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REALLY low-fat good after all?

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I found the following blog post fascinating. It's a long read, but well worth it. I will be ending my high-fat diet soon, I think (just have to get more settled to be able to get non-jetlagged, "standardized", blood tests), and might try radically low-fat for a few weeks, then retest.
 
In defense of low fat: a call for some evolution of thought (part 1)

 

I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts on Minger's post.

 

Search the Society archives - (when they're up...) - for "Pritikin" for some background.

 

Zeta

Edited by Zeta

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Zeta,

 

Thanks for the pointer to Denise Minger's blog post exploring the possibility that a very low fat (~10%) diet may be healthy after all. I was very impressed to read it. For people who don't know Denise, she was once one of those rabid "low-fat raw food vegans" who eat nothing but fruit and some vegetables (mostly fruit). Then, about 10 years ago, she went totally Paleo - I mean totally, eating brains, liver bone broth, lots of animal fat etc. She's been one of the most vocal and oft-cited critics of Campbell's "China Study". 

 

None of what she discusses in her latest blog post is new, in fact it was the very ammunition her critics (like plantpositive - really great blog) have been using for years to criticize her (former) insistent assertion that a high carb-diet is poison and that there has been a conspiracy in this country to demonize fat first orchestrated by Ancel Keys. I'm not sure why she's just looking at the data now, and making a "mei culpa", but whatever the reason, it's good to see.

 

In the past she's really had a pro "high fat paleo" agenda, and now she seems to be coming around to a view / hypothesis that I have espoused here recently, when I said:

 

From my reading of studies on the subject, there seem to be two paths to maintaining glucose control and avoiding diabetes - either a low-carb / high-fat diet or a high (good) carb / low-fat diet. Diets in the "no man's land" in the middle - with medium levels of (crappy) carbs and medium levels of (crappy) fats can get you into trouble with insulin sensitivity, particularly if you are sedentary and/or have a genetic disposition towards obesity or T2DM.

 

She's got a pretty entertaining write style that makes the science a little more enjoyable. Here is her depiction of the two effective dietary alternatives at the extremes of carbs/fat, and the "macronutrient swampland" in the middle:

 

the_magical_graph.jpg
She (continues) to hold to the idea that above 65% fat (largely from animals - since paleo folks hate PUFA lipids), and with low enough carbs, the magically healthy state of ketosis kicks in and you are golden - a dubious claim if you ask me, perhaps a recipe for rapid weight loss and a way to mask the symptoms, but not eliminate the cause, of insulin resistance - not a recipe for long-term health.

 

To see her finally acknowledge the possibility that a really low-fat (10%, not the ADA definition of low fat as 30% of calories from fat) can be very healthy and prevent/reverse a number of chronic health conditions is pretty refreshing. It's the sort of scientific integrity that I admire, and that (as we've recently discussed), we strive for in the CR Society. She seems to be "walking her talk" as well, looking at her current diet, which still contains animal products (like raw fish, animal tendons, bone broth and organ meat), but eaten rarely, with an overall macronutrient ratio of about 71% carbs and 18% fat.

 

The most amazing data she reminded me of was the pioneering work of Walter Kempner, and his "rice diet". What Kempner and his team showed in the 40's and 50's was that an extremely low-fat, low-sodium diet consisting almost exclusively of white rice, fruit and table sugar was able to reverse a multitude of chronic diseases, including pathological hypertension (a death sentence in those days, with a 6 month life expectancy), diabetes, and heart failure. Yes, eating a super-crappy diet of white rice, fruit and table sugar (but no fat), people were able to get off insulin and other diabetes medications. Here is a good Dr. Greger video on Kempner and his work.

 

Zeta, thanks to alerting us to Minger's post. I've subscribed to her blog in anticipation of Part II of this post, where she will discuss the mechanisms she believes are responsible for the health benefits of fat intake at the extremes, and the reason the middle-ground "macronutrient swampland" is deleterious for health.

 

--Dean

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Zeta, thanks to alerting us to Minger's post. I've subscribed to her blog in anticipation of Part II of this post, where she will discuss the mechanisms she believes are responsible for the health benefits of fat intake at the extremes, and the reason the middle-ground "macronutrient swampland" is deleterious for health.

