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Evidence that Taubes and Lustig are both wrong!!!

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  • Evidence that Taubes and Lustig are both wrong!!!

    It amazes me how people takes the words of Taubes and Lustig without question, whilst both their advice will lead to dramatic weight loss their bottom line message are easily disproved.

    First Taubes....how can he attribute obesity to carbohydrates when bread and potatoes have been the staples of European diets for centuries with no obesity until the last 100 years? Not to mention the Kitavan study but that is so much of a cliché now that I cringe even bringing it up. A clear example of this is the Irish Potato Famine, the country was so dependent on the potato that half the population even died or emigrated, I challenge anybody to find any reference to obesity in Ireland at this time or at any time before. It is very clear that Taubes theory is incorrect.

    Now onto Lustig, whilst he is correct to single out sugar in the obesity epidemic, it is not via the mechanism he champions. I am very surprised the Paleo masses haven't latched onto this....Lustig claims the fructose in sugar causes fatty liver, which causes hepatic insulin resistance, which causes elevated insulin levels all over the body and that insulin blocks leptin in the brain as they share the same receptor. All very believable, I for a while believed this as it was the most viable theory I knew of. Then one day I decided to test the theory, I started to look for a drug which resolved fatty liver...if it cleared up the fatty liver, improved insulin sensitivity and caused weight loss then that would be proof to me that Lustig was right. However this was not the case, I came across a nutrient that disproves Lustig beyond all doubt, that nutrient is Choline. Choline resolves fatty liver in 100% of cases, the only question is how much Choline is needed to do so. The human studies I found showed that around 750mg (1 egg has 125mg) was the maximum needed to resolve the worse case of fatty liver. Did these studies also show improved insulin sensitivity once the fatty liver was resolved? No. Did these studies show weight loss? No, not even slightly. Any Lustig worshipers out there that still believe his theory after this and would love to here your explanation.

    It is now clear as day that the major cause of obesity is food palatability, it stands the test against any evidence available and when you think about it, it's just common sense. Although Omega 6 and to a lesser extent Wheat probably play a role they are secondary to palatibility when it comes to weight gain even though they cause a host of other health problems.

    I thought Stephan Guyenet was a quack at first, but he's on point. No offence to Taubes and Lustig but they just seem like chancers trying to make money now even though I was big fans of them at first.

  • #2
    I am a pretty big fan of both of these two, but I believe you have misinterpreted their findings and messages.

    Taubes is NOT a VLC champion at all.....he makes a very long, detailed case that most of our notions about fat are incorrect, especially in regards to cholesterol levels in cardiovascular disease.

    In regards to Lustig, he is mostly a public policy figure, not a scientist. He says this himself in most appearances he has.

    BOTH are out to prove one simple case: processed carbs and sugar, due to their hormonal effects and their caloric content, are very bad for you. This fact should be placed at the top of our priority list, far ahead of vague notions about exercise or "reduced fat". Lustig is a pretty big CICO proponent in his book, making largely the same case that you are in terms of palatibility being a big problem in that vast calories can be taken in without much satiety.

    The reason they are at least given some airing in the paleo community is that they were some of the first to make the case against processed food being the #1 target.

    Lastly, I think the notion that our European "ancestors" being "healthy" is without merit.....when are we talking about here, the Middle Ages? In paleolithic times?

    The time when Europeans, as well as earlier in the Middle East, when people did live primarily off staple food carbs were all marked by widespread malnutrition. People were short, had bad teeth, deformed bones, and there was no understanding of cardiovacular disease to make any such claims of "healthy" from.

    In contrast, those that came BEFORE this period of "eat like a poor farmer", the hunter-gatherers, were on average much taller, larger, had intact teeth into advanced age, etc. All of this is laid out very well by Dan Leiberman, Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard. None of this is news.

    The case I make in my own diet is that carbs are not the enemy at all.....but they are a controlled substance with a specific use, that being to fuel intense exercise. In NON-processed forms, they can be taken in without blowing away the CICO for the day, and to boost performance. Most present-day paleo writers, such as Wolf and Durant, are not carb-haters. They understand that in cleaner forms they are useful.

