The liver is only going to produce the minimum of carbs needed for immediate survival, not the optimal healthy amount.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 7, 2014 at 18:31

      John, does it irritate you at all that you were told LCHF was the healthiest diet on the planet, using the I unit as an example, and come to find out, it’s been known since the 1920s that their health had nothing to do with being ketogentic?

    • Kyle on July 11, 2014 at 12:45


      If you’d said that you were adverse to being contentious with Eades because you didn’t want to detract from the message, I could have bought that whole hog. The fact that Eades is a gentleman…doesn’t mean doodly. Respect? I would suggest that what you’re looking at is just well polished social graces. Take a hard look at this: . Very promotinal and very successful. Now compare that to Philip Seymour Hoffman playing Gust Avrakotos in the fourth scene of Charlie Wilson’s War against his Ivy League graduate “gentleman’s club university” CIA supervisor. Like George Carlin once said, “It’s a club. And you’re not in it.”

      If he had respect for you, he wouldn’t have come up with the obvious bald-faced stonewall snub ( that he did. He would have said, “You know Rich, I don’t know. But give me a little time to look at that. Show me what you have.” He didn’t. He dismissed an opportunity to evaluate possible real world empirical evidence. He had his chance and declined. He wouldn’t even deign to look at it. His book is reaching 20 years since first publication. He’s been riding this horse for a while and doesn’t seem willing to drop the reins. Not with nearly 20 years of reputation resting on it.

      Doctors are well rewarded in the US for the services they provide. Somewhere in the neighborhood of $200,000 a year, on average. They rank 3rd to 4th behind investment bankers in income, with investment bankers having the highest professional income on average. They make that regardless of their ability to help their clients which definitely kills the profit motive to provide something of worth. And many times it isn’t. Some would say less than that. Which is most likely the reason we have had escalating health issues since the beginning of the 20th century. And Eades looks like he’s rewarded well above average when considering the lifestyle he enjoys. Doctors literally have a license to kill. With that, arrogance and caprice do not make a pretty picture, regardless their ‘gentlemanly style’.

      They also enjoy a privileged position of trust within society due to, at the very least, their credentials. When they betray that trust, at detriment to their patients, to defend the status quo, their reputation and/or monetary gain, they have no right to expect to maintain such a privileged position.

      Here, ( you ask John Rhoades, “…does it irritate you at all that you were told LCHF was the healthiest diet on the planet..”?

      I can’t speak for John but for me; I’ve caught doctors in the midst of BS and it makes me want to slap their jowls. There is often enough the case that they don’t even know their own business. “Well Doc, why do I have these large xanthomas on the tendons of my feet?” Doc, “I don’t know.” ( And this is what we’re paying such high dollars for. BS!

      Don’t feel the need to respond, but please do take a while to consider what I’ve said. At the very least, keep pushing the message. I’m doing very well on Probiotic 3. I’d been looking for the Clostridium Butyricum bug in a probiotic for well over a year. Your site helped me locate it. For that, thank you!


    • Richard Nikoley on July 11, 2014 at 14:15

      I’ll only respond to say that I can’t think of anything to dispute you on, Kyle, and that is very sad to me, on a level.

    • Bret on July 11, 2014 at 22:59

      That’s one hell of a scathe, Kyle. I love it.

      Your analysis reminds me of the hilarious irony of Dr. E’s fairly recent blog post about confirmation bias.

  4. Martin on July 8, 2014 at 01:42

    Richard, I think there is no need to attack LCHF diets, it’s worked for many people and literally saved their lives. Are there better ways? Perhaps, periodic fasting, resistant starches, strategic carb reloading/timing, etc. How about keeping up the great work you’ve been doing on RS and other topics. Also, why don’t you speak more often to the folks from the LCHF group, including Jimmy Moore, but also Mark Sisson, John Kiefer and trying to reach out to the researchers like Phinney & Volek. I would love to hear you and dr. Phinney disucss the Inuit & Stephanson! Looking forward to your book!

  5. Richard Nikoley on July 8, 2014 at 02:37

    Martin, what makes you assume I don’t. I recently hosted Jimmy’s show for shit’s sake.

    I talk to Sisson on the phone regularly. Ever seen his carbohydrate curve?

    LCHF has also harmed thousands. Many hundreds have been in my comments over the years and no, I do t believe it’s suitable for anyone. Maybe epileptics and cancer victims. It’s just a fucktarded diet based, now we know, on myth.

    • Angelo on July 8, 2014 at 12:16

      Re: Cancer & Epilepsy

      Dr. Gonzales Dismantles the Ketogenic Diet for Cancer
      This Dr. claims to have worked closely with Atkins and that Atkins tested a ketogenic approach on cancer patients but failed to show benefits.

      The surprising story of medical marijuana and pediatric epilepsy: Josh Stanley at TEDxBoulder
      An incredible story about the effects of CBD (a non-psychoactive compound in cannabis) on epileptic children. From CNN:

      “Paige took her daughter to Chicago to see a Dravet specialist, who put the child on a ketogenic diet frequently used to treat epilepsy that’s high in fat and low in carbohydrates. The special diet forces the body to make extra ketones, natural chemicals that suppress seizures. It’s mainly recommended for epileptic patients who don’t respond to treatment.

      The diet helped control Charlotte’s seizures but had a lot of side effects. She suffered from bone loss. Her immune system plummeted. And new behavioral problems started popping up.

      “At one point she was outside eating pine cones and stuff, all kinds of different things,” Matt said. “As a parent you have to say, let’s take a step back and look at this. Is this truly beneficial treatment because of these other things?”

      Two years into the diet, the seizures came back.”

    • Jane Karlsson on July 8, 2014 at 06:47

      I do wonder whether LCHF is even the best diet for epileptics. I don’t know of any studies of other diets in epileptic children. Do you Richard? Has anyone tried a whole food low meat diet in these children? Ketogenic diets seem to work by boosting antioxidant capacity and autophagy, and there are other ways of doing that.

    • John on July 8, 2014 at 10:43

      As far as epilepsy goes, I believe it is the ketones themselves that are thought to be theraputic. That’s why MCT oil is often used, and why Paul Jaminet suggested Coconut Oil and ketogenic amino acids. As for implementing a ketogenic diet for epilepsy, there are many options, from purified diets, MCT oil based diets, and even the Modified Atkins Diet. It isn’t a lifelong intervention either, usually lasting 2-3 years. You can find a few adults who were cured using the ketogenic diet by looking on the testimonials page of the Charlie Foundation website.

