Oh Myyy; Prof Tim Noakes Really Exposes Facepalm Ignorance

I wrote this on FB:

I’ll say it, gladly: Professor Tim Noaks is an ignoramus. There. Actually, that’s rather kind because the only other option would be to call him a liar. He can take refuge in ignorance, though.

It was in reference to this piece of outrageous, preposterous nonsense for the benefit of VLC and Ketogenic sycophants, I surmise: Low Carb Foods: Can you eat potatoes and sweet potatoes on the LCHF diet?

…Here’s an initial clue. When you see “can you” in the title or lede of a piece, I advise you to dismiss it instantly. It’s seeking to replace your authority over your own self with that of someone else’s. Bonus points if they preface their name with a title, like, Professor, always capitalized. “Just take my word for it,” is what that means.

Here’s the money quote:

But potatoes have no nutritional value at all and they should be cut out of the diet completely.


Potatoes are a real problem because they are just glucose. You might as well just go and buy a bag of glucose from the pharmacist and eat that, because that’s the same effect biologically. Your brain and your body doesn’t know whether you just had a bag of glucose or had a potato. The response is the same: you have a huge glucose spike in your bloodstream and a huge insulin spike. [I first saw that “bag of glucose” meme from Art DeVany in 2008 – Ed]

Uh, no, you don’t. Not even Inuit in 1928, 1936, or 1972—but only once they were fasted for significant time such that NORMAL glucose sensitivity went to hell in a handbasket and they were riddled with the Holy Grail of human metabolic “flexibility:” physiological insulin resistance. Go ahead, Noaks, come down from your cloistered Ivory Tower and read your betters. There’s more here, too.

Otherwise, VLC and ketogenic are just like a long fast, only chronic. And what’s more, how convenient it is: they’ll get the huge spikes you predict, and they’ll sit at your feet in worship because just as you predicted, potatoes “give them diabetes.” And they know this because they saw a number on a meter that scared the shit out of them, confirming your ignorant bias for you.

…Someone wrote a comment on FB that Noaks sounded like he’s taking to 3rd graders. You know what? That was totally fine in 2008 or 9; we were, many of us. But now, those of us who haven’t been held back in grades—like the Atkins worshipping VLC and ketogenic crowds—are now about High School Freshmen. For us, we’re just beginning to learn and integrate and apply new stuff and understanding from a fresh, more widely integrated human evolutionarily perspective. Totally rad, man! We don’t bemoan the ignorance of our youth. Quite the contrary, just like I have fond memories of truly believing in Santa Claus.

How about fact checking the Professor? Well, it so happens I have a chart that compares nutrition across 17 or 18 nutrients. And indeed, potatoes come in under something like red meat. On the other hand, fat is pretty vapid in terms of micronutrients (pretty much fatty acids) and it’s pretty tough to eat, i.e., chew, above about 30% protein consistently (try it, I have). Non-starchy vegetables are pretty much water, fiber, and micronutients. What’s left? Starch.

I’ll bet you that the Professor is deficient on latest research, as Professors are prone to be. It’s so easy, once you are a Professor, to rest on laurels for decades, expecting flowers and tears at your grave 60 years later.

“Tigernuts” – A Nutty Tuber or Tubery Nut?

Significant info in that post Noaks is ignorant of, but here’s the fact check:


Oh, Myyy. What a fucking liar for effect. Why? Professor. “Don’t Look!”

Does that look like “no nutritional value at all?” Moreover, Irish lived on them for decades. More, moreover, some peoples in PNG still do—and all Blue Zone peoples eat legumes…every single one. Potatoes have a complete essential amino acid profile, though minimal, macro wise. Perhaps total protein isn’t such a huge deal?

Oh, did you notice the Tiger “nuts.” It’s a misnomer. They’re actually a tuber as well, and if you average out the nutrition, it exceeds red meat. Morover, its macronutrient profile is almost identical to human breast milk.

Dismiss “Proferssor” fucktards who simply keep professing what they’re used and comfortable with professing. That’s all I have to say for the moment.

…I’m so tired of this entrenched, no knowledge ever changes or evolves, bullshit, and I am fucking sick to death of the very, very false VLC mythology.

That is all.

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  1. Mart on August 11, 2014 at 09:28

    does anyone know the resistant starch content of tiger nuts? Also, can their RS content be increased by cooking and cooling?

  2. doGnuts on August 10, 2014 at 21:20

    Laf! Professor! These guys used to have a quasi-monopoly on knowledge and information in the days it was hard to access. But dude, with Google and little bit of inquisitiveness, these guys have got nowhere to hide!

  3. LeonRover on August 10, 2014 at 22:23

    Ol’ Mikey Eades and R Dee Feinmann are very big on the “just a bag o’ glucose” meme as well.

