Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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June 24 2012

Weekend Link Love – Edition 195

By Mark Sisson

Our favorite The Atlantic contributor doubles down on her campaign against low-carb, high-fat, erecting a pretty impressive strawman in the process.

I’ve been railing against the idea that we need to be constantly drinking water ever since this one time during the Kona Ironman. See, I lost my hold on third place down the stretch because I had to stop to relieve myself of the 30 bottles of Exceed/Gatorade/water I’d downed out of fear of dying of dehydration. It was the longest piss I ever took. Famous exercise scientist Tim Noakes agrees with me.

Dishwashers get dishes cleaner than hand washing, but does it actually matter for our health?

In case you needed another reason to use full-fat salad dressings, a recent study found that low-fat or no-fat salad dressings fail to help us extract nutrients from the vegetables in the salad.

Will meat-eating really have as much of an impact on our climate as they say it will?

Oldsters concerned with balance and falls: get your feet and ankles stronger (perhaps by going barefoot as often and as safely as you can).

Exercising outdoors is associated with significant improvements in mental health, while going to the gym is not (at least to the same extent), according to a new study.

Where does our food come from?

Recipe Corner

  • Stop wondering about the quality of your bacon, get some pastured pork belly, and make your own already.
  • Speaking of cured pork, grab yourself some thinly-sliced, high-quality proscuitto and make porkitos!

Time Capsule

One year ago (June 24 – June 30)

Comment of the Week

I love real maple syrup. I wouldn’t care if it was made from crushed puppies.

OK, I’d care. But I’d still use it. ;)

– Folks, never let glorth2 near your pets (unless you want a rich syrup with more bark than bite).

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79 thoughts on “Weekend Link Love – Edition 195”

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  1. Re Atlantic Article: I am so sick of people demonizing saturated fat. I sincerely hope that in my lifetime (I’m only 24) our fear of this NUTRIENT will completely vanish.

    Does anyone see this happening?

    Fat, carbs and protein are NUTRIENTS. Just like vitamins and minearls. Demonizing carbs or saturated fat is extremely similar to demonizing Vitamin A.

    Why don’t people see this?

    It all depends on the context. That piece of cake one eats from the bakery that is full of both fat and carbs is NOT healthy. Avocado, potatoes and fatty meat is healthy.

    This stupendous fear of NUTRIENTS is killing millions. No, BILLIONS.

    1. How surprising that exercising outdoors is better for mental health compared to exercising in a gym.

      On the other side, I bet working out in a crossfit gym improves mental health more so compared to regular gyms.

      I’d like to see this study done 🙂

      I’m not even a crossfitter but it continues to intrigue me more and more.

      1. re: Crossfit

        Frantically rushing through each exercise so you can frantically rush to the next exercise seems to me incompatible with mental or physical health.

        1. I do CrossFit and have never been rushed through any exercise at our local box. And “frantically” does not describe anything I’ve seen done at CrossFit. The teachers are careful to emphasize proper form for every exercise we do. I wonder what you have been watching…

          This probably comes off as defensive but I don’t like that you are misleading people about the exercise routine and the care (or your perceived lack thereof) the teachers put into it.

        2. I think it depends on the gym. I know that when CrossFit is properly done, it is an amazing workout, but I also know people who have gotten hurt doing it because there can be more emphasis on pushing yourself as hard as you can. When you are lifting at the outside edge of your limits and pushing yourself very hard to go fast, there is very little room for error, and the results of your mistakes can be very painful for a long time.

      1. It doesn’t. All the messages emphasize the importance of where you get them from and how they would affect your goals.

        1. Exactly. It doesn’t.

          Some, too many, do demonize carbs.

          I recognize that limiting all carbs can be an effective tool for fat loss.

          This does not mean that one demonizes them.

          Demonizing fruit and potatoes for a healthy individual is stupidity in my book.

      2. It doesn’t “demonize” them. They’re necessary, just like other nutrients. It just advises moderation so that your body can burn fat, which is more efficient. Fat is what we were created to burn for energy. If you’re eating a lot of carbs, your body won’t be “fat adapted,” making it far harder to burn your bodyfat and the fat you eat.