    • eddie on July 9, 2014 at 10:59


      I would say and DUCK should jump in too………
      theirs no real way to test the bacteria— as all the stool testing is whats exiting you.( im with DUCK on this now ) It may show what you have most of leaving?? Ive done all these and have seen changes in mine. My ranges are far different now from day one to now—–but did I kill off and poo out those ??? and are others staying inside who knows

      As duck has pointed out you will have different PH’s in different areas of the gut. which means different bacteria types live in different places(unless they cut you open who knows). The real causes I think or problems , bacteria types getting into places it should not— do to poor eating– no fiber and over antibiotic use . The only true way I see knowing what you have would be to do some crazy thing like this which I would love to do. I really think the LC helps lower fungus in the body( just my opinion and my experience)

      I have lost , stumped and confused all my docs.. first eating high fat-low carb , then moving to paleo , to now really eating good nuts, fibers, inulin , massive veggies , fats , fish meats etc. (no dairy) fermented foods- kimchi , sauerkraut ( I skip the rice, grains etc ) slowly adding in some RS foods now

      Bruce like your self— I have noticed , I can run more, energy level high, better fitness good blood pressure 102/67 rate standing 61 my weight doesnt move. ( good)

      I always voice my concern on fungus.. I think the LC area diet is cleaning up the fungus- once you do your bacteria have a chance to chow down on all the foods( good foods you eat) if you get them in —the inulin , veggies and RS( different depending on the person)
      I think LC /Paleo is a tool to get you back to health , to much of any thing is bad— most Americans eat a diet of all sugar processed foods , tons of fruit,, grains, milk, potatoes, and rice every day…. in the end they lack many vegetable fibers and insulin which feed what good bacteria you should have, but have lost.
      When you look at all those foods they all digest as SUGAR — Now no one yell at the potato etc im just pointing out if you eat all these every day your getting to much sugar

      Many have started LC and moved on—and in my opinion started the broom sweep of getting rid of some nasty stuff –by starving bacteria /yeast setting up a playground for good bacteria. Once you feed it what it wants,,,, add back all those crummy foods– your yeast/fungus will rise and youll

      be tired
      poor fitness
      bad blood pressure
      etc etc etc

    • eddie on July 9, 2014 at 13:17


      have you looked into much on the smart pill technology like they used in the study link for PH?? seems pretty cool to look at ph along the way—you get a better idea of whats going on maybe missing(bacteria wise)

      Im digging this PILL

      as well I found this little company in Canada that is releasing a sampling pill that shows the bacteria in each gut area along the way did you look at this..

    • eddie on July 9, 2014 at 08:53

      Take it from me……It is a fucktard of a diet!!! It can work and help Many have seen great success , like me— but you cant stay on it forever or youll end up like the many who fail on it. Its a tool to fix your imbalance of the gut bacteria , and yeast/fungus.

      Use it as a tool , to lower weight, help in changing your gut microbes. you kill off alot of nasty bugs— but like Richard says you also kill off many good ones. Stay on it too long –youll starve the remaining good bugs you have— your not feeding them as well. find the sweet spot, doing it then switch back and eating some moderate good carbs /RS youll be fine

      Time will tell but im testing this in myself== crohns / ulcer colitis gone from LCHF , now over 1.5 years adding back missing bacteria … in 2.5 years from adding back bacteria/LC– but slowly increasing the RS and others… my allergies are gone — I can drink beer again and eat pizza if I choose to. slowly adding in some starches

      Too me your starving gut bugs out that should have never moved into certain sections

    • Bruce on July 9, 2014 at 10:17


      Is there a way (either a test or something experiential) to assess the impact of things on the good gut bugs? This would be a good way to determine how well this is working.

      I have yet to know anyone to “fail” on LCHF (including myself and my wife), so it would be interesting to be able to monitor this. My plan is to do this as a lifestyle, but I’m certainly open to modification. Actually, while we were very strict at the beginning, we eat a lot more vegetables now. Not going RS just yet until I have a way to determine what it actually does.

      For many other health-related factors, I can assess them (either with tests, or experientially):

      Fat content
      Blood Pressure
      Fitness (pretty serious runner)
      Energy Level (running speed/distance)

      So, everything I can assess is working great. I could be fucking up my bacteria, of course, but I’d like to be able to determine that either from a test or as a result of something I can experience. Because, of course, reading about it on a blog, or even seeing “studies” is not as compelling as something real and tangible.


    • Duck Dodgers on July 9, 2014 at 10:43

      You could test the pH of your feces with a simple pH strip. Ideally it should be slightly acidic (6.1-6.8). If it’s too low or neutral-to-high, that will shift the gut’s ecosystem and activate pathogens (we have the studies on pH if you need them).

      Eddie actually did this a few weeks ago and he was spot on!

    • Duck Dodgers on July 9, 2014 at 10:55

      …and Bruce, if you haven’t seen it, this article from Jeff Leach explains why low carbers tend to have guts that are more alkaline (by not fermenting enough SCFAs) which can cause problems:

      Jeff Leach: Sorry low carbers, your microbiome is just not that into you

      So, testing your pH is an easy way to tell if you have the right environment in your GIT. Unless you’re eating buckets of fermentable fibers, you probably have a fairly alkaline gut, which can activate the growth genes for pathogens and fungal infections. In fact, many pathogens like candida and h. pylori can secrete their own alkaline films to make their own localized environment more alkaline. Sneaky suckers.

    • Duck Dodgers on July 9, 2014 at 11:17


      Right on.

      While it’s true that I pointed out a few weeks ago that the pH of one’s gut varies tremendously, testing the pH of one’s feces can give an indication of whether someone is too alkaline or not (as many VLCers are).

      Typically the pH changes throughout the GIT like this chart shows.

      And if you aren’t eating many carbs, it tends to shift the pH of the chart to the alkaline percentiles, which is not good.

      Not only does high pH promote pathogens, it also promotes colon cancer (from the lack of SCFAs).

      So, a pH is just the easiest test to do at home. It won’t tell you a tremendous amount other than what ballpark you’re in.

    • natty on July 9, 2014 at 11:19


      Thanks for posting the Ted Talk.

      We have a cat with epilepsy and a dog with lymphoma. Through that, found some pet specific CBD sources.

    • Bruce on July 9, 2014 at 12:09


      Thanks. As you say, it’s not definitive, but can give a ballpark. Definitely gonna give this a go and see.

      I’m a big fan of the real Duck Dodgers (especially in the way he handles Marvin) and you’re a credit to the name :)


    • Duck Dodgers on July 9, 2014 at 12:40

      Consider yourself among the few who know the real Duck Dodgers, from the 24th and a half century :)

      Eddie has shown that it’s possible to eat minimal carbs and ferment a decent amount of SCFAs. It’s not easy though. You have to eat a LOT of vegetables.

      Most people don’t know this, but typically, 20% of the carbs one eats will escape digestion (whether they are resistant carbs or not). So, eat a hamburger bun, in the context of a meal, and as much as 20% of that hamburger bun may escape digestion and feed your gut flora.

      I wouldn’t recommend getting your fiber from hamburger buns, but technically SAD dieters tend to do a better job at feeding their flora than VLCers for the simple fact that they have 20% of their overly carby diet escaping digestion. I only point that out because what I’m trying to say is that a VLCer basically starts with a disadvantage in that they have to eat a lot of vegetables (as Eddie does) just to equal SAD levels of fiber. It’s kind of a weird paradox.