    “Bluuue Zooones” to the tune of


  4. Annamalia on August 10, 2014 at 22:38

    To actually listen to him, I’d have to be so piss drunk. I heard alcohol gives you infinite patience for stupidity. Or in my case the boost to throw heavy things at him while he’s talking.

  5. Henk on August 11, 2014 at 04:47

    Professor = another word for indoctrinated

  6. Cathy on August 11, 2014 at 08:36

    This is off topic but yesterday I had brunch at a place near my home. The buffet began with grits and ended with prime rib!! I partook of the grits and had a “second meal” effect happen. Are grits like lentils and good for our guts or at least give the second meal effect?

  7. OldTech on August 11, 2014 at 12:31

    I have bought into feed the animal message by experimenting with RS (Bob’s Red Mill Potato Starch). So far RS seems to have improved my colon health (I am regular for the first time in 9 months) and seems to be helping to manage my blood glucose. Before taking RS I tried to keep my postprandial BG under 100 mg/dl and had trouble even managing that for a day. Now after taking RS I have been under 100 mg/dl for 22 of the last 30 days and the other 8 were all less than 110 mg/dl.

    I have type II diabetes and as such I am really carb sensitive. I do agree that I am physiological insulin resistance because I am eating very low carb to control my blood glucose, but that is really OK with me so long as I have an almost normal HbA1c of 4.7%.

    It would be nice if I could become less carb intolerant, but unless I can get the beta cells in my pancreas to produce more insulin I don’t expect significant improvement. I do however see an outside chance of being able to create more new beta cells if I can keep my BG under 100 mg/dl. Note that the number 100 mg/dl is important because that is BG level that starts to cause beta cell necrosis via glucose toxicity. This goes a long way to help explain why type II diabetes is a progressive disease.

    So for me, at least for now, a potato is just a ‘bag of glucose”. And based on my data it looks like my RS BG improvement is only around 7 mg/dl so that is nowhere near enough improvement to allow me to eat a baked potato and still have a normal* BG.

    *Normal is not a good term. A better term would be optimal. I believe that an optimal HbA1c is in the 4.2-4.6% and that an optimal BG is around 83 mg/dl with little variation. Any reading over 100 mg/dl is damaging at least to the beta cells and any reading over 140 mg/dl causes damage leading to diabetic complications.

    • marie on August 12, 2014 at 04:37

      for effects of RS ingestion and consequent SCFA production on beta-cell protection, you may want to follow any results that will come out of this study : http://www.bbsrc.ac.uk/pa/grants/AwardDetails.aspx?FundingReference=BB/L025418/1

      Meanwhile, maybe this encourages you : improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity are actually significant with RS (eg. in one study human study at 33% and 44% resp.) and are greater than just the immediate post-prandial effect (which you’ve mentioned was not strong enough in your case) :
      eg. (human study) :
      There are more such studies looking at different possible mechanisms.

      More cause for optimism : one mechanism from various studies is that RS improves glucose control via a glucagon and or SCFA mediated increase in beta cell mass (so would seem to go beyond beta cell protection).

      In fact in this study (on rats, I know…) it’s shown to do just that and also have a glucose control effect in ‘the kids’ (say what?) :

      cheerleading all done for the day ;-)

    • OldTech on August 12, 2014 at 10:08


      Thanks for the links.

      Rats were also mention in the life cycle of beta cells and in glucose toxicity studies. Unfortunately it seems that humans and rats differ in both their beta cell life cycles and in response to BG concentrations.

      And I should make clear that I consider 7 mg/dl significant for me in that it is helping to keep my BG under 100 mg/dl.

  8. OldTech on August 11, 2014 at 13:11

    “I do however see an outside chance of being able to create more new beta cells if I can keep my BG under 100 mg/dl.”

    I had been meaning to checkout the life cycle of beta cells. Now that I have it appears that after age 20 humans create very few new beta cells. So I was way too optimistic above. It seem that the best that I can do is to prevent additional loss.

  9. marie on August 12, 2014 at 03:51

    Red pen (maybe) : “All Blue zones peoples eat legumes…” – tubers?

    One more, no maybe about it (you’ll like) :
    “Otherwise, VLC and Ketogenic are just like a long fast, only chronic.” – Not just like.

    There’s the digestion part.
    For example: you don’t digest your own fat but you do have to digest ingested fat in large quantities and chronically to maintain ketosis in a fed state. At the least.

    Nutritional ketosis is not the same physiological state as starvation ketosis, not enzymatically and not hormonally.

    That said, nutritional ketosis can have some important uses.

