This just goes to show how much of nutritional “science” is pseudoscience. Anyone can use words like “pyruvate” and make themselves sound as if they know something about biochemistry. This is why I take ALL of the dietary advice, even from the Atkins gurus, with several grams of salt!
"The truth about carbs" - an article claiming glucose and fructose are necessary for optimum health. Anyone with more knowledge of biology able to translate this for me?
You’ll like this. Amber O’Hearn takes it apart sentence by sentence:
re the first post, I don’t have the detailed knowledge of biology to verify the CO2 etc questions in the article, but as a counterpoint to the above: at no moment has CAurelius or Saladino meant junk or refined foods when they talk about “carbs,” so the mentions above of junk food and beer are out of place.
Saladino has said many, many times that if you’re insulin resistant, then you should absolutely stay away from carbs, and also that many folks will thrive on a purely carnivore diet. I haven’t followed CA as much, but I believe that both of them were strictly carnivore for a while and couldn’t solve a few issues that started cropping up, and I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss their reintroduction to carbs.
Honey and fruit are definitely ancestral foods. Supermarket fruit has undergone a lot of transformation since our ancestors’ times but there seem to have been plenty of high-sugar fruits around, and honey-gathering is an ancient tradition (no link for this one, but there are enough accounts of modern-day hunter gatherer societies who have complex traditions around it that we can reasonably surmise that it’s an ancient practice). Also, by almost any measure honey is an animal product. It might not be a good food for you (or me, for that matter) but it definitely comes from animals.
Most animal-based folks seem to do best when eating only animal foods, and that’s wonderful. If what you’re doing works for you, don’t change a thing. For those who run into problems (and maybe it’s generally very lean and fit males?) it’s great to know that adding some good sources of carbs might help.
Ironically, even though both Carnivore Aurelius and Saladino sell supplements, neither of them sells carb supplements/products, so it’s not exactly in their interest to talk about this. It would be like someone who got popular as a stict vegan mentioning the odd piece of fish that she enjoys. (Of course, maybe they’ll now start selling honey and oranges but I can’t imagine that would make much sense for them.)
Honey is animal-processed plant matter, actually… I don’t see how it could be animal product… It’s a hybrid but it originally comes from plants but animals does things to it, transforming it. But it starts as a sugary thing and ends up a sugary things and that sugar comes from the plant.
But it doesn’t matter, carnivores typically don’t eat condensed milk either and that’s a sugary animal product… Even normal milk is rarely and typically never used as far as I know. I surely don’t overdo it even on carnivore-ish and I am pretty relaxed there. (Cream is better anyway.)
I personally found enough meat is best for my keto cramps… I never supplement anything on carnivore. It doesn’t mean others don’t need to do that for some reason, it’s just about me but very many people do that and they don’t go off all the time like me. Still, it was very clear than adding enough meat solved my cramp problem.
Not true. I heard a podcast with Saladino where the main thrust was about PUFAs being the root of all evil. (See the Tucker Goodrich podcast, if you want to listen; it’s below.) Saladino said over and over and over that “carbs don’t cause insulin resistance”. His proof? He ate some honey. And he didn’t get insulin resistance.
Now, you might have heard him at other times say that if you’re insulin resistant, you shouldn’t eat carbs, but that’s not what he says here.
I’ve stopped listening to him for reasons like this.
Furthermore, I’ve reached the conclusion that PUFAs play a role in obesity, insulin resistance, etc., but they are not the sine qua non of these. I can guarantee that if you drink good beer, then eat a pizza, then follow that with ice cream, you WILL get fat and insulin resistant. And that’s a (relatively) low PUFA diet.
And I’ve tried eating croissants with added butter and also fried potatoes in suet, both of which are high saturated fat, high starch, low PUFA. And I could eat them and eat them and eat them…no off switch in sight.
I think hormones play a role for some or many of us, and the PUFA hypothesis does not address this.
I should also note that I believe genetics play a role, too. Maybe some people can eat sat fat + starch and overdo these, while others can’t?
