Gary Taubes, Peter Attia, and NuSI: Three Strikes You’re Out

Back in the latter 2010s when we all read Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary, he had a reasonable plea: Just test it.


It was just like that. Essentially, look, ‘I’ve put my carbohydrate-insulin hypothesis out there. It needs to be tested, can we just test it, please?’

Of course, Gary was not going to get mainstream to buy in just like that. He teamed up with Peter and raised capital. I used to speak with Peter on the phone back in early days, met him for dinner once in the formative era of what would become NuSi. I think he was looking for executive positions at the time, but I never tried for one even though I had a felling I could have tried to be a part of it.

Put a suit on, again. Nostalgic. But maybe I’m projecting.

I blogged about NuSi’s troubles before:

  1. Breaking: The NuSI / Taubes Carbohydrate-Insulin Alternative Hypothesis of Obesity in Serious Trouble
  2. Will The Public NuSI Critique Take Another Turn? (Lavish Executive Compensation)
  3. How NuSI Reflects One Fable of Aesop
  4. How To Do A Real “Manhattan Project” Nutrition Science Initiative

Anyway: third strike, you’re out.

The very good Kamel Patel and Stephan Guyenet dealt with it all. But there’s really only two things to really take heart of.

Pretty much identical protein amongst the groups. Both started off profound low fat or low carb, but got regular encouragement and counseling such that they morphed during the study to low carb or low fat biases which truly did manifest in lower carb and lower fat, even though few to none stuck with the edicts at the start.

But this is the coolest graph in the whole study. Every individual, beginning with catechism low carb or low fat, and then allowed to be biased toward one or the other and this shows their individual results.

No. Fucking. Difference.

And, yet, I have already see many LC fucktards in comments in various places proclaim it’s crap, just as they always do.

It always reminds me of commies who did not actually suffer the Soviet regime over decades: “It’s not true communism.”

…It’s really all I have to say about the quotidian fucktards, anymore. They’re too stupid for me.

Stephan was more gentle, to his credit.

Look, if you are forward looking, there is zero way that ketotards or LCtards come out #winning. It’s impossible.

I made my bet about that years ago.

  1. Whole foods. cook at home mostly
  2. Target all lean proteins, upwards of a gram per day of body weight
  3. Eschew all added fats
  4. Go LC with the targeted protein, or LF, your choice
  5. NEVER do high fat and high carb together
  6. You can produce the largest and quickest weight loss gains by combining high lean protein with BOTH low fat and low carb

That’s it. 6 simple points. You can even enjoy a sugar drink Mexican Coke if you know what you’re doing. I enjoy 1 or 2 every 1 or 2 weeks.

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  1. MikeT on February 25, 2018 at 18:31

    Something missing in the headline.

  2. Cold War Tanker on February 25, 2018 at 20:52

    RICHARD. Paraphrasing, General Jack D. Ripper said it years ago:
    ” They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. I can no longer sit back and allow ketotards or LCtard infiltration, ketotards or LCtard indoctrination, ketotards or LCtard subversion and the international ketotards or LCtards conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.

  3. Estevao Borges Jorge on February 26, 2018 at 02:50

    “You can even enjoy a sugar drink Mexican Coke if you know what you’re doing. I enjoy 1 or 2 every 1 or 2 weeks.”
    How is your body fat?

    • Richard Nikoley on February 26, 2018 at 15:05

      You know what, Estavao?

      I’m just fine.

      The bigger problem is that you’re a blue-pill beta male pussy boy who missed his calling of sucking cock for a living.

      See, here’ss what a complete fucktard you are. Rather than say something like “yea, Ive seen tons of movies where lean guys and lean gals are sucking up some cola flavored sugar water sometimes and are lean, so that’s obvious falsification.”

      No, you are going to be a fucktard. So, you might as well go suck cock for a living.

      How’s your bank account?

    • Randy on March 2, 2018 at 05:32

      fucking Coke rascist!

  4. Sassysquatch on February 26, 2018 at 03:34

    Glad to see a post on diet…..which in my opinion, is what you do best. Your common sense about food and the input from your readers, changed my diet (and helth) for the better.

    • Sassysquatch on February 26, 2018 at 03:36

      Glad to see a post on diet…..which in my opinion, is what you do best. Your common sense about food and the input from your readers, changed my diet (and helth) for the better.

      I really do know how to spell……. ‘health’

  5. Bret on February 26, 2018 at 06:42

    Sigh. I wonder who is unwittingly funding this racket.

    I may have mentioned this recently, but I see many contemporaries going full keto these days, cutting carbs to lose weight, etc. It’s definitely got street cred among the plebs.

    It’s ironic, because this is what the 2012-2013 version of me wanted…for low carb dogma to be mainstream. Unfortunately, the 2012-2013 version of me didn’t know he was an idiot.

    • Dave on May 1, 2018 at 07:44

      There’s a lot of industries with invested interest in high fat. Meat, dairy, eggs are all subsidized and use their extra cash to run “meta analyses” (aka opinion pieces written by their “researchers”) to support their cause.

