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Author Topic:   Good Calories, Bad Calories, by Gary Taubes
Percy
Member
Posts: 20953
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 166 of 451 (469435)
06-05-2008 3:56 PM
Reply to: Message 164 by PaulK
06-05-2008 1:48 PM


Re: The Pima Indians: What Taubes Really Says
PaulK writes:

But surely the comparison is implicit in Taubes' point. Obviously he is bringing up the Pima tribe as a counter to the assertion that modern prosperity is a cause of obesity.

Yes he is, and I wasn't trying to give any other impression. I just didn't think that was the message anyone would take from what Molbiogirl claimed he said.

Inherent within the dietary fat hypothesis is that obesity coincides with prosperity, and that prosperity brings with it increased fat intake (overeating) and a sedentary lifestyle. Taubes introduces the example of the Pima Indians to show that obesity can also coincide with poverty.

He has other examples, of course. One more contemporary example (and I can't look up the details as the book is at home) is of fat mothers with undernourished children in regions struggling with maintaining adequate food supplies. Unless you believe that the mothers are feeding themselves at the expense of their children, they are getting fat on diets insufficient to nourish their children. Something has happened to their metabolism to cause fat storage to be emphasized over all else.

Elevated intake of carbohydrates over a number of years leads to something called metabolic syndrome, which includes amongst its symptoms insulin resistance, which means the muscles have diminished numbers of receptors for insulin, which muscles use to metabolize glucose. Fat cells usually remain receptive to insulin, or at least much more receptive than muscle cells, and so they absorb fatty acids fromt the bloodstream while the muscles starve.

Your article, Obesity and Diabetes is from the National Institutes of Health, one of the primary supporters, if not *the* primary supporter, of the dietary fat hypothesis. The article's author is Lorraine H. Marchand, an editor, and she is apparently trying to relate the research and opinions of Dr. Eric Ravussin. I don't know whether the errors are hers or Dr. Ravussin, but here are the portions I would question:

  • She applies the "thrifty gene" theory to the Pima Indians. While many will agree that individual metabolisms are highly varied, no such gene across an entire population has ever been identified.

  • She says that the Pima only became fat after the return of Indian servicemen after World War II. In fact, the Pima were already fat by the early 20th century, as the research of Frank Russell and Ales Hrdicka indicates, and that Taubes references in his book and his talks. Frank Russell:

    Russell 1901-1902 writes:

    "Many old persons exhibit a degree of obesity that is in striking contrast with the 'tall and sinewy' Indian conventionalized in popular thought."

    And Ales Hrdicka:

    Ales Hrdicka 1903-1905 writes:

    "Especially well-nourished individuals, females and also males, occur in every tribe and at all ages...but real obesity is found almost exclusively among the Indians on the reservations...and among adults of less than 60 years of age.

    So obesity among the Pima was well established a half century before the NIH article says.

  • Dr. Ravussin is quoted saying, "The only way to correct obesity is to eat less fat and exercise regularly." This is obviously untrue, and we can only hope that Dr. Ravussin was misquoted.

  • It is ironic to have an article about diabetes advocate a diet higher in carbohydrates (starch, in this case), but that's just what this article does:

    The article writes:

    "We've learned from this study of the Mexican Pimas that if the Pima Indians of Arizona could return to some of their traditions, including a high degree of physical activity and a diet with less fat and more starch, we might be able to reduce the rate, and surely the severity, of unhealthy weight in most of the population," Ravussin says.

What would be worth exploring is whether the problems the Pima are experiencing today with obesity and diabetes might be addressed with a low carbohydrate diet. Mounting evidence appears to indicate the possibility that the longer elevated levels of carbohydrate intake are maintained, the more an individual's metabolism changes to emphasize fat storage at the expense of other needs, such as for energy and muscle maintenance. It would take a generation to know the results.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Fix garbled explanation about fat cells and insulin.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 164 by PaulK, posted 06-05-2008 1:48 PM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 167 by PaulK, posted 06-05-2008 4:28 PM Percy has replied
 Message 178 by Buzsaw, posted 06-07-2008 8:45 AM Percy has seen this message but not replied

PaulK
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Posts: 17178
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 167 of 451 (469442)
06-05-2008 4:28 PM
Reply to: Message 166 by Percy
06-05-2008 3:56 PM


Re: The Pima Indians: What Taubes Really Says
Aside from general skepticism about all hypotheses at diet I have noticed a tendency to the use of strawmen in your relation of Taubes' claims (to what extent these are due to Taubes or to you, I cannot say). To deal with the example in this post.

quote:

Inherent within the dietary fat hypothesis is that obesity coincides with prosperity, and that prosperity brings with it increased fat intake (overeating) and a sedentary lifestyle. Taubes introduces the example of the Pima Indians to show that obesity can also coincide with poverty.

Is Taubes seriously suggesting that the "dietary fat hypothesis" claims that poor people with a sedentary lifestyle and a high calorie intake will NOT become fat ? Surely the only relevance of prosperity is that it permits many people to live a sedentary lifestyle and eat lots of calories. To say otherwise is to put the cart before the horse !

Your comments on the article don't address an important point - the comparison with the Mexican Pima. Nor really the difference between the traditional diet and the modern diet. But surely these are the most important points for Taubes' hypothesis.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 166 by Percy, posted 06-05-2008 3:56 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 168 by Percy, posted 06-05-2008 6:04 PM PaulK has replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 20953
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 168 of 451 (469476)
06-05-2008 6:04 PM
Reply to: Message 167 by PaulK
06-05-2008 4:28 PM


Re: The Pima Indians: What Taubes Really Says
PaulK writes:

Is Taubes seriously suggesting that the "dietary fat hypothesis" claims that poor people with a sedentary lifestyle and a high calorie intake will NOT become fat?