        1. Actually the body’s natural energy source is glucose. The waste product of using glucose is carbon dioxide, which the body needs (it’s the stuff that reminds us to breathe in) and any excess of the stuff is easily removed via breathing out (kind of a cool cycle). To use fat the liver has to convert it to a usable form and then the waste product is ammonia (that cleaning chemical that makes hospitals smell so damn fine) which the kidneys have to work overtime to convert to a safer substance and then excrete. Plus the brain cells cannot stand being parted from their precious glucose. Therefore fat is a much less efficient fuel because it’s difficult to use. The body will burn anything before it burns fat in case we end up without anything to eat and need a reserve energy supply.

          People lose weight on diets like this because the large amounts of protien in them make them feel full quickly, so they eat less (Protien is digested before fat and carbs so it stops us feeling hungry faster)Fat is also not easy to burn because contains twice as much energy as carbs. So to use one gram of fat I would have to do twice as mich work as if I wanted to use one gram of carbs. Being lazy, time poor and not wanting to fork out thousands of dollars for kidney dialysis in twenty years time, the choice is obvious.

        2. Ken
          If it was so dangerous for us to burn body fat, why would we store our excess energy that way?

        3. Also @ Ken

          Are you aware of the most common cause of kidney failure? I’ll give you one guess.. and it aint ‘high protein intake’. It’s Diabetes which also, isn’t caused by or characterized by high protein intake, it’s a dysfunction of our body’s ability to process… You guessed it: Sugar. So I ask you: which breakfast is the more likely road toward kidney failure: The two free ranged local eggs I had this morning that were cooked in delicious leaf lard (from a local organically raised pig) I rendered myself or the syrup laden coffee my coworker imbibed along with three donuts (‘only 1 buck!’ he exclaimed excitedly)? I’m thinking I’ll stick with my eggs.

          By the way, lunch was calamari al diavolo w/ extra acid in honor of me finally seeing prometheus this weekend, also delicious. Off topic, yes… but I just had to share.


        4. We store excess energy as fat because it is the most energy dense way to store nutrients, so if we are ever starving and run out of carbs we have loads of energy on standby.

          Diabetes is most likely caused by excess body weight.

          No one is saying eat refined sugary foods like ice-cream and cake as the staple of your diet. They are ‘extra’ foods that should be eaten sometimes. The body wants those complex carbs found in wholemeal products and starchy vegiies.

          To answer your question. The amount of fat in a doughnut is disturbing and pretty much anything (except maybe coco pops) is healthier so I’ll give you that one. Until you compare it to my bowl of bran, raisins, banana and low fat/calcium fortified milk. Adding up the ingredients I’d guess it cost me a dollar too!

        5. @ken

          Oh yeah, diabetes totally must be caused by excess body weight.. I mean it’s not like there are skinny people with type II diabetes… Oh wait: There are, lots of them. Even a cursory perusal of the internet can teach you this. Are the two correlated? Yes. Does correlation equal causation? Nope.

          But people (especially trendy crunchy health nut people) do like to believe that type II diabetics are just fatties who won’t put down their spoon and get off the couch. They like to think it’s a moral failing, the sin of sloth. To this I say: B.S. These are people too, just people who don’t happen to handle carbs, especially sugars, as well as others. That doesn’t make them bad or immoral. It makes them human.


        6. Being overweight DOES NOT make you a bad person and I never implied that. I used to be so myself and I don’t think switching from chops and cake to wholemeal bread and low fat cheese, couplles in with at least 30 mins of exercise a day, made me a ‘better’ person. If you do it for sustainability then that’s another story. Overweight is a sad reflection of our society. A reflection of the fact that physical activity is so hard to access. That we are driving half a mile for milk instead of walking. That it is so much easier for people to access cheeseburgers than salad wraps. The irresponsible marketing strategies of fast food companies. The fact that we have so much food that we are dumping when some people are lucky to eat in a week. I never WANTED to be overweight and I’m sure no one else does. And changing habits is NOT EASY. And we don;t all have to have the body of an olympic athlete. BUT if you know better about your health and you don’t make a decision to contemplate its impacts on society in the long term then I will get slightly annoyed because your health care wi

          And I am aware that excess body fat is the primary cause of diabetes. And I am also aware of how the scientific method. I spent 5 years, hours staring at cadavers and thousands of dollars at uni and actually learnt something about public health and how science works. And no I, or the people who told me this, are not after your money. The more people that get sick the less money we get for our programs because it’s all diverted to medical care instead of prevention.