    Most of the arguments against so-called carb haters are straw men, defeating arguments no one made. It's all pretty simple, and Taubes and Lustig are at least on the right side of the diet craziness that is America.

    I.E.
    carbs from rice = ok in moderation, especially for athetics
    carbs from a bag of Cheetos = bad
    "The soul that does not attempt flight; does not notice its chains."

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    • #3
      Originally posted by TheyCallMeLazarus View Post
      I.E.
      carbs from rice = ok in moderation, especially for athetics
      carbs from a bag of Cheetos = bad
      This makes no sense. Why must one be an athlete to eat rice and fruit and potatoes if you stay within your caloric equilibrium? I think it's a silly caveat.

      Cheetos are higher in fat than carbs, so they're a poor carb source for more than one reason:

      90 calories from fat, only 56 calories from carbs



      Why are carbs the villain here? This is the case for many, many processed foods; they're much higher in fat than carbs! And when you take the fat away, they are completely unappealing, e.g., low-fat ice cream, fat-free Oreos, baked potato chips
      Last edited by j3nn; 10-20-2013, 12:00 PM.
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      “It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” - Samuel Adams

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      • #4
        Laz: you're "refuting" a strawman with a strawman and in fact Taubes and Lustig are both kings of hyperbole, distortion, and strawman fallacies. I haven't read a single thing from them that wasn't rife with errors and full of partially understood science and downright sensationalism. Lustig is definitely enjoying the spotlight, as I've seen him make his appearance in several things where he claims to be an expert; including a Russian based television network lambasting the obesity epidemic in America.
        Make America Great Again

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        • #5
          Oh, and if you want proof of his bullshit and propaganda without an inkling of knowledge on the subject; this is where he blames sugar erroneously and shows his statist side:

          "Everyone talks about personal responsibility, and that won't work here, as it won't for any addictive substance," Lustig said. "These are things that have to be done at a governmental level, and government has to get off its ass."

          (lol)

          "Americans eat and drink about 22 teaspoons of sugar every day. That's three times the amount we consumed 30 years ago. Lustig, Schmidt and Brindis say the biggest problem is that sugar sneaks into our diet without us even realizing it. Things like breads, cereals and processed foods often contain things like sucrose maltose, hydrolysed starch, corn syrup, and honey, all forms of sugar."

          Oh no!!!

          Lustig and his colleagues say a personal changes to diets won't be enough to improve the public health. In their paper, they argue for taxes on heavily sweetened foods and drinks, banning sales of sugary foods to children, and even restricting advertising to children and teens.

          This fool knows nothing about biology, nutritional science, or even losing weight himself, otherwise he wouldn't resemble the potatoes he eats. I honestly want to get into a debate with this goon in person, but he's so blind he'd just resort to citing his Youtube video hits as proof he's right. Seen it done before.
          Last edited by Derpamix; 10-20-2013, 12:25 PM.
          Make America Great Again

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          • #6
            Lazarus you are making the mistakes which I pointed out in my first post.

            Processed carbs and sugar are unhealthy full stop. But taking in 500 calories of sugar would not contribute to weight gain anymore than 500 calories of butter or potatoes. Bodyfat is regulated by the brain, something Taubes disagrees with, and that is why processed foods cause obesity because people eat them when they are not hungry. People do not eat potatoes, milk, cheese, fruit or any whole food when they are not hungry because they do not activate the reward pathways in the brain that processed foods do.

            As for our ancestors doing better on low carb diets, I think you are mistaken. If you read Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston Price you will see most cultures eat at least a fair amount of carbs. If I recall correctly he says in the book that the Masai tribe were the tallest he came across and they had a diet of milk, bananas, properly prepared beans, other fruits and honey. I think the civilizations you are referring to had a diet high in carbs but also high in phytic acid because the carb came from grains. I suspect the phytic acid would be causing the problems you mention.