      And so now that these “studies” exist, paleo keto broscience bloggers run with their “findings” and confuse the general population. Next, they create high fat and protein processed products and sell hundreds of millions of dollars of this crap every year.

      It’s only going to get worse before it gets better. But since people don’t die of a heart attack immediately after eating their keto cheesecake, they just assume whatever these paleo/keto broscience gurus tell them.

  6. thhq1 on February 26, 2018 at 18:04

    Taubes is a reductionist. He thinks he has a giant sequoia instead of a sickly dogwood.

    He can’t see the forest. He just sees his one tree.

    My opinion is that the difference between the best whole food diet and the SAD is a 2 year end-of-life gain. I say that partly because of predictive models, and partly because of my dad, who lived to almost 89 eating dry cereal, sandwiches, Pringles, cookies and canned fruit every day. He outlived my grandpa by 12 years doing that, and my grandma by 20 years. So it wasn’t a fluke.

    • Marc on March 1, 2018 at 05:19

      2 year end of life gain might be true …but what about quality of “functioning” last 20 years of life!?

      I believe we have moved far past “survival” mode…..

      What’s required for a ” fulfilled”life when the basics have been met?

      IMHO, your dad LIVED and as such the fuel intake is not as important….
      Desire drives everything anyway…and that desire to be here/alive is a whole lot more powerful than some mct oil in your coffee ….

  7. cremes on February 26, 2018 at 18:21

    I eat whole foods, cook at home 6 of 7 days per week, and enjoy regular cocktails (4 days a week). I also do HeavyHands 3x per week for 30-50m sessions maintaining around 75-85% max heart rate. I’m a 45 year old white male who has exercised off and on my entire life.

    I’m in pretty good shape. I’m also 10lbs overweight. I’m 195 when I should be 185.

    Once per month I do a Potato Hack. I’ve had my air fryer for about a year now (thanks @tatertot!). I’ll do the hack for 2-7 days (heh, I’ve been trending closer to 2 days than 7 lately). My caloric intake during the hack is about 1400 calories/day. I usually lose between 2 and 7 pounds (hmmm, those numbers look familiar). This means I’m in ketosis for probably 1-5 days per hack.

    I can live this way a good, long time. Judging by the chart above (figure 2) my real goal is to be at 0 weight change over the long term. No one likes a skinny old man. :)

    • thhq on February 27, 2018 at 05:48

      At the end of his life my dad was the skinny old man. He’d been hyperactive his whole life but for the last five years he tottered around on his pencil-thin legs, and spent most of his time sitting in a chair. Hip and knee replacements would have given him another five years, but he wouldn’t do it even though he could easily have afforded them.

  8. Evan on March 6, 2018 at 20:29

    Can some of the inquisitive folks that peruse this website please read this ebook about Vitamin A being a POISON and see if you are as alarmed as I am? If this is true we have got to get the word out. Weston A Price followers are unwittingly wreaking havoc with their damn sacred cod liver oil.

    • Richard Nikoley on March 6, 2018 at 23:39

      It’s bullshit. Google Chris Masterjohn and Stephan Guyenet.

      They’ve both written a lot about it. Way back. Like, I dismissed this alarm in 2009 or so.

      Vit A is synergistic with other fat soluble vitamins, particularly D. Ergo, a vitamin D deficiency can look like an A toxicity and so on and so on.

      Eat whole food, expose your skin to sun, and relax,

    • Bret on March 7, 2018 at 03:19

      Evan, the average American diet is generally too high in Vitamin A relative to the amounts of Vitamins D and K consumed. That doesn’t make Vitamin A poisonous.

      Paul Jaminet wrote a nice chapter in Perfect Health Diet about this.

    • Evan on March 17, 2018 at 22:13

      Have a look, please. I recently went to Masterjohn’s site and read some of his stuff. The problem remains that what if it’a all based off a faulty assumption that vitamin A is even a vitamin to begin with? This author proves how botched the early studies were establishing ‘essential’ status. And it is usually confounded by the fact vitamin D and the fish oil itself are along for the ride in many studies. I don’t think this is synergy, but perhaps competitive inhibition of some sort (of which vitamin D is critical for health but vitamin A is not). John Cannell from the Vitamin D Council has also warned of vitamin A, but I don’t think he is aware of the dangers we are potentially facing here (all autoimmune diseases, Alzheimer’s, and probably many cancers and maybe obesity too as a defense mechanism to store this stuff). He has found autism responds better to vitamin D only if A is restricted.

      Retinoic acid is an early chemo drug from the 60s. It is toxic. Is Masterjohn aware of this? If we don’t reach body storage capacity, not a problem. If we do, big time issues as this same chemical spills into the body and destroys epithelial tissue.