 

There's some comments by someone called Anna, one of which Denise responds to affirmatively, where Anna basically goes through the various highlighted studies and suggests that CR was involved and is a confounder.  It sounds like this post was a long time coming, and I wonder when part 2 is coming, as I'm looking forward to it too.

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I'm going to 'revive' this post since the issue is really nonplussing.

 

While waiting for Denise Minger's sequel to his post, I'd like to know if anyone has had any insight in the meanwhile.

 

The fact is that the insulin model, as related to weightloss, just works and is conceptually sound. 

 

Are the same people who loose weight on a low carb diet able to loose weight on a hi carbs low fat diet? Are there unbiased studies on the issue?

 

Is metabolic syndrome (insuline resistance) a genetic condition and is low carb the more direct and favourable way to revert it?

 

My maybe simplistic ideas are that:

1-genetic is a governing factor

2-mental setup is another governing factor (for example, I would have difficulties in following a low-fat diet, sincne I'm accustomed to many nuts and EVOO. Some other people have no difficulties as long as their diet includes lots of starch).

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Another related issue which has been discussed in this forum: Long term ill effects from an high fat, possibly hi protein diet.

 

It is obviously an issue of choice and optimization.

 

Given the fact that the only way to loose hazardous overweight is to ingest many fats and proteins, we would lower the short term risk of CV disease, while increase the long term risk of CVD and degenerative disease.

 

If an high carbs-very low fat diet would work for everyone, that might grant both short and long term lowered risk. But does it really work for everyone (weightloss-wise)?

 

Dr. Greger is surely an erudite nutritionist and I find his vids concise and interesting, but does he look unbiased? Even the way he distorts his facial features to stress concepts would hint at some non-negligible fanaticism in his ideas. 

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I don't find it odd that someone might find themselves doing better for a while on a paleo diet after a long stint of veganism and now is choosing a very low fat diet.  We evolved to survive and thrive with seasonal changes in food supply and to endure climatic shifts in temperature and rainfall, etc.  Big dietary shifts likely correct one set of deficiencies and imbalances before eventually resulting in a new set of deficiencies and imbalances.
 
Humans are blessed with redundancy such as being able to produce energy from  carbs, fat and protein.  Each process involves many unique genes and variations in those genes and in their expression affect the results.  There is no universal optimal diet and zealots like Dr. Greger who turn a blind eye to human variation do damage to people such as myself who aren't statistically average.
 
My health was devastated following a low fat nearly vegan diet for 25 years.  Some failings were not limiting high glycemic carbs, not completely avoiding processed foods, not minimizing AGEs with optimal preparation practices and being oblivious to deficiencies such as B12.
 
But I've come to believe the biggest factor was a growing intolerance of carbohydrate as my disease, SBMA aka Kennedy's disease, accelerated.  It is a mutation of the androgen receptor gene described as a progressive degenerative neuro-muscular disease although recent research shows metabolic alterations play a big role in the pathology.
 
From a recent paper:

 

 

Detailed examination uncovered significantly decreased expression of nine genes

encoding enzymes in the glycolytic pathway (Figure 1B). In contrast, none of the genes encoding enzymes in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle were expressed at significantly different levels in AR113Q muscle.
 
Reducing carbs has been profoundly beneficial for me.  I'm currently thriving on roughly 1600 kCal/day, less than 10% as digestible carbs and roughly 15% as protein.  Most of my calories are coming from nuts, avocados, coconut, evoo and the best quality cream and butter I can find.  The bulk of my diet is low carb vegetables.  I eat seeds in moderation such as quinoa, black sesame, buckwheat, wild rice, chia and ground flax.  Very modest amounts of low carb fruit such as elderberries, cranberries and lemons.  And the balance of my protein as eggs from our free range hens and grass fed undenatured whey protein concentrate eaten just before, during or just after vigorous exercise.
 
This is working for me today.  But I will continue to experiment and adjust as best I can.  Previously I had developed a terrible intolerance for legumes but now I seem ok with lentils in moderation although chick peas are still bad news.  Maybe someday after I've regained significant muscle I'll find improvement eating more fruit again.
Edited by Todd Allen

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I don't find it odd that someone might find themselves doing better for a while on a paleo diet after a long stint of veganism and now is choosing a very low fat diet.  We evolved to survive and thrive with seasonal changes in food supply and to endure climatic shifts in temperature and rainfall, etc.  Big dietary shifts likely correct one set of deficiencies and imbalances before eventually resulting in a new set of deficiencies and imbalances.
 
