Saturday, September 10, 2011

A New Theory Of Fats, Fructose, And Obesity

Fructose and fats are both handled by the liver.  I'm going to include saturated and monounsaturated fats along with PUFAs when I talk about this theory.  When you eat fructose and fats together you may create an excess load that the liver is not very effective at handling.  The way to eat fructose and fat is by making sure they are not in the same meal. 

There are a couple of good things about this theory.  The good news is that dextrose does not have fructose in it but is still an effective sweetener and should not cause the reaction.  If eating a meal with fat in it, consider using dextrose as a sweetener in place of sugar or HFCS.  You also might consider drinking diet soda or using artificial sweeteners when eating meals with fat.  But when not eating fat, fructose should not be a problem.

The question in my mind is "How long should a person wait after their last meal before consuming fructose or fats?"  I would consider the diet of the Kitavans.  They eat starch and fat for breakfast, fruit for lunch, and starch, fat, and protein for dinner.  This effectively keeps fructose and fats separate.  One could estimate a separation of about 4 hours between meals.

What gave me a clue to this theory was the diet of Jeanne Calment.  She lived to be 122 years old.  She ate about a kilo of chocolate per week.  That is about 2.2 lbs. of chocolate which has BOTH fructose and fats.  So why did she not become obese?  I think the secret was that she had an incredible liver.  Keep in mind that her husband died from eating a dessert with tainted cherries, but she did not die from it.  My guess is that her liver was much more capable of detoxifying the dessert than her husband's liver.

Chocolate may not be a superfood, unfortunately.  It may have just been a passionate pleasure that helped to reveal the remarkable liver of Jeanne Louise Calment.

What about milk?  It seems milk may pose a problem.  The lactose in milk breaks down into glucose and galactose.  Galactose is then changed into glucose by...the liver.  If I were trying to avoid the reaction, I could drink cream.  Butter also does not have lactose in it and shouldn't be a problem.  But I would avoid milk and cheese if trying to reverse obesity.  Goat's milk also has lactose.

I would not expect a quick recovery from obesity following this theory even if it is true.  But the rules are simple enough and easy to follow...avoid eating fructose and fats at the same time.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Experimental Diet With A Diluted Twist

So I started this new experiment to reduce my stored PUFA concentrations by using fasting.  The idea is simply to use dilution.  I would fast to burn off about 20% of my stored fat then spend an equal amount of time refeeding on low PUFA foods.  Imagine it like diluting a can of paint, pouring off some dark paint and replacing it with light paint.  With each dilution the mixture becomes lighter.

The big question is "Will it work?"

If I understand how free fatty acids work in the body, it seems they are constantly flowing into and out of fat cells.  The stored body fat is a mixture of saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats.  These fats are in a constant state of being stored and released from adipocytes (fat cells).  Fat from a meal or the liver is mixed with the free fatty acids in the blood.  If you continue to eat the same foods over time then your stored fat will eventually resemble the fat composition of what you have been eating.

Here in the United States there has been a massive transition to polyunsaturated fats in the form of seed oils (such as soybean, canola, sunflower, peanut, and many more).  These seed oils are in bread, potato chips, snack foods, fried foods, and more.  Because they are fed to farm animals they even begin to show up in pork, poultry, and eggs.  One is walking in a minefield of polyunsaturated fats unless specific diligence is used.

Added to this is the confusion over what is a healthy fat.  The human body can make saturated and monounsaturated fats.  That is how important they are.  Polyunsaturated fats are difficult to avoid in nature.  Unless one is on a scientifically designed diet to exclude polyunsaturated fats it is unlikely that they can be completely avoided.  Polyunsaturated fats have been termed "essential" and that can make something which is unavoidable seem far too important.

I see the problem of obesity coming from polyunsaturated fats being too highly concentrated in the standard American diet at this time.  If they are reduced to a much lower level then obesity and all of the health problems associated with it should disappear.  However, making the change today will not produce significant results tomorrow.  It will take time...perhaps a few years.

The ratio of fats stored in the human body is compiled from the ratio of fats consumed and produced by the body over the last several years.  To reduce half of the body's tissue concentration of polyunsaturated fat would require about 680 days of eating a diet reflecting that reduced amount of fat.  Weight loss, if it is to be permanent, may take several years.