      And the funny thing about fermentable carbs is that they tend to do a better job at getting metabolized into certain SCFAs like butyrate. So, ideally, you ferment, carbs (as Resistant Starch) and vegetables (as NSP, FOS, etc.) to get a variety of fibers and a variety of SCFAs getting produced.

    • Duck Dodgers on July 9, 2014 at 13:42

      Heh… not for me, Eddie. I’ll wait for the iPhone app version to come out in a few years — preferably one with flushable single-use pills. :)

    • Bret on July 11, 2014 at 23:27

      “It’s just a fucktarded diet based, now we know, on myth.”

      Myth that grew up around a hasty leap to conclusion on a severely controversial and complex issue. Say, isn’t that exactly what the LCHF community says was wrong with Ancel Keys’ work?

      My own experience on extreme carb reduction, like so many others, was rapid and impressive initial success, losing weight effortlessly and feeling good. But after 18 months or so, weight started creeping back on, and I was having trouble concentrating at work. I knew in my gut (terrible pun) that the diet had ceased to be the end-all. Yet I kept hearing from several prominent and distinguished voices how flawlessly ideal chronic ketosis was for human health.

      Now, Jimmy Moore’s success with ketosis and apparent inability to tolerate starches does beg the question of whether VLC/KG might be the best option for some people. But I am quite sure it isn’t for me. And the mounting evidence, such as this 800-lb gorilla of Inuit glucose tolerance, does not give me confidence that VLC is the right answer as a baseline recommendation for all.

  6. lets bait Jimmy on July 8, 2014 at 05:29

    Pretty clear to me that this is just Jimmy bait. Let the good times roll (pun intended).

    • tatertot on July 8, 2014 at 11:58

      Pictures speak a thousand words. Jimmy Moore (in green shirt) just last week. Not what I was expecting to see.

    • lets bait Jimmy on July 8, 2014 at 15:18

      No offence to Jimmy, but if that’s what ketosis does for you then I want nothing to do with that shit.

    • Bret on July 12, 2014 at 04:51

      Preceding an overt insult to someone’s appearance with the phrase ‘no offence’ comes across as disingenuous to say the least.

      I am not a Jimmy Moore apologist by any means–I have dealt him his cut of criticism when appropriate. That said, on this particular subject, Jimmy did lose 78 lbs on a yearlong ketogenic diet (link below). That is a decent recommendation all by itself: even if 238 lbs is above where most of us would like to be, it is still better than the 306 lbs he started out at.

      The Fat Head blog pics tater linked above do lead me to believe Jimmy has regained some of that weight, but it is difficult to tell. Most of the pictures I saw from last year, immediately following Jimmy’s documented experiment, were taken from weird angles (he seems a bit camera shy to me), such as the pic linked below. The LLVLC blog archive from the past 14 months does not seem to have any follow-ups to Jimmy’s experiment, minus the writeups he did immediately afterwards in June 2013. Whether that is because the results have begun to reverse, or because Jimmy is busy with other stuff, or due to another reason, or a combination of the above, is a matter of speculation. Regardless, in the same link below, Jimmy describes some pretty enviable side effects of his NK experiment, not unlike others’ experiences with RS that I read about frequently both here and elsewhere.

      My instinct? I suspect he is regaining. But that is speculation, unless anyone else has some actual comparative evidence, in which case feel free to prove me wrong. Either way, we don’t have to be fucking cruel about it. The guy has struggled with weight his entire life and is just trying to figure out what works.

      With that said, he did mention to Tom Naughton on LC Conversations episode #100 that he would consider experimenting with RS, although he sounded skeptical and almost dismissive. I hope he finds the answers he is looking for, regardless of what they end up being.

    • Jimmy 4 Jesus on July 12, 2014 at 16:33

      @Bret. Yawn. Get off the fence and grow a pair of balls.

    • Bret on July 12, 2014 at 20:11

      Double yawn. You’re not 1/10th as witty as Richard, or 1/10th as persuasive, so stop trying to imitate him. How pathetic.

      And I will stay ‘on the fence’ until I am convinced. If the best case you can make is to say ‘Pick a side already’ while ignoring the evidence coming from the other side, then you are no smarter than the self-fellating dolts Richard mocks day in and day out here.

      Lastly, if you’re too chickenshit to use a recognizable name instead of a moniker that mocks someone else, like some high schooler, then you’re the one that needs to grow a pair.

    • tatertot on July 13, 2014 at 10:39

      Alright you two!

      I feel bad for posting that link, I was hoping maybe Richard would remove it. I really respect Tom Naughton and Jimmy Moore–they are trying things and talking about their experiences and both seem willing to explore new avenues.

      I think I was mostly surprised to see that Jimmy Moore looks much heavier than I remember of him a few years back. Maybe it’s just the pictures and the clothes he was wearing. Or maybe I just put too much into ‘looks’.

      If Richard was a real asshole, he could put up the picture Jimmy snapped of him at the AHS(?) event a couple years ago and compare it with how he looks now, and then do the same with Jimmy’s pictures. From what I see, Richard struggles and worries much less about his weight now than Jimmy does. The only reason I’m picking on these two is that their methods are about 180 degrees opposite of each other.

      Eating in a loosely paleo/WAPF/whole food kinda way vs. staying in ketosis when there is no medical reason for it.

      Which way do you suppose creates a well-diversified gut flora that does a multitude of metabolic functions including the regulation of hunger signals and protects against invading pathogens? And which method effectively cripples the ‘second-brain’ allowing food and environmental toxins to absorb into the body and produces less of the neurotransmitters credited to gut flora?

    • Bret on July 14, 2014 at 16:00

      First, a correction to a typo of mine above: JM reduced to 228, not 238.

      Tater, my answer to your specific questions would be the same as yours. But maybe I am not yet convinced that the gut is the be-all to health. Perhaps some would say that means I am an ignorant mouth breathing whore of the establishment, and if so, they are entitled to their opinion.

      I would say on the other hand that until I get through all the literature and finish some self-experimentation, I am inclined to maintain a reasonable skepticism that was practiced by neither the mainstream during the low fat craze nor many of us during the resurgence of low carb.

      I am fascinated by the gut bug research and all its concomitant phenomena, as well as the positive anecdotes I have read both here and elsewhere. But those alone do not discredit similar results and stories from the LC/KG folks. Yes, some folks in the latter camp have had problems with that strategy, but many have not. Jimmy’s 78-lb reversal of a multiyear weight gain, as well as all those positive side effects he reported, are not things I am going to ignore off the bat, gut bugs or not. On the other hand, the RS/GMB strategy appears to be doing very well for folks, and that is awesome, but I am also curious to see if reports of long-term stalls or other issues eventually materialize, the way they did for low fat, the way they did for LCHF. Folks like Sisson and Jaminet might have an ‘I told you so’ moment in the future if (e.g.) folks develop issues with legume toxicity overload. The future is unknown, and I am simply keeping my eyes as open as I can. If that causes folks to admonish me to grow a pair, as Mr. Baiter did above, then that’s life.

