How Did I Get Involved?
Good you ask. Last year, an email was sent my way from Harvard University to coax me into enrolling in one of their courses, offered to both professionals, such as nutritionists or doctors, as well as to the public. The course is titled Evidence-based Optimal Nutrition: The Quest for Proof. I looked up the course, and while all my better judgments told me to drop it, curiosity killed the cat… it didn’t kill the cat but it sure killed Harvard!
I enrolled–it was cheap, only $49 for either version of the course. As a PhD I qualified for the professional and I really wanted to see what they teach about nutrition to professionals! Wow!
Buckle your seat-belt! It is gonna be a bumpy ride!
First, let me introduce you to the facts: I completed the training.
The course (for professionals) is based on a grading system with quizzes now and then. The things I learned:
- Ancel Keys was terrific and whatever he did is the Gold Standard today
Note the numbers over the course. I am in lecture 1 of part 1 of 3 segments. The Qs represent quizzes for this one segment. The other segments were by others, the first segment was by the lead author of the Eat Lancet Commission: Walter Willett. You can find Walter Willett as one of the advisors of Oldways, a vegetarian (scroll down to W on the list).
- There ratio of omega 6 to omega 3 oils is not important
hmmmm who are we kidding?
- Eat more whole grains
he said in parallel with this slide:
- Low or high glycemic index (GI) foods don’t make a difference on the long run — saying this while showing the huge difference in blood glucose spikes
The slide shows the glycemic index of whatever foods; not specified. A GI index table that Harvard has on its website shows no difference between whole grains and refined grains. I took a screen capture of the GI table and encircled the food items promoted by the Eat Lancet Commission as well as what is considered to not be complex carbs, such as white bread and white rice. Can you see much difference? The Eat Lancet Commission’s program is also published in The Lancet though it needs access–behind pay wall. Here is a link in case you have access–I have access so know what it contains. If you have no access, there is a great write-up on it here and another here. The GI index measures the amount of blood glucose spike to the particular food item relative to the blood glucose spike to glucose, where the GI of glucose is 100:
Food items with GI higher than 50 are considered to be unhealthy. The highest is glucose with 100, the lowest GI is 0 (lard, for example). The lecture went on to say that we need not mind the GI of the food we eat and should stick with whole grains through fire and ice. Hmmm… really?
- Polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) are the healthiest fats (better than olive oil)
This was an interesting one since, obviously, if you are reading this article you know, that PUFAs are harmful. Of course, they do lower total cholesterol but look at how they lower total cholesterol–and look at what else is happening from complex carbs such as whole grains–conveniently ignored in the graph (not sure why they graft it if it is so ignored). The red arrows are part of the lecture slide and not added by me.
- PUFAs and complex carbs both reduce total cholesterol (we don’t know what else they ate).
- HDL cholesterol remains the same from PUFA but HDL reduces from complex carbs. HDL is the “good” cholesterol. reducing HDL or just merely maintaining it at the same level is not what we want. They even show the problem with red arrows… are they blind? or did they think we would not notice???
- Triglycerides (major factor in heart disease) slightly all over the place from PUFA and seriously increases from complex carbs, such as whole grains. Really not what we want.
In sum: the slide they use to prove that PUFAs and complex carbohydrates, like grains, are healthy, actually shows that they are unhealthy.
An extra tidbit from the lecture of Eric Rimm, a now slightly overweight (seeing only chest up) professor, talking somewhat arrogantly all through his lectures, had a slide and statement that is still ringing in my ears. He was discussing “diet fads,” in which the Paleo diet was one example. His introductory sentence was speedily murmured but I kept my transcript: “Now if you want to think about grasshoppers and cockroaches… consider the Paleo diet.” And you thought I meant arrogant jokingly, didn’t you?!
Back to the Eat-Lancet Commission: Who’ Done It?
My introduction to this was long, but it was essential so that you understand who is responsible for writing the Eat Lancet Commission plan. As unfortunate as it is, this plan is funded and publicized by a mega billionaire Gunhild Stordalen, a vegan with billions to spend on making the word vegan, while she is using her private jet (lots of pollution) to travel all over the world to make sure everyone turns vegan. Mind you, rumor has it that her wedding served sushi for 240 people where the dining lasted for 3 days, costing $4 million. She has a serious autoimmune disease and doesn’t have long to live–hence the spending of all her money on turning the world into mini Gunhild Stordalen, only without the billions of dollars.