But what happens if you reduce your body's stored amount of PUFAs and replace them with saturated or monounsaturated fats?  It seems this can be accomplished in less than a year using the dilution method I mentioned above.  But would it produce the weight loss?  If not then what results would it produce?  The answer at this time is unknown.  That is why I am attempting a dilution experiment.  My experimental diet journal is on Jimmy Moore's Livin' La Vida Low Carb website if you want to see where I am in the experiment so far.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Real Coconut Oil Diet

The idea is this:  polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs) are bad, real bad.  You want to minimize them in your body.  But how?  By eating highly saturated fat foods...especially coconut oil.

So you take a couple tablespoons of coconut oil for a week and gain 2 lbs.  You proclaim "This is B.S.!"  You throw your coconut oil in the trash and go on a water fast.  Congratulations, you have no idea what you are doing.

There is plenty of information on the internet about how bad PUFAs are.  It is a national disaster of epic proportions.  The obesity epidemic is only the tip of the iceberg.  We may never know the extent of the mess created by making PUFAs ubiquitous in the diet.  But we do know that it is possible to reduce the PUFA concentrations in our body tissues.

THE GOOD NEWS!

It is easy to reduce the PUFA in your body.  Avoid all of the high PUFA oils.  Read those ingredient labels.  Start consuming coconut oil on a daily basis.  Cut up some corn tortillas and brush them with coconut oil and bake them to make your own snack chips.  Throw out the margarine and vegetable oils in your pantry.  READ THOSE INGREDIENT LABELS.

Drink milk if you want to.  Eat cheese if you want to.  Eat chocolate if you want to.  Substitute coconut oil for margarine in recipes.  Don't worry about "extra virgin" type coconut oils.  The cheaper refined coconut oils may be even better because they have a longer shelf life and less materials in them that can speed up rancidity.

DO NOT COUNT CALORIES OR CARBOHYDRATES OR FATS IF YOU ARE OBESE!

There are a few foods you will want to avoid.  Avoid products with any vegetable oils in the ingredients (except the tropical oils).  Minimize nuts, peanuts, seeds and cashews.  Minimize poultry, eggs, fish and pork because they can be high in PUFA.  Less is best but none may be no fun. 

If you are going to consume fats you want them to be mostly saturated like coconut oil.  But the best part of coconut oil is that it is low in PUFA.  Macadamia nut oil is another good oil that is fairly low in PUFA but it is high in monounsaturated fat (MUFA).  Macadamia nut oil is also very expensive.  Olive oil and lard are okay if used sparingly.  But because of their PUFA content it might be better to use a lower PUFA alternative.

THE BAD NEWS!

It takes a long time to change your tissue PUFA concentrations.  For an obese person it takes about 2-3 years of eating a diet low in PUFA before you get to see the results.  It takes about 4 years to completely transform your tissue lipid concentrations to match your dietary lipid concentrations.  Every meal you eat is an investment in your future body.

If you can imagine eating normal foods and carefully avoiding foods high in PUFA for an entire year and not seeing any result, it could be understandably frustrating and seem like it will never work.  It takes patience and commitment to get results.  But in the end the effect is astonishing!  Look up the results of Jon Gabriel.  He went from over 400 lbs. to 183 lbs. and in the last few weeks the weight just flew off him.  Usually on a diet the last few pounds are the hardest to lose.

Here is a podcast interview with Dr. Ray Peat to check out.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

William James Sidis Dead At Age 46

I just turned 46 this month and I'm very curious about how William James Sidis died at this age.  He was a child prodigy and traumatized by society for being such.  He graduated from Harvard at age 16.  He died at the shockingly young age of 46 from "a cerebral hemorrhage leading to pneumonia" per his biographer Amy Wallace.

I would not presume to know what lead to his stroke.  However, in the book "The Prodigy" there are some foods mentioned he was said to have eaten.  What his daily diet consisted of is pure speculation.  He is said to have been gaining weight in his final years.  Here are foods that were mentioned he had consumed:

Milk (a quart following a meal)
Black tea (occasionally)
Vegetables
Potatoes
Meat
Candy (it is said he had a sweet tooth)
Cake
Soft Drinks
Peanuts (there were particular memories associated with his peanut consumption)

The book also mentions his high blood pressure.  Also of interest were the things he is said to have abstained from:  smoking, alcohol, coffee, and sex.  He is said to have made a vow of celibacy in his teens and was never known to have broke it.   Asexuality is common with Aspergers syndrome.  I don't know if he had Aspergers, I'm just mentioning the association.