Humans are blessed with redundancy such as being able to produce energy from  carbs, fat and protein.  Each process involves many unique genes and variations in those genes and in their expression affect the results.  There is no universal optimal diet and zealots like Dr. Greger who turn a blind eye to human variation do damage to people such as myself who aren't statistically average.

 

Thanks for the insight, todd, it is true that homo sapiens has been compelled to change his basic diet to survive and sometimes to change drastically, even though these changes are not always optimal for health and longevity (the example of the eskimos and paleolitic cold-regions humans who could survive not because of their diet but in spite of it).

 

I'm a stalwart supporter of a custom-tailored diet. Within some general basic rules (no processed foods, lots of vegetables and plant-based food and avoidance of overindulgence) my reasoned belief is that everyone should try and find his or her ideal diet. Which may change according to changes in environment, activities and desired results. Also, like you say, it's all but impossible to keep the same eating habits in every season and every circumstances/activities, possibly it's not even natural to do that (for example, literal caloric restriction is impossible when a lot of physical exercise is carried out).

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Reducing carbs has been profoundly beneficial for me.  I'm currently thriving on roughly 1600 kCal/day, less than 10% as digestible carbs and roughly 15% as protein.  Most of my calories are coming from nuts, avocados, coconut, evoo and the best quality cream and butter I can find.  The bulk of my diet is low carb vegetables.  I eat seeds in moderation such as quinoa, black sesame, buckwheat, wild rice, chia and ground flax.  Very modest amounts of low carb fruit such as elderberries, cranberries and lemons.  And the balance of my protein as eggs from our free range hens and grass fed undenatured whey protein concentrate eaten just before, during or just after vigorous exercise.
 
This is working for me today.  But I will continue to experiment and adjust as best I can.  Previously I had developed a terrible intolerance for legumes but now I seem ok with lentils in moderation although chick peas are still bad news.  Maybe someday after I've regained significant muscle I'll find improvement eating more fruit again.

 

 

Very interesting example of a vegetarian low-carb diet.  My stint at veg-low-carb was brief because I was loosing weight precipitously. that's another example of personal reaction to a specific diet.  I enjoyed being free from the slavery of sweet food and the meal simplification (no mixing of macronutrients) facilitated my digestion. But right now I do not wish to loose weight, rather to gain some muscular mass, like in your case. I'm not being successful yet, though.

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Very interesting example of a vegetarian low-carb diet.  My stint at veg-low-carb was brief because I was loosing weight precipitously. that's another example of personal reaction to a specific diet.  I enjoyed being free from the slavery of sweet food and the meal simplification (no mixing of macronutrients) facilitated my digestion. But right now I do not wish to loose weight, rather to gain some muscular mass, like in your case. I'm not being successful yet, though.

 

I've dropped from roughly ~173 lbs to ~138 lbs in the past 6 months.  I still have a lot of pinchable fat, guessing 20 to 25 lbs of excess fat yet to lose.  At 5' 10" that may result in an unfavorably low BMI as a consequence of having a muscle wasting disease and having lost so much muscle previously.  As I've been losing fat I've regained a little muscle and the rate is slowly increasing though far below the rate a healthy man can build muscle.  Soon I'd like to transition to focus more on rebuilding muscle and stabilizing body weight though I don't yet have a clear idea of how best to achieve it.  From Nov. 8-12 I'll be in San Diego to attend a conference on my disease and I hope to gain insight from some of the researchers.

 

My guess is I will do phases of bulking, maintenance and cutting where I reintroduce modest amounts of carbs (tomatoes, mangos, blueberries, more seeds, etc.) to stimulate an elevated insulin response and boost anabolic processes in combination with modest increases in protein, especially leucine & methionine, etc. for a short period followed by a return to a stricter ketogenic diet to minimize redevelopment of insulin insensitivity, the gain of fat and all the other ravages that occurred when I tried to maintain muscle and body weight in the past through exercise and a not carefully considered high carb diet.  And short periods of fasting or "simulated fasting" to hopefully minimize cancer risk and the other long term downsides of stimulating anabolism.  My fasting blood glucose is still very high and I'd like to see it come down more before trying a bulking phase.  My post prandial blood glucose has been good since tightly restricting carbohydrate and I'm hoping that I will be showing improving insulin sensitivity as I lose more of my remaining excess fat.