Taubes wouldn't characterize the Pima at the turn of the 20th century as sedentary. If you listen to that Taubes lecture around the 10-13 minute area you'll hear him talk about how the fattest segment of Pima society, the woman, seemed to do the most and hardest wrok, describing the loads they had to carry and so forth.

Taubes believes that while calories are not the most significant factor, they are still very significant. Consume enough calories and you will gain weight, but other factors being equal, he believes that the higher the proportion of carbohydrates the more weight you'll gain.

Your comments on the article don't address an important point - the comparison with the Mexican Pima. Nor really the difference between the traditional diet and the modern diet. But surely these are the most important points for Taubes' hypothesis.

The Mexican Pima may be eating a diet that was traditional somewhere somewhen for Pima, but it is definitely not the diet described by the US expeditionary force back in 1846, which included foods from fishing, hunting and crops. According to The Pima Paradox:

The Mexican Pima, it turns out, eat a diet consisting almost entirely of beans, potatoes, and corn tortillas, with chicken perhaps once a month. They take in twenty-two hundred calories a day, which is slightly more than the Pima of Arizona do. But on the average each of them puts in twenty-three hours a week of moderate to hard physical labor, whereas the average Arizona Pima puts in two hours.

Both Pima groups have diets very rich in carbohydrates, the difference being level of physica activity.

Your "Obesity and Diabetes" article says that, "Out of 35 Mexican Pimas studied, only three had diabetes..." Three Pima out of 35 is nearly 10%, so I don't understand how they could say "only three". Maybe compared to the Arizona Pima it is small and that's why they said "only three."

If the Mexican Pima had actually returned to a traditional Pima diet then it would have been very low in carbohydrates, because the diet of the Pima that we know from the 1840s was from hunting, fishing and crops. Ravussin implies that the Mexican Pima have a higher intake of starch than the Arizona Pima, but if their diet actually does consist primarily of bean, potatoes and corn torillas then it would be hard to imagine having a diet higher in carbohydrates than that.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 167 by PaulK, posted 06-05-2008 4:28 PM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 169 by PaulK, posted 06-05-2008 6:46 PM Percy has replied

PaulK
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Posts: 17178
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 169 of 451 (469486)
06-05-2008 6:46 PM
Reply to: Message 168 by Percy
06-05-2008 6:04 PM


Re: The Pima Indians: What Taubes Really Says
quote:

Taubes wouldn't characterize the Pima at the turn of the 20th century as sedentary. If you listen to that Taubes lecture around the 10-13 minute area you'll hear him talk about how the fattest segment of Pima society, the woman, seemed to do the most and hardest wrok, describing the loads they had to carry and so forth.

Which is an entirely different argment. Arguing that a group of poor people don't get fat does NOT refute the idea that a sedentary lifestyle combined with a high calorie intake generates obesity. There was never a hypothesis that prosperity in itself directly caused obesity. Yet that was what you said that Taubes was trying to refute !

quote:

The Mexican Pima may be eating a diet that was traditional somewhere somewhen for Pima, but it is definitely not the diet described by the US expeditionary force back in 1846, which included foods from fishing, hunting and crops.

I raised the issue of comparison with the Mexican Pima and a comparison with the traditional diet as separate points - clearly NOT equating the two. Thus your comment here does not address anything I said.

quote:

Both Pima groups have diets very rich in carbohydrates, the difference being level of physica activity.

But the Mexican Pima diet is full of starch. So in fact the recommendation that you scoffed at was a suggestion that the American Pima should live more like the Mexicans.

quote:

Your "Obesity and Diabetes" article says that, "Out of 35 Mexican Pimas studied, only three had diabetes..." Three Pima out of 35 is nearly 10%, so I don't understand how they could say "only three". Maybe compared to the Arizona Pima it is small and that's why they said "only three."

Apparently so: More than half of all Pima Indians over age 35 have diabetes

quote:

If the Mexican Pima had actually returned to a traditional Pima diet then it would have been very low in carbohydrates, because the diet of the Pima that we know from the 1840s was from hunting, fishing and crops

That really depends on the proportions. According to the article cited above the Pima were primarily an agricultural people. I suspect that the Mexican Pima diet is closer to the traditional diet than you allow, with crops forming the major portion.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 168 by Percy, posted 06-05-2008 6:04 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 170 by Percy, posted 06-05-2008 9:08 PM PaulK has replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 20953
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 170 of 451 (469505)
06-05-2008 9:08 PM
Reply to: Message 169 by PaulK
06-05-2008 6:46 PM


Re: The Pima Indians: What Taubes Really Says
PaulK writes:

Which is an entirely different argment. Arguing that a group of poor people don't get fat does NOT refute the idea that a sedentary lifestyle combined with a high calorie intake generates obesity.

I'm just describing Taubes' position, which in the lecture he describes as an observation. He makes a number of observations which he finds supportive of his hypothesis. I don't think he believes these observations constituted any refutation of any other hypothesis, and he never advances the argument that a sedentary lifestyle combined with a high calorie intake doesn't generate obesity. I think I already said this in my previous message, but in case I didn't, Taubes believes you'll gain more weight on a high carbohydrate diet than a high fat diet.

There was never a hypothesis that prosperity in itself directly caused obesity.

Actually, there is, and Taubes refers to it as the dietary fat hypothesis. This is the hypothesis that diets too high in fat, and in particular too high in particular kinds of fat, are responsible for the diseases of western civilization, namely obesity, diabetes and heart disease. These diseases occur at far higher rates in countries with western-style diets than they do elsewhere.

I raised the issue of comparison with the Mexican Pima and a comparison with the traditional diet as separate points - clearly NOT equating the two. Thus your comment here does not address anything I said.

Well, it wasn't for lack of trying. If you'd like to raise your point again I'll try to do better. While poking around I did find an article on the web that articulates the carbohydrate position on the Pima, see Low Grain and Carbohydrate Diets Treat Hypoglycemia, Heart Disease, Diabetes Cancer and Nearly ALL Chronic Illness and go about halfway down the page to the section titled "Epidemiological Data".

