Tsimane Diet Low Fat High Carb and very healthy

(Nigel Williams) #1

Trying to read the research but a bit over my head. Are we wrong about LCHF or am I missing something? This is out in the U.K. today.

(Guardian of the bacon) #2

Their diet is high in unrefined carbohydrates (72%) with about 14% protein and it is very low in sugar and in fat – also 14%, which amounts to about 38g of fat a day including 11g of saturated fat. (copied from the article)

It is the combination of refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats that is so lethal in the SAD. You can eat a lot of unprocessed carbs if you keep the added sugars and fat content extremely low. Most modern cultures would find that diet very unpalatable.

(Nigel Williams) #3

Succinct and great response.

Sadly the takeaway from the article is eat 72% carbs and you will be heart healthy. Oh well the battle continues.

(Jaidann) #4

Honestly, I think they are trying to compare apples to oranges here. Very interesting article but there is no commonality between these people and I guess you’d say the “industrialized” world.

These folks are HIGHLY active. They basically do physical work most all day long in some form. They are not exposed to “processed” foods but the foods that come naturally to them in their area. They work for their food … most of us just drive to the grocery store and eat.

BTW - I totally love their way of life! How cool would that be. I’d definitely leave my cell phone at the door to experience this type of life for a while!

Edited to add - this is just my opinion :slight_smile:

(Tom) #5

Nothing really new here. Staffan Lindeberg (may he rest in peace) studied tribes in Papua New Guinea who had a similar diet, smoked like chimneys, and still had pretty impressive biomarkers. And like the tribe mentioned in this article, they lived a premodern lifestyle, got tons of exercise, and didn’t eat modern foods. Adding modern processed foods occurs around the same time that diseases of civilization show up, which, if I recall, was also seen among Inuit and other northern tribes whose diet was largely ketogenic. Bottom line, unless you’re going to mimic Every. Single. Aspect. of their lives, including not using artificial light, antibiotics, etc, this study is just a testament to the multifactorial causes of diseases of civilization, and not to be used as a dietary prescription. Not that it won’t be used that way by many uninformed people…


Tsimane do not eat pasta, bread, granola bars, potato chips, crackers, cookies, cakes, breakfast cereal, oatmeal porridge, polenta, pastries, chocolate bars, candies, muffins, scones, sandwiches, french fries, marmalade, fruit juice, fizzy drinks, pizza, ice cream.

(Nigel Williams) #7

You guys (and gals) are the tops. Helps so much when I get the newspaper thrust under my nose Monday and told “see told you fat is bad and carbs are fine.”


I read that article today too, and was looking for counter arguments, but none are really compelling. Keto is about reducing carbs, but with this article people are saying that some carbs are worse than others? It still remains that this diet is HCLF. I get that processed foods are bad, and too much sugar too, but that just says eat real food and don’t worry about the carbs then…

(A ham loving ham! - VA6KD) #9

I thought we count net carbs when it comes to veggies and the like…so high unrefined carbs (fruit and veggies (not so much fruit though)), to me, are still fairly low net carbs.

(Nigel Williams) #10

Yes, the evidence is not absolute and those who won’t listen will use such information to stop change.

Generally we will see slow change.

Teasing out whether we’re fixing ourselves by cutting carbs or not smoking or using unleaded fuel is easy for us individually but as a whole country is tough.

Even if the government regs change to LCHF many will disagree, accuse them of nanny state and find non facts to carry on.

But on the good side we can change those near and dear. I believe if we try to cover up evidence that disagrees with our position then it is easier to discredit everything about LCHF.

In the U.K. recently a TV show aired where celebs went on a farm and ate high fat, complex carbs and no sugar, they did reduce weight a little. I wasn’t persuaded by the benefits of the complex carbs but it’s a small change in the right direction.

This study found natural food was best, sort of along paleo lines, again not what I believe but it’s better than a study saying margarine and sugar is good.

With us all agreed on this the focus can move on to whether carbs are good or bad (I believe bad) this narrowing of the arguments makes it harder to muddy the narrative with other factors.

For example:, RCTs can keep everything the same except the carbs (exercise the same, types of fats and protein the same but lower carbs).

If we squabble about the detail it’s easy to divide and rule. We are against a powerful food and pharma industry and decades of misinformation. The more people who go LCHF the more these opponents will feel cornered and fight dirty.

I get frustrated about the slowness but strategy is everything. This is a long battle and there will be set backs this being one. But we need to make alliances (not always with those we fully agree with) and take ground bit by bit. Based on facts and not hyperbole.


You need to take into consideration when this natural way of eating was adopted. If a person ate a western diet for decades, metabolic derangement had started in the body and needs to be corrected before adopting a high carb natural diet. That healing takes years or decades. Just like a scar takes years or decades to disappear. I did lots of damage to my body…and the “metabolic scar” needs to be healed. If I would have started eating natural high carb foods (no pasta, no bread, no crackers, no breakfast cereal, no pizza, etc) as well as eat fruit only when in season (and not 12 months out of the year) I would very likely be OK with a natural high carb diet like the natives eat.