- Fung, T. T., et al. “Low-Carbohydrate Diets and All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality: Two Cohort Studies.” Annals of Internal Medicine 153, no. 5 (2010): 289–98.
So it used the food questionnaire, the one that lumps meat in with sweets and bread? And correct me if I’m wrong, but that study seems to state it doesn’t make much difference for women, and that meat consumption was linked to higher smoking ergo higher rates of lung cancer.
I expect better of you, Dr. Fung.
Also the study was based on food questionnaires from health care professionals who as most of us know are some of the least healthy people on the planet!
I think Jason Fung is a brilliant man and he’s great at helping people understand what causes obesity and how to prevent or reverse it. He’s changed the lives of hundreds of his patients and who knows how many more that have read his book or listened to his seminars. But I don’t agree with everything he says. Generally, his recommendations are 1000% more healthy than the SAD but I don’t agree with his take on meat, whole grains in conjunction with the apparent importance of fiber and protein limits (on people that are not morbidly obese).
He does mention “All-Bran Buds” in his book The Obesity Code in a 7-day sample meal plan and I dismissed it with a ‘hmmmph’ when I read it. This thread made me go back and revisit that suggestion and I now realize it’s a specific cereal made by Kellogs:
Ingredients. Wheat bran, sugar /glucose-fructose, psyllium seed husks, corn bran (USA only), salt , baking soda , natural colour, vitamins (USA only, thiamin hydrochloride, d- calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, folic acid, iron ), BHT . All-Bran Buds is both Kosher and Halal.
While I am puzzled why he would include this suggestion, I am informed enough to decide it’s not something I would willingly eat. Thanks but no thanks, JF. Still, I’m not quite ready to write off JF as a sell-out to Big Food without more evidence and his book remains the best thing I’ve ever read.
Dr. Fung is quite passionately a critic of the medical-food-industrial complex.
I think his strategy in the Longevity book is really smart and practical and here’s why: average non-obese/non IR mainstream/SAD addict folks who are in their 40s and younger will do better nutrient-wise if they keep to low carb whole foods - for them, that is radical enough to help them start exploring fasting and detoxification.
The book was not written for the obese or IR - or for carb addicts. And if one is fasting, one can handle a certain amount of carbs much better in the feasting windows - so make them whole carbs within some limit - which he does have, as shared above. For the non-IR/non-obese its 50-100 grams of carbs a day. That’s official low carb: a small-medium bowl of rice or whole grain pasta, plus veggies & protein I believe?
(Not a huge bowl of refined pasta from Macaroni Grill, etc. And apparently the new book is not for sugar/pasta/rice addicts - as they will soon have trouble keeping to only 100g a day until they’ve fasted a lot).
Quotes from Dr. Fung about hormonal healing and the medical/food industry, in the video linked below. I really really like his cross-cultural perspectives and realism.
The Longevity book is not about dietary disease - it’s about otherwise healthy people who utilize fasting and low-carb whole foods, which is an entirely do-able thing.
“You can’t fix a dietary disease with medicine.”
“ 99% of diabetics in the world are being treated incorrectly - Type II diabetes is reversible up until the very late stage… Dogma’s very hard to break… we’ve been treating sugar addicts with insulin - like giving a heroin addict heroin.”
“ The physiology has been sort of distorted by other interests - particularly food companies, sugary beverage companies - who want the calorie theory to be correct. We’re looking into advocacy to get the conflict-of-interest out of medicine… We all pretend we live in a world of “evidence-based” medicine. The problem is, if all the evidence is corrupt, then evidence-based medicine is also going to be corrupt. If all your evidence is produced by pharmaceuticals, is produced by people getting paid by the sugar industry for example - you’re gonna think that sugar’s fine! ”
“The good news is that you can take control of your health and regain 90% of your health. The larger societal issue is to get the bias out of medical science. The reason that medical science is hopelessly bad is that there is too much bias.”
“ I don’t blame the sugar company or the big food company or the pharma company - their responsibility to their shareholders is to sell. The problem is that we allow Coca Cola to pay the Univ. of Toronto and then they produce crappy research! Nobody’s allowed to give police officers or judges anything - but we say oh yeah, if you’re a big company you can give doctors anything you want… Why do we allow this to happen???.. We have to get political, we shouldn’t be allowing any of this! ”
He emphasizes that frequency of eating is more relevant than macros , and talks about various fascinating & compelling cross-cultural angles that show that low levels of insulin can exist in diverse cuisine traditions when people don’t eat all day!!!
Actual main talk with Dr. Fung starts at 3:14 if you want to skip the opening commercial. There are also additional annoying commercials to skip through.
I heard Dr. Fung defend choices like “All-Bran Buds” on a podcast after The Obesity Code came out.
I cannot remember all of the details but, he gave an example of an elderly Asian couple (non-English speaking too I think) that has eaten rice their entire lives.