But the Mexican Pima diet is full of starch. So in fact the recommendation that you scoffed at was a suggestion that the American Pima should live more like the Mexicans.

Type II diabetes is caused by high glucose levels (carbohydrates are the source of this glucose), placing a strain on the pancreas with constant demands for more insulin. As the body develops insulin resistance the demands for insulin go up (this, along with a collection of other symptoms, including obesity, constitute metabolic syndrome) until the pancreas gives out resulting in full blown Type II diabetes. Suggesting that a population prone to Type II diabetes should increase their carbohydrate intake seems irresponsible to me.

Apparently so: More than half of all Pima Indians over age 35 have diabetes

Ah! Thank you for that information. So it made sense to use the adjective "only" for a diabetes rate of almost 10% when compared to a rate of over 50%.

It would be interesting to know what the average Pima diet is like today. The information is probably out there somewhere, but I'm out of time as the basketball game is starting.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 169 by PaulK, posted 06-05-2008 6:46 PM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 171 by PaulK, posted 06-06-2008 2:05 AM Percy has replied

PaulK
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Posts: 17178
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 171 of 451 (469560)
06-06-2008 2:05 AM
Reply to: Message 170 by Percy
06-05-2008 9:08 PM


Re: The Pima Indians: What Taubes Really Says
Percy, your use of strawmen - whether derived from Taubes or your own thinking - remains far too obvious.

quote:

There was never a hypothesis that prosperity in itself directly caused obesity.

Actually, there is, and Taubes refers to it as the dietary fat hypothesis. This is the hypothesis that diets too high in fat, and in particular too high in particular kinds of fat, are responsible for the diseases of western civilization, namely obesity, diabetes and heart disease. These diseases occur at far higher rates in countries with western-style diets than they do elsewhere.


Firstly it is obvious that the hypothesis you describe is NOT a hypothesis that obesity is DIRECTLY caused by prosperity. It is the high-calorie diet combined with a sedentary lifestyle that is the direct cause. And even that is something of a strawman since it doesn't deal with the fact that it is the calories rather than fat specifically that are linked to obesity, and it is only saturated fats that are strongly linked to heart disease.

(Don't you see the obvious conflict between attacking Taubes' opponents for saying that "a calorie is a calorie" and also attacking them for saying that fat alone is responsible for obesity ? If a calorie is a calorie, then sugar is as bad as fat, or worse !)

quote:

While poking around I did find an article on the web that articulates the carbohydrate position on the Pima, see Low Grain and Carbohydrate Diets Treat Hypoglycemia, Heart Disease, Diabetes Cancer and Nearly ALL Chronic Illness and go about halfway down the page to the section titled "Epidemiological Data".

Now I don't know why you consider this a reliable source on the traditional Pima diet. Based on the titles in the references, it seems that the only article cited on the Arizona Pima is one from the NYT. And it just so happens that the article is recommending a "hunter-gatherer" diet, like the one it attributes to the Pima. So, especially given the emphasis on irrigation systems in other sources and the claims that fat consisted of just 15% of the traditional Pima diet, I am still skeptical of the idea that hunting was as important as you suggest, or if it was, it is relevant to the "harmlessness" of fat.

quote:

Suggesting that a population prone to Type II diabetes should increase their carbohydrate intake seems irresponsible to me.

The evidence is that the Mexican Pima have a significantly lower incidence of diabetes. So I have to ask (again) why suggesting that the Arizona Pima make their lifestyle more like the Mexican Pima is so obviously bad. If you are right, then why aren't the Mexican Pima even worse off ? (Don't say exercise, since that was part of the recommendation).

Addition: This study evaluates what it refers to as traditional Pima foods.


Their diets today are considerably different from those before 1930,
which were dominated by wild and cultivated desert legumes
(3), with cacti, fish, and small seeds as supplements (4). Mesquite,
corn, and legumes together provided 40-50% of food
intake by weight.

The "before 1930" issue obviously raises questions, so this doesn't settle the issue, but it does tend to support the idea of agriculture as a major factor in their traditional diet.

Edited by PaulK, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 170 by Percy, posted 06-05-2008 9:08 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 172 by Percy, posted 06-06-2008 8:20 AM PaulK has replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 20953
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 172 of 451 (469580)
06-06-2008 8:20 AM
Reply to: Message 171 by PaulK
06-06-2008 2:05 AM


Re: The Pima Indians: What Taubes Really Says
PaulK writes:

Percy, your use of strawmen - whether derived from Taubes or your own thinking - remains far too obvious.

...

Firstly it is obvious that the hypothesis you describe is NOT a hypothesis that obesity is DIRECTLY caused by prosperity. It is the high-calorie diet combined with a sedentary lifestyle that is the direct cause.

I had no idea that you intended the word "directly" to be of key importance, but I'm just explaining my position. Sometimes your responses don't actually address my position but appear to reflect a misunderstanding of it, so when I attempt to clarify my position it won't actually address your objection, and that's neither of our faults since we only just engaged yesterday and haven't had to time establish a common ground for communication yet. I don't see any need to leap to conclusions that I'm inventing strawmen while scoffing and attacking.

In his book Taubes is attempting to show two things:

  • That the dietary fat hypothesis that has held sway in nutritional circles for the past 30 years is likely wrong.

  • That the carbohydrate hypothesis is likely correct.

It is widely believed in nutritional circles that the dietary and lifestyle modalities associated with western civilization ("prosperity") cause significantly higher levels of obesity, diabetes and heart disease. The dietary fat hypothesis is the idea that it is dietary fat that is most responsible, and that to reduce the risk of these diseases one should reduce their intake of dietary fat, particularly certain types of dietary fat.