        7. Should probably finish my first paragraph (and learn never to try and do anying four days before EOFY). Basically, I meant to say people’s decisions to ignore their health will cost society too much. Socially and financially (although both areas feed into each other). We are running out of hospital beds and I believe my duty to society is to try to keep myself from occupying one for as long as possible so someone who needs it more can have it (plus I can save $$$ that way)

        8. OK, excellent, it seems we agree that processed foods and inactivity are a large problem in modern society. So I guess my question is: why bother us? The Paleo/Primal community is very much about fresh foods. You won’t see us eating fast food or microwaved burritos… So what’s your beef? Do you really think people eating a paleo diet based on fresh veggies, fruits, nuts and high quality meat/fish are going to die/get fat/feel bad/explode/go insane just because some of us advocate consuming heart-healthy natural saturated fats?

          I feel amazing. All my allergies went away. My patch tests looked like damned mine field. My asthma also went away, I’m sure the makers of advare took a stock hit given the amount I was consuming. How? Just by not eating grains and eating more heart healthy natural saturated fats. (yes, starting my own counter meme). One beer, one, and I’m wheezing for a few hours. A pizza and I’ll wheeze for two to three days and my nose will be stuffed.

          Oh and I have a science degree too, Biological Anthropology, whoop de do. One does not need a degree to understand feeling better.


      3. I hate how they were saying that we eat too much meat and saturated fat already. Maybe we eat too much meat but look at the quality of our meat, it’s shit, unless it’s from a farm and pastured, but our meat is just disgusting. Also, we eat too much saturated fat? I see no one eating saturated fat anymore because everyone says it’s bad for you. We have so much PUFA’s in our diets that really overflows what little good fat we happen to eat. Maybe they’re talking about hydrogenated palm oils but that’s about it. I’m sorry, but this “research” that “scientists” are doing is idiotic and is funded by the government so we can get sick go to the doctor and pay a lot of money.

        1. Don’t worry, Americans don’t actually eat too much meat already. You don’t have to concede that point. They eat too much meat followed by a loaded baked potato, a loaf of bread, a salad covered in croutons and sugary dressing, and then a 7 layer chocolate cake for dessert, washed down by full hfcs soda. I’ve been out to eat before, this is how Americans eat.

      4. Because carbs are typically mis-connoted, in the sense of “useless carbs”, like bread & sugar: bad for you, your satiety, and easily abused.
        But veggies are also mostly carbs (and water, of course), and should be eaten without much restraint. Try overeating brocolli or greens. Hard to do! You’re stuffed before you have taken in ‘too many’ carbs.

      5. 100 g fat per day (or even a little more) is healthy for most people; 300 g, probably not.

        100 g carb per day is healthy for most people; we know (e.g., see Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes) that 300+ g carbs per day is very un-healthy for most people.

        But the CW pretends that 300 g carbs per day is healthy, but does not endorse any amount of dietary fat (less is always better).

        Also, what the other commentors said.

    2. I think it will change eventually. Especially once enough fit primal types get asked about their regimen and tell the envious SAD eaters that 50% of their diet is from FAT!

    1. Yeah, that was my reaction. Bored now. I’ll read sites with actual useful information instead.

    2. In terms of content, Professor Shell might well bore us. But in terms of influence, she is training hundreds, if not thousands of people over her career. As a result of her training, all those journalists will never question the calories-in-calories-out dogma. They will unblinkingly accept that a low-fat diet is healthy, and they will demonize a high-fat one recommended by Sisson, Jaminet, Taubes, et. al.

      It’s important to rebut people like Shell continually, so that those she teaches have the willingness to call her out on her faulty logic and teachings.

      1. Now, be careful labeling any group as unquestioning. Journalists want to find the truth like anyone. However, like everyone who wants to make a living, they need to sell their stories (or pitch to an editor) to make any money. So that’s a powerful push to conform and there’s also the fact that this Atlantic person is 1) another journalist and 2) she’s framing the debate as a ‘normal and sensible’ vs ‘fringe and unscientific’. People want to be mainstream, serious journalists, not fringe and psuedo-scientific. It’s the difference between reporting on a new cancer drug (everyone wants to hear there’s a drug that will cure cancer so they can keep doing what they’re doing) and reporting on a natural cure some guy cooked up in his garage. The journalist to reports on the first story makes a living. CW is invested in perpetuating itself.