Actually it is true; I’ve heard him say multiple times that if you’re already insulin resistant, you shouldn’t have carbs. This doesn’t mean that he thinks honey causes insulin resistance; as you note, Saladino is among the folks who sees PUFAs being the initiating problem. (And in fact, it makes some sense what his conclusion is about himself: if carbs definitely caused insulin resistance then he - and the Hadza, and all the frutitarians, and every other whole food/high-carb population - would all be diabetic.)
I’m not saying you should go back to listening to him! He’s not for everyone. I just don’t see any particular contradiction in his position on honey.
I haven’t followed Marshall very much but from what I gather some folks have great results with his starch + stearic acid recommendations and many don’t! I’m sure - like you say - that genetics play a role, and my guess is that our personal health/diet history does as well.
I agree and also note: it gets so complex that there are significant genetic differences between siblings. Probably even between identical twins, for that matter. For example, I have never had a problem with weight/fat my entire life, even though I ate full-blown SAD for 70 years. One of my brothers, on the other hand, got heavier as he aged to the point where he was 100+ pounds over his ‘ideal’ weight. The only big dietary difference between us was that he drank lots of soda (HFCS) and I drank lots of beer. Otherwise we ate similarly. I resemble our dad prior to having his thyroid nuked and my brother resembles him afterwards.
I have to disagree. Honey bees as we know them are a recent development. Yes, bees produced honey during the Pleistocene, but nothing compared to how productive they are now. So honey was never an ‘ancestral food’ other than a random and trivial ‘treat’. Bees did not produce large amounts that could be ‘harvested’ in any significant way. It is very misleading to try to determine the human diet during the Pleistocene by comparison to modern hunter gathers. Since the culmination of the last glacial max and beginning of the Holocene, both the flora and fauna of the world underwent massive changes. Few folks realize just how massive those changes were. It is speculated that the so-called ‘agricultural revolution’ only occurred because the mega fauna of the Pleistocene virtually all went extinct at the beginning of the Holocene and growing plants was viewed as a viable alternative to replace the animals that were gone. Some of our ancestors were cultivating various plants during the Pleistocene and when the mega fauna disappeared, cultivation was the fallback. The best you can say about it is that it probably saved the human species from following the mastodon and mammoth into extinction. But we paid a huge metabolic/health price.
I can say exactly the same about fruit. Yes, fruits of various sorts were around during the Pleistocene but they were a far cry from what we have today. They were mostly indigestible cellulose and lignans with very little nutrient value. They were additionally limited geographically and seasonally. They could not have been anything more than a trivial part of the human diet. Again, comparison of modern ‘wild’ fruits and berries is not useful. The transformation of flora in the Holocene has been profound and profoundly influenced by human intervention.
Our ancestors weren’t dumb. They didn’t waste time and energy gathering nutrient dilute plant stuff when the alternative was tons of meat and fat on the hoof.
Direct evidence shows 3500y of honey consumption.
Indirect evidence up to 40.000y
I fully agree with you, its plant juice.
Thanks for the link. But 3500 years ago is 7000+ years into the Holocene. The article does not discuss the petroglyph evidence of earlier honey use. I suspect that honey was discovered a long time ago and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was much longer ago than 40k years. I suspect some brave and foolhardy ancestor happened upon an abandoned honey tree and being thirsty scooped out a handful of the stagnant water therein. Fortunately (or not) it had fermented into mead. Thus the discovery of both honey and ethanol. It’s also possible that ethanol was discovered even earlier by eating rotten fruit or berries that by chance had fermented.
Impressive that you could drink beer and not gain weight. To me, beer is one of the most obesogenic foods on the planet.
I did experience a lack of hunger if I could stuff a ton of saturated fat into me. The problem with me was that if I ate anything – even when I was not hungry AT ALL – I ended up eating a normal meal. With the pandemic, my kids were home all the time, so I had a hard time not eating with the family. Today, I’m attempting a 36 hour fast, but to make it through, I’m going to pick up my daughter from dance at 8:15pm, go home, go to bed. No chance to eat.
To me, this ability to eat while not hungry means there’s something else messed up, likely with my hormonal feedback system. That’s at least partially separated from the fat-cell feedback of the saturated fat (though there’s also supposedly some brain feedback with saturated fat, too). Or at least this is the only theory I’ve come up with to explain what happened.