The dietary fat hypothesis began its journey toward becoming the prevailing wisdom with the issuance of the 1977 McGovern report Dietary Goals for the United States. Here's the summary of the recommendations:

Dietary Goals for the United States writes:

  1. Increase carbohydrate consumption to account for 55 to 60 percent of the energy (caloric) intake.

  2. Reduce overall fat consumption from approximately 40 to 30 percent of energy intake.

  3. Reduce saturated fat consumption to account for about 10 percent of total energy intake; and balance that with poly-unsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats, which should account for about 10 percent of energy intake each.

  4. Reduce cholesterol consumption to about 300 mg. A day.

  5. Reduce sugar consumption by about 40 percent to account for about 15 percent of total energy intake.

  6. Reduce salt consumption by about 50 to 85 percent to approximately 3 grams a day.

While some of these recommendations are obviously dated today and have been significantly revised or eliminated (for example, we now know that dietary cholesterol intake levels are not associated with serum (blood) cholesterol levels, though cholesterol content is still featured prominently on nutrition labels), the first two recommendations of increasing carbohydrate intake while reducing fat intake have had an enormous impact on dietary habits in this country, creating an entire new segment of the food industry that has filled our grocery stores and restaurants with an array of low fat food choices.

Concurrent with these changes in dietary habits, the past thirty years have seen the rates of obesity and diabetes Type II skyrocket while heart disease levels remain unabated. Obviously the emphasis on increasing carbohydrate intake while reducing fat intake has had the opposite of the intended effect.

quote:

While poking around I did find an article on the web that articulates the carbohydrate position on the Pima, see Low Grain and Carbohydrate Diets Treat Hypoglycemia, Heart Disease, Diabetes Cancer and Nearly ALL Chronic Illness and go about halfway down the page to the section titled "Epidemiological Data".

Now I don't know why you consider this a reliable source on the traditional Pima diet.

I didn't say I offered the source because I thought it was reliable, though hopefully it isn't wrong in any significant way. The reason I offered it was because it represents a clear articulation of the carbohydrate position on the Pima. It wasn't intended to convince you of the carbohydrate position (though that would be nice), but just to make it clear to you because it seemed to me that you had drawn a couple conclusions about what the carbohydrate position says about the Pima that it really doesn't say.

And it just so happens that the article is recommending a "hunter-gatherer" diet, like the one it attributes to the Pima. So, especially given the emphasis on irrigation systems in other sources and the claims that fat consisted of just 15% of the traditional Pima diet, I am still skeptical of the idea that hunting was as important as you suggest, or if it was, it is relevant to the "harmlessness" of fat.

If you have links to the sources you found describing the traditional Pima diet, the one prior to 1850, I'd like to look at them.

It would also be helpful to know the diet of the contemporary Pima. The links I've found so far haven't provided much detail, though I do see frequent mention of potatoes, corn tortillas and beans, which if accurate would mean the modern Pima diet is very high in carbohydrates.

The evidence is that the Mexican Pima have a significantly lower incidence of diabetes. So I have to ask (again) why suggesting that the Arizona Pima make their lifestyle more like the Mexican Pima is so obviously bad. If you are right, then why aren't the Mexican Pima even worse off ? (Don't say exercise, since that was part of the recommendation).

I'm sorry, I don't follow your logic, so I can't follow your request to not mention exercise. Removing glucose from the bloodstream through exercise (because the muscles consume the glucose) should yield similar results to never putting the glucose in the bloodstream in the first place by reducing carbohydrate intake. The fact that the Mexican Pima have a lower incidence rate of obesity and diabetes and a higher consumption level of carbohydrates is confounded by their much higher level of physical activity. This was described clearly in the link I provided.

Addition: This study evaluates what it refers to as traditional Pima foods.

Their diets today are considerably different from those before 1930,
which were dominated by wild and cultivated desert legumes
(3), with cacti, fish, and small seeds as supplements (4). Mesquite,
corn, and legumes together provided 40-50% of food
intake by weight.

The "before 1930" issue obviously raises questions, so this doesn't settle the issue, but it does tend to support the idea of agriculture as a major factor in their traditional diet.

This contradicts other accounts that have government rations high in carbohydrates comprising a significant proportion of the Pima diet after their move to the reservation in the second half of the 19th century. It would be nice if we could find a primary source reference that describes the history of the Pima after 1850, including their diet.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Typo.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 171 by PaulK, posted 06-06-2008 2:05 AM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 174 by PaulK, posted 06-06-2008 2:01 PM Percy has replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 20953
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 173 of 451 (469586)
06-06-2008 10:03 AM


Carbohydrates are Sugar
Regardless of anyone's feelings about Taubes' book or low carbohydrate diets in general, I'm sure most would agree that too much sugar is bad for you. But how many know that to the body there is no difference between carbohydrates and sugar?

When you eat carbohydrates, they become glucose in the bloodstream.

When you eat a candy bar, the sugar in the candy bar, which is a type of carbohydrate, becomes glucose and fructose in the bloodstream. Glucose and fructose are the two components of table sugar, which is also called sucrose.

The body cannot tell the difference between carbohydrates and sugar. To the body they are one and the same.

So here is some very interesting nutritional information:

FoodCalories per 100 gramsCarbs minus fiber per 100 grams
M&M candy49268.7
Bread, white26648.2
Bread, whole wheat24639.2
Corn tortillas21838.3
Potatoes9320.0

While M&M candy is highest in both calories and carbs, today the sugar in candy is usually 55% fructose and 45% glucose (it's made with high fructose corn syrup), and fructose is metabolized via different metabolic pathways than glucose. We really want to look at only the glucose component, both because this is what is thought to more directly contribute to obesity and diabetes and because we want to compare apples to apples, and so M&M candy has only 30.9 grams of glucose carbohydrate, which makes it the lowest contributor of glucose in the table except for potatoes.

