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Book Review: Lore of Nutrition

"Lore of Nutrition: Challenging Conventional Dietary Beliefs" by Tim Noakes and Marika Sboros is quite possibly the most important book about nutrition that has ever been written!

It should be required reading for all doctors, dietitians, nutritionists, and anyone who has struggled with obesity or other chronic diseases (Cancer, Type 2 diabetes, fatty liver, Alzthemiers, leaky gut, IBS, PCOS, Hashimoto's, etc...).

In a nutshell, this book tells the story of Tim Noakes, a physician, an A-1 rated scientist, and professor at the University of Cape Town who was put on trial (for his medical license) because of a tweet he shared.

A registered dietitian didn’t agree with the advice he shared, so she reported him to the local medical board (the HBCSA) in South Africa (that is where he lives).

Turns out the charges and subsequent trial wasn’t really about a tweet, but it was more a conspiracy designed to silence him because they (the dieticians, medical community, pharmaceutical companies, etc...) don't like his message.

His message, similar to that of Ketology, advocates that adopting a low carb, high fat, real food diet... is the key to lasting weight loss and optimal health.

The trial lasted over 3 years and cost a ton of money, and was nothing more than a witch hunt.

Long story short... in the end, the board found him not guilty on all charges and he was cleared. (Although the HBCSA appealed the ruling and are still waiting for a decision).

The co-author, Marika Sboros is a journalist who covered the trial. She exposed the hypocrisy and conflicts of interest of the parties who testified against Professor Noakes. 

I highlighted well over 200 passages in the book.

It is very thorough, very well researched, and every claim made in the book was backed up by evidence. They also explain how the current dietary guidelines are not based on science, but more on ideology, politics, and industry influence. 

It is such an impressive collection of thoughtfully, well-crafted arguments, and they do an excellent job backing up their viewpoints with facts and research.

Here are a few of my favorites quotes from the book:


Beliefs

  • Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own set of facts. So do not believe what you want to believe. Believe what the facts tell you is the truth.
  • The low-carbohydrate diet cannot be labeled a fad diet because William Banting described its first successful adoption in the 1860s, more than a century before the real fad diet, advocated by the 1977 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, went mainstream.

  • Industries determine what we believe about nutrition. They engineer these beliefs to increase food and beverage sales, not to protect or improve our health. In fact, most of what we have been taught is detrimental to our health.

  • What you believe about your personal nutrition will determine not just how you live, but also how you die. 

 

Insulin Resistance (IR)

  • Humans can be classified as either carbohydrate tolerant or carbohydrate intolerant (today I prefer the terms insulin sensitive and insulin resistant).
  • Insulin resistance, which I have, is the most prevalent medical condition in the world and we do not teach it in our medical schools.

  • If all the conditions attached to IR are linked to nutrition, as he believes they are, then patients don’t need drugs. Obesity, diabetes, heart disease and many other life-threatening conditions are not caused by a lack of pharmaceutical drugs, he said. ‘They are caused by too many carbohydrates in the diet. We fuel the fire with carbohydrates and try to put it out with pharmacologic drugs that don’t work.’

 

Cholesterol - Statins - Saturated Fat 

  • Sugar, not fat, is the single most toxic ingredient of the modern diet. It is also the most ubiquitous foodstuff on the planet. (Today I would add that sugar is not a foodstuff; it is a drug.) 

  • Statins are the most prescribed drug on the planet. Drug companies that make them have made billions in profits. Yet research shows that the risks of statins far outweigh the benefits.
  • The point is that your blood cholesterol concentration gives you absolutely no information about the state of your coronary arteries.

  • Cholesterol is not the unique cause of heart disease and may not even be an important factor (especially in women).
  • A low blood cholesterol concentration predicts a shorter life expectancy and increases risk for developing a range of disease.

  • Those European countries with the greatest prevalence of raised blood cholesterol concentrations have the lowest rates of cardiovascular disease mortality, disproving the lipid hypothesis.
  • There is actually no evidence that cholesterol causes heart disease.
  • There is still no published evidence showing that lowering cholesterol with a low-fat diet reduces heart-attack risk or anything else for that matter. Instead, replacing dietary saturated fat with manufactured polyunsaturated fat either has no effect or impairs health and may even increase the risk of developing cancer

  • A high-fat diet reverses all known coronary risk factors in people with IR, whereas a high-carbohydrate diet worsens those factors.

  • There is no evidence that replacing saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats improves health. In fact, they found a 22% higher risk of death for each 30 mg/dl (0.78 mmol/L) reduction in serum cholesterol.

  • The LCHF/Banting diet has consistently outperformed all other diets in the correction of the metabolic risk factors for arterial disease.