        There is also the concern that there really is a TON of snake oil out there. As a member of the JREF Skeptics society, I can tell you, the world is overflowing with health claims and super products. Every one of them will cure your problem… whatever it is, just ask the people selling it. So there’s a good reason for skepticism against something that isn’t mainstream. We just need to continue to build the paleo/primal/ancestral movement from within while staying away from (seemingly absurd) health claims like possible reversal of diabetes II, allergies, and asthma (the second two happened to me actually). I’d hoped we would grow this way… but it seems we were a little too uppity and CW has noticed us. This Journalist is just an antibody and only the start of many.


        1. Have to disagree with your initial premise, Tim, that “journalists want to find the truth like anyone.” Recently it seems resonable to think that journalists START with an entrenched point of view and THEN go looking for a story to validate it.

        2. @ R. Starkley,

          I concede the point. I took issue with a blanket characterization by making one of my own. Doh. Bad Tim.


    3. I agree with jake3_14, in that people who continue to posit from high places information which has been, is being and will continue to be proven wrong need to be rebutted constantly.

      She makes a huge claim that a diet low in fat and sugar is superior to a diet high in fat and low in carbs (including sugar, but extending to other carbs like corn), with precisely zero proof.

      And not to be a complete bitch about it, but I can see from her picture she’s not exactly sporting a physique that would make me take any of her “advice” on nutrition seriously. Not compared to Mark. Just sayin’.

      Also, another shout-out to the myth that high cholesterol=instant death by heart attack. I hope that particular piece of super-dodgy science is refuted sooner rather than later.

      1. I didn’t want to be the one to point out the picture, but since you did it for me….that’s the first thing I thought when I saw it sitting right there on top of the article.

        1. 😀
          and yes i did feel slightly guilty for being judgemental, but not much…

  2. On the subject of balance and ankle/foot muscles, I’ve found that doing Yoga, specifically the tree pose where you practice balancing on one foot, has been extremely helpful in strengthening the little micro-muscles in my feet. I always used to fall out of the pose before and now I can feel the micro movements keeping me in place. I’ll have to practice the same with my hands, I suppose, to accomplish my life-long dream of being able to do a handstand 😛

    My University changed over all their salad dressings to fat-free two years ago, which really annoyed me at the time–maybe I’ll send that article along. Who knows, maybe it’ll even get read!

    1. You’re right about the yoga balance poses! I sprained both of my ankles in one week (long story), the second one being severe and requiring physical therapy. At that time, my schedule was such that I didn’t have time to go back and forth to physical therapy, so my doctor printed me a bunch of exercises I could do to rehabilitate it myself. Tree pose was one. I couldn’t even do it at first, but kept at it. It really made a difference!

  3. I can attest to the difference between working out in the gym and exercising outdoors. At my martial arts school, we trained outside, regardless of the weather. I could go into class so stressed and stiff from work that I could barely touch my toes, but I would leave feeling exuberant.

    I went to the gym with my daughter a few times in the last few weeks, then I talked her into skipping the gym to go hiking. The difference between how I felt leaving the gym and how I felt after hiking was incredible.

  4. I enjoyed in the comments section the Atlantic writer claiming the one commenter didn’t include the “entire sentence” … and I felt it made it even more clear that what she was saying was wrong… not much of a defense!

    1. The Atlantic article and the author’s subsequent arguments would have failed in all kinds of ways if I’d turned it in for a class assignment while I was a journalism student.

      I guess the benefits of being a journalism “professor” rather than a student are 1) you don’t get graded and 2) you “know” it all already.

      1. (at least she was polite about it though, but I eagerly await her next article)

    2. “not quoting the entire sentence”

      That’s really, really hilarious coming from a journo prof. The entire field seems to be geared towards the art of taking quotes out of context in order to gin up the desired emotions from readers.

  5. Mark, I was just curious about something. Why would you give up a 3rd place finish by stopping to pee, why not just let ‘er rip down the home stretch?

  6. One glance at the photo of Ellen Ruppel Shell should give you a good idea of where she stands on the carb and grain issue. She looks like she’s at least 50 pounds overweight. Moreover, thinking strictly in terms of calories is antiquated. Ms Shell is a good example of the need to check one’s premises before exposing one’s ignorance in print.

  7. While I don’t like the nasty strong chemicals my dishwasher requires, I do like the “sanitary rinse” option, especially when there’s a cold going around. My solution? Hand wash, load dishwasher, utilize sanitary rinse, air dry.