I wonder if her autoimmune condition would go into remission or reverse if she turned to the ketogenic or the carnivore diet? So far there is not one autoimmune disease that is not responding to these… but that would require eating meat… it is against her principles.
So here we face a few vegans who want the world vegan, can afford to make the world vegan, who teach a bunch of nonsense under the shadow of Harvard University’s good name, and for some odd reason get away with it.
The least you should do is ignore it for your own diet and the most you should do is to tell everyone that this is a great lie and that it is all for money! Veganism is a religion, with roots explained very well here.
Comments are welcome, as always, and are monitored for appropriateness.
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I’m curious to know..what meats do you recommend for an excellent fat intake..brain food for my family? Grew up on a family farm and my grandma and extended family home cooked all of our meals right from our soil. Black Angus, Duck, etc all over a pot belly stove, cast iron kettles and just good foods.
Once the family grew and children went off to college and farm help became scarce, our diets changed to more convenient foods. Well, so did our body shape, thought processes, energy levels, illnesses..inflammation, etc.
I’d like to hear your thoughts. I love your hard work and research, it’s so interesting. Thank you.
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Thanks for your comment. Glad you like my research. 🙂 My childhood had pretty much the same foods you listed–duck and duck fat with duck liver was my favorite. I have returned to that old traditional eating a few years ago and eat/cook-with animal fats exclusively. I own no oil of any kind, not even olive oil or coconut oil. I dislike the flavor and texture. pork lard is nearly half monounsaturated fat, so if I want some MONO I just eat some lard. Butter is about a quarter MONO plus it has EPA/DHA so beats olive oil.
My favorite fats, in order of love: heavy cream, butter, duck fat, bacon drippings, pork lard, chicken fat, and beef tallow. I cook nearly exclusively with butter (I sometimes add heavy cream and sour cream too!) or bacon dripping or both–great flavor when mixed. Cook something with bacon dripping (captured from the bacon you cook) and when done, top with butter for flavor.
I also stopped eating vegetables and fruits–I may eat a mini pepper, a kumquat (off my tree, only one max a day and only in season), a salt pickle on occasion, and a small amount of sunflower seeds (raw, in shell) time to time. 99% of my food is fat, dairy, meat, eggs, and seafood. Fat is the most in terms of calories and most of that fat is coming from cream and butter.
Enjoy your meals! 🙂
Hi Angela, Wonderful piece! As for Gunhild Stordalen, the EAT Foundation – and hence all this resultant nonsense – is entirely her brain child, cooked up in 2012. Her (probably Vegan-induced) autoimmune illness is said publicly by her husband to be fatal (google them), perhaps only because her beliefs forbid trying keto, the ONE THING that, esp. according to the likes of Paleomedicina of Hungary, might save her. Here is the link you gave the rest of us – a case from the Mayo Clinic where they turned around G.S’s very illness (though in a child). Wonder how much else on this is out there? They turned this girl’s horrendous illness around.
CALCINOSIS AND SCLERODERMA: TREATMENT OF A CASE
BY USE OF THE KETOGENIC DIET
ROGER L. J. KENNEDY, M.D.ROCHESTER, MN
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Gunhild Stordalen discusses her terminal condition on TED openly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q68iq4fO5Wg and looking it up further, as an autoimmune disease and what it is (collagen and connective tissue destruction by her immune system), it may indeed respond to fasting, for example, as part of the ketogenic approach. Ketosis would not need meat just fasting. Fasting will get one int ketosis extremely efficiently–and fasting for 2 days starts to replace the immune system; fasting for 16 hours starts autophagy (killing and replacing damaged cells). She could try those without changing her principles. Of curse, should they work, that would be a clear indication that she should be on the meat-eating diet. Some people are willing to give up their life for going out with a big bang instead of dying as a commoner.
Thanks for putting in the link I posted; I forgot about it. Unfortunately the article is behind paywall — though many use sci-hub to open it, regardless. 🙂
Thanks to Alexandra Elbakyan, who deserves a Nobel for Sci-Hub
I suppose I have to read it. It is being attacked on blogs left right and centre, the frightening thing is that I expect it to happen.
Harvard – the best science money can buy
You can always tell a Harvard man, you just can’t tell him much.