 

As for the animal products I'm consuming, in addition to eggs from our free range hens which are fabulous, we've been getting milk, butter and very small amounts of meat, mostly organ meats, from local Amish and Mennonite farmers.  They pasture their animals and don't feed industrial grain.  And they haven't been using chemical pesticides and fertilizers since long before "organic" became a trendy word.  I was surprised by how different everything is.  The milk is not white but somewhat yellow with little blobs of visible milkfat through out that form a top layer of cream when it sits.  Commercial "whole" milk is typically 3.5-4.0% fat and this milk must be nearly double that.  The taste is rich, sweet and as different from commercial milk as our eggs are from commercial eggs.  The butter is even more noticeably different, it's cultured cream from unpasteurized milk with a sweet and tangy flavor, unsalted.  The downisde is the prices are roughly 4X the cheap industrial fare conveniently available in the local supermarkets but thought of as medicine consumed in moderation the cost is not prohibitive.

 

I've seen studies showing the relative merit of vegan diets emphasizing whole natural foods and avoiding highly refined sugars and oils, etc. and favorably compare such diets to those including animal products, but I have yet to see studies which look at using small amounts of high quality fresh unrefined animal products untainted with preservatives and other chemicals to enhance appearance and "palatibility" and that haven't been exposed to the AGE inducing effects of high heat processing or cooking.  My expectation is that if such a study were done, most of the negative aspects of animal products would be mitigated while their merits would be accentuated.

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As for the animal products I'm consuming, in addition to eggs from our free range hens which are fabulous, we've been getting milk, butter and very small amounts of meat, mostly organ meats, from local Amish and Mennonite farmers.  They pasture their animals and don't feed industrial grain.  And they haven't been using chemical pesticides and fertilizers since long before "organic" became a trendy word.  I was surprised by how different everything is.  The milk is not white but somewhat yellow with little blobs of visible milkfat through out that form a top layer of cream when it sits.  Commercial "whole" milk is typically 3.5-4.0% fat and this milk must be nearly double that.  The taste is rich, sweet and as different from commercial milk as our eggs are from commercial eggs.  The butter is even more noticeably different, it's cultured cream from unpasteurized milk with a sweet and tangy flavor, unsalted.  The downisde is the prices are roughly 4X the cheap industrial fare conveniently available in the local supermarkets but thought of as medicine consumed in moderation the cost is not prohibitive.

 

 

I'm definitely drooling. I don't have suppliers like those in the vicinities. I do take solace though from living in one of the areas with the best EVOO production in Italy. I buy directly from the supplier (organic) and the new oil is just superlative.

 

I've seen studies showing the relative merit of vegan diets emphasizing whole natural foods and avoiding highly refined sugars and oils, etc. and favorably compare such diets to those including animal products, but I have yet to see studies which look at using small amounts of high quality fresh unrefined animal products untainted with preservatives and other chemicals to enhance appearance and "palatibility" and that haven't been exposed to the AGE inducing effects of high heat processing or cooking.  My expectation is that if such a study were done, most of the negative aspects of animal products would be mitigated while their merits would be accentuated.

 

 

 

I agree, probably the reason why they don't carry out such studies is that there would be hardly any difference in the results. 100% plant based and 90% plant-based with some hi quality dairy products and eggs... I doubt the difference would be significant. Maybe cholesterol from eggs if eaten daily. I posted in another thread my lipid profile which turned out to be good.

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I'm definitely drooling. I don't have suppliers like those in the vicinities. I do take solace though from living in one of the areas with the best EVOO production in Italy. I buy directly from the supplier (organic) and the new oil is just superlative.

 

 

It would be nice to reliably get high quality evoo.  Supposedly something like 2/3s of the evoo sold here fails to make the grade when tested due to a variety of faults from being old, oxidized, adulterated with lower grades of olive oil or even adulterated with other oils such as canola.  We buy a brand, Kirkland, that was found to reliably pass testing but it is not at all special just reliably ok.

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I do take solace though from living in one of the areas with the best EVOO production in Italy. I buy directly from the supplier (organic) and the new oil is just superlative.

