Carb-Loaded: A Culture Dying to Eat – Special Features –

Carb-Loaded: A Culture Dying to Eat – Special Features –


Gary Taubes
When Weight Gain is a Hormonal Disorder There are two ways to think about this One is it’s a calorie issue, thats the conventional wisdom You eat too much and you get fat It doesn’t matter what you are eating A calorie is a calorie and it’s all about energy So take in more energy then you expend You store the extra in your fat tissue The other way to think about it When we get fat it’s a growth disorder it’s a hormonal defect a regulatory defect, an interesting way to think about the foods we eat, is what effect do those foods have on the hormones and enzymes that regulate fat accumulation. It’s an entirely different paradigm. If you think about it this way Every nutrient you consume, protein, fat, carbohydrates, even the type of carbohydrates, even the type of fats, have different effects on the hormones, specifically this hormone insulin, that regulates fat accumulation. Actually regulates the storage of fat in fat cells So if you think about it that way and this is an idea that had it provenance in pre world war Germany and Austria where obesity researchers had come to think of obesity as a hormonal defect Not an energy balance problem, and then it picks up and then it picks up in the early 1960’s with the discovery that the hormone insulin regulates fat accumulation so if you think about it that way then the problem with modern diets, the reason people get fat, is not because they take in more energy then they expend, but because the carbohydrate content of the diet, stimulates insulin secretion, and the insulin secretion stimulates fats storage, it’s pretty much that simple and until the 1960’s the conventional wisdom was that carbohydrates were uniquely fattening Nobody knew really what that meant but the idea was that if you didn’t want to be fat there were specific food s that you didn’t eat, and they happened to be bread, rice, potatoes, beer sweets, anything with sugar in it medical schools, like Harvard medical school Stanford medical school, Cornell in the mid twentieth century they publish their diets for obesity and the diet was, Don’t eat these foods: bread, pasta potatoes, anything made from flour, sweets et cetera, and you can eat as much as you want of these foods :meat, fish, fowl, green vegetables because the foods you’re not eating are fattening, and the foods you can eat as much as you want are not, it was pretty much that simple. Every other growth disorder doctors study is known to be a disorder of hormones, enzymes receptors, genes not this energy balance thing, so all we have to do is say look Why should we consider obesity any different and if we consider it just like any other growth defect then the obvious causes are, the hormone insulin is involved like with diabetes and the carbohydrate content of the diet it’s not how much you eat, it’s what you eat Gary Taubes
The Rise and Fall of High Fructose Corn Syrup What’s interesting about this was, when High Fructose Corn Syrup in the form 55/45 formulation was introduced in the U.S. in 1977, and took over the replaced, it was actually formulated so that it would taste identical to sugar in Coca Cola and Pepsi and it replaced the sucrose in Coca Cola and Pepsi by 1984, and had begun to take over the world so when you look at what the FDA calls caloric sweeteners Sugar consumption, sugar availability starts to go down in the U.S. in the late 1970’s and it’s replaced by high fructose corn syrup, and then the two together, increase roughly 30% between the mid-1980’s and 2000, when it peaks. So the argument is this could be driving the obesity epidemic, but because high fructose syrup is so much different then sucrose, but because we simple start consuming more of these sugars in total that’s a parsimonious explanation for why you see a concurrent increase in obesity and diabetes. What’s amusing is when high fructose corn syrup came in in, ironic and amusing the corn refiners did everything they could to make it appear that high fructose corn syrup was NOT sugar, because Sugar was being perceived as a generally noxious item in the diet. Some doctors believed it caused diabetes so there was an anti sugar trend in the 1970’s and when high fructose corn syrup came in it benefited from this on ingredients labels on sodas and soft drinks you could see it. You have to list it by the amount that that ingredient is in there. So instead of saying Water followed by sugar followed by chemicals. It said water high fructose corn syrup chemicals. If you didn’t know high fructose corn syrup, was sugar. And the corn refiners would refer to high fructose corn syrup as “Fructose” and fructose, as fruit sugar and it all sounded very natural and healthy I think to some extent, that’s why sweetener consumption, started to go up, because we didn’t know this stuff was sugar and it seemed to be benign. No we fast forward 25 years to 2010 2013 Suddenly, high fructose