I’ve read similar complaints from people training to be dieticians, that they are expected to learn and regurgitate unscientific rubbish or they don’t get their qualification.
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Precisely. That’s why I took the Harvard course for professionals. I expected that they would teach rubbish to the general public but not to professionals. I was ashamed of takign this class and knowing that I had received part of my education (fMRI training) at Harvard. 😦 Shame on me for that.
Yep, Alexandra Elbakyan does deserve the Nobel Prize–not that she cares for sure.
I don’t subscribe to any academic journal by principle but some journals come with my academic memberships and I have access those. Lancet is NOT one of them and will try to stay as far from that journal–and also the Lancet Public Health–as possible. Both have earned major disrepute by publishing the anti-carbs article in August last year and now the Eat-Lancet. Just the mare fact that the Lancet is involved is bad news. It should be an unbiased academic journal… obviously it has an agenda.
You probably saw the Idiot Brigade attacking the British Journal of Sports Medicine for printing low carb studies, especially by Aseem Malhotra. No-one is going to attack The Lancet for printing only Conventional Wisdom and veg(etari)anism. Well they did print PURE and got roasted for it so they are being a bit more careful now. Not so much noise accompanied the very similar study by Pavel Grasgruber et al.
By definition science is NOT settled, as Richard Feynman (the physicist) wrote
“I would rather have questions that cannot be answered than answers that cannot be questioned” which is exactly where “dietary science” is now.
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No I didn’t see the attack of the BJSM. I know of it–my trainer was telling me on some attack on Noakes but not on Malhotra. I think The Lancet and The Lancet Public Health lost so much credibility now. On the long run it will hurt them–in terms f readership. If they stop now, things can settle. I ma not holding my breath. At least they published my commentary on the August low carbs kills article…
I had just finished a comment on a friend’s FB page on which he shared the contents of a Dutch news site about exactly this, when I saw your message in my inbox. Coincidence? 🔁 Karma? 😥 Over there, I laughed at it and the carbs that came with it 😈
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Must be Karma Roald. 🙂 I found it definitely karma that the Eat lancet came out as I was trying to figure out how to write up my Harvard experience.
Dear Angela, I love your methodical thinking! And you are definitely right! Look at Jordan B. Peterson, he eats only meet. He lost quite a bit of weight and some of his medical problem disappeared… but may be he is a bit too much on the other side…
I love to read your notes!!!
Many hugs & kisses!!!
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Thanks for your comment. Glad to see you are reading my posts. 🙂 I didn’t know that. I was not thinking of Jordan Peterson actually–though I could have! There are millions of people–just on Facebook–who reversed a ton of various autoimmune diseases with ketosis. He is just one of many and he is quite on the “other side” in some ways but not when it comes to autoimmune conditions. Autoimmune conditions don’t look to see who you are and what your philosophy is in life and how far one has gone in the various conditions.
As you may know, I work with thousands of people–mostly migraineurs, but lately other people also join my work and follow my protocols. And all reverse all kinds of autoimmune disorders; and this also includes me. I have(had) several autoimmune diseases, all of which I completely reversed by a diet void of any carbs other than what is in my dairy. I eat no veggies or fruits at all.
So is it too far out? No, not at all. There is a scientific explanation to it all, something I should write a future blog about. but in short: ketosis is the human natural state to which it returns when there is no food, which is something in our past was common. In the state of ketosis the body optimizes such that it will need to spend the least amount of energy. Autoimmune diseases require a ton of energy. Autoimmunity literally means that the body is killing its own tissues because it needs to get rid of some irritant consumed. However, while not eating, the body trashes all cells that are damaged and replaces them with healthy cells, new mitochondria. Since there is no eating, the body need not kill of allergens and irritants as there aren’t any. So in this state the body reduces all energy needed to be used for “killing” and returns to its “baseline” metabolism, which is fat-burning rather than glucose.
This state is a fantastic state. I have been in ketosis for over 4 years and never wish to leave it. It allows the body full rest and recovery. The changes are amazing.
So when I mentioned our autoimmune diseased billionaire in the article, I meant this: if she would try ketosis, it “may” (we don’t know) bring her disease too to a better state than where it is now. No idea and she is not trying because she is vegan and it is not acceptable for her to try to save her life. It is her prerogative to do so but it would be better if she didn’t turn the world up-side-down in the process.
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