    Part of the problem with Shell’s article is the long-outdated idea that high cholesterol is dangerous in humans when direct causal evidence is shaky at best. If you’re standing on a shaky platform shaking your fist at someone, a fall is most likely.

  8. Thanks for another nail in the coffin of low- and no-fat salad dressings. I will share this article with my clients, although I will mention that canola is *not* the monounsaturated fat of choice for dressings, or any other application, for that matter. Use good quality extra virgin olive oil, of course!

  9. Very interesting about the water.

    Last year (I’ve not run for a year due to chronic achilles tendonosis) I ran my first half marathon. I am a recreational runner – female and mid-40s, and more of a donkey than a racehorse. I typically run a 10 minute mile, slower if I run for more than an hour.

    In any case, I ran about 13 miles in training a couple of weeks before. I didn’t have a runner’s waterbottle or one of those water backpacks so I did the whole thing without water. It was tough, but fine. I made it.

    Then came race day. It was quite warm and muggy that day so I took advantage of the water stations. I only took a few mouthfuls at each one but I reached a point where I was really suffering between miles 11 and 12. The course was a lot flatter than the one I’d run in training so I was puzzled. I’m wondering if the fact I drank (even if it wasn’t a lot) made the difference.

    1. Drinking a Mouthful of water is what you are suppose to do. 4 oz per half hour or drink a little to satisfy thirst. The fact that you bonked on a muggy day on mile 11 through 12 could have just been your bodies reaction to the weather, fueling but would probably have little to do with water if you were just doing little mouthfuls to thirst

  10. Another Atlantic article currently out refers to whole grains as “needed nutrients” in first paragraph.

    It’s a shame, too, because some of the Atlantic’s stuff is quite good. In journalism, generally, it seems to me that the best stuff is in areas that need not kowtow to powerful interests. So health reporting, political reporting, economic reporting, etc, are pretty uniformly terrible in major publications, while cultural and quirky feature things are usually better.

    Blogs, of course, generally are not funded by powerful corporate and business interests, and they accordingly tend to be much more legitimately inquisitive. No wonder the newspapers are dying.

  11. I get a chuckle out of journalists masquerading as nutritionists. You body is your resume and our friend at the Atlantic looks a bit portly in the face.

    Reminds me a bit of a famous actor advocating grain for breakfast while he was an obese diabetic.

    Remember journalists and actors, ya gotta put your diet where your mouth is.

  12. When I was in my twenties I weighed 135 pounds on the SAD. I had gone on a calorie reduction diet to get to that weight and I was a size 12. I am again back down to 135 pounds using a low carb style of eating and I am now a size 8. I really don’t think that a calorie is a calorie is a calorie. My main exercise is walking. In my twenties I was much more physically active. I have been able to keep the weight off now for over three years. I was never able to keep it off on a calorie reduction diet.

  13. Why would you stop to pee while you were in contention during a major race?

    1. So what’s the proffered alternative here? Do the real men/women pee themselves? Do they hold it until their kidneys start to ache and burn? (this happened to me once when I was driving home at night during a terrible snow storm with zero visibility and too much coffee). Personally, I’d rather have a healthy urinary tract than a race win… but then I don’t run races. So maybe there’s an element of the competitive spirit that I lack which precludes my understanding.


      1. If you were in major contention in an Ironman you gotta just piss your pants. That being said if you are an amateur use a port a potty. The precluding part has something to do with you not being competitive in nature 🙂

        1. I’ll give you that. I am most definitely not motivated by competition. In fact competitive aspects of whatever I am involved in are markedly demotivating to me but that’s a discussion for another time.


      2. Yeah, what D said. I’ve never been (and don’t plan to be) in that position, but if I were, I think I’d just pee as I ran/swam/biked. You just have to suck up the indignity to get the big win.

  14. I work as an occupational therapist, primarily with a geriatric population. In my opinion, it is a combination of modern-day shoes, conventional medicine’s love of “supportive shoes with a good arch” and a general tendency in the therapy community to ignore the foot that is leading to most of the falls in the elderly population.

