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Thread: Excellent Critique of Good Calories, Bad Calories page 10

  1. #91
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    It would serve you well to read GCBC, as I understand your confusion; however, people who "don't eat carbs", but eat vegetables, including myself, really should express that we are dramatically limiting our carb intake. I eat broccoli, spinach, and salad greens, but eat low carb, as I stop at about 20 carb grams per day.

    I agree with you that "carbs, for most people, aren't bad"... unless you're fat... as then carbs become highly suspect.

    Quote Originally Posted by 979roadrunner View Post
    Carbs, for most people, aren't bad. Veggies, even my beloved broccoli and spinache, are carbs. I've heard so many folks say they don't eat carbs and then discuss the veggies they eat, it's sorta funny.

    Even Tuabes, in the vid I saw, is dissing carbs, then talks veggies. Realy? You lump carbs together as 'bad' then go back and say 'veggies good' and I'm supposed to take you seriously? Someone who has educated themselves enough to write a book on nutrition should know better.

  2. #92
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    Agreed, but it goes beyond that, too. There was that study that 'proved' that a diet that consisted of 80% carbs improved performance, etc., and the blanket recomendation to eat this way, ignoring the fact that every person 'studied' was a profesional/olympic level athlete, and most people are not.
    Are we eating low carb / high fat, or are others eating High carb? (probably this)
    Just like the Zone was dismissed as a high protien diet, where Dr Sears maintained it was an ADEQUATE protien, moderate carb diet. If I looked at my Macronutrients, I'm sure I'm pretty low carb, too.
    When asked I tell folks I don't eat Grains and Starches, not I'm low carb, because I believe that's how we should eat, ergo Primal, to me, is a balanced diet, and the SAD is a high carb and dysfunctional one.
    My MOTHER knew you restrict starches to lose weight: So did many in her generation. Then we started listening to scientists, and their pet theories, which they presented as facts.
    As a kid, my daily menu often went something like this:
    Breakfast:
    2 eggs,
    2 strips bacon
    1 orange
    1-2 peices toasted white bread with butter, not Margerine

    Lunch:
    Beef veggie soup
    Sandwich

    Dinner:
    Salad
    Meat, usualy beef
    mashed potatos w/ gravy
    veggie side
    Bisquit or roll
    Not primal, but not that bad, either, except for the bread. Unless you believe in CW. Then the eggs are a heart attack on a plate, as is the bacon, and the butter. And of course the beef and gravy involved in the dinner.
    Wanna lose weight? cut the starch (potatos, bread) Of course, back then, we weren't screwing up our metabolic systems with constant HFCS consumption, we knew chips were junk food, and you didn't get any twinkies or ho hos until you ate your actual food.
    Of course now we on MDA know it's better to chuck the bread, limit or chuck the taters and gravy, and avoid th f**king ho hos like poison.
    The CWs, on the other hand, think we should chuck the beef, gravy, eggs, bacon, etc, and keep the damned old bread.
    And of course the Vegans think we're all crazy.
    I wonder sometimes if we aren't all a bit extreme, but I also see folks here who can't handle starches at all because trying to follow CW screwed up their bodies.
    If I find GCBC at the library I might check it out, but I'll definately run it through my BS monitor, too
    I'm not old, I'm Vintage!

  3. #93
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    Taubes did a great job of showing how ideological and specious nutritional research has been for the past 60 years or so; furthermore, had not the gov't got involved and promoted low fat (and corollarily high carb), we might not be in the pickle we are today as a nation.

    However, different bodies react to food in different ways. My husband eats lots of carbs, runs a lot, is thin and healthy. I ate like him when we first got married, started running more and doing weights less, and I gained A LOT.

    Taubes' book (I have read the whole thing, every word, about three times) gave me some insight into how MY BODY (not everyone's, but mine) works and that I really needed to back off the carbs and include more fat (which I left out as much as possible to manage the calories).

    My body accords with the ideas promoted in GCBC--it explained to me how I got to be so overweight when I thought I was being healthy. Also, as a teen and in early 20s, my metabolic functions were running properly and could handle whatever crap I threw at it (including far too much alcohol!)

    When I was but a young lass, and thin, I ate what I wanted, including fat. I believe I ate fewer carbs because I was eating fat, and when I did eat carbs their effect was minimized because they were balanced by fat/protein. When low fat, high carb came into high gear in the early 90s, though, I jumped on board and proceeded to gain about 5 lbs a year. Not a lot, but over time it seriously adds up.

    I took the meat out of my pasta sauce, cut back on olive oil, and just had tomato sauce over pasta: this was a disaster. I was never full. I could eat three serving and sometimes I did. I would eat a can of peas as a snack--no butter or anything. I shudder to think. I would eat low fat baked "snacks" I would concoct. Nonfat yogurt with fruit on the bottom. UGH>I was Kelly Korg, in a nutshell. I ran and ran and ran. I ran in races. I ate about 1500 cals a day, mostly carbs, while running about 30K a week. I biked all over town (I used to commute by bike). I enjoyed my lowfat frappuccinos as a reward.