corn syrup is getting hammered by people as a potential cause of the obesity epidemic often by people who don’t realize that high fructose corn syrup and sucrose are so chemically similar I have met many of those people, who think the problem is high fructose corn syrup, because they dont realize sucrose is half fructose and now the corn refiners want to say, “No No No we are sugar, we are the same thing”. So after spending the 1980’s, establishing that they weren’t sugar They want to take it all back, and be able to claim that they are sugar because in comparison, sugar is the one now that seems benign so, interesting poltics the argument I would make is that the evidence to me is pretty compelling that sugar is bad and high fructose corn syrup might be a little worse, but not enough worse to differentiate and say we’d be better off if we were just consuming sugar Gary Taubes
Hug vs Punch The conventional wisdom is about how many calories we consume, so it’s purely a measure of the quantity of the food we consume, but the way systems break down isn’t the size of the burden that’s put on them, but also the speed with which the burden is put on them. So think about, let’s say I’m going to apply 100 pounds of pressure to your shoulder blade. So, I can do that by leaning gently against you you know, over the course of an hour I’m estimating. It’s going to be annoying, but it’s not going to cause any physical damage or I could apply 100 pounds of pressure in a second by punching you as hard as I can the punch even if it doesn’t cause significant physical damage the first time, if I now do this three times a day for weeks on end you could imagine that the punch is going to cause serious systems breakdown, where the leaning annoying as it may be, is not. What we really care about is how quickly the force is delivered. Force is a measure of…is it? Mass times acceleration squared dv/dt m I’m going back to college physics, there’s time the speed with which it’s applied is also part of the force. So all Cleve was saying and Peter Cleave gets a lot of credit, is that When we refine carbohydrate, when we refine sugar we increase the speed with which we can digest them when we put them in liquids we increase the speed we can digest them that increases the force that’s applied and the speed with which it’s applied to the liver, and this derivative is as important as the total quantity of force applied. So it’s not just how much we eat but it’s how quickly we digest it how quickly our organs have to deal with it, and the faster that is, the more likely they are to do damage it was a pretty simple idea. And yet it’s still oddly enough …part of the idea of the Glycemic Index is a way to address this. But there’s no index that says look if I eat the sugar in eight apples over the course of a day but it’s spread out over hours is that going to be more or less harmful, then if I drink the equivalent amount of sugar from those apples, In a glass of apple juice that I can consume in two minutes. and the answer, I would say Even if this idea is wrong, that it’s never been studied is kind of mind boggleing Gary Taubes
Working Up an Appetite The credit goes to a british blogger, I read it in his blog and asked for permission I can’t remember his name at the moment it was a brilliant observation, so the idea is Lets say tonight, I’m having a party here. And I’ve got the 12 best chefs from the bay area coming over to cook Great food in the bay area, a very foodie type part of the world. They are going to create a feast of monumental proportions Like the last meal on top chef squared 12 courses the best food you’ve ever had in your life and I invite you guys to come, and on the invitation it describes the feast and it says
Bring Your Appetite! Come Hungry! What would you do during the course of the day or the few days previous, to make sure that by the time you got my house and this feast, you had brought your appetite. I can think of two things… that most people agree with. One is, you might eat less the day of the feast or the days leading up to the feast you’d have a very small lunch, or skip it entirely certainly your going to skip the snacks The other thing is you might exercise more, right? There used to be this concept of working up an appetite. If you were planning on working out you might work out twice as hard. If you weren’t planning on working out, You’re going to work out You might even say to yourself “Hey, our hotel is only five miles from where Taubes live… why don’t we walk. That way when we get there we’ll be hungry!” Ask yourself, why is it that the two things any of us would do to guarantee that we worked up an appetite are the very same two things: Eat Less, and Exercise More that we tell obese people to do to lose weight Right there you know there’s a problem, there’s something wrong with this thinking Right there you know, clearly why it hasn’t worked……CUT (Laughter) (Laughter) Good timing, he had wrapped and cue the cat. Tim Noakes M.D.