      The Weston A Price website didn’t even post my comment asking folks to check the ebook out (it’s free). That is not a good sign. Maybe it was the link, but still (nothing for sale, so what the hell?). Last I checked, diseases rates are still going through the roof (and Sally Fallon looks like shit, I might add, so perhaps that fermented cod liver oil isn’t the holy grail after all?) despite an insane amount of nutrition advice and people exercising like mad. But what if this is a toxicity issue, not a deficiency problem? We are just making it worse loading up on things rich in vitamin A and carotenes.

      Does any of this sound familiar to many people who went paleo looking for answers to their grief?:

      Symptoms of chronic vitamin A toxicity include:
       blurry vision or other visual changes
       swelling of the bones
       bone pain
       poor appetite
       dizziness
       nausea and vomiting
       sensitivity to sunlight
       oily skin and hair
       itchy or peeling skin
       cracked fingernails
       skin cracks at the corners of your mouth
       mouth ulcers
       hair loss
       respiratory infection
       confusion
      Source 1: (NIH)
       severe headache
       nausea
       vertigo
       blurred vision
       muscle aches and lack of coordination
       followed by skin desquamation and alopecia (hair loss)
       dry skin
       cheilosis (fissures in the corners of the mouth)
       gingivitis
       muscle and joint pains
       fatigue, mental dullness

      Avoiding dairy would help, but carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, romaine lettuce, and lots of other stuff is rich in beta carotene (not to mention if people start eating liver or cod liver oil), which will not allow stores to drop. Perhaps some relief but nothing lasting? And the mysterious flare-ups? Is this a vitamin A reaction?

      Well, the author is fatigue and eczema free for three years since vitamin A avoidance. Super strict diet for total avoidance (beef and rice, mostly), which creates confounds, I realize, but still, that is worth examination. He has also raised a couple gerbils vitamin A free to prove it isn’t necessary (and is asking others to try that experiment themselves to put the nails in the coffin of the early experiments where the rats died in 10 weeks…they actually died from retinoic acid toxicity that they didn’t know how to look for back in the early 1900s).

  9. Bernard Vance on March 18, 2018 at 10:06

    I’ve tried LC, Paleo, Primal, PHD, longevity diet, and your more balanced recommendations. I’m 54, very physically active, and have struggled since my early thirties to revive the lean physique and explosive energy I had as a Marine Corps infantry officer. I finished IOC at 175 lbs with a 31″ waist and left the Corps six years later at a significantly more muscular 195 lbs and a 32″ waist. The lean muscle increase was due to six straight years of powerlifting, culminating in the ability to complete full squats with over six hundred lbs and bench presses of 405 lbs. I severely herniated my L4-L5 disc a few years ago during some extremely aggressive downhill skiing. The microdiscectomy that followed eventually led to full recovery of my previous activity levels.

    The post Marine Corps stress I experienced trying to earn a 1% income and simultaneously raise three children alone due to a wife who ultimately abandoned her very young family for a prescription opiate addiction led to adult onset mild asthma and the need for 10 mg per day of Lexapro to combat dysthymia and anxiety. None of these health problems were cured with any dietary interventions. Turning 50, despite much determined effort, I found myself weighing 222 lbs with a 36″ waist and generally feeling lousy.

    About one year ago, I discovered what was for me a previously unknown offshoot of LC/keto that is commonly referred to as zero carb/carnivore diet. The work of Dr Georgia Ede as well as the many n=1 experiences of obscure individuals such as L. Amber O’Hearn produced a paradigm shift in my understanding of plants as living organisms that do not want to be eaten.

    Twelve months later, eating nothing but animal sourced foods, I feel better than I have since my twenties. I am taking absolutely zero medications. My lung capacity has returned to non-asthmatic levels that have left my Pulmonologist absolutely dumbfounded (he stated that such a reversal is clinically impossible). I have zero depression or anxiety. My cognition is more consistently razor sharp than when I was immersed in pursuing my MS in Aeronautical Engineering (caveat-SAD intake). On a hunch, I recently repeated the Stanford-Binet that I had taken decades ago (fourth revision) and my IQ actually improved from my previous 141 to 144 (fifth revision). My intermittent lifelong battle with insomnia has been won. I’ve effortlessly given up a forty year morning coffee habit. My weight has been reduced by over forty lbs to 181, my waist is once again a svelte 32″, and I am back to a medium non-bespoke shirt. The most recent granular level blood panel my MD administered was nothing short of stellar.

    My diet literally consists solely of grass fed beef, elk and venison from my annual hunting excursions, local organic soy-free eggs (Mission Mountain brand), ghee, organic turkey and chicken legs, organically raised pork products, and occasional wild caught fish.

    I attribute my current peak health to the elimination of all dietary plant matter and eating a diet that averages 80-100 grams of protein and a substantial amount of naturally occuring fat. I do not consume supplementary ketogenic substances or micronutrients.

  10. Enrique Pasion on April 8, 2019 at 21:10

    This is a very straightforward post about how to live right and live healthy without the bells and whistles.

    Those six points are just simply awesome for living a simple healthy life. Thank you!

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