Of interest to this blog is the peanut consumption.  Could peanuts have killed William James Sidis?  Especially when combined with his sweet tooth?  It is a theory.

Remember how the scientists in Oregon made the monkeys obese?  They added a peanut butter treat and a high fructose corn syrup sweetened punch drink to their regular food.  Just a coincidence?  Possibly.

Perhaps it is also a coincidence that they treat emergency malnutrition in Africa with a product called Plumpy Nut.  It is made with peanut paste, vegetable oil, powdered milk, powdered sugar, vitamins and minerals.  They are also developing a soy based product for the same purpose.

PUFAs and fructose to fatten up starving children? Of course!  But what are those ingredients doing to the rest of the world that is not starving?  Is it conceivable that PUFAs and fructose are a dangerous long term combination?   Is it possible that if PUFAs and fructose can fatten up monkeys and starving children then they might be dangerous enough to be suspects in the death of William James Sidis?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Undoing the Damage

I am beginning to see the light on how obesity may be reversed.

1.  Raw foods.  The raw foods movement is not what I would consider healthy.  But there is something to raw foods that is useful for reversing obesity.  Raw food takes more energy to digest.  If you imagine eating 10 bananas, you can understand how much work goes into getting them into and out of your system.  10 bananas is about 1000 calories.  Now imagine drinking 1000 calories of soda pop.  The body would use much less energy to digest the soda pop than it would to digest the bananas.  That alone is a big selling point for raw foods.

2.  There is no magic macronutrient proportion.  If you have been eating low carb or low fat then you know what it is like to crave the foods you've been abstaining from.  Were you to "fall off the wagon" you would probably eat foods disproportionally high in the macronutrients you craved.  It is this weird insight the body has for obtaining the macronutrients it is low on that proves that there is no absolute correct proportion.  One's proportion of protein/fat/carbs is going to be highly individual and may even change daily in some cases.  Pay attention to what your are wanting to eat.

3.  Eating several meals a day is awesome.  I had my doubts about eating every 3 hours, but I'm a convert.  When I eat more often I have smaller portions and tend to not fill up.  I try to make some meals only fruit.  I also feel more in touch with what I'm wanting to eat.  It also teaches how to eat to anticipate and prepare for the next meal.  It's very different and I'm still learning from it.

4.  Let healthy eating evolve.  I started with foods I liked and I'm making changes to my diet over time to try out different foods.  I'm not in a panicked rush.  I'm pretty sure repairing one's metabolism after obesity is going to cause a temporary weight gain.  Might as well enjoy it for the first few weeks then make changes later. 

5.  Dietary fat is precious.  I see this diet becoming mostly meals of fruit with a few starchy meals using oils.  If one can only have oil a few times a day, better make it a good one; coconut oil, olive oil, macadamia nut oil, or even animal fats in moderation.  I'll even accept other tropical oils.  But I avoid all of the other seed/nut oils.  Oils have got to be low PUFA.

I'll add to this list as I learn from my eating.  This is still an emerging process.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

4 Week Progress Report

After 4 weeks of limiting my PUFAs, I'm of the impression that reversing obesity shows more success if I incorporate increased fruit instead of with PUFA reduction alone.  I will list my weekly weigh-in totals so you can better see what is going on.  If you take these weekly totals and divide by 7 you can get the daily average weights.

1st week--1838.5 lbs.
2nd week--1846.5 lbs.
3rd week--1863 lbs.
4th week--1862 lbs.


As you can see there was a plateau to my weight gains after the third week.  At the end of the third week I had started to incorporate more fruit into my diet and I began eating every 3 hours.  This correlates to the truncation of my weight gains.

The problem with eating a high saturated fat and fructose diet is that it is kind of uncomfortable.  It feels like the food is heavy in the stomach.  Eating fruit for a couple meals is actually a kind of relief.  I've never been a big fan a fruit but it sure works well this way.

I have no strict rules on raw fruit.  I prefer raw fruit because I know it takes more energy to digest than cooked fruit.  There may be other benefits to eating raw fruit but I'm not as certain about those.  I can see this diet evolving into eating more fruit.  But I don't see myself becoming a full-on fruitarian.