      Lastly, I never intended (and still don’t) to advocate for VLC/KG as a superior option to a whole foods approach that prioritizes gut flora over macronutrient ratios. Rather, I thought that both Jimmy Moore and his dietary point of view deserved a defense in light of what came across to me as mean-spirited and unprovoked remarks mocking a guy who has struggled like hell with weight his entire life and, far as I can tell, is only trying to help others by sharing information.

  7. LaFrite on July 8, 2014 at 06:43

    I don’t have much to add, as a regular natural starch eater who also loves a good fatty bit with it ;)

    I just think that we are meant to NOT eat food all day long. I am on a one meal a day by habit, sometimes 2 but in a rather short time window (5h max, most of the time 2-3h). I also fast 48h every week (Monday and Tuesday).

    I don’t lose weight nor do I gain. I can eat whatever I want but prioritize high quality natural whole foods (better eat some nice stuff when you don’t eat all the time, eh!).

    Maybe it is not for every one, but I think it would benefit a lot of people to regularly fast at least 24h once every week, at least …

    • Ellen Ussery on July 8, 2014 at 18:59

      A slightly different recipe

    • Duck Dodgers on July 8, 2014 at 06:58

      I just think that we are meant to NOT eat food all day long

      Quite right. And when eating, the key to survival is to always make a beeline for the most energy-positive foods. That’s the #1 rule.

      If you think about it, unlike other primates, humans were never meant to sit around foraging all day. We had wheels to invent and spears to fashion. The average primate spends up to 8 hours a day foraging — it’s a full-time job for them. So, in order to evolve, we humans had to free up our time considerably. The only way to do that is to consume more calories in a shorter period of time. And the only way to do that is by eating the most energy-positive foods.

      Cooking certainly helped humans increase caloric content of their foods, but it did so at the expense of fiber. Interestingly, it appears that tiger nuts were the real game changer as a primate could obtain 2,000 calories a day, or 80% of their required daily calorie intake, with only 2.5 to 3 hours of foraging.

    • tatertot on July 8, 2014 at 09:34

      Tiger nuts.

      I just got 3 pounds of the peeled, organic ones yesterday and am trying really hard not to eat them all today. I just love them. I was reading the nutrition label for the ones that still have their peels on (I still can’t figure out how they peel them!), it looks like a pound of the nuts (450g) would have 1900kcal, 20g protein, 96g fat, 288g carbs (128g fiber!). I believe we found the RS content is high, too, but don’t remember the exact amount…higher than a raw potato, though.

      The TigernutUSA site has a pretty good blog now, I see. Great bunch of guys!

    • tatertot on July 8, 2014 at 11:48

      Making this tonight!

    • eddie on July 9, 2014 at 08:59

      I have to say these nuts have alot of good stuff in them

      BUT– look at the source your buying many are loaded with aspergilus fugus due to the poor storage of them like CORN

      maybe wash with grapefruit seed extract or something

    • Bret on July 14, 2014 at 01:43

      First, a correction to a typo of mine above: JM reduced to 228, not 238.

      Tater, my answer to your specific questions would be the same as yours. But maybe I am not yet convinced that the gut is the be-all to health. Perhaps some would say that means I am an ignorant mouth breathing whore of the establishment, and if so, they are entitled to their opinion.

      I would say on the other hand that until I get through all the literature and finish some self-experimentation, I am inclined to maintain a reasonable skepticism that was practiced by neither the mainstream during the low fat craze nor many of us during the resurgence of low carb.

      I am fascinated by the gut bug research and all its concomitant phenomena, as well as the positive anecdotes I have read both here and elsewhere. But those alone do not discredit similar results and stories from the LC/KG folks. Yes, some folks in the latter camp have had problems with that strategy, but many have not. Jimmy’s 78-lb reversal of a multiyear weight gain, as well as all those positive side effects he reported, are not things I am going to ignore off the bat, gut bugs or not. On the other hand, the RS/GMB strategy appears to be doing very well for folks, and that is awesome, but I am also curious to see if reports of long-term stalls or other issues eventually materialize, the way they did for low fat, the way they did for LCHF. Folks like Sisson and Jaminet might have an ‘I told you so’ moment in the future if (e.g.) folks develop issues with legume toxicity overload. The future is unknown, and I am simply keeping my eyes as open as I can. If that causes folks to admonish me to grow a pair, as Mr. Baiter did above, then that’s life.

      Lastly, I never intended (and still don’t) to advocate for VLC/KG as a superior option to a whole foods approach that prioritizes gut flora over macronutrient ratios. Rather, I thought that both Jimmy Moore and his dietary point of view deserved a defense in light of what came across to me as mean-spirited and unprovoked remarks mocking a guy who has struggled like hell with weight his entire life and, far as I can tell, is only trying to help others by sharing information.

  8. Bruce on July 8, 2014 at 10:15

    So, I’m going to jump into the lion’s den to see how objective people here can be, or if this will just be a flame fest because I disagree with much of the premise here. Comments that use the word “fucktarded” don’t inspire a lot of confidence in the objectivity here, but I have a thick skin.

    First, I agree with everything in the article above. Secone, it says pretty much nothing. Third, it’s bad science.

    As backgdound, I do believe in, an d have substsntially benefited from a low carb lifestyle (I’m talking 30-50g/day, not the ultra low stuff). Weight loss, more energy, substantially improved lipids, etc. And, yes, increase in calories from fat.

    To the article:

    The body uses something to cause production of something else. In this case, carbs cause insulin production. All well and good. Then you take away the something. The body becomes very good at dealing with this and becomes more efficient. It’s called adaptation. I’ve been a cardiac electrophysiologist and done experiments showing this. I’ve been a computational neuroscientist and written papers modeling this. Very common everywhere in te body.

    Now, reintroduce the something and this efficient body will, naturally, over-produce the something else. To anyone that knows biology, this is a “duh” moment. The graphs show that clearly, and tell us nothing we didn’t know.

    Now, we need to carry the study forward for some time (and 2-3 weeks is not enough) to find that it returns to the pre-removal levels. But we don’t have those data.

    What this tells me (and we all should have already known) is that if you go low-anything, and then reintroduce it, the body overreacts…then stabilizes (but we’re missing the data for this, focusing on the sensationalism of the “now” reaction).

    Hundreds of thousands of people who went on Weight Watchers, lost weight, then stopped ang gained it back could have told us this.

    What does this mean for low carb/higher fat? If you adopt that as a lifestyle, you’d better stay there. If I don’t go back to 120g carb/day I won’t have that response.

    Why would I want to do that? My health is so much better now by every measurable indicator.

    I can see how leaving a low-carb lifestyle can be detrimental to health. I’m failing to see any support for the claims (more in some of the comments than the actual article) that the low carb lifestyle, itself, is detrimental.