    It’s nice to see articles like this one, finally exploring the role the foot plays in balance but there needs to be more. It’s kind of a “no duh” kind of thing; the foot is, after all, the foundation of the body. All of those bones, connected by all those intrinsic muscles, are there for a reason: mobility and control. And yet we in the therapy community continue to urge our patients to shackle their feet in constrictive shoes. I know therapists, working on balance in their patients, who have never touched a pair of feet, other than their own, since graduating from school. More awareness of the foot is certainly needed.

    1. At the age of 26 I sprained my left inner arch. I have acute high arches, ridiculous really. I went to the foot doctor and ended up with custom orthotics. Over the years my feet woes got worse. Finally after hearing about “barefooting” via a runner in “Born to Run” I came to the conclusion that my feet problems increased because of the orthotics. (

      I applied the concept of hormesis and immediately started doing more barefoot activities. Yoga, a bosu ball, and lots of barefoot walking have helped so much. I went back to my orthopedic to discuss my successful results and approach.

      The doctor’s reaction? Not pleased; he thought I was exposing myself to increased injuries. I looked at him in disbelief, put on my sandals, and walked out. As I left I noticed all the custom shoes he sells. Not surprising, no vibrams. (Note: My arches are so acute I cannot even fit into any pair of vibrams at my local REI).

  15. Reading websites like this one, it’s becoming more and more clear to me where paranoid conspiracy theorists get some of their paranoia from. The only explanation I can see sometimes, aside from a clear degeneration in the curiosity-centre of the brains of the majority, for the continued stalwart stances of particular “theraputic” items or drugs is greed.

    If people moved the way their bodies were designed to move and fueled them the way they were designed to be fueled (with MEAT and other things, but not things which are poisonous unless you cook them!) then large parts of the theraputic goods industry would fall over. Who would need orthotics, for example, if people walked barefoot most of the time from childhood to adulthood? Only those with actual deformities (from birth or injury) would need such devices, not a large chunk of the population.

    Greed. Not so good, as we suspected all along no doubt.

    A random rant, I know, but I just finished reading a paper on the high cholesterol myth, so I’m a bit soap-boxy today!

  16. Prof Tim Noakes is a highly respected personality in the sporting world especially with regards to running. His book ‘The Lore of Running’ is treated as a bible by runners
    He has also changed his view point on dietary needs and advocates Low Carb/High Fat Protein diet. He caused quite a stir in the media in South Africa.

  17. Great to hear success stories, here’s 3 reasons why everything this site does has worked for me:

    – No more spiking in my blood sugar levels. Such a relief to go from NEEDING to eat every 2 hours, to eating only when I’m hungry…
    – Constantly high energy levels. No drops, god you can get a lot done when food is not your focus.
    – Weight loss has been a side benefit to a perfect 13 stones, 1 stone lighter and now I actually don’t want to loose more weight!

    I know you’re trying to help 10m people, by the MDA advocates sharing their stories, this will happen. I’m up to 8 people who have seen my results and followed suit… if everyone can influence 8-10 with their new life this should be do able! (without rubbing their noses in it of course!…)

    Here are some inital changes for my friends:

    – Rich: 5 years on very strong antacids, managed to stop taking them by day 3 ! That could be a life saver for him.
    – Mike: was stuck at 110kg, after 1 month primal, only lost 5kg but A LOT more muscle replacing that fat
    – Patrick: Gone from feeling bloated and tired to looking distinctly better already and more energy within days
    – Pete: 15 years of bad IBS needing steroids treatment, getting much better and close to coming off the meds.

    Amazing stuff, thanks for opening people’s eyes to what life could and should be like.

  18. The not needing to drink so much water link made me laugh. My father, a man who grew up in hardship in East Africa, would get so perplexed at his children chugging gallons of water every day. He disapproved of drinking so much water, exclaiming “but what will you if you don’t have water nearby?”.

    1. It reminded me of my grandfather, who grew up in the Utah desert during the 1930’s depression. It also brings to mind: the office where I work has one of those water dispensers in the waiting room, and whenever children come in, they immediately gravitate to it, and drink cup after cup of water for as long as they’re here. I dunno, maybe it’s because the air in here is so dry, but if you were to graph the water intake per pound of bodyweight, the children aged 2 – 10 years would be off the charts.