  • A greater saturated fat intake is associated with less progression of coronary atherosclerosis, whereas carbohydrate intake is associated with greater progression.

  • In the book, [The Big Fat Surprise] Teicholz analyses the last 50 years of nutrition policy in the US as it relates to dietary fat and cholesterol, and reveals how an idea about fat and health became official policy despite all the evidence contradicting it.

  • Teicholz demolishes the belief that saturated fat causes heart disease, and shows the opposite to be true.

     

Disease

  • Insulin resistance is the common condition that causes chronic diseases in those eating high-carb diets.

  • The hidden role of carbohydrates in our ill health needs to be acknowledged. Diabetes and obesity are carbohydrate-dependent diseases. All cancers are carbohydrate-dependent diseases. Dementia is a carbohydrate-dependent disease (type-III diabetes mellitus). Certain bowel disorders are carbohydrate-dependent diseases.
  • We now understand that it was the chemical extraction of polyunsaturated ‘vegetable’ oils from cotton, soy, sunflower and safflower seeds that produced trans fats, which increased the risk of heart disease and perhaps cancer.

  • Those treatment protocols are based on the pharmaceutical model of disease. They demonstrably do not work, as global epidemics of all those conditions have shown. They have worked only to fill the coffers of the drug-makers.

  • Modern studies show that there is no relationship between the amount of fat, including saturated fat, eaten in different countries and their respective rates of coronary heart disease. In contrast, the intake of polyunsaturated fat is directly related to CHD rates.

  • The undisputed finding of our paper is the fact that the highest CVD [cardiovascular disease] prevalence can be found in countries with the highest carbohydrate consumption whereas the lowest CVD prevalence is typical of countries with the highest intake of fat and protein.

  • Low blood cholesterol concentrations are associated with a range of adverse health outcomes, including a shorter life expectancy and a greater risk of developing cancer and probably dementia

  • Without exception, his studies showed that removing carbohydrates from the diet uniformly improved all measures of health in those with IR and metabolic syndrome.

  • In other words, a low-fat diet actually increases the risk of fatal heart disease.

      

Industry Influence

  • Former Big Pharma insider Peter Gøtzsche writes: ‘The pharmaceutical industry does not sell drugs. It sells lies about drugs".
  • If a low-carbohydrate intake is more healthy than we expect, then why is that fact hidden? The answer is that some very large industries, including the soft-drink, sugar and confectionery industries (all of which produce high-carbohydrate products with minimal nutritional value) do not want us to know this.

  • Those who refuse to state that the monopoly of companies responsible for the toxic modern food environment are the primary drivers of ill health, confirm that they have no interest in our health.

  • Those in positions of power and influence over public nutrition advice had either ignored or suppressed this evidence.

  • I started to question whether much of what my professors at medical school had taught me as incontrovertible nutrition truths were, in fact, no more than myths – lies, even.

  • "Human health depends above all on sound nutrition; sound nutrition means growing food and using it in accordance with nature’s laws; of all foods made 'unnatural' by industrial processing, the commonest are refined sugar, refined flour, and certain processed vegetable oils. I know of no research that refutes this simple concept." – Dr. Walter Yellowlees, A Doctor in the Wilderness

     

Weight Loss

  • My point is that it is possible to eat fewer calories and not be hungry, provided the calorie-restricted diet is also high in fat.
  • The simple explanation is that carbohydrates make us hungry, whereas fats and proteins satiate.

  • Unless the diet takes away hunger it will not produce the change in lifestyle necessary to sustain weight loss,’ Noakes told Health-e News. ‘Low-carb (diets) take away hunger in a way that no other diet does, that’s why it is the easiest diet to follow and the most effective.

  • In trying to argue that the LCHF eating plan causes weight gain, they inadvertently admitted that carbohydrates cause obesity. By some convoluted (il)logic, their argument – that the moment you stop eating LCHF (which successfully produces weight loss) and reintroduce carbohydrates, you regain all the lost weight, and then some – is meant to cast the LCHF diet as the cause of weight gain, not the reintroduced carbohydrates. But what we should actually deduce is that to avoid weight gain, humans should limit the amount of carbohydrates they eat (for life), exactly as the LCHF eating plan advocates.

  • Their problem is that millions of formerly obese or overweight people have now discovered that there is a simple solution to their weight issues: eat fewer carbs and no sugar, stop eating addictively, lose the feeling of hunger and watch the weight fall off. There is nothing complex about it.

  • Finally, the influence of fat and protein on satiety is never mentioned. The body is a complex organism with a brain that directs what we eat and how much. The brainless calories in/calories out model of obesity ignores the fact that nutrient-poor, high carbohydrate diets do not satiate hunger and lead to the overconsumption of calories in very many.