On Writing “The Lore of Running” For 33 years I followed the prudent diet and believed that carbohydrates were crucial for good health and I wrote a book called “Lore of Running” which was widely read and that promoted very high carbohydrate diets, and that’s what I did when I was running competitively, and then I suddenly had this euphonious moment, when I realized that I was getting sicker and sicker, eating these high carbohydrate diets and I realized I had to understand what was going wrong and then found, that when I reduced my carbohydrates to almost absent I regained my health, that I had last had 20 or 30 years before. Now what I also learned was that as a medical practitioner, I have a responsibility, I made an error to say “I’m sorry, I made an error” and that’s what I did in December 2010 I cam out and said that what I had said before was completely wrong. And that those who had copies of Lore of Running needed to tear out the nutrition section. And we needed to start all over again Tim Noakes
On Working with Bruce Fordyce Bruce Fordyce who won nine Comrades Marathons, it’s a remarkable performance it will never be matched again, and I told him “You’ve got to eat all the carbohydrates in the world” We were the first to develop with him, and another runner The “Goo’s” that are currently used, we were the first to develop the “Goo” in South Africa, it was called F.R.N. Fordyce, Rose and Noakes So the two of us have been linked together with that product What happened was towards the end of his career, Bruce was maybe a kilogram or two heavier and he wasn’t quite as good an athlete but he was able to win. Throughout the next 20 or 30 years he gradually, put on a little bit of weight, and his running was much less good. Until the point he came and said “What can I do?” “I’m running poorly” and the decision was taken, cut the carbs, particularly cut sugar and he lost 12 kilograms, this is a guy that’s run 200 marathons, and many of them in very fast times. And he loses 12 kilograms, and his running came right back. He was the second runner in his age group in the New York City marathon two years ago and he’s running remarkably well, he’s probably the top masters runner in South Africa. But the key point was a few weeks ago he came to me and said “Tim, I’ve just run the 56km 35mi race in Cape Town. I did not carbohydrate load, I’m 56 years old I did not take a drop of carbohydrate during I just drank water during the race, and I had a very comfortable race, I never felt that I needed any carbohydrate. Tim, I want to ask you one question What would have happened, if I’d followed this diet when I was winning those races? Maybe I could have gone even faster.” He set the records which were only broken 30 years later. But, he has obviously experianced something in his running, to make him question whether he should have eaten all those carbohydrates, that I encouraged him to eat 35 years ago. Brian Wansink PhD
Gender Roles and Eating It’s interesting how men and women eat differently, we can see it from what peoples comfort foods are to even what it is when they go on a date, and what they see there role as being. When woman are on a date with guys, women tend to eat less on a date then they would. Which isn’t suprising, but guys tend to eat more on a date. When we have people rate films with people on dates the more the “guy” eats, the more people believe he is masculine, he can bench press more, he’s a manlier man So I think we naturally fall into these stereotypes We have for the role that food plays for our gender. Brian Wansink PhD
Are You Smarter Than A Popcorn Bucket? When people over eat they usually say it’s because, they were really hungry or the food is really good. We wanted to know what would happen if you took sombody who wasn’t hungry, and you gave them food that wasn’t any good. So what we did in a movie theater outside of Chicago, is we gave people these big tubs of popcorn or the really, really big tubs of popcorn, for free. This was five day old popcorn it was like styrofoam and what happened was that the typical person if you gave them a big bucket of popcorn, even if they had just eaten even if it was terrible, they ended up eating 34% more then somebody with a slightly smaller tub when they’d come out, we’d say “You ate a lot of popcorn, was it because you were hungry?” “NO” “Was it because the popcorn was good?” They’d go “No it’s terrible” But if you ask them do think it’s because you had a bigger bucket? To a person they would say “No, that couldn’t anything to do with it” That’s why mindless eating can trip us up so badly we are unwilling to believe that we aren’t smarter than a bucket Brian Wansink PhD
Beating Mindless Eating Almost everything in our life nudges us to either serve a little bit more then we should or to eat a little bit longer or little more then we would otherwise want to for instance we have done research that shows if you simply increase the size of a plate from 10 inches to 12 inches, which is what most of us have in our cupboard. The typical person will eat 22% more food. Because that four scoops of pasta that you put on a 10 inch plate all of the sudden you put it on a 12 inch plate it doesn’t even look like an appetizers worth. So what do you do? You put another scoop down. The thing is in both those cases your going to be equally full. Because in your mind you’ve eaten a full plate of food These things are everywhere. We find if you simply move a candy dish six feet off a secretary’s desk, and what happens is the amount of candy they eat drops by almost 100 calories every single day Now what happens is not that somebody says “Oh six feet that way to far to walk” When we interview they say, “It’s just that six feet gave me pause to ask myself, hey am I really that hungry?” About half the time they’d say “No” therein lies one of the secrets of beating mindless eating and it’s simply to put some sort of an interupt into our life so we have to think twice for a second instead of just instinctively gobbling something down. Brian Wansink PhD