 

Tell us more about your locally bought Italiano oils. Many of us here (schooled in olive oil to varying extents by MRae) purchase high quality oils with presumably correct chemistries from http://amphoranueva.com/store/index.php?p=catalog&parent=1

 

My modus operandi is to buy the oils with "best" chemistries and latest harvests, and share findings with others who are interested. I've been buying these high poly oils for years now, and basicallly eat them every day and every time I eat greens, beans and cruciferous vegetables. On the days I do eat, that is. Has this habit benefited my long term health? Dunno. Probably yes, at least I hope for a yes.

 

It would be nice to reliably get high quality evoo. Supposedly something like 2/3s of the evoo sold here fails to make the grade when tested due to a variety of faults from being old, oxidized, adulterated with lower grades of olive oil or even adulterated with other oils such as canola. We buy a brand, Kirkland, that was found to reliably pass testing but it is not at all special just reliably ok.

To save you a lot of time and grief and money and research (performed by others who know loads more than any of us about oils) buy now this South African Don Carlo, it's delicious and authentic and probably healthy: http://amphoranueva.com/store/index.php?p=product&id=217

Edited by Sthira

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I don't know about the chemistry of the EVOO I buy, but, fresh from the pressing,  it is absolutely exquisite, this year it's just the right balance of slight bitterness with a hint of pungency and a perfect fruity taste. This oil is good to drink from the glass. I'm attaching a pic of it as it is supplied, in the trunk of my car, it's tanks of 5000 ml, at 35 Euros (38.5 US$) per tank. The price seems a little high to us but it has been an absolutely bad year, with productions down to 20% compared to last year. Sure, one 5000 ml tank of Anphora nueva Don Carlos would cost  US$ 140, but it is imported from overseas and not bought directly from the producer. The relatively cheap price makes us pretty liberal with the use of EVOO, I only stop when I cannot eat (or drink) more. This year I ordered 100000ml (100 liters). By the way, before reading it in this forum, I had no idea of the existance of olive oil in Chile, South Africa, Australia, not even America.

post-7347-0-49807100-1478293377_thumb.jpg

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This is another pic I shot to post in this forum, as I noticed the interest in oil and olives. Green table olives as sold at the store. They are giant table olives, not used to squeeze oil, I tasted one and it was very bitter and pungent but not totally unedible. As the owner related me, it takes 4 months of soaking with water and NaOH to get a proper table olive from the natural ones. 

 

post-7347-0-76377900-1478294110_thumb.jpg

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I found this video of a presentation by Christopher Gardner interesting.

 

 

It discusses the results of the AtoZ study he conducted in which a large number of women were randomly assigned to one of 4 popular diets covering the spectrum from LCHF to HCLF (Atkins to Ornish) for a year and a variety of things were tracked such as weight, bp, hdl, triglycerides, etc.  The short sound byte conclusion was that statistically the Atkins diet won in every way by a significant margin.  But it turns out that is a poor way to look at the results.   The range of outcomes for every single diet was very close, even those in the swampy middle.  The people who did best on each diet had very similar results and the people who did worst on each diet also had very similar results.

 

Which brings the question why are each of these diets great for some people and bad for others?  He did some further analysis of their collected data and found it suggested that those with insulin insensitivity tended to thrive on the high fat diet while those with good insulin sensitivity did best with the high carb diet.  He believes it merits research to further explore factors to guide selecting diet on an individual basis.

 

I don't recall it being explicitly stated but I believe the AtoZ study was of overweight individuals and as there is a significant correlation between insulin insensitivity and being overweight it doesn't seem unreasonable to expect this biased the result in favor of the LCHF diet and a study of skinny individuals would have shown the "superiority" of a HCLF diet.

 

Previously Dean stated a LCHF diet can cause insulin insensitivity.  While I expect that is true for some individuals, probably those with impaired fat metabolism, it looks to me like it much more often improves insulin insensitivity with many finding LCHF diets effectively cure both insulin insensitivity and type 2 diabetes.  However this is somewhat obscured by the down regulation of elements of carbohydrate metabolism while on a LCHF diet such that while on a LCHF diet one will likely spectacularly fail an oral glucose tolerance test, but not because of insulin sensitivity but rather a lack of transporter proteins, enzymes and other factors needed for carbohhydrate metabolism.  And a gradual reintroduction of carbs over several days after an extended time in a fat adapted state before testing shows greatly improved insulin sensitivity.   Likewise people who dramatically switch from a HCLF diet to a LCHF diet need time to transition smoothly.