            ''In NON-processed forms, they can be taken in without blowing away the CICO for the day, and to boost performance''

            You are still stuck in the calories in, calories out mindset. CICO is controlled by the brain...you can't control them yourself it's ridiculous to think you can. The body regulates temperature, oxygen intake and a million other things including energy intake, you can't consciously change that. It's like trying to lower your body temperature by going out in the cold, your body just increases heat production.

            ''I.E.
            carbs from rice = ok in moderation, especially for athetics
            carbs from a bag of Cheetos = bad''


            Carbs do not need to be moderated, the cheetos are worse than rice because of their palatability. Rice is not a palatable food so the brain will urge you to eat until your energy needs are met, cheetos are palatable..the combination of fat, flavours, mouth feel, carbs make the food no longer about meeting energy needs but activation of the brains reward system making you eat them even when you are not hungry. I don't think cheetos are the best example as they are not as palatable as other foods like chocolate, sweets, cake ect but the same still applies.

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            • #7
              Derpamix.....I would like to hear Lustig's response to why choline doesn't cause weight loss when it cures fatty liver. Presented with that question he would fall apart because it not only suggest's his theory is wrong, it proves.

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              • #8
                The worst mistake Taubes makes it saying that bodyfat is regulated by the adipose tissue and not the brain. He also say's that fat can not be stored without carbs...if that was true people eating a low carb diet would die unless they met or exceeded their calorie requirements everyday. Imagine someone needs 2500 calories per day and one day he eats 2000, that means 500 calories has been lost from the adipose tissue. The next day he eats 3000 calories but no carbs....no fat can be stored because he didn;t eat any carbs? You see what I am saying....the fat can never be replaced unless they eat carbs??? It's ridiculous and can't possibly be true.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by charlii View Post
                  Carbs do not need to be moderated, the cheetos are worse than rice because of their palatability. Rice is not a palatable food so the brain will urge you to eat until your energy needs are met, cheetos are palatable..the combination of fat, flavours, mouth feel, carbs make the food no longer about meeting energy needs but activation of the brains reward system making you eat them even when you are not hungry. I don't think cheetos are the best example as they are not as palatable as other foods like chocolate, sweets, cake ect but the same still applies.
                  Who eats rice on it's own? Rice is made delicious, therefore easy to over consume by adding sauces or baking it for a rice pud. I, personally would have no problem eating a massive rice pudding.
                  Started Primal June 2012 at 148.5lbs, and 5' 1", reached goal weight in 5 months.
                  Lowest weight 93lbs - too thin. Now stable at around 100lbs much better weight for me at my age.
                  Primal, minus eggs, dairy and a myriad of other allergens.

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                  • #10
                    Exactly there is the problem, rice on it's own is fine. When it's made into a pudding with fat and sugar that's when it becomes a problem...not because of the carbs but because of the palatability. You have just proved my point plain rice is higher in carbs than rice pudding yet rice pudding is fattening and rice isn't. IT'S NOT THE CARBS IT'S THE PALATABILITY!!

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                    • #11
                      Well, I guess I got my refresher in why I never post on these type of threads.....discussion of vague biochemistry, without any sense of what people actually do.

                      Ok, so one at a time I guess?

                      1) Cheetos was a bad example, I am sure. I don't eat any of that garbage, so it was the first thing that came to mind....understand that in my OWN diet, not theoretical, I do 200-250g of protein a day without much trying. The remaining cals are almost always fruit or pure starch, rice or potato....Higher cals on training days, less on rest. Fast a lot. Seems to work.

                      2) The idea that one can magically stay in their caloric equilibruim is not realistic. If one eats a lot of foods that hit on the reward systems, like candy or Cheetos, the idea of portion control is not happening.

