What I learned was wrong

From the time I was young, I remember my dad one day talking to me about weight loss.  I might have been 12, and I was coming home from my grandmom’s house.  He started to tell me about calories and how calories and your body was like a wood burning stove.

I learned from a very young age that 3500 calories was a pound.  I also learned calorie math far younger than people should know this.

You are told, “adults eat 1800-2000 calories a day”.  This was the RDA recommendation, I remember it vividly.  Only it was wrong.  Most adults have a Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) something like 10-15 times what their weight is, based on their amount of muscle, fat, etc.  So if I was a 200 pound body builder who had tons of muscle, my MBR might be 2700 calories.  If I was a chubby skinny person at 190, maybe my BMR was 1800.  This is NOT equal to “total daily energy expenditure”, or TDEE.  This is your BMR plus all of your other caloric activity like washing clothing, walking to your parking spot, shoveling snow, eating, etc.  The BMR just keeps the lights on, period.

So why growing up did they tell people to eat 1800-2000 calories when it was clear that really fit people could easily burn 3000-4000 calories per day?

I’m a big fan of a writer named Gary Taubes.   He is a relentless researcher that has exposed that “food science” has essentially been a load of shit for a lot of years.  Everything we have been taught – has been a lie.  Influential people were able to craft policy not based on double-blind experiments, but off of some really flimsy evidence as well as input from important industry officials.  These people have profited from your poor health.

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Low fat

I remember growing up and my parents were told to put us on lowfat milk.  So, we always had this shitty 1% milk for our cereal in the morning.  I’d be STARVING by 10AM.  I’d mow down whatever lunch I had – usually a cheese sandwich with mayo on two pieces of bread, a “red delicious apple” (that wasn’t delicious), maybe some chips, and maybe a banana.  Oh – and lowfat yogurt as well.  I’d be STARVING for dinner and fire down a big ass plate of spaghetti.  I was eating low fat, yet getting fatter by the day.

My brother and I still have nightmares over “fat free” American cheese.  Whatever the hell that is.

In the 80s, we all learned “the truth” – that fat kills you.  You all need to eat “low fat”.  You must eat 6-11 servings a day of cereals, grains, pastas, breads, etc.  This is what we were all told.

Food pyramid

In 1961, the American Heart Association decided to link saturated fat to heart disease.  The only problem was, there was no double-blind study to prove it.  This essentially promoted “heart healthy” grains and vegetable oils.  Later, when they went back and did a double blind study, they were horrified by the results.  Not only did they find that there was no difference between the high saturated fat and low saturated fat for heart disease, but they did find that for some reason the low fat group had alarmingly high cancer rates.  They never found out the cause to it.  So, the diet they are recommending to everyone not only didn’t provide any heart-healthy benefits over high saturated fats, but they found a side effect of the low saturated fat diets was colorectal cancer.

Let’s let Nina Teicholz explain here.

The beginnings of this go back to when Eisenhower had a heart attack when in office.  The American public wanted answers.  Nevermind him and millions of other people smoked, they wanted real answers.

They also got their answer with Ancel Keys with something called the Seven Countries study.  This study purported that there was a direct correlation between saturated fat intake and heart disease.  The line looks like a lot of fun.  The problem with the line is that they are missing 15 countries.  What they didn’t take into account on their pretty line are populations like the inuit, who had extremely high saturated fat intake but no incidents of heart disease

 

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They had no explanation for this, so it was left off of the charts.  Let that sink in – the scientific rigor of this was astounding.   This is also an epidemiological study which was published in 1970.  These types of studies are used to find associations, so you can THEN create the hypothesis to test.  This study, instead, was used as conclusive evidence to create a hypothesis that cholesterol causes heart disease.   But isn’t it fact?  No, it’s a hypothesis.  Let me explain what researches have been finding over the last 10 years.  Cholesterol is a firefighter that is patching up your arteries.  Think of your house on fire.  Firefighters come and put the fire out with water.  You blame the firefighters for the fire.  They didn’t cause the fire, they were dispatched to assist due to a fire.

The same is true with your body.  Your body makes 10 times more cholesterol than you take in with the diet.  So – this “fire” in your body is inflammation, and it’s the root of a lot of your problems.

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So – in the 80s and 90s, we avoided eggs like the plague.  Everything above what I mentioned with the low fat yogurt, 1% fat milk, fat free everything invaded our houses.

Later, studies like this were used to create our food pyramid.  I want you to process this thought – if you want to sell a medication to the public, perhaps boner pills, you have to go through years of testing to ensure this drug is safe for the public.  But you can just whip together a food pyramid and make it the official recommendation of the government without any studies at all?  Surely, there could be no ill side effects of this.

Food-Pyramid

Well….funny you should mention.

Gary Taubes, in his book “The Case Against Sugar” outlines how 120+ years ago, diabetes was a pretty rare disease.  He also mentioned how cancer affected 1 in 30.  Today, something like 1 in 7 is diabetic or pre-diabetic and 1 in 3 are affected by cancer.

So let’s recap, so far:

  • My whole life growing up, I heard human adults should eat 1800-2000 calories
  • The food pyramid told us to eat lots of grains, breads, pastas, cereals
  • We all ate low fat foods.  When you take the fat out, it tastes like dog poo, so they added sugar
  • People continued to get much fatter after the introduction of the food pyramid
  • We were all told obesity causes type 2 diabetes.  Yet how are there 150 million type 2 diabetic who are not obese?
  • Calories in = calories out.  It doesn’t matter what those calories are made of, you have to do the math.  If you are gaining weight, it’s because you are too weak or to lazy or too stupid to count calories correctly.

 

The problem is – all of the items above are not true.

Some things to consider:

  • No one ever tested the food pyramid for effectiveness, only your ability to follow it
  • The AHA tested the fat hypothesis, and not only didn’t they find any difference in heart disease, but the low fat diet found a significant side effect of cancers.
  • The basis for a lot of food policy was taken from the “seven countries study” which has been shown to be inaccurate, at best, and 100% wrong, at worst.  Populations that had high fat intake had zero heart disease.  This could not be explained, so the scientists ignored it.