    I hope I”m wrong, but I expect a shitstorm of non-logic now, so this will likely be my only comment. Have at it. :)


    • LaFrite on July 9, 2014 at 01:29

      Hi Bruce,

      You said:

      “So, while it is more efficient for the body to store fat as fat, it requires the insulin, and this will be present in large quantities only in the presence of carb.”

      Actually, it is not really true. Insulin does promote storage (main anabolic hormone for glucose and amino acids) and decrease lipolysis (unlike glucagon, the opposite hormone). BUT! Fat can be stored in the absence of insulin as well ;) That’s where I have a problem with LCHF: they usually simplify the picture to insulin / carbs. Maybe it is the result of Gary Taubes’s writings ? This is in fact way more complex.

      For the fun of it, you can read this:

      As for the high protein leading to IGF-1 and ultimately cancer, I am not convinced at all. I also read (but I can’t be sure) that you have to balance the amount of amino acid types: if you only eat red meat and eggs, you will miss some other AAs that are more present in say gelatin. You have to eat gelatinous bone broth almost daily (we do it daily in our home: get a pressure cooker, gelatinous cuts and bones, and make broth in no time!). I dump potatoes, lentils and other veggies in the broth: delicious and nutritious!

      I also add hydrolisated gelatin in anything I can.

    • tatertot on July 8, 2014 at 11:47

      My only issue with low carb diets is that they are generally, by default, low prebiotic fiber diets.

      My takeaway from the whole Inuit expose is that the Inuit were eating a diet with ample prebiotic gut bug food. It came from the frozen meat, seaweed, and other plants that VS hid from us. Another takeaway for me was that using the Inuit diet as a model for a ketogenic diet is not valid.

      I think people are all different, so prescribing a set carb amount is impossible. I, personally, find my sweet spot is in the 100-150g/day range and I also try to get 20-40g/day in fermentable fibers from things like green bananas, dried plantains, legumes, potatoes, rice, tiger nuts, nuts, cocoa nibs, etc…

      I don’t see anyone really bashing the low-carb lifestyle here, or even completely ruling out ketosis for some.

    • Bruce on July 8, 2014 at 12:07

      Well, maybe I’ve misread the point here and, if so, I humbly apologize :)

      It seemed that low carb was somewhat under attack and the data presented in the article just didn’t support any downside to LCHF as a lifestyle.

      As to fiber (and I’ll admit that I know the soluble/insoluble distinction, but not much more), many low carb formulations (my own approach included), don’t “count” the fiber as carb since it (the insoluble, anyway) is not digested and doesn’t cause an insulin response. Even the response to the soluble is not great.

      So, we have no issues with fiber, but keep away from starches, so much of what you have on your list (potatoes, rice, plantains, bananas) are things that we would not eat. With that said, we do small amounts of bananas and Japanese food just calls for some rice.

      I see nothing to support that they were *not* in ketosis, just a statement that it can’t be confirmed that they were. As I’ve learned, determining ketosis is a bit more complex than just pissing on ketostix as someone who’s been in ketosis for even a short period will no longer excrete much in the way of ketone bodies as they are used for fuel and not excreted. So, even determining whether one is in ketosis or not takes some work.

      Again, I just don’t see any justification for the “Help victims of chronic VLC and LCHF dieting and spread the word.” statement at the end of the article. Lots of upside, no visible downside outlined here (unless ya stop). No victims that I can see, especially as fiber is fine in this context.


    • LaFrite on July 8, 2014 at 12:35

      Hey Bruce,

      I don’t mind LCHF, many good recipes to get inspired from. I love fat and proteins.

      My only issue with LCHF is the focus on insulin / carbs as a problem. It is not the problem that LCHF’ers should focus on. Rather they should focus on glucagon inhibition (carbs’ doing). That is why protein is “king” among macros: it promotes glucagon and slightly delays insulin. But insulin there is with proteins, and sometimes more than from carbs. The key is glucagon. Eat plenty of carbs in the evening, and you should be good to go the next without any issue living off your body fat while fasting the whole day. That’s what I do every day and i can be 48h without eating regularly without trouble at all. And yet, I am rather high carb kind of guy.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 8, 2014 at 12:38

      “Now, we need to carry the study forward for some time (and 2-3 weeks is not enough) to find that it returns to the pre-removal levels. But we don’t have those data.”

      Yes we do. In the case of the Belleview experiment their glucose tolerance returned to normal after 3-4 weeks on a normal diet. I’m sure it’s safe to assume that after the 80 hr fast the Inuit undertook that their tolerance returned to what it was on their high protein diet once they went back to it.

      Note that this isn’t as much of a bash on LC as it is on LCHF with low protein so as to induce “nutritional ketosis.” What the Inuit practiced traditionally was a LCHP diet, and I’m pointing out that it’s unjustified to use them as the primary example of the benefit of LCHF.

      Also, there are quite a number of references in the paper, so there may be more data there, given how the author characterized the work.

      I simply don’t think what amounts to a survival adaptation to starvation (to ensure glucose for brain function) makes for an optimal lifestyle diet.

    • Duck Dodgers on July 8, 2014 at 12:39

      I’m talking 30-50g/day, not the ultra low stuff

      FWIW, I believe “VLC” is classified as anything under 50g/day.

      It seemed that low carb was somewhat under attack and the data presented in the article just didn’t support any downside to LCHF as a lifestyle.

      The efficacy of LCHF is not under attack (particularly for those who need it). The only thing under attack is the dubious claim that the Inuit were supposedly an example of a ketogenic culture. The scientific literature (other than Stefansson’s travelogue, which is more of a memoir than “scientific literature”) is quite clear in that every single researcher — Tolstoi, Sinclair, Krogh & Krogh, Rabinowitch, Heinbecker, etc. — concluded that the Inuit just weren’t eating enough fat to be ketogenic.

      Furthermore, when you start to closely examine the mammals the Inuit were eating, we see that they were eating skinny/lean caribou and lots of glycogen-rich marine mammals.

      We have no issues with fiber.

      It’s not so much that you have anything against fiber. I’m sure you think it’s fine. Rather, it’s that by eliminating fermentable carbohydrates, most VLCers are barely consuming SAD levels of fiber. The fermentable carbohydrates are particularly excellent for producing SCFAs when fermented. And most indigenous cultures consumed upwards of 80-150g of fiber per day.

    • Bruce on July 8, 2014 at 12:48


      I guess we’ll have to disagree on the insulin/fat storage thing. From everything I’ve seen, that *is* the factor to worry about. Protein will cause insulin release, but nowhere near as much as carbs in most cases. Eat plenty of carbs in the evening and have it stored as fat, as all excess consumed energy will do.

      Overall, higher fat diets are *lower* in calories than those higher in protein, and definitely those higher in carbs. And this is despite the higher energy density in the fat. Why? Satiation.

      I can be satisfied on considerably fewer calories while eating more fat. Less consumed energy; less to store. And this doesn’t even take into account the carbohydrate mechanism aspect.