  • Humans have absolutely no essential requirement for carbohydrate. There is no human disease caused by carbohydrate deficiency. Carbohydrate in the body serves only 2 functions – it is either used as a source of energy or it is stored as fat. There is no other option.

  • In his evidence, he presented research to show that ketosis is a natural, benign state. He called it possibly ‘the healthiest state there is’.

  • In fact, a well-formulated LCHF diet provides even better nutrients and more fiber than a mainstream low-fat diet.’

      

Politics/Policies

  • However, because the low-fat diet is the most likely cause of the obesity/T2DM epidemic, it is difficult, if not impossible, for those who have advocated this fallacy for the past 40 years to suddenly find the courage to acknowledge and apologize for their gross error.
  • Current dietary guidelines based on lipophobia are not evidence-based and are harmful. Adoption of the 1977 Dietary Guidelines for Americans caused the global epidemic of obesity and diabetes after 1980. This can be explained by exposing those with IR to inappropriately high carbohydrate intakes. Carbohydrate-rich diets are the cause of a wide range of modern chronic diseases of lifestyle.

  • The medical profession has never encouraged people with lactose intolerance to ingest milk; those with gluten or peanut intolerance to ingest wheat or peanuts, or those with alcoholism to keep drinking alcohol. Yet somehow this common-sense rule seemingly does not apply to the treatment of diabetes.

  • Instead, it followed the decision by President Richard Nixon in 1972 that in order to win re-election, he needed to reduce the cost of food and improve the wealth of US farmers. To achieve this, he appointed Earl Butz as his secretary of agriculture. Butz’s solution was to reward farmers in the Midwest so that they would produce wheat, maize, and soy in ‘industrial’ amounts. As a result, US grain production increased dramatically to the point where, today, the US no longer has any reserve storage capacity for its grain surplus. Having industrialized the production of these grains, the next challenge faced by US politicians was how to sell this relatively cheap product not just to Americans, but also to the rest of the world. The solution was the 1977 US dietary guidelines, which demonized the high-fat foods that had allowed humans to become human, and romanticised the high-grain (poor people’s) diet that, as I have shown, so damaged the health of the Egyptians and the poorest people on the Indian and African continents. 

  • The US dietary guidelines no longer include any official language about limiting total fat intake, and in the latest guidelines, cholesterol is ‘no longer a nutrient of concern’. 

  • The mainstream dietary advice that we are currently giving to the world has simply not worked. Instead, it is the opinion of the speakers at this summit that this incorrect nutritional advice is the immediate cause of the global obesity and diabetes epidemics. This advice has failed because it completely ignores the history of why and how human nutrition has developed over the past three million years. More importantly, it refuses to acknowledge the presence of insulin resistance (carbohydrate intolerance) as the single most prevalent biological state in modern humans. Persons with insulin resistance are at an increased risk of developing a wide range of chronic medical conditions if they ingest a high carbohydrate diet for any length of time (decades).
  • In summary, Ramdass submitted that ‘conventional’ dietary advice: is based on poor or non-existent science; has no scientific validity; is the antithesis of what is good; has contributed to the diabetes and obesity epidemics; is disease-causing rather than disease-preventing, and requires moving from the conventional towards a new conventional.

      



Key takeaways:

  • You're entitled to your own beliefs about nutrition, but you are not immune to the facts as they relate to human biology and physiology. 
  • Many people suffer from insulin resistance (carbohydrate intolerance) and don’t even know it. Signs that you may be insulin resistant:

    • Blood pressure over 135/85
    • Blood glucose, A1c above 5.7mmol
    • High Triglycerides (over 150mg/dL)
    • Low HDL cholesterol (under 40 mg/dL)
    • High visceral fat. If your waist circumference is more than 55% of your height
  • Insulin resistance is the underlying condition that leads to obesity, Type 2 diabetes, fatty liver, many cancers and Alzheimer's.

  • Where the calories come from is more important than the number of calories consumed when it comes to fat storage and fat burning.
  • Statins do more harm than good in most patients.

  • High cholesterol is not linked to heart disease in any way.

  • Saturated fat is perfectly healthy and it's actually good for you.

  • Processed vegetable oils, the ones we were told were healthy, are actually toxic and not fit for human consumption. 
  • Sugar and grains and the real culprits behind the obesity epidemic and many chronic diseases.

  • A low carb lifestyle is the key to lasting weight loss for those of us who are insulin resistant.

  • If you want to lose weight, gain energy and improve your health:
    • Stop eating sugar
    • Stop eating grains
    • Stop consuming processed vegetable oils
  • Big business, the government and many in the medical community have no interest in your health. Profits are the number 1 motive behind the dietary advice.

If you are interested in the truth about nutrition, and how your life (and death) can be affected by what you eat… this book is a must-read.

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