We Eat with Our Eyes We have no idea whether we are full or not. Our stomach can’t count so we eat with our eyes. Not with our stomach. We did this one study called the “Bottomless Soup Bowl Study” where we took these soup bowls, drilled holes in the bottom poked food grade tubing into the bowl strung it though a table, and into a big vat of soup. And brought people in for lunch the typical person in 10 minutes, ate 73% more soup if we gave them one of these bottomless bowls the clincher was, when we said Are you full? They’d go “No, how can I be full I still have half a bowl of soup left” We eat with our eyes not with our stomach Marlene B. Schwartz PhD
Kids + Sugar=Profits One of the things that is most lucrative for the food industry is if you eat a lot of their food So, I’ll give you an example. We did a study where we compared how much cereal kids would eat, and in one condition we gave them high sugar cereals, like Fruit Loops, Frosted Flakes and in the other condition we gave them low sugar cereals like Cheerios or Corn Flakes. And it was a very careful experiment, we tracked what they ate, and what we found was that kids ate twice as much of the cereal when there was sugar added to it they also ate less of the fresh fruit that we provided in that condition So when the food industry argues that you have to add a lot of sugar or salt, or fat to foods in order to get it taste better and for people to eat more it’s completely self serving because the kids in the low sugar condition, ate an appropriate amount, they ate almost exactly one serving of the food whereas the kids in the high sugar condition ate twice as much so its a pretty clear example of how of course the cereal companies are going to resist lowering the sugar in their kids cereals, because they may actually sell half of much cereal, because the kids wont over consume it Marlene B. Schwartz PhD
The Rise of Food Marketing in Schools It’s really interesting to try to understand what happened, one of the things that happened in the schools, in the school setting, is that the law changed so that when I graduated from high school, I’ll reveal my age, I graduated in 1984, there were no vending machines in schools. Very soon after the time I graduated. The National Soft Drink Association which is now called the American Beverage Association won a lawsuit, and obtained permission to sell their products in school and so what you saw through the 80’s 90’s and peaking in the early 2000’s was a deliberate attempt to get Coke, Pepsi, Cadbury Schwepps the big brands of soft drinks into the public schools. To the point where 97% of high schools had a contract with one of these big companies. So that was one thing that really changed. Another thing that changed was allowing snacks and vending machines that sold not just the beverages, but also snack foods into the schools and the food service had to then compete, with these other products in their schools. So what happened in the food service world was rather then just sell the reimbursable school lunch that we are all familiar with. They started to offer all kinds of other, what we call competative foods. Foods that were an alternative to the school lunch. So the environment in school cafeterias around the country dramatically changed over this period of time. And I personally think that, that had a big impact not just in terms of what kids were eating at school but it also normalized that these foods were perfectly fine to have on an everyday basis and it allowed for those brands to become very familiar to children and increase their consumption I believe outside of schools as well. Adele Hite MPH RD
The Rubber Stamping of the Guidlines The dietary guidelines advisory committee looked at what was going on and they said and it’s in the report, you can look it up We are noticing that this low fat diet isn’t serving the health of the American public and that the I.O.M. has some information the Institute of Medicine has begun to look at these things and what were noticing is that the rise in obesity has corresponded with the rise in carbohydrate intake and that in fact some researchers are beginning to evaluate the evidence, and they think that a low fat diet might actually be associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease increased risk of diabetes that was the 2000 report, okay now somewhere between the year 2000 and the year 2005 when the next report was supposed to come out a separation occured, between the report and guidlines so before the guidelines were essentially almost word for word what the scientists had recommended, after that in between came this independent scientific panel peer review panel that was supposed to peer review the report and make sure that the guidelines, so they were this little transitional something it was an inter-agency thing so this was not part of policy, this was just part of the rule