      As far as high protein, there are some recent studies linking high protein with higher levels of IGF-1 and, in turn, increasing cancer risk. Some of the work (particularly the one comparing it to smoking, and saying that those 50-65 are at risk while 65 and older are fine) is pure crap. Not even useful as toilet paper. Some of the other work, though, looks interesting (in a bad way). Very preliminary, still, but certainly made me think and switch to a little less protein, a little more fat.

      Other than calorie density (and satiety takes care of that), I have yet to see any *credible* negatives to a higher fat diet.


    • Richard Nikoley on July 8, 2014 at 12:49

      “I see nothing to support that they were *not* in ketosis, just a statement that it can’t be confirmed that they were. ”

      You don’t? Well that’s not scientific. Unless every person were under direct measurement at all times, you can’t.

      The linked post at the top covered three studies that did not measure sufficient ketones to be considered ketosis and I believe the third used blood measurement.

      So, three tries, three fails and the complaint is that they just aren’t looking hard enough? So the onus of proof is on everyone else because, well, they just have to must be living in ketosis?

      Not science.

    • golooraam on July 8, 2014 at 12:52

      Hi Tatertot

      forgive my ignorance, but is there an aspect to raw meat/fish that can function as a prebiotic? I have portion control issues when it comes to carbs, RS or no RS, so I was trying to find some way to up my ‘gut fuel’ so to speak
      I have introduced a lot more greens into my diet though in the form of powdered green drinks and pea shoots/arugula shoots

    • Bruce on July 8, 2014 at 12:53

      If one used a blood test, it’s more compelling (and something I should probably look at :)). Urine tests, as I pointed out, will show nothing for someone in ketosis as the ketone bodies are not excreted, they’re used for energy. That’s not a fail, that’s just a bad experiment. We have, at most, one fail, and two poor experiments. Changes the picture.

      As to your priot comment about ketosis being a response to starvation and, perhaps, not a good state to be in on an ongoing basis- that is an interesting thought. Something I had not considered and should. It’s certainly a credible hypothesis.


    • LaFrite on July 8, 2014 at 13:01

      I don’t pretend to be an expert but what I read about carbs vs fat vs proteins is this:

      – because your body tries to keep homeostatis, if you eat whatever macros, the slight excess will be “burnt” (your body temp will simply increase). But the body has a hierarchy in fuels. According to Stephan Guyenet and other people more knowledgeable than me, it goes like this:

      1- ethanol
      2- excess amino acids
      3- carbs
      4- fats

      It depends on the storage capacity of these different potential fuel.

      1- no ethanol storage possible
      2- barely any for excess amino acids
      3- some for carbs
      4- plenty for fat

      Youhave to eat a SHIT TON of carbs for the excess to be stored as fat. Usually, the fat that is stored is the fat that you ingest. However, fat is also released all the time, your fat cells store and release fat all the time, the net flux is what makes you gain or lose fat mass. The net flux depends on the hormonal environment. Glucagon promotes fat release, insluin promotes fat storage. At the end of the day, your energy expenditure will be a combo of all fuels being burnt but some more than others.

      In my case, by fasting for 20h to 22h / day, I deplete my liver glycogen, and I happen to move my butt as well, so I also burn fat (muscle energy). The carby meal in the evening replenish my liver glycogen and muscle glyco as well if I did something anaerobic (sprints, weight lifting). But to keep my bllod sugar level within range, I have secreted tons of glucagon while fasting. I’d be hypoglycemic otherwise.

      When I fast 48h / week, I introduce a slight deficit in my energy fueling. So I rely on fat the second day. But I maintain insulin sensitivity by eating carbs when I break the fast (also every day since I fast for 20h or so).

      It is of course more complex but that’s the picture I have and can offer.

    • Duck Dodgers on July 8, 2014 at 13:11

      Urine tests, as I pointed out, will show nothing for someone in ketosis as the ketone bodies are not excreted, they’re used for energy

      Hmm… But Tolstoi found acetone in the urines from Stefansson and Anderson after their year of meat. At the time, this puzzled Rabinowitch, who couldn’t find ketones in any of the Inuit he tested.

      From: A Study Of The Blood Lipoids And Blood Protein In Canadian
      Eastern Arctic Eskimos
      (1936), by Arthur Curtis Corcoran and Israel Mordecai Rabinowitch

      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 Tolstoi’s subjects 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.

      Bruce, but no researcher has ever found the Inuit to regularly have eaten enough fat to stay in a ketogenic state.

    • Bruce on July 8, 2014 at 13:11

      Simply put, this just doesn’t match anything I’ve read in the past year or so (since I started looking into this) for macronutrient metabolism. Ingested fat making one fat is buried in the SAD that we’ve had with us since the late 50s, and just doesn’t match anything I’ve read. Nor does the carbohydrate metabolic story you propose.

      Again, based on my research and personal experience.

      (By the way, I also want to retract my earlier “attitude” about what I expected to happen – from my first comment. Bad form on my part to say that in the first place. I’ve left, re-entered, and checked my attitude at the door :))


    • tatertot on July 8, 2014 at 13:14

      DuckDodgers has been talking about meat glycans for quite some time around here, but this is from freshly-killed, quickly frozen animals, particularly aquatic mammals (seals, walrus). Unless you have access to these, you will have to get your prebiotics from plant sources.

      How about these: cocoa nibs, cocoa beans, 100% dark chocolate (or close to 100%), almonds, pistachios, shiritake noodles, mushrooms, flax seeds, chia seeds, raw carrots. For supplements in your smoothie: yacon powder, glucomannan, inulin, FOS, XOS, pectin, guar gum, psyllium husk.

      Other stuff, too, these were just off the top of my head.

    • Duck Dodgers on July 8, 2014 at 13:20

      golooraam said: is there an aspect to raw meat/fish that can function as a prebiotic

      In their raw and fresh state, most of the proteins and lipids in a freshly killed animal are actually glycoproteins and glycolipids. These “glycans” are sugar molecules (often indigestible) that are foraged by bacteria (the bacteria forage on the glycosidic bonds and eat the various polysaccharides, etc.). So, glycans are prebiotics. In fact, most of the known prebiotics are actually glycans.

      Unfortunately, most of the meat we procure in the Western world is aged in order to let the meat go through rigor and a slow tenderization process. During this process, many of the glycans are foraged by bacteria in the dying meat.

      So, unless you do your own hunting, it’s very difficult to obtain freshly killed meats that are rich in glycans. The Inuit (as well as every obligate carnivore) try to eat their meats raw and fresh.

    • LaFrite on July 8, 2014 at 13:21

      “Ingested fat making one fat”

      Bruce, that’s not what I said at all. I said that the fat you eat is probably stored. But what matters is the net flux of fat release (because as I said, fat cells store and release fat all the time – the net flux depending on the hormonal environment, aka insulin vs glucagon, physical acitivity, etc).