  19. Two things about The Atlantic’s writer. 1)The vast majority of people buy the idiocy that is the USDA food pyramid. It stands to reason that those who somehow lose weight and manage to keep it off on the pyramid would be numerically greater than those following a LC plan. This does not indicate low fat is superior, just most often tried.
    2) As if government approved BMI was the sole indicator of health. I would like to see how many people in that vaunted National Registry can report the same almost immediate improvements in body function.
    You can apparently lose weight by eating low fat and you can even keep it off, but do you get off your meds? Does your brain clear up? Do you become less hungry? Do cravings for universally acknowleged bad food go away? Do you hair and skin show remarkable improvements? Do your allergy symptoms and asthma diminish if not disappear? Does you mental health improve? Do you get to eat nothing but great fresh food?

  20. That Atlantic writer is getting reamed a new one in the comments section.

  21. I only care about dishwashers because of three things:

    1. Sanitizing homebrewing equipment
    2. They use less water than handwashing (critical in dry Colorado)
    3. I don’t own an automatic one, and my current dishwasher is usually too busy fishing to do any dishes!

    1. “If ‘loading the dishwasher’ means getting your wife drunk…” Sorry, had to Foxworthy that one.

      I hear ya, though. If they made an automatic washer specifically designed to handle two five-gallon carboys and four cases of bottles, I’d be all over that.

  22. Agree with the overhydration thing. However, I do think water can be helpful for weight loss. Anecdotally, Dr. Mike Eades has stated that, in his experience, those that drink a lot of water tend to lose more weight on a low carb diet. Drinking ice water can burn a few calories – upwards of 50 per day. Not a lot, but every bit helps. It may also help with fullness/satiety. But that has nought to do with athletic performance, of course.

  23. So this link about making your own bacon says that nitrates are a necessary evil.

    Is this true? Can I start eating bacon from my grocery store again?

  24. I left a comment for Professor Shell on her Atlantic article.
    Judging from her articulations, she’s not one who has tried real food. I might also posit that she has yet to try real research, as her articulation that low-carb = low-calorie is astoundingly, beautifully, sparklingly, wonderously erroneous.
    Oh, and what to say regarding Ms. Shell’s assertions regarding what this community is unable to eat; I bake my OWN coconut flour bread, make my OWN ice cream, and yep, I fry my OWN damned latkes in some damned delicious coconut oil. So guess what? All of the things you’ve specifically pointed out as being things that this community cannot eat are ALSO wrong (and FYI bacon IS candy to the fat-adapted, Ms. Shell, so your assertion that we cannot eat candy is also wrong). Really – most people in this community work very hard to fine-tune and perfect the preparation of REAL food.
    What’s more important than powering your existence with the correct fuel? I wonder if when her vehicle’s gas tank is running low, Ms. Shell fills her diesel-fueled vehicle with unleaded at the pump?… because this practice would indeed be akin to fueling your body with food products.
    Clearly, this journalist is unaware that food can *actually* be made, not just thawed and microwaved. How’s that Lean Cuisine working out for ‘ya?

    What I would like to believe that Ms. Shell is *meaning* to say is that our community doesn’t want to eat mass-produced junk bread, frozen sugary ice-product, and rancid-oil-laden other food products… which she is TOTALLY right about 😉

    In my life I tend to only claim expertise regarding topics I’ve studied.
    If I don’t know much about a subject, I tend to keep my mouth shut until I do broad research on it.
    This Atlantic “contributor” (not sure if she is contributing to anything but the misinformation of her readers)would do well to try a similar tactic.

  25. I posted my reply to our friend at The Atlantic… I feel bad because she’s stuck in a bad marriage with conventional wisdom. Biochemical education is needed.

    Its hard to accept that caloric restriction is not the sole basis of weight loss… I understand that. I cried for hours at a time while eating a 1200-1500 calorie diet, staying hungry, measuring my plain brown rice, cutting fat from everything, adding miserable cardio, and not losing a pound or inch. It’s like an abusive relationship. Once you vest so much of yourself in an ideal like that, it hurts to reject it even though you know its hurting you not to.

    I eat WAY more calories than I ever did, proving n=1 that calories aren’t the issue. My oft-cited raw vegan friend also stays svelte eating tons of calories, mostly in the form of coconut everything, oils, soaked nuts of all kinds, and avocados EVERYWHERE. Therefore, raw veganism doesn’t work through caloric restriction either.

    Ms. Shell, your argument is invalid.

  26. I find it interesting that Ms. Shell is championing the old “calories are all that matters” canard while Mark Bittman over at the NY Times finally seems to be moving away from it. Will Gina Kolata soon follow? That really would be something.