making process, and all of the sudden, the science was over here, and the guidelines were over here. This independent advisory panel was anonymous we don’t know where they came from, who picked them or why they were there. My organization Healthy Nation Coalition, filed a series of freedom of information acts to try and get them to reveal that, and the information that we got back from the Center of Nutrition Policy and Promotion, which is housed within the USDA, and they are in charge of the guidlines They said, “You don’t need to know about who those people are, because they don’t have anything to do with, they are not politically motivated and if reveal their names, it will have a chilling effect on who we get to evaluate the guidelines in the future, and all this nonsense that has nothing to do with anything And so I gathered together a bunch of scientists, they wrote and they help make the case, that we needed transparency in this process they finally did reveal the names, and it turns out that it was a bunch a registered dietitians basically they were in place to rubber stamp whatever the guidelines came up with so you could take the science from the report you turned it into guidelines that didn’t necessarily match and then you pass them by this peer review process made of of registered dietitians I’m a registered dietitian, who are by training we are trained to follow the guidelines, we are not trained to do anything else besides follow the guidelines so you take that peer review process and have them rubber stamp what’s in the guidelines, which of course we are going to do and then we could use that to say “See, the guidelines even though we have once removed them from the scientists, we can assure you that they are based on scientific evidence. Although, the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, will say to me I have this written down, that they didn’t review the science at all, they just reviewed it for communication In the acknowledgments, they’re a peer review for the science in the reality they are just reviewing for communication which leaves us with the question “Who is ensuring that our guidelines are based on science?” Andreas Eenfeldt, MD
Losing Weight the Hard Way People believe that to stay at a healthy weight all they need to do is eat less and exercise more, the problem is that this is very hard to do for most people because, eating less means you’re going to have to be hungry exercising more, even though you are hungry means you’re gunna get tired and miserable. so this is dieting for masocists This is what people are trying to do this is the hard way to lose weight The easier or smarter way, you need to eat high quality food that makes you want to eat less, and gives you the energy to exercise, it makes you want to move more you can do that by avoiding sugar and starches Andreas Eenfeldt, MD
Weight Gain and Aging If you look at other populations that don’t eat western food they don’t get obesity and diabetes and heart disease as they get older, so it’s not natural It’s a result of the environment in our western culture, and it seems like the most likely cause is too much sugar too much easily digested carbs like white flour that elevates the blood sugar elevates the fat storing insulin levels in our bodies, and makes us hungrier, and makes us eat more and gain a little bit of weight every year Sami Inkinen and Meredith Loring
Preparing for a 2,800 Mile Ocean Voyage First of all we went from zero to rowing an ocean in six months we had no prior rowing experience, within six months not only did we do massive amounts of weight training, and rowing specific training but also safety training to be able to navigate an ocean, operate a boat and be able to get out of there if something goes wrong. We did massive amounts of preparation people usually spend two years to prepare for an ocean row so we had a little bit of an expedited process to get ready. Part of our preparation was the food preparation, because we were eating no sugar or processed carbohydrates. We essentially had to make all of the food ourselves. People doing expeditions like this, typically use dehydrated meal packs but they are full of junk they are very carb heavy, very sugar heavy so we spent a lot of time researching food that we could take on board that wouldn’t go bad we ended up eating primarily packed salmon and tuna, he ate a lot of dehydrated beef, we ate a ridiculous amount of dehydrated vegetables, dehydrated apple chips and then a lot of nuts, parmesan cheese nut butters, but everything was stuff that you could get at the grocery store, and it was all real whole food We had to pack and weigh, prepare all that stuff it took a long time. We spent probably a week in our garage, just vacuum sealing real whole foods nuts, seeds, coconut butter, oil because there weren’t really packaged options available that would have that kind of shelf life that would survive two month in the middle of the pacific ocean in the kind of temperatures that you can expect we had so many people ask us if they could try our food we gave packs of food to a bunch of people, so that they could try eating it on land It worked pretty well for us, we weren’t craving things other then what we brought We were pretty satisfied the entire time. We didn’t make it through all of our food we weren’t able to eat everything that we packed Sami Inkinen and Meredith Loring