 

I expect to end up on a cyclical diet where I alternate between a calorie restricted catabolic phase that will be LCHF and fairly low protein - probably ketogenic in combination with exercise mostly aerobic, low intensity such as walking, biking & swimming and an anabolic phase in combination witth high intensity exercise/weight training with a moderate caloric surplus with more carbohydrates and protein.   I'll need to experiment to find what macro nutrient levels work for the anabolic phase which will largely depend on monitoring insulin sensitivity through the proxy of post prandial blood glucose monitoring.  Many top body builders use cyclical diets that they refer to as cutting & bulking to achieve their extreme body compositions with high ratios of lean body mass to fat.  Hopefully I'll find some of their hard won knowledge applicable to my situation.  I've been watching a lot of Ben Pakulski's YouTube videos and think they may eventually prove as valuable to me as all of the health and longevity stuff I've been following.

Edited by Todd Allen

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Years ago i tried 12% fat vs 35% fat. My lipids on the low fat were worse than the high fat. The results of the low fat was

 

 

ldl same, hdl 30% lower, and triglcerides soared by 250%. I did the experiment twicE and results were remarkably virtually identical.

Edited by mikeccolella

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Visceral adiposity and metabolic syndrome after very high-fat and low-fat isocaloric diets: a randomized controlled trial.

 

Visceral adiposity and metabolic syndrome after very high-fat and low-fat isocaloric diets: a randomized controlled trial.
Abstract
BACKGROUND:

Different aspects of dietary pattern, including macronutrient and food profiles, may affect visceral fat mass and metabolic syndrome.

OBJECTIVE:

We hypothesized that consuming energy primarily from carbohydrate or fat in diets with similar food profiles would differentially affect the ability to reverse visceral adiposity and metabolic syndrome.

DESIGN:

Forty-six men (aged 30-50 y) with body mass index (in kg/m2) >29 and waist circumference >98 cm were randomly assigned to a very high-fat, low-carbohydrate (VHFLC; 73% of energy fat and 10% of energy carbohydrate) or low-fat, high-carbohydrate (LFHC; 30% of energy fat and 53% of energy carbohydrate) diet for 12 wk. The diets were equal in energy (8750 kJ/d), protein (17% of energy), and food profile, emphasizing low-processed, lower-glycemic foods. Fat mass was quantified with computed tomography imaging.

RESULTS:

Recorded intake of carbohydrate and total and saturated fat in the LFHC and VHFLC groups were 51% and 11% of energy, 29% and 71% of energy, and 12% and 34% of energy, respectively, with no difference in protein and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Mean energy intake decreased by 22% and 14% in the LFHC and VHFLC groups. The diets similarly reduced waist circumference (11-13 cm), abdominal subcutaneous fat mass (1650-1850 cm3), visceral fat mass (1350-1650 cm3), and total body weight (11-12 kg). Both groups improved dyslipidemia, with reduced circulating triglycerides, but showed differential responses in total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (decreased in LFHC group only), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (increased in VHFLC group only). The groups showed similar reductions in insulin, insulin C-peptide, glycated hemoglobin, and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance. Notably, improvements in circulating metabolic markers in the VHFLC group mainly were observed first after 8 wk, in contrast to more acute and gradual effects in the LFHC group.

CONCLUSIONS:

Consuming energy primarily as carbohydrate or fat for 3 mo did not differentially influence visceral fat and metabolic syndrome in a low-processed, lower-glycemic dietary context. Our data do not support the idea that dietary fat per se promotes ectopic adiposity and cardiometabolic syndrome in humans. 

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Visceral adiposity and metabolic syndrome after very high-fat and low-fat isocaloric diets: a randomized controlled trial.

 

[...]

assigned to a very high-fat, low-carbohydrate (VHFLC; 73% of energy fat and 10% of energy carbohydrate) or low-fat, high-carbohydrate (LFHC; 30% of energy fat and 53% of energy carbohydrate) diet for 12 wk. The diets were equal in energy (8750 kJ/d), protein (17% of energy), and food profile, emphasizing low-processed, lower-glycemic foods.