                      3) I don't hate either Lustig or Taubes....but again this is not because I agree with 100% of what they say (I don't, esp in regards to Lustig, whom I share training with)....I encourage them because they are at least a voice against processed food. That is really my only requirement. The fact is that a lot of real people, that wouldn't be caught dead reading a health forum, are dying because they get the wrong thing blamed. They are told by a billion-dollar industry that they CAN keep eating their highly addictive, calorie-dense food, just so long as you let the "experts" remove this macro or that....low carb, low fat, high sugar, high protein, none of this is relevant to the kind of people that need help. These people at least put the onus on addictive food, the real cause of obesity, whether that addiction is due to one macro or another to different people.

                      4) I am not opposed to stopping billion-dollar food companies from advertising their addictive, highly palatable food that throws off all of our body's equilibrium, to children. I am also not opposed to doing something to prevent the way that government subsidy has allowed this corporations, using commodity crops, to make these same addictive foods also be the CHEAPEST food....right now, cheap, addictive food of all kinds: be it from fat, sugar, or especially corn-based sugar, is killing a lot of people that we have to pay for the healthcare of before they do so. Anything that opposes that massive force of corporate and governmental power ALLOWING for these addictive foods to predominate, even in the form of narcissistic and factually incorrect figureheads like Taubes or Lustig, I am in favor of, despite my personal dislike of them....no matter how many hits he gets, they are all Davids to this Goliath. We all are.

                      5) I agree 100% with your last post Charlii. I blame addictive food before any macro, always have....it just so happens that, at least right now, business is better at producing addictive sugar+fat and carbs+fat than anything else.
                      "The soul that does not attempt flight; does not notice its chains."

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                      • #12
                        2) The idea that one can magically stay in their caloric equilibruim is not realistic. If one eats a lot of foods that hit on the reward systems, like candy or Cheetos, the idea of portion control is not happening.

                        This was my point to begin with and you disagreed saying it's the carbs.

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                        • #13
                          How do you stop government influence with government influence? Lustig and Taubes are doing nothing new, they've just flipped the coin from fat to sugar and are so blind they can't see the forest for the trees. They're both missing the larger picture here, and I solely believe their stance is just to create a stir. They're not even correct on the increase of sugar consumption. It's actually fat that has increased most significantly, in the form of vegetable oils.
                          Make America Great Again

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by TheyCallMeLazarus View Post
                            2) The idea that one can magically stay in their caloric equilibruim is not realistic. If one eats a lot of foods that hit on the reward systems, like candy or Cheetos, the idea of portion control is not happening.
                            It's unrealistic for most people if those foods are displacing nourishing foods, yes. I believe one of the reasons people overeat these nutritionally-void foods is because they themselves are nutritionally-depleted and the body keeps making requests for nourishment that isn't met by these foods but it keeps trying anyway. I believe that if people focused on nutrient-density before any macro or even calories, even using the RDA recommendations, that is a better place to start than taking the word of diet gurus about the true path to skinny heaven. It's much easier to not overeat if your body isn't actually starving; this occurs despite having excess calories. I had a gastroenterologist tell me a few years ago that I had a fatty liver but she said that tells her that I am malnourished despite being overweight. I think many people are in similar predicaments.

                            What's your fat intake like, Laz? Just curious.
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                            “It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” - Samuel Adams

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Derpamix View Post
                              How do you stop government influence with government influence? Lustig and Taubes are doing nothing new, they've just flipped the coin from fat to sugar and are so blind they can't see the forest for the trees. They're both missing the larger picture here, and I solely believe their stance is just to create a stir. They're not even correct on the increase of sugar consumption. It's actually fat that has increased most significantly, in the form of vegetable oils.
                              As shown by Choco's charts the other day. If everyone just stopped consuming seed and vegetable and hydrogenated oils, I think we'd see a significant improvement in societal health and obesity decline. Not that people wouldn't still overeat, but I think they'd be healthier and less "hungry." Is there any place in the world that doesn't use PUFA oils? France was the closest place until recently. Their saturated fat consumption was probably a big reason for their overall health and weight superiority.
                              Last edited by j3nn; 10-20-2013, 01:14 PM.
                              | My (food) Blog | Follow me on Facebook | Pinterest | Twitter |

                              “It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.” - Samuel Adams

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