He said that in his clinic, he couldn’t start in with what has carbs, what doesn’t, get X grams or protein, no rice, chicken is okay etc. basically trying to change everything they ate.
He knew he would not get compliance (in fact probably not even understood).
Instead he used the simplicity of fasting alone to control hormones - rule was just when to eat and when not to eat.
So, I think that “All-Bran Buds” was just some example patient’s favorite breakfast cereal and it got thrown in - I don’t think he was trying recommend it. He was all about when you eat being much more important than what you eat (and a little bit of some questionable favorite food for compliance is better than not getting compliance).
Also of course this book is co-authored with Dr DiNicolantonio so we can’t blame JF for all of it…!
Although if he ever co-authored one with Dr Berg…
Actually we can - both take all the blame, that’s how co-authoring works
Shit that means I need a new profile pic!
I happen to have been live-streaming Dr Fung just now from his talk at Low Carb Denver. He just finished.
He sounded pretty much like a Total Low Carb Proponent (along with the Fasting as you might have expected) and it left me a bit bewildered, and re-assured all at the same time.
Fung’s not Jesus Christ (I am aware) and just like all of us (except God in the Flesh) what any M.D. speaks is worthy of scrutiny.
Does a bit of confusing co-authorship make Fung a Low Carb Heretic? Dunno…but I’ve decided to give him a pass, based on what I just heard.
A little “grace” to be WRONG now and again, has kept my wife and I together 40 years.
Just got the book today.
Epilogue images below:
Basically his 5 factors for longevity are:
Restrict protein to 50:50 plant/animal to reduce mTOR activation and limit to 1.2-1.8 (Moderate exercise) grams/kg depending on level of physical training. (1.6-1.8: Endurance athletes, 1.6,1.7-3.3: Bodybuilders, Elite athletes,
1.2: Elderly and Sedentary).
Get 50% of animal protein from marine sources.
Use plenty of salt and 300mg of magnesium; sodium available from milk or cheese; miso, combo, soy sauce.
Fats: no vegetable oils, consume nuts, fish, olive oil.
Use organic or pastured eggs, dairy, cheese or meat.
Diets: He mentions Eco-Atkins and LCHF. The Ketogenic diet is also suitable as too much protein will prevent ketosis; this implies using dietary apps or measuring ketones.
Thanks for sharing actual facts about what he says.
Let’s be fair. It feels a bit like cheating to use the actual quotes from the book, much less actual photos of the book; it’s empirical and unseemly. It’s far more Aristotelian to estimate the extent of Dr. Fung’s heresy through interpretation of the NY Post article about what those fine journalists thought the book might be about.
Dr. Fung: Thanks for your time. Any questions?
NY Post: So basically the most important thing is eating whole grains.
Dr. Fung: Actually no, I said the most important thing is to minimize grains.
NY Post: But surely you’re not exluding grains entirely. That would be extreme and restrictive.
Dr. Fung: A slice of bread once a month won’t kill you, but grains should generally be avoided.
NY Post: Right, just like animal fats.
Dr. Fung: No I said animal fats should be 50% of your dietary fats.
NY Post: So you restrict animal fats to 50%. Got it.
NY Post Article: The Longevity Solution recommends whole grains and restricts animal fats…
Ketogenic Forum: Down with Fung!!!
I’m kidding of course. What’s really interesting to me is how much Dr. Fung has increased his protein recommendations. He previously recommended .6g/kg as a starting point but in this book it’s increased to 1g/kg. That’s a big jump! I’m curious what new information might have caused him to revise recommendations for protein so much higher. I’m not complaining of course since that’s how much I eat anyway, I’m just curious.
From what I’ve heard, the first book was written for the obese and the second was written for people of normal weight. But don’t quote me.
Prof. Bikman’s take on mTOR makes much more sense.
I’m a fan of Dr Fung, he’s a pragmatist, realises people vary (not just metabolically but culture/cravings/lifestyles) and his main focus is : ‘how to make this work for this person’.
He’s fairly driven re fasting (which let’s face it works), but again adapted in duration/variation to individuals.
He promotes low refined carbs; non-refined he says ‘see what works for you’.
On protein he reckons get half from plants (there is some macronutrient/fibre advantage). Nuts, beans, avocados and many fibrous veggies are all compatible with keto.
The only controversy is he reckons don’t have excess protein (although he advocates more for athletes and elderly people at risk of Sarcopenia). This is at odds with Ben Bikram and others - both cite evidence - I would just love to get them head to head to argue it out!
His book is well-evidenced. People vary - they can take or leave, or adapt his suggestions.
I haven’t found beans to be workable for me. They take me over my 20 net carb per day limit.
Depends how many you have! I also reason it depends what you eat them with - mixed with non-glycaemic foods likely lessens any carb spike. Eg, just had half a tin of salmon stir-fried in butter with mushrooms, mung beans and then chucked some grated cheese on top. This doesn’t cause any spiking with me, but I guess we all vary.