[...]

 

I like that they used "low-processed, lower-glycemic foods." The average ad lib diet is around 33-35% fat, so 30% qualified as "low-fat" but hardly qualifies as appropriate to determine effects of changing dietary fat, so this study is really just looking at a roughly normal macro intake of wholesome foods.

 

Studies by Neal Barnard use whole-food plant-based very low-fat (10-15% fat) high-carb diets, often focused on metabolic function and insulin/glucose control. They are vegan, so that could be a confounding variable, but they're about as close as we'll get to what someone here would eat if trying a truly very low-fat diet.

 

PubMed list of many of Barnard's papers.

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Sure, one 5000 ml tank of Anphora nueva Don Carlos would cost  US$ 140, but it is imported from overseas and not bought directly from the producer. 

attachicon.gif20161030_121849.jpg

Crazy!  One can easily pay 10 times that price for high-end olive oil where I live, in Seattle.  Cheers--enjoy your oil!

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No need to use NAOH. NACL or other traditional cures (water leaching?) would be my choice.

 

I've never tried to do that but by by curing in NaOH plus salt (this is the traditional method)  the raw olives result very soft and sweetish. Only NACl, I don't know. There may even be other faster methods which preserve the properties. I admit my ignorance and should start a domestic search, reason why I didn't do that is  because it does not make much sense to add olives to the already copious quantity of olive oil.

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Sure, one 5000 ml tank of Anphora nueva Don Carlos would cost  US$ 140, but it is imported from overseas and not bought directly from the producer. 

attachicon.gif20161030_121849.jpg

Crazy!  One can easily pay 10 times that price for high-end olive oil where I live, in Seattle.  Cheers--enjoy your oil!

 

 

drcha, probably every place (barring the more ill-lucked ones) has its own choice of wholesome and unexpensive natural foods.

The above being said, because of the present crisis in Italy many families choose to buy imported EVOO at the supermarkets. Imported from other Mediterranean countries and presumably of inferior quality. Also, knowing local producers allows a greater control on the product. Many families here even have their own small acreage with olive trees and produce their own oil, but this year parasites stunted the domestic production everywhere. After reading these posts I'm tempted to have the oil analyzed by local labs, just to have some numerical results beyond my subjective taste.

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This is from a very small scale producing plant where I've been recently, they keep a bottle of oil for every year of their production, since they like to compare appearance and colour of all historical yields. Also, they display a different vessel every year, the current year they chose a square-section bottle with dark glass (good choice to avoid light-caused degradation).

post-7347-0-80399600-1482926919_thumb.jpg

 

I'm not an expert on EVOO production plants but recently I had to study some of their characteristics. The quality of the EVOO is in function of the olive quality of course but also of the type of plant and temperature parameters, time of grinding and so on. The modern larger plants look a little like this one.

 

post-7347-0-83763600-1482927649_thumb.jpg

 

 

Edited by mccoy

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It's tempting to think that if one buys ones EVOO from a local producer, you are necessarily getting "the best" (from a health POV, that is). Unfortunately, it's far more complicated than that. First, the chemistry of the EVOO depends on which olive varietal is involved. For example, EVOO from arbequina olives is famously low in polyphenol count. Before I was sensitized to the chemistry, I thought I was doing good by purchasing locally grown (so short transport), organic, freshly harvested and pressed EVOO. Then I found out it was from arbequina olives - bzzt, wrong move!

 

Worse, the chemistry in the EVOO is not the same from year to year, harvest to harvest, and production to production. The folks who run amophoranueva test all their oils every year - and EVOO that was super high in good chemistry one year, may transpire to be mediocre or poor the next year, and this is from the very same farm and same operation! Apparently small variations and random factors of weather and timing can strongly affect the end result. Which is why, I buy EVOO from amphora nueva twice a year (for each harvest), always looking for the best chemistry, and it's never been the same EVOO - each time the chemistry champ has been different. 

 

Which brings me to buying locally from a grower/producer. Assuming the grower/producer is top notch, yes, you will at least get fresh oil and the real thing. But the rest is a complete crap shoot. You have no idea about the chemistry (unless you test). Bottom line: when it comes to EVOO, buying locally from a trusted grower/producer is not a guarantee that you are in fact getting a good chemistry EVOO.

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