In other words, 100 grams of white bread contributes more glucose to your bloodstream than 100 grams of M&Ms. Also note how little whole wheat bread saves you in terms of calories and carbohydrates. Also note that corn tortillas have more than twice as much carbohydrates as potatoes and nearly as much as wheat bread.

The amount of non-fiber carbohydrates in four slices of whole wheat bread is about 84 grams. Just for calibration, a large whole wheat sub roll is 81.7 grams (D'Angelo Bread and Toppings Nutrition Page). Anyway, whether it's four slices of bread or a sub roll, either contains almost as much glucose as 260 grams (more than a half pound) of M&Ms, and that's before even making the sandwich.

So if you believe that too much candy is bad for you, then you must also accept that too much bread is bad for you, too, along with pasta, pastry and cereal. This is why the current food pyramid with bread, pasta and cereal forming the broad base is completely backward. Bread, pasta and cereal should be at the top of the pyramid. They should provide the smallest component.

Unfortunately for the poor, high carbohydrate foods are also the cheapest source of calories.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Grammar.

Edited by Percy, : Rewrite the sub roll paragraph.

Edited by Percy, : Fix number of slices of bread and corresponding carbohydrates.

Edited by Percy, : Fix second occurrence of number of bread slices.


PaulK
Member
Posts: 17178
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 174 of 451 (469620)
06-06-2008 2:01 PM
Reply to: Message 172 by Percy
06-06-2008 8:20 AM


Re: The Pima Indians: What Taubes Really Says
quote:

I had no idea that you intended the word "directly" to be of key importance, but I'm just explaining my position.

You also seem to have missed the context, and the additional qualifier "in itself".

It's really simple. Saying "these poor people got fat so the dietary fat hypothesis is wrong" does not make sense. Aside from the fact that it isn't logically valid, it ignores the real points of diet and exercise.

quote:

I don't see any need to leap to conclusions that I'm inventing strawmen while scoffing and attacking.

I'm not jumping to conclusions, though. I am pointing out real problems in your arguments. You really need to take a good critical look at what you're saying. There are plenty of other issues, too. Your latest post has some really obvious problems, too.

quote:

Concurrent with these changes in dietary habits, the past thirty years have seen the rates of obesity and diabetes Type II skyrocket while heart disease levels remain unabated. Obviously the emphasis on increasing carbohydrate intake while reducing fat intake has had the opposite of the intended effect.

I can't speak to the situation in the U.S, but over here the biggest changes have been relatively recent. And a lot of them are cosmetic, like putting "low fat" labels on food that never contained much fat in the first place. And surely you should be talking about actual diet to show that the change really has happened, and to deal with possible confounding factors.

quote:

It would also be helpful to know the diet of the contemporary Pima. The links I've found so far haven't provided much detail, though I do see frequent mention of potatoes, corn tortillas and beans, which if accurate would mean the modern Pima diet is very high in carbohydrates.

I've only seen those in relation to the Mexican Pima. From what I remember the Arizona Pima eat a more typical American diet.

quote:

I'm sorry, I don't follow your logic, so I can't follow your request to not mention exercise.

THe recommendation you scoffed at including increased exercise ("a high degree of physical activity"). If exercise works for the Mexican Pima why wouldn't it work for the Arizona Pima ? How is that difficult to understand ?

quote:

This contradicts other accounts that have government rations high in carbohydrates comprising a significant proportion of the Pima diet after their move to the reservation in the second half of the 19th century.

Since the varieties used are said to be local it seems very likely that these foods were part of the Pima diet. And there's been no evidence that the Pima had a high-fat diet in the past. Even the article you cited said otherwise.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 172 by Percy, posted 06-06-2008 8:20 AM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 175 by Percy, posted 06-06-2008 3:47 PM PaulK has replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 20953
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 175 of 451 (469639)
06-06-2008 3:47 PM
Reply to: Message 174 by PaulK
06-06-2008 2:01 PM


Re: The Pima Indians: What Taubes Really Says
PaulK writes:

quote:
I had no idea that you intended the word "directly" to be of key importance, but I'm just explaining my position.

You also seem to have missed the context, and the additional qualifier "in itself".

Can I suggest that if at first I don't get your point that you might just repeat it, which is what I've been doing since you haven't been getting many of my points, either?

It's really simple. Saying "these poor people got fat so the dietary fat hypothesis is wrong" does not make sense. Aside from the fact that it isn't logically valid, it ignores the real points of diet and exercise.

I've explained this many times throughout this thread and at least a couple times since you joined. Rather than repeating it yet again, this time I'll just request that if you want the explanation for why exercise and food intake are not independent variables that you seek it out in prior messages.

quote:
I don't see any need to leap to conclusions that I'm inventing strawmen while scoffing and attacking.

I'm not jumping to conclusions, though. I am pointing out real problems in your arguments.

The incorrect conclusion you're jumping to is that I'm inventing strawmen, scoffing and attacking. I'm just putting forward my position, just as you should be putting forward your own instead of focusing so much attention on my obviously many foibles, my weaknesses in comprehension, my antagonistic tendencies, and my demonstrated propensity for underhanded debate tactics like inventing strawmen. If you'd like the discussion to degenerate into accusations like this I can promise you that it won't happen, because I'll just stop responding.

You really need to take a good critical look at what you're saying. There are plenty of other issues, too. Your latest post has some really obvious problems, too.

If there are problems then you're going to have to identify them instead of just saying they exist.

THe recommendation you scoffed at including increased exercise ("a high degree of physical activity"). If exercise works for the Mexican Pima why wouldn't it work for the Arizona Pima ? How is that difficult to understand ?

This is the last time I'm going to respond to a passage that accuses me of scoffing at something, okay?