    I know Atkins worked for others, but I was skeptical of all that ham and cheese and other crap. I just kept trying to eat "balanced" (as in a very little to no fat, some protein and a lot of carbs) and kept calories down. I was cranky, hungry, unfocused and lived on an emotional roller coaster for years because blood sugar spikes and falls really affect my mood. I just thought it was "stress" or a character flaw. Occasionally I would a package of cookies or something out of frustration, hunger and moodiness.

    I was a MESS and I thought I was doing the right thing.

    Anyway GCBC (and another couple of books that advocated reducing carbs and increasing fat) really helped me see how low fat and high carb eating had ruined my body. I was a well read, well informed person and I had no idea because CW had been promoted so effectively.

    GCBC made me QUESTION CW. Once I began looking into it, I realized that a dietary approach that a few people like my husband could handle had been pushed on EVERYONE, regardless of their metabolic, physiological type. MY body refused to accord with CW logic. I felt like I was a freak, going insane, and until GCBC utterly mystified as to what was going on with my body.

    I am still pretty effing angry about it, to be honest.

    Also, every analytical work had to pick evidence and hence any critical work can accuse another's of cherrypicking. Cherry picking is indeed a problem, but it shades out of normal selectivity. Accusations of cherry picking can quickly become strawman evidence in many, if not all cases.

    As far as I can tell, Taubes included as much as reasonably possible to make his case. Not all of his conclusions about to what to eat as a result may work for everyone anymore than CW works for everyone...BUT it cannot be denied that his sustained analysis and review of the research over 150 or so years of nutritional research reveals how information is misunderstood, manipulated, overlooked by particular groups: when this is done on a large scale you end up with a nation of fatties (Hello USA).

    You do not have to agree with Taubes' conclusions to appreciate what the book really does: show how research in nutrition is fragmented, misunderstood, ideological and not nearly as scientific as "scientists" and "experts" would have us believe.

    No, carbs alone are not the devil. They are a part of the human diet. But the portion of carbs recommended along with the elimination of fat, which was part of a national "promotion" on the part of "experts" was devastating to a very large group in this culture. So people can criticize Taubes all they want, and they might have valid concerns, but the VERY PREMISE of his book--questioning CW and the research that supports it--will always have VALUE as a study.

    Combined with Fast Food Nation, and other books like that, I totally revised everything I knew about eating. My body is still a mess but it is not getting worse, and I can see that it is changing for the better. I am in my mid 40s, a tough time for a woman's body, and I am handling it and looking better every day because I gave up CW premises.
    Last edited by Lizzie125; 10-23-2010 at 11:16 AM.

  4. #94
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    One more clarification (I know my last post was too long but I am very committed to this point)--

    Taubes's conclusions are problematic only if you distill it into "Carbs are BAD. All Carbs. For Everyone!". If you read the book closely, he does mention that this is the case for SOME people. In one study, one fellow gained weight if he ate fruit...but not every participant did.

    I think the assumption that everyone everywhere must give up grains, beans and potatoes FOREVER is as bad as CW forcing everyone to stop all fat consumption. DIfferent bodies handle different things.

    The French handle high fat (no duh) but also baguettes. And wine. And pastries. And Cheese. (and smoked! And did not do a lot of formal exercise, beyond walking/city biking). The infernal paradox. They also practice portion control. I wish I had spent my early adulthood there and I might not have a problem.

    The real problem is not with baguettes and pastries in the context of a diet that allows fat, etc. but rather the past 30-40 years of the utter vilification of ALL fat and the celebration of grains and beans as a replacement in the US. The entire country is psycho on the subject of food because a huge percentage of the population has been fed some serious dietary BS, and that BS is exactly what Taubes takes apart.

    I don't personally find the Inuit to be an inspired enough group to want to eat like they did back in the day though. I would love to be able to eat like a French person one day. I may never be able to thanks to 20 years of crap CW eating though: I broke my body because I believed the BS science promoted at the time. And so it goes.
    Last edited by Lizzie125; 10-23-2010 at 11:12 AM. Reason: Fix Taubes'

  5. #95
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lizzie125 View Post
    You do not have to agree with Taubes' conclusions to appreciate what the book really does: show how research in nutrition is fragmented, misunderstood, ideological and not nearly as scientific as "scientists" and "experts" would have us believe.
    I am bowing before you, as I love and agree with everything you wrote. I read his book only twice, so I have some "catching up" to do!

    You hit the nail on the head with your above statement, as he really does show that, prior to World War II, there was a lot of well-done science that was heading in the "carbs as culprit" direction and getting good results.

    The other thing that Taubes brought out, which still just "blows me away" is that the Law of Thermodynamics has been misinterpreted, such that a calorie is NOT a calorie, but different kinds of calories affect some people in different ways.