The Rowing Schedule In terms of rowing, we tried to row the boat 24/7, in that one was rowing, the other was sleeping or resting. Our typical rowing day was about 14 hours each, so we did about 14 hours in the rowing seat and then my top day was 21 hours non-stop rowing. Yeah, there was a little bit of a lunch break in between and then every hour a couple of minutes of stretching and stuff, but 21 hours non-stop. And then we had several 16-18…several 18 hour days of rowing, and the caloric consumption that I calculated was about the same as running 2 marathons a day. So, just the rowing alone, for me 6,000 + calories a day plus obviously other metabolic needs that your body has. And we were rowing in straight chunks. So when we say 18 hours a day, we were rowing 18 hours straight, so our typical schedule was that I would get up at 1 o’clock in the morning and start my rowing I’d row for 6 hours in my rowing shift and Sami would go to bed. 6 hours alone, then Sami would get up and we’d row together for 12 hours, and then I would go to bed and Sami would continue on his own for 6 hours, so we’d have the whole clock covered. But we’d also get as much time rowing together as possible. Because, you know, we’re married..so we didn’t want to be just passing each other in the night saying, “hello” and “good-bye” (Laughs) Sami Inkinen and Meredith Loring
What About Electrolytes? All the water that we drank and used for washing was made through a desalination process, so we had a water desalinator which we powered through solar panels that we had. People often ask what kind of electrolytes were you using because you must be sweating so much so what kind of sports products did you have? And literally I was only drinking that clean water and table salt and the food that we had So, water and adding a LOT of salt, like ridiculous amounts of salt into my food and then, you know, the salt that we had we made sure that from the meat and the salt we got potassium and magnesium, but I didn’t use any electrolyte solutions, or anything. I just followed my taste and cravings. If I felt like I needed more salt, and the body is pretty good at that, so I just added more salt into my food. Table salt from a grocery store and pure water for 45 days. Sami Inkinen and Meredith Loring
We Ate What We Eat in Normal Life I was really happy that we ended up being able to find food products that were really close to what we were eating in our normal life, because there wasn’t a transition period when we got on the boat to get used to a totally different eating style. So on the boat we ate almost exactly what we eat in normal life and the only difference was that it was dehydrated or packaged rather than being fresh. We had packaged salmon, verses fresh salmon and dehydrated vegetables, versus salad vegetables Other than that, it was remarkably similar As far as treats, I think there were a couple things I was totally obsessed with and really glad that Sami brought! That was parmesan cheese and we had “Nutzo” nut butter, and it was like a Christmas present if he would give me any In the beginning, we were negotiating food exchanges, like “I’ll give you apple chips, if you give me parmesan cheese,” or whatever it was In the end, he would just give them as presents Those were the bright spots. Sami Inkinen and Meredith Loring
Like Rowing in Outer Space So physically, one of the things I was actually surprised to see is how quickly your body starts adapting to completely new exercise and environment And most importantly, rowing in a small rowing boat for 2 months is almost like being in a weightless state in space for 2 months because you really aren’t doing weight bearing stuff. Very limited standing, certainly no running, certainly very little walking, like a step or two a day. So I noticed my calf muscles starting to get so small so quickly. I realized there were a lot of similar changes happening elsewhere in my body So the body was adapting to the simple rowing motion very, very quickly and certain muscles started atrophying, not because of diet, or anything else There wasn’t any weight, like zero reps zero walking reps each day. So that was kind of surprising how quickly your body turns into something very different. And then, getting off the boat we had a hard time walking, walking up hill running was out of the question, and we had only been on the boat for 45 days. So, it was kind of amazing how fast our bodies turned from a cycling and running focused machines into this rowing machine, we lost those skills.

10 Comments

  1. The punching analogy from Dr Gary is absolutely brilliant! Thank you so much for the upload. This is really the mind-blowing truth that the world needs to know.

  2. I had to also reduce my carbs. It is not that I wanted to because I love breads and candy, but my system just could not take it anymore. I felt like shit and was so bloated all the time. Low energy and had issues with hypoglycemia. I feel better and am losing weight as well.

  3. So wrong, a Calorie is NOT just a Calorie! Calories from Simple Carbs are harder for the body to burn, hense why people are getting fucking FAT!!! Wow, when Doctors get it wrong… Also, Working out, does not burn as much as people believe, but funny enough, cleaning your home, gives you a better workout, than a few hours at the gym, go figure :S

  4. True story: as soon as the caption "When weight gain is a hormonal disorder" came up, I realized that it was time to take my thyroid meds! ;-D

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