I am also seeing evidence of the benefit of reducing all dietary fat.  It seems that there might be a magic fruit : fat ratio.  It may be dependent on the individual and as to how radically lean one wishes to become.  I'm sure one's activity level also plays a part in the calculation.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

TXNIP and PUFAs and Fructose

I just read this very interesting article about TXNIP.  It is a protein which regulates fat retention, heat production, and leptin resistance.  The most exciting part is that there seems to be a simple way to control it.  It goes on to give a link to a woman featured in a CNN story who lost over 200 lbs. following her doctor's simple advice.
1. Eat 8 ounces of food every 3 hours

2. No sugary drinks

3. Do not skip meals 

4. Do not tell anyone what you're doing

Being the rebel that I am, I'm going to simply follow steps 1. and 3.  If this works at all with the foods I am eating (and I have no idea if it will), then sugary drinks and telling other people should be irrelevant.  The blog also gives an opinion on types of foods that may be beneficial.  But I don't see those foods listed in the rules above.

Anyway, I will make an effort to follow the eating amounts and times above but I will continue with the foods I have been consuming.  This should add an interesting twist to my "diet."

Monday, May 2, 2011

Experimental Low PUFA Diet

My attempt at dietary modification of my tissue PUFA concentrations is an experiment.  After skimming through searches I could not find reliable and detailed information on a low PUFA diet.  Apparently the lack of information on reducing PUFA concentrations in vivo through dietary modification is a known issue.  I discovered the following quote from this article by Ray Peat:


"Metabolic intensity and longevity can be modified by changing the degree of saturation of fats in the diet and tissues, but--despite almost a century of sporadic investigations--no one has yet worked out in detail the most appropriate way to do this."


You can follow my amateur experimental diet on Jimmy Moore's Livin' La Vida Low Carb site.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

An Extended Interview With Ray Peat

Here is a long interview with biologist, Dr. Ray Peat.  Of course he is supportive of REDUCING PUFAs and enjoying your fructose.

Listen here.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Misleading PUFA Studies

Imagine you are a fat person.  In the past you would try to drop some weight by eating salads and drinking diet soda.  What you would be doing is INCREASING your PUFA intake with salad dressing but DECREASING your fructose intake with diet soda.  This could be expected to show some mild improvements in your health metrics if you are part of a clinical study.  But these clinical studies don't test for the combination of PUFAs and fructose.  They are usually just isolating their PUFA intake.  The measurements are almost never given in the context of fructose intake.

When you see a dietary study that shows an improvement with increased PUFA consumption, make sure they are taking measures of participants who are not decreasing their fructose intake.  How much better would the study participants do with a low PUFA diet?  Hopefully, some day, we will know.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The PUFAs and Fructose Reaction

I try to imagine it like this:

If you put a lit match up to a little puddle of gasoline, the gasoline will start on fire.  It is a common reaction that most people are familiar with.  Now imagine you have a huge puddle of gasoline that is sitting out on a hot day.  If you get anywhere near that gasoline with a lit match, it will have a much more violent or explosive reaction. 

Now imagine the little puddle of gasoline again but this time someone comes up to it with a flame thrower!  The little puddle will burn just like it did before.  The size of the fire doesn't make much difference in how the gasoline will react.  Same for the huge puddle of gasoline.

I imagine PUFAs to be like the gasoline and fructose to be like the fire.  A person could theoretically eat lots of fructose and if they only get a little bit of PUFAs, it won't make much of a difference.  However, if a person is consuming a lot of PUFAs then there is going to be a strong reaction to fructose in some people.  But it is not the fructose that is the bad guy.  It is the careless consumption of PUFAs in people who have a strong reaction.

PUFAs = BAD----Fructose = GOOD!

There has been such a vehement effort to attack HFCS and sugar and fructose that conspiracy theorists would have a heyday with my support of fructose.  Surely I must be a shill for the corn refiners.  One could almost buy that except I theorize that high PUFA oils (you know, like corn oil) are extremely bad products to put into food.  So I am canonizing and demonizing foods from the same source; corn. 

Actually, I don't think either one is truly bad.  They are both just food.  But the reaction of the two in some people is unmistakable.  If I had to pick which one to minimize in my diet, I would choose PUFAs. 

So don't throw gasoline all over your metabolism!  Keep your puddle small and enjoy the fire :)

Friday, April 22, 2011

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The evidence is starting to mount against PUFAs and fructose. I am expecting to see a very big exodus from the use of PUFAs.  I can't imagine it is going to take too long in the day and age of the internet.