Theoretically it would work, but as anyone knows who has tried to follow the standard recommendations of dieting and exercise for losing weight, it doesn't work for the long term. Exercise of the "do it because it is good for you" type is quickly abandoned, as opposed to the "exercise because if you don't you won't eat" variety. If it were really possible for normal people to adhere to regimens of dieting and exercise throughout their lives then there wouldn't be an obesity problem. Obesity brings with it a host of very serious social, employment and health problems, and if dieting and exercise really worked then few would be obese.

The reason that dieting and exercise don't work is because they are willpower solutions. You will engage in exercise you don't really enjoy only as long as you can enforce discipline upon yourself, and you will diet only as long as your willpower can overcome your hunger.

Let me know if you come across references that describe the Pima diet, both their pre-1850 diet and their current diet.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Typo.

Edited by Percy, : Use a better word.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 174 by PaulK, posted 06-06-2008 2:01 PM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 177 by PaulK, posted 06-07-2008 5:49 AM Percy has replied

Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 176 of 451 (469702)
06-06-2008 11:07 PM
Reply to: Message 135 by molbiogirl
06-02-2008 1:13 AM


Re: Carbs are the sole cause of cancer and Alzheimers
Mobiogirl writes:

when you are ready to discuss the science, let me know.

It depends on which science, the science of mainstream conventional medicine or the science of integrated wholistic healthcare, including prevention.

Most processed foods are inferior and counterproductive to all aspects of health, including weight, energy, longevity, cancer and all the rest.

Good fats vs bad fats. Bad fats include many commercial processed fats such as hydrogenated fats, etc.

Good fats: Unsaturated fats such as mercury free fish oil from northern waters, flax oil (best to grind flax seed fresh daily, {We do that with a little cheap coffee grinder - oil plus fiber that way) primrose oil. Krill oil is best fish because it comes from tiny fish which get little mercury etc. Olive oil, borage oil, berry seed oil, grape seed oil etc are some of the good oils but always check your source by taking a spoonfull and if it stings your throat it is rancid.

Saturated fats are less healthful such as cheese, butter etc. If you use them it's best to get organic unpasturized product by making it yourself or if you have a certified source, fine. We use grass fed beef having had no shots or chemical products and no grains. Wild meats are good as well. The fats in these are less and have far less bad stuff in them.

Other high calorie and good fat products are avacados, certified organic yogurt, goat's milk, etc

Good high carbs are organic raw fruits(mangoes excellent) , berries, honey (preferably in the comb raw), chocolate (void of white sugar), raw cider, naturally fermented wine void of nitrites, etc.

I've said the above to say, go natural, raw and keep a close eye on your body PH by testing your urine regularly in order to maintain a slightly alkaline PH for optimum health. That's the best science, imo.

I haven't had time yet to read the thread, so hopefully I haven't gone off topic too much or repeated what's already been said.

Mobiogirl, perhaps I haven't read enough on your position vs Percy's to weigh in here very objectively. I'll try to find time to have a closer look in the next few days.

ABE: Good fats, carbs and proteins along with ample exercise and fresh air render the body less apt to hunger as you get far more mileage out of them. This is a significant factor regarding weight.

Edited by Buzsaw, : Add phrase


BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 135 by molbiogirl, posted 06-02-2008 1:13 AM molbiogirl has not replied

PaulK
Member
Posts: 17178
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 2.6


Message 177 of 451 (469743)
06-07-2008 5:49 AM
Reply to: Message 175 by Percy
06-06-2008 3:47 PM


Re: The Pima Indians: What Taubes Really Says
quote:

Can I suggest that if at first I don't get your point that you might just repeat it, which is what I've been doing since you haven't been getting many of my points, either?

I was simply commenting that my point was much clearer than your excuse conceded.

quote:

I've explained this many times throughout this thread and at least a couple times since you joined. Rather than repeating it yet again, this time I'll just request that if you want the explanation for why exercise and food intake are not independent variables that you seek it out in prior messages.

For most of the points being made they should be treated as independant. You do when it is useful to your case (e.g. the Mexican Pima). It is certainly plausible that there is a practical issue which many recommendations ignore, but you must not confuse what happens if you try and fail to follow those recommendations with what would happen if you successfully followed them.

quote:

The incorrect conclusion you're jumping to is that I'm inventing strawmen, scoffing and attacking. I'm just putting forward my position, just as you should be putting forward your own instead of focusing so much attention on my obviously many foibles, my weaknesses in comprehension, my antagonistic tendencies, and my demonstrated propensity for underhanded debate tactics like inventing strawmen. If you'd like the discussion to degenerate into accusations like this I can promise you that it won't happen, because I'll just stop responding.

You have some major errors in this paragraph. I have not jumped to these conclusions. I have been careful to point out that it is NOT clear to me whether the strawmen come from you or from Taubes.

My position is that the arguments you make for Taubes case are often bad, and even in places dishonest. How can I make that case without criticising those arguments ?

quote:

If there are problems then you're going to have to identify them instead of just saying they exist.

Which is it Percy ? Do you want me to criticise your arguments or not ? I can point out some glaringly obvious problems. You should be able to, too.

quote:

Theoretically it would work, but as anyone knows who has tried to follow the standard recommendations of dieting and exercise for losing weight, it doesn't work for the long term. Exercise of the "do it because it is good for you" type is quickly abandoned, as opposed to the "exercise because if you don't you won't eat" variety. If it were really possible for normal people to adhere to regimens of dieting and exercise throughout their lives then there wouldn't be an obesity problem. Obesity brings with it a host of very serious social, employment and health problems, and if dieting and exercise really worked then few would be obese.

Now try and remember that. Especially the first part "theoretically it would work...". If you'd just said that the exercise part of the recommendation was impractical because people wouldn't stick to it Im wouldn't have had a problem.