    As an example of this, fat, the most calorically dense food, seems to be harmless and does NOT make us fat, as it barely raises insulin (insulin is what DOES makes us fat). Protein raises insulin somewhat, but carbs -- especially refined carbs -- have the most dramatic effect on insulin. For some people, they can eat carbs like crazy and gain nothing; for others, like myself, it leads to "fat city".

    Now, conventional wisdom would look at the above paragraph as nonsense, as they see "a calorie is a calorie" regardless of its form. And this is, in my opinion, the crux of the problem. I am grateful that Taubes showed the shaky foundation on which this belief was built.

  6. #96
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    While high-carbs diets are not great, I think the whole "no fat" thing was the real problem with the diet hysteria from the 80s or so forward. Seriously, eliminating an entire food group is f*cked up. I am not a zero carber either, but I can see how it would work for certain constitutions (a point made by Taubes incidentally).

    What I don't get is why people are still committed to eliminating that food group (fat), but get on low-carbers' cases about eliminating carbs...or vegetarians eliminating most protein.

    In the end, it IS the bloody insulin, and everyone has different responses--and I think that research is showing that more and more. It will take some time before CW realizes that some people cannot eat ANY whole grains ever, ever, ever though.

  7. #97
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    I agree with these points, especialy the one about fats, which is backed, some, by what I posted vis a vis Snickers vs an Orange. The fat and protien in the horid confection actualy makes it safer, superficialy speaking, than an orange, which is supposedly healthier, if you suffer from metabolic disorders, and add that the 80s was also when HFCS became the go to sweetener in our diets. As far as a previous poster's asertion that we eat less HFCS now than in the 80s and 90s, unless you live outside the US, or are talking about very health consious populations, no, we don't.
    I'm new to primal, so I'm still learning, so I still read labels, even on stuff I don't want to eat, and HFCS is in EVERYTHING. As a checker in a grocery store, I get to see what folks tend to buy, and we're still eating LOTS of HFCS, speaking general population wise.
    Interestingly, we also sell 'Mexico Cokes' which have no HFCS. Realy. A country many of us tend to think of as a third world nation doesn't have this crap in their food supply.
    I might be the only one, but I think this is a major factor, as well.
    I'm not old, I'm Vintage!

  8. #98
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    979Roadrunner--You are right on about the HFCS. It IS in everything. People on a site like this may not realize how many people out there have no clue because everyone here and in the circles they move in are highly informed on the issue.

    Yes, more people than before know, but it is far from a lot. Most people don't have the time, don't care, or can't afford to know all about this stuff.

    I see how much HFCS is in everything because my husband still eats a lot of CW type food. I do the shopping and have had to abandon many staples previously considered "relatively good"because the damned HFCS slips in there somehow. I cook everything from scratch now and shop at Earthfare, a SE US version of whole foods because they won't sell anything with transfats or HFCS at all so that cuts out all the damnable reading of tiny lists on packages of crap. It costs more of course, though.

    HFCS is definitely a US thing though--because corn is ubiquitous, gets massive subsidie from the Govt, and has to be incorporated into things to keep it somewhat economically viable. See Food Inc for details because it is too much to go into here.

    Corn is jammed into our cattle, into our sweetened foods, into random things like pasta sauce. Other countries don't have a massive agri-business to keep going, farmers to keep happy, midwestern states to keep economically viable, etc. etc.

    If the subsidies were taken away...well, let's just say THAT gov't expense is worse than welfare. More destructive and woven into the fabric of everyone's lives. Of course, the farmers and the states who get this subsidies would completely freak out (even as many of them think socialize health care is some kind of scam).

    The corn thing in the US is ridiculous and is one of the many reasons everyone here spends $$$ on imported Irish butter and elitely produced grass fed beef (which in other countries is the "normal"). This is just not a problem in other places.

  9. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lizzie125 View Post
    I don't personally find the Inuit to be an inspired enough group to want to eat like they did back in the day though. I would love to be able to eat like a French person one day. I may never be able to thanks to 20 years of crap CW eating though: I broke my body because I believed the BS science promoted at the time. And so it goes.
    I so agree with you. And, like you, I get really angry when I think about the condition of my body and the state of my health, all while I was following government guidelines on eating and exercising.

  10. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lizzie125 View Post
    The French handle high fat (no duh) but also baguettes. And wine. And pastries. And Cheese. (and smoked! And did not do a lot of formal exercise, beyond walking/city biking). The infernal paradox. They also practice portion control. I wish I had spent my early adulthood there and I might not have a problem.

    The real problem is not with baguettes and pastries in the context of a diet that allows fat, etc. but rather the past 30-40 years of the utter vilification of ALL fat and the celebration of grains and beans as a replacement in the US. The entire country is psycho on the subject of food because a huge percentage of the population has been fed some serious dietary BS, and that BS is exactly what Taubes takes apart.

    I don't personally find the Inuit to be an inspired enough group to want to eat like they did back in the day though. I would love to be able to eat like a French person one day. I may never be able to thanks to 20 years of crap CW eating though: I broke my body because I believed the BS science promoted at the time. And so it goes.
    I lean this way and thank you for putting it so well.

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