      Fat will make you fat for sure if you eat a truck load of it and don’t burn it :D
      But same for carbs. When you eat carbs and fat together, carbs have the priority in disposing, that’s been quite studied. So in the mean while, fat is stored for sure. Doe sthat make you fat ? No, depends on how your body responds to the availability of the ingested stuff.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 8, 2014 at 13:27

      “Simply put, this just doesn’t match anything I’ve read in the past year or so (since I started looking into this) for macronutrient metabolism. Ingested fat making one fat is buried in the SAD that we’ve had with us since the late 50s, and just doesn’t match anything I’ve read. Nor does the carbohydrate metabolic story you propose.”

      Welcome to my life, 2008-2011ish. In fact, he’s right. It requires tons more metabolic energy to store carb as fat than fat as fat.

      People get fat because of excess eating and the worst combo is high carb AND high fat (enter popular junk food), with a good dose of inflammation and poor gut health. The only true metabolic advantage is pounding protein.

    • Bruce on July 8, 2014 at 13:42

      All true. (Ans apologies to LaFrite for putting words into his/her mouth).

      However, this requires insulin for the storage to happen (the simplified description I found does a good job).

      So, while it is more efficient for the body to store fat as fat, it requires the insulin, and this will be present in large quantities only in the presence of carb. So, as you say, high fat *and* hight carb (hello Krispy Kreme) is definitely the worst.

      However, high fat, low carb will not promote the storage as the fatty acids pretty much won’t be stored in the fatty tissues. This has worked not only for me, but everyone I know (granted, maybe a dozed personally known) who has gone LCHF. And not a single failure among all of them.

      I think that what you espouse is quite viable. But LCHF is very effective as well and, again, no “victims” here. There really is no one answer (although there are some things that are clearly crap :)).

      Still, some of the new links protein -> IGF-1 -> cancer cell formation/growth do have me concerned. Not enough to bypass a bacon cheeseburger (sans but). At least not yet :)


    • tatertot on July 8, 2014 at 13:55

      Many of the problems associated with high meat consumption are ameliorated by healthy populations of gut microbes. Diets high in meat and fat, but low in plant and especially low in prebiotic fiber, do not produce healthy, diverse gut microbial populations.

      Cut back on carbs if you like, but to remove nearly all carbs just to stay in ketosis for long-term weight control is certainly not the best plan of action with regard to gut health.

    • golooraam on July 8, 2014 at 14:24

      Richard can you drop a little more info on this ‘pounding protein’ part…

      or as simple as it sounds… if I want to lose fat, along with some RS (I was going to take the cacao suggestion) eat a bunch of lean meat and minimal fat?

    • Bruce on July 8, 2014 at 14:31

      100% agreement. My initial approach when I started this “cut the carbs. Period.” There was not much regard for what carbs I was eating. It did work for weight loss, in a very sustainable way.

      Really simple. Too simple. And flawed. We’ve moved toward still low to very low carb, but with emphasis on micronutrients. I still don’t know as much about gut health and the various bacteria, but I do know that vegetables and some amount of fruit are essential. Nuts as well.

      I went from about 240 to about 183. I still want to get to 170, but it’s time to factor in overall health as well and not try to over-simplify something that isn’t.


    • tatertot on July 8, 2014 at 15:06

      Bruce – I did the same thing. So have lots of people. In trying to lose the last 10, the tendency is to think, ‘100g carbs/day got me this far, 10g will get me the rest of the way’ or something to that extent. It wasn’t until I actually upped the carbs and tweaked the other macros, and eventually dialling in the fiber aspect that I could say I really got my weight under control.

      I started at 240-250 or so, and got down to the 180’s with just paleo LC. Then managed to see the 160, but found that was too low to maintain. I’ve stayed firmly in the middle of the 170’s for the past two years now with Perfect Health Diet style carbs, daily IF, and RS.

    • Richard Nikoley on July 9, 2014 at 09:43

      “Richard can you drop a little more info on this ‘pounding protein’ part…”

      Basically, anything over 1g per pound of body weight is lots of protein. 1.5g is pounding it. This is basically the Leangains protocol. About 1.5g on workout days, LF and MC. On rest days, 1.2g, MF and LC.

    • Bruce on July 9, 2014 at 10:11


      Interesting discussion, and interesting read. I agree that nothing is ever simple when it comes to biology. I’m a Ph.D. Bioengineer by training, so I’m all too aware that, no matter how complex the theory, something is missing.

      The real question is: does it matter?

      Once primary effects are accounted for (and I do see the glucagon argument in what you posted, but my money is still on insulin as the primary factor), are the secondary, tertiary, even quaternary effects relevant, even if 100% true? In the end, will real results and responses be visibly impacted by these?

      I ask because I really don’t know. But I can recount my experiences, and those of everyone I know who has done LCHF – it really does behave as if it is carbs/insulin. Very reliably.

      Of course, very high amounts of fat would get stored, even with no carb/insulin. The excess energy has to go somewhere. But, by it’s very nature LCHF is lower in calories than other diets due to simple satiety. While my fat is up quite a bit from my pre-LCHF days, overall calories are down, and I’m not hungry.

      But the studies with equal calories using LCHF and LFHC have been done, and the LCHF still promotes greater weight loss. So, even making an unrealistic comparison (because LCHF really is lower calorie), it still *looks like* carb/insulin.

      I’m not one who likes epidemiological studies as they’re invariable flawed. However, we have a 200-million person study that shows that the carb/insulin thing does seem to be phenomenologically correct, even if other (quite real) effects are ignored.

      By the way, I have read, and do very much agree with Taubes (the textbook version, not the mainstream book). *But* I started on a LC program before I had ever heard of him, and was having great success. *Then* I read him. So, my belief in him is not a fanboy response. It’s a “I already know that this works, and now I can see the science behind it” response.

      Is it complete? Hell no! Do I believe that it’s wrong and overreaches in some areas? Definitely. But I do believe the basic message because I’ve done the experiment. And I continue to do it.

      In keeping with the focus of this blog on getting back to the primal state, I’ll just say that there’s clearly more than one way to skin this animal.

      May all your pelts keep you warm.


  9. Duck Dodgers on July 8, 2014 at 12:58

    Tolstoi summarized his experiments on Stefansson and Anderson about 7 years later, in this paper about diabetes and blood sugar:

    From: Blood Sugar In Diabetes Mellitus (1936), by Edward Tolstoi

    Some years ago a group of Scandinavian observers called attention to the fact that even in normal individuals a 24 hour fast, or a high-fat-low carbohydrate diet will so alter the character of a tolerance blood sugar curve that a false diagnosis of diabetes will be made. I have had the opportunity of performing such an experiment on two men whose diet consisted of protein and fat—an exclusive meat diet. In both subjects typical diabetic curves were produced following the ingestion of 100 grams of glucose. In one of the men there was a glycosuria as well. The use of a general diet for a two week period cured this artificial diabetes as the repetition of the glucose tolerance test at the end of that time failed to reveal any abnormality. It is obvious therefore that the blood sugar is of considerable diagnostic aid in cases of glycosuria, either as a single fasting specimen or as a series of specimens after a tolerance test. In the vast majority of cases it will help establish, or rule out the diagnosis of diabetes mellitus. I also wish to lay particular emphasis on the consideration of the patient’s diet prior to the performance of a tolerance test since it plays such a significant role in the proper evaluation of the resulting blood sugar curve. Diseases of the liver may also be responsible for abnormal glucose tolerance curves and before accepting a curve as significant of diabetes one must make certain that no liver pathology is present.