I'm going to guess that it is Taubes who is responsible for moving from "theoretically it would work..." to "the theory is wrong". (e.g. the criticism of "a calorie is a calorie" in Message 165.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 175 by Percy, posted 06-06-2008 3:47 PM Percy has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 179 by Percy, posted 06-07-2008 9:00 AM PaulK has replied

Buzsaw
Inactive Member


Message 178 of 451 (469748)
06-07-2008 8:45 AM
Reply to: Message 166 by Percy
06-05-2008 3:56 PM


Re: The Pima Indians: What Taubes Really Says
Percy writes:

Inherent within the dietary fat hypothesis is that obesity coincides with prosperity, and that prosperity brings with it increased fat intake (overeating) and a sedentary lifestyle. Taubes introduces the example of the Pima Indians to show that obesity can also coincide with poverty.

Perhaps Taubes's example of the Pimas is flawed.

The prosperity conducive to the obesity of the Pimas was likely the prosperity of the ones who produced and marketed the autos, sugar and high saturated fat products, i.e. the industrial hard working mainstream Americans who restricted the Pimas and other tribes to reservations, essentially isolating them from the American workplace and not from the prosperity of the Pimas themselves.

Had the Indians just been assimilated into the general population, a lot of the problems then and now would not have arisen.

I grew up near two reservations, the Shoshones and the Arapahoes in Wyoming, my dad actually having a ranch on the Shoshone reservation for a few years. Back in the 1930s to the early 1950s when I was home, obesity was not a significant problem among whites but epidemic among the tribes. Why? Because they all got government handouts and oil royalties. All they did was eat, get drunk and cause trouble. My dad's neighbor Indian would plant his alfalfa and we would harvest it on shares because he was too lazy to do that.

Of course, then was when all the white flour and junk foods began to be popular and available. The Indians went for that big time, not having gardens like most of the whites, including many in town.


BUZSAW B 4 U 2 C Y BUZ SAW.
The immeasurable present eternally extends the infinite past and infinitely consumes the eternal future.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 166 by Percy, posted 06-05-2008 3:56 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied

Percy
Member
Posts: 20953
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 179 of 451 (469749)
06-07-2008 9:00 AM
Reply to: Message 177 by PaulK
06-07-2008 5:49 AM


Re: The Pima Indians: What Taubes Really Says
PaulK writes:

I was simply commenting that my point was much clearer than your excuse conceded.

Oh, okay, now I understand. You're making points while I'm just offering excuses. Thank you for explaining this, good to know.

For most of the points being made they should be treated as independant. You do when it is useful to your case (e.g. the Mexican Pima).

I am not guilefully moving back and forth between different arguments in order to create the appearance of a consistency that does not in reality exist. You seem to be the type of person who sees dishonesty, guile, purposeful manipulation, etc, in those who hold different opinions from your own.

The evidence of the Mexican Pima is confounded because exercise and appetite are not independent variables, and I said so twice, once indirectly via the link I provided, and again in a message.

It is certainly plausible that there is a practical issue which many recommendations ignore, but you must not confuse what happens if you try and fail to follow those recommendations with what would happen if you successfully followed them.

Of course, and I am not confusing them. Perhaps if you describe your understanding of my position it would help me understand why you think this.

My position is that the arguments you make for Taubes case are often bad, and even in places dishonest. How can I make that case without criticising those arguments ?

You make that case by addressing the evidence and arguments with your own evidence and arguments, instead of with ad hominem. Your emotional undercurrent on this topic has been apparent from the outset, and I think you need to work harder to keep it under control.

Now try and remember that. Especially the first part "theoretically it would work...". If you'd just said that the exercise part of the recommendation was impractical because people wouldn't stick to it Im wouldn't have had a problem.

I have said this in this thread many times. You had addressed a point that you felt was implicit in my argument, not a point that I was explicitly making, so naturally I wouldn't repeat this information.

I'm going to guess that it is Taubes who is responsible for moving from "theoretically it would work..." to "the theory is wrong". (e.g. the criticism of "a calorie is a calorie" in Message 165.

No one ever said that sufficient reductions of calorie intake cannot cause weight loss. Taubes is describing something a bit more complex than that. Not only are exercise and appetite not independent variables, but as I explained in the very next paragraph of my Message 165 that you reference:

Percy in Message 165 writes:

In addition, hormones and other factors both related and unrelated to hormones that we're still working to uncover, have much more to do with fat uptake by adipose tissue (fat tissue) than does what you eat and how much you exercise. For example, if you have elevated insulin levels in the bloodstream then this will encourage the uptake of fatty acids by adipose tissue, making them unavailable for energy use by the muscles.

Everyone's metabolism is different, and this explains why people of identical weight, physical activity level and diet can experience different weight gains or losses. As far as weight control goes, it really isn't as simple as "a calorie is a calorie is a calories," because hormones exert the greatest control over the proportions of calories converted to energy versus fat.

There's an overriding point that keeps getting forgotten, and so I feel I have to keep repeating it. I expressed it this way in Message 165:

Percy in Message 165 writes:

Taubes key argument is that during the past 30 years during which the dietary fat hypothesis (this is the hypothesis that intake of unfavorable forms of dietary fat is responsible for the diseases of western civilization, which are obesity, diabetes and heart disease) has held sway within nutritional circles, and during which there has been increasing emphasis by both health authorities (the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetes Association, personal physicians, etc.) and the food industry (low fat foods are now ubiquitous in grocery stores and restaurants), the American public has gotten fatter and more diabetic, and the incidence rate of heart disease has not diminished.

So something is clearly wrong with our thinking about the relationship between diet and health. Independent of whether Taubes' particular thesis is right or wrong, the current accepted hypothesis about dietary fat clearly has severe and probably insurmountable problems that will not allow it to survive much longer.