But what would a world without obesity look like?  I imagine it would be extremely competitive for those looking for dates.  There would be a HUGE reduction in healthcare costs.  Incredibly, lifespan would lengthen even further.  This may lead to a bit of a population boom.  Diet gurus would disappear (yeah!). 

I'm thinking that competition overall would be greater, not just in dating.  There would be a greater need to distinguish one's self in a highly competitive environment.  Once fat Betty and fat Bobby don't look so different, they might just kick some ass in business, entertainment, sports, and elsewhere in the world.

What about the price of coconut oil?  OMG!  Through the roof.

Do you have a prediction for when obesity disappears?  Leave a comment.

Who consumes the most PUFAs?

Q.  What country is the greatest per capita consumer of PUFAs?

A.  Israel

Here is a PubMed paper on the "Israeli Paradox".

Two key ingredients point to the cause of obesity.

The PUFAs and fructose theory IS THE ONLY DIETARY THEORY that explains why the low carb/high fat eating Inuit stayed lean AND why the high carb/low fat eating Kitavans stayed lean AND why the obesity epidemic in the U.S. is increasing with its PUFA consumption AND why the French paradox is effective AND why the Okinawans stay lean (and may help explain why they live so long) AND why a person can still get fat eating only "healthy" vegetarian foods.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How I Decided Obesity Is Caused By PUFAs And Fructose

It all started with a NY Times article on obese monkeys.

Here is the question:

How did they make the monkeys obese?

It turns out that it was not complicated at all.  They simply add some foods with two primary ingredients that have already been under suspicion.  But when they combined them both, some fat magic happened.

Keep in mind that these are monkeys in cages.  There are no "self-esteem" issues at play.  It had nothing to do with "eating too much and not exercising enough".  They did not select "couch potato" monkeys.  They tried to induce the "couch potato" lifestyle on the monkeys, but it was the diet that tipped the monkeys into obesity. 

All the monkeys were getting monkey chow which was about one third fat, (probably) 20% protein, and about 50% carbohydrates.  That is the standard monkey chow every monkey gets and it does not usually cause obesity.

So how do they get these darn monkeys to be fat?  They ADDED a peanut butter snack, a high fructose sweetened beverage, and occasional peanuts and popcorn.  There are two factors that stand out about those dietary additions.  Can you guess what they are?  (Hint--see title of this blog).

The fats we get in our diet basically consist of three types:

Saturated
Polyunsaturated
Monounsaturated

Saturated fats are the stiff fats at room temperature and usually have a long shelf life.  Common saturated fats would be lard, tallow, coconut oil, and palm oil.  They are usually found in our diet from meat, dairy, chocolate, and coconuts.

Polyunsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature and even when refrigerated.  They do not last long before going bad.  They are usually kept stable and safe by adding preservatives or antioxidants.  PUFAs are highest in seed oils like soybean, canola, corn, peanut, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, grapeseed, and walnut oils.  They are usually found in our diet from snack chips (or crisps in the U.K.), salad dressings and mayonnaise, crackers, cakes, cookies, popcorn, peanuts, corn, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

Monounsaturated fats are also liquid at room temperature but can be solid if refrigerated.  Common sources of high monounsaturated fats would be olive oil, macadamia nut oil, and high oleic sunflower (not to be confused with regular sunflower) oil.  Common dietary sources of MUFAs would be macadamia nuts, maybe some Italian or Mediterannean foods, and some salad dressings.

So did the researchers add a high saturated fat snack to the monkeys' diet?  No.
Did the researchers add a high MUFA snack to the monkeys' diet?  No.

The researchers added a high PUFA snack to the monkeys diet.  Did it work?  Not well enough.  Not until they added a high fructose sweetened drink did the researchers get the big fat monkeys.  But fructose is not effective enough on its own to cause obesity.  It takes BOTH.

PUFAs and Fructose

But how do we know it wasn't glucose (the other carb in the equation).  Because the peanuts and popcorn already have carbohydrates that break down to glucose in them.  But fructose is a different type of carbohydrate entirely.  With fructose they had the key carbohydrate that worked with the key fatty acid and did a number on their systems to generate obesity.

PUFAs and fructose is a magical blend that may be the greatest discovery in this decade.  With PUFAs and fructose you also may be able to generate diabetes, heart disease, and cancer!  Four morbidities for the price of a little vegetable oil and sugar!

Time will tell.

Charles L. Peden
04/20/2011