    “Professors…”? Sigh.
    bisous toujours, quand même :-)

    • Duck Dodgers on August 12, 2014 at 21:07

      Red pen (maybe) : “All Blue zones peoples eat legumes…” – tubers?

      Soy is technically a legume, so that takes care of Okinawa. The rest of the Blue Zones (Sardinia, Italy; Loma Linda, California; Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica; Icaria, Greece) all consumed various legumes.


    • marie on August 12, 2014 at 21:40

      Duck Dodgers, no argument there and I’m partial to legumes myself, but I thought it was a typo of sorts since talking about Potatoes.
      The ‘maybe’ was because it could have been a disconnected example to make a point about general ‘starch’ consumption (which easily happens when you’re cutting and pasting/editing).

  10. Duck Dodgers on August 12, 2014 at 20:51

    The whole “bag of glucose” argument is just a scare tactic for morons who can’t take a minute to think about how potatoes are normally eaten. Nobody eats a plain cooked potato on its own. Cooked potatoes are virtually always consumed in the context of a meal — with additional fat/protein. And that’s what these VLC morons don’t seem to comprehend.

    Fat And Glycemic Index: The Myth Of “Complex Carbohydrates”

    This article started when I asked a simple question: “Why do flour tortillas have such a low glycemic index?”

    The humble flour tortilla tops any list of low glycemic index grain products, with a GI of only 30. Yet whole-wheat bread has a GI of 71! (Source.)

    Why is that?


    So what’s the real story behind glycemic index? Why do we digest some ‘carbohydrates’ (sugars) so much more slowly than others? And how does a flour tortilla top the list?

    Answer: it’s the fat.

    * Mexican flour tortillas have a GI of 30, whereas American whole wheat bread has a GI of 72. Remember, you need plenty of lard (or, at least, grain oil) to make a nice, flat, chewy tortilla.

    * A plain French baguette has a sky-high glycemic index of 95: spread some butter and jam on it, and the GI declines to 65.

    * Cooked white rice has 0.2% fat and a GI of 64; a meal of white boiled rice, grilled hamburger, cheese, and butter has a GI of 24.

    * A Pizza Hut Super Supreme pizza (13.2% fat) has a GI of 30, whereas a Vegetarian Supreme (7.8% fat) has a GI of 49.

    This is common sense once we think about it for a minute. As anyone who’s taken a freshman nutrition class can tell you, fat inhibits gastric emptying and slows digestion.

    Gee whiz. Now the big secret is out why those little pats of butter always show up with the bread basket… or on top of your potatoes.

    Tiger nuts, which are said to be safe for diabetics, don’t need added fat because they already come out of the ground with a good amount of fat in the tubers (and it’s rather similar to the human milk macronutrient profile).

    • LaFrite on August 13, 2014 at 01:05

      “Nobody eats a plain cooked potato on its own”

      Haha, some do, on the potato hack diet :D

    • OldTech on August 13, 2014 at 08:41

      Before I was diagnosed with type II diabetes, I was really impressed with the glycemic index. It seemed to make a lot of sense.

      So after I was diagnosed I first tried the glycemic index diet to control my blood glucose. It just did not work. Even eating a half an apple with a low glycemic index caused my BG to spike to over 200 mg/dl. Other foods low on the glycemic index caused similar spikes. People with diabetes are carb intolerant and the glycemic index does not fix that.

      What did work for me was the Atkins induction diet and it worked by restricting carbs. I no longer follow Atkins guidelines, but I continue to restrict carbs. I can’t speak for all diabetics, but I see very little use of the glycemic index or the glycemic load by diabetics. It is all about carbs because that is what will raise our BG.

      While I focus on carbs that dose not mean that carb counts are sufficient. For new foods I always use my meter to test postprandial. Only after it passes that test do I add it to my allowed foods. And remember my test is very strict. I don’t want to see a spike of more than few mg/dl and I always want to be below 100 mg/dl.

    • Duck Dodgers on August 13, 2014 at 16:57

      some do, on the potato hack diet

      Touché. Gotta love that second meal effect. :)

    • GTR on August 15, 2014 at 14:04

      But fat + carbs is a fatteing combinations. Opposite do protein + fiber + water which is a thinning combination. In a context of a meal you probalby have these all – a fattening part, plus thinnig part on various proportions; but thinking that fat + carbs is a good combination just because of a single indicator like a “glycemic index” may not lead to good effects.

      Besides high-GI carbs can be used in a structural way for your advantage. An example program like Carb Backloading first depletes muscle glycogen stores by excercise, then uses a burst of high-GI carbs to prevent typical VLC negative effects of thyroid problems; as well as to replete glycogen stores at the same time.

  11. LCHF_Graham on August 12, 2014 at 13:11

    I hate to be on the brunt of Mr. Nikoley’s temper but I have to comment.