I am an admitted recent convert to the carbohydrate hypothesis, and perhaps I have the unattractive zealousness of the recent convert, but the conversion was forced upon me by experience. A seminal moment occurred in my doctor's office last year when he told me that if I wasn't losing weight on a 1200 calorie/day diet that I must be cheating or not keeping track carefully enough. But I'm a typical obsessive/compulsive engineer, and I was tracking calories the way I do much else, obsessively and compulsively. I was tracking them the same way I had tracked them on two previous successful diets, one of 1600 calories/day about 10 years ago, and another of 1400 calories/day about 4 years ago.

What has changed between 10 years ago and today? I'm older. For many individuals, increasing age brings with it increasing difficulty in maintaining a reasonable weight. I'm as active as I ever was, but I can no longer lose weight on any reasonable calorie-reduction style diet. The hunger on less than 1200 calories/day is so great as to prevent sleep.

What does being older mean metabolically? I don't know. As has been true throughout my life, blood tests always report normal levels of everything. Last year after my doctor's visit I sought the help of an endocrinologist, and he also reported that everything was normal.

So what do I feel I really know for sure at this point? Following my own ad hoc version of a low carb diet, my experience so far has been:

  • That you can lose weight on a low carbohydrate diet at a calorie level where simple low calorie diets are ineffective.

  • That you don't get hungry.

  • That you can lose weight faster by going to lower calorie levels, and you will get hungry, but it isn't the kind of gnawing hunger associated with low calorie diets.

I think I can hold myself up as an example because my experience with weight gain and diets is extremely typical of the average person as they age in a western-style society. My experience with low calorie diets was typical of the average person, and judging by the low carbohydrate literature my experience with that is also very typical.

One typical criticism of a low carbohydrate diet is that it is actually just a low calorie diet in disguise. My own experience indicates that it is at least a little more complicated than that, because I'm losing weight at a higher calorie level on this diet than I was on a low calorie diet where I couldn't lose any weight at all.

But let's say for the sake of discussion that in the end they do the necessary research and are able to show that low carbohydrate diets really are just low calorie diets in disguise. But you don't get hungry on a low carbohydrate diet, and since hunger is what defeats most diets it is an approach that might actually work for the long term.

--Percy

Edited by Percy, : Grammar.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 177 by PaulK, posted 06-07-2008 5:49 AM PaulK has replied

Replies to this message:
 Message 181 by PaulK, posted 06-07-2008 6:16 PM Percy has replied

Hyroglyphx
Inactive Member


Message 180 of 451 (469798)
06-07-2008 5:25 PM
Reply to: Message 2 by Percy
04-28-2008 1:33 PM


Re: Why Most Modern Diet Advice is Wrong
I don't buy the whole carbohydrates are bad for you hype. The Atkins craze is completely unfounded. Carbohydrates have been a staple diet for every single civilization in human history. Its quite simple why it is the staple. Carbohydrates break down in to glycogen, which fuels cells. Fueling cells allows you to work with efficacy.

There are three main factors that contribute to weight gain of the negative kind.

  • Genetics: The first deals with genetics. Some people really are more predisposed to a heavier weight than others, be it a slower metabolism or what have you. That means people with this problem have to go the extra mile in order to keep the pounds off. But anyone can overcome their predispositions.

  • Eating too much/little: Eating too little is actually far worse than eating too much. There are many people who do not eat in the morning. They sometimes opt to indulge on snacks during lunch. Then as day turns to night, they feast, engorging themselves. This is horrible for you because the body is now jealously holding on to all those calories. And as you sleep, they produce fatty tissue.

    The human body is made to eat 6-8 small meals per day, not 3 large ones, where in between we feel starving. What happens is that the body goes in to a catabolic state when it isn't being feed every 2-3 hours. It may be almost imperceptible, but you are doing your body no favors when neglecting it.

    The body will always try to recover or compensate for abuse taken upon it. For instance, when you work out and your muscles get sore, that is a good indication of a good workout, regardless of the lactic acid. That means you are making micro tears in the muscles. With a good diet and proper sleep, they will heal even bigger. But your body will get used to a workout routine. This is why you should switch it up at a recommended rate of once a week, but no more than two weeks.

    Your body does this exact same kind of compensating for things like food. When you don't eat breakfast, your body is already starved for energy. By going a few more hours, you are going in to a catabolic state. Your body then begins trying to conserve glycogen and slows down your metabolism. That means that while you eat less, you gain more! The way to fix this is to eat more... but sensibly. When I say eat 6-8 times a day, that doesn't mean order steak and potato's 6-8 times a day. It means eat granola bar or have fruit in between small meals.

  • Sedentary lifestyle: A sedentary lifestyle is a death sentence to your heart and pulmonary system. Inactivity is the quickest way to negative weight gain. For those who work in an office environment, it is made even worse than those who at least have a job that requires a lot of activity. For maximum positive weight loss, a structured anaerobic schedule (15-45 min of cardio for 3-5 days a week) along with weight training (15-45 min for 4-6 days a week, targeting one muscle group per day) will shed the pounds, and add good weight in the form of muscle.

    While losing fat, a person who remains consistent can add 1 lb of dry muscle per month. That doesn't sound like a lot, but what accompanies that 1 lb of solid, dry muscle is lean muscle mass (2-4 lbs of it).

    If you don't want to be fat, then don't be fat. Weight loss is one of the only things we can do to improve on as it relates to our physical appearance. Might as well capitalize on the things we can change.


    “There is something which unites magic and applied science while separating both from the 'wisdom' of earlier ages. For the wise men of old the cardinal problem had been how to conform the soul to objective reality, and the solution had been knowledge, self-discipline, and virtue. For magic and applied science alike the problem is how to subdue reality to the wishes of men: the solution is a technique; and both, in the practice of this technique, are ready to do things hitherto regarded as disgusting and impious" -C.S. Lewis

  • This message is a reply to:
     Message 2 by Percy, posted 04-28-2008 1:33 PM Percy has seen this message but not replied

    Replies to this message:
     Message 183 by Buzsaw, posted 06-07-2008 10:06 PM Hyroglyphx has not replied

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