    • eddie on July 9, 2014 at 11:12


      What are your thoughts on Fungus and diabetes ??? insulin ??? Fungus as a pathology issue,,, many have loss of stomach barrier– why I chat up fungus and my bacteria akkermansia

      for my family history more had type 2 and several who didnt had crohns like my self. I think the two diseases are similar. You hear me talk about fungus.. attacking this area I removed and reversed the crohns.

      Many with crohns or diabetes have high yeast antibodies as well…something I saw as well.
      I think he LC helps to start —but like you point out if on too long gut bugs switch to using fat for fuel unless you kill lower fungus–and get your bacteria up and growing to protect you.

      you have any cool links on any stuff like this..

    • Duck Dodgers on July 9, 2014 at 22:15

      Hmm… I’ll have to think that over, Eddie. I don’t have anything linking the two together in a causational effect. Sometimes people with diabetes of chrons may choose to eat a certain way (low carb?) that may contribute to fungal infections, since most aren’t getting enough fiber. So, it’s a chicken/egg situation. Hard to know which came first.

  10. Michael44 on July 9, 2014 at 21:19

    Hey Bruce.

    In the end, if it works for you then you gotta keep doing it. Of course. N=1 must rule everytime :) .

    My view is that we use biochemistry to give us possible avenues to investigate. Clues on how we should eat, but not absolutes. From what I have read (and I am not a scientist), is that the “carbs-insulin-get fat link” has been exaggerated at the very least (i.e Taubes is not the be all and end all when it comes to knowledge about fat storage. And, I know you have not said that he is, but he has been one hell of an influential player in all these diet wars).

    The elephant in the room though, as far as many people would be concerned it seems, is that we can’t find healthy hunter-gatherer populations that actually eat or ate the daily fat calories that many very low carbers eat. And now, as Richard and some of the other guys are showing, the belief in the Inuit having been in almost permanent ketosis, is now one that seems to be based on highly dubious material.

    I’ve certainly now come around to the view that moderate wholesome carb sources are healthy for some of us at least, and maybe alot of us.

    All the best.

  11. Meg on July 25, 2014 at 21:18

    I stumbled on your site and never want to leave. Fabulous information and it is helping me a TON. I need the knot to affix my bow to healing, and this may well be ‘It’. I have for want of a better description ‘Antibiotic induced toxicity’ (some call it floxing), as well as now, leaky ‘cells’ mthfr compound het 1298c and c677t. UGH. As well I believe Sibo and of course IBS. Been running about trying to heal and gotten part way, but the whole picture has not yet still, come together. I cannot ‘use’ lecithins or B vitamins, lipo C is an out for me too as well as any supplement except I can tolerate PreBiotics well, not so much pros. am hoping I can help heal myself further by using your data, since most doctors do not even believe these issues are in the realm of reality. I am an herbalist and nutritionist, and cannot thank you too much right now, These are clikcing for me and really make sense, why tis and that diet are too harsh, feed candida, feed sibo, feed brain fog etc. these are just great reads for me to connect some more dots. So, THANKS :) I want to help as many as I can heal from the monstrous epidemic called pharma induced issues that I can, and I have been working with veterans who have horrible neuro issues as well as gasp, IBS SIBO and candida too. Funny how we all have such similar issues. Sorry for the long post, but this site rocks. Waiting for more.

  12. Samantha on February 12, 2015 at 21:29

    I am a 39 year old woman, I have been generally low carb for the last 13 years, I have been somewhat over weight all my life after a serious carb over consumption in my childhood. In recent years I have found that I gain weight with any carb intake and even when I am very disciplined I cannot lose weight, this has been concerning me and my research has lead me to you, I have been taking the 3 recommended soil based probiotics with PS and have this week progressed to actual carbs (cooked and cooled potato and rice approx 400cals per day) with my recent carb addition I am feeling quite crap and am experiencing heart burn, have I wrecked my metabolism with my low carb days? How long would you expect to take until my body can handle the carbs in a proper manner? While I am adjusting to the carbs should I limit my fat intake or eat my normal high fat diet? I am eating plenty of fermented vege, milk kefir and kombucha also, I have recently had all my amalgams removed (12 in total) and am actively detoxing including coffee enemas, any advice will be appreciated, I very happy to have found your blog and feel some hope that I may one day be slim, well done to you and all you supporters. I should also mention I was diagnosed as having Lupus in my teens but have not really felt effected by it.

    • Richard Nikoley on February 13, 2015 at 07:11


      I’d suggest that you try fasting, but which I mean water only. A 2 day 48 hour to start, then once weekly for 24-30 hours.

      Works wonders for me.

  13. Joe Schaeffer on April 26, 2016 at 09:37

    Wow! Such controversy. This is my experience. (6 ft Male)

    About 1 1/2 ago I weighed 250 and a size 40/42 waist. Joined a biggest loser contest and dropped down to 216. I did a water cut at the end of the contest and gave a final weight of 211. During the contest I was doing intermittent fasting by not eating after dinner and working out in the mornings on an empty stomach, then eating at around 11am. I consumed a balanced paleo diet with alot of fruits and some veggies. My calorie intake was restricted. I was cranky and moody during this contest. Just ask my wife and kids. The process worked for me. Waist went to 34.

    I then loosened up on the diet and exercise. I jumped back up to 230 within about 3 months. I said hell no and started doing the diet and exercise thing again. Went down to 222 and stalled.

    Came across the Ketogenic diet on youtube with Peter Attia. It was captivating. I listened to Jimmy Moore’s book via audible and said why not give it a try. First try was a fail. Way too low on the carbs and I think I got Hyperketosis. To be completely honest I did vomit.

    Gave it another try and eased into it. I honestly feel great on it. I plan on doing blood work in 6 months to see the results. I’ve been on Keto for 3 weeks and my BF% dropped from 28% to 22%. I’m weighting in at 213. The process works for me. Waist is back down to 34.

    The biggest differences are that I don’t get craving that I have to fight, I’m not moody/hangry, and I have tons of energy all day long. I’m also getting more deep restful sleep. When I am eating my 50-60 grams of carbs daily I eat veggies, cacao bits, chia seeds, and fermented foods.

    Will I stay in Keto forever. Not likely. I’ll probably cycle from Paleo in the summer when my garden is popping and my hydration requirements are higher and back to Keto during the winter months.

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