    Richard said: “I’m so tired of this entrenched, no knowledge ever changes or evolves, bullshit. . .”

    Sorry Mr. Nikoley I’m afraid you’d flunk any class on epistemology or the philosophy of science with the implication that all knowledge must evolve (seemingly form via your very cod version of the Hegelian dialectic).

    For example, the atomic number of oxygen is 8 . Another example, the Avogadro constant (the the number of constituent particles (usually atoms or molecules) per mole of a given substance) is 6.02214129(27)×1023 mol−1.

    Now those are both invariances (or extremely strong regularities) within the world as discovered by scientific activity. As such they are part of the objective structure of the world discovered by humans. No-one can see any possible evidence of how, say the periodic table, would be overturned or radically altered.

    Some philosopher’s call such apparently unchangeable aspects of the objective world – as revealed by science – aletheia.

    As similar form of aletheia is that natural selection is the most casually important factor in the evolution of all life forms.

    And one indisputable invariance of the world is that starch is a carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined by glycosidic bonds.

    Now Mr. Nikoley you can consume as much potato salad, mash potato, fries and chips etc., as you wish. Frankly no-one really cares what you do eat or want to eat. In the grand scheme of things your dietary choices are simply utter trivia (despite what you ego might say otherwise).

    However, the kindergarten approach you employ to matters in epistemology (and by extension ontology) is perhaps unfortunate.

    To say, in general terms, that starch is effectively glucose (with regard to biochemistry, physiology and diet) is entirely appropriate. To suggest otherwise is genuinely whacky or simply disingenuous.

    And yes I know forms of resistant starch exist. But that’s not what anyone is talking about in the starch equal glucose meme.

    • Jeff Johnson on August 12, 2014 at 23:33

      Billy Graham ?

      If you want to criticise Richard – just call him an a– an be done with it –

      You certainly didn’t discover the periodic table or anything else – so stop throwing useless facts around like it means something in the grand scheme of things –

      There is no philosophy of science -philosophy of any sort is crap – people who indulge in it are way dummer than they could ever be made to understand –

      Science is simply understanding information – nothing more

      It’s not what a potato is made of that is of import – it’s what it does and how it does it –
      Arguing about starch-glocose or other chemical elements of such will never answer this question –

      I happen to care what Richard eats and why he eats it – which amounts to research in action –

      which is way better than your senseless diatribe about mostly nothing

    • rick on August 13, 2014 at 08:38

      Graham,… you ignorant slut.
      First, Nikoley never said that ALL knowledge must evolve.

      Second, nobody said that starch isn’t glucose.

      What he said was- a potato isn’t just starch.

    • Richard Nikoley on August 13, 2014 at 09:15


      That pretty much signals the intransigence that would make any reply beyond this brief one an utter waste of time.

    • Jeff Johnson on August 29, 2014 at 02:25


      Graham – I’d like comment on my own post(comment) – Iv’e noticed how mean everyone is to you and therefore it becomes me to tread a different path – there were some interesting things in your comment – ‘althia’ (I’ll have to look up it’s meaning ) –

      But – thats an aside – I’d just like to make any ammends if needed for being mean to you – it bothers me –

      So – please – forgive me

  12. LCHF_Graham on August 12, 2014 at 13:12

    *from or via* typo

  13. Michael44 on August 12, 2014 at 19:33

    Graham, you said –

    “To say, in general terms, that starch is effectively glucose (with regard to biochemistry, physiology and diet) is entirely appropriate. To suggest otherwise is genuinely whacky or simply disingenuous.”

    But Graham, that’s not what prof noakes actually said. This is what Prof Noakes actually said –

    “Potatoes are a real problem because they are just glucose. You might as well just go and buy a bag of glucose from the pharmacist and eat that, because that’s the same effect biologically. Your brain and your body doesn’t know whether you just had a bag of glucose or had a potato. The response is the same: you have a huge glucose spike in your bloodstream and a huge insulin spike.”

    Prof Noakes was not equating starch to glucose as you have suggested; he was equating POTATOES to glucose! He was basically implying that potatoes are of no better nutritional value than glucose.

  14. LeonRover on August 13, 2014 at 10:08


    The starch equals glucose meme is regularly by those who refuse to accept that Kitava’s population sample which shows no metabolic problemsIS one example which shows


    In Science as opposed to scienz, one counter-example is enough reject an hypothesis.


  15. GTR on August 16, 2014 at 13:48

    This reminds me of Jonathan Bailor who got into some big public outcry for scaremongering against potatoes and among other, and concentrated starch in general. Was mistook for being an LC guru, despite his diet being equal on macronutritients (1/3 each); because of using some negative propaganda against starch sources.

    Examples of critiques:

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