I just think that whenever you see “the X ate Y and they weren’t obese”, you have to carefully consider this. Say, the French (X) ate croissants and potatoes (Y) and aren’t obese. Or the Kitavans (X) ate high carb (Y) and weren’t obese. Does that mean I can eat those things and have the same effect? It’s not totally clear.
Especially when basically all of my extended family is obese:
Dad - obese, developed T2 diabetes
Grandmother and grandfather on my mom’s side: both obese, T2 diabetic (gma, early; gfather, later)
Kids (17+) from my grandmother on my mom’s side: all obese, save my mother
Not sure about my grandmother on my dad’s side, though at least one of her sisters was thin, but her brothers were all heavy. Dad was an only child.
So, I’m fighting against genetics.
I do believe PUFAs are bad. But many people, including Cate Shanahan, both P. Saladino and Tucker Goodrich, and many more, believe PUFAs are THE cause of obesity. I’ve reached the conclusion that’s not true.
For clarification, I am not anti-carbs. There may be valid reasons to eat carbs, such as you can, if you’re one of those people who actually can. There may be benefits for athletes, particularly body builders, but others too. Zach Bitter just ran 100 miles, averaging less than 8 minutes a mile. If Zach thinks he needs some carbs to achieve that, I’m OK with that. But I’m not sure anyone HAS to eat carbs.
It just occurred to me that I was born in 1945 when my dad was still healthy. His hyperthyroidism didn’t get out of control until a few years later. The brother I refer to was born a few years after my dad’s hyperthyroidism had been ‘cured’ by nuking it. So I wonder if there’s more than a coincidental correlation there.
When I say I drank ‘lots of beer’ don’t get the wrong idea. I was always a light beer drinker - ie one at a time. I drank because I like the different flavours of various beers and ales. I never drank to get a ‘buzz’ or to get drunk. In fact, the hint of a buzz was my signal to stop. I was appalled by friends who drank beer by the six pack, got falling down drunk, etc. I could never understand that. I liked beer so much I was a home brewer most of my adult life and only stopped when I started keto. Home brewers are not the stereotype heavy drinkers. We take a lot of time and effort to try to brew interesting stuff. I spent years perfecting braggot (malt and honey beer). If you want to get buzzed or drunk, it’s way cheaper and easier just to buy it. I notice in our local liquor stores here in Vancouver, one can purchase what looks like a quart can of Budweiser for about $5.
My brother, on the other hand, told me recently that for years he drank 2-liter bottles of soda 2-3 times each day! That adds up to a hell of lot of fructose.
You’re like those magical, almost mythical, people who can have one chip (potato, tortilla) and then put the bag away or one small serving of ice cream and put the quart (liter/litre) back into the freezer. Like a jackalope!
Meanwhile, I thought a 6 pack of good beer was a serving.
I never drank sodas or ate “fast food” or anything similar. No milk. No dairy, other than that on pizza. Beer was my downfall. Beer, then pizza, then ice cream. Same night.
Though now I drink usually 1 or sometimes 2 drinks per week, but it’s all hard liquor. I’ve had maybe 5 beers the last 7+ years. I know what my triggers are, and that’s one of them. I avoid that trigger.
The good news is that after ballooning upward due to my trying the croissant diet, I’m back into most of my 36 inch waist pants and some of my 34s. I had just gotten into 34s before the croissant diet. And I’m back to fasting again, albeit only one 36 hour fast per week.
A lot of meat is animal processed plant matter… Just sayin…
I had the same issue, years of strict keto and thyroid was crap. Didn’t even realize it until after the fact when gluing the pieces together and looking over old labs. I now do a tweaked TKD/CKD and my levels went good again. There does seem to be something to the whole carbs and metabolism things for a lot of us, to be fair I destroyed mine a bunch of other ways so no telling where it would be without that being the case but either way adding some carbs back in fixed it.
erm aargh. To much
My favorite meat is animal-processed plant matter
Also known as being a “second hand vegetarian”.
Vegetables are for food!
Still have no idea where Carnivore Aurelius was going with the carbon ‘theory’. And it only